Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Too many great performances to choose from for a headline, in one of the best days on the farm in recent history

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Too many great performances to choose from for a headline, in one of the best days on the farm in recent history

Jacob Wetzel (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

It is difficult to know where to start.

Cubs with the system sweep from Chicago to Arizona tonight. Scores:

6-210-012-66-214-45-1

Have to go all the way to the DSL to find a Cubs loss. The two DSL teams were 1-1 today.

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Simply put, the Cubs farm system dominated yesterday. There were so many impressive performances by top prospects (and lesser prospects) that I simply can’t do them all justice or provide highlights and breakdowns of all of them in the time I have to complete this recap.

I am both looking forward to and dreading my Minors Recap in the morning. I could probably spend 3+ hours writing and compiling everything. But I’ll have to cut myself off before that. https://t.co/rWuT9Gynei

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 24, 2022

I mean, here’s what I’m having to sort through. You tell me who to focus on:

Pitchers

Caleb Kilian: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K

Sean Newcomb: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K

Jeremiah Estrada: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Luis Devers: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 62 pitches

— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines)

July 24, 2022

And it is not just yesterday’s action which indicates the way the Cubs farm system and development staffs are rapidly improving. Here are some impressive pitching and hitting statistical indicators for the season (which doesn’t include last night’s dominance):

Hey there 3rd place https://t.co/l3eRe4wVuh

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 23, 2022

Yes

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 23, 2022

UPDATE: Here’s another:

In 2019, Cubs had just 2 minor leaguers hit more than 17 HR in the entire season (Robel Garcia & Trent Giambrone). In 2017 & 2018, it was just 1 player each year (Jason Vosler). In 2016, again, just 1 player (Yasiel Balaguert). In 2015, again, just 1 (Christian Villanueva). https://t.co/NtsBXgIH3z

— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation)

July 24, 2022

If the Cubs hit big at the trade deadline, this may well become a top five system in baseball.

MLB Draft Signings Update

The Cubs have officially announced the signing of 8 draftees from their Top 10 selections. Bonus figures are still only available for a handful of the overall signings, but the two remaining unsigned prospects (Jackson Ferris and Nazier Mule) from the Top 10 have both indicated they will sign, and it is just a matter of settling on a final figure. It is a similar situation from the Day 3 draftees.

Sunday morning #Cubs 2022 Draft signings update. Only 5 reported signing bonuses as of now, but 8 of the top 10 picks officially signed and the other 2 (Ferris, Mule) are expected any day. Indications are 8 of the final 10 selections have/will sign. Wheat and Blatter undecided. pic.twitter.com/pty3EoRUc0

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 24, 2022

The two prep players from rounds 11-20 who figured to be the toughest signs (JP Wheat and Brock Blatter) are the two we’ve had no indications on. Blatter in particular has a strong commitment to Alabama with an NLI in place, which means his bonus demand likely far exceeds the $125K allowance for Day 3 picks, so any overage must come from the Cubs bonus pool and there may not be enough. The Cubs are no doubt negotiating with undrafted free agents as well, and some they are pursuing may cost more than 125K too.

AAA

Iowa 10, Omaha 0

Game Recap

Narciso Crook led the offensive onslaught with a double and a pair of home runs. The 27-year old continues his breakout campaign and is now just one homer shy of his career high which he set last season. He already made his long awaited MLB debut last month, and will no doubt be returning to Chicago once trades free up spots on the MLB roster.

Speaking of guys pushing for a return to the Majors… Caleb Kilian and Sean Newcomb made a helluva statement last night as well. Both of them turned in their best performance of the season. A walk to leadoff the game was just about the only blemish on Kilian’s night. He seems to be sorting out his mechanical issue(s) which contributed to a loss of command and control since he made his MLB debut. He’s incorporating all of his pitches more effectively, and managed to pump his fastball as high as 98 mph.

2 more K’s in the second. This one well-spotted at 98. pic.twitter.com/AKyYaPdo7S

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 23, 2022

8 Ks through 4 IP. Kilian keeps nailing this spot. pic.twitter.com/IVtmEoYytv

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 23, 2022

As for Newcomb, I didn’t get a chance to review any of his innings from last night or any of his recent outings, but talent has never been an issue with him. So, if the org has worked with him to sort through his own mechanical and control issues, a return to the 40 and 26-man roster is likely only a matter of time.

