And when I said last week that this week was going to be my busiest week of the school year, I was not kidding. Little did I know that it also would turn out to be quite the week in baseball. Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached a deal a new collective bargaining agreement. Then, in addition, there were a lot of articles this week at some major publications that contained little nuggets about some Cubs prospects. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Baseball America finished up their position rankings this week as the Cubs placed two players in the top 20 left-handed pitchers in the minors. Brailyn Marquez and Jordan Wicks we’re both given props while DJ Herz was picked as the sleeper for that category. BA said Herz, “[…] shows enough promise for him to potentially be a hard-throwing, No. 4 starter.”
That was a pretty good day.
Baseball America also released a sleeper prospect list and selected one player from each organization. Here is what BA had to say about catcher Pablo Aliendo who played mostly at Myrtle Beach in 2021.
Then there was a third article of BA’s top 10 prospects to watch in the complex leagues in either Arizona or Florida. At the top of the list was none other than 18-year-old shortstop Cristian Hernandez.
Prospects Live had two lists come out. The first one I wrote about on Monday was their top 100 prospects that contained four Cubs. The second list released later in the week was a top 400 draft prospect list. The amount of work that went into that had to be exhaustive. Slated at number seven was 3B/2B Jace Jung of Texas Tech. When I saw that, I thought it was very odd because I saw mock draft yesterday where he was listed as the first pick.
Video of the Week
I am really pulling for the Cubs to put Ben Leeper on the Opening Day roster. If he is not, it won’t take him long to get there. He should be the first prospect called up this spring or summer. Yes, even ahead of Brennen Davis
Weird Tweet of the Week
Kevin Made had an outstanding debut season last year at Myrtle Beach as he was one of the best players in the system in the second half at the plate. It was weird to see him shagging fly balls this week in the outfield. I am about 900% sure he’s going to be the opening day shortstop in South Bend, but it’s still weird to see players out of position even though they’re just probably just having fun.
Rumors began a few weeks ago that Drew Gray was going to have to undergo Tommy John surgery. Word “officially” leaked out this week when he was just walking around Mesa with a brace on his arm. Rich Biesterfield captured a shot and was given the OK to put it out there. I was really looking forward to seeing him pitch this year but now we’re going to have to wait until next spring to see him in action at Myrtle Beach.
The Thank God This Is Happening Tweet/Pics of the Week
I am a big fan of Michael McAvene and I was disappointed to not see him pitch in 2021 outside of some pics in Mesa during instructs. This year, he looks good to go in recent pics from Rich. I am just a little bit pumped as he most likely could be headed to South Bend to start the year. Whether that will be as a starter or a reliever, we are going to find out quickly.
Word also came out this week that the 2022 draft will be held July 17th through the 19th. One interesting tidbit that’s in the new agreement is the return of the old “draft and follow” which went away in 2007. It allows a club to draft a junior college player, follow them for a year, and then sign them just before the next draft. It was also strange to see that any draft and follow player can be signed up to $225,000, which is $100,000 more than the maximum that most late round prospects can get.
And one more thing, it appears the Kumar Rocker fiasco from last year has changed some things.
Updated Instagram account
It’s not that I have a new Instagram account, but I got rid of my personal one and I’m now just using an old account to post pictures I take along with baseball cards that I make. It can be found here. Go ahead and give me a follow on that account. Speaking of baseball cards, I made some yesterday from pics by Jordan Bastian and Scot Changnon. I have some more pics by Rich Biesterfeld, too, but those are probably waiting for spring break to be made.
My Busy Season Is Over
My academic team finished the regular season in conference at 8-2. That was good for a tie for second place. On Thursday night in the conference tournament, we also took second place, a fine ending to a positive season. I will, however, lose my leading scorer on the team to graduation. I will have to do some serious coaching and teaching this fall to get them ready for the 2023 season as the majority of my team will be 4 sophomores.
Promo of the Week Number 1
I just love this show. It’s so intense and so well written and filmed – every scene is a visual work of art. It’s almost a bit of a noir television series as we get to see the devolution of Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman. The show returns on April 18. I cannot wait!
Promo of the Week Number 2
Yeah, I’m a Star Wars nut! When I saw the trailer drop for the Disney+ series, I considered my appetite whetted.
That Leeper/Davis statement is hothothot and yeah hopefully no. Nothing against Leeper but I’d much rather see Davis on the OD roster. If Leeper managed to win Cubs prospect fans over with a few weeks in 2021 then surely Davis has done the same inside the org since 2018
It isn’t a matter of who is better, but rather what is likely. Davis is almost certainly not going to be brought up in a time that will move up his free agency date, which I believe is sometime in May. Leeper’s extra year of control is not as valuable as Davis’s is. Also, for Leeper to be brought up, all it would take would be an injury to one of 7 relivers. With Davis, it has to be one of three outfielders.
It’s more of a matter of need. If the Cubs needs a reliever, they likely go the 40 man route. However, if Leeper is owning it at Iowa, it would be hard to keep him down.
As a fan of the Cubs and the sport in general, my thinking is more about who’s better. I understand how teams and orgs can cover their tracks, especially the Cubs with Davis, and how it will most likely play out, but yeah. What maybe sucks most about Davis likely being kept down for the extra year is they signed him for just $1 million and the sport’s killed FA to the point he’s a non-threat to leave if a star
If you put Davis on the opening day roster, he becomes a free agent at the end of 2027. If you leave him in the minors for about 6 weeks, he becomes a free agent at the end of 2028. I doubt if the Cubs believe that 6 weeks of Davis this year is worth more than 6 months of Davis in 2028.
He does not have that many ABs in the minors. So, 3 months in Iowa is expected.
What is the impact of the CBA agreement on the Cubs ability to sign Fernando Cruz in the next ifa period?
If the international draft goes into effect in 2023, it shouldn’t affect it at all.
For 2023, no effect.
I watched the minor leaguers work out Friday. Coaches had Triantos taking grounders at third with Preciado at short. Wyndham and Aliendo got extensive batting time and both looked good. Lillian was inside all morning with the pitch lab people