I’ve mentioned in the past that having a Chicago Cubs prospect win his league’s player of the week honors is actually a relatively rare and laudable thing, despite how frequently it’s happened this year. Consider how many great players there are in every league, and how few of them are Cubs prospects, and you can do the math.
Despite that, four(!) Cubs prospects were recently named player/pitcher of the week in their respective leagues, including two Kane County Cougars:
- Kyle Schwarber got the nod on the positional side in the Midwest League, primarily because he laughed at every ball that was thrown to him in the last week, and the shockwaves from his powerful core send the ball, terrified, into the depths of the outfield. Schwarber has been applauded twice this week here at BN, so I won’t belabor it. Dude has been silly good.
- The Cubs also claimed the pitcher of the week in the MWL, and that honor went to Daury Torrez. The 21-year-old righty threw eight innings of shutout ball, allowing just five hits, no walks, and striking out seven. On the year, Torrez has a 3.14 ERA through 80.1 innings, with 45 strikeouts and 13 walks. As you’re seeing, he’s not really a strikeout guy – instead, he relies on command and a sinker that’s gotten him groundballs 49% of the time this year. Torrez is a legit prospect, though his upside is probably in the 4/5 starter range.
- In the Southern League, another command pitcher got the nod: Dae-Eun Rhee. Once a top pitching prospect for the Cubs, Rhee has leveled off a bit at AA, despite a sinker that looks beautiful when you see it live. The 25-year-old righty allowed just two earned runs in 12.2 innings of work last week, striking out 13 and walking 3. On the year, he’s got a 3.10 ERA over 98.2 innings, striking out 59 and walking 36. Because he’s been in the system so long, Rhee is slated to be a free agent after this season if he’s not rostered by the Cubs (which seems unlikely). Hopefully, the Cubs can retain him on a minor league deal (if they want to, that is).
- And finally, in the Pacific Coast League, it was arguably a close race between three I-Cubs (the other two being Kris Bryant and Javier Baez), but Arismendy Alcantara gets the award after destroying the ball all week. We gave him some love this weekend.