Zac Rosscup, P
Age: 25 (6/9/1988)
2013 Teams: Tennessee Smokies, Southern League (AA); Iowa Cubs, Pacific Coast League (AAA); Chicago Cubs (NL)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 25
How acquired—Traded with Matt Garza and Fernando Perez from Tampa to Cubs for Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer on Jan. 8, 2011
Prior to Cubs
A relative unknown, Rosscup prepped at Forest Grove High School in Oregon and attended Chemeketa Community College after graduating in 2007. After being named to the 2009 NWAACC All-Star team, Rosscup was selected by Tampa Bay in the 28th round and turned pro. He made his debut on July 1, 2009 in the Appalachian League with the Princeton Rays allowing a run on three hits in an inning. He appeared in 10 games in his first pro season (9 starts) throwing 40.1 innings with a 3-4 record and a 2.68 ERA. He spilt 2010 between Rookie League and Low A New York-Penn League, throwing 44.1 innings between the two levels. He fanned 41 in 44.1 IP and only walked nine.
Rosscup became a Cubs on Jan. 8, 2011, and spent the season in the Florida State League appearing in 11 games for Daytona before being shut down in June with bicep tendentious. He went 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA with Daytona, recording 50 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Rosscup spent the first three months of the 2012 season on the DL and finally returned to action in late June, pitching in three games in Peoria before a promotion to AA Tennessee. He appeared in 11 games for the Smokies, throwing 29 innings with a 4.84 ERA with 29 K but 19 walks.
With only 11 AA games under his belt entering the season, Rosscup made the leap all the way to Wrigley Field in 2013, making his MLB debut on Sept. 3 allowing a walk in two-thirds of an inning with a strikeout vs. Miami. He made 10 appearances for Chicago as the lefty worked 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts and seven walks. He only allowed one earned run, that coming on a solo homer. Rosscup began the year back at Smokies Park and with a fastball in the low-to-mid-90s and a good slider He mowed down Southern League hitters with 66 strikeouts in 43.1 innings while posting a 2.49 ERA in 37 games. Rosscup was promoted to AAA Iowa and continued his dominance as he didn't allow a run in nine games, tossing 7.2 shutout innings with 17 strikeouts.
A member of the Cubs 40-man roster, Rosscup will be battling for a spot in the Cubs bullpen as they break spring training. If he does start the season back in Iowa, look for Rosscup to return to Wrigley, especially if he repeats his 2012 performance. The left-hander has a deceptive delivery and uses this to his advantage as he's able to vary speeds, keeping hitters guessing. He was consistent with his fastball and showed good command of his slider, throwing it for strikes and getting hitters to chase. He was also tough on lefties as they hit .150 (12-80) in the three levels.
Austin Reed, P
Age 22 (10/31/1991)
2013 Team: Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, (A+)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired—Drafted in the 12th round in 2010, # 370 overall
Prior to Cubs
Played four years at Rancho Cucamonga High School, splitting time between the mound and third base. As a senior he went 6-4 with a 3.24 ERA in 71.1 innings with 74 strikeouts, after pitching 63 innings as a junior (3-4 3.52 ERA). He was a 2nd team All-CIF selection in 2012 and a two-time all-conference performer.
Reed made his pro debut July 5, 2010, for Mesa in the Arizona Rookie League as the right-hander struckout the side in a perfect inning. He appeared in 12 games in the AZL, tossing 33.2 innings with 34 strikeouts and a 2.94 ERA. Reed struggled at short-season Boise in 2011 allowing 82 hits and 25 walks in just 63.2 innings. He made 13 starts and finished at 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA. Reed headed to the bullpen in 2012 as he appeared in 38 games for Peoria (5-8, 3.65 ERA) in the Midwest League. He still struggled with his control (3.5 BB/9) but did miss more bats as his WHIP and BAA both improved.
After retiring the side in his High A debut for Daytona, Reed had a tough month, allowing 18 hits and nine walks over his next seven innings in five outings. With an ERA of 13.50 and trouble finding the strike zone, Reed turned his season around and led all Daytona relievers with 66.1 innings. With the help of pitching coach Storm Davis, the California native was tough down the stretch for the D-Cubs with a 2.00 ERA over his last 27 innings, going 3-2 with three saves. He appeared in two playoffs games, working 1.1 scoreless innings. Reed finished his the year at 4-2 with a 4.07 ERA with 40 K and 28 BB.
After being used as a starter his first two professional years, Reed has switched to the bullpen and will continue his progression up the minors to AA Tennessee. The brother of Arizona relief pitcher Addison Reed features a fastball in the mid-90s but needs to learn to command his pitches and repeat his delivery if he wants to join his brother in the big leagues. Reed showed vast improvement as the season progressed at Daytona and was trusted with the ball in relief during the playoffs.