The Weekly

The Weekly: Division Champs, Adbert Gets Props, and BA Drops Draft Lists

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By Todd Johnson


Somehow, the Cubs did it! You can insert any cliché you want but when the season was on the line, they came through winning 15 of their last 18 games. Every year is going to be difficult and the pressure the Cubs have been under might lessen in the playoffs as the Cubs have basically been in playoff mode most of the past two months.

One key to winning the division this year was the Cubs went 14-5 against the Cardinals in 2017. The Cubs literally knocked the Cardinals out of the division race, and then, for good measure, out of the wild-card race…in St. Louis.

Don’t think for a minute that either the Brewers or the Cardinals are going to be easy pickings next year. The Brewers have more high-end talent coming from the minors while the Cardinals have more MLB ready talent at AAA Memphis. It will make for an exciting few years as Pittsburgh is also close to developing some top of the rotation pitching talent. Add in the fact that Cincinnati has some quality hitters like Nick Senzel coming and you have a very competitive division. For the next four years, the Cubs will have their for hitting core together and will just need to find quality pitching before most of their young high profile arms are ready in 2019/20.

Rotation News
Mike Montgomery will start today giving Jake Arrieta more time off to get ready for the postseason. Arrieta is scheduled to pitch a sim game on Wednesday against Jose Quintana. No sooner than I posted my thoughts about the possible rotation on Friday did things change as Quintana gave up 4 runs and the news about Arrieta broke. Then, yesterday, Jon Lester looked “smoove” going 5 IP and striking out 7. So, now it is down to Hendricks and Lester in games 1 and 2.

MiLB News
Baseball America began releasing their top 20 prospects in each of the minor leagues over a week ago. This week, Adbert Alzolay made the Carolina League’s Top 20 prospects at #17. In the AA Southern League, the Cubs did not have a prospect make the top 20 list from the Tennessee Smokies. Hopefully, the Midwest League, Northwest League, and the Arizona Rookie League lists will be out next week and will contain some Cubs.

When it comes to fall instructs, I’m not getting a lot of information this year. Even the scouts and talent evaluator’s that I follow are pretty quiet on Twitter as the Cubs are not playing games against other teams.  Yesterday, on The Cub Reporter, I did read that outfielder Luis Ayala  is now switch hitting. 

Draft Info
As I planned on what to do this off-season for the website, I didn’t really have a lot of ideas about content concerning the draft. Most of my ideas were about prospects moving up a level and ranking the position players. However, I began to think about the draft this week when Baseball America published two articles about the 2018 draft.
BA Top 50 for High School
BA Top 50 for College

Even after reading those two articles and clicking on a few names, I still don’t have a lot of plans. When January gets closer and baseball season gets geared up, I might do some digging on some names.

Meanwhile…. at Cubs Central
On Tuesday, I will publish my September Cards of the Month post. This will be the first time that I’ve done a post for that month. There are a lot of  very good cards coming. On Thursday, I will have part one of my Top MiLB Storylines of 2018” coming out. 

My Other Writing on the Web
Cubs Insider
Fall Instructs Prospects to Watch

Card of the Week

Card made from a photo by Freek Bouw/27 Outs Baseball.com
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The Weekly – Magic Numbers, MiLB News, and Fall Instructs Begin

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By Todd Johnson

The Cubs magic number is now at four. With a 4.5 game lead with eight to play, the odds are ever in the Cubs favor. The Cubs play Milwaukee today and then travel to St. Louis for four games and will most likely clinch there. The Cubs finish the season against Cincinnati at home next weekend. 

It is pretty clear-cut that the Cubs are going to be playing the Washington Nationals. With the high-powered arms of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Cubs will have their work cut out for them. Washington will have home-field advantage in the best-of-five series. To win, the Cubs are going to have to be patient and get into the Washington bullpen, which has been revamped since the Cubs last played them. The Cubs went 3-4 against them this year.

And just in case of emergency to get in the playoffs, the Cubs also hold a 3.5 game lead over Colorado in the Wild Card. The Rockies have 6 home games left against the Marlins and Dodgers. Colorado currently holds a 1 game over Milwaukee and 1.5 over St. Louis.

