Back in the glory days of the Cubs minor league system, we fell into one of my favorite baseball-related practices: tracking big minor league home runs from the highest tier of Cubs prospects.
From about 2011-2015, you’ll very easily recall, we watched homers from various minor leaguers like Anthony Rizzo (#RizzOMG), Javy Baez (#BaezAfterDark) Jorge Soler (never quite came up with one), Kris Bryant (#Sparkle), Kyle Schwarber (#Hulk), and Addison Russell – you know, the current members of Chicago Cubs.
‘Twas a magical time.
Of course, we obsessed over those prospects not only because they were very obviously talented, but also because the MLB Cubs were, uh, not quite as much.
Now that the Major League squad is racking up the wins, however, our attention has been drawn back to the show and away from the sky high rockets of the I-Cubs, Smokies, Pelicans, SB Cubs and the rest of the Cubs system. Well, at least for today, let’s jump right back into that practice. Let’s jump in with three home runs from three high profile guys in the Cubs minors and party like it’s 2013.
First, let’s start with the Cubs’ top overall prospect and the top catching prospect in all of baseball, Willson Contreras. Contreras took a 1-1 fastball to deep left center field last night, to break up the tie ball game against the Chihuahuas. The homer was his fifth of the season and came as part of a 1-4 night that included a walk. The I-Cubs ultimately won the game 8-3 and Contreras line moved to .326/.423/.511 on the season.
Check out the blast:
Then you have long-time breakout candidate and recent break-out-haver, Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez also took a 1-1 pitch to deep left center field to break up a tie ball game against the Loons. The homer was Jimenez’s seventh of the season and came as part of a 1-4 night. The SB Cubs won the game 8-3 and Jimenez’s line moved to .335/.373/.549 on the season.
Check it out:
Finally, the Cubs most recent first round draft pick Ian Happ joined the party. Standing as a lefty in the box, Happ took his pitch high and deep out to right field to break up a tie ball game in the top of the first inning against the Mudcats. The homer was Happ’s fifth of the season and came as part of a 3-6 night. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans won the game 3-2 in the 14th inning, where Happ actually scored the winning run. His line has now improved to .281/.384/.456 on the season.
So that’s it. Three of the Cubs’ most prominent prospects each hit tie-breaking home runs as part of wins for their respective teams.
You may not hear about them as much and they may not be as highly touted as some of the Cubs recent prospect graduates, but the Cubs have some serious talent in the minors. Each of these guys combine positive and encouraging scouting reports with actually great performances to back them up.
Ah. I miss this.