Daily Cubs Minors Recap: It's okay to get hyped about Kevin Alcántara; Devers and Assad continue to quietly record outs; Jordan homers and continues to loudly abuse AA pitching; Hill homers in first Iowa plate appearance

Kevin Alcántara (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

St. Paul 13, Iowa 3

Game Recap

Darius Hill made a good first impression in his new locale by hitting a leadoff homer to give Iowa an early lead.

Matt Dermody was okay through the first three innings of the game (3 runs on 5 hits), but he was replaced by Sean Newcomb to open the 4th and the game quickly got out of hand. Newcomb could not find the plate, walking three and allowing a hit while retiring just one batter. Aneuris Rosario replaced him and looked like he might stop the bleeding, but an error by David Bote at 3B extended the inning and St. Paul would break the game open when the next batter hit a three run homer. A 3-3 tie heading into the inning was now a 10-3 disadvantage and Iowa never recovered.

Top Performers

  • Darius Hill: 2-5, HR (1), R, RBI (.400)
  • John Hicks: 1-3, HR (5), R, RBI (.198)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-2, R, 2 BB (.291)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Outfielder Darius Hill has been promoted to Iowa. He’s a solid hitter with a good approach, who has begun to flash a tad more power this season (486 SLG in 2022 after posting 370 and 359 figures his first two pro seasons). That’s important because he is a borderline defender in CF and his previous power output would not play in a corner. Hill is in a similar boat as Levi Jordan. They know how to hit, but are not great physical specimens or great defenders, so the Cubs will never make way for them in order to give them a shot in the Majors. Explosive athletes like Christopher Morel, Nelson Velázquez, and Alexander Canario will always be given priority over them, and superior defenders at key positions like Andy Weber and Luis Vazquez often will as well. Any chance they get will likely be due to injuries ahead of them on the depth chart, and those are often short lived and so they often aren’t afforded the opportunity adjust and work through struggles. They’ll likely have to bide their time in AAA, and sometimes the opportunity doesn’t come along for years, or at all.

A Smokies teammate will be joining Hill in Des Moines. After his successful MLB debut, Anderson Espinoza will not be returning to AA, but has instead been promoted to Iowa.

Iowa activated lefty Conner Menez from the IL so the org does now have another healthy arm available on the 40-man roster beyond Espinoza to be the 27th man for the next doubleheader on Saturday.

Adrian Sampson, who was DFA by the Cubs a couple of weeks ago and claimed by the Mariners, has returned to Iowa. Seattle also designated him for assignment and was able to run him through waivers, but the MLB veteran chose his right to free agency. Sampson has had success in both Iowa and Chicago and no doubt sees the opportunity for more MLB time with a Cubs team that figures to continue its roster churn all season.

Nick Madrigal completed his rehab stint in Iowa and returned to Chicago last night.

AA

Tennessee 4, Birmingham 2

Game Recap

I’m really not sure what else Levi Jordan (344/439/688 between AA/AAA) needs to do in order to get another shot in Iowa. He’s done nothing but rake since returning to Tennessee and now that Nick Madrigal is finished rehabbing I hope they promote Jordan soon. He hit his 6th homer and raised his average with the Smokies to .372 with a 2-for-4 day yesterday. And it’s not like he was struggling in AAA when he got demoted (2 HR in 6 G), he just got squeezed out but the number of veterans the Cubs had in Iowa to open the season. With Madrigal back in Chicago, Estaban Quiroz on the 60-day IL, and Ildemaro Vargas no longer with the organization, that roster crunch no longer exists.

The Smokies also got another good start out of Javier Assad. His breaking stuff is tighter this season and he too has spent well over a season in Tennessee and really has nothing left to prove at that level. Danis Correa got the win with two lights out innings to close out the game. With Eury Ramos getting the call to Iowa yesterday, Correa is likely next in line for promotion out of the Tennessee pen. He’s not a big guy, but he’s got a big arm with lots of carry on his fastball. I’ll be very curious to see if one or both of Ramos/Correa earn 40-man spots by the end of the season as they will both be Rule 5 eligible again in the offseason.