And… Newcomb just spun a 1-2-3 ninth to secure a 10-0, three-hit shutout for the @IowaCubs.

Kilian: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 8 K.Newcomb: 4 IP, 2 H, 6 K.

Just a dominant performance. https://t.co/iZkbYOEuyj

— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen)

July 24, 2022

Top Performers

Caleb Kilian: 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 8 K (W, 3-1, 3.63)Sean Newcomb: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (S, 1, 3.60)Narciso Crook: 3-5, 2B, 2 HR (12, 13), 2 R, 4 RBI, CS (5) (.260)Levi Jordan: 2-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI (.248)Dixon Machado: 2-4, R, HBP (.313)Darius Hill: 2-5, 3 RBI (.333)Zach Davis: 1-3, 2 R, BB, SB (13) (.200)Erick Castillo: 1-4, R, 2 RBI (.265)

AA

Tennessee 12, Chattanooga 6

Game Recap

Look out Myrtle Beach, in the second half of the season Tennessee is threatening to replace you as the most fun to watch affiliate.

It wasn’t all good news in the system last night. D.J. Herz walked three batters and gave up a three-run home run without making it out of the 1st inning in his AA debut. We’re not going to dwell on that though. This level was always going to prove a more legitimate test of his command and control than previous stops, and occasional bad outings like this are to be expected. When Herz is wild, hitters at this level are far more likely to wait him out and make him pay than A ball opponents.

His outing led to the Smokies falling behind 6-1 through two innings, but it just made the comeback all the more satisfying.

The Smokies offense would explode in the top of the 4th. Miguel Amaya kicked things off with a double. Two singles and a walk later, Amaya had scored to cut the deficit to four, and the Smokies had the bases loaded with just one out. Jake Slaughter followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in another. Now with two outs, it seemed like Tennessee might have to settle for just a pair of runs, but no, not on this night.

The heart of the order came to the plate and went to work. Alexander Canario hit a three-run blast, then Bryce Ball went deep as well. Chase Strumpf just missed making it back-to-back-to-back jacks as he doubled off the wall. After a pitching change, Amaya stepped up for his second plate appearance of the inning and drilled a two-run homer to center to cap off an eight-run outburst.

Bryce Ball goes back to back with a loooong HR to RF. pic.twitter.com/E7TMS7Ta8x

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

In between Ball and Amaya, Strumpf just missed this one. Smokies almost had back to back to back to back HRs. pic.twitter.com/tRMFbSye4U

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

The bullpen slammed the door over the final seven innings and the offense kept adding on late. Just a fun night all around.

Nasty curve by Estrada, nifty call by the Chattanooga announcer. pic.twitter.com/7uPCzkeRyt

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Perlaza has added 2 BBs and this double to his leadoff HR tonight. pic.twitter.com/pRLinL8LXI

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Chase Strumpf doubles off the wall again to drive in a run. He’s 3-4 tonight with a BB and 2 2Bs. pic.twitter.com/jSYw0I9IEQ

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Top Performers

Yonathan Perlaza: 2-3, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, RBI, 3 BB (.250)Alexander Canario: 1-3, HR (16), R, 3 RBI, 3 BB (.241)Bryce Ball: 3-6, 2B, HR (9), 2 R, RBI (.277)Miguel Amaya: 2-6, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI (.455)Chase Strumpf: 3-5, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB (.248)Bradlee Beesley: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, HBP, SB (4), CS (1) (.202)Bryce Windham: 2-5, 2B, R (.206)Luis Vazquez: 2-5, R (.226)Jake Slaughter: 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI (.318)Peyton Remy: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K (W, 6-3, 7.21)Jeremiah Estrada: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (1.72)C.D. Pelham: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (6.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Not only did Alexander Canario display good plate coverage on his three-run shot in this game, but he is also beginning to display improved patience, pitch recognition, and discipline up there. And if he can sustain that… watch out.

Alexander Canario draws another walk.

Are we witnessing a similar plate discipline improvement of the type Christopher Morel began in Tennessee?

Same kind of bat speed and power that can be unlocked if the pitch recognition and swing decisions improve.

