Welcome to the final “Weekly” of the first half of the 2022 MLB season. It’s hard to believe that Myrtle Beach and South Bend ended their first half on Thursday and Tennessee wraps theirs up today. While there is no first half All-Star team today, I do have some awards to hand out for the first half.

Hitter of the First Half

This goes to Matt Mervis who is currently on the Tennessee Smokies. He demolished two levels the spring at South Bend and Double-A. I don3’t expect him to be at Tennessee very much longer as he should be well on his way to Iowa for his final minor league stop. Mervis struggled in 2021 but put everything together this year as he hit .325 with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs to take the award.

Starting Pitcher of the First Half

DJ Herz took this award thanks in part to an amazing start in April and May when he posted monthly ERAs of 1.29 in April and 1.96 in May. For the entirety, he had a 2.17 ERA with 68 Ks in 45.2 IP, a BAA of .146, and a WHIP of 1.07. 

Reliever of the First Half

Adam Laskey did not allow an entire run in the first half. He threw 26 innings and struck out 28 and on Friday he was promoted to South Bend…finally!

Honorable Mentions

Hitters – Darius Hill and Pete Crow Armstrong

Starting pitchers – Luis Devers and Javier Assad 

Relievers – Jeremiah Estrada

Team of the First Half

As if there was any doubt…

Upcoming Midseason North Side Bound Prospect Rankings

When North Side Bound debuted back in November 2021, we began with the four of us each putting out our own top prospect list. Those lists have held firm for the past eight months. This week, things changed when Christopher Morel lost his prospect status at 135 ABs. Originally, we were just going to move Nelson Velazquez up into our top 20. Instead, we’ve decided to do something else.

Beginning on July 5 and running through July 8, we will release one prospect list a day that week. The order is still to be determined. Then on the 11th, we’re going to combine all our lists, award some North Side Bound prospect points based on their rankings, and see who the top 20, or maybe 25, Cub prospects are. Not all our lists are going to be the same in terms of which prospects are going to be on them as they were last year when we basically had the same 23 players on all four lists. We will have much more variety this year as a lot of things have happened.

So, put that on your calendars to check North Side Bound every day that week and then again on the 11th when we will put out our combined list. I’ve already started working on mine.

Pipeline Mock Draft

Jim Callis had Cam Collier dropping to the Cubs at 7 three weeks from today. I would be ecstatic if that happened. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of other mocks here the next few weeks is there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of consensus going on for who’s going where and for how much, which may be the more important question.

Keith Law Rankings and Mock

ESPN’s prospect analyst dropped his latest draft rankings that tends to favor kids with more potential. As a result, the number seven ranking is Kevin Parada. Other than Brooks Lee, that’s the only college bat I could see the Cubs taking. In his mock draft 2.0 that came out this week, he had Lee falling to the Cubs as I did in our recent 10 round mock draft on NSB.

BA Top 500

BA updated their list and now includes 500 prospects most of whom will probably get taken. They have Jacob Berry at 7. I will pass.

Kevin Alcantara Pub

Alcântara was made MLB Pipeline’s Prospect team of the week on Monday after his 11 RBI outburst the week before.

Four Winds Field

Congrats to the South Bend Cubs whose Four Winds Field was named as the outstanding High-A ballpark destination by Ballpark Digest. I voted early and often. So, congratulations to them!


For the first time all summer, I had some extended time off now that my wife’s 6-month cancer check up appointments are done (yes, still cancer free) and I only have two things left to do for my summer house to-do list. That left me with some large chunks of time to sit down and make a lot of baseball cards. Half of them were from pictures that I took in the Quad Cities. At the beginning of the week I had 63 pictures in the Facebook folder and now there are over 130.