Top Performers

  • Levi Jordan: 2-4, HR (6), R, 2 RBI (.372)
  • Alexander Canario: 1-4, HR (5), R, RBI (.195)
  • Matt Mervis: 2-3, 2B, R (.302)
  • Bryce Ball: 2-4 (.291)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, BB (.194)
  • Javier Assad: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K (2.91)
  • Bryan King: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (0.00)
  • Danis Correa: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (W, 1-1, 3.38)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

I mentioned yesterday that with the news of PCA getting promoted to South Bend that we would likely see a cascade of OF promotions up the ladder to make room for him. It included Hill to Iowa, and also Cole Roederer to Tennessee. The young centerfielder opened the season in EXST while he continued to recover from the elbow injury suffered last season, but joined Myrtle Beach on rehab in April and hit the ground running. His success did not carry over much once he was promoted to South Bend, but he’s a prospect the team has aggressively promoted throughout his career, and with PCA pushing hard below him Roederer will likely need to step up his game a bit in the coming months, otherwise there is the chance he gets bypassed. He’s made himself into a solid defender in center, but his bat remains inconsistent. There is pull power in his bat and gap power the other way, but at times he gets into ruts where he rolls over a lot of pitches. Hopefully some good health and consistent at bats at one level over the next couple of months will be just what he needs to find his groove.

High-A

Dayton 4, South Bend 2

Game Recap

Jordan Wicks continues to get slayed by the BABIP dragon in South Bend as he took his second loss of the season. He’s still working to improve his breaking ball and his velocity still fluctuates a bit, so he’s still a work in progress, but he did carve up one hitter with three straight changeups:

Not much offense outside a Jake Slaughter solo homer. Yohendrick Piñango extended his hitting streak to 14, the longest by a South Bend hitter in a couple of seasons. It’s included a bunch of 1-for’s so his average hasn’t really risen as much as you’d expect but the 20-year old is showing he is capable of more than holding his own against pitchers a couple of years older than him.

Top Performers

  • Jake Slaughter: 2-4, HR (3), R, RBI (.262)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 1-3, BB (.245)
  • Yohendrick Piñango: 1-4, R (.265)
  • Jordan Wicks: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (L, 0-2, 3.65)
  • Jeremiah Estrada: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (1.42)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Considered one of, if not the best defensive catchers in the draft last season, Casey Opitz has been activated from the IL and made his 2022 debut. He doesn’t have much of a rep as a hitter, but he did at least show a good idea of the strike zone while he was in Myrtle Beach last season. If he can draw enough walks or add even a bit of power to his profile it would greatly increase his odds of success.

Speaking of relievers that have fastballs with carry, Jeremiah Estrada now has 30 K in 18 IP and is probably ready for a shot in Tennessee.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 7, Delmarva 5

Game Recap

There are definitely a couple of similarities between Kevin Alcántara and a young Christopher Morel. Both have similar builds but thanks to natural bat speed and unnatural strength could hit the ball really, really hard as teenagers. Morel had a bit more quick twitch, but Alcántara is taller and figures to gain even stronger than the specimen that Morel has grown into. His longer levers will make it tougher on him and he’ll have to constantly prove he can handle inside heat (think Kris Bryant and every pitcher trying to bust him inside early in his career), but as of now Alcántara has shown he has quick enough hands to stay inside the ball. And take a look at this:

That’s 113 off the bat and 448 feet. We’re talking Aaron Judge territory with those numbers. You can get hyped.

Luis Devers doesn’t have overwhelming stuff or a big frame, but he knows how to change speeds and throw strikes. He works efficiently, and if his stuff can take another jump in the next few years he’ll have a chance. Devers tossed five shutout innings by mixing his pitches effectively, just as he’s done all year.

Top Performers

  • Kevin Alcántara: 2-3, 2B, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, SF (.273)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-3, 2B, R, BB, SB (8) (.202)
  • Kevin Made: 2-4, 2B, R, RBI (.318)
  • B.J. Murray, Jr.: 2-4, R, RBI (.306)
  • Luis Devers: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (W, 5-3, 2.29)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

To replace Pete Crow-Armstrong in Myrtle Beach, outfielder Frank Hernandez has been called up from EXST. Signed out of Cuba for a mid-level bonus a couple years ago, he hit well in the DSL last year. According to AZ Phil Hernandez was an aggressive but effective contact hitter this spring, posting the lowest BB rate but also the lowest K rate among the regulars in Mesa.

