You can never have enough pitching and it doesn’t hurt to bring in a 6-foot-5, left-hander who can throw in the mid-90s. That’s what the Cubs have done, recently signing Christian Winston to a minor league deal.
Winston, 23, pitched four seasons at San Diego State University and added another year of college experience pitching for NAIA’s William Jessup in 2022. The lefty went un-drafted, but he’s now in Cubs minor league camp down in Mesa, Ariz.
Ever since the Cubs revamped their minor league developmental staff the team has, slowly but surely, produced positive results up through the majors. What once was a weak spot in the farm system, the Cubs current minor league pitching system is deep, filled with several guys knocking on the MLB door.
Signing Winston is purely a scouting play and at the end of the day it’s a low-risk move by the Cubs, who are hoping to hit the jackpot on this long shot. Winston wasn’t necessarily turning heads during his college career, making 67 appearances that included nine starts. Overall, the left-hander had a 4.94 ERA in 122 innings, striking out 125 and walking 79.
Yet, his frame alone makes it easy to see why a team can project success for Winston after working with him and making additional adjustments. At 6-foot-5, Winston could be a tough look for hitters. He’s also been throwing in the mid-90s this offseason, which again, is a desirable attribute that any team would want to work with and the Cubs obviously liked Winston enough to give him a shot in their system.
So, if you pay attention to the Cubs minor league system, don’t forget about the name Christian Winston. You know left-handed pitchers will always get a chance to succeed, so it’ll be interesting to see what the Cubs can do working with Winston in the pitch lab!
You can see more of the left-hander’s pitching arsenal below.
Winston is the second un-drafted player the Cubs have signed in the past year. Back in August, the Cubs picked up right-handed pitcher Grant Kipp, who pitched at Yale. Kipp ended up making six starts in 2022 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the A-Ball affiliate of the Cubs.
And of course, one of the most talked about prospects in 2022 and heading into this year’s spring training, Matt Mervis, was an un-drafted signing by the Cubs back in 2020.