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 23, 2022

High-A

South Bend 6, Quad Cities 2

Game Recap

The fun continued in South Bend. This time, the focus returned to the mound, where Luis Devers continues to put his name on the map in terms of Cubs starting pitching prospects. He fired six no-hit innings to lower his ERA at South Bend to 0.54 through his first four appearances (and 2.17 combined between MB/SB). Reliever Michael McAvene couldn’t keep the no-hitter intact, but did so with the shutout, which also extended his own shutout streak in the month of July to 7.2 innings.

Devers draws the accidental swing. “Boy, that was filthy.” pic.twitter.com/gFMvaCA2c9

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Michael McAvene is having a stellar month out of the pen. 7.2 IP, 11 Ks, 0 Runs, just 4 hits. Batting average against is .147. ERA is….well, you can do the math.

That dog’ll hunt.by me. pic.twitter.com/SNs5M15KLU

— Todd (@CubsCentral08)

July 24, 2022

The 22-year old knows how to change speeds and is capable of spotting his pitches in good locations more often any of the Cubs arms at the A ball levels. If he keeps this up, and doesn’t reach an innings cap, I could see Devers finishing his season in Tennessee. And depending on how many good prospects the Cubs add at the deadline, Devers should secure a spot in the system’s Top 30, and maybe even Top 20.

A couple of the Cubs top hitting prospects got in on the action as well. Pete Crow-Armstrong went oppo for his second homer in as many days, and Owen Caissie went 3-for-3 with a homer and walk. Jake Washer followed Caissie’s blast with one of his own, marking the second back-to-back jacks in the system yesterday.

Pete Crow-Armstrong, again!

The No. 3 @Cubs prospect clubs a deep fly for the second straight game for the @SBCubs. pic.twitter.com/CyVynnjg9J

— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline)

July 24, 2022

Owen Caissie. See: Home run. pic.twitter.com/iAb5XFrL0C

— Itsacon (@thats_so_cub)

July 23, 2022

Jake Washer with the back-to-back. 101mph off the bat. pic.twitter.com/9nllYXauaW

— Itsacon (@thats_so_cub)

July 23, 2022

Top Performers

Luis Devers: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 HBP, 2 K (W, 2-0, 0.54)Michael McAvene: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (2.03)Owen Caissie: 3-3, HR (9), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB (6) (.272)Pete Crow-Armstrong: 2-5, 2B, HR (6), R, RBI (.261)Jake Washer: 2-4, HR (11), R, 3 RBI (.286)Luis Verdugo: 2-4 (.270)Jonathan Sierra: 1-3, BB (.269)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Imagine a top of the order for the next decade featuring PCA tapping the umpire and opposing catcher with his bat and then Morel giving them fist bumps. https://t.co/PlJFEXQTP0

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

July 23, 2022

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 14, Charleston 4

Game Recap

A big night on the farm wouldn’t be complete without the Pelicans whooping the opposition.

Jacob Wetzel hit two home runs and drove in a career high 6 runs. Kevin Alcántara went 4-for-4 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base, and sac fly. Ezequiel Pagan reached safely five times. And Josue Huma reached base four times from the leadoff spot.

Wetzel dinger. pic.twitter.com/K6hG9QnZPd

— Todd (@CubsCentral08)

July 24, 2022

Jacob Wetzel just his his second homer of the night and now has six runs batted in for the evening pic.twitter.com/odlOEqY2bl

— Todd (@CubsCentral08)

July 24, 2022

Here is Alcántara’s triple. Gets around the bases in a hurry. pic.twitter.com/unvR5J9u3O

— Brad (@ballskwok)

July 24, 2022

Richard Gallardo followed up his best outing of the season with a solid one.

Top Performers

Jacob Wetzel: 3-5, 2 HR (6, 7), 3 R, 6 RBI, BB (.208)Kevin Alcántara: 4-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, SF, BB, SB (11) (.273)Ezequiel Pagan: 3-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB (.300)Josue Huma: 2-4, 3 R, 2 BB (.274)Richard Gallardo: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, BB< 5 K (W, 6-6, 4.05)Johzan Oquendo: 3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K (4.75)

ACL

Cubs 5, Athletics 1

DSL

Mets1 6, Cubs Blue 1

Cubs Red 12, Mets2 11

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So great to see this especially after a strong draft and what is also, hopefully, a strong trade deadline. Gonna…
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