It’s been a busy week between going to Davenport and family obligations on Friday and Saturday, it’s hard to believe that it’s Sunday already. I will be off to Davenport around nine this morning and hopefully I’ll get to talk to Michael McAvene about his debut last night.

This coming week will also see the end of the first half for three teams. Myrtle Beach and South Bend wrap up their first half on Thursday the 26th. Tennessee will conclude their first half on next Sunday, the 29th. I decided against doing a first half All-Star team this year because it comes so close to the end of the month.

One of the most interesting things I got to see this week was Jordan Nwogu working out with the pitchers pregame. Long before batting practice starts, he’s out there working hard doing an arm strengthening program. That includes the use of weighted balls and other devices as well as exercises used to increase his arm strength. I thought that was a pretty cool process to see. At first I couldn’t figure out who this new guy was throwing with the pitchers. I looked over at DJ Herz and I’m like who’s that and he goes that’s Nwogu. I didn’t expect to see him there and it was a really pleasant surprise. 

Picture of the Week

I took a few hundred this week of South Bend players and I only put a few online. You can see Tuesday’s action here and Thursday’s action over here. I will have a lot more pictures today because the sun will be out, the weather will be great, and there will be no shadows at all for the entire game.

DJ Herz – Picture by Todd Johnson

Players in the News

There were a lot of other interesting tidbits of information coming out this week in the news. 

*Jake Slaughter named the Southern League’s Player of the Week on Monday. That’s a cool honor for Jake as he had only been in Double-A for just ten games at that point. Congrats to Jake!

*MLB Pipelines latest prospect team of the week team had Kevin Alcantara on it after his single game eight RBI performance last Sunday. That was cool to see!

*In addition to Brennen Davis being in FanGraphs top 100 Prospect List, Kevin Alcântara still remains while Pete Crow-Armstrong took a giant leap up into the top 50.

*BJ Murray Even got some love from MLB Pipeline as they named him one of the best performers from last year’s draft class. MLB looked at every organization and named one prospect per draft class and BJ Murray was the Cubs’. Here is what they said of the young infielder. 

The Cubs took Murray in the 15th round after he led Florida Atlantic with 14 homers in 2021, and he has displayed solid raw power and a mature approach at the plate in pro ball. He batted .305/.441/.461 with three homers in 39 Single-A games before getting promoted to High-A on Tuesday.

*Sadly, Chris Morel will soon be dropping off of North Side Bound’s Top 20 Prospect List in the next couple of games when he reaches 135 ABs. A new player will be moving onto the list. Looks like we will have to do something about that when it does occur.

Video of the Week

I just love to watch the Phillie Phanatic do his job. I think he is so much fun!

Arizona Fall League

While I do have some ideas about who the Cubs should send to Arizona for the fall league, I really do not want to go into detail on those just yet. However, the AFL did announce that their season begins on October 2 along with how when the playoffs would take place. This year, the second and third place teams will have a play in game and they’ll take on the team with the best record for the championship. That’s a little bit different from past years.

NSB Review

We had some cool articles this week at North Side Bound. On Monday, Greg Zumach was able to interview Cubs Director of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz for an extended length. We had a nice profile of Michael McAvene on Wednesday that got a very positive response. We also did some time explaining just exactly what the development list is. Next week, we will have a lot of draft content heading your way and I have a Jordan Nwogu update in the works.

I will be back at noon with the Rookie League Recap summing up what happened in Arizona and the Dominican Rookie Leagues.