With the various Minor League seasons well underway, we can finally get into some prospect notes about players’ actual, current season performances. So, let’s do just that. Here are some notes from the Cubs’ Minor League system …
- 23-year-old second baseman Chesny Young has had a hilariously good start to the 2016 season. From AA Tennessee, Young has .382/.506/.529 with a .484 wOBA and a 204 wRC+. That OBP, by the way, comes largely from the strength of a ridiculous 18.8% walk rate. And, not to prolong the insanity, but Young has paired that walk rate with a 7.1% strikeout rate. Even if you flipped those two percentages, you’d be happy with his plate discipline. This is Young’s first stop at AA Tennessee, but if he keeps doing this, the Cubs might have to challenge him even further.
- A couple Cubs prospects have made MLB Pipeline’s team of the week recently, with South Bend’s Donnie Dewees making the cut two weeks ago. During that stretch (April 11-17), Dewees slashed .462/.516/.846, including 2 stolen bases and a strikeout rate (6.5%) much smaller than his walk rate (12.9%).
- Similarly, last week’s MLB Pipeline Team of the Week featured another Cub, and this time it was Ian Happ at second base. Over that stretch, the Cubs last first round pick slashed a laughable .429/.600/.905 with – now get this – a 30% walk rate and a 13.3% strike out rate. I don’t know what is going on in the Cubs minor league system but holy cow. These kids must be eating their RizzOs.
- Baseball America took a look at 10 prospects that might be in line for a quick and early promotion, and Dewees makes the list. A snippet of the write-up on Dewees: “This year, the Cubs sent Dewees to low Class A South Bend, where he has shown the lefty stroke and advanced approach that impressed the Cubs scouts when he was at North Florida. As a fairly polished 22-year-old college hitter, Dewees could handle a more aggressive promotion to high Class A Myrtle Beach.” Had they gotten off to stronger starts, Jeimer Candelario and Billy McKinney probably would have been candidates for the list, though it’s not like either has played that many games at AA between last year and this year.
- Lastly, let’s talk about one of the Cubs prospects most likely to make an impact on the 2016: Albert Almora. Long known for his gold glove caliber defense in center field, Almora never really did much with his bat. Indeed, the skills were there, and he’s great at making contact, but he slugged very little and rarely got on base throughout his minor league career. Still, the Cubs continued to develop him and progress him through the system and today, Almora is slashing .344/.389/.500 as a just barely 22-year-old, gold glove-caliber center fielder in AAA Iowa. The Des Moines Register has a nice recap of his season so far and what changes Almora has made at the plate. It seems that the Cubs’ approach at the plate has really began to sink in for Almora and the results are speaking for themselves. So, if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, I encourage you to check it out.
- And, as always, Luke’s Minor League Daily was delivered for you this morning.