MiLB News
Baseball America began releasing their top 20 prospects in each level of the minor leagues. Victor Caratini came in at number 18 in the Pacific Coast League. The rest of the leagues should come out in the next week.

Minor League Baseball also released their Gold Glove Awards this week. Only one Cub received the honor this year and that was former Tennessee and Iowa outfielder Jacob Hannemann.

Oscar de la Cruz was also removed from the Arizona Fall League roster before play begins. The Cubs, nor the league, went into detail as to why. It’s a little disconcerting as to what is happening with Oscar. He’s barely pitched 100 innings combined the past two seasons. As a result, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s cut out as a long term starter. He will turn 23 in spring training and one has to consider if he might be better suited as a reliever.

In roster news, Pierce Johnson was picked up off of waivers by the San Francisco Giants. I was happy to see someone give him a shot. I didn’t think anybody would make a trade for him when he was designated for assignment. However, I knew there was still value and optimism for him. I wish him the best.

The Cubs also re-signed reliever Jose Rosario to a 2018 minor league contract. 2017 was a year he’d like to forget as he was dropped from the 40 man roster and designated for assignment. At 27, he will give it one more go.

Fall Instructs
Finally, on Monday the 18th, fall instructs started in Arizona and the Cubs had 69 players getting in some extra work. Most of the players rostered are from South Bend, Eugene, Mesa, and the Dominican. There are only a couple of players from Myrtle Beach.

According to Arizona Phil, the young Cubs will only be playing situational/simulation games this year in instructs. They will not play other franchises. This is quite different from past years.

Here are four attendees that intrigue me:

Luis Verdugo – The Cubs signed the young shortstop from Mexico this summer. He’s just 17 but I am interested in hearing about his defensive skills and his ability to put the bat on the ball at his young age.

Fernando Kelli – When you steal 58 bases and have a .437 OBP, you are going to draw a lot of attention and that’s what Fernando Kelli has done. I’m wondering just how good he has become. He’s only 18 and was the best prospect the Cubs had in the DSL this summer.

Jesus Tejada – Mr. No-Hitter looks like he’s going to stay stateside next year after an excellent 2017 campaign in the Dominican. I’m wondering how his excellent season translates into confidence as struck out 26 in August in 23 IP.

Carlos Pacheco – When you start looking at the stats and the pure power numbers, he seems a bit of a free swinger at 18-years-old. I don’t think that’s the case. Once you get past the DSL batting average (.232) and start looking at his on base percentage (.366), he shows a better approach than one would first thing. Like many young Cub prospects, he’s just 18. 40% of his hits this year were for extra bases including 9 dingers.

Meanwhile… at Cubs Central
Yesterday, after spending an hour inputting lesson plans online for the next three weeks, I decided to play around on the computer and design some possible infographics for my off-season series called “Leveling Up.” Here is a sample possible style I might use for the series. I’m gonna play with it some more and see what I can come up with, but I like the direction I’m heading with a card, two graphs or charts, and the picture that’s semi-transparent in the background.

My Other Writing on the Web
Cubs Insider
2nd Half Breakout Prospects
Ian Happ

BP Wrigleyville
A New Type of Farmhand

The Weekly – Getting Hot, Schedules, Awards, and a Question

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By Todd Johnson

After today, there are just two weeks left to the major-league regular season. The Cubs’ bats could not have picked a better time to wake up from their hitting with runners in scoring position slumber. Hopefully, the bullpen can hold up along with the starting pitching the rest of the way. One thing I can tell you is the next two weeks are not going to be dull. The Cubs play the Brewers and Cardinals 8 more times.

2018 Schedules
I was finally able to get a peek at next year’s schedule for South Bend and the Chicago Cubs 2018 calendar. I am thinking of doing some traveling next year and it looks like the schedules are going to cooperate.

