There’s been a flurry of Cubs Minor League news and updates to attend to, so we’ll just jot it all down in some Cubs prospect notes, eh?
- First up, Triple-A Iowa catcher Victor Caratini and Single-A South Bend righty Duncan Robinson have been named the Cubs Minor League Player and Pitcher for the month of May! Congrats!
- Caratini, who came over to the Cubs at the 2014 trade deadline, is hitting .343/.383/.528 in 49 games this season, which is good for a 137 wRC+ in his league. While that’s impressive for any hitter, it’s even more impressive for a catcher. However, when you narrow the sample to the month of May, the slash line gets even better: .366/.398/.594 (158 wRC+). In other words, Caratini is absolutely killing it at one of the most valuable positions on the field. The Cubs are mostly set at catcher for this year with Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero, but the future is slightly more open, and a good-hitting catcher carries a lot of value on the trade market, as well.
- Robinson, 23, jumped back and forth between the rotation and bullpen this season, but he’s never thrown fewer than 2.1 innings in any appearance (not uncommon to piggyback starters at the lower level of the minors). And as for his six appearances (4 starts) in May, well, take a look for yourself: 1.06 ERA, 27.3 K%, 2.5 BB%, .178 average. Absolutely brilliant. Robinson was the Cubs’ 9th round pick out of Dartmouth last year. Yes, that’s where Kyle Hendricks went to school.
- Jacob Hannemann has been promoted to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and made some noise in his very first at-bat:
— Randy Wehofer (@RandyWehofer) June 6, 2017
- Julio Urias, you’ll know, is no scrub, so it’s good to see Hannemann continuing to plow forward with his development. To be quite clear, though, he was struggling at the plate a bit in his second go around at Double-A Tennessee this year, but he hit well there last year. Already 26 and now on the 40-man roster, the Cubs are going to want to see Hannemann taking a big step forward at Triple-A.
- Joining him on his ascent to Triple-A is right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo, according to Tommy Birch. Through 15.0 innings at Double-A Tennessee, Acevedo, 26, had yet to surrender an earned run this season. Unfortunately, his 10.7 K% and 8.9 BB% do leave much to be desired. Best of luck to both.
- After being named the Cubs Minor League pitcher of the year in 2015, Ryan Williams entered the 2016 season as one of the hottest pitchers to watch in the Cubs organization. Unfortunately, after starting the 2016 out at Triple-A Iowa, he was shut down after just nine games. Even more unfortunately, his 2017 season will be even shorter. After just six games (two starts) Williams will miss the remainder of the season due to “progressive tearing of his rotator cuff.” That is a huge bummer, my friends. Williams may have fallen off your radar after missing much of last year, but he was one of the Cubs’ more advanced prospects – which is something we all know they don’t have a lot of. We’ll see ya in 2018, Ryan.
- Speaking of pitching prospects missing time …
— Emily Waldon (@emilywaldon2080) June 2, 2017
- Cease is arguably the Cubs top pitching prospect, but is no stranger to time on the disabled list. Fortunately, this trip is not arm related and isn’t expected to take too long. Like him, I’ll stay on the optimistic side. Come back soon, Cease.
- Eloy check:
Eloy Jimenez has picked up right where he left off: .288/.408/.508 (151 wRC+) through his first 71 Plate Appearances of 2017.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 6, 2017
- As Luke noted in the Minor League Daily, the AA Tennessee Smokies are overloaded with All-Stars:
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) June 6, 2017