Getting to know Brendon Little, the pitcher the Blue Jays acquired from the Cubs
Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
29 days ago
You know it’s officially the most exciting time of the year when trades start happening.
On Monday evening, the Blue Jays made their first trade of the off-season, as they acquired left-handed pitcher Brendon Little from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash considerations.
The 27-year-old has limited experience in the big leagues, pitching just two-thirds of an inning and giving up three runs in the process. He’s also yet to register a strikeout while walking a batter and giving up a home run.
Little spent most of the season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, pitching 73.1 innings in 50 games (two starts). There, he posted a 4.05 ERA and a 4.40 FIP, along with a 23.1 K% and a 12 BB%. Little is an extreme ground ball pitcher, as 64% of balls in play were ground balls, according to his Fangraphs page.
Little has a three-pitch mix, according to Prospects Live’s data page for minor league players. He threw 793 sinkers in 2023, and averaged 94.4 mph on them, while also getting an 18.9 whiff percentage. His slider was his strikeout pitch. He threw the secondary 414 times, averaging 85.8 mph on it, and causing batters to swing and miss on swings 45.3% of the time, a rather impressive number.
Another interesting tidbit about Little was that he was drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft. He was selected with the 27th overall pick, one ahead of Nate Pearson, who the Blue Jays got because Edwin Encarnacion signed with Cleveland.
Little was added to the 40-man roster, but unlike Mitch White, who was also added to the 40-man roster, Little has two more option years remaining. He’ll likely start the season in Triple-A, as the Blue Jays already have two left-handed pitchers in the bullpen, Tim Mayza and Génesis Cabrera.
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