Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Young drives in 5; Roberts extends no-hit and shutout streaks; Hermosillo, Zinn, Mervis, Nwogu, Wetzel homer
today at 9:44 am
- Michael Hermosillo: 1-3, HR (5), R, RBI, 2 BB, SB (6) (.344)
- Tony Wolters: 2-5 (.303)
- Scott Effross: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (5.75)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Once the Cubs move an outfielder in a trade, Michael Hermosillo (.344/.461/.581) has more than made a case for another shot in the Majors. A former two-sport star in high school, he moved quickly through the Angels system despite putting up good-but-not-great numbers, before stalling out as a AAA/MLB shuttle player. He got into 31 games in L.A. back in 2018, and another 18 in 2019, but never found success at the dish. He spent most of 2020 at the Angels alternate site, but got into another 8 games, mostly as a pinch hitter.
The Cubs signed the 26-year old outfielder as a Minor League free agent over the winter. An injury prevented him from starting the year on time, but since he’s entered the I-Cubs lineup he has done nothing but hit the ball hard and get on base. Although he hasn’t been a successful base stealer Hermosillo does possess above average speed. He’s not really a power hitter either, but Hermosillo can hit line drives to all fields. And while his K rate is above 25%, part of that is due to his willingness to work deep counts. He’d probably profile as a 10-15 SB and HR guy with extended playing time.
The transition can be tough for a right handed hitter in MLB, but the Cubs can shelter him against the tougher matchups should they decide to give Hermosillo another shot in the bigs. Unlike previous right handed outfielders the Cubs have had who hit well in AAA (Zagunis/Andreoli/etc/etc), Hermosillo can play CF, so that gives him more utility and opportunity on a MLB bench. I wouldn’t place a wager on it, but it is possible the Cubs found another late bloomer to go along with Patrick Wisdom. At the very least he is an option along the lines of Rafael Ortega who can help the Cubs through a transition if they decide to do a big sell off at the trade deadline.
Tennessee jumped out to an early 6-0 lead which they road to an easy victory. The scorching hot Jared Young knocked in five of the six runs in the 1st and 2nd innings on a pair of doubles. Brennen Davis drove in the 6th with a single to extend his hitting streak to six games.
Recent waiver wire acquisition Dakota Chalmers turned in his best performance as part of the Cubs organization. A former 3rd round pick of the A’s, there has never been a question about Chalmers’ stuff, but his control has always held him back. After walking 15 in 12.1 innings with the Twins AA affiliate earlier this season, the club designated him for assignment, allowing the Cubs to claim him. After the Cubs snuck him through waivers, he’s gone on to walk just four over his first 9.2 innings with Tennessee.
It’s doubtful the Cubs can fix him enough for Chalmers to remain a starter, but he certainly has bullpen upside. And the work done by the Smokies pen in relief of Chalmers last night bears note as well. Three relievers combined to allow no earned runs over five innings while allowing just four base runners. Ethan Roberts was particularly impressive, with two perfect innings to finish the game off.
- Jared Young: 3-5, 2 2B, R, 5 RBI (.447)
- Darius Hill: 2-4, 2 R, BB (.293)
- Reivaj Garcia: 2-4 (.143)
- Brennen Davis: 1-4, RBI, SB (3) (.267)
- Dakota Chalmers: 4 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (0.00)
- Juan Gamez: 1.2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 3 K (W, 2-0, 3.97)
- Brandon Hughes: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (3.07)
- Ethan Roberts: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (1.82)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Jared Young (.447/.512/.684) now has hits in 7 straight. He missed more than a month due to injury, but the Cubs 2018 Minor League Player of the Year has reached base in 10 of 11 games he’s played in 2021, with the only exception being Opening Day. His 2019 at Tennessee was a huge disappointment, but it is possible Young is getting his career back on track. Mostly a first baseman, though he can play some left field if needed, there is a lot of burden on the bat to produce. He’s got 20 homer pop from the left side, but he’s also been overly prone to rolling over and hitting a ton of ground balls into the shift. He could earn a promotion to AAA in the second half, and potentially fill a shuttle role down the line.
Speaking of earning a promotion to AAA, Ethan Roberts has certainly done so. He hasn’t given up a hit in his last 5 appearances (7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 13 K), and hasn’t allowed a run over his last 8 (11.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 17 K).
