Audio: Kevin Hart Interview

METAIRIE, La. -- This time a year ago, Kevin Hart was finishing up his first season in Class High A ball with the Frederick Keys of the Carolina League.

Now the 24-year-old right-hander is at Triple-A, where he's posted a 3.54 ERA and has notched four wins while making nine appearances. He leads the Cubs' farm system with 128 strikeouts in 153 innings combined.

Last December, the Cubs acquire Hart () from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for INF/OF Freddie Bynum. It has been a good first year with his new organization, as Hart has been one of the most improved pitchers in the Cubs farm system throughout the second half of the season.

After struggling with the initial transition to Double-A ball earlier this year, Hart caught fire during the month of June at Tennessee, winning five of his last seven starts there before earning a promotion to Triple-A.

In his most recent start for Iowa over the weekend, Hart yielded six hits and walked six New Orleans Zephyrs batters but surrendered just one run.

"I think the maturity that he has emotionally enables him to get out of those situations," Iowa manager Buddy Bailey said after Hart's last start. "He had a lot of walks and a lot of baserunners, but the ability to not give up those (critical) hits and keep the run total down tells you how good his stuff is."

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