The Big News: Eugene won a playoff spot after clinching the division!!! Currently, the team is 25-10. Their first half finishes today. They join South Bend in the postseason. It looks like Arizona and Myrtle Beach have good chances to join them!
ESPN’s Keith Law released his Top 50 prospects and three Cubs made it. Gleyber was ranked the highest at 26, Ian Happ at 27, and Eloy at 29. That’s it. That’s pretty good that the Cubs have three in his top 30. And, I also like the fact that they are bunched up. In making my own list, those three are really hard to separate at this point.
In addition, John Sickels will be releasing his Cubs list shortly, but in his top 185 which came out, Gleyber came in at 24, Ian Happ at 51, Almora-75, Eloy-77, Dylan Cease-99, Underwood-144, de la Cruz-155, and Jeimer-183. That’s a wide range of prospects and a wide range of opinions. There is also Sickel’s, and others, validation that Cease has passed up Duane Underwood and that Oscar de la Cruz has in not far behind. Oscar has been injured most of the year, but he looked outstanding in a rehab start at Eugene. There was also no Billy McKinney, who has been a staple on lists about Cubs prospects. Things are changings and perceptions about Cub prospects are, too.
MLB.com’s Pipeline will be releasing two lists in the next ten days, their Top 100 prospects and the Top 30 per team. Cub fans got a glimpse this week when two things happen. One, Dan Vogelbach was traded, and two, Albert Almora spent his 45th day in the majors and lost his prospect status. In replacing Vogelbach, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo (who do Pipeline’s rankings) selected 17-year-old Jose Albertos and installed him in the #11 spot after Vogelbach’s trade, and then at #10 after the Almora expiration. I imagine when Willson Contreras hits 150 plate appearances that Jose will go to #9 and their list will look quite different after the deadline.
The strange thing about Jose’s insertion is this: He threw 4 IP, struck out 7, and the hit the 60 day DL. He’s had great reviews all year throwing 95-97. John Arguello and Arizona Phil both commented on him from time to time. His unofficial stats from extended spring were as follows:
4.50 ERA – 1.92 WHIP – .292 OppBA
12.0 IP, 14 H, 6 R (6 ER), 9 BB, 20 K, 1 HBP, 0 HR, 2 WP, 2 GIDP, 10/4 GO/AO, 61% strikes, 19.4 PITCHES-PER-INNING
At 17, I would take that. The most interesting stat is the 20 strikeouts in just 12 IP against much older competition. I have not included him on my list, but he is an intriguing prospect going forward, in spite of his injury. My latest Top 21 List is almost ready. I am waiting until the trade deadline is complete on August 1 to “officially” release it.
South of the Border – 8 Names to Know – All under 18 years old.
Yonathan Perlaza, Jonathan Sierra, Miguel Amaya, Aramis Ademan, Brailyn Marquez, Abraham Rodriguez, Hector Garcia, and Faustino Carrera
I can’t imagine being 17 or 18 and playing professional baseball. For the players above, they have been doing very well the past 10 games. Most of them were signed last year in the 2015-2016 International Free Agent signing period and they are just beginning their play now. For the hitters, Ademan, Perlaza, and Sierra all struggled to begin the year. They may have had low batting averages, but they showed solid approaches by drawing walks. That approach is paying off now as their averages are going up every week. For pitchers Brailyn Marquez, Hector Garcia, and Faustino Carrera, they continue to put up excellent starts every time out. Carrera’s 0.96 ERA has been exceptional.
Debuts This Week – Dakota Mekkes, Marc Huberman, Bailey Clark, Duncan Robinson, Matt Swarmer, Jed Carter, and Tyson Miller
Around the System This Week
|Iowa||1-6 ; 43-58|
|Myrtle Beach||3-3; 15-14 Wild Card|
|South Bend||2-3; 17-11 1st Place|
|Eugene||6-1; 25-10 1st Place|
|Arizona||4-1; 15-11 1st Place|
|Dominican Republic 1||0-6; 16-26|
|Dominican Republic 2||1-6; 25-17|
Here’s What’s Coming Up Next Week at Cubs Central
Pelicans on a Roll
Increments of Ten
Ten Things to Learn from 2016