Moises Ballesteros – Picture by Todd Johnson
Yesterday, we saw a flurry of official moves as South Bend officially announced the promotions of Brody McCullough and Angel Gonzalez to the high A affiliate. We also saw Kenyi Perez get promoted to Myrtle Beach, and Stephen Gonsalves was given a rehab assignment to the Pelicans. McCullough had actually been in Beloit for a couple of days with South Bend until the announcement was officially made. Gonzalez actually arrived Friday night.
Mock Drafts Everywhere
With just a week to go (I know that sounds strange) to the MLB Draft, I took a little time Saturday morning and checked out. Just exactly what most major publications had in store for the Cubs at number 13. The name that kept popping up was Arjun Nimmala, a high school shortstop from Florida. Other names included prep pitcher Noble Meyer, Florida’s Hurston Waldrup, Mississippi’s Jacob Gonzalez, prep infielder Colin Houck, and Maryland’s Matt Shaw.
Nimmala is a good looking prospect who has plenty of room to fill out and the potential for power. One thing that makes him a little more attractive than other players from the high school ranks is that he is a year younger. He won’t turn 18 until October. That, and his swing generates a lot of power.
This year, I’ve been covering the Dominican Summer League rookie teams while Rich Biesterfeld has been doing Mesa. But there are a couple of players I wanted to give shout outs to today. One is outfielder Leonel Espinoza, who is just hitting the cover off the baseball. He was the Dominican Summer League’s first player of the week and then was quickly promoted to Arizona where he’s continued raking. Between the two affiliates, he’s hit .452 in the month of June with a .540 on base percentage and a 1.230 OPS.
The other guy has really pitched well and will be debuting for Myrtle Beach very soon is Kenyi Perez. He was assigned to Myrtle Beach, but then missed the first two months of the season and has pitched lights out in Arizona on a rehab assignment. I think we could see some sort of development path for Perez that is similar to that of Michael Arias. Perez has an extremely live arm as he had a 1.00 ERA in nine innings of work in Mesa with 14 strikeouts and a batting average against .156.
Cards of the Week
Pictures of the Week on the Road
Here are just a few I took up in Beloit. I have gone to every game in the series so far.
Prospect List Season and FanGraphs
I know this is going to sound weird, but the winter prospect list season is just about closed. We’ve been waiting for FanGraphs to finish their Cubs list as they are down to five left. I would expect to see the Cubs list shortly after the draft just because that’s how the cookie crumble sometimes. Even though it it is highly likely that new list won’t contain the Cubs top pick from next Sunday.
Coming up next Week on North Side Bound
We published five prospect list in the last week, and it was a smashing success! This next week is going to be just as exciting as we have seven prospect profiles and updates (for now) just waiting for you to check out. We have articles coming on Jefferson Rojas, Luis Rujano, Leonel Espinoza, Anderson Suriel, Rafael Morel, Ismael Mena, and Alexis Hernandez. One will drop in the morning, the other at 2 pm Central Wednesday through Saturday. Who knows, Kenyi Perez or Drew Gray could get some pub, too! Not sure about this week. but definitely the week after. I also have something about Tennessee post-PCA cooking, too!
As well, we will most certainly have draft content as both Greg Zumach and I get ready for the draft. We will actually be live on next Sunday and Rich Biesterfeld is going to join us to discuss going to the draft combine. That night is going to be a lot of fun because there’s no clear-cut consensus for the Cubs at 13!
I also have a little in-depth piece, coming out about the Cubs recent success in developing international pitching in the lower parts of the minors. I got to interview a couple of coaches this week about the topic. So, once the transcriptions are done, it will be out.
Jam of the Week
I was on a Steely Dan and Supertramp kick for a while. Then early in the week, I was nonstop Foo Fighters. By the end of the week, Queens of the Stone Age took over my listening time for a time before I shifted to Them Crooked Vultures, which is Josh Homme from QOTSA, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, and John Paul Jones of Zeppelin. It is my top 10 favorite records.