Sunday, June 29, 2014

Where Are They Now? 2011 Pro Debut Part 3

Last year I began a new series of posts giving an update on Cubs prospects that appeared in Pro Debut during its inaugural 2010 season. Three years seemed like a pretty good amount of time to follow up. With the release of the 2014 set, I restarted the series two Sundays ago with players from 2011.

So far, none of the first four are even still with the Cubs franchise let alone progressing to play at Wrigley Field. Those previous entries can be seen here:

Part 1 (Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer) can be seen here.

Part 2 (Reggie Golden and Hunter Ackerman) can be seen here.

2011 Topps Pro Debut #304 Aaron Kurcz
The Cubs drafted Aaron Kurcz out of the College of Southern Nevada in the 11th Round of the 2010 draft. He was a decent reliever prior to the Daytona Cubs moving him into the rotation, but with that conversion, he made the Florida State League mid-season All-star team in 2011.

However, Kurcz fits the same bill as the first four in that he is no longer with the Cubs. What sets him apart though is that he was traded…for Theo Epstein. Kind of. He was a “player to be named later” after it was determined the Cubs needed to further compensate the Red Sox for the hire.

Kurcz spent the 2012 season with the Red Sox’s Double A affiliate the Portland Sea Dogs where he returned to the bullpen. He lost the second half of the season and all of 2013 to Tommy John surgery. He’s bounced back this season, finishing out 12 games (in 17 appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

2011 Topps Pro Debut #306 Austin Reed
Once I sifted through Austin Reed, the British clothing company and Austin Reed, the fictional character from Days of Our Lives, I finally got to Austin Reed, Addison’s little brother the Cubs 12th round 2010 draft selection. Yes, he is White Sox closer, Addison Reed’s little brother and they were drafted on the same day, into the same city, nine rounds apart.

Austin is still with the Cubs and has progressed each season, advancing to a new level but hasn't managed to catch up to his brother yet. Addison is three years older so it’s a little understandable. It would be fun to see these brothers duel it out in a crosstown interleague game in the near future.

It probably doesn't help that his current team the Daytona Cubs has a record about as good as their Major League counterpart. All of those highly touted Cubs prospects are bunching up in Double A and Triple A.

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