What I’m Reading
• I was immediately intrigued as soon as the Cubs drafted Riley Martin last year out of Quincy University. My family is from the Mississippi River town in Illinois and my fiancée played in the same conference as the QU Hawks. It was enough for Martin to become one of my favorite prospects, so to get this great interview with him from Greg Zumach? Glorious.
• It’s a new month which means there are plenty of new storylines to follow!
• It’s kind of absurd how many players put together all-star caliber months in May. I don’t envy Todd having the job of cutting the list down.
• Everyone’s guy PCA got the bump up to South Bend this week and man, oh man, was it long overdue.
• Maybe the biggest news of the week was that Marquee will be airing 39 Cubs affiliate games this summer, including one of the 18 I-Cubs games that happened today!
What I’m Watching
• I’ve gotta lead off this section with this video captured by a fan in Myrtle Beach. Watch for the Kevin Alcántara bat flip before the ball fades away into the night.
• Alexander Canario is more than just his power at the plate. He can go out there and get it in center field, too!
• Undrafted Matt Mervis taking first rounder Sam Bachman yard does a pretty good job of telling the big first baseman’s story to this point.
• Literally all Yohendrick Pinango needed to do was start pulling the ball in the air. He’s doing it now.
• Another week of Owen Caissie proving he’s got it figured out in the Midwest League.
• Working quick, releases the ball before the clock gets below 10 seconds, fools a batter on a fastball that comes from behind his back, and does his spin move off the mound. That’s DJ Herz in a nutshell for you.
What We’re Tweeting
• This made me legitimately sad. Jack Patterson is one of the good guys in the system and he certainly doesn’t deserve a set-back on his recovery from Tommy John.
• The trio is now broken up with PCA getting bumped up to South Bend, but here’s to them being reunited soon!
• The list of most famous Kevins: Bacon, Durant, Costner, Jonas, Alcántara, Made.
• The Birds were hot. They put together the longest winning streak in the franchise’s history at 12 games. For a while it really made me think, would they ever lose?
• Luis Devers has been… really good. He’s likely your May pitcher of the month, and it’s well-deserved.
• Caleb Kilian does not have a normal profile this year. Obviously the results have been very good, and clearly he is confusing hitters and generating plenty of weak contact on the ground, but I can’t really explain that low SwStr% number.
What’s Catching My Eye
• It’s really interesting that the Cubs aren’t considering Kilian for these couple of doubleheaders up in Chicago. If I were to make a guess as to why, I’d think it has something to do with the insane 40-man roster crunch. Kilian will get the call soon enough, don’t you worry.
• Lost in the shuffle of how good Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcántara have been is the fact that James Triantos has been downright terrific for basically a month and a half now. He’ll likely finish the year in South Bend.
• My guess is Nelly Velazquez even looks pretty Wisdom-y in the log-term, too.
• I can’t emphasize enough how impressive it is that Anderson Espinoza completed his comeback from a world of crazy injuries and timelines and made his MLB debut. When you work as hard as he has to make it back, you deserve every bit of love that’s thrown your way.
• I want to wrap up this Mid-Week Buzz by simply listing out all the dudes that have received promotions recently. It’s kind of insane, really.
To Chicago – Nelson Velazquez, Christopher Morel, Brandon Hughes, Matt Swarmer, Anderson Espinoza
To Iowa – Darius Hill, Eury Ramos, Brandon Leibrandt
To Tennessee – Bailey Horn, Cole Roederer, Bryan King, CD Pelham, Matt Mervis
To South Bend – Sheldon Reed, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Casey Opitz, Zach Leigh, Grayson Byrd
To Myrtle Beach – Angel Gonzalez, Frank Hernández