This week was exciting!

New Website Features

Now that all four full-season affiliates are playing, we have a new daily content feature for you. It’s simply going to be the Players of the Day. It probably won’t even take it but a minute of your time to browse as we pick the hitters of the day, the starting pitcher of the day, and the reliever of the day. We also have a page that will catalog the winners for this year. It’s going to be pictures for a while but eventually we will put them in a nice little table for you to look over. If you did not see them yet, here are Friday’s and yesterday’s players of the day. In “The Breakdown” tomorrow, we will have our first “Players of the Week” awards and those will also be archived on a separate page.

Picture of the Week

It’s been a while since a picture got me all fired up but Jordan Wicks posted this wonderful shot of (from left to right) Max Bain, himself, Chris Clark, DJ Herz, and Kohl Franklin standing on the mound in South Bend. I got goosebumps when I saw that shot. I was ready to go for opening day after that.

Still Jazzed About Ethan and Alfonso

It was pretty cool to see Ethan Roberts make the big league club this week. In spring training, Ethan wore number 93 but when he was placed on the 28-man active roster, his new number is 21. That number holds a little significance in Cub history. I’ve already ordered my wife an Ethan Roberts T-shirt jersey and she’s going to be extremely excited to wear that with a lot of pride for him.

In addition, Alfonso Rivas also made the opening day roster which I was also glad to see. Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about both prospects.

CubsAlfonso Rivas, 1B/OF (No. 23), Ethan Roberts, RHP (No. 30)The 24-year-old Roberts went viral for his touching reaction to hearing the news of his Major League call-up in the dugout this week. He brings a plus fastball and plus slider to Chicago’s bullpen. Rivas will be a left-handed bench option for a Cubs lineup that can get heavy on righties.

Prospect Predictions

On Friday, MLB Pipeline picked one prospect in each organization and made a prediction about said prospect. If the prediction down below happens, James Triantos is not gonna be in the Carolina League very long.

Cubs: James Triantos, 2B/SS (No. 3) – Originally set to graduate from high school in 2022, Triantos reclassified with the intent to attend the University of North Carolina a year ahead of schedule. Instead, he signed as a second-round pick last July and will spend this year winning the Single-A Carolina League batting title with a .337 average.

In addition, Baseball America declared that Myrtle Beach has one of ten most loaded rosters in all of minor league baseball.

Draft Risers

Greg Zumach published his second mock draft of the year here at North Side Bound. And if you haven’t had a chance to check that out, please do so. You will find an interesting name at number seven. 

As for the other major publications, one name that’s rising up is Brandon Barriera, a left-handed high school pitcher who sat in the upper teens for most of the winter and has now started rising up most draft boards. I really like what I see from this kid as the ball comes out of his hand pretty easy. It doesn’t seem to be much effort to him slinging it to the plate. We’ll see how his second month of the season goes and if he continues to work his way into the back half of the top 10.

Another name to keep an eye on has been the meteoric rise of outfielder Jordan Beck of Tennessee. He’s part of a talented ball club that includes a vicious rotation. My only concern with Beck is just exactly how high of a ceiling he is going to have. For me, the concern with taking college hitters is how much are they going to grow from what they are. They may have a higher floor than a prep hitter, but most prep hitters have a higher ceiling but are the bigger risk. I will be interested to see what some major publications have to say about his future.

My Fantasy Team

I am all set to go for fantasy baseball. My team is off to a so so starts but it will all even out here shortly. I have a lot of young players like Bobby Witt, Spencer Torkelson, Julio Rodriguez, and I have Adley Rutschman on my injured list. I don’t have a lot of Cubs except for Suzuki and Stroman. But I do have Wander Franco and I’m pretty excited to have him on my team

North Side Bound Plans

It’s always great to go from no baseball to all kinds of baseball in just a few days. We’re shifting gears and it’s going to be our first time in fourth gear. We are all excited to see where we take this website in the next six months and some things are going to seem familiar to you from our old websites at Cubs Central, Out of the Vines, and Ivy Futures.

I will continue with “The Weekly” where I just look at news around the system and in major publications. This post will also have some rotating items of interest including poll of the week, card of the week, maybe video of the week, and a few other items of interest that I will keep fresh. 

On the other hand, “The Breakdown” on Mondays is just going to look at how each affiliate did and we will have our “Players of the Week” in that post. “Tuesday Transactions” will be back this week. I am not expecting very many moves. It’s going to be a little iffy for me as I’m still teaching for another six weeks. Greg Huss will do his “Midweek Buzz” and “Friday Fives.” Greg Zumach will be diving into draft prospects and interviews. As for Jimmy Nelligan, he will continue to shine his unique light on prospects as he did this week

We hope you stay with us for a fun summer! Hopefully, we will be posting a couple of times a day between the regular posts mentioned above, profiles, updates, players of the day, and breaking news!

Jam of the Week

If I could’ve had a walkup song, this would’ve been it. Just thinking about walking up to the plate to Rush gets me all fired up some 40 years later!