It is getting to the point that the Rookie League Recap is getting to become my favorite weekly column. I’ve always enjoyed doing “The Weekly” on Sundays for the last 9 years and “The Breakdown” the past two years, but I’m just digging diving into the stat lines each week of the Cubs in the DSL and the ACL. It’s just fun for me in a nerdy way and it’s even more fun to compare stats over time which is also something I also love to do.
Let’s get back to the action.
Another month has come and gone. The Red team sits at 16-27, the blue team is at 16 and 24 while the Mesa Cubs are at 13-24. It’s been a rough two months in terms of wins and losses, but that’s not what these leagues are about. They’re always about developing and trying to get players to improve for the next level. We saw a lot of that In July, especially in the Dominican. The hitting in Mesa did not go as well as June. Still, there were some bright spots in both leagues, especially improvement from relievers .
Let’s take a look at who made this month’s All-Star team in the rookie leagues.
Mesa – Pedro Ramirez and Christian More both continue to slice and dice the opposition. In fact, Ramirez hit about 40 points higher this month than he did in June when he hit .308. More seems to be the model of consistency while Moises Ballesteros continues to lead all three rookie league teams in home runs and RBIs. He cranked out four more dingers this month.
DSL – I swear that Adan Sanchez just falls out of bed and goes one for three every day. I’ve never seen a player so consistent at this level. In addition we saw some new names this month including Elizaul Chalas (2B), Alexis Hernandez (SS), Lizardo Ruiz (SS), Carlos Altuve (C), Jose Herrera (1B), Jose Escobar (SS), and newcomer, Edward Vargas (OF). Darlyn DeLeon (2B) and Sandy Sanchez (SS) are back but Sanchez actually switched teams from the Red to the Blue.
Mesa – Last month, there was only one starting pitcher that made the squad from Mesa. Two eligible pitchers were set to make it this month but they both got promoted to Myrtle Beach this week. At that same time, RHP Kevin Valdez arrived from the Dominican where he did not allow a run in 13.2 innings in four starts. He also struck out 18 batters for the month.
DSL – Gabriel Agrazal returned to the All-Star team again this month with an ERA of 2.33. He was joined by David Bracho who was outstanding with an ERA just above 2. Righty Eligio Paredes made a nice return to the field. In three starts, he had an ERA of 2.10 with 10 Ks in 8.1 IP.
Mesa – It was a pretty good month for the Mesa bullpen. Even though it does contain about 14 players, Elian Almanzar, Rony Baez, Anthony Mendez, Christian Rojas, Andricson Salvador, and Tomy Sanchez. Sanchez and Mendez both did not allow a run the entire month!
DSL – Fraimin Marte, Adrian Martinez (who just moved to the pen from the rotation), Abel Moya, and Luis R Reyes were all excellent this month. Most of them are pitching 2 innings each outing.
Players of the Month
Hitter – Alexis Hernandez
He started off the month hot and never cooled off. For the month he hit .370/.426/.574/1.000. As well, he hit 2 HRs and drove in 8 as the leadoff hitter for the Red team. And to think, he started the season 0-19.
Starting Pitcher – Kevin Valdez
Valdez did not allow an earned run all month AND he got promoted from the DSL to the ACL, which is rare in season. I am excited to see how he does in August in Mesa. He struck 18 in 13.2 IP. He was signed last November at the end of the signing period.
Reliever – Anthony Mendez
Mendez did not allow a run all month in Mesa and he struck out 11 in 8.1 innings. However, his most impressive stat was that opponents hit just .148 against him. That’ll do. Mendez is 19 and was signed in November of 2019. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, he did not debut until last year in the DSL.