Today’s game against the Mariners is turning into a laugher in favor of the Cubs (actually, the Cubs just gave up a four-spot as I typed), thanks in no small part to the contributions from the many prospects dotting the Cubs’ lineup.
For example, utility prospect Chesny Young is in there playing second base, and muscling up:
Wow. Did you see where that ball went out? Yes, the ball flies in Arizona this time of year, but that thing wound up right next to the 410 sign – for Young, that’s a bomb.
We’ve often talked about the need for Young to add a little more power to his game if the high-average ability is going to translate at the big league level. Not that one Spring Training dinger is going to tell you much, but I love seeing Young sitting on a 3-1 pitch and absolutely hammering it.
Young will likely start the season at AAA Iowa, playing a variety of positions and working to get his offense big-league ready. Although he might not ever be a plus bat, overall, in the big leagues, there’s very clear potential value for him down the road as very versatile utility man with good contact ability and good baserunning.
Young wasn’t the only Cubs prospect to go deep, though Ian Happ is not a guy about whose power we’re especially worried. Dude also has one of the prettiest swings in the entire organization:
That one really shows of his natural power, too, as you can tell he didn’t get all of it, but still had enough whip and the right angle to get it out.
Happ also has a single and a double in the game.
Happ, like Young, will derive a good bit of his value from versatility, but Happ is likely to have a big-league-regular-caliber bat. He’ll probably head back to AA Tennessee to begin the season, before hopefully working his way up to AAA Iowa before too long.