Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Espinoza and 3 relievers combine for 15 Ks; South Bend hitters stay locked in; Iowa blasts 4 HRs in loss; Made keeps hitting; Ramirez records 10th hit and 3rd triple over last 3 games

Kevin Made (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Omaha 11, Iowa 5

Game Recap

Despite four home runs, the Iowa offense managed just five runs and couldn’t keep pace with the star studded Omaha attack.

Top Performers

  • Ian Miller: 2-3, HR (3), R, RBI, BB, SB (16) (.272)
  • Greg Deichmann: 2-4, HR (2), R, RBI, SB (2) (.203)
  • Jared Young: 2-4, HR (3), R, RBI (.300)
  • Johneshky Fargas: 1-1, HR (2), R, RBI (.293)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

AA

Tennessee CANC

High-A

South Bend 4, Peoria 2

Game Recap

Anderson Espinoza shined on the mound, with nine punchouts over four innings. The South Bend bullpen backed him up with excellent work as well, as Danis Correa, Jose Albertos and Eduarniel Nunez combined for six Ks across five shutout innings. In all the quartet struck out 15 while allowing just four hits.

Top Performers

  • Anderson Espinoza: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K (5.04)
  • Danis Correa: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, HBP, 3 K (1.69)
  • Jose Albertos: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (8.50)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 3, 4.60)
  • Bryce Windham: 1-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.263)
  • Jake Slaughter: 2-3, 2B, R, BB (.260)
  • Luis Vazquez: 2-4, 2 R, SB (5), CS (1) (.327)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4, 2B (.400)
  • Alexander Canario: 2-4, RBI, CS (4) (.277)
  • Scott McKeon: 1-3 (.157)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

I understand the Padres losing a bit of hope/patience with Anderson Espinoza due to his presence on their 40-man roster and the fact he’s missed the previous four entire seasons due to injury, but it still seems weird that Jake Marisnick was who they decided to pick up in exchange for him. Once one of the game’s top prospects, Espinoza still has a great arm through all the injuries, and you can see the flashes that make him so intriguing. At 23, and still inconsistent in High-A though, the Cubs will need to see some progress from him the rest of this year and in 2022. A move to the pen might do him good. At just 6’0″ he might be one of those guys whose body can’t hold up under the rigors of starting. He could have multiple out pitches coming out of the pen as well, with his changeup already a dominant pitch most times out and his breaking balls coming along nicely. Whether he ends up a starter or reliever, he will need to hone in his command and control.

Low-A

Columbia 5, Myrtle Beach 0

Game Recap

recap

Top Performers

  • Porter Hodge: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (9.53)
  • Ed Howard: 0-1, 2 BB, HBP (.209)
  • Kevin Made: 1-4, 3B (.281)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Ed Howard (.209/.266/.289) didn’t record a hit, but he did reach base 3 times to raise his overall batting line for his last 10 games to .375/.432/.531 (161 wRC+).

Another extra base hit to the opposite field for Kevin Made has helped raise his season line to a respectable .281/.303/.365. That is pretty darn good for an 18-year old shortstop in a pitcher’s park. He’s still got to work on his patience at the plate while he matures physically, but there is definite MLB starter material present in the young infielder. He defends above average at both SS and 2B, and should develop into batter with an above average hit tool and 15 home run power. Since July 24th (26 games), Made is batting .349/.360/.486 (128 wRC+). He’s going to be a fast mover through the system. It is possible Made and Howard move up as a tandem, but I also think there is a distinct possibility Made makes a leap ahead at some point (even if Howard is a bit older and has a bit higher ceiling as an athlete). For instance, I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility Made opens at AA next year, or at least gets a midseason promotion there, while Howard spends the majority of the season in South Bend. A lot will depend on how Made’s plate discipline and weight training shape up over the offseason.

ACL

Reds 5, Cubs 4

Top Performers

  • Ezequiel Pagan: 2-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.362)
  • Juan Mora: 1-3, R, BB, SB (6) (.391)
  • Ronnier Quintero: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.195)
  • Ismael Mena: 2-4, R, CS (3) (.246)
  • Luis Devers: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (L, 0-4, 4.02)
  • Rony Baez: 3 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 2 K (4.26)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

A crowded Myrtle Beach outfield situation forced Ezequiel Pagan back down to Mesa to get playing time, but he’s got little left to prove at the ACL level (hitting .362/.385/.681 this year and .276/.349/.359 in 94 career games). He was performing too bad for the Pelicans either (.245/.315/.336 in 39 games), but top prospects Owen Caissie and Christian Franklin got priority over him once they were deemed ready for full season ball. Pagan is unlikely to hit enough to ever sniff the Majors, but he looks like he could forge a decent career as an org outfielder should he choose to stick it out. He’s a solid defender and has solid contact skills at the plate. There just aren’t enough dynamic qualities to his game to get him over the hump.

DSL

Rangers 9, Cubs Blue 5

Rangers 9, Cubs Red 7

Pedro Ramirez (.386/.432/.544) recorded 3 more hits yesterday. The 17-year old shortstop is 10-for-14 over his last 3 games with 2 doubles and 3 triples.

Comments

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  • Been keeping an eye on Hernandez but couldn’t help noticing Ramirez seeming to lap him in the DSL. Very impressive! Should be in Arizona soon.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    It is good that they develop together so they can push each other to be better. Sort of like Made and Howard. Competition, you got to love it.

