Daily Cubs Minors Recap: MLB Draft Preview; Homers by Nwogu, Bautista, Perlaza and Reynolds; Balego crushing in rehab assignment
today at 9:36 am
MLB Draft Preview
The MLB Draft kicks off 6 PM CST on MLB Network and ESPN. Only 29 picks of the 1st round (plus 7 comp picks) will be conducted on the broadcast. The remaining 19 rounds will be Monday (rounds 2-10 at 12 pm CST on MLB.Com) and Tuesday (rounds 11-20 11 am CST on MLB.Com).
The Cubs will select 21st tonight. According to previews and mock drafts I’ve seen this is right around the point in the draft where the predictability drops off. I’ve heard the Cubs have heavily scouted several prep prospects, including speedy two-sport star OF Will Taylor (a Clemson WR commit), Huntingburg, Indiana IF Colson Montgomery (a LHB with developing power who is also heavily linked to White Sox at 22). Taylor and Montgomery have late helium which may push them out of the Cubs reach.
The top name more likely to be available is Anthony Solometo. He is the top prep lefty in the draft. I’m also a fan of RHP Andrew Painter, but I haven’t seen him linked to the Cubs, and he is probably gone before they choose anyway.
As usual the Cubs are linked to catchers as well. Harry Ford is the top name, a tremendous athlete and plus runner who some teams want to move to center field, but like Taylor and Montgomery, he is more likely to go in the teens at this point. Mack is unpolished behind the plate but has the size, quickness and arm strength to stick, along with a track record of performing offensively on the showcase circuit.
College prospects I’ve seen linked to the Cubs include Eastern Illinois IF Trey Sweeney (who I really like), College World Series hero RHP Will Bednar of Mississippi State, and UC Santa Barbara RHP Michael McGreevy. Sweeney hasn’t faced top competition but he did what you want him to do against lesser competition: he annihilated them. His setup has a lot of movement, but his swing is quick and he’s developing some power. Bednar surprised a lot of folks as a starter this year, after being a reliever previously. He works at 92-95 with a good slider and solid changeup. I don’t see a ton of projection remaining, but I’ve been fooled before. McGreevy currently profiles a lot like previous Cubs pitching selections as a 4 pitch guy with good control who repeats his delivery and holds his stuff deep into games. What McGreevy has going for him that some previous Cubs choices didn’t is he is young for his class (20), and has a 6’4″ frame he hasn’t completely filled out, so there may be more velo to come (91-93, T95).
- Yonathan Perlaza: 2-5, HR (6), R, 2 RBI (.231)
- Ryan Reynolds: 1-4, HR (1), R, 2 RBI (.214)
- Jake Slaughter: 2-4, RBI, SB (9) (.236)
- Tyler Durna: 2-4, R (.225)
- Delvin Zinn: 2-5, R (.226)
- Bryan King: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (4.15)
- Jordan Nwogu: 1-2, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB (.169)
- Flemin Bautista: 1-2, HR (2), R, 3 RBI (.197)
- Matt Mervis: 2-4, R, RBI, BB, 2 SB (5, 6) (.212)
- Pablo Aliendo: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, HBP, SB (1) (.258)
- Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4, 2B, R, BB (.268)
- Kevin Made: 1-4, R, BB, SB (1) (.184)
- Ed Howard: 2-6, RBI (.211)
- Jonathan Sierra: 1-4, 2 R, BB (.252)
- Didier Vargas: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, BB, 2 K (4.75)
- Danis Correa: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (W, 1-0, 2.77)
- Blake Whitney: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (1.54)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Jordan Nwogu (.169/.285/.305) is beginning to sort things out at the plate. Since his season bottomed out at a .125 average on June 19th, he has gone 12-for-54 (.222) with 3 HRs and a respectable 6 BB/13 K. It obviously isn’t a huge breakout, but his timing has improved, and when Nwogu does get a hold of one… watch out. There may not be another hitter in the system with more raw power, and the ball jumps off his bat, even he doesn’t get lift on it. I’m reminded a bit of the issues David Bote had when he was in the low Minors. The Cubs have also been playing him in CF more and more, which boosts his stock.
- Yovanny Cabrera: 3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (2.25)
- Johzan Oquendo: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K (W, 2-0, 0.00)
- Luis A. Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (S, 1, 0.00)
- Ezequiel Pagan: 2-3, 2B, 2 R, SB (2) (.438)
- Cam Balego: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI (.750)
- Rafael Morel: 1-3, 3B, R, RBI (.120)
- Yovanny Cuevas: 1-2, 2B, R (.286)
- Levi Jordan: 1-3, RBI (.200)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Ezequiel Pagan has a hit in each of his last 10 starts (he came in as a defensive replacement one game and did not get a plate appearance so it isn’t an official hitting streak. He does have a streak of 6 consecutive 2-hit games in which he’s raised his average from .308 to .438.
In three rehab games 3B/C Cam Balego is 6-for-8 with 4 doubles and a walk.