Comments

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  • Anybody else enjoying watching the major league team put the ball in play and stealing bases? I like that old school brand of baseball. If we had any sort of starting pitching we might actually be close to being a playoff team.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I have enjoyed watching this team (except for frazier). But the next 60 days will be very interesting. The most interesting time since 2014-15.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Their ability to play smallball tonight got them the win. Since they had good enough pitching. It’s funny that the team we watched from 2017 to 2021 had no ability to win that kind of game.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    It's mindset and a skill. Some players can't develop it, others resist the hard work of learning to implement it, and some just want to hit the ball out of the park.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Fun, isn't it? But at the same time there's been some not-so-smart moves that need to be fixed. Hoerner getting picked off in the 9th inning was just dumb, as was Frazier's pickoff in the 8th in the previous game. Madrigal's weak groundout to the right side (that moved Heyward to 3rd) was a mistake that worked. I love the small ball, but some of these guys need to start playing smarter. I'll take a split with first-place Milwaukee.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yeah I’d rather the players learn their limits of leading off and being aggressive on the bases now rather than down the line when it’s more important. At least they’re not taking shorter lead offs and not playing that aggressive style and getting picked off.

    Did the announcers say something about Madrigal’s groundout that moved Heyward over to 3rd being a mistake? Or how did you come to that conclusion? I had game on mute and only half my attention at that moment because I was on the phone.

    Either way, I’m happy they won. Even the aggressive double steal in the 1st is why they managed 2 runs in that inning. The way they all played contributed to the win!

    Now if we just had some reliable pitching for the top 3 spots of our rotation.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Both pickoffs at first required a challenge to overcome a safe call made by the ump. Looked like the difference between safe or out was an inch or two at most. I don’t think that was dumb. Contreras getting thrown out at third by a wide margin probably meets your dumb definition. If Morel get’s thrown out at third in the first that would elicit another dumb for you but the catcher threw the ball away and the cubs scored. Being aggressive was a foreign concept except for Javy in the past few years. Let them play they don’t have the sit back and wait offense the Brewers have with all their HR’s.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Wonder what they could do if all those pitchers could stay healthy?

  • This assignment to Tennessee will be a big test for Roederer. I hope his approach changes to where he realizes his best chance to progress, is to begin using more of the entire field. He shouldn’t figure on power, to be his ticket to the big time. IMO.

  • To me it looks like Heyward lunges at the ball. i feel like he always has. I dont think he strikes out much he just never squares the ball up. Almost always hits it to the second base hole. Why it the world wouldnt he try something else?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Heyward, I hope has tried lots of stuff with his swing. Articles from his Braves days from the 2011-2012 off-season, stating Heyward was rebuilding his swing from the ground up.

    I don't think Cubs will DFA/cut Heyward until next season. I hope he figures some stuff out, he really is not much older than Schwindel.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Stubbornness and a big contract.

  • Any word on Brennan Davis back injury? Seems to out quite awhile now I was hoping he would show up in some EXTST games.

  • Just looked up DJ Herz career numbers after last nights start. So far in the Cubs system, 129 innings with 192 K’s, 1.05 WHIP. Just hoping he remains healthy for his career the Cubs could have something along with Kilian and Thompson in the rotation late 23 or the 2024 season

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    The boys still don't have ace material in the minors, I know a lot of you like Killian and I do,too, but he is probably a 3 or possibly a two, I don't see a one in our minors.
    Looking at the draft coming up ,there are a lot of pitchers having TJ already, I still likeLesco at 7, I know he comes with risk, but there are quite a few aces who have had TJ and been drafted anyhow, and it worked out.
    The way I figure the draft right now is Lesco is slated to maybe drafted starting aroind 15, at that point he would probably get around $4M, at 7 he could get around 5.7 if we drafted him, so there is a possibility of maybe a savings to the Cubs if we did a pre draft arrangement for maybe $5M and get a savings of .7M for later, just a thought.
    Lesco is supposedly the top pitcher in the draft coming in, college or high school, in three years or 4 he could be our ace we've dreamed about...... Maybe Lesco would take a little less from the Cubs to have his career in Wrigley. These figures are accurate in case anyone questions the accuracy.

  • In reply to tater:

    I agree I think Killian is probably a 2 same with Herz. Then you have Wicks, Thompson, Steele (maybe alzolay) to go with Hendricks and Stroman.

    But if you want to be the best team in the NL you need to sign a true #1. Then the rotation (FreeAgent, stroman, hendricks, killian, steele & thompson) would be nearly elite. This could happen next year.

    I really think that a couple additions to the offense along with an ace this team would be right back on top.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    True number one's are rare and expensive, even rentals. Then again so are world titles!

