Made from a picture of DJ Herz by Todd Johnson

It’s a little cloudy and almost rainy about 15 miles south of Rockford today. As a result, I thought today would be as good as any to pour through some stats that I found to be interesting about the system. Originally, I wanted to do both hitting and pitching stats today. That did not work out as I wrote way too much about the pitching stats. So, this will be a two-part series. The other part will probably come out late tomorrow afternoon. 

The first part will look at season-long stats and the other part will look at just the month of June.

Tip of the Day – The first half of the MiLB season ends on June 23 for South Bend and Myrtle Beach and the 26th for Tennessee. That’s how far along things are.


1. Riley Martin 68
2. DJ Herz 60
3. Cam Sanders 59
4. Porter Hodge 55
5. Javier Assad 52
6. Manny Espinoza 51
7. Jordan Wicks 49

Most of you would have picked DJ Herz at the beginning of the year to take this category and I would be right there with you. Martin dominated at Myrtle Beach in April and was promoted to South Bend at the end of the month. He has struggled somewhat at times at High-A but he is still missing bats which is a good sign. I am very pleased to see Porter Hodge doing so well this spring and Javier Assad is nailing it at Double-A the second time around. Espinoza, though, is the big surprise and we shall see how that holds up in the second half. 

Season ERA (20 innings pitched – So, no Zac Leigh or Ben Leeper)

1. Jeremiah Estrada 1.17
2. Bryan Hudson 1.96
3. DJ Herz 2.03
4. Erich Uelmen 2.08
4. Matt Swarmer 2.08
6. Luis Rodriguez 2.30
7. Luis Devers 2.44

While this list is reliever heavy, it is awesome to Herz, Swarmer, and Devers in here. Not too far beyond #7 lies Kilian, Manny Espinoza, Luke Little, Javier Assad, and Porter Hodge, all starters with ERAs under 3.00. Outside of Herz and Kilian, all of these starters are not the names people were talking about as the anchors of the system back in early April. I liked Hodge and Devers as breakouts this year, but I did not expect them to do so well so early. As for the relievers, Estrada and Hudson need to be moved up a level. Hudson should get some looks in Chicago, Estrada in Tennessee.

Season Strikeout Percentage (20 IP minimum)

1. Jeremiah Estrada 42.9
2. Riley Martin 38.2
3. DJ Herz 37.5
4. Eric Stout 36.6
5. Bryan Hudson 35.2
6. Luke Little 33.6
7. Luis Rodriguez 33.1

As well, Nicholas Padilla, Blake Whitney and Cam Sanders were all above 30%. Soon, Zac Leigh will be. For now, though, these are some impressive rate. The most interesting thing about this list is that Estrada is the only righty!!! Six of the top seven are all lefties!!! That is a lot of fun! The Cubs have struggled for years to develop pitching and now they have a bunch of lefty assassins on the mound! As for Estrada, this is just another piece of evidence of why he should be in Tennessee.

Batting Average Against or BAA (20 IP Minimum)

1. DJ Herz .131
2. Bryan Hudson .157
3. Danis Correa .159
4. Luis Rodriguez .162
5. Matt Swarmer .165
6. Eric Stout .168
7. Cam Sanders .169

There are 7 more pitchers under .200, which is quite excellent. That list includes Estrada, Manny Espinoza, Whitney, Padilla, Uelmen, Ueckert, and Luke Little. But .131??? That is almost inhuman. It goes to show just how hard it is to hit Herz and Hudson as well. Correa is sort of the outlier here. He has some nasty stuff, but walks get in the way. However, he’s looking good here the last three weeks. Swarmer has carried over what he was doing at Iowa to Chicago and I don’t expect to see him back anytime soon. As for Cam Sanders, his time is coming. I hoping he gets a start or two in July to begin his MLB career. That would be cool!

Looking at all these stats for the first half shows me just how fast or slow the Cubs pitching program is moving. Sanders and Martin have already moved up a level, but Estrada, Hudson, Luis Rodriguez, and Herz should be moving soon. Then again, it is easier to move up a reliever than it is a starter. However, by doing very well, a player’s performance should make such moves inevitable. So, does that make DJ Herz inevitable? (DJ is now Thanos).

If I was to examine just the stats for the month of June, those stats are not going to tell me much over what amounts to a couple of outings. However, I did find that Danis Correa and Assad are off to good starts at Tennessee along with Whitney. It is the same for Uelmen, Dakota Mekkes (yay!), and Sanders in Iowa. While at South Bend, Estrada, Leigh, Nahas, and Riley Martin are getting it done. At the Beach, 9 out of 15 Pelicans have an ERA under 3.00 after 9 games this month. Another 20 days of games should show us some more interesting stats. I am excited to see them develop over the next 19 days as well as the second half.