The 5-11, 175 pound righty was acquired from the Yankees in the Alfonso Soriano trade on July 26th. Corey Black was selected in the 4th round in the 2012 Draft our of Faulkner University. He was born on on August 4, 1991. Player ages in baseball are the age of the player before August 1st so this is technically Black's age 21 season.
Corey Black split time (mostly) between Low A and A ball last year after the draft. I say "mostly" because he did make one appearance and threw 1.1 innings at rookie league. He combined for 52 innings.
This season he made 24 starts in the regular season and threw 107.2 innings. There was a noticeable increase in his walk rate this year, along with increased wild pitches and hit batsmen. Overall, it's been a pretty good season for the righty.
He struckout 23.8% of the batters faced and walked 11.3%. If you add in HBP, which I prefer to do, his walk rate is 13.1%. That's just not very good for the level and experience that Black has.
One thing he had on his side prior to joining the Cubs was that he kept the ball in the ballpark. In just 25 innings with the Daytona Cubs, he allowed 3 home runs. He had allowed 3 with the Yankees organization in 135 innings. I wouldn't read too much into considering the sample size, but it's worth watching as we move forward.
Black got the start last night for the Daytona Cubs and was very good.
We wrote a bit about Corey Black's scouting report the day the Cubs acquired him so I don't want to add too much more.
He sits in the 93 to 95 mph range and may prove best suited for relief down the road. In short outings, he can hit 100 mph according to Baseball America. He also has a solid slider and changeup.
He's only 5-11 and when you factor in his control issues, he may could be moved to the bullpen sooner rather than later.
We'll see Black at AA Tennessee next season and it will be the year in which the Cubs decide if they have a starter or a reliever. Black only threw more than 5 innings on four occasions this season and did not throw more than 6 innings. As a result, his inning total is rather low. If he's moved to the bullpen, and we see the usual improvements that come along with shorter outings, we could even see Black in a Cubs uniform by midseason. I doubt the Cubs make the change that quickly, but it wouldn't surprise me.