  • In reply to tater:

    Interesting proposal, but I wonder if Brock Porter might be a better choice. He's pitching in prep ball, is bigger in stature and hasn't had TJS. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the teams drafting ahead of the Cubs nabs him first, putting the Cubs in position to choose a top 6 position player or bypass higher-ranked prospects for pitching. It'll be interesting...

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    One of the teams at around 12 are said to be interested, but I still like Lesco, he's had much more hype than any pitcher in this draft and TJ surgery usually takes about a year to come back and if you look at pitchers(HS) who were drafted and had TJ they include Strasberg, Buehler,Giolito Cease and many more if I were to take time to look them up.
    The point being we have a chance to take one this year, and with the players we have added to our low minors we haven't really added any high upside ace material. I'm sort of tired of waiting for one.

  • In reply to tater:

    High School pitchers are always a gamble, Lesco is the highest ranked pitcher in the draft. Plus, as you mentioned the Cubs have drafted before at overslot, using the money saved to help sign other draftees. Those could include more pitching in rounds 2-6 or so who might be enticed to forego their last year of college. Regardless of the first round pick, I expect the Cubs draft to be pitching heavy.

  • In reply to tater:

    I am not sure I want Lesko at #7. Seems very risky but I am just a fan. I will let Hoyer and Haskins do their job in the draft. Last year they did fantastic. I would expect they do well this year too.

  • In reply to John57:

    Hoyer, has been the GM/President of Cubs for a long time. I don't know how involved he was with the drafts.

    MLB teams should avoid at all cost drafting high school pitchers in the first round. It really should be triple avoidance for large market MLB teams like the Cubs.

    The articles, I have read on the data all say the same thing-high school pitchers have the lowest percentage first round picks who actually make it to the majors. The articles have 39% of high school pitchers drafted in first round over 25 years making it to the majors. Theo, & Jed both know this from their Boston days, only 4 out of every ten high school pitchers drafted in first round make it to the majors.

    The career average MLB WAR of the 39% of high school pitchers who make it to the majors is lower, when compared to college pitchers drafted in first round average career MLB WAR. High school pitchers have amazing raw stuff that teams dream about developing into the next stud ace. Large market Cubs don't even need to mess with dreams like this, because they can pay, and trade for real establish #1 & #2 starters. Nothing is stopping the Cubs from finding & developing #1/#2/ or #3, type of starters while avoiding high school pitchers in the first round.

    65% of first round picks make it to the majors, & only 39% of high school pitcher make it, they drag down the percentage. Cubs still need to scout well, but they should only draft college bats, college pitchers, athletic high school SS, or athletic HS OF in the first round.

    As a large market team, Cubs just need to continue getting first rounds picks to the majors. Cubs must do a much better job with picks after first round, & the international free agent market.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Hasn’t that kinda been how the cubs have drafted for the last 10 years though? College pitchers and bats drafted in first and early rounds. How’s that worked out for them? None of them have become elite prospects or MLB players for us yet? I think while the success rate of the high school pitcher drafted in the first round is lower, the payoff of getting an elite pitcher is worth the risk of drafting that way for a run of years. I mean you get one guy who sits at the top of the rotation throwing some nasty stuff, and then you might actually be a contender with a #1 pitcher who’s also somewhat cost controlled for 6 years, and can then spend the money to fill in other needs.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    It worked pretty well for them. Have you forgotten about KB leading them to a WS title? Schwarber, Happ, Hoerner all pretty good college draft picks too.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Agree kb and schwarbs contributions for the 2016 title. Ian happ is a joke. Nico is still a work in progress. Majority of theo’s first round picks failed in the long run. Albert almora , kb ( perpetually on dl) schwarbs and add Ed Howard to the pile. Howard will never see wrigley field besides being a paying customer. Brendon little too totally forgot about that bust too. Have a good night!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Howard and Almora were both high school picks. Of course you’re not going to hit on every pick, but I feel like the college 1st round picks have been fairly productive compared to much riskier HS picks.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    I wasn't crazy about the Howard pick, of course, I just see videos. I thought his swing was long and slow. I had him in about the third round. He was on the upswing at the time of his very serious injury. I always liked Almora, he kind of stalled out at an AAAA type. I wish that the org would not have messed with his hitting approach.

