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2023 Cubs player profiles: Luke Little

Luke is anything but little, and he might be a big deal for the Cubs, who need lefty relief. He has rocketed through the Cubs’ minor-league system and is ready to contribute.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Luke Little is a big dude with a big arm and, possibly, a big future. He has a big slider and a big fastball, throws from the left side, and is a little tinkering away from potential dominance.

That’s not hyperbole. The 6’8” Little was drafted by the Cubs after he threw a 105 mile per hour heater* in a video that went viral on X (formerly Twitter).

“I think (the video) really helped bump up his stock,” said Jake Robbins, who recorded and posted the video. “It wasn’t just a fluke that he hit it.”

He also features a spectacular sweeping slider, but needs to fine-tune his control. Tim Huwe wrote him up last year.

‘‘Obviously, I come from way out to the left,’’ Little said, miming his three-quarters arm slot. ‘‘So I am able to backdoor sliders a lot more to righties and I’m able to get more deception to lefties. I can throw it off the plate, and I can get more chases because it’s coming right [middle]. It looks like it’s going to be down the middle of the plate, but it’s going to bite.’’

He’s 22 years old. Little spent 2021 in the Atlantic Coast League, but opened 2022 in Myrtle Beach and has rocketed through the system. His four-seamer sits comfortably mid-to-upper 90s, his slider bites down hard, and he’s a few successful outings away from a spot on a (potential) playoff team. He might have been brought up according to need, but he has a real chance to stick.

More of this, please.

The inevitable comparison:

Andrew Miller is another comp that would work. Hopefully Little harnesses his offerings at a younger age than either of those worthies.

He got to Tennessee in May, Iowa in July. Great prospect like fellow southpaw Jordan Wicks, who has already shown his mettle as a starter for the MLB Cubs. And Little was a fourth-rounder in a five-round draft.