DJ Herz – Pic via Tennessee Smokies

As far as baseball activities go, the next three weeks are going to be extremely busy for me. Starting on Wednesday, I’ll be in Beloit for five out of the six games taking pictures from the dugout and around the field. The next weekend will be the Major League Baseball Draft. That will keep me hopping for three days as well as beginning to write the draft prospect profiles of each player. And then the weekend after the draft, I will be in the Quad Cities for three games. That only leaves a couple weeks of summer and a couple trips to Peoria, again to see South Bend, and then I have to get back to getting ready to teach.

Coming Up This Week at NSB

Starting tomorrow, North Side Bound is going to have five days of prospect lists on this site. Greg Huss will debut his top 40 midseason list tomorrow. I will follow with mine on Tuesday, and Greg Zumach will put his up on Wednesday. On Thursday we will have our cumulative prospect list. The fans of North Side Bound will get their say on Friday with their own list. That should be fun to see those results!

Let’s get to the news from last week…

If you wish it, he will come….

On Sunday night, I went and got a picture of Moises Ballesteros and pasted a South Bend Cubs logo on his batting helmet. Since Myrtle Beach had clinched earlier in the evening, I was pretty confident that he was going to be coming to South Bend fairly soon and, sure enough, he arrived on Tuesday.

The News

It was weird seeing the box score for the complex league team in Mesa this week as both Max Bain and Brailyn Marquez appeared in a game that mattered. It was the first game for Marquez since his major league debut in 2020 that lasted 2/3 of an inning. This time, he threw one scoreless frame and that was it. I did not read any radar reports or heard how fast he was throwing. For Max Bain, he also threw one scoreless inning and struck out two and was reportedly all smiles afterwards after making his 2023 debut. Our own Rich Biesterfield was there to capture both of their returns. How soon they make it back to full season baseball is up in the air.

Over at MLB Pipeline, they published an article about who was the hottest hitting prospect for each team. Of course, Pipeline went with PCA for the Cubs. Here is what they said.

The best defensive player in the Minors is heating up with the bat, hitting .284/.382/.537 with five homers and six steals during his last month in Double-A. Stolen from the Mets in the Javier Báez trade in 2021, he’s on the path to becoming a Gold Glove center fielder with at least 20-20 upside.

Draft News

The College World Series is taking place this weekend between Florida and LSU. There are just a few players that are going to be drafted. Possibly as many as five or six in the first 40 picks. One guy to keep an eye on his Florida pitcher Hurston Waldrep, who could be in play for the Cubs at number 13.

MLB Pipeline has continued alternating mock drafts. This week it was Jonathan Mayo, who started off his article by taking Paul Skenes at number one instead of Dylan Crews. For the Cubs, he had Brayden Taylor of TCU going. Strangely enough, Chase Dollander of Tennessee went at number 14. If he was available for the Cubs, I think would be very hard for them to pass him up, especially thinking that they could tinker with him to get him back to where he was in 2022. 

As for FanGraphs, they updated their top 50 draft board this week and Yohandry Morales of the U (Miami) was sitting in the 13 spot. I would be OK with that. For four months, I have been sitting Brock Wilken of Wake Forest. I am getting a little shaky with that pick in recent days, especially after the combine.

Video of the Week

Haydn McGeary highlights? Don’t have to tell me twice!

Farm System Rankings

Baseball America released their farm system rankings for 2023 and placed the Cubs at 16. They are not that low as I see them more in the 10-12 range. If Horton continues to shove, their ranking goes up, way up.

BA Hot List

Two Cubs also made Baseball America’s Hot List this week. It was cool to see both DJ Herz and Jefferson Rojas get some love.

Jam of the Week

I have been on a Supertramp and Steely Dan kick the past two weeks. So, let’s roll with some Steely Dan and “My Old School.” a great up-tempo song. The video is terrible, but the song in awesome.