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    In reply to Naujack:

    Going on percentages are fine, what per cent of HS pitchers make it in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th round and so on, do the percentages go up or down.
    This really just luck and it sounds to me the percentages are higher in the first round for aces, The cream of the crop is in the first round, scouts know and they were in agreement who the best pitcher in this draft, HS or college.
    I believe you can get position players any round, but you get the top prospects in the first round usually, same goes for pitching.

  • In reply to tater:

    I have no idea what percentages of high school pitchers taken after first round who make it to the majors are, we have to assume they drop.

    I prefer for the large market Cubs play the percentages when it comes to the draft. Pick their high school pitchers in the third round or later. Would have to go over-slots for signings, some years could draft multiple high school pitchers.

    With high school pitchers let the other teams take on all the extra risk looking/dreaming about potential future ace with their first round picks high school arms, with all their plus stuff/arm.

    Cubs 2014 draft-picked and signed the following high school pitchers.
    4th round-Sands-- 5th Steele-- 6th Cease--18th Austyn Willis…. Sands, Steele, & Cease all got over-slot money.

    Cubs early picks from 2014
    Schwarber that year with the 4th overall pick.
    45th Jake Stinnett-RHP-college
    3rd round Mark Zagunis-of-college

    These are the high school pitchers selected in the first two rounds of the 2014 draft.
    1-overall pick- Aiken, Brady
    12 Medeiros, Kodi
    16-Toussaint, Touki
    22-Holmes, Grant
    28-Griffin, Foster
    30- Ortiz, Luis
    31- Sheffield, Justus
    33-Kopech, Michael
    34- Flaherty, Jack
    44-Adams, Spencer
    46-Burdi, Nick
    48-Castellani, Ryan
    49-Reid-Foley, Sean
    51-Gettys, Michael
    53-Gatto, Joe
    54-Reed, Cody
    56-Blewett, Scott
    60-Varga, Cameron
    61-Hockin, Grant
    64- Keller, Mitch
    66-Fulenchek, Garrett
    68-Williams, Ronnie
    72-Honeywell Jr, Brent
    73-Supak, Trey

    I don’t know other teams all that well, but Kopech, & Flaherty look like the best high school pitchers drafted from the first two rounds of 2014 draft. Some were used in trade when value was higher like Sheffield.

    Cubs in 2019 were 3rd in revenue, sure it would be nice if they could develop true ace, &/or #2 type of starters. That is hard to do! Find and develop pitchers that develop two plus pitches. Above average to plus control, & make up. They have to be durable, & stay healthy enough to make multiple all-star teams to be a true ace. Mets, had a great young staff full of studs in 2015. What happened?

    Jeff Samardzija, was the last starter Cubs drafted & developed who made the all-star team one time.

    I agree with you that hitters are easier to find & develop. Wisdom has lots of flaws, but is athletic, has power, & fielding that would play on many other teams right now. Cubs signed Wisdom, I believe as a minor league free agent.

  • Cubs are 12 out of 30 in mlb in runs scored. They are 23 out of 30 in team ERA (mostly due to starting pitching).

    Their ERA is 4.20 if it is 3.70 they are top 10-12. So that half a run per game has to partially come through free agency.

  • Two quick outs followed by a slow chopper that hits 3rd base, a walk because of good discretion, and then the 3-run bomb by Wisdom. That’s a good start for this team. We usually struggle hard against Mikolas. Hopefully Stroman can continue pitching like he has lately.

  • Dang - back surgery for Brennan Davis. Possibly out for the year. Possible he'll be available for the Arizona fall league.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Too bad he couldn’t trade his back to Jhey. Looks like it was some type of vascular problem. Hopefully it’s not a recurring issue.

  • In reply to stix:

    Cubs say no structural problem and they expect a full recovery. They have not given timeframe for when he can start playing again. I am hoping his recovery time will be short.

  • In reply to John57:

    Not a medical type but I just read that vascular surgeries are tricky. Hopefully the Cubs got the diagnosis on recovery accurate. It took them a month to figure out the reason for the surgery.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Three steps forward, two steps back. That’s why each season is sacred - and why you can’t count on development happening as you’d like it to.
    Looking forward to 2023, it certainly doesn’t seem at all reasonable, to expect Davis to get to Chicago until around July. And that would be, if everything goes very fortunate. Personally, I think it’s likely he will need all of next year to just get back to where he was as a player this spring. So if the Cubs figure on Morel in CF, I sure hope they have no intention of trying to sell us Madrigal or a Villar type as part of the starting infield. Wouldn’t be a bad idea for lil Tommy to spend some of daddy’s money.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Tom Ricketts is spending his and his siblings money. Not daddy's money. I have heard them say Joe Ricketts has no input on the running of the Cubs organization.

