Eduarniel Nunez – Picture by Todd Johnson
Another month is about to close in the minor-league season in two days. You will find that it was a very good month for hitters in the system when I put out the All-Star team Monday afternoon. Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen a lot of movement from some of the Cubs top pitching prospects. Five of them now have new homes. The draft is over and almost all the draft picks are signed and we’re just now starting to get into nondrafted free agency.
With those things and more in mind, let’s take a look at some of the storylines we are going to be following in August at North Side Bound.
1. The Trade Deadline
The big league club is going to make several moves by the end of business at 5 PM on Tuesday. What they get in return could change the farm system a little bit or itI could change the big league club depending upon the return. I will be live blogging that afternoon and offering some analysis on the return.
2. Draft Pick Movement and Performance
Oh 2022 draft picks have until 5 PM on Monday to sign their contracts. Most will then go through some sort of orientation out in Mesa and then they’ll get their assignment. Some will be in the Arizona Complex League for a couple of weeks, some will be in Arizona and then Myrtle Beach, others will go straight to Myrtle Beach, and maybe one or two will head to South Bend.
As for their play, the pitchers won’t be pitching much. Maybe, 15-20 innings tops and no more than two innings at a time. As for the hitters, this could get interesting with position players as Garriola and McGeary will probably be at Myrtle Beach in the playoffs while Paciolla and Collier remain in Mesa.
3. Pitchers in New Places
Jordan Wicks and DJ Herz should start getting acclimated to Tennessee. Their first starts were not much to write home about. Their second starts……….
Meanwhile, in South Bend, Porter Hodge and Luis Devers just came up and dominated in their first starts. It was actually quite impressive as Devers threw six no-hit innings and Hodge threw five scoreless. Now, you can add Tyler Schlaffer to the South Bend rotation.
4. To Chicago
Once the trade deadline is over and complete, depending upon how many guys left, the big league club will have some holes to fill and that will provide a lot of movement throughout the minors. As we said before, it all depends upon how many guys they trade. I’d like to see Dakota Mekkes get a shot here in the next two months and maybe we might see Jared Young, Levi Jordan, or Darius Hill.
5. Playoff Chases
Myrtle Beach is already in. Both South Bend and Tennessee lead their divisions. Still a lot of baseball left but South Bend already has a five game lead while Tennessee just moved into first place last Sunday.
While we already have written articles on Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris, profiles on the rest of the draft class will be coming the next two months along with any new prospects acquired in trades and even nondrafted free agents. I am going to be a busy man but I will have fun getting to know the newest Cubs.
7. And, as Always, Surprises
You never know what will happen in any given month. If I did, I would be in Vegas right now.