There are a lot of things to be excited about this week. We officially hit the “less than a month ago until the draft” mark. Both complex leagues began play and we put out previews of the squads in the Dominican and Arizona. I am heading to Cedar Rapids on Tuesday for a couple of days to watch South Bend play and take some pictures. Alexander Canario was seen running this week. And we have just two weeks left in the first half of the minor-league season with all four full season affiliates right in the thick of a playoff race.

Let’s get to the news of the week!

Earlier this week on North Side Bound, Greg Zumach and I posted our 10 round Cubs Mark draft. And we were not the only ones. Baseball America released their third mock draft. They had the Cubs taking left-handed prep pitcher Tommy White, who is a big 6‘,5“ lefty pitcher.

In addition, Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline released his first mock draft.. He had the Cubs taking Mississippi shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, which would be amazing for the Cubs! He is slated to go in the top 10. But as I discussed several times this spring, the five teams in front of the Cubs are known for being cheapskates.

It’s mostly college names here right now, with Gonzalez, Bradfield and Matt Shaw coming up among the hitters. Florida’s Hursten Waldrep has been pitching better of late, so don’t be shocked if he starts floating up to around this part and there was a little buzz that should the Cubs turn to the high school ranks, they do like Colt Emerson.

Baseball America was busy this week. They also put out an article about 10 hitting prospects with good underlying data and the Cubs put two names on that list – Owen Caissie and Moises Ballesteros. 

Over at MLB Pipeline, Jordan Bastian wrote about the possibility of moving Ben Brown to the pen to get him to Chicago. Not sure it will happen, but we’ll see. He already has a 40-man spot.

MLB Pipeline also put out an article about each team’s best prospect in rookie ball. For the Cubs, they picked Derniche Valdez over Adan Sanchez, who would have been my choice.

After the Cubs signed Valdez for $2.8 million in January, vice president of international scouting Louie Eljaua said Valdez could grow into a Starlin Castro build and provide Hanley Ramirez production. He’s a pure hitter with advanced bat-to-ball skills and should be able to remain at shortstop.

Promotion of the Week

It is not often we see an 18-year-old playing in Low-A. We will for the second half as Jefferson Rojas got the bump. In addition, Baseball America called Rojas one of the top young prospects to watch this summer.

Good Sign of the Week

I cannot wait to see Gray reunited with HS teammate Jackson Ferris in Myrtle Beach soon. The issue is going to be how cautious the Cubs are with Gray who is coming off of TJS. We probably won’t see the reunion until early to mid July at the soonest.

Stat of the Week

3 HR, 9 RBI .391 average, .423 OBP, .913 slugging, 1.336 OPS

Those are Moises Ballesteros stats away from Myrtle Beach through 2 ABs on Friday NIght.

Hot Take of the week

Yeah, I like me some Carlos Garcia, ever since he was signed.

Cards of the Week

Coming Up at North Side Bound

Later today, I will drop the Dominican Summer League Recap for week one. At some point, today or tomorrow, Rich Biesterfeld will do the same for Arizona. The Breakdown will be out tomorrow and on Tuesday, we will cover any moves made. The latest episode of Cubs on Deck will also drop on Tuesday. As mentioned above, I will be in Cedar Rapids with South Bend for a couple of days this week. I do have some draft grades coming up as well as some thoughts on Brody McCullough, Haydn McGeary, and possibly Kevin Alcantara’s progress,

Jam of the Week

I have always loved this song. It is really hard to top the voice of Paul Carrack. When the song originally came out, I didn’t know the “Mike” in Mike + the Mechanics was Mike Rutherford from Genesis until I saw the video. That was fun to find out!