  • In reply to John57:

    Where’d Tom get the money in the first place? But I would agree, Joe probably has no input, or clue about baseball.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Well of course the trust money came from their father but it's the kids money now. I would guess they can spend it however they want.

  • In reply to John57:

    John, I would ‘guess’ differently.
    Just like some well known people, especially one recent politician I can think of - many people who just are given their wealth, try convince others that ‘they are worthy’ of being thought of, also, as a brilliant business mind. And as we all know, that often doesn’t play out as planned.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Well I thought it was the 4 siblings idea to buy the Cubs with their trust money. But if you think it was their father's idea to buy the Cubs, you could be right. I don't know.

  • In reply to John57:

    @John. I am not sure at all, about who’s idea it initially was. But I don’t believe (and I could be wrong too), that Joe gets involved with the Cub operations.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think it’s awesome trump lives in your head rent free. Do you like your $5.50 gallon of gas? FJB!

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree great comment.

  • In reply to John57:

    Joe Ricketts, seemed pretty involved with the purchase. I know this article is slanted to the negative. It does a deep dive into the Ricketts family emails that someone released about the purchase of the Cubs.

    https://deadspin.com/the-inside-story-of-how-the-ricketts-family-schemed-and-1831879476

  • Cubs have been awful when drafting players after the 1st round.
    49% of 2nd round picks make it to the majors,
    32% of 3rd to 5th round picks make it to the majors
    20% of 6th to 10th round picks make it to the majors
    11% of 11th to 20th round picks make it to the majors.

    Cubs want to build a team around their own player development.
    Same plan when Theo came to town. Theo, talked about from day one... Theo, put it much more diplomatic than this, but basically they bashed on the Cubs previous front office, & their horrible scouting, and player development. It is funny to me, how Contreras one of Hendry's international signings is currently the Cubs best position player.

    Cubs hopefully are getting better at signing better international amateur free agents, drafting better players after the first round, & improving player development.

    Cubs could absolutely use some improvement with players picked in the first round too, but man the Cubs got value from most of their 1st round picks.

    1st round 2008-Casher college pitcher-traded for Rizzo.
    2nd round 2009-Lemahieu college 2b- career .299 avg & .355OBP you could argue he had the best career on this list traded for Stewart.
    1st 2011 Baez- premium athlete-HS SS- exactly the kind of player Jed & Theo avoided. Baez current contact 6 year $140 million.
    1st 2012-Almora JR- NOT A Premium/Uber HS athlete-CF. Wasn't Almora more of a baseball rat type/solid athlete as a prospect?-1429 career plate appearances in 553 games-career .268 avg & .305 OBP.
    Oakland's 1st 2012-Cubs traded for him Addison Russell HS-SS we all know his issues-played in 615 games .242 avg
    1st-2013-Bryant college 3B- current contract 7-year $182 million
    1st-2014 Schwarber-college catcher-current contract 4-year $79 million
    1st-2015 Happ-college 2B-Cubs current starting LF. Happ should be on trade block.
    2016-Cubs without 1st round pick
    1st-2017-Little college LHP-now LHRP in AAA for Cubs-not ranked in Cubs top 30 prospects. Should still make the majors as LHRP.
    1st-2017 Lange college RHP-traded to Tigers in Castellanos rental.
    2018 1st Hoerner college SS- Not a star, but seems like an MLB starter?
    2019-1st R. Jensen RHP college-having some issues in AA with Cubs. Currently Cubs 17th ranked prospect.
    2020-1st Howard high school SS- Howard was not considers a uber/premium HS athlete. Media talked more about his fielding than hitting Cubs 14th ranked prospects-injuried.
    2021-1st Wick college LHSP -High A- Cubs currently 6th ranked prospect.

    Cubs current prospects from the Bryant, Baez, & Rizzo trades-I can draw a line that the Cubs 1st round picks from 2008, 2011, & 2013- were used to acquire the Cubs current 3rd, 5th, 7th, & 18th best prospects.

    To each their own, but I hope the Cubs never draft a HS pitcher in the 1st round, not worth the risk.

  • Take Cam Collier and be happy!

