This past week has just been weird. First, I was on spring break all week. Second, the minor league season began on Friday when the Iowa Cubs got things started. And I don’t think I was mentally ready for that. Maybe emotionally, but it was just weird going from nothing to something in what seemed like a fairly quick time. Unfortunately, a storm ripped through northern Illinois Friday night and I only got to see the first inning on Friday. The only damage to our house was my mailbox.
And if I found that surprising, things will get more hectic on Thursday and Friday this next week as Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend all begin play. I will probably have a slideshow of pictures at some point next weekend of the newest South Bend Cubs if I don’t freeze my rear end off in Davenport next weekend. I’m excited to see Kevin Alcantara and whoever else is suiting up for the Cubs High-A affiliate.
Extravaganza Recap and Upcoming Stuff
North Side Bound just wrapped up with week two of our pre-season extravaganza. This week we took a look at who we thought would be the Hitter of the Year, the Starting Pitcher of the Year, the Reliever of the Year, and the Comeback Player of the Year. In addition, Greg Zumach looked back at the 2020 Draft and he and I looked ahead to the 2023 draft yesterday with a 5 round mock draft. The Iowa Cubs were also previewed two days ago. Tomorrow, Greg Huss will take a look at the Smokies and on Tuesday Greg Zumach will take a look at South Bend. I will break down Myrtle Beach‘s roster on Wednesday and on Thursday, we will have our Breakout Player of the Year predictions. That last post could have four or five different guys mentioned because there’s about 25 guys who could break out.
News of the Week
The Cubs picked up two new minor-league players this week. One is Carlos Guzman, who was a pitcher from the Detroit Tiger system who the Cubs got an exchange for Zach McKinstry. He is a converted pitcher who’s only been throwing for four years and will probably be at AA. He was vicious in the second half of 2022 with ERAs of 2.28, 2.12 and 0.00 the last three months of the season.
Cubs also picked up left-handed Jack Aldrich, who was a free agent from the Royal system. He pitched mostly at Columbia last year with an ERA just about three. He is strictly a reliever and he was taken in the 20th round of the 2021 draft are two lane and is only 23-years-old.
This week saw Lance Brozdowski of Marquee Sports Network put out the order of his top prospect list but we’re gonna have to wait for a few more days to see his full explanations. He went through his top 20 on “The Road to Wrigley” show and in doing so pretty much ended prospect with season this winter. FanGraphs is still left, but I am not holding my breath whatsoever. There’s some serious issues over there as they’ve only gotten 10 done in five months. It’s going to be a while.
Cade Horton got some love in this latest bit from MLB Pipeline. He was selected as the top prospect to debut from the NL Central this year.
Last year saw MLB pay for housing of their minor league players during the season. This year, pay looks like it will almost double for the prospects. The down part of the deal is that the amount of players a club can have during the season will go down from 180 to 165. As for when the deal goes into place, all 3 groups have to approve – the MiLB union, the MLBPA, and the owners.
Tweet of the Week
Dinger of the Week
Video of the Week
The Pelicans’ hype video is lit! You can see all of it below and I suggest you do.
Baseball Cards of the Week
I wasn’t feeling it. I did not want to make cards this year. Then, as soon as I saw action pics of plays in games that mattered, I fired up the old computer and away I went.
Picture of the Week
I love black and white shots of the past – history appears to be frozen in time,
Six Strong Now at NSB
This week saw the debut of Rich Colaizzi as a contributor at North Side Bound. Rich got some thoughts down on our preseason awards all week long. We welcome him and look forward to much more.
Jam of the Week
Wow! It is hard for me to believe that it has been 43 years since the album “Duke” by Genesis came out. That album was my BFF when my family moved from the safe confines of a small town in northern Illinois to a small town in western Illinois. It was a massive culture shock. This album became a calming presence back then and has remained so ever since.