ian happ south bend cubsWhile watching Joe Maddon demonstrate, once again, that everything we think we know about baseball we really don’t, it occured to me that there are two players in particular in the farm system I can easily see fitting into the Maddon method. Two that stand out in particular, anyway.

Ian Happ is the obvious one. He is a switch hitting, multi-positional talent who has already shown pretty good plate discipline, pretty good power, and is probably good enough defensively to handle every position but shortstop and catcher. And I wouldn’t bet against him being able to catch. While he is being groomed as a regular second baseman, the Cubs are making sure he stays familiar with the outfield. He could be one of those guys that Maddon has play four different positions in the same game as soon as the second half of next year.



The other name that came to mind was Jake Stinnett. In terms of raw stuff, Stinnett has mid-rotation potential. In terms of repeating his delivery and controling his stuff, he has some work to do. That is at least in part because he converted to pitching relatively late, his junior year at Maryland to be precise. Before then he played third base. I think his future is in the rotation, but if he does go to the bullpen he could emerge as a guy that Maddon would be very comfortable moving on and off the mound from time to time, similar to how he used Wood last night.

That’s not to say that there aren’t more players in the system who would fit onto a Maddon team. There are a lot of them. These two stuck out, I think, because both are the sorts of players who could be of interest to anyone the Cubs strike a deal with today (if, in fact, the Cubs make a deal. ¬†They may not).

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 8, Omaha 3
Almora has a seven game hitting streak since going back to Iowa, and multiple hits in three of his last four.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Birmingham 6, Tennessee 2
Despite having more hits, the Smokies came up short on runs.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 3, Salem 1
Salem was held scoreless for the last eight innings of the game.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 2, Great Lake 1
Alzolay was at his best in this one.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 7, Boise 6
The Emeralds held off a late Boise rally.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs
Angels 11, Cubs 5
The Cubs committed three errors and gave up seven walks. That makes winning a challenge.

Other Notes

  • All the games in the minor leagues today start after the trade deadline has passed. That means Minor League Hug Watch 2016 has officially ended. The final tally was zero hugs, one late scratch (Torres), and one false alarm that caused a minor firestorm on Twitter (Happ getting a day off).
  • Ok, so that’s not entirely accurate. Technically, I believe, we should stay on a lower level of Hug Watch because even after the deadline today, waiver trades can still happen. Those are more complicated, though. We’ll have more details on those later on.
  • Once the trade deadline has passed, the Mid-Season Re-Ranking of the Bleacher Nation Top 40 Prospects List will arrive a few days later. I am mainly waiting on the Cubs to stop changing the list on me before I nail down the final order. Then it is just a matter of typing up the articles and it will be done. Right now it looks like this may include more new faces than any mid-season ranking I’ve done so far. Over a quarter of the list is certain to change, it may well be half before all is said and done.



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