Nazier Mule – Picture by MLB

Welcome to our third mailbag post for the 2022–2023 minor league off-season! We’re excited with all the questions that we received over the past week and we are still taking questions if you would like to get one in. You can tweet at us on Twitter, you can send us an email, or you can just put one in the comments down below.

Let’s get started!

Today’s question comes from Farradn Corrino via email. Thanks for the question!

“Nazier Mule – Which do you prefer? Hitter or Pitcher?”

There isn’t a player in the organization with as much jaw-dropping ability as Nazier Mulé when you combine Mulé’s ability to deliver impact moments when pitching, in the field, or at the plate. A true dream scenario is to see him develop as true two-way player ala Shohei Ohtani, but what if he stalls out down the line. If we had to pick, what route would we prefer Nazier Mulé to focus on if it came to that?

Greg Huss

I think the stuff is nasty enough that I prefer Mulé to be developed as a pitcher, first and foremost. I think if he wasn’t a teenager popping mid-90s heat and sword-inducing sliders and instead just an “arm with potential” then I would probably lean towards the hitting side of things. But the stuff is already flashing plus and if the Cubs pitching development team can teach this kid how to be a real pitcher (which I know they can do), then look out.

Greg Zumach

I lean pitcher here, but I could see Greg and Todd feeling similarly. So let’s take a look at what Nazier Mulé might look at from a hitting-prospect perspective. We already know he has a rocket right arm and tons of athleticism. He has the foundation of a middle of the diamond player. Diving into his showcase circuit data, however, we see a player that stacks up with some of the best high school hitters from the 2022 draft. Using data provided by draft guru, Mason McRae, high school hitters were mapped based on their average exit velocity on batted balls and a composite metric made up of combined “bad results” (in-zone whiffs and chases). Looking at the “bad results”, Mulé is in the same range as Gavin Turley, Brady Neal, Jayson Jones, and Jalin Flores who all decided to attend school. Each of those names boasts serious potential with the bat, but could use more seasoning and diligent instruction. In a short time, however, Gavin Turley has already showcased enough to suggest he could have a massive presence in college baseball, even as early as this season. What is intriguing is that Nazier Mulé lead all hitters in average exit velocities. The whole package is huge upside and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Todd Johnson

Oh, I prefer pitcher just based on some video earlier this fall. The Cubs have plenty of hitters in the system, they do not have a lot of starting pitchers dealing near 100 with a nasty slider that devastates lefties. I will take that pitching profile every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

We will be back next week, maybe, with Episode 4 of our mailbag! We will see you then!