The Cubs continue to add arms via trade acquiring hard-throwing Corey Black, a second-year pro who’s spent the season in the Florida State League.
Black, 21, (he turns 22 Aug. 4) has started 19 games for Tampa in the FSL compiling a 3-8 record and 4.25 ERA. He averages 9.6 K/9 but sports a 4.9 BB/9. The league is only hitting .243 off the right-hander but due to his control problems has a WHIP of 1.50.
Black’s best pitch is his fastball which sits are 92-95 but the right-hander has been able to maintain the speed into later innings, something he was unable to do last year. He’s also improved his secondary pitches, especially his change-up, which he is throwing a lot more. He also features a curve and slider.
In an interview with PinstripesPlus.com earlier this month, Tampa pitching coach Jeff Ware said he believes all four of his pitches are swing and miss pitches and all four are “already above-average Major league pitches.” Ware stated all of Black’s secondary pitches have improved and “just working ahead in the counts and actually getting to use those secondary pitches is the biggest thing. If he starts to locate those four pitches in the zone, everything is going to work out for him.”
Black’s biggest problems this year has been working behind in the count as he’s 2nd the FSL in strikeouts and walks. “Just trying to repeat my delivery and find some consistency has been my biggest key to success and failure this year, Black told PinstripesPlus. “I just haven’t been confident in my stuff.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder had his best outing of the season against Daytona, no-hitting the Cubs for five innings allowing a run on four walks with seven strikeouts on May 30, one of his three wins. He whiffed a season-high 11 Clearwater hitters on May 2.
The Yankees selected Black in the fourth-round in 2012 out of Faulkner University, after starting his college career at San Diego State. He made three stops in his first pro season, finishing up in the South Atlantic League. He was impressive in his debut season fanning 50 in 52.2 innings with 15 walks and a BAA of .222.
Soriano played seven season for Chicago hitting .264/.317./495 with 181 homers and 526 RBI. The Cubs made the playoffs his first two seasons with the North SIders.