Cole Roederer – Picture by Todd Johnson
I’m not sure what you would call this week.
There was no baseball being played except in Australia where Cole Roederer is playing for the Canberra Cavalry and hitting just above .250 with two home runs and four RBI with a .764 OPS heading into the overnight game.
But most of the information this week was just a parade of free agent and trade speculation across the Internet.
Here at North Side Bound…
We began putting out our prospect lists for 2023. I put mine out on Tuesday while Greg Huss followed up on Wednesday. Greg Zumach will put his out tomorrow and I will follow up with our combined list on Tuesday this week. We also covered the trade of Alfredo Zarraga, who pitched at Myrtle Beach and South Bend this year, to Tampa for utility player Miles Mastrobuoni, brother a former Cubs catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni.
The big news of the week was about 40-man roster. On the 15th, Kevin Alcantara, Ryan Jensen, Brennan Davis, and Ben Brown were all selected by the Cubs and placed on the 40-man to avoid losing them in the Rule Five Draft. And then on Friday, the Cubs released Brailyn Marquez and Alexander Vizcaíno from the 40 man. After Friday night, the Cubs had 37 players on the 40-man roster.
Baseball America also released their draft grades this week for the Cubs 2022 draft class. A few weeks ago, I tried tackling who I thought they would pick for each of those spots and I compared them yesterday if you missed it.
If you didn’t see Greg Huss’ little stats discussion on OPS, check it out here.
Cubs PR on Prospects Gets Rolling
The Cubs’ public relations staff is doing a great service this winter. At the end of the 2022 season, they brought in several of the Cubs top young prospects for the final weekend series of the year at home. In doing so, they sort of got them acclimated to the ball park and what it’s like in the neighborhood. In addition, they also get to sit down with each player and talk. This week they begin releasing individual player tapes which are sort of a “get to know you“ video and they just do a fantastic job. First up is Pete Crow-Armstrong
In Other News
Another day, another shout out to Mervis
Matt Mervis was named one of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League. He came in at number 23. It’ll be interesting to see where the big publications place him on their top Cubs lists. I had him at number five while Greg Huss had him at number 12 and Zumach will have him in the top ten tomorrow. You will have to wait and see just exactly where tomorrow.
Prospect List Season
We are also getting close to our first prospect list of the year. Baseball America started releasing the top 10 prospects for 2023 this week. They have not done the Cubs yet but they’re getting close.
Draft Player Movement Already Beginning
The draft is still eight months away, but Baseball America updated the rankings a little bit and published what may be a good place to start looking at players over Thanksgiving break and that is a compendium of players who are moving up the draft rankings.
Coming Up Next Week on North Side Bound
Monday – Greg Zumach’s Top Cubs Prospect List
Tuesday – North Side Bound combined list
Wednesday – Position Ranking Series – Catchers
I was struggling about what to do my off-season series on this winter. At one point about a week ago I had given up thinking about what to do now. On Friday night, I was driving home from something and in the darkness of the backroads of northern Illinois, inspiration hit me. I’m going to redo a series called the “Five Series” where I will talk about five things about a particular topic. It could be a look at a prospect, an affiliate, possibly a coach, a broadcaster or two, or or even a trend within the system. That will kick off on Friday the 25th, the day after Thanksgiving.
We might even have a mailbag or two this week. We will see if we can all three get together to get one done.
Jam of the Week
The Counting Crows are just an amazing live band of musicians. They’ve also been known to do a cover or two and I just love how they countrified Madonna’s “Borderline.” It brings out a little bit more urgency in this song. Check it out!