Game: 6/2 Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Delmarva Shorebirds
Final: Myrtle Beach Pelicans 11, Shorebirds 5
Summary: Myrtle Beach continues to score runs
Luke Little had another game with more strikeouts (4) than innings pitched (2) in his start this week where he also gave up no hits, an unearned run, and two walks. Luke Little has been on a strict pitch limit this year when it comes to his starts, and he’s had a tough time getting through more than a few innings each outing. Tyler Santana threw the majority of the innings for the Cubs, picking up his 5th win along the way. He went 4.2 innings, giving up 2 ER, 4 hits, 1 walk, and he struck out 5. Angel Gonzalez threw a scoreless inning in relief, and Jared Wright finished the game going 1.1 innings giving up 1 hit (a home run), two walks, 2 ER, and striking out two.
The hitters had another strong showing for Myrtle Beach. Juan Mora, Kevin Alcantara, and BJ Murray, and Ethan Hearn all had multi hit games. BJ Murray also walked 3 times and scored 3 runs. Juan Mora, recently added to the leadoff role after the PCA promotion, had three singles. Even without Pete-Crow Armstrong, the Pelicans continue to score lots of runs.
Player of the Game: BJ Murray
BJ Murray showed us again why he should be promoted soon. Each at-bat he takes works a long count, forcing them to attack the strike zone with something he can hit. In the game of the week, Murray walked three times and singled twice, which has been consistent with what he has done all year. On the season now, Murray leads the team in walks with 23 and has only struckout 27 times. He has an OBP of .464 (which is higher than Pete Crow-Armstrong’s OBP for Myrtle Beach), and an OPS of .978. Going into this year, BJ Murray was a guy I wanted to keep an eye on because of his power and walk numbers in college at Florida Atlantic. He hasn’t shown off his power yet in Myrtle Beach, one of the least hitter friendly ballparks in the minors, but he has shown his plus knowledge of the strike zone. Right now, BJ Murray has more than deserved a promotion based on his bat alone. Defensively, he has been shaky at first and third base, but the South Bend Cubs could find room for him in their lineup. In the future, I’d like to see BJ Murray hit for some more power, especially as a corner infielder. If he can be a guy who can hit 15-20 home runs a year, he could be a very good prospect for the Cubs.
Who You Might Have Missed: Angel Gonzalez
Sometimes you just forget about a guy in the system when he isn’t on a full season affiliate’s roster and then he comes up and surprises you. Angel Gonzalez is one of those guys. If you are wondering who Angel Gonzalez is, he was an undrafted free agent the Cubs picked up after the Covid-shortened, 5 round, 2020 MLB draft. He was added to the Myrtle Beach roster just last week, and hasn’t had much success statistically with Myrtle Beach, but it’s hard to not like his stuff. He’s only 19 years old and already has the body of a big league pitcher. His fastball touched 98 multiple times during this week’s game of the week, and his slider has a pretty good shape with sharp horizontal movement. If he could add a changeup and work on his command, he could potentially be a start if he was given another year in Myrtle Beach, but I think the Cubs will likely keep him in the bullpen. He’s mostly going to be a 2-seam/slider type of guy working the inside and outside corner of the strike zone. If his command can get better, the Cubs could have a good bullpen arm in Gonzalez.
Feature photo of BJ Murray by Stephanie Lynn (@SRL590)