The month of May was pretty exciting in the Cubs system! We saw some amazing performances by some of the Cubs top prospects. There’s still a lot to look forward to in June as we are nearing the halfway point of the season. Yes, I know, it’s going by really fast.
Players in new places!
The number one storyline of course is going to be produce and advance.
Maybe will see Pete Crow Armstrong head to South Bend. I would hope so. I tend to be cautious in advancing him too fast. One thing you have to remember is that the affiliates now play a team six times in a week. As a result, teams get a handle on how to get a player out or they don’t. And some organizations are better than others at doing that. In other words, the level of competition is not consistent. One thing the Cubs want to look at is how each player does against advanced competition. It’s one thing to go 3-for-5 against Columbia and it’s another thing to go 3-for-5 against Charleston. The 3-for-5 against Charleston is a much better performance because it’s a much better team and organization. So be careful about your wishes.
I’m going to see South Bend Play in person in June quite a bit. It’ll be interesting to see the make up of the squad today versus the end of the June in Beloit. I always enjoy seeing a player in a new uniform because their goal is to keep getting new uniforms.
Myrtle Beach Bullpen
One of the keys to Myrtle Beach’s success this spring has been their shutdown bullpen. But now, most of them are moving on to South Bend and I am interested to see who comes up to replace Adam Laskey and Luis Rodriguez when their time comes to move on. We got to see Angel Gonzalez get called up at the beginning of last week to replace Jake Reindl and Sheldon Reed. There will be more new guys to come.
Can the Breakouts Keep It Up
We had lots of players break out this spring and I’m wondering how they will do in June and if they can keep their performance at a high-level. Bryce Ball, Matt Mervis, Yeison Santana, and BJ Murray are just a few of the names to follow along with Luis Devers and Luke Little.
Jordan Nwogu had a rough first month in April and that carried over into May for the first week. But after that, he’s been a man on a mission. From May 10 on, he hit .317 with an OBP of .396 and a wRC+ of 155. That’s a nice three week stretch that we hope will carry on. As well, pitcher Luis Devers could be the Starting Pitcher of the Month as he put together quite a May with a sub 2.00 ERA. Meanwhile, reliever Sheldon Reed has looked impressive so far at Myrtle Beach and South Bend as he has not allowed a run all year.
Will the Injured Return?
At some point, Brennen Davis will return. But several other players have been injured a lot longer. Will we get to see Ben Hecht or Michael McAvene this summer? Last week, Jack Patterson got placed on the 60 day IL as he had a setback in his rehab it appears. What the issue is, we have not been told. But we hope to see some of those guys very soon. It also looks like catcher Casey Opitz should be back in the next week or two along with fellow backstop Tim Susnara. We might even see Yovanny Cruz at some point in June. In addition, my guy Zac Leigh might be days from returning!
The Draft and Non-Drafted Free Agency
In just about six weeks Major League Baseball will hold its annual draft and I’m excited to see the Cubs pick up some very good players and then find some gems in non-drafted free agency. Based upon how they’ve done in the latter the past two summers, I might be more excited for that in some respects.
The Cubs top prospect aged 18 and under will take the field next Monday for a game that matters and I’m excited to see the results. There are many of you who want to rush him up the ladder. Just let him play as an 18-year-old and everything will take care of itself in due time. Hernandez doesn’t need to come to Myrtle Beach until he’s ready. If that’s August, then it’s August. It will be when it will be.
Rookie Leagues Begin on June 6
Yeah there’s no doubt that adding three more teams to the affiliate playlist every day is going to increase my workload, but it also is going to increase my fun as we get some new names to cheer for and some guys that put things together in rookie league. Last year we saw Alcântara, Triantos, Preciado, and Owen Caissie shine in Mesa. We’ve already talked about Hernandez, but I’m pretty sure Moises Ballesteros, Brayan Altuve, Pedro Ramirez, Anderson Suriel, and a few others are going to grab our attention as well Several players in the Dominican Summer League when they begin putting up numbers. I am keeping an eye on Adan Sanchez, Alexis Hernandez, Jefferson Rojas,
All in all, it’s going to be a very exciting month!