Matt Mervis, Brennen Davis, Owen Caissie, and BJ Murray – Picture by Rich Biesterfeld

So much for that season. With the minor league season complete, the Major League club ended their season on Wednesday afternoon. This week, both Sean Newcomb and Jackson Frazier selected free agency. There will be more MiLB free agents to come. 

Things should be pretty quiet over the next month until the World Series comes to an end. After the last out of the series, all hell is going to break loose as teams begin major league free agency, minor league free agency, assigning guys for the 40-man and next thing you know the winter meetings will take place, the Rule Five Draft will go down and the draft lottery will happen for the first time. Oh, and let’s not forget about trades. But for now, there’s a little peace and solitude to the ending of the year.

However, there’s still baseball being played out in Arizona as fall instructs are taking place along with the Arizona Fall League.

The AFL began on Monday night for the Mesa Solar Sox. Bailey Horn, Zac Leigh, and Riley Martin all saw action in game one. Both Horn and Martin threw scoreless outings and Zac Leigh got roughed up a little. On Tuesday, Brennen Davis hit a home run while Matt Mervis had a double and Owen Caissie had a two run double that got everybody a free sandwich.

On Wednesday, Sheldon Reed threw 1.1 scoreless innings with one K and Brennen Davis had a double. However, Thursday was not the kind of night to write about as Mervis, Caissie, and BJ Murray went a combined 0-for-11 while Riley Martin had a rough night on the mound but Bailey Horn continued to shine.

On Friday. Brennen Davis went 1-for-4 with a single while Zac Leigh went 2 innings and struck out 3 and did not allow a run! Good for Zac!

On Saturday night, it was an explosive night as both Mervis and Brennen went yard, Owen Caissie had a double. For the week, Davis hit .294 while Mervis hit just .167. Owen Caissie only managed a .154 average this week and BJ Murray did not have a hit in his only game. On the mound, Bailey Horn had a 0.00 ERA in two games and Sheldon Reed was at 0.00 in 1. Riley Martin’s was at 7.71 and Zac Leigh was at 6.75, both after two outings.

For the week, the octet went…

Instructs Action

Arizona Phil has been a little stingy with his reports this week. But on Tuesday, the young Cubs played an intra-squad game and Max Bain pitched well, as he should, against the young Cubs. I have not talked to Max about what he is working on out in Arizona. He went on the development list the last two months after being turned into a reliever. Cristian Hernandez had a good day on Tuesday as did Andy Garriola as both had some RBI. 

The name that popped out for Tuesday’s action was Yoendris Gonzalez who threw 2.2 scoreless innings in relief. The name sounded unfamiliar. When I looked up his stats for the year, he had made three starts in the DSL but only thrown a combined four innings. And he only pitched in August, the fact that he threw 2.2 innings in relief on Tuesday was a bit of a head scratcher. But let’s keep an eye on him this fall. 

On Friday, SS Jefferson Rojas cranked a two-run homer. Andy Garriola also went 2-for-2 while Rafael Morel had three singles. As well, Luis Rujano debuted while Nick Hull is pushing the boundaries of whether he could possibly start at South Bend because of his dominance this fall as he threw three scoreless again. Brandon Birdsell threw 2.1 IP while Mason McGwire threw another frame without allowing a run.

Late Friday night, Phil published some velocity readings for the week. Most were decent but seeing Max Bain back up to 97 was good and seeing Mason McGwire at 94 was the biggest surprise. That should play up his splitter. McAvene at 92 is a little concerning, but maybe Michael is working on something else.

Pictures of the Week

As a bug Zac Leigh and Sheldon Reed supporter, I’m going to role with these John Antonoff shots!

Other News

Ezequiel Pagan is going to play for team Puerto Rico in the Under 23 World Championships in Taiwan this winter! Very cool!

Alexander Canario will be playing winter ball in the Dominican in case you were wondering.

MLB Pipeline named Matt Mervis and Luis Devers as the Cubs Player and Pitcher of the Year. You get a real sense of how special his 2022 season was when they put his combined stats together at three levels.

Mervis shook off a rough pro debut last year to bat .309/.379/.605 with 36 homers in 137 games while advancing from High-A to Triple-A. He led the Minors with 78 extra-base hits, 310 total bases and 119 RBIs while also ranking second in doubles (40), third in homers, fifth in slugging and eighth in OPS (.984).

Over at Prospects Live,, Trevor Hooth named Daniel Palencia one of his Under the Radar Prospects to Watch. He said: 

It’s hard not to like pitchers who can regularly touch triple digits. Last year he was on this list because of the big velocity and chance to make an impact in the bullpen. That really hasn’t changed, but there were big strides made between last year and this year that make me believe his ceiling has raised from low leverage to potentially high leverage. The 100+ MPH fastballs remain, but what really jumps out is more consistency with his offspeed. His slider breaks on two planes and his changeup has very nice armside fade to it. What struck me about those offerings was the usage. There were a few outings where he would pitch backwards by getting ahead with the offspeed and coming back with the 70-grade fastball. There are still command questions in a big way, but the stuff is extremely fun. 

Baseball America Level All-Stars 

Three Cub prospects made Baseball America’s All-Star Teams at 3 separate levels. DJ Herz made the High-A team for his time at South Bend and Luis Devers did the same at Low-A for Myrtle Beach. In addition, Pedro Ramirez was a BA All-Star for his work in the Arizona Complex League. The absence of PCA, Mervis, Canario, and Slaughter was a bit disconcerting, but I will live since all four split time at multiple levels, hence the exclusion.

Draft Odds

With the final game complete, the odds were established for the Cubs to get the top pick in the draft at 1.10%. Otherwise, it looks like they’re probably going to pick somewhere around the 12 spot. For now, the draft lottery will be held in the winter meetings on December 5 or 6.

Meanwhile, Here at North Side Bound….

Yesterday was really strange. It was the first day in six months that I did not write a post. You probably should get used to that in the next few weeks. I will be releasing content about 4-5 days a week this month and about 3-4 next month. I use the offseason to recharge too!,

This week is affiliate review week here at North Side Bound. On Monday, Myrtle Beach’s year will be profiled while Tuesday is going to detail South Bend’s championship season. Wednesday, Tennessee gets examined and on Friday, Iowa gets analyzed. Week after next will find you reading some storylines about what should be happening in 2023 in regards to hitting, starting pitching, relievers, the complex leagues, and the draft.

Jam of the Week

I like quirky artists, especially extremely talented ones like Fiona Apple covering a Beatles’ song.