Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Brennen Davis doubles three times; Velazquez homers again, and Byrd delivers walk-off single in South Bend come from behind victory

Brennen Davis (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

St. Paul 11, Iowa 1

Game Recap

Starter Mike Hauschild is still getting stretched out in the Iowa rotation and it appears he ran out of steam in the 4th last night, as St. Paul hammered him for six runs in the inning.

Trent Giambrone doubled twice, but Iowa couldn’t string together enough of their nine hits to ever mount a serious comeback attempt.

Top Performers

  • Trent Giambrone: 2-4, 2 2B, BB (.233)
  • Michael Hermosillo: 2-5, RBI (.344)
  • Edwin Figuera: 1-3, R, BB (.263)
  • Michael Rucker: 2.1 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 0 K (5.74)
  • Ryan Meisinger: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (5.95)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Dee Strange-Gordon has opted out of his Minor League deal with the Cubs. With Nico Hoerner returned to the lineup, Sergio Alcantara emerging as a viable fill-in, and David Bote expected to begin a rehab stint shortly, Strange-Gordon likely realized his opportunity to return to the bigs with the Cubs was closed.

The rehab assignment continued for Dillon Maples, and it did not go well. Two walks and three hits led to three runs in just one inning of work.

AA

Chattanooga 7, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

Brennen Davis doubled three times, factoring into all of the scoring the Smokies did on the day. It wasn’t enough to overcome a tepid performance from the rest of the offense and a seven-run deficit dug by starter Erich Uelmen.

Top Performers

  • Brennen Davis: 3-4, 3 2B, R, 2 RBI (.268)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 1-3, 2B, R (.281)
  • Brendon Little: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (2.57)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Cubs top power hitting prospect has been on a recent power binge of late. Brennen Davis (.280/.389/.485 in 36 games between High-A and AA) has hits in 5 straight, including 4 straight with a double. He’s also blasted a pair of home runs. His last 8 hits have all gone for extra bases. It is okay to get excited. He’s legit. And we need something to cheer us up right now.

High-A

South Bend 7, Beloit 6

Prospect Profile

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Game Recap

Any time you can come away with a win on a bullpen day it is a major success. South Bend used three relievers for 2-3 innings apiece to open the game. It didn’t go well, as each gave up at least a run, but it was just enough to keep the Cubs in the game. They did find themselves down 6-4 entering the 8th though. Eduarniel Nunez and Graham Lawson held Beloit in check the rest of the way.

The offense chipped away in the bottom of the 8th when Edmond Americaan singled home Nelson Velazquez. Then in the 9th, Josue Huma led off with a double, then scored the tying run on a sac fly by Yonathan Perlaza. The Snappers wanted no part of Velazquez with the winning run on 3rd, as he is red hot at the plate and had homered earlier, so they intentionally walked him. That gave Grayson Byrd the walk off opportunity and he delivered with a ground ball through the right side of the infield.

Top Performers

  • Nelson Velazquez: 3-4, HR (11), 3 R, RBI, BB (.297)
  • Grayson Byrd: 3-5, 2 RBI (.263)
  • Delvin Zinn: 2-4, 2 R, , BB, SB (32), CS (5) (.215)
  • Jake Slaughter: 2-4, RBI (.226)
  • Josue Huma: 1-4, 2B, R (.205)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (6.97)
  • Graham Lawson: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (W, 1-1, 2.30)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

It has been a streaky year at the plate for Nelson Velazquez (.297/.346/.552 with 11 HR and 34 RBI in 45 games) thus far. He started the season late, missing the first 10 days or so, but quickly caught fire. He finished the month with a .380 average and 15 RBI in 14 games. He did hit 5 home runs in June but his average for the month fell to just .215 with a .277 OBP and 38 Ks in 93 ABs. He’s caught fire once again in July though, hitting .455/.520/.909. He’s pretty much the only source of power in the South Bend lineup, so as he goes, so do the Cubs more often than not.

Low-A

Augusta 3, Myrtle Beach 1

Game Recap

Not much to write about for this one. The Pelicans recorded just four hits, two apiece by Luis Verdugo and Ed Howard. That combo hitting back-to-back at the bottom and top of the order led to the only run of the game. Both guys have started slowly this year, but are showing some signs of improvement. The two of them do form an impressive defensive duo on the left side of the infield regardless of their offensive contributions.

D.J. Herz took the loss. He wasn’t at his most dominant, giving up three runs in three innings, throwing 64 pitches. Relatively recent Indy ball signing Jarod Wright followed with four shutout innings. I haven’t had a chance to really watch him yet, and this was his by far his best statistical outing to date.

Top Performers

  • Luis Verdugo: 2-3, R (.164)
  • Ed Howard: 2-4, RBI (.213)
  • Jarod Wright: 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (3.86)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

trends

ACL

Rockies 13, Cubs1 7

Top Performers

  • Matt Burch: 3-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI (.500)
  • Cam Balego: 2-2, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB (1.000)
  • Reggie Preciado: 3-4, 2 R, RBI, BB (.440)
  • Felix Stevens: 2-3, RBI, CS (1) (.409)
  • Owen Caissie: 0-2, 3 BB (.313)
  • Yeison Santana: 0-2, 2 BB< SB (1) (.000)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Cam Balego has been on the 60-day IL since an early season injury playing for South Bend. He began his rehab in Mesa with impressive numbers at the plate, hitting a pair of doubles and drawing a walk, but he also committed an error behind the plate. Balego is a natural infielder, now limited to CIF, who has been going through a conversion to catcher the last couple of years. The results have not been impressive to my eye prior to this year, but 2021 figured to be a big year in determining his future. The Cubs returned him to High-A this year despite having a pretty good year with the bat in AA during 2019. My assumption was the move was made to give Balego more opportunities for catcher reps (Miguel Amaya and Tyler Payne figured to be the main pair in Tennesssee). Balego’s early season injury put a damper on that plan.

Comments

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  • Great article Michael,
    Bring up the kids and clean house of all the swing and miss players.
    David Ross claims he is for playing small ball but the Cubs don't have the players for small ball. Are the Cubs working to get everybody on the same page?

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    Howard has done pretty well in his last 3 games or so. Davis and Preciado are doing very well too. This could be a good class of prospects.

  • C'mon. If Arrieta is capable of doing better and Rossy and Hoyer really think that, then send him down to the minors and let him work on it, NOT IN THE MAJORS!

    Our minor leagues are filled with players that are very capable of doing better. Why is Arrieta's situation any better? The Cubs management continues to tell us how every game is important but also continues to play players that are no more deserving to play in the majors than many of our minor leaguers.

    Arrieta has proven he is "FRIED" but he is NOT the only reason for the Cubs failures. Someone needs to tell Rossy that he can NOT wish for some of these guys to do better. They are what they are!!! He needs to play the players that can currently produce. He is managing this team as a FAN, Not as a Manager should.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Sorry for the rant but everything about the Cubs franchise is being run like a business EXCEPT the team players which seems to be run like a "Good "Ole Boys Club". I used to take a lot of pride in being a loyal Cubs fan but now I am just hugely embarrassed and tired of hearing all the excuses.

    What is more important to Rossy? Being a compassionate friend of the players or managing his ball club as it should be run. For one, we lose too many one run games but then once the opposition gets a large lead, we "throw in the towel". Other teams continue to fight back and even come from behind to win sometimes.

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