The big news of the week was that the Cubs three rookie league teams began play. Both the Red and Blue team started playing in the Dominican and the Cubs rookie league team in Mesa Arizona also got underway. There’s not any earth shattering news coming from those three facilities although Cristian Hernandez is off to a good start. One key take away so far after a week of play is that pitching is an issue. More specifically, pitching experience is an issue for all three clubs. We’ll see how that develops over the next two months as they gain experience.

Hitting, on the other hand, does not seem to be an issue for some of the Cubs top DSL players. Adan Sanchez is doing very well along with Jefferson Rojas and Darlyn de Leon and Andrws Cruz (yes, that is not a typo). It’s only been six games, so I wouldn’t go making any major pronouncements about the immediate future or promotions. We are a long ways off from that. In fact, it’s very rare for a DSL player to come stateside during the year. That usually happens in if fall instructs or spring instructs as it takes them a while to get culturally acclimated.

News of the Week

For the news around some of the major publications, Baseball America brought up Cubs prospects in several different topics.

The first article with Cristian Hernandez listed him as one of the top 15 prospects to watch in all of the complex leagues. So far, he’s not proving them wrong.

Article number two summed up 20 of the hottest prospects in the minors and listed two Cubs in there. The first name was DJ Herz, the other was BJ Murray of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. It’s cool that the Cubs had two players listed and they probably could’ve put in 7 or 8 Cubs including Matt Mervis.

When it came to the Dominican Summer League, Baseball America also put on an article about 25 pitchers to watch including right hander Freilyn Silverio of the Cubs ( I have seen his name spelled two separate ways. I am going with the MiLB one). I got to learn a little bit about him in just that brief paragraph and I am excited to see the stat line develop this summer

12. Freylin Silverio, RHP, Cubs: Silverio is a lanky 6-foot-3 Dominican righthander with long limbs and a fastball that has been up to 91 mph, with plenty of space to add weight and strength to be throwing in the mid 90s one day. Silverio has a starter’s look too, with sound mechanics and feel for a curveball. The curve is his best pitch, a potential plus offering that’s ahead of his changeup.

Finally, MLB Pipeline got in on the Cubs action when they listed DJ Herz as the hottest pitching prospect in the Cubs’ system. Check out their thoughts on him below.

Also the Cubs’ most dominant pitching prospect in the first month of the season, Herz has held opponents to a .100 batting average while posting a 1.77 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings during his last five starts in High-A. A North Carolina prepster signed for an over-slot $500,000 in 2019’s eighth round, he has used a mid-90s fastball, wicked changeup and spike curveball to log a 1.45 ERA with a .120 opponent average and 53 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings this season.

10 Round Mock Draft

One of the fun things I did this week was to do a 10 round mock Cubs draft with fellow North Side Bound writer Greg Zumach. Each of us picked 10 players who we thought the Cubs would take on days one and two of the upcoming draft, which is actually five weeks from today. Looking back, I might switch a couple of pics but I tend to like most of them for the slide which they’re at. I might switch three and four and get Melendez of Texas in the third round rather than the fourth. Otherwise, you can check out the video below of who Greg and I took. Here is my list.

1. Brooks Lee – SS – Cal-Poly
2. Tucker Toman – 3B – high school
3. Marcus Johnson – SP – Duke
4. Ivan Melendez – DH – Texas
5. Austin Peterson – SP – UConn
6. Daniel Warkentin – 2B – EMU
7. Hunter Patteson – SP – UCF
8. Luke Heyman – C – high school
9. Andrew Walters – RP – Miami
10. Michael Prosecky – LHP – Louisville

Next NSB Top Prospect Lists

North Side Bound as a whole decided not to release new or updated prospect lists this year until after the trade deadline has passed. That turned out to be a pretty wise decision. One thing all of us agree on is that there’s going to be some turnover on our lists when they come out. Some of us have actually started working on them and I’m looking at having 20 to 25% of my list change in terms of the actual prospects on it. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played between now and August when those get re-done. Aside from trades, the two things that could also influence my list a lot are exactly who the Cubs take in the draft and if some injured players come back to action beforehand. 

Monday is a Big Day on NSB

I will be back The Breakdown, Jimmy will have his Game of the Week, and Greg Zumach will have an interview with Dan Kantrovitz, the Cubs V-P of Scouting who is in charge of the draft. Some good stuff coming for you all on the first day of the week.

Jam of the Week

I finally got off my REM kick, but it wasn’t easy.

However, I am still heavily into music I picked up on in college.

Here is David Gilmour’s “Murder.” I just love how the mood changes, Pino Palladino’s bass work, and guitars. I always love good guitar work.