The Cubs may have come away with the biggest steal of the 2020 draft when they selected hard-throwing lefty reliever Burl Carraway out of Dallas Baptist with their second pick. He has what the organization believes is once-in-a-decade stuff and will remain in he bullpen, which shortens his developmental curve significantly. In fact, many believed he’d be the first player in his class to debut in the majors.
That’s why it was so surprising when Carraway was not among the initial list of 50 names submitted for the 60-man player pool. As it turns out, the Cubs were simply maintaining a little flexibility at the outset because a player can’t be added back to the pool once he’s been removed. With the season now just a few days away and three spots still remaining, it appears as though Carraway will get his shot after all.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Cubs Insider has learned that Carraway is heading to South Bend as part of the auxiliary unit backing up the primary 30-man squad in Chicago. Though the Cubs have been reluctant to fast-track their pitching prospects over the last few years, a more aggressive philosophy and the nature of the short season make it entirely likely that Carraway sees some time in the majors over the next two months.
A lefty who can kiss triple digits and back it up with a big hammer of a curveball is always a good option, and having experience as a closer is a big plus. Putting in time at the professional level can be important, no doubt, but there’s something to said for not knowing what you don’t know. Then you factor in how the lack of scouting at all levels means there really isn’t a book on Carraway yet.
Even if he doesn’t get the call to Chicago this season, participating with other high-level prospects in South Bend will help Carraway’s development and get him on what figures to be a pretty short path to the bigs.