Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On The Dominican Summer League

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On The Dominican Summer League

Chicago Cubs

The farm system is now very thin on impact talent in the full season leagues, but the short season leagues are a different story. And that goes for the Dominican Summer League teams as well. Now that the Cubs two lowest-level teams have been playing for some time, it is worth checking in on how the lowest level Cubs affiliates are doing.

And right off the bat, we find 18-year-old outfielder Fernando Kelli ranking fourth in the league in OPS (min 100 PA) with a .968. Kelli, a switch hitter, has two home runs and 28 steals to go with his line of .353/.461/.507. I think we can look for Kelli to come to Arizona for the instructional leagues this fall, and to start 2018 with Eugene or Mesa.

Fellow 18-year-old Carlos Pacheco doesn’t have an overall line as impressive as Kelli (although his .254/.414/.456 with 5 HR and 5 SB certainly isn’t bad), but his 20.3% walk rate really stands out. His strikeout is just a little higher, and that isn’t so good, but a 20%+ walk rate with an ISO over .200 is a really interesting combination for a teenager in any league.

At the opposite end of the scale, 18-year-old Orian Nunez has a strikeout of just 6.1% to go with his line of .308/.374/.369. Nunez is a right handed hitting second baseman who also has a 9.5% walk rate and 15 steals.

On the pitching side, 17-year-old Yovanny Cruz is the big standout. Cruz, a righty, has 8.29 K/9 and a 52.1% ground ball rate in 33.2 innings of work to go with his 2.94 ERA and 2.73 xFIP.

Right hander Elias Herrera (19) ranks fifth with a K/9 of 11.19 (min 20 IP), although his 4.24 BB/9 and 5.40 ERA are less noteworthy (2.87 xFIP is nice, though).

It will be several years before we really know what the Cubs have in any of these guys, but I very much suspect this group… along with a few other of their DSL comrades… will be showing up on the Daily as part of Mesa or Eugene (or maybe even South Bend) a year from now.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 16, Nashville 7
The wind out to center at 13 MPH, and there was only one (Nashville) home run.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies

The Smokies had the day off.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 5, Buies Creek 4
The Pelicans opened this game with another great starting pitching peformance.

Low A: South Bend Cubs

The Cubs had the day off.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Everett 3, Eugene 2
Eugene rallied to tie it up in the eighth.

Rookie: AZL Cubs

The AZL Cubs had the day off.

Other Notes

  • The Iowa debut of Dillon Maples went exactly as you probably expected: 1 IP, 2 K. He threw 12 pitches, and in a bit of a surprise, the non-strikeout came in the air instead of on the ground. A few more appearances like this, and we may have to consider the possibility that the Cubs could pick up a solid reliever at the trade deadline for the low, low cost of a 25-man roster slot by just promoting Maples.
  • Bailