Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Young outfielders in South Bend and young infielders in Myrtle Beach emerging; Hodge and Palencia deliver strong outings; Bote three hits on rehab in Iowa

Reginald Preciado (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Sorry for the lack of recaps last week. I was sick for a couple of days and then needed to play catch up at my job so my available time to watch and write about baseball was limited. To prevent burn out like I have experienced the last couple of seasons I told myself to take time away when I need it and this past week was one of those times.

AAA

Memphis 9, Iowa 4

Game Recap

Not a lot went right in this one outside of successful rehab appearances. David Bote collected three hits and Sean Newcomb pitched a scoreless inning. Newcomb likely nearing a return, but Bote is ineligible to come off the 60-day IL until another couple of weeks down the road.

The two non-roster position players most likely to get a callup in the coming months, Robel García and Jared Young, both stayed hot and reached twice as well. But the pitching just wasn’t good enough to win yesterday.

Top Performers

  • David Bote: 3-5, R (.313)
  • Jared Young: 2-4, R, SB (2) (.255)
  • Robel García: 1-3, 2 RBI, BB (.324)
  • Sean Newcomb: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

A little bit of catch up on injury news: Steven Brault, Jonathan Holder, Stephen Gonsalves, and Estaban Quiroz have all been transferred to the 60-day IL in Iowa so I wouldn’t expect to see them any time soon. Gonsalves for sure is out for the season. Iowa has a lot of talent on the 7-day IL too: Ben Leeper, Brennen Davis, Donnie Dewees, as well as 40-man roster players Manuel Rodriguez and Conner Menez.

AA

Tennessee PPD

High-A

South Bend 6, Great Lakes 4

Game Recap

More late inning heroics for the South Bend Cubs, this time courtesy of a two-run double by Fabian Pertuz in the bottom of the 8th to break a 4-4 tie which had held since the 4th.

The Cubs hadn’t scored since doubles by Owen Caissie and Yohendrick Piñango knocked in three as part of a four run first inning. That pair of young corner outfielders are two of the more intriguing prospects to watch develop this season. Piñango just turned 20 and Caissie will do so in a couple of months but we are seeing each begin to make adjustments against pitchers who are mostly 2-3 years older than they them. Each of them is starting to pull the ball more, and while Piñango is growing a bit more selective at the plate we are seeing Caissie grow a bit more aggressive.

With Seiya Suzuki signed for four more seasons and the abundance of right handed power hitting outfielders in the Cubs system (Brennen Davis, Nelson Velázquez, Alexander Canario, Kevin Alcantara, Christian Franklin) it is important for the Cubs to develop some left handed compliments. Pete Crow-Armstrong received the headlines in April, but power is unlikely to ever be a big part of his game, so the continued progress by the duo in South Bend could prove key.

South Bend also received another good start by Daniel Palencia. The hard thrower suffered through some command and control issues during a rocky April, so the team sort of let him take a step back to reset a few weeks ago. He’s come back to make just three starts in May, and they’ve limited his innings quite a bit, but the results have been very encouraging as he has yet to allow an earned run (10 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 10 K). There is MLB caliber stuff in his arm.

Top Performers

  • Daniel Palencia: 3 IP, H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (3.68)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 5-1, 4.96)
  • Hunter Bigge: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (S, 4, 1.93)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.237)
  • Yohendrick Piñango: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB, SB (3) (.264)
  • Yeison Santana: 2-4, R (.353)
  • Owen Caissie: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.239)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 1-3, 3B, R, BB (.238)

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 8, Augusta 5

Game Recap

The Pelicans won their 9th straight, once again riding their powerful offense. A two-run homer by backup catcher Miguel Fabrizio in the 8th gave them some breathing room, but the offense was clicking all game.

James Triantos raised his batting average above 300 for the season with a three-hit day (added a walk as well). He scored three times. He’s not the only Cubs infield prospect who struggled through the first few weeks but has suddenly found his footing for Myrtle Beach. Reginald Preciado also delivered three hits and walk. You could even throw Kevin Made into that group even though he hasn’t struggled at any point, but he did miss the first few weeks of the season due to injury.

All three of them are 19 years old and raking in a pitcher’s league. Made is the only one who will turn 20 this year and he won’t even do so until the final month of the season. It really is an exciting infield group. And even if Made ends up in South Bend for the 2nd half, that probably means top prospect Cristian Hernandez replaces him on the Myrtle Beach roster.

Oh, and emerging starting pitcher prospect Porter Hodge punched out seven in five very good innings to improve his record to 3-0 and lower his ERA to 3.41. Don’t sleep on this guy. He’s moved himself into Top 30 consideration after remaking his body this offseason. He’s improved his command, his fastball looks better, and he already had a pretty good breaking ball.

Top Performers

  • James Triantos: 3-4, 2B, 3 R, BB (.301)
  • Reginald Preciado: 3-4, R, 2 RBI, BB (.238)
  • Miguel Fabrizio: 1-4, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, BB (.148)
  • Kevin Made: 2-5, 2B, RBI (.328)
  • Ethan Hearn: 1-3, 2B, R, 2 BB (.186)
  • B.J. Murray Jr.: 1-4, R, HBP (.304)
  • Porter Hodge: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, BB, 7 K (W, 3-0, 3.41)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

A couple of hard throwing relievers to keep an eye on are moving up:

Comments

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  • Michael, I couldn't agree more with your first paragraph. You are our primary like with Arguello Cubs Den glory, so keep yourself sane at all costs.

    With the Cubs ups and downs, my focus is clearly split, as it was in the early 2010s, between the prospects and the Show. Keep the reports coming!

  • I guess my account must had gone dormant. Been awhile. I like many very excited with a number of prospects in the system. What impresses me the most is how young a few of them are. Only 19 and in A and A+. And showing well. Michael the recaps you provide are top notch. Other sites offer recaps but with no insights as to things like how cold or hot a player is. How their growth is coming along. You do and I enjoy your take. Thanks. .

  • Michael, I second wthomson, do what you have to do. I think I speak for everyone here when I say we all appreciate your efforts and the attention you give to keep this site informative and ongoing.
    These next 60 days should be really interesting at both the MLB and MiLB levels.

  • The MB Pelicans can't be stopped. Love what PCA is doing from the LO spot in the lineup along with Triantos in the 2 hole it is giving Alcantara plenty of RBI opportunities. Dreaming of the return of the daily double from the mid 80's with Dernier and Sandburg. PCA and Triantos would make a nice 1-2 punch at the top for the Cubs.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Recently I’ve gone to a couple local high school games. Even watching a good caliber of play and talent on the field, it still amazes me to think that a year ago Triantos was still sitting in HS - and now he’s hitting around.300 in full season professional baseball. Crazy. He seems like a nice, grounded kid too.

  • Michael - You bring us information that we can't get anywhere else, at a great personal investment of your time. No reason at all to say you are sorry when you take a break.

  • Glad to hear that you are feeling better Michael - your health is more important that updates.

    Man there's a lot of young talent in the pipeline, especially in Myrtle Beach and South Bend. Assuming that more than a handful of these guys can stay healthy and keep developing, the Cubs roster is going to young and stocked for the next several years. Add to that - there's actually some better than decent young pitchers within a year or two of being useful.

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