The Weekly: Tennessee PDC, Copa de la Diversion Expands, AFL, and Card Rabbit Holes

By Todd Johnson

Today is the final day of the regular season. But then again, it feels like the Cubs have been in the playoffs for a couple weeks now. If needed, the Cubs will play the Brewers tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley with Jose Quintana on the mound. He pretty much owns them. If the Cubs get to that point, I feel pretty good about their chances to win the division.

Still Nothing Official
There is still no official news out of Tennessee, but the good news is that the Smokies are still tweeting out stuff related to the Cubs most every day. However, yesterday, Josh Timmers tweeted a link to a Pensacola News Journal report. The article said: “The Chicago Cubs earlier this month re-upped with the Tennessee Smokies, located near Knoxville, although it hasn’t been officially announced.”

So, that’s good to know. It’ll be interesting to see whether the deal is for two years or four or if there are any new stipulations to the PDC, such as improved video feed or high-def cameras. I would enjoy those.

Copa de la Diversion
In other big news, the Iowa Cubs and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are both going to be part of the “Copa de la Diversion” in 2019. The minor-league program is meant to diversify and expand MILB‘s brand to Hispanics. Last year, it was very successful in Eugene. Every Tuesday, the Emeralds transformed into the Monarcas with cool hats and even cooler uniforms. Another side aspect was the amount of pride that players took in wearing the new brands. It was a lot of fun to watch.

The names and uniforms for Iowa and Myrtle Beach will not be released until March.

No Instructs, Just Rehab
For the second year in a row, the Cubs are not partaking in the Arizona Fall Instructional League. There is action going on in Mesa, but that only pertains to players on rehab assignments and players getting ready for the Arizona Fall League. The Arizona Fall League begins play on October 9 for six weeks. I will have weekly updates on the progress of the 9 Cubs playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.

BA League Top 20s and Chats
Earlier this week, Baseball America began releasing Top 20 Prospect Lists for each league in the minors. So far, the Cubs have been shut out in the Pacific Coast League, the Southern League, and the Carolina League. Hopefully, that prospect drought will end this week with Miguel Amaya, Nico Hoerner, and/or Brailyn Marquez in either the Midwest or Northwest Leagues.

In one of the chats about the Carolina League, Baseball America’s JJ Cooper was high on Cory Abbott but not so much on Aramis Ademan and Alex Lange. In the AA chat, Matt Eddy said the following about Zack Short at Tennessee:

Tennessee SS Zack Short ranks as the best defensive SS in the SL and had one of the strongest infield arms. He also clubbed 17 HR and drew 82 walks. I expected those attributes to play better with managers and scouts, but they uniformly expressed skepticism that Short’s straight uphill swing plane would play against better pitchers. Still, he has attributes that could make him a utility type of infielder.

We shall see how Zack does in AAA against better pitchers very soon.

Card Digging
I can go down an Internet rabbit hole with the best of them. This week, it was looking for pictures of Tennessee Smokies . I got a few good ones, especially of Thomas Hatch and Michael Rucker. Those cards should be out later in the week on the Facebook page. If you know of any unseen pics of prospects from local papers or other photographers, send me the link over on Twitter or on Facebook.

Tomorrow, I will be releasing my cards of September post which is very Eugene heavy. Still, there are a lot a great cards/pictures.

Also Coming Up
Last week, I wrote about some players coming back from injuries and poor performances. This week, I am going to remain flexible. I originally wanted to do affiliate recaps this week, but I will wait until the playoffs are over to release those. I am just going to play it by ear for a while.

Card of the Week


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