The big inning propelled South Bend to victory last night. They scored four times in the 3rd, followed by another two in the 4th, then added four more in the 7th.
Delvin Zinn hit his 3rd home run in addition to swiping his 33rd base on the season. Zinn usually doesn’t hit for power, or get on base at a high enough clip to project as a future utility man, but I do love watching him play. He’s a classic small ball grinder who clearly enjoys the game.
Nelson Velazquez continued his torrid July with a three hit game. He also stole a pair of bases. The former 13th round pick out of Puerto Rico possesses above average speed and power, but he is still learning to become more selective at the plate. That lack of selectivity has made him into a streaky hitter, but when he is locked in like right now, he can quickly amass some impressive numbers.
The back end of the South Bend bullpen deserves a shout out in this one. The team has had issues closing games out despite having a number of hard throwers at their disposal. On this night though, Hunter Bigge and Bradford Deppermann shut the door. Bigge is a former two-way player from Harvard who has unlocked a good 8-10 mph since turning pro and concentrating solely on pitching. Combining that upper 90s fastball with a solid curve, Bigge could prove to be a fast mover as long as he throws strikes. Deppermann is a former starter who works upwards of 97 out of the pen. He’s got a good slider and also threw a couple of impressive changeups in the 9th to earn his first career save.
- Delvin Zinn: 3-5, HR (3), 3 R, 2 RBI, SB (33) (.225)
- Nelson Velazquez: 3-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 2 SB (6, 7) (.306)
- Josue Huma: 3-4, 3 R (.224)
- Grayson Byrd: 2-4, 2B, R (.304)
- Harrison Wenson: 2-4, R (.167)
- Yonathan Perlaza: 1-5, R, 2 RBI (.230)
- Jake Slaughter: 1-4, R, RBI (.226)
- Ryan Reynolds: 1-4, 2 RBI (.250)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Ryan Reynolds received a promotion from Myrtle Beach. The son of former Astros hurler Shane Reynolds is a corner infielder with a bit of pop who the Cubs selected in the 13th round of
Myrtle Beach brought out the big bats for this one, clubbing three home runs, and adding three extra base hits. Power hitting first baseman Matt Mervis kicked things off with a three run blast in the 1st. Jordan Nwogu hit a solo shot in the 4th and then Jacob Wetzel added another in the 8th.
Mervis and Wetzel are a pair of undrafted free agents from last year who have yet to take off statistically, but I think it is only a matter of time.
Mervis is a big but athletic first baseman prospect (there are likely only a couple of guys on the team who are faster). He’s got above average raw power and a good eye at the plate. His swing is a little long and I worry about his zone coverage against more advanced pitching, but at this level I expect him to produce a bit more than he has up to this point. He seems to have been bitten by the BABIP dragon somewhat thus far.
Wetzel is a guy who might surprise. His swing is compact and he’s got a little bit of pop too. As a left handed bat with the ability to play all three outfield positions Wetzel is a prospect with a chance to provide MLB depth. It is a similar profile to Rafael Ortega.
By the way, the Cubs need to get Jerimiah Estrada out of Myrtle Beach. I know he is still getting stretched out and working on a slider to compliment his curveball, but he is just blowing guys away with enough ease that he isn’t being forced to rely on his secondaries. The fastball doesn’t have overwhelming velo, I think he is more in the 92-95 range, but it has shown good carry through the zone and opposing hitters just haven’t been able to handle it.
- Jacob Wetzel: 2-3, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, RBI, BB (.225)
- Jordan Nwogu: 1-3, HR (3), R, RBI, BB (.165)
- Matt Mervis: 1-5, HR (5), R, 3 RBI (.201)
- Jonathan Sierra: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.252)
- Yohendrick Pinango: 1-4, 3B, R, BB (.273)
- Richard Gallardo: 2.2 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 2 K (5.15)
- Jeremiah Estrada: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (W, 1-0, 0.69)
- Bailey Reid: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 4, 4.68)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Jeremiah Estrada is now up to 27 punch outs in just 13 IP with Myrtle Beach. He’s given up just 1 run while allowing just 1 baserunner per inning. Injuries (including 2 TJS) have long kept Estrada off the mound. He has still thrown just 30 pro innings since the Cubs made him an overslot pick in the 6th round of the 2017 draft.
Daily Cubs Minors Recap