Sam Armstrong – Pic via Old Dominion University Athletics

For most pitchers that get drafted, signing is not that big of a deal because they are probably not going to pitch very much. In the past, the Cubs have only had starting pitchers go 10 to 20 innings once they sign. They used to do that over in Eugene with a lot of the college guys, but things have changed greatly since 2019. Now, it’s either Mesa or Myrtle Beach, and on rare occasions, sometimes South Bend. For Sam Armstrong, who threw 77 innings at Old Dominion and some more on the Cape, he’s pushed 90 innings already. I don’t see the need for him to go out and prove anything else. In fact, the Cubs may insist that he just take a seat. But his 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds body might be able to withstand 10 more innings. It’s gonna be one of the interesting stories in August. So far, he’s thrown 2, 1 in Mesa and 1 in Myrtle Beach.

Basic Info

Age – 22
Height 6-2
Weight 245
Throws Right
From High Point, New Jersey
Drafted in the 13th round

Armstrong is someone who is not considered to be an elite prospect or even in a top 500 list. What he’s done has been to go out and produce at a variety of levels. Talent and skills will get you drafted more often than not. Production can also do the same as it tends to show work ethic and willingness to be coached.

For Armstrong, his career began at a junior college in New Jersey in 2021 where he made six appearances and struck out 51 in 35 innings. He hac 2.83 ERA and he also played some first base. He hit .429 in 16 plate appearances with 2 HR, 5 RBI. That, my friend, got him a one-way ticket to Virginia to play for Old Dominion.

In 2022. Armstrong appeared in 15 games. He started 14 of those and had a 5.40 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. He only walked 27 but hitters seemed to hit him fairly well at .279..

But it was Armstrong senior year they got him drafted by the Cubs.

I’m in 2023, he appeared in 15 games with a 3.51 ERA. He struck out 72 in 77 innings. He only walked 28 and opponents hit just .238 against him, all major improvements over the year before.

But his career did not end there.

Rather than just work out and get ready for the draft individually, Armstrong took it upon himself to go play in a summer league to help put his stuff out there and improve his stock. The past couple years, most guys have been going to the draft league to do that. But not Armstrong. Instead, he went to the Cape Cod Leagueand played for Harwich.

He appeared in two games as a starter. He threw a combined 10 innings. He did not allow any runs. He only allowed one hit. And, he struck out 13 batters who will be next year’s cream of the crop in the draft. 

That will get you noticed.

And the Cubs did.

I am pretty excited to see him throw next year, especially after a year in the Cubs off-season throwing program.

He’s going to be a guy that can really pop because the Cubs are going to go the whole 9 yards with him on weight training, nutrition, plyometric balls, velocity training, and they may work on some pitch grips and shapes for his pitches. He could be a whole new pitcher next year or he could just be a guy who makes a few adjustments. We’ll find out what he’s comfortable with next spring and I am excited to see it.

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