  • Thanks for the roundup Michael. This is a bit off-topic but I’m trying to understand if Patrick Wisdom has a future as an MLB starter. I know that a 39% strikeout rate is supposed to be unsustainable but he just keeps raking. Can he make it even with that high strikeout rate, given his other skills - elite power and a solid glove? After about a half-season of plate appearances, he’s on roughly a 4-WAR annual pace. If he could keep it up, that seems like the sort of production the Cubs could use next year, even with the strikeouts.

  • In reply to October:

    Adam Dunn was a starter for years, and ended up with a 34.56? strikeout rate. And he had no position that he could even play adequately. He did, however, take a LOT of walks.

    There was an infielder who had prodigious power, and a prodigious strike out rate, who was a starter for many years. I think he ended up as a bench warmer for the Cardinals, and only played when needed to beat the Cubs. I don't remember his name, but it may ring a bell with someone.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if Wisdom hits in the future as he has hit this year, there will be a good career ahead of him with someone, if not the Cubs. There is some doubt, however, that he will continue to hit at that rate. He is on a pace to hit about 50 home runs over a 600 bat season. I'm not sure that that is a reasonable liklihood.

  • In reply to October:

    Troy Glaus model

  • In reply to October:

    It may be mentioned below, but look at Joey Gallo's stats to see what Wisdom would be like for his entire career, if his strikeout rate remains the same.

  • Keep up the good work Michael ! This MLB season can't end soon enough !
    I would love to see more call ups to the bigs.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Vet, all the call ups are one of the reasons that you can’t wait, for the season to end lol.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Wrong,
    I want to see the call -ups for evaluations for next year. Not the guys who won't be on the team next year.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Maybe Jeds still evaluating them. You have to let him know which ones that your done, evaluating.

  • fb_avatar

    I love the fact that a number of our trades are doing so well. Does anyone seem to be headed to the Cubs next year?
    I'm not going to get tooo excited about Pedro Ramirez in the DSL. I've done that before--hello Fernando Kelli, but at least he's raking there.
    Thanks again Michael.

  • Rivas called up

  • In reply to AUBWDE:

    Step 1: Rivas and Effross called up.
    Jewell and Meisinger dfa'd.
    Step 2 : when Hoerner and Contreras
    come back the Romine brothers can be dfa'd and bring up Young from Iowa (he more than likely will be protected this off season anyway).

  • In reply to AUBWDE:

    Yeah, Rivas is up. I bet ronvet is following the wife around the house with that ‘twinkle’ in his eye.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You got that right ! Its about time ! With Hermosillo and Wisdom that's two less free agents you don't have to look for.
    Rivas does not have deep power but great defense, and the ability to put the ball in play.

  • I was at ACL game last night. Ronnier Quintero is a fireplug. If he can’t catch (he was DH last night) I don’t know where else on the field he can play. Fabrizio very smooth behind the plate and Devers has some polish with a good change to go with his fastball. There’s some there there.

  • In reply to AZBobbop:

    Lol, when I saw film of Quintero, that was the same impression I had too.

  • Wisdom plays third base like he owns it.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Might I add, hits homeruns like he wants to retain ownership.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You know he is a rookie. He may make improvements in his 2nd year after he gets some ABs under his belt. :-)

  • In reply to John57:

    Amen!

  • I would personally like to thank the Cardinals for Patrick Wisdom coming to the Cubs.
    No, on second thought, screw the Cardinals !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Nice, and nice............

  • It must be the mustache !
    One more dinger for Patrick and he ties Kris Bryant for most homers for a Cub rookie !
    A prediction from MLB says that Christian Hernandez will
    be the Cubs # 1 prospect in 2023 ! How bout that !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Wisdom has about 1/2 of the AB that Bryant had to get his 26 .

  • In reply to stix:

    Love it. Bryant is a fraud. Overrated.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Totally ! Overpriced free agent !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Can we keep on playing the white sox in their park? I think Patrick likes it down there. At the rate he is going he will tie and set the rookie record tomorrow.

  • In reply to John57:

    Patrick is pretty locked in right now. Hitting a baseball is hard and most young players struggle at some point, but Wisdom keeps everything at the plate so simple, that it looks easy for him. We will see. He has natural power. It took him a while to get here, so he might not get complacent.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yep he needs to keep a level head. If the Sox stop giving him pitches to hit he should just take the walks. He has to take what they give him and not force HRs. The HRs will come naturally.

  • In reply to John57:

    Ahh, a level head, so important. Baseball can humble the the most gifted of players. Fans have seen it happen over and over again. The inability to stay grounded is as much of a key as talent to succeed at the highest level in all sports. In all sports. Hype and hero worship, in the end, is just nonsense. Staredowns, bat flips, and celebrating excessively before the last out is overdone sometimes as well. Play hard, play to win and the rest will take care of itself. Like Hank Aaron and Tony Perez did.

  • In reply to John57:

    There is no denying Patricks above average defense at third base. Much better than Bryant ever was at third.
    What was really impressive, the second dinger he hit wasn't
    even in the strike zone.
    Like Derrick Lee, the Cubs will work with Patrick to close
    the hole in his swing.

  • Are Howard and/or Made God-willing ready for a promotion to South Bend? Spence is currently the 2B, as a recent draftee, and is seemingly not ready; they don't really have anyone else projectable available for the infield, although I don't know who would move off SS between Howard/Made and Vasquez. Preciado, Triantos, and/or Santana are looking ready for Myrtle Beach; and prayerfully they'd be up for the challenge.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    We do have a fair number of good SS prospects. Nice job Jed!! I am patient though. I don't want them rushed. Take the time necessary to develop them properly.

  • In reply to John57:

    I hear that, rushing or forcing isn't typically the answer; waiting until they're God-willing ready for the next level is the way to go, prayerfully the coaches and higher ups are in tune with the prospects on when that is.........

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