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    I would be happy with Collier but I would be very happy with Johnson. but again I am just a fan. The Hoyer/Hawkins combo seems to work well together and I trust their judgement. Last year IMO they did fantastic in the draft. The top 4 picks were great. Now the 3rd pick, a HS pitcher, already got TJS but he still could turn out great.

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    In reply to John57:

    I agree. They've done well so far but I have to give props for the trade of Caleb Killian. Has there been a prospect we've looked forward to as much in the last few years?
    Just read in Bleacher Nation that Robel Garcia has been released. He was good in AAA but I guess we needed his spot on the 40 man roster.
    As for the draft, months ago I said I wanted Drew Jones but now that's not going to happen. I think we need a #1 starter and there are those there, we just have to have the scouting department find out who it is. Maybe Brock Porter or even Dylan Lesko. Remember, we drafted Dylan Cease and he had TJS. It's worked out so far for him.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    got to go BPA. If they think a position player is better, you got to take them. I hope Johnson or the catcher Parada falls to #7. Course if they think a pitcher is best I would be happy with that too.

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    I think way too many experts get hung up on TJ surgery, it used to be death to have an elbow problem, but with technology being what it is, a shoulder problem is the injury to be wary of.
    All things being considered, I would not be opposed to selecting the top pitcher in this draft at 7, he most likely would not hardly pitch much after the draft anyhow, start him at extended next spring and ramp him up around June next year and you have a top prospect coming thru the pipeline, maybe more if we make a couple under slot choices...

  • Matt Mervis continues to hit. At Tennessee now, he has 6 HRs in 59 ABs I believe. An OPS over 1000. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes this year at Iowa.
    Being 24 years old, a LH power bat would, and could, be a welcome addition to the Cubs - very early in the 2023 season.

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    In reply to cubbustible:

    He could also be a trade chip too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yes JF, I guess Mervis could be, just as they all might be used in trades. As I see it though, the Cubs sorely lack LH hitting at the MLB level. Quality LHH prospects are going to be hard for the Cubs to part with. And as much as PCA is thought of, I think someone with a higher power profile, who is also looking to be developing quality ABs consistently access a few levels this year- will be valued accordingly. It’s a good problem.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Mervis and Ball are both LH power hitters. It is always nice to have competition to bring out the best in both.

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    In reply to John57:

    We need a LH power hitter but I like what Rivas is doing at 1st. Now we always need backup and another backup so maybe Mervis and Ball are what we need. I might have been too dismissive about wanting to trade Mervis.

  • Kilian has the physicality and makeup look of a 'horse' starting pitcher. At best an ace and no less than an innings eating number3 type.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah he did well. I see they sent him back to Iowa already,, but I guess I can’t blame them. Hoyer will need the starts between now and the trade deadline for trying to build the trade value of all our starters not named Thompson or Steele. Once that passes, Kilian should be back - and hopefully Alzolay will be healthy enough to cover some innings and build himself up, for next season.
    Then we’ll see who’s left here, and what SP addition is necessary.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    They'll need to make room for Miley and Mills, both expected to come of the injured list later this week. I think you're right, everything changes when the dust settles after the TDL.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Most analysts I’ve read put him at no better than 3 and likely 3-5. I’ve not seen anyone but yourself give a shot as a #1. Anything is possible but for now your top rating is high.

  • In reply to stix:

    When we made the trade most analysts said he was a "soft tosser". Now he is hitting 98 mph and sitting 94 to 96. I would take what most analysts say with a grain of salt. They are trying to sell their opinion.

  • In reply to stix:

    Yep, I like him a lot. He looks sturdy and in control.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    and he is working hard and still improving. I agree, he very easily could be a TOR SP.

  • In reply to John57:

    Become one anyway, down the road.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I read that nico Hoerner has a 1.4bwar so far this season (he has missed 13 games). That's the same bwar as Bryant, Rizzo, Baez & Schwarber combined.

    They will get better but interesting factoid none the less.

