The All-Star break is usually a time where I also take a break. But this year was a little different with the draft going on last Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We’re seeing more and more draft picks sign as the deadline to sign is August 1. You can check the results of those out on our draft database. Most of the news this week was off the field as there were plenty of transactions on Tuesday, surprisingly, as well as Thursday and Friday.

The Affiliate Playoff Hunt

Iowa – They are 42-50 but getting better as their starting pitching stabilizes. But being 13 games back, you probably can forget about a playoff spot.

Tennessee – They were tied with Rocket City before yesterday and are now atop the division in the second half. If they end up tied in 7 weeks with the Trash Pandas, Tennessee goes to the playoffs because Rocket City won the first half title.

South Bend –  They have a five game lead over Wisconsin and Cedar Rapids right now and are playing very well. The pitching has been unbelievable and the young hitters are something else!

Myrtle Beach – They are two games back of Kannapolis. Then again, they are already in the postseason after having the best record in the MILB in the first half. 

Tweet of the Week 

Hypothetical Carolina League All-Star Team

None of the minor leagues had an All-Star game this year. But some of the Carolina League announcers got together and did some voting and several Pelicans wound up making the make-believe All-Star team. Position player starters were James Triantos, Kevin Alcântara, and Ezequiel Pagan. Juan Mora and Kevin Made were named as reserves. Pitchers Tyler Santana, Luke Little, and Porter Hodge made the team as well. It’s pretty cool that eight Pelicans made the roster for the South Division.

Charts of the Week

I also like this tweet from Down on the Farm that showed a couple of things. One, it showed just how well some Cubs prospects were doing this season in terms of weighted runs created plus. Two, what I liked even more about the graphic was that it showed how much above or below a player was versus the average age of the league. In other words, it showed you that the Cubs have a lot of young players and are doing very well.

The second chart shows just how well Cubs’ hitters with over 100 plate appearances are doing compared to the rest of the minors. And the answer is pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good!

Perceived Value

With four days off of baseball this week, it was kind of a treacherous time to go on Twitter and interact with people. I really don’t like to discuss trades whatsoever on Twitter. I think it’s useless because it’s mostly hypothetical and you have people who don’t really quite understand perceived value and that’s a huge part of trading.

A few times a year, I talk to scouts at ballparks and I always find it interesting because they have a different value of Cubs players than say someone like me who sees them almost every game on TV or in person. They may like one player over another because they tend to see things that you or I don’t. I have a pretty good idea of a player’s value but that’s within the organization. My weakness has always been comparing a player from one organization to another player in a different organization because I don’t see them every day. And that’s really what you’re doing in trading is you have two people lining up and trying to get perceived value for what they think their player is worth or what their collection of players is worth. It’s not the easiest thing to do all the time. 

And as we get closer to the deadline, I am getting more and more relieved actually. A week from tomorrow, this will all be over at 5 PM in the afternoon. The Cubs either will trade some guys or they won’t. It’s not up to you or me who we get. I’ve learned at my age that I only worry about things that I can control and forget about things that I can’t. Trades are one of those things that I have absolutely no control of.

Back to the Action

When it came to action on the field this weekend, that’s what it was. It was just three games. Rather than have players of the week today, we’re going to just do Players of the Weekend. 

Starting Pitcher of the Weekend

Luis Devers – 6 no hit innings on Saturday ought to do it!

Relief Pitcher of the Weekend

Sean Newcomb – 4 innings, 0 Runs, and 6 Ks. Well done!

Hitter of the Weekend

Alexander Canario – Get a load of this line – 7-for-12, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, 6 walks. .722 OBP for the weekend! Wow!

Team of the Weekend

The Smokies – They just destroyed Chattanooga by putting up 29 runs in 3 games.