Justin Steele may not be a household name for Chicago Cubs’ fans, but it won’t take long for him to make his name known. At this point in time, Steele is already one of the top prospects for the Cubs. According to MLB.com, Steele is ranked as the Cubs No. 10 top prospect, which shows just how bright his future is.
Chicago does not have a lot of high-caliber pitching in their farm system. Steele could very well end up being the best arm that they have coming out of the minor leagues in the near future.
Last season in 20 starts with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Steele put together a solid all-around year. He finished the season with a 6-7 record to go along with a 2.92 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Steele also had 82 strikeouts to go along with 36 walks.
There is no question that Steele has the potential to be a future star at Wrigley Field. Theo Epstein and company could not be more excited about the future for Steele.
Steele had to undergo Tommy John Surgery last season after injuring himself on August 1. There are some concerns, but Steele firmly believes that he will be able to bounce back stronger than ever following the surgery.
Evan Massey of Lifestyle Sports 101 had the opportunity to sit down with Steele for an interview. Plenty of topics were discussed and Cubs’ fans will be excited to get to know their up-and-coming star pitcher a bit more.
First up on the agenda was to find out how playing for the Cubs’ organization has been for Steele and how it has impacted him.
“It’s been a great experience for me. The coaches and staff they have around you at all times here is top of the line. I’ve really enjoyed my time being in the Cubs organization.”
Steele went on to talk about his progression in 2017 and what his goals are for the 2018 season.
“I felt like I took a nice leap forward in the 2017 season; was very pleased with how I performed and I really look to pick up where I left off. And for this upcoming 2018 season I look to come back bigger and stronger than any of my previous years.”
At this point in his career, Steele is confident that he knows what his biggest strengths and weaknesses are.
“I would say my biggest strengths and what has worked for me up to this point is just going right after hitters and trusting my stuff. Kind of lost that for a second in South Bend but found it once again in Myrtle Beach and really felt I was able to pitch well with runners on in High-A and really want to continue that.”
He went on to talk about whether there is a current pitcher that he would compare his game to. He had a very good answer to that question.
“I’ve heard some people have compared me to Steve Avery but I wouldn’t say there’s one pitcher I model my game after. I watch all pitchers and pay attention to little things they do and when I see something I like I’ll try to incorporate it somehow into myself.”
If you’re a young pitcher with dreams of playing professional baseball, Steele has some advice for you.
“Just to do what you know you have to do and get a little bit better every day! It’s very important to not be complacent or satisfied with where you’re at. Can always be better than what you were yesterday!”
Steele has not been hyped up a lot since joining the Cubs, but was happy to break down what he brings to the mound for those fans who haven’t seen him pitch.
“I like to think that I’m an aggressive pitcher and very competitive also, so if I had to describe myself to someone I would definitely use those two words.”
Following up on that question, Steele talked about who he is when he isn’t playing the game he loves.
“When I’m not on the field I’m very easy going; I like to play video games a lot in my free time to keep me busy!”
Diving a bit further into Steele’s love for video games, he talked about what kind of games he enjoys playing.
“The video games that I play mostly are Call Of Duty, NBA 2k, and Fortnite! And I have always played video games in my free time since I was a kid. My brother and I used to always play growing up and it was really intense! And I stream on twitch a lot in my free time right now just because I have a lot of free time during this offseason!”
Needless to say, the Cubs have a good one in Steele. If you haven’t started following him yet, now is the time to keep an eye on him as he works his way up in the Cubs’ organization.