As noted in the Minor League Daily this morning, two of the Cubs’ best positional prospects had huge games – again – for the Iowa Cubs.
Jeimer Candelario doubled THREE times, tripled once, and walked, all while piling up five RBI. Here’s his fourth hit of the night:
Ian Happ had a single and a walk, and also cracked his fourth homer of the young season:
These two prospects, each of whom is currently blocked at the big league level by a combination of players, just continue to rake.
Through seven games, Happ, 22, is hitting .276/.344/.724, while Candelario, 23, is even more LOL-worthy, at .370/.414/.926. Happ’s four homers are the most in the PCL so far this year. Candelario’s 15 RBI are also the most (by five).
Those numbers will come down, especially the slugging percentages as the team spends more time at the much less hitter-friendly confines of their home park in Des Moines, but there is little reason to believe that either player will struggle at AAA this year. Candelario already raked in a half season at Iowa last year, and Happ has the kind of advanced bat that everyone expects will play right now at AAA.
The question is what happens if they simply crush it all year at Iowa, and a spot never opens up on the big league roster? In most ways that matter, that’s a question best answered right now with a smiling shrug.
You don’t want to see big-league-ready prospects (if, in fact, these guys get there in the coming weeks/months) languishing in the minors when they could be taking their next step in development or contributing to big league wins. On the other hand, if there’s not room to get these guys semi-regular playing them, then (1) that says some great things about the big league roster, and (2) these things can sort themselves out later organically. Someone(s) can get hurt. Someone(s) can be traded.
For right now, as we sit here today, it’s just great that these two are hitting so well. It’s early, and there will be slumps. But, on the whole, if Happ and Candelario keep hitting like we believe they can, there is reason to believe good will come from it eventually, in one way or another.