For South Bend, they venture west of Indiana for four series. Next year, the young Cubs are going to be in Cedar Rapids and Peoria on one trip and then Kane County and the Quad Cities on a separate jaunt. I will not be able to make the Cedar Rapids series as I will be in Springfield at the state history fair. For Peoria, it’s about an hour and a half away and is a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday series. So, it looks like I will only make one or two of those games. But for the Quad Cities and Kane County portion, those series are both in July and will be day trips for me as both are just an hour and fifteen minutes away or less. I haven’t been to the Quad Cities stadium in a few years and I look forward to going. I just hope some of the Cubs top prospects are still on the team.

Looking at the big Cubs’ schedule, I got really excited to see that the Cubs will be going to Kansas City in early August. A little over 6 hours away for me, the city is also home to the Negro League Baseball Museum and a national Jazz Museum. Also, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is next door in Independence. Those are pretty much all my favorite type of things to do in life. Add in the vaunted BBQ and my wife and I are set. We are going to stay for a few days and probably catch two games. I cannot wait!

Awards
The Cubs also presented Jen-Ho Tseng and Victor Caratini with their MiLB Players of the Year Awards. This is the first time I can remember both players being in uniform  to receive them. Jen-Ho’s debut start was less than ideal and I don’t think he will get another start unless the Cubs clinch or there is an injury or rain out. He looked to be overwhelmed at the experience. I am sure he will make a few starts in spring training for the club, which will probably go much better.

Transactions
The Cubs also signed a non-drafted free agent from Oregon State named Christian Donahue. Donahue is a second baseman and outfielder who had an outstanding 2016 season but struggled in 2017 and was suspended from the team just prior to the College World Series. That would explain why he wasn’t drafted. But the Cubs may have gotten a steal as most reports of his abilities and skills have been very complementary. He’s not big at 5’7″, and he’s not going to hit for a lot of power, but he does have the ability to square up the ball and hit for a high average. As freshman, he hit .287 and as a sophomore, .339. He was named to the first team All-Pac 12 that year.

A Question Answered
I also got my question answered on MLB Pipeline this week. I asked which Cub is likely to make a top 100 list next year. Check out the response from Johnathan Mayo.

I like that Mayo thinks so highly of Albertos. He is ranked #1 on Cubs Central’s Top 21 list now and on the new one that comes out in a couple of weeks. I got a little giddy when I saw that he threw Lange in there, too.

Cubs Insider
For the first time, I did not publish the affiliate year-end posts this year. Instead, they were published over the last two weeks at Cubs Insider.

Iowa

Tennessee

Myrtle Beach

South Bend

Eugene

Mesa

I will be posting articles in a couple of weeks where I look at seven things about each affiliate from the past year and one thing to look for in 2018.

Card of the Week

Upcoming Posts This Week
2nd Half All-Star Team
The All-Injury Team
Jesus Camargo Profile

“The New Cubs Farmhand” will be published at BP Wrigleyville this Thursday.

The Weekly: 3 Affiliates Reach the Postseason

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By Todd Johnson

With the minor league regular season ending tomorrow, that was the quickest five months I can ever remember. But the postseason begins Tuesday and the Cubs have three teams in the playoffs. Myrtle Beach clinched in June, Eugene clinched last night, and Mesa finalized their spot yesterday afternoon. South Bend, sadly, ended its run last night with a loss at Bowling Green. The playoffs begin Thursday for Myrtle Beach, Tuesday for Eugene, and Mesa laces them up at a time to be determined.

Promotions

Dillon Maples, Mike Freeman, and Victor Caratini were all promoted from Iowa to Chicago on Friday. In addition, Justin Grimm was activated from the DL and more promotions will probably come on Tuesday when Iowa is completely done with their season. I am expecting Taylor Davis, Mark Zagunis, Matt Carasiti, and Bijan Rademacher to get looks this September.

All-Stars

Four Cubs prospects were named All-Stars for their season by their respective leagues. Victor Caratini and Matt Carasiti are Pacific Coast League All-Stars while David Bote and Jason Vosler earned similar honors in the Southern League.

