By Todd Johnson
Last week, I did not think it was going to be a very busy week when it came to the Cubs minor-league system. It was. There were several signings, affiliate coaching staffs were released, and Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo announced their top 50 MLB Draft Prospects.
First, let’s get to the MiLB signings. Just like last year, the Cubs signed several free agents to minor-league contracts to build up depth in the system. There are six names to know. Here are three you don’t:
Maikel Cleto – 27 – RHP – He’s been around quite a bit. The righty pitched well in AAA for Atlanta last year. He struck out 47 in 35 IP in 34 games with 7 saves.
Daniel Corcino – 26 – RHP – At 5’11 and 210 pounds, he’s maxed out. He spent 2016 in high A and AA in the Rangers system.
Jhondaniel Medina – 23 – RHP – He might be the keeper of the three just based on his age and experience. In 2016, he got a “cup of coffee” in AAA and could be in Iowa for the Cubs in 2017.
The three you do know are Conor Mullee, Gerardo Concepcion, and Zac Rosscup. All were released off the Cubs’ 40-man roster a few weeks ago and all were re-signed. Mullee and Rosscup both had injury filled 2016s while Concepcion made it all the way to Chicago. With Rosscup and Concepcion, the Cubs stockpiled two lefties who could hopefully help later in the year.
Meanwhile, the coaching staffs for the affiliates were announced this week and they look pretty familiar. All the managers stayed the same, but there were some tweaks to hitting and pitching coaches at most levels. Here’s the full list courtesy of The Cub Reporter.
Iowa: Marty Pevey (Manager), Rod Nichols (Pitching Coach), Desi Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Mariano Duncan (Assistant Coach)
Tennessee: Mark Johnson (Manager), Terry Clark (Pitching Coach), Jacob Cruz (Hitting Coach), and Ricardo Medina (Assistant Coach)
Myrtle Beach: Buddy Bailey (Manager), Anderson Tavarez (Pitching Coach), Guillermo Martinez (Hitting Coach), and Ty Wright (Assistant Coach)
South Bend: Jimmy Gonzalez (Manager), Brian Lawrence (Pitching Coach), Jeremy Farrell (Hitting Coach), and Jonathon Mota (Assistant Coach)
Eugene: Jesus Feliciano (Manager), David Rosario (Pitching Coach), Juan Cabreja (Hitting Coach), and Gary Van Tol (Assistant Coach)
Mesa: Carmelo Martinez (Manager), Armando Gabino (Pitching Coach), Osmin Melendez (Hitting Coach), and Leo Perez (Assistant Coach)
The final item came much to my surprise when Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo released their top 50 prospects for the MLB draft. Some of the names we already profiled like Ricardo de la Torre (#38), Mark Vientos (#32), and this week’s profile, Garrett Mitchell (#31). Missing from the top 50 were pitchers Mitchell Stone and Nick Storz.
The profiles that are done here every Sunday have so far been high school kids. Starting in January, several college players will be profiled. What I like about the rankings, is that these players will still be around, most likely, when the Cubs select.
Draft Profile #5
Currently, the Cubs have moved up to the 28th and 30th picks in the draft after two free agent signings this week. The Cubs third selection will come at the end of the second round, which is after the Competitive Balance picks.
This Week’s Profile
Garrett Mitchell – OF, Orange Lutheran HS (Orange, Calif.)
6-foot-1, 201 pounds; L/R; Committed to UCLA
Still Growing, Mental Acuity, On-base machine, Hits left-handed, Hits to all fields, Developing Power, Four Tool Player, Excellent Base Runner, and Sees the ball well at the plate
Areas of Concern:
Lack of Power
Type 1 Diabetic
Strange Leg Kick
What Others Say
Jim Callis & Jonathan Mayo – MLB Pipeline
Mitchell has that rare speed-power combination teams covet. He’s at least an above-average runner, who uses his speed to run the bases well and cover a lot of ground in the outfield. He has legitimate power, and while he doesn’t always have the prettiest swing, he has a knack for the barrel and squares the ball up, making loud contact all the time. He’s an excellent all-around defender, combining his speed with good reads and routes. He has at least a solid-average arm.
So far, I have liked what I have read on him. He may not be the biggest power hitter, but he gets on base a lot. He’s like a left-handed Mark Zagunis at the plate but likely a bit better in the field.
Position Breakdown Series: Third Base is Solid
Next Up Series: Tom Hatch
The Weekly and Draft Profile #6