Chicago Cubs prospect Caleb Kilian might have had his best performance as a professional Saturday night. It came during his final appearance in the Arizona Fall League.
The notable prospect who was part of the Kris Bryant trade back in July, pitched six innings of perfection to go with eight strikeouts and zero walks to help lead the Mesa Solar Sox to the AFL championship. He threw 68 pitches, which included 16 swinging strikes. For most of the outing, his fastball sat around 94-96 mph. He did however top out at 97-98 mph to go with a sharp slider.
It was a fantastic night for Cubs prospects in general. Nelson Velazquez was named the AFL MVP before the championship game. It was Caleb Killian who stole the show, however and won the championship MVP.
Kilian is the Cubs No. 14 prospect in the Cubs farm system, per MLB Pipeline. If you're a Cubs fan, you have to love what the system produced in the AFL this fall.
Friend of the Cubs On Tap podcast and prospect guru Bryan Smith, of BleacherNation, wrote an in-depth piece on Kilian's five different pitches and potential to make it to Wrigley Field as early as next season.
All in all, it was the best news the Cubs could have got in November, and it bares the argument that the trades at the deadline sell-off were the right moves.
Kilian pitched a total of 14 innings in the AFL so his 5.14 ERA doesn't tell the full story when you consider six of those innings were perfect. He finished with 18 strikeouts compared to five walks in the AFL.
We will not know for the foreseeable future, but you have to love what the Cubs have in Kilian and Alexander Canario out of the Bryant trade. Imagine if the Cubs manage to lure Bryant back to Chicago this winter.
One thing is for sure, Caleb Kilian, Nelson Velazquez, and Andy Weber are AFL champions and are putting themselves in a position to help the Cubs sooner rather than later.