In Sad News

Justin Steele had Tommy John surgery supposedly on August 22 according to a tweet by Jon Roegele. Hopefully he can come back by the end of next season to get some pitches in. For the year, he made 20 starts with a 2.92 ERA and made the Carolina League All-Star Game as well as two monthly ones here at Cubs Central.

On Friday, the Cubs released 27-year-old reliever José Rosario. Hopefully he can latch on with another team to fulfill his dream.

Upcoming Articles.  

With the season ending tomorrow, I have several posts already in the can just waiting to be published. On Tuesday, I will post the year end report for the Iowa Cubs. The Tennessee Smokies will get their year end review next and I will work South Bend’s recapitulation in after that. However, when Wednesday gets here, I will have short posts about the playoff action for Myrtle Beach, Eugene, and Mesa.

Players of the Week

Baseball Card of the Week

My Other Stuff on the Web From This Week

Cubs Insider:

Arizona Fall League

Austin Filiere Profile

 

The Weekly – Several Injured Players Return in One, Hot Week

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By Todd Johnson

With just a little over a week to go, two teams are still in the playoff hunt. Myrtle Beach is already in but Eugene has a slight two game lead over Boise for a wild-card spot and Mesa is one game out of first after winning five in a row. Eugene’s final game is on Labor Day while Mesa’s is next Saturday.

Hot Pitchers
Two players I was most impressed with this week were reliever Jhon Romero, now at South Bend, and Jesus Tejada of DSL 2. Romero throws a mid 90s fastball with a 12 to 6 curve that has a sharp downward break. He’s been at South Bend for the past couple weeks and has been dominating. This week, Tejada pitched a seven inning no-hitter for DSL 2. He also struck out nine in the game after having striking out ten in his previous start. He’s a certain lock for this month’s All-Star team and he could be the August pitcher of the month.

Hot Hitters
In addition, it looks like Joe Martarano has dropped his high leg kick in favor or something much quieter and he is taking off hitting .344 in his last ten games. Miguel Amaya is hitting over .300 this month while Jonathan Sierra is raking at a .290+ clip and recent draft pick is hitting .259 with 4 HRs in August.

Promotions
Bailey Clark made his way to South Bend and will hopefully get 2 starts in this year as a South Bend Cub. Reliever Manuel Rodriguez arrived before him from Eugene and already has a save. Pitcher Alex Lange was transferred back to Mesa as he is at 9.1 innings of his 10 inning limit this year. Pitchers Matt Swarmer and Tommy Thorpe continued their tour around the organization this week. On Friday night, they both pitched for Tennessee.

Return Week
Carlos Sepulveda – After missing most of the year, Sepulveda went three for four on Friday night and will likely be back to help Myrtle Beach go for its third straight Mills Cup Championship.
Will Remillard – He went 5 for 7 (.714) in his return at Eugene this week. He also threw out a baserunner by a good 10 feet at third base. It’s so nice to see him back and I wonder if he’s going to get a sneak peek at another level this week, even if it is just for a couple of games.
Oscar de la Cruz – After making an appearance at Mesa last week, Oscar returned to Myrtle Beach to go just a couple of innings. He still looked a bit rusty and still has not let it loose. I don’t know if that’s on purpose, but he doesn’t have the velocity that he did two years ago. His quality pitches are still there, it’s just a matter of him commanding them.
Alec Mills – He made his second start for Mesa this week and looks to be rebounding nicely. I don’t know if he’ll make it back to Iowa this next week or if he’ll stay and help Mesa and their playoff push. It’s likely the Cubs will just keep an eye on him in Mesa.

The August All-Star Team selection post that will come out on Friday is nearing completion. This month’s post will be a little different. Rather than have a prospect in every position, I am going with just whoever had the best month regardless of their position. I should have upwards of five catchers making the All-Star team this month and all would be deserving. It’s going to be quite the different All-Star team. There are some familiar names of prospects who have appeared at one point during this season. There are also a lot of young players who are beginning to figure things out in the lower minor leagues.

