When the Cubs drafted Hayden Simpson in the first round in 2010, they left many teams shocked, as Simpson was generally though to be a third to fifth-round talent heading into the draft. Two years later, the Cubs' decision to buck the industry consensus isn't paying off.
Simpson gave up eight hits, seven walks and six runs, five of which were earned, in 4 1/3 innings in a 13-5 loss to Lakeland Tuesday night. It was the third straight rough outing for Simpson. Simpson has now allowed 38 baserunners in 17 innings for high Class A Daytona, which explains his 7.94 ERA.
But probably just as troubling, Simpson's mid-90s fastball continues to be missing. Last year, Simpson's fastball dipped to the mid-80s. At the time the Cubs blamed it on a bad case of mononucleosis, and then there was a stress reaction in his elbow. But a year later, there are some legitimate concerns that Simpson's velocity may never get back to what it was back in 2010.
At this point, Simpson is having to try to survive without a pitch that misses bats. It's a nearly impossible task as he's struck out four of the 88 batters he's faced this year.
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