Let’s get right into it with a look at the farm system over the last week…
News in the System
- Two new prospect lists came out over the past few days, with MLB Pipeline releasing their top 30 followed by Prospects Live’s new top 10 prospects. The quintet of Nico Hoerner, Miguel Amaya, Brennen Davis, Adbert Alzolay, and Brailyn Marquez have dominated the top of every list this season.
- Speaking of Davis, he returned from injury after a short stint on the IL. That finger bruise from a bunt attempt seemed to not be too bad after all.
- There was some shuffling at the lower levels, with DJ Artis receiving a well-deserved promotion to Myrtle Beach and Nelson Maldonado taking his place on the South Bend roster as he becomes the first 2019 draft pick in full-season ball.
- There was plenty of minor league love at CI, with Todd Johnson covering the release of the new prospect lists and discussing Hoerner’s future, while the Growing Cubs guys dropped a new episode of the podcast.
- If you’re looking to pick up some Myrtle Beach Pelicans gear, just click that link and make sure to use PELICANSFAMILY19 at checkout for 30% off. Their Palmetto State caps are finally back in stock after flying off the shelves when they were first released.
Triple-A Iowa Cubs
- A tough week for the I-Cubs led to a 1-5 record mostly due to the fact that pitchers gave up an average of 10.5 runs over the last four games of the week. The first-place team is on the road all week to take on Reno and Tacoma.
- Ian Happ received his long-awaited promotion to Chicago, and in turn we saw Addison Russell optioned down. Unfortunately, he will be taking away some at-bats from some of the hottest hitters in Triple-A and the most consistent batters Des Moines has seen this year.
- Phillip Evans did not pick up an extra base hit last week but was still able to put up an OPS of 1.002 thanks in part to his .478 OBP.
- Dixon Machado homered three times batting out of the leadoff spot and tallied an 1.159 OPS.
- Donnie Dewees locked down the save in the team’s lone win. Yes, you read that correctly. The outfielder came in and registered a save in the bottom of the 9th inning in a 5-4 game. The bullpen was absolutely taxed and Dewees was called upon to record three outs, and he got them because baseball.
Double-A Tennessee Smokies
- The Smokies failed to do much better than their big brothers to the north as they fell to 2-5 on the week. Things have just fallen apart for the guys from Kodak as they now sit 14 games back of first place. They are also on the road all week, playing Chattanooga and Mississippi.
- There really is not a whole lot of fun going on in Tennessee right now and that includes individual performances. A bright spot last week (and this season) was Cory Abbott. He made two starts and threw 10 innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out 12. He walked nine batters, though, which is pretty uncharacteristic.
- Gioskar Amaya homered and doubled on his way to a .918 OPS. He carried the team with seven RBI.
- Jhonny Pereda has been one of the best hitters all season for the Smokies but last week he went hitless in his 22 plate appearances. Want an ugly slash line? How’s .000/.045/.000?
High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- It was an even .500 week for the Birds, who went 4-4 because of a double-header last Monday. They face off against Frederick at home and Fayetteville on the road all while trying to keep the first place Down East Wood Ducks in their sights. Myrtle Beach sits just 3.5 games out of first place.
- Erich Uelmen was the story out of South Carolina last week, starting twice and only giving up three runs on 11 hits in 12 innings. He struck out 12 while only walking a couple.
- Ryan Lawlor was lights-out from the bullpen, striking out eight without walking anyone in his four innings on the bump.
- Jack Patterson has not allowed a run since June 12, back when he was in South Bend. The scoreless streak is up to 27.2 innings.
- Some love for Grant Fennell as he had 10 hits (3 doubles) in his 27 at-bats.
Low-A South Bend Cubs
- South Bend was home to the best record in the system last week, as they went 5-1 and now sit just four games out of first place in the second half of the season. The Cubs will look to keep things rolling as they get to stay home all week this week against West Michigan and Great Lakes.
- Brailyn Marquez put together a start that was hands-down the best performance I have ever seen in the minors. The kid struck out 14 over 6 innings and only gave up one hit without allowing a run or a walk. The big lefty ended the game with eight straight strikeouts and only threw 71 pitches, 53 of which were strikes. His control and command were light years ahead of what it has been all season long and he touch 101 mph with his heater and featured a terrific slider.
- Riley Thompson and Cam Sanders also put together good starts. They both gave up a run in five innings and Thompson added seven strikeouts to the mix.
- DJ Artis left South Bend with a bang before his promotion, walking more than he struck out last week and added three doubles.
- Andy Weber also walked more than he struck out and put up an OPS of 1.053.
Short Season Eugene Emeralds
- It was a 3-4 record last week for the Ems which included a 3-3 start to the second half of the season. Unfortunately, they were not able to secure the first-half crown, so a championship in this half is necessary in order to advance to the postseason. Eugene faces off against Spokane and Boise at home all week this week.
- Michael McAvene made his Eugene debut last week as a starter, but only went one inning due to a strict innings limit in accordance with his workload at Louisville. It will be interesting to see him being groomed as a starter after closing during his college years.
- John Pomeroy, Josh Burgmann, Chris Clarke, Hunter Bigge, Tanner Dalton, and Ryan Jensen all threw last week and none of them allowed a run. The new 2019 class is getting the job done.
- Pedro Martinez (not that one) went 4-for-4 in his Eugene debut after putting up crazy good numbers in the Dominican and in Arizona so far.