2017 Offseason
This offseason, the profile series will be entitled “Levelling Up.” In the past, the prospect profile updates were called “Making the Jump” and “Next Up.” These will appear once a week. The players to be profiled will only be players moving up a level for 2018. Players that I expect to stay at a level will not be covered.

I am hoping to travel more next summer. I would love to make it down to Tennessee to see a couple of games. As for the Midwest League, my scheduled trips will be to Clinton, Kane County, the Quad Cities, and Cedar Rapids. Although the schedule has not come out yet, it looks like all I can just drive back and forth the day of a game except for Cedar Rapids. However, Kane County might fall on school nights based on this year’s schedule.

Players of the Week

Around the Minors This Week:
Iowa – 3-2;  I tend to think when this season is over that the Cubs will be clearing house this winter. Some of the players contracts will just expire while other prospects will be just given their outright release to have an opportunity to play elsewhere. The Cubs did this exact same thing a couple years ago. A lot of the players on the Iowa roster are not long-term Cubs.

Tennessee – 2-5: When it comes to promotions next spring, I think about half this team will make its way to Iowa. There are a few more who could join them depending upon their performance in spring training. Don’t expect all the Smokies to head to Des Moines.

Myrtle Beach – 3-3: Over the past two weeks, the Pelicans won 10 out of 12 at one point looking like the Pelicans of May and June. That’s a good sign heading into the playoffs.

South Bend – 7-0: If not for a six week stretch in late May through early July, they would be the team of the year in the Cubs organization. I don’t know what happened during that stretch but everything stopped working. Over the past month they have come from the bottom of the division to compete for a playoff spot that seemed hopeless after starting the second half so poorly.    

Eugene – 5-2: In order to get in the playoffs, their last stretch of the season is all on the road. Luckily for the Emerald, those games are against the teams with the two worst record in the Northwest League. Hopefully, the hitting will come around as it appears the starting pitching has solidified.

Mesa – 5-1: This team struggled all season and in the last two weeks they have turned it on. The nice thing about the Arizona Rookie League as it has two short halves. At 11-11 in the second half, they are in the thick of the playoff hunt with just six days to go. Thanks to some recent draft picks, the starting pitching is decent given the bats a chance. There could even be two DSL pitchers coming up to join them this week. Recent draftee Jeremiah Estrada has thrown 3 scoreless IP with 3 Ks so far.

DSL 1 – 3-3: Final Record 37-33.
DSL 2 – 5-2; Final Record 34-37.
I will have a post out this week about some players from both teams who should be heading north soon.

Baseball Card of the Week

My Other Stuff on the Web From This Week
Cubs Insider:
Tyler Alamo
Bailey Clark

BP Wrigleyville
Jose Albertos

The Weekly: September Callups and the Playoff Push

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By Todd Johnson

There are just three weeks left in the MiLB season. With the Iowa Cubs out of the running, the Cubs will have some callups once September arrives and rosters expand. I would not expect too many players considering the Cubs are in the midst of a pennant race. Here are five players I think the Cubs will add for the final month. All but one are on the 40 man roster and a space will have to be made to add that one player.

Mark Zagunis – I think he is the only position player who gets added since Caratini arrived to replace Willson.

Jack Leathersich – A lefty, he’s been lights out at Iowa but I doubt he would pitch in Chicago except in a blowout.

Eddie Butler – I like adding him as a long man or backup starter.

Rob Zastryzny – He was just up for a day and should be up all September now that he is healthy.

Dillon Maples – He is the only one who is not on the 40 man roster. Then again, he could be added long before September comes the way he is pitching.

Outside shot of being added – Catcher Taylor Davis – I don’t think Manager Joe Maddon wants to go into the playoffs with a couple of run down catchers. Hopefully Willson will be back in a month. In the meantime, Davis would provide a day off for both catchers or an inning or two of relief in blowouts down the stretch to keep them fresh as well.


