Ben Brown – Pic by the Iowa Cubs

I’m not sure what happened to the first two weeks of June. It was a busy week with all seven minor-league squads playing. I also took a trip to Cedar Rapids for a few days to see South Bend play. And I finally finished cleaning out my basement, something I wanted to do for several years. Needless to say, Goodwill got several donations. 

In just four days, the first half of the minor league season will be over. It feels like it just started, and it does this every year.  As a result, we should start to see a lot of big names move once teams clinch a playoff spot or are eliminated. We should see a few on Tuesday this week and then a boat load next week.

Poll of the Week

The Futures Game takes place in three weeks and so does the MLB Draft. The other day I picked four guys to possibly represent the Cubs in the game, and the results were a little close and surprising.

Good News of the Week

He’s played in a couple of rehab games. No hits yet, but he got hit by a pitch, ran the bases, and scored from second.

Mock Drafts Aplenty

Let’s just say that mock draft season went into full gear. I already talked about mocks from Prospects Live, Baseball, America, and MLB Pipeline before. Now that we are exactly 3 weeks away, the prognosticators have taken it to a new level.

MLB Pipeline is coming out with one mock a week. Last week it was Jonathan Mayo’s turn, this week Jim Callis had a go atanother mock. Callis picked Arjun Nimmala, a high school shortstop, going to the Cubs. Callis was not the only one to pick Nimmala for the Cubs. Joe Doyle, formally of Prospects Live and now if Future Stars Series, had a detailed analysis of the young high school shortstop. He said:

The Cubs have been no strangers to risk, and Nimmala might carry more of it than any prep in this class. But when you envision a potential big league shortstop with 30-HR upside, you might as well shoot for the moon and aim to land that organization cornerstone.

In 2022, the Cubs selected Cade Horton. He came with a ton of risk, but the ace-upside was there. There’s plenty of good talent left on the board here, but for our money, Nimmala shouldn’t get past Chicago.

The Cubs are at an interesting crossroads. It’s hard to totally know if they’re in a competitive window or if they’re looking to stay relevant each year with a bevy of moves to buoy the big league club. The farm is getting close to breaking through and Nimmala would slot in nicely with Pete Crow-Armstrong as a future pillar in the Windy City.

But not everybody agreed. CBS Sports, on the other hand, had Matt Shaw from the University of Maryland going to the Cubs at 13. The Sporting News had the Cubs taking Jacob Gonzalez, who is a guy I really like that I didn’t think he would fall to the Cubs.

Meanwhile, Kylie, McDaniel of ESPN had the Cubs taking prep pitcher Noble Meyer, who could be a future top of the rotation arm for the cups. I like Meyer a lot, I just think there are better options available, especially college arms and college bats at that spot. Still, here is what McDaniel said about Meyer, and who else the Cubs might take in their strategic plan:

I‘ve heard the Cubs linked to prep infielder Kevin McGonigle and this is probably the top spot where Florida RHP Hurston Waldrep is in play (who has some similarities to Chicago’s first rounder last year, Cade Horton). Some scouts also think Tommy Troy and Shaw are targets here. Meyer, however, has one of the best collection of pitcher traits in recent memory, with other recent comps to him going at least this high. He has true frontline potential but isn’t as polished at this stage as some of the other elite prep arms that have traits of that caliber: Mick Abel, Andrew Painter, Jackson Jobe and Dylan Lesko.

Video of the Week

Cards of the Week

I made all of these but I took two of the pics, Devers and Opitz, while the Smokies and Larry Kave took the other two.

Tweet of the Week – Rated PG-13

Coming Up Next Week

Later this afternoon, I will have my recap of the Dominican Summer League action. I’ll be back with “The Breakdown” tomorrow where I’m going to examine some numbers for the month of June. I’ll also look at the playoff races for Myrtle Beach and Tennessee. And of course he’ll pick the players of the week which I have not even started looking at.

On Tuesday, there should be several transactions since South Bend has been eliminated. Tennessee, and Myrtle Beach are going to have to wait for some of their guys to move until they either clinch a spot or are eliminated. On Wednesday and Thursday, I’m going to take a look at a couple of prospect updates. I haven’t decided the order yet, but DJ Herz will be one, Bryce Windham will be the other, and I may take a look at Manny Espinoza, Connor Noland, and Brandon Birdsell. Those are coming, it’s not a question of if, but when. I’ll also have what should be some top storylines for the second half. Those should come out on Friday.

Jam of the Week

I have always loved the slow build of this song and that haunting melody. Phil Collins does a great job of capturing the essence of Peter Gabriel’s original tension.