Some of these prospect looks are really complex. Some rely on nuggets or vignettes from listening to games in the pipeline, or rely heavily on scouting report finds. This one is cold, cutting, and basic. It applies in far more cases than this one. Occasionally, it’s good to pound the basics, just for the case of pounding the basics, and because the basics are worth pounding for historic and logical reasons. This is my look at Cubs reliever prospect Scott Kobos.
Scott Kobos, left-handed pitcher
Born August 3, 1997. Charlotte, North Carolina.
Signed by the Cubs as an undrafted free agent in 2020 (Coastal Carolina)
2020 was horrible. It was horrible for about everyone. Kobos would have been drafted had the draft that season been reasonably close to 20 rounds. Alas, it only went five rounds, and Kobos wasn’t drafted. After being signed, he had no games to play in. It sucked for minor league baseball players, as well.
Signed after the 2020 draft by the Cubs for a relative pittance, Kobos’ first season playing in pro games was 2021. He started in Myrtle Beach at the Low-A level, and shredded. In eight games and eleven innings, he allowed no runs. Even those asterisk-worthy extra-inning runs. On to Advanced-A South Bend. Eight more games. 12⅔ more innings. One run. Uh-huh. On to Tennessee. Six games. Seven innings. No runs. One hit. No walks. (Not a misprint.) You know what comes next, right?
A trip to Triple-A Iowa.
Triple-A hitters hit Kobos rather well in 2021. Nonetheless, his combined ERA over all four full-season levels was 2.18. Here comes the question. “What is his estimated time of arrival?” .The answer is both rather simple, rather basic, and rather not what most readers want as the answer: “When he’s the most logical call-up from Triple-A to Chicago.”
He figures to be either in Double-A or Triple-A when the minor league season begins. I wouldn’t wager on which. The Cubs would love to have Kobos get Triple-A hitters out better this time around. Will it happen? We’ll know when the results start cascading in, not before.
If a reliever gives up one run over three levels of minor league ball, he did something right. Whether it’s a spitter, a splitter, a fosh, or a palm ball (seriously, where did the palm ball disappear to? If you know, let us know in the comments), getting outs is getting outs. Kobos kept doing it until he hit Triple-A — and won’t be Rule 5 Draft-eligible until December 2023. if he figures out Triple-A, O’Hare gets flights from about anywhere.
Here’s a photo of Kobos pitching for Iowa in 2021.