Brian Schlitter, P
Age: 28 (12/21/1985)
2013 Teams: Tennessee Smokies, Southern League, (AA); Iowa Cubs, Pacific Coast League (AAA)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired—Acquired from the Phillies in a trade for pitcher Scott Eyre on Aug. 7, 2008.
Prior to Cubs
Schlitter attended Main South High School in suburban Chicago and headed to Lake City Community College in Lake City, Florida for his first year of college. After pitching 46 innings as a freshman, he was drafted by the Angels in the 33rd round but went back for his sophomore season. He earned a scholarship to College of Charleston after going 7-2 with 71 strikeouts in 80 innings in his second JUCO season. Schlitter impressed in Division I as he went 5-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 21 games for the Cougars, throwing 52.2 innings with 43 K and 21 BB. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Phillies and turned pro, making his debut in the New York-Penn League and then pitched in 16 games in relief in the South Atlantic League for Lakewood. He started his first full pro season in the Florida State League for Clearwater and was traded to the Cubs on Aug. 7 for Scott Eyre. He appeared in 34 games for Clearwater with aline of 4-3, 2.22 ERA, 48.2 IP, 67 K, 9 SV.
He made his Cubs' debut on 8/8/08 tossing a pair of scoreless innings of relief for Daytona. He pitched in seven games for the D-Cubs, recording three saves with a 0-1 recored and a 2.16 ERA. Schlitter was named a mid-season all-star the following year for Tennessee as the right-handed appeared in a league-high 59 games with 22 saves. (1-7, 4.38 ERA). After 37 games at AAA Iowa to open 2010, Schlitter made his MLB debut on June 28 striking out both Pirates he faced at Wrigley Field. After two more shutout innings again the Pirates two days later, Schlitter allowed 11 earned runs and 18 hits over his next 5.1 innings and landed on the disabled list with a right elbow injury. He missed the entire 2011 season with the injury and returned to throw 69 innings (3-5 2.61 ERA) in 50 appearances between Daytona and Tennessee in 2012.
Schlitter led all Cubs minor leaguers with 22 saves, 20 coming at Iowa in 38 games after a promotion from AA. He reached AAA in late May after crafting a 0.83 ERA in 16 games for the Smokies, tossing 21.2 innings. The right-hander put his name in the I-Cubs record book converting 20 straight save opportunities, including his first 18 of 2013. He was charged with one blown save for Iowa and finished the year with a line of 1-4, 3.24 ERA, 38 G, 41.2 IP, 38 H, 9 BB, 45 K.
With an invite to spring training, Schlitter has his sights on a return to the big leagues If he doesn't make the club when they break Mesa, he'll return to Iowa to wait his opportunity. The big right-hander hits the mid-90s with his fastball, throws a slider and has added a split-finger fastball to his arsenal. He gives the Cubs additional bullpen depth and is one of the few experienced power arms in the upper levels.
Tayler Scott, P
Age: 21 (6/1/1992)
2013 Team: Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, (A)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# Not rated
How acquired—Drafted in the fifth round in 2011, # 159 overall
Prior to Cubs
Scott was a soccer star in his native country of South Africa but during a family trip to the U.S in 2007, participated in a two-week baseball camp in New York. He returned to the camp the following year, and then enrolled at Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, Arizona, his sophomore year of high school, and went 7-2 with a 1.74 ERA as a junior gaining the attention of several scouts. He earned a scholarship to the University of Arizona his senior year before the Cubs used their fifth-round pick on the slender right-hander and gave him a reported $280,000 bonus. Scott was the first South African drafted by a MLB team.
Scott didn't sign until Aug. 15 and only pitched in two games in the Arizona Rookie League, allowing three runs in 3.2 innings. After his first spring training, Scott stayed in Mesa and then headed to Boise in June for a season in the Northwest League. He made 15 starts for the Hawks, going 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 71.1 innings. He allowed 66 hits and 29 walks to go along with 43 strikeouts.
The South African was the workhorse of the Cougars' staff, logging 130 innings in his first full season. Scott didn't put up jaw dropping numbers but he did show the ability to take the ball very five days. In 24 starts, he pitched into the fifth inning 20 times but had trouble with his command, averaging 3.7 BB/9. He fanned 67 and after not surrendering a homer in his first two seasons, allowed six long balls. He was named to the MWL mid-season all-star game, recording a strikeout in 2/3 inning.
There's no reason to believe Scott won't start the year in the Florida State League as part of the rotation for Daytona. He delivers a fastball in the low 90s and due to his arm angle, creates a lot of tail on it. He also throws a two-seam sinker to go along with a slider and change-up. Scott needs to add some weight to his 6-foot-3 frame as he's listed at only 165 pounds. He struggled the second half of the season with his control and needs to get stronger as his career progresses. He's a good athlete and at only 21 is still relatively new to baseball and has very few innings on his arm.