Pete Crow-Armstrong – Picture by Todd Johnson

We’ve got a lot to cover today so let’s get right to it.

The first half is officially over for Myrtle Beach, South Bend and Tennessee. The Pelicans had the best record in all of Minor League Baseball at 47–19 and they won the South Division title in the Carolina League by one game to make it to the playoffs. Congratulations to them!

As well, Tennessee finished in second place behind Rocket City which gives them a leg up for a wildcard spot in the second half if Rocket City wins again. Then again, the Smokies could win their own division title if they can get their starting pitching straightened out. Right now, they definitely have the league’s most potent offense. They finished with a record of 37-32.

As for South Bend, they finished the first half at 34-32 as it was a bit of a roller coaster as their roster turned over quite a bit throughout the course of the half. Injuries played a part and so did promotions. Still, there’s a lot to look forward to in the second half as South Bend will probably get some guys up for Myrtle Beach over the next month or two to help them try and catch Cedar Rapids and Beloit in the second half. They are off to a good start at 3-0.

As for Iowa, they play a full season schedule for playoffs but they record at the 73 game marker is 33-38. They’ve had trouble holding together a roster because the Cubs have been pulling guys left and right to play in Chicago. That also makes it hard to put a lineup out every day when you don’t know who you can put in that lineup. Expect more of the same in the second half and there should be several players coming up from Tennessee after the trade deadline.

Yesterday, I gave out some awards for the first half including hitter, starting pitcher, and reliever of the first half. Those awards went to Matt Mervis, DJ Herz, and Adam Laskey.

I told myself, and you, that I was not going to make a first half All-Star team because it came too close to the end of the month. I didn’t want to bog myself down with a lot of things to do. Well, thanks to rain on Saturday morning, I had some spare time. Today, I am going back on my word and I’m going to put out an All-Star Team for the first half of the 2022 season.

Some of the categories I considered whether or not a player made the team involved batting average, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, OPS, wRC+, ERA, and a few other stats. Basically I looked to see if the player was productive across those stats. Batting average is not the only category for hitters and wins nor innings pitched were not an essential for pitchers. Let’s get going!

A lot of these guys have changed uniforms this year and the location is where they are currently assigned.

First Half All-Star Team


Iowa – Dixon Machado, Narciso Crook, Levi Jordan, Darius Hill, and Nelson Maldonado (who hit .281 between two affiliates)
Tennessee – Matt Mervis, Jake Slaughter, Bryce Ball, and Chase Strumpf
South Bend – Yohendrick Pinango, Pete Crow-Armstrong, BJ Murray, Jordan Nwogu, Owen Caissie, Jake Washer, and Yeison Santana
Myrtle Beach – Ezequiel Pagán, Kevin Alcantara, Kevin Made, James Triantos, and Juan Mora

Honorable mentions – Yonathan Perlaza, Alexander Canario, and Andy Weber

Starting Pitchers

Iowa – Had Killian and Swarmer stayed and not gone up to the big leagues, they would’ve made this list. Cam Sanders did make the team between his performances in Tennessee and Iowa combined. He was really outstanding in May for the Smokies and I-Cubs.
Tennessee – Javier Assad is the only Smokie starter to make it as he stands above everybody with his 2.57 ERA. Yeah, he should be in Tennessee tomorrow.
South Bend – DJ Herz and Manny Espinoza are the only Cubs to make it here and DJ was the Pitcher of the First Half with a 2.17 ERA
Myrtle Beach – Both Porter Hodge and Luis Devers made the list as they played an important role in leading Myrtle Beach to a South Division title and both won a Pitcher of the Month nod this year.


Iowa – Eury Ramos, Erich Uelmen, Bryan Hudson, Blake Whitney, and Wyatt Short
Tennessee – Jeremiah Estrada, Nicholas Padilla, Danis Correa, and Bailey Horn
South Bend – Sheldon Reed, Adam Laskey
Myrtle Beach – Tyler Santana, Luis Rodriguez
Honorable Mentions – Myrtle Beach had a few young arms in Angel Gonzalez, Angel Hernandez, and Alfredo Zarraga who pitched well down the stretch but did not pitch more than 20 innings. I can see all of them making the squad in the second half.

Hitter of the Week

This came down to Sunday. Matt Mervis, Cole Roederer and Owen Caissie were all in contention as they all had monster weeks at the plate. Mervis put up more HR and RBI than the other two and is going to take the award. He hit .333 with 3 HR and 10 RBI as he put up an OPS of 1.290.

Starting Pitcher of the Week

DJ Herz of South Bend takes this award for the 4th time this year. He threw 4.2 scoreless innings on Saturday and struck ten against Peoria. We are all ready for him to go to Tennessee. No sense in waiting any longer with a season ERA now of 1.97.

Reliever of the Week

Mr. Clutch, Adam Laskey, threw 3.1 scoreless innings this week and struck out four. First, he shut down Kannapolis so that Myrtle Beach could come from behind and take the lead, and then he got promoted to South Bend where he threw 1.1 scoreless frames in his debut.

Team of the Week

Even though Myrtle Beach won a first half title, South Bend went 5-1 and now are 3-0 in the second half.