Welcome back to the minor league mailbag. We’ve had some really good questions this offseason that have been fun to answer. This is the fifth installment and it’s a strange question.
When I originally took these questions, it was going to be for the series I did over at Cubs Central. But since moving over to North Side Bound, I decided to bring the series and questions with me. That’s why we’re getting a question from North Side Bound’s very own Greg Huss today.
Greg Huss@OutOfTheVines: What prospect is inching ever close to entering Fan Club status?
Fan club status is a strange thing. It varies on Cubs Twitter as to who is liked most by certain people. I’ve never understood it nor do I want to understand it. Just know that it is random. Over the past few summers, we’ve seen Kohl Franklin, Jeremiah Estrada, Jose Albertos, Cam Balego, DJ Artis, and a few others pop up with Cubs Twitter. Some of them can be fun like last summer‘s Owen Caissie <drink> quotations that I used every time he got a hit or walk. It also showed up when Yohendrick Pinango singled to left when he was with Myrtle Beach, which was quite often.
When it comes to 2022, there are three guys that could approach fan club status.
The first one is Jordan Nwogu. He may be well on his way, but he is such an incredible athlete that once he starts putting everything together, he could really takeoff. And by takeoff I mean become a five tool player. He is that good of an athlete that he can hit for power, steal bases, throw, hit for average, and go get a baseball. Last year we saw him make dramatic improvements in the second half at the plate and in the field. In fact, he was playing a lot in center last year.
When it comes to pitching, I have two guys in mind for next summer. One is Zac Leigh who I pretty much fell in love with his arsenal when I saw him pitch in Beloit last September. The dude has a rifle attached to his right arm and he was bringing it to the plate at 98 and it was accompanied by a nasty slider. I think he could explode a lot like Ben Leeper did in 2021. The 16th round pick out of Texas State will more than likely begin 2022 at South Bend, but I would not expect to see him there for very long.
A third guy who is well on his way to reaching fan club status is Frankie Scalzo, who the Cubs picked up last summer in the 14th round from Grand Canyon University. Scalzo’s calling card is not his mid-90s fastball, but rather his mid-1970s mustache. His black facial hair almost reminds me of Snidely Whiplash from the Dudley Do Right show. All he needs is to grow it out a little bit more and he could have a handlebar mustache à la Rollie Fingers. I have also seen his mustache compared to Tom Selleck’s a time or two. If Scalzo turns out to be pretty good, his mustache could reach legendary proportions.
More than likely, most fan clubs start in the lower levels and we should see that in the first half at Myrtle Beach. When summer arrives, Cubs Twitter will be ripe with some new fan clubs. These three should be in the running.
Lead Photo of Zac Leigh by Todd Johnson