  • Anybody see the Bob Nightengale article where he claims the Cubs will be players for a FA shortstop this winter? (mentioned on MLB Trade Rumors). He claims that an unnamed GM from another club guaranteed the Cubs would get one of Correra, Xander Bogaerts or Trea Turner. I have my doubts, as even if the Cubs are inclined to spend, they have greater needs than shortstop. It's still an interesting rumor.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Hey Cliff, I did see the article on. MLBTR. I’m down on long term deals, longer than 4 years. But I don’t see any internal SS help coming along, until maybe Kevin Made - likely about 2025 or late 2024. So I guess it’s possible. But when you think about it, even if the Cubs resign Willson and bring back Happ (which I hope they do), their payroll will still easily allow them to spend that kind of money on the SS position. Where I see them now, I believe next year will require them to audition SP’s like Thompson, Steele, Kilian and likely Alzolay. What I’m saying, is that they would probably go after only one FA SP. The bullpen would be inexpensive also, even bringing back Robertson or Wick types. By mid year or August, I think we will see B Davis and Mervis- with Frankie and Hoerner and Wisdom also starting. So I do believe they might go after one of these SS. Hard thing might be getting them to come here. Who knows lol.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think the Cubs value their early 2nd round draft pick in the next year draft too much. I don't see the Cubs signing a free agent this off-season who will cost them that pick!

    Cubs will focus on trades, & free agents not attached to qualifying offers.

    Do the Cubs really want to pay Correa, or anyone $30 million plus for multiple guaranteed years?

    If Baez has a truly awful year, maybe Cubs front office should check in. See if, & how badly Tigers want to get away from his contract?

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Good point. I never considered the draft pick. That would be something they’d have to think about.
    As far as Javy goes, he’ll be making about $24M year, thru 2027! I wouldn’t touch that, even if the Tigers paid 25% of it.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Since Jed/Theo came to town Cubs have only signed two players who cost them a draft pick Heyward, & Zobrist both in the same off-season.

    Best time to trade for a bounce back player is after an awful season. Javy might not be the guy, but Cubs should have plenty of payroll available to check in on all teams that have buyers remorse, or just want to save money.

    Look at just last years mid-season trades White Sox for Kimbrel, & Padres for Adam Frazier. The buyers sold them off for in theory less than they traded them for just a few month early.

    Padres traded 3 prospects including their #10 overall prospect to the Pirates for Adam Frazier. Padres then traded Frazier to the Mariners for a 27 year old lefty AAA power reliever-who needs to put it together, & the Mariners 12th round pick from the 2021 draft. I hope the Cubs with all their financial might are willing to buy low and take some risks.

    Cubs don't seem willing to eat their financial mistakes-Heyward, is a perfect example.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I wasn't aware that MLB allowed trading of draft picks or trading of drafted players for a specified length of time. Am I missing something?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Maybe I need more coffee - I realize you were talking about prospect Corey Rosier, who was a 12th round pick. Sorry!

  • In reply to Naujack:

    No way would I want Baez back. Even if they paid half his contract, no thanks!! He never grew as a player in the batters box. What’s his incentive with all his guaranteed money now? It’s a shame and a waste of talent. Two postseasons in a row after the cubs early exit he admitted to not hustling and being as prepared as he could have been. He also blamed teammates for not holding each other accountable. That’s not the guy we need to lead us to another World Series.

  • Wow… Joe Maddon got canned by the Angels already!!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    That’s what happens to bad managers. The guy is a gimmick. His crap didn’t fly with real players. Enjoy your 5.50!LGB!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Angel's werent winning before Maddon got there. So shouldn't we start to look internally at the organization or look at the Angel's ability to pitch?

  • Arguably the best two players in mlb are on the Angel's. But as it's been said for centuries it takes a village.

    Poor Joe, he couldnt fix the pitching or the bottom of the order. Really out of his control.

    If you want to win in the.majors you need great starting pitching and top notch 8th & 9th relief. That's it really.

  • You need to score 4.5 runs per game to go with top quality pitching.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Exactly!!! Easier said than done. But the cubs offense for how productive they can manage to be without tons of power is good enough. Maybe I’m drinking the koolaid, but I really think they need to throw some good money at 2 really great free agent starters this offseason, and they will be really competitive, especially as more of their better prospects rise through the minors and get promoted. I think that would be the way to ensure we have a good championship window opened back up for a real 5-7 year window.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yep

  • A couple things that crossed my mind:
    1) Nick Madrigal? Really? Would Dixon Machado or even Weber be an improvement? Both can also play SS.
    2). Matt Mervis. The way he’s continued to hit, I know it’s crazy cause he’s only been in Tennessee a week and a half - but he’s putting up amazing numbers, get him to Iowa!! I always liked Jared Young - but he shouldn’t be holding Mervis back.

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