One of the cool things about going to Appleton last weekend was getting to see Jake Reindl in person, even though he didn’t pitch. I was taking some pics for the South Bend Cubs and I got to listen to Jake talk to South Bend Cubs broadcaster Max Thoma and found Jake to be quite funny and also quite tall.

As for being a pitcher, Reindl is probably one of the Cubs’ hottest commodities in the lower miners.

When the Cubs took Reindl out of Arkansas in the 17th round back in 2018, most were expecting big things because he had been a closer in the SEC, the best conference in college baseball.

However, assorted injuries became the norm for his first couple years in the organization. He did appear in a few games in 2019 and didn’t really get going full-time until last year at Myrtle Beach. And to say it was an up-and-down year would be an understatement.

For Reindl, getting back in the swing of things from the mound would take several months in 2021. In May, he had a rough time with an ERA well over eight. In June, it was a little better but it was still extremely high at 6.97. In August, things looked like they were starting to come together as he finally got his ERA under three for the month before the Cubs shut him down for the year.

Heading into 2022, I was still hopeful that they he could regain his collegiate form.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that he did. From the very first game this year, Reindl has been flashing a slider straight out of wiffleball enhanced by a lower arm slot, he is not allowed an entire run this season in 10 appearances for Myrtle Beach and one for South Bend.

I am just fascinated by what that pitch can do to a hitter. I’ve seen despair disbelief and, hopelessness, and downright denial by hitters in two legs looking at that pitch and then trying to hit it. I am really excited to see what he does this next month with that pitch with South Bend.

If he can play it in concert with the rest of his arsenal, then we’re looking at possibly making it to Tennessee at some point this summer, which would be cool. I think we’re at that stage now in the system where there’s a little logjam of relievers and to move over the top of the log jam, you have to be downright dominant. So far, Reindel is it is there a part of an excellent bullpen with Hunter Bigge, Jeremiah Estrada, Sheldon Reed, Bradford Deppermann, and hopefully a soon to be uninjured Zac Leigh. It’s going to be a fun summer in northern Indiana and the Great Lakes region watching this guy pitch, especially when I see him this next month in Quad Cities and Beoit