A month ago, I published an article about the Arizona Fall League and 40 man roster implications. At first, I thought about revisiting that post in the wake of the trades, but Eloy Jimenez was the only player affected from the post. Instead, the only possible outcome would be that there might be one more 40 man roster spot available. In the article, I predicted who the Cubs might protect from the Rule V Draft by adding them to the 40 man roster. I also suggested some possible prospects who could play in the AFL. The Cubs may want to save a spot for Willson Contreras to rehab considering how  well that worked for someone else last year to come back for the World Series.


In other news this week, Baseball America produced a new top 100 prospect list that includes this year’s draft picks. There are still no Cubs. I don’t think there will be until the middle of next year.


Coming up at Cubs Central.
School starts for me this week. After two days of institute on Wednesday and Thursday, the students arrive on Friday.  I have a couple of posts already in the queue ready to go. One is an interview with Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher Duncan Robinson. The other is a post about investing in Cubs prospects. I will also examine possible names of some DSL players who should be headed north for Fall Instructs. That could be the week after. You never know how news flows.


Saying Goodbye
Yesterday morning, my wife and I had to put down one of our dogs. Phoebe was a terrier mix who was almost 13. She lived a good life of walks, treats, and belly rubs. In the past year, she had lost her sight and most of her hearing. We miss her already.


Around the Minors:
Iowa – 4-3: Jen-Ho Tseng continues to roll and reliever David Garner was promoted to AAA.

Tennessee – 3-3: 3.5 GB of a playoff spot – Yasiel Balaguert was named Southern League Hitter of the Week while Duane Underwood might be named Pitcher of the Week tomorrow.

Myrtle Beach – 1-5: It is rough all around in South Carolina. Reliever Pedro Araujo was promoted to AA Tennessee. I hope to see some infusion of talent from South Bend to give the Pelicans a shot at winning back-to-back-to-back titles.

South Bend – 4-2: I am seeing some growth and development from DJ Wilson, Kevonte Mitchell, and Bryan Hudson that is extremely promising. In addition, pitcher Tyler Peyton is on a great streak of pitching well the past three weeks. He has put himself into contention to make the monthly all-star team. Tomorrow’s post will be about how South Bend can help Myrtle Beach win the Mills Cup.

Eugene – 2-5: 1 Defensive woes derailed their week but they are still just one game away from a playoff spot. Brandon Hughes is starting to warm up again.

Mesa – 2-3: The kids are getting experience even if it doesn’t show up in wins. Delvin Zinn seems to be back in a groove hitting over .300 this month.

DSL 1 – 3-4 – OF Luis Hidalgo got the call to Mesa this week.
DSL 2 – 2-4 

Baseball Card of the Week

Players of the Week

My Other Stuff on the Web From This Week
Cubs Insider:
Austin Upshaw Profile
MiLB Pitcher of the Year Discussion
Duane Underwood

The Weekly: Lots of Debuts, Rankings, and a Trio of High End Arms

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By Todd Johnson

The Cubs got a big win yesterday to stop a three game skid. There are still 53 games left to play and most of them are against teams with losing records. After next Sunday, the Cubs do not play a team with a winning record for the rest of the month. I feel pretty good about that.

The Eugene Trio: It’s been a beautiful week for the starting pitching of Eugene. When their All-Star break ended and play resumed on Thursday night, Jose Albertos pitched five innings of one hit ball. On Friday night, first-round draft pick Alex Lange made his professional debut with two innings of hitless ball. And on Saturday night, the Cubs other first round pick, Brendon Little, made his second start (but not a good one) as a Cubs prospect. That’s a promising peak into the future, provided they all stay healthy.

Cubs MiLB Awards: I expected that the Cubs would announce their awards on Saturday for minor league hitter and pitcher of the month for July but not a peep.

MiLB Farm System Rankings: Both Baseball America and MLB.com released their midseason farm system rankings this week. Not surprisingly, Baseball America ranked the Cubs 28th out of 30 teams. Considering who they traded this summer, no big news there. MLB.com only ranked the top 10, but they put the White Sox as number one.

John Sickels : He takes a while to release his midseason rankings. By the time he’s done, the season is usually over. After seeing MLB.com’s rankings last week , I was interested to see John’s take on the Cubs’ system and just who he thinks the top Cubs prospects are. It should be out today or tomorrow. I might even do a post about it, depending on how he ranks them.

Around the Minors: September 4 is coming quick. That is when the MILB season ends. Right now, only Myrtle Beach has punched a ticket to the postseason. Iowa and South Bend are pretty much out of the running along with the two Dominican summer league teams.Tennessee, on the other hand, is only three games back of Montgomery for a wildcard berth. Eugene has a slim one game lead as the second half division leader. In Mesa, despite being with the second worst team in the league the first half, is only one game back in the second.

Iowa – 4-2: Rob Zastryzny made it back from rehab and made it back from rehab and made his way to Chicago very quickly. Victor Caratini returned and promptly hit home runs both Friday and Saturday nights.

Tennessee – 5-2: Craig Brooks was named the Southern League’s Reliever of the Month after not giving up an earned run throughout July. Trevor Clifton missed a start this week but will be ready to go today. Hopefully, he can just relax and let his pitches do the work. Duane Underwood has now made two excellent starts in a row including a seven inning affair on Friday night where he struck out seven.

Myrtle Beach – 3-5: This team is having some issues as they have the worst record in the Carolina League in the second half after having the best the first. It is not the fault of Zack Short who seems to be making an excellent adjustment to high A ball. Over his last 10 games, the young shortstop is hitting .351 with a .405 OBP from the leadoff spot. In addition, pitcher Michael Rucker continues to do well. This week, he scattered 11 hits but only allowed one run in his start.

South Bend – 3-4: Erling Moreno returned to action on Friday night and pitched three innings while giving up just a run. Bryan Hudson also had an excellent start this week where he did not allow run in five innings. As well, Tyler Peyton had his best start as he gave up just one run in five innings. At the plate, Andruw Monasterio and Aramis Ademan make a formidable duo at the top of the lineup. I see this team maturing in small bits the past month. That bodes well for next year.

Eugene – 3-1: Several new players arrived this week including outfielder Chris Singleton and infielder Ramsey Romano. Singleton is off to a pretty good start and Romano struggled in his first two games after hitting almost 400 at Mesa. Pitcher Cory Abbott was also added to the team but has not thrown yet. Every time Ricky Tyler Thomas pitches, I come away extremely impressed with his performance, even if it is as a reliever.

Mesa – 2-4: It looks like their starting pitching might be starting to stabilize. Faustino Carrera had his best start of the year this week and Brailyn Marquez has looked amazing at times and terrible at others. Either way, he is striking out a lot of hitters (32 in 25.1 IP). Stephen Ridings had his best outing of year on Friday night and it looks like Brendan King might be a sleeper based on his short outings (1.59 ERA).

DSL 1 – 2-3: After a good week last week, the pitching hit the skids this week. Fernando Kelli has stolen almost 50 SBs. I am starting to get questions about the young switch hitting 18-year-old outfielder.

DSL 2 – 3-3: I still like some of the pitchers they have left. Danis Correa was promoted to Mesa and he might be followed by Emilio Ferrebus and Jesus Tejada. At the very least, expect Ferrebus and Tejada to be at instructs.

Coming up at Cubs Central.
1. Draft Player Update – In two separate posts, I will be giving an update on how this year’s draft class is performing as Cubs.
2. The other post I might write this week could be on some players I think who are ascending the past two months and might break out at the beginning of next year, if they have not already this year. Then again, I may wait until September to do this post.

3. I will continue to do updates on several of the Cubs top pitching prospects. That seems to be my focus of late.

4. I will also be interviewing pitcher Duncan Robinson in the early part of this week. Look for information from that discussion to be on all three platforms.

Card of the Week
Don’t ask me how, but I made 150 last month. This week, I already made over 30. Good thing school starts in a week: 2017 Cards: August .

Players of the Week

My Other Stuff on the Web From This Week
BP Wrigleyville
Michael Rucker
Alex Lange Debut

Cubs Insider:
Kevonte Mitchell: New Breed of Cubs Prospect
Which Cubs Prospects Have Next?
Alex Lange Debut