Kevin Alcantara – Picture by Todd Johnson

It was a busy day here at NSB as FanGraphs published their top Cubs prospect list and the list was….how shall I say this….strange. There were guys all over the place never seen before and somehow Mervis was in the 40s. We also had a little in depth look at the waves of international pitchers flooding the lower parts of the system. 

As for the games today…there were just four.

Same Inning Dingers of the Day

Things kicked off in Tennessee with DJ Herz taking the ball to start the game. After he gave up a run in the 3rd, the Smokies scorched the Barons for 5 in the bottom of the fourth. It started with a Haydn McGeary 2 run shot and then Jordan Nwogu hit a three run shot to make it 5-1.

Starting Pitcher of the Day

As for DJ, he went five innings and allowed just that one run. Along the way, he struck out 6. That wins today’s accolades.

The Smokies were rolling along until 2 errors opened the floodgates for the Barons to pour through to make it 5-4 after DJ left. Porter Hodge then threw two scoreless and Danis Correa got the save by shutting the Barons down in the ninth for the 5-4 win.

Hitter of the Day

In South Bend, Connor Noland had a rough start giving up 5 runs in the first two innings. But the Cubs fought back. In the fifth, Kevin Alcantara hit a grand slam to tie the game. It was his second dinger of the night.

Somehow, Noland, who gave up 5 in the first 2 frames, saved the bullpen and went six innings. He gave up 9 hits, but he ate up 2/3 of the game. As usual, the bullpen struggled to keep it close in the 8th and 9th as Peoria won 12-5. Alcantara finished 2-for-5 on the day with all 5 RBI. James Triantos had 2 hits on the day and Yohendrick Pinango had 3.0

Player Most Likely to Be Promoted After PCA Award

As for the Birds, they fell behind quickly in the second, but took the lead in the fifth on a Pedro Ramirez grand slam. Nick Hull gave up 3 runs in 4.1 innings but struck out 5. Then, with the score 4-3, Parker Chavers went yard to give the Pelicans a two run cushion. Yeah, he needs to be in South Bend….yesterday.

As for the rest of the game, Brailyn Marquez was called into the game in the seventh. He made it through 2 innings for the first time and gave up an unearned run while striking out 2.

Reliever of the Day

Scott Kobos threw 1.2 frames in his rehab outing and struck 4 while getting the save for Myrtle Beach in a 5-4 win.

Initially A Pitcher’s Duel in Iowa

Iowa threw Hayden Wesneski against St. Paul and he was fantastic in 3 scoreless innings. He struck out 6 and allowed just 2 hits. When he left the game, it was 0-0. After Wesneski left, Riley Martin continued to show why he is close to being ready for Chicago. 2 innings, 2 Ks. It remained scoreless for the first six innings.

However, the Iowa bullpen melted down in the seventh as they gave up four runs to the Saints and lost 4-1.

I will be back in the morning with some final draft thoughts about who the Cubs should select. Tip of the Day…You will like it.

My mini-Prospectalooza wrapped up today after 3 days and 11 profiles and updates of some of the lower level players in the Cubs system. Here are links to all 11.

Jefferson Rojas

Leonel Espinoza

Angel Gonzalez

Kenyi Perez 

Rafael Morel   

Luis Rujano   

Reivaj Garcia   

Ismael Mena   

Alexis Hernandez

Anderson Suriel

Yovanny Cabrera