By Todd Johnson
Due to the MLB Playoffs, the Weekly is coming out a day early. Yes, it’s odd because last week we were a day late with The Weekly.
The Arizona Fall League began play this week and guess who is already making a name for himself? That’s right, Eloy. After three games, he’s hitting .364 with 1 HR, 2 2Bs, and an OPS of 1.136. Shocking! Not really, but I did not expect him to do so well so quickly playing against such elite competition. Also, he’s just punishing the ball with velocities over 119 mph, even when making outs.
Eloy Jimenez just crushed a ball into LF here in Mesa. I’m glad – the Cubs really needed something to go right for them this year.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) October 14, 2016
Starting next week, The Weekly will go on hiatus for the rest of the playoffs. In its stead will be a new weekly feature through the middle of November called, “Watching Eloy.” That post will come out next Saturday, the 22nd. Its sole purpose will be to see what Eloy’s been up to in the Arizona Fall League.
Instructs ended with a whimper on Friday in a 4.5 inning 1-0 intrasquad game. There were some definite winners when it came to fall instructs. Several prospects raised their stock about the direction they are headed for 2017.
Donnie Dewees – Dirty jerseys, doubles, and triples were the order of the day for Dewees. Look out Tennessee! The Smokies are going to love his hustle, speed, and bat skills.
P.J. Higgins – Mr. “1 for 3 with a Walk” is now the best catching prospect in the Cubs system. He has the best arm, glove, and game calling skills, and will soon match Caratini in the hitting department. He already beats Victor on approach.
Thomas Hatch – He started out in the intrasquad part of instructs and worked his way up to the Co-Op team and was outstanding. This leads me to believe he might skip low-A South Bend and go to Myrtle Beach to begin 2017. We will see how he does when he is fresh in the spring.
Sam Tidaback – I know he was on the roster in South Bend at the end of the year, but I didn’t get a good look at him. In instructs, his bat was impressive. I think South Bend to begin the year is in order for the 2016 draftee.
Aramis Ademan – He struggled at times in his professional debut, but not in instructs. He had several multi-hit games and flashed a lot of leather in the field.
Alfredo Colorado, Brailyn Marquez, and Faustino Carrera – All three of these pitchers were outstanding in instructs after coming stateside from their Dominican Summer League team. Colorado is 20 and should be in Eugene next year. The other two are just 17 and should be in Mesa next summer for Rookie League.
Eddy Julio Martinez – Missing two years of baseball cannot be an easy thing. For Martinez, I think he really breaks out next year. In 2016, there were bits and pieces of his potential on display in June and July, but he faded a bit in August. In instructs, he did OK. Some days were very good and others were not. He has to be more consistent.
Justin Steele – He’s still young at 21. With the preponderance of pitching coming down the pike, I would like to see what Steele can do out of the pen. Steele had a rough first half in 2016 and a decent second half, especially in his last three starts of the year. I’d like to see what he could do out of the pen in 2017. In instructs, he was almost unhittable putting in an inning here and there.