Eric Jokisch, lefthanded pitcher, 6-2, 185
Drafted in the 11th round in 2010
Probable landing spot in 2014: Triple-A Iowa
Former NFL quarterback Jim Miller noted a few years ago what it took to be an NFL QB. In effect, his comment was that you need to be able to put the ball in a shoebox 30 yards down field. If you can do that almost every time, you ought to be okay. If you are erratic, you will struggle. In baseball, the distance is only 60 feet away, but the box is a bit smaller.
Eric Jokisch is a crafty left-hander from Northwestern. Insert all of the applicable commentary on the history of southpaw pitchers with crafty repertoires. The question is, what can we expect from Jokisch, if and when "the call" comes? Can he put the ball in that smaller-sized box?
I have no idea.
Jokisch's velocity isn't even noted very often. If he can keep the hitter off-balance, he can be a reliever, or a back-end starter. He pitched a no-hitter last season, and Mick Gillispie has a great feature on the last four outs, with video and an interview. Among his top abilities is to keep his pitches low in the zone.
Jokisch has done all he'll be able to do in Double-A. Look for him to be a starter in Iowa, which is starting to become what a Triple-A team ought to be. Gorged with options that can be called to the parent club on short notice: Jokisch, Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin, Kyle Hendricks, and a few others. Fill-in options will exist.
As a lefty, the specialist-reliever option is certainly a possibility. The team does seem to like him, as he took the Chicago off-season tour with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, C.J. Edwards, and others. Jokisch figures to get a chance at some point in 2014 or 2015. Along with Matt Szczur, Ben Wells, Matt Loosen, Dustin Geiger, and Dallas Beeler, the Cubs are trying to get some quality out of the infamous 2010 draft.