Top Chicago Cubs prospect Oscar De La Cruz suspended 80 games

By Vincent Frank

The Chicago Cubs have a ton of elite young arms in their farm system. In fact, six of the organization’s top-seven prospects are pitchers, according to MLB.com.

One of those pitchers, 23-year-old right-hander Oscar De La Cruz, has been suspended 80 games for allegedly testing positive for a masking agent.

De La Cruz entered the season as Chicago’s No. 3 overall prospect. Prior to the suspension, the Dominican native was pitching to a 6-7 record with a 5.24 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 16 starts for Double-A Tennessee.

The on-field struggles themselves forced Chicago to refrain from promoting De La Cruz to Triple-A. Now that he’s been suspended 80 games, the youngster’s path to the major is going to be a bit more rocky.

This suspension also eliminates one possible trade chip for the Cubs as they prepare for the July 31 non-waiver deadline. That’s an important thing to keep an eye on.