We are getting closer and closer and closer to a full minor league season. Over the past few weeks, a few camps have been taking place. This week, a lot of prospects showed up in Mesa and it was good to see Riley Thompson and Kohl Franklin working out with the regular pitchers and not the rehab group in pictures from Rich Biesterfeld.
Most of the minor league news this week centered around Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Between them, they released a few articles that are worth discussing this week. However, the lists themselves were not the main news. Instead, it was the lists of those who just missed the list that really grabbed our attention.
The first article that popped was your basic top 100 prospects list by Baseball America and the Cubs placed Brennen Davis at number 16 and Cristian Hernandez at number 81. But that really wasn’t the big news from Baseball America. BA later published an addendum to the top 100 listing 15 players who just missed, including Pete Crow-Armstrong and James Triantos. That’s a little eye-opening because that means the Cub could probably have four or five Top 100 guys at some point this summer, depending on who they pick at #7 in the draft. In addition, 11 total Cubs received votes for Baseball America’s top 100 list. That shows some serious depth. Maybe we’ll see a lot of them work their way up into the top 100 either in the summer or fall.
Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 Prospect list contained four Cub prospects. I don’t think anyone was expecting that! I have some mixed emotions about that list. It’s not because of who was on there or where they were ranked, it’s just that BP has a reputation for putting some quirks in their lists. However, the fact that there are four Cubs is a harbinger of things to come. In addition to Brennen Davis at 27, Owen Caissie at 67, Reggie Preciado at 79 and James Triantos at 101, Kevin Alcantara and Pete Crow-Armstrong were in the just missed group. The strange thing about this whole list by Baseball Prospectus was that there was no Cristian Hernandez to be seen.
Baseball America also published their first combined Top 100 2022 draft list. Up to this point, BA put had only published separate high school and college lists. Sitting nice and pretty at number seven for the Cubs to take was none other than prep pitcher Dylan Lesko, who would be a wonderful addition to the franchise. I do know most of you probably would prefer a bat, but I don’t see the Cubs having a chance at getting at ace again for a while. Regardless of whoever is at 7, there’s gonna be a lot of fluctuation in these rankings over the next five months. As of right now, MLB has yet to set a date for when the draft will take place.
Video of the Week
This is a pretty sweet slo-mo capture of Cristian Hernandez getting some BP in Mesa. It was taken by the wonderful John Antonoff.
Runner Up – Nelson Velazquez went yard in the Roberto Clemente Winter League Championship
As well, SS Luis Vazquez was on Criollos de Caguas with Velazquez.
In a somewhat surprise move, the Cubs added the Edgar Perez, the bench coach of Criollos de Caguas as their new manager for the Cubs’ Arizona Complex League. He has previously worked with the Red Soz.
We should see the rest of the MiLB managerial assignments any day now.
Coming Up This Week on North Side Bound
The mailbag series has its penultimate post tomorrow about who could making their MLB debuts in 2022. On Tuesday, pitcher Luis Devers will be profiled followed by OF/1B Felix Stevens on Thursday. We will also cover any breaking prospect lists, manager assignments, or transactions. On Wednesday morning, my wife will complete her cancer journey as she concludes her 25th radiation treatment. We are excited to be all done!!! We will celebrate at JMK Nippon in Rockford at some point in the next couple of weeks when she has the energy. She is now at the point where her hair is coming in all wavy and curly after being straight her whole life.
Jam of the Week
The Punch Brothers released a cover of a cover of a cover of a cover called “Pride of Man.” It was originally a Quicksilver Messenger Service song and then covered by Gordon Lightfoot, Gram Parsons, and the late Tony Rice which this version was based on. It is simply amazing musicianship that serves the song completely. It’s just a simple four chord E minor-A-C-D vamp with an occasional B minor thrown in for good measure.