Erling Moreno, P
Age: 18 (1/13/1997)
How acquired—Signed as a free agent July 2, 2013, out of Columbia. Scouted by Manny Esquiva.
Venezuelan Cubs, Venezuelan Summer League, (1 G, 3 IP, 0 B, 3 K);
Dominican Cubs, Dominican Summer League, (4 G, 0-1, 1.08 ERA, 8.1 IP, 3 BB, 6 K, 1.08 WHIP)
Prior to Cubs
One of the top arms in the 2013 international class, the Cubs inked the teenager to a $650,000 signing bonus. He caught the eyes of scouts with his smooth delivery and a fastball in the low 90s. Projected as a stater, Moreno flashed a roundhouse curve and a pulse change-up.
After getting an invitation to extended spring training in Mesa, Moreno was sent to the Venezuelan Summer League and made his pro debut on May 15 with three shutout innings of relief. He faced 10 hitters, allowing four hits with three strikeouts vs. Tigers. It was his only appearance in the VSL as he headed to the Dominican and spent the month of June honing skills at the Cubs academy before making his DSL debut in early July. Facing the Yankees on July 4, Moreno twirled a pair of no-hit innings with two punchouts and a walk in his first start. He made three more starts in the DSL and suffered his first loss on July 14 vs. Marlins (2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1K). He only faced 34 hitters in the DSL, and didn’t pitch after July 23, needing Tommy John surgery.
After having surgery late last season, Moreno should return to the mound this summer. He recently posted a picture on Instagram, throwing at the Cubs spring training facility, saying “he was back.” Moreno is expected to spend most of the summer rehabbing and its hopeful he sees action in the Arizona Rookie League and continues his development at fall instructs. He just turned 18 so there’s plenty of time for the young arm to develop into a big-league starter.