Yes, It is a Sunday night and “The Breakdown” is about 12 hours early. With our prospect list extravaganza starting tomorrow, we did not want anything to get in the way of those articles the next three days except for breaking news.

It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow at North Side Bound. Sometime around 7 to 8 AM, Greg Huss will be releasing his midseason top Cubs prospect list. That should be exciting and we will continue to do that every day this week. Because of the July 4 holiday next week, there are no minor league games tomorrow, so Tuesday transactions will be on Wednesday this week. I will have my top Cubs list Tuesday and Greg Zumach will have his on Wednesday.

I am not doing a review of the week, rather I am going to review first half with something I like to call “one sentence summaries.” Trying to recap something in just one sentence is fun and it’s also challenging to get everything you need in that one blurb.

Let’s get started!

Iowa Cubs

First half review: This team had its ups and downs, but I was really surprised at how well this team could score runs in bunches and they are now in position to get in the playoffs in back-to-back years.

Biggest surprise:  That would have to be the dominant first half of Jared Young as he hit for power and average and is just waiting for an opportunity either in Chicago or another team.

Biggest disappointment: At first, I wanted to say the pitching has not been up to snuff, but it would definitely be the injury to Brennan Davis, as we all thought he was healthy heading into the season.

Tennessee Smokies

First half review: They fell short of a playoff spot, but they also can compete for one again in the second half, and hopefully they won’t lose too many players to Iowa in order to compete for said spot.

Biggest surprise: I’m going to go with Luis Vazquez as for just for how dominant the bat was in the first half as he really took my breath away at times.

Biggest disappointment. I expected them to be in the playoffs as they had quite a few guys who won at every level they’ve been at including some guys from last year’s South Bend squad.

South Bend 

First half review: They got off to a great start and then lost a few players to Tennessee and they just did not recover at the plate, but the pitching was just outstanding the first half.

Biggest surprise: I know that’s going to sound strange, but the bullpen has been much better than anticipated, especially the performance of Jarod Wright and, believe it or not, Didier Vargas, who has used his curveball to actually mystify Midwest League hitters, especially in the second half of the first half.

Biggest disappointment: The offense crumbled after McGeary, Beesley, and DJ Artist left.

Myrtle Beach

First half review: This team started to put things together in the middle of May as they went on a tear and Buddy Bailey should be applauded for his helping them put it all together in both pitching and hitting development. 

Biggest surprise: The fact that this team won the first half title is the biggest surprise of the first half because heading into the year, I wondered just exactly what roles each of the pitchers were going to have, and it was a team of hitters who underachieved in Mesa last year.

Biggest disappointment: Yeah, there’s not really one as this team exceeded any and all expectations.

Cards of the Week

Hitter of the week

Jared Young of Iowa had himself a week. He hit .360 with a .407 OBP while cranking out 3 HRs and driving in 8. All he needs is a 40-man spot and a chance.

Starting Pitcher of the Week

Cade Horton took this for the second time in June. This week, 5 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 6 Ks.

Reliever of the Week

Cam Sanders gets this week’s nod as he came off the Development and dominated with 6 Ks in 2.2 IP. One of those innings missed being an immaculate inning by one ball. Good for Cam!

Affiliate of the week

Iowa went 4-2 this week and surged back into first place in the International League West Division.