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Arizona Fall League

Cubs' Leal extends AFL scoreless streak

MLB.com

Cubs prospect Erick Leal extended his scoreless inning streak to 17 1/3 frames in Mesa's 7-5 win over Peoria on Tuesday afternoon at Sloan Park.

Gameday

Cubs prospect Erick Leal extended his scoreless inning streak to 17 1/3 frames in Mesa's 7-5 win over Peoria on Tuesday afternoon at Sloan Park.

Gameday

"I'm working really hard every day. I don't think about the scoreless streak and those things," Leal said. "I just try to play hard and do my job."

A pitcher known for movement, the righty was consistently down in the zone and forced several swing and misses with his breaking ball. Leal is coming off a successful 2018 campaign with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he posted a 1.41 ERA in 63 2/3 innings while striking out 61 batters.

While many pitchers in the Fall League are working on their stuff, Leal is trying to prove he is 100 percent healthy.

"I'm trying to get healthy and comeback from my surgery and show the talent that I have," Leal said.

The Venezuelan product missed all of 2017 due to an arm injury which spilled over into 2018. He did not make his first appearance until May 25, however, the grind is something the 23-year-old is used to in his professional career.

Leal started his career in Dominican Summer League in 2012 as a 17-year-old, but he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2013.

Though he has risen slowly through the Cubs' system, he has put up good numbers. In 105 career Minor League games, he has 37 wins compared to 19 losses with a career ERA of 3.04 and 1.17 WHIP. Leal isn't worried about the trajectory of his career, but rather the things he personally can control.

"I can just say the time is up to God, he's praying for my career and myself as well," Leal said. "One day I'll be there and that's what I'm waiting for."

Jake Trybulski is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.