This upcoming week is going to be fun as pitchers and catchers report for major league camp. Minor league spring training does not begin until the first week in March. Still, there are a lot of pictures and videos coming out of Mesa. We’re getting to see some guys who missed all of last year working out as well as some batting practice displays. It’s going to be a fun upcoming week.

As for news this past week, there were a lot of bits and pieces of prospect lists and some news from around the minors.

Let’s get started.

The week began with Keith Law of The Athletic pumping out his top Cubs prospect list. Later that day, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN released his list and they could not have been more different. Law’s list was filled with head scratching rankings whereas McDaniel’s’ came across as much more thoughtful and analytic and not so random. Click on their names to see our reviews.

Prospect List Standings

As most of you know, I track the top 10 players on each list and award them points based on the rankings. Most of the major lists have come out, and there are only three left – MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs, and Marquee Sports Network. Here are the top 10 prospects after six lists.

1. Pete Crow Armstrong, 60  points.
2. Kevin Alcântara, 47 points.
3. Brennen Davis, 42  points.
4. Hayden Wesneski, 35 points.
5. Cade, Horton, 24 points.
6. Matt Mervis, 20.5 points.
7. Jordan Wicks, 20 points.
8. Owen Caissie, 19.5 points.
9. Cristian Hernandez, 19 points.
10. James Triantos, 13 points.

Just missed – Ben Brown is close with 9.

So what we’re seeing is definitely a clear-cut grouping of players. There is the top three and then sort of Wesneski in his own tier and then a large grouping of guys who will probably land in that 6 to 10 range. There are an additional five players not listed after Brown who have received prospect points by being named on a list including Caleb Killian, Miguel Amaya, and Alexander Canario. We could see this shake out quite differently with a third of the points to go.

MLB Pipeline also announced that they will be publishing their top Cubs list on March 1. As for when Lance Brozdowski of Marquee puts his out or when FanGraphs drops their list is completely up in the air. There’s been times the past few years were FanGraphs waited until the draft. But then again, last off-season they had it out in December. I just don’t think they have a lot of people working there now to get it done in a timely fashion.

MLB Pipeline also did an article this week where they predicted who the number one prospect was going to be for each team in the year 2025. They chose Cristian Hernandez for the Cubs. I would have gone with Fernando Cruz…who is not even a Cub yet.

Who is Coaching Where

Finally, coaching assignments were dropped this week. All four skippers are staying put from last year, which is the first time that’s happened in a while. There are a few changes as Clayton Mortensen will be joining South Bend as their pitching coach, Tony Cougoule, who’s been at South Bend the past two seasons, will be in charge of the pitch lab in Arizona. As well, Rachel Folden and Steven Pollakov will be in charge of hitting in the MiLB system as they were both given the title of coordinator.

South Bend’s YouTube Channel 

Announcers, Max Thoma and Brendan King have been putting out a fun series this winter called “Cubbie Corner.” This week was pretty cool and timely as they did a run an interview they did with the skipper Lance Rymel during the Convention. In addition, they talked about several things happening with the Cubs’ High-A affiliate, this off-season.

Transaction news

We finally got some Yonathan Perlaza news this week as it was announced he was a non-roster invitee to spring training. Well, that’s great for him! I’m still a little unsure of his contract status. It was thought that he would be a minor league free agent after last season. But he has not signed with another team nor have the Cubs announced he has signed with them. So his MILB page says he is a non-roster invitee to the Cubs. It doesn’t say that he signed with the Cubs. This might just be a technicality or maybe he’s still out there floating around. Some clarification is needed.

Cards of the Week

I finally got around to making about baseball cards yesterday. They all came from pics by our own Stephanie Lynn. Here are just four of them!

Dinger  of the Week 

That belongs to Fabian Pertuz who cranks one out for Columbia this week to help his team win a game

Pics of the Week

It was good to see our own Rich Biesterfeld getting some snaps of Derek Casey who looks like he is going to be ready to go to start the 2023 season after missing the last year and a half.

Video of the Week

Kevin Alcântara in slow motion is everything that we need today.

Coming Up Next Week on North Side Bound

The final affiliate sneak peek will be out tomorrow as I look at the Pelican’s infield. Greg Zumach is putting the finishing touches on his first Mock Draft for the entire first round. I will be answering some mailbox questions on my own this week. Greg Huss will be releasing his next episode of Cubs on Deck on Tuesday morning. You can always find that on our YouTube Page. The Scholastic Bowl team I coach begins conference play this week and that will last three weeks with 7 meets in 21 days. For you, though, I do have some prewritten things about spring training that are ready to roll. I will continue doing “The Weekly” as it will keep me focused on the latest news.

Jam of the Week

I cannot get Polyphia out of my head. This instrumental band is just amazing! Here is one from a few years ago called G.O.A.T.