Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Mora, Mena and Caissie homer, while Alcantara is making a nice first impression in Mesa; Ramirez hits first pro homer

Andy Weber (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AZL

Cubs 16, Brewers 13

Top Performers

  • Juan Mora: 2-4, 3B, HR (1), R, 5 RBI, BB (.423)
  • Ismael Mena: 2-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SF, SB (4) (.203)
  • Owen Caissie: 2-4, HR (5), R, 2 RBI, BB (.382)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 2-5, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, SB (1) (.375)
  • Andy Weber: 1-3, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB (1) (.200)
  • Bryce Windham: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (1) (.400)
  • Reggie Preciado: 2-6, 3B, 2 R (.359)
  • Rony Baez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (3.18)
  • Johzan Oquendo: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (S, 2, 0.64)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Andy Weber and Bryce Windham are still working their way back into game shape after joining the Mesa club for rehab on Saturday. They were both lifted before the game completed, but each managed to impact the game at the plate. They both reached multiple times and stole a base. The Smokies could use Weber’s defensive capabilities and left-handed bat in their lineup during the 2nd half. Windham is a darkhorse catcher prospect, as a good athlete converting to the position, but is still in the process of getting stronger. South Bend is currently deploying three org catchers, so there is playing time available for Windham once he returns.

Make it 5 home runs (plus 2 doubles) over the last 12 games for Owen Caissie (.382/.547/.709). I don’t know how much more the Cubs need to see out of him in Mesa. He’s reaching base nearly 55% of the time (Caissie already has four 3-walk games), he’s slugging, he’s hitting for average. I know the Myrtle Beach outfield is already a bit crowded, but…

After reaching twice in his first ACL action on Saturday, trade deadline acquisition Kevin Alcantara (.364/.447/.515 in 10 games between FCL/ACL) reached three more times on Monday. He also swiped his first bag (2nd overall). A highly projectable 6’6″ outfielder, the 19-year old Alcantara is expected to develop into a right handed power bat. His a bit like an outfield version of Reggie Preciado. Like Preciado, he currently mans an up-the-middle defensive position (CF) but as he fills out his lanky frame it is expected he eventually moves off to a corner. That makes it important for the power to eventually show up in game action, and just like Preciado it is reported Alcantara still has some work to do with pitch recognition and strike zone judgements. They are both high ceiling athletes however, and it cannot be ruled out that one or both could retain enough range to continue manning their current positions. If either one can, it greatly increases their odds of becoming an impact star.

A 16th round pick out of Puerto Rico back in 2019, Johzan Oquendo was given the max $125K bonus as a projectable 6’2″ 180 pound righty who was already hitting the low-90s. He was also working on a slider at the time. I’d be surprised if he hasn’t added some additional velo and another secondary, but he’s someone I have found no progress reports on from the ACL. Oquendo has put up good number thus far though as a 20-year old. In his first 7 career games (1 start) he has held the opposition to 1 earned run on 8 hits and 6 walks over 14 IP, while striking out 15.

DSL

Ranger1 2, Cubs Blue 1

Rangers2 13, Cubs Red 10

Seventeen year old Pedro Ramirez (.357/.419/.411) continues to put up encouraging numbers in his pro debut. The switch-hitting shortstop jacked his first professional homer as part of a big day at the plate: 3-5, HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, SB (2)

Comments

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  • Very encouraging to see the players from the Darvish trade continue to rake. I know it is only rookie ball but still a good sign. Cassie could be the gem love his patience at the plate. Willing to take his walks if the pitchers are not throwing sticks instead of expanding his zone trying to make something happen. Great to see from a young inexperienced player.

  • Michael, you stated promotions generally take place at the end and beginning he month. It would seem this year player evals are critical given last years washout. Rosters are only so big. Do you have a thought about the process Kantrovitz is managing? Thanks.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    They are doing a pretty good job, especially considering the insane amount of injuries they've needed to juggle.
    There are a couple of assignments I could argue with, but there is generally reasons that aren't apparent when a player is assigned to a level lower than what is expected, such as the player is trying to lock in a specific change and they don't want them disrupted. Or they want a player to have extra time with a specific coach, etc.

  • More great reporting Michael. Sorry to hear the Rizzo interview about Jed Hoyer, hope this doesn't escalate. Javy launched another throw into never never land last night. I bet he misses Rizzo catching his errant throws.
    Now that the draft pick signings are over, any news on when
    the top 30 prospects list will be revised.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I don't think that the Hoyer/Bryzzoes interviews will escalate. After all they are coming from opposite perspectives and that is how the system works. So far, all are just covering how they view it.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Well, so much for that thought. The national media has grabbed the issue. Jed didn't do himself any favors. I hope it doesn't get too much play, but it's good copy and not a good thing for the org.

  • Hey Michael, I noticed a few organizations have 2 ACL teams; why don't we?

  • who is Malcolm Quintero? Never heard of him.

  • In reply to John57:

    Older brother of Ronnier Quintero? They're both from Venezuela.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    thank you

  • In reply to John57:

    You're welcome!

  • Was there any movement on progressing guys up the ladder at all yesterday or today? I can't tell from looking at the rosters....mmm.....

  • Was there any movement on progressing guys up the ladder at all yesterday or today? I can't tell from looking at the rosters............

  • Sooooooo.......only a handful of pitchers are being promoted?

  • Where is Robo on how many called strikes that are balls are we going to see in the first inning

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    *Robo ump*

  • MLB, a billion dollar industry w/ Mickey Mouse umpires. Rossi is going to be fined. Do umpires ever get fined ? Rob Manfred, why
    are you protecting these bums ?
    Ian Happ should thank Story for not hitting into another double
    play. Happ, is this going to be another 4 years, like waiting for Schwarber ?

  • Can’t remember another Cub regular who had as many balls in play that never left the infield as Jason “The Speech” Heyward. Maybe Doug Dascenso?

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    Probably not over a six year period but there must have been some in the ‘50s for a year or so.

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    Rey Sanchez

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Wow,
    what a memory !

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I remember when the Cubs tried go coach Rey to be more patient at the plate. His batting averaged dropped to the Mendoza line. Sometimes hitters just who they are.

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