PCA – Picture by Todd Johnson

It’s still a little hard for me to believe that this will be the last week of the 2022 minor league regular season for both South Bend and Myrtle Beach. Tennessee has two weeks left and Iowa goes until the 28th. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it 

Unlike last week, there was a little bit of news this week. The good news was that Jordan Wicks did not go on the injured list and came back and pitched on Friday night and threw three scoreless Innings and looked just fine. 

DJ Herz was put on the development list this week and he might miss one start. The thing about DJ is he’s thrown the same pitches all year. He told me early in the year that he was on “lockdown” and that meant he wasn’t to add or subtract anything to his arsenal. I doubt if anything happens in the next two weeks other than just skipping a start. He will work this winter to make a few adjustments. I am not too concerned. In getting to know him the last 13 months, he’s going to outwork everyone this winter to be ready for opening day of 2023.

PCA Press

A few weeks ago, I commented in a post about the career path for Pete Crow-Armstrong next year. 

“He should begin at Double-A next year. Part of me is questioning whether he’s going to need Triple-A if he’s destroying Southern League pitching.”

I even commented on Twitter that he could be up next year. Two articles came out this week, one of Cubs Insider and one on Bleacher Nation that echoed those sentiments. For those of you just watching PCA on TV, you can kind of get a sense of how good he is. But I don’t think it really sinks in until you’re actually there watching him. I’ve seen him work on some things in the cage before a game and he carries right over. He’s maturing quite a bit as the season has gone on and it’s been pretty cool to watch. It’s not like an evolutionary process, he’s just making better decisions as the year goes on. The kid constantly talks baseball with Owen Caissie about how pitchers are trying to get him out. His ascension through the system is going to be the least surprising thing in 2023.

Baseball America Plaudits 

Baseball America handed out their best tools awards for each of the affiliated minor leagues. Several Cubs won awards in each league. There were a few surprises. Let’s take a look at each league.

Southern League

Best power – Alexander Canario 

Best Defensive 1B – Bryce Ball

Best Defensive 2B – Chase Strumpf

I was a little stunned to see Bryce Ball and Chase Strumpf to get the defensive awards. I really like Chase at third base but he took home the second base award where he played most of the summer once Jake Slaughter arrived. Then I thought about it for a minute and realized that it is only an 8 team league, but good for Chase and Bryce because they have improved quite a bit in the field.

Midwest League

Best Fastball – Daniel Palencia 

Best Defensive OF – PCA 

They are no shockers here. I would not have been surprised to see Owen Caissie win best arm had they had that award. He just keeps getting stronger out in the field as the year goes on.

Carolina League

Best Defensive OF – PCA 

Best Changeup – Luis Devers

This was a little surprising to me as both players have been up in South Bend for quite a while. PCA went up at the end of May and Devers has been there since the beginning of July.

Horton Deja Vu

The Athletic occasionally does some prospect stuff from time to time and this week they went behind the scenes a little bit on how the Cubs came to draft Cade Horton. Unfortunately, Greg Huss and I knew that from before and you should’ve too if you would’ve read Greg Zumach‘s behind the scenes article a couple days after the draft.

International Free Agency Silence

There are just four months until January 15 when teams can begin signing new international free agents under a new bonus pool. Right now, there’s just a lot of silence on that front. Part of it might’ve been the fact that the CBA issue was not resolved until a few weeks ago. But neither Ben Badler or Jesse Sanchez has written up anything pertaining to who has been linked to who or even a top 30 or 50 list, which they normally do a few months ahead of the signing date. When I hear something, I’m going let you know

Pictures of the Week

Stephanie Lynn continues to roll out pictures from her trip to Myrtle Beach and I am enjoying every single one of them. She did a great job capturing a lot of the new guys that have come up in the second half from the draft and the Arizona Complex League. Here’s some more pictures.

Twitter Absence 

As some of you may have noticed, I have really toned down my presence on Twitter. Part of that is I teach from 8:15 AM to 2:22 PM every day of the week. I don’t have a lot of time during the school day to hop on Twitter. If I did, I’d probably not be a good teacher.

Coming Up on North Side Bound

Tomorrow will be the next to last “Breakdown” of the year as we look at the poll of the week and also the number one thing that each affiliate had going this year. On Wednesday, 14th round pick Shane Marshall will get profiled and on Saturday it will be Haydn McGeary. Other than that, I’m not really sure what I got going on. The other guys have a couple things in the works and hopefully will see them get something out about what they’ve been thinking or researching.

Jam of the Week

I’ll just leave this here.