The Chicago Cubs could bring up their top pitching prospect, Brailyn Marquez, at some point this month, Bleacher Nation's Brett Taylor wrote on Friday. He noted that The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma was the first to float the idea in his latest article.
"For now, the Cubs will try to piece everything together and then reevaluate in a week or so," Sharma wrote. "One name to not completely write off yet is Brailyn Marquez, the Cubs' top pitching prospect, who is working at the alternate site in South Bend."
He added that Marquez started off slowly and seemed unlikely to help the team this season when the year began. However, he's said to be "trending in the right direction" lately. Sharma said that if Marquez continues to pitch as he has more recently, there's a chance he could be a factor for the big-league club somewhere down the line in September.
Taylor pointed out that -- although Marquez is only 21 years old -- he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. If the organization wants to protect him from that draft, they'll need to add him to their 40-man roster by November.
The analyst added that because he's going to be on the roster after the season, keeping him off for the next two months isn't factoring into the decision. If Marquez isn't called up, it will be a developmental decision instead.
According to Taylor, the developmental questions are real and should be considered. He said it's near impossible to project just how well Marquez would perform against Major League hitters in a live game scenario.
During his time in South Bend, Indiana this summer, he's gotten some experience against big leaguers. Those are simulated games, though and there's a level of competition that's quite a big higher in the Majors.
However, Taylor said from a "stuff" perspective, the organization should be able to tell if he's ready to compete at the next level. Scouts for the franchise haven't had to be spread out among half a dozen cities watching hundreds of prospects.
All of the prospects in the organization are in South Bend. Most of the prospects there are at the top of the list, so Marquez is facing off against the best his club has to offer.
The analyst said there are pros and cons for either bringing him up or keeping him down. The upside is that a player who is known as a "hard-throwing lefty" could help the team make the playoffs. The downside is that if he isn't ready and is called up early, his development will be stunted, which could prove difficult to recover from.