Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Young, Crook, and Deichmann hit back-to-back-to-back homers; Jensen returns; Little and Santana lead Pelicans to shutout victory

Jared Young (photo by Rikk Carlson)

MLB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

AAA

Iowa 11, Omaha 6

Game Recap

Jared Young, Narciso Crook, and Greg Deichmann hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the 2nd inning. The team wouldn’t hit any more home runs on the night but compiled two more big innings. That trio, and Crook and Deichmann in particular, have been bringing the power of late. Each continued their hot streaks with multi-hit games. The team also got two run scoring hits out of backup catcher Tyler Payne.

On the mound, Cam Sanders looked pretty darn good once again. There’s no doubt the stuff plays. He’s not always the most efficient and his command comes and goes, so it is still an open question if he can make it as a starter, but at some point this season the Cubs figure to give him a look as either a starter or reliever (or both).

Top Performers

  • Cam Sanders: 4 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K (2.73)
  • Greg Deichmann: 2-3, 2B, HR (6), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB (.230)
  • Jared Young: 3-4, 2B, HR (10), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB (.263)
  • Narciso Crook: 2-5, HR (8), R, 2 RBI, SB (6) (.254)
  • Tyler Payne: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.333)
  • Alfonso Rivas: 2-5, R (.500)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-4, BB (.302)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

AA

Pensacola 3, Tennessee 0

Game Recap

Ryan Jensen returned from a month on the developmental list with slightly altered mechanics. Early returns… looked pretty solid. He threw two perfect innings, striking out two in the process. Dalton Stambaugh relieved him and pitched okay, but the Smokies got little out of their offense outside of good games from Chase Strumpf and Matt Mervis (big surprise) at the top of the order.

Top Performers

  • Chase Strumpf: 2-4, 2B (.235)
  • Matt Mervis: 2-4, 2B, (.337)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 1-3, (.216)
  • Bryce Windham: 1-3 (.217)
  • Ryan Jensen: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (4.91)
  • Dalton Stambaugh: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, K (L, 3-1, 4.58)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

In addition to Ryan Jensen returning from the developmental list, it appears that he will be followed by Riley Thompson. Both were taken out of the Smokies rotation at the same time in early May, and Thompson will be re-joining the rotation with Jensen this time through. I’ll be curious if there will be visible mechanical tweaks with him as well.

Andy Weber was activated from the IL.

Jeremiah Estrada received a long overdue promotion from South Bend where he was regularly dominating.

High-A

Quad Cities 5, South Bend 4

Game Recap

D.J. Herz rebounded from a tough outing by allowing just one run in three innings of work, albeit while navigating through quite a bit of traffic on the bases. Joe Nahas followed with two perfect innings, and it looked like South Bend was on the way to victory. Quad Cities would tie the game at 3-3 in the 7th though with a pair of runs off Sheldon Reed. Yohendrick Piñango quickly responded with his second runs scoring hit of the night to retake the lead in the 8th, but once again Quad Cities fought back, this time with a pair of runs off closer Hunter Bigge in the 9th to win in walk off fashion.

Top Performers

  • Yohendrick Piñango: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, SB (8) (.269)
  • Yeison Santana: 2-4, R, SB (6) (.300)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 2-4, R (.252)
  • Owen Caissie: 1-3, RBI, BB (.238)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 1-3, RBI, CS (2) (.231)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

After hitting really well in Low-A B.J. Murray Jr. will now be getting a long look in South Bend. A switch hitter, he was a late bloomer in college who tore it up in his draft year for Florida Atlantic, but because he hadn’t done much in previous seasons was still available for the Cubs in the 15th round. A third baseman by trade, he got most of his looks with the Pelicans at 1B/DH due to the presence of so many top infield prospects, but figures to get more time there now. I’ll be interested to see how he handles the position, because it would help his prospect profile immensely. He’s got a quiet approach at the plate and has shown an ability to hit hard line drives, but he lacks the size and power one looks for as a 1B. He’s had a good start to his first full pro season, but South Bend is a more appropriate level for someone of his experience and I want to see how the native of the Bahamas responds. If he can keep putting up good numbers at the plate and play solid defense at the hot corner he puts himself much more firmly on the prospect map.

There was quite a bit of roster churn on the South Bend roster outside of the addition of Murray. The club also activated Michael McAvene and Gabriel Jaramillo from the IL. It has been a rough 18 months or so for McAvene who came to the Cubs as a hard throwing reliever from Louisville in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. He missed most of 2021 battling shoulder issues, and when he was on the mound the results were ugly, and the reports on his stuff from Mesa were not good. He’s had more time to recover now, and I saw scattered reports he has been throwing better in EXST. Hopefully he is back on track.

Jaramillo was an under the radar reliever who put up good numbers at a couple of different levels last year before going on the IL in the 2nd half. He’ll also be seeing his first game action in a while.

To make room, reliever Bailey Reid was placed on the Developmental List, and utility man Grayson Byrd was released. The son of former MLB pitcher Paul Byrd, Grayson filled in at a number of positions across several levels in the Cubs system the past few years, but with the additional prospect depth on the farm this season, a role never materialized for him in 2022.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 2, Fredicksburg 0

Game Recap

Luke Little kicked off the shutout with 2.2 innings of no hit ball before handing the keys over to Tyler Santana, who gave up just six hits and issued no free passes over the following 5.1 innings. Lefty Angel Hernandez has looked promising since coming up from Mesa a couple of weeks ago, and earned his first save with the Pelicans with two strikeouts in a perfect 9th.

Top Performers

  • Luke Little: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (2.45)
  • Tyler Santana: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 6-0, 2.36)
  • Angel Hernandez: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 1, 0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

ACL

Brewers Gold 4, Cubs 2

DSL

Nationals 6, Cubs Blue 5

Philiies Red 12, Cubs Red 7

Comments

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  • I know it's way too early but C Hernandez strikeout rate seems a bit alarming 11Ks in 22 ABs. Plus in EXST he had a high amount of Ks as well. Hopefully he adjusts as the season goes along.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Yeah, it's definitely something I've noticed. But I'm not going to worry until I actually get to watch him and judge for myself.

  • Any chance Darius Hill is a serviceable big league Centerfielder? I read he is fast and they list him at all 3 OF positions?

    The kid just plain hits, doesnt strike out and has some power. Maybe a stop gap til PCA?

  • Watching games with position players pitch, used to sometimes a novelty. Now I find them disgusting.
    I hope some people in management and ownership do too.

  • Proof you can never have enough SS. Listed below the SS in the org from rookie to AAA. Not a lot to brag about so far.
    C Hernandez BA .231 AB 26 H 6 HR 1 BB 3 K 12
    K Made BA .268 AB 123 H 33 HR 3 BB 18 K 32
    R Preciado BA .212 AB 137 H 29 HR 2 BB 9 K 59
    E Howard injured BA .244 AB 82 H 20 HR 1 BB 9 K 19
    F Pertuz BA .231 AB 195 H 45 HR 3 BB 10 K 64
    A Weber BA .340 AB 94 H32 HR 0 BB 9 K 25
    L Vazquez BA .204 AB 181 H 37 HR 4 BB 15 K 48
    D Machado BA .298 AB 205 H 61 HR 1 BB 33 K 27

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Point well taken. Some, like Preciado, IMO won’t remain at SS either. Watching Preciado work out, I see him more at 2B - maybe - 3B or OF. I think Made has a chance, and maybe Howard if he can stay healthy. Who knows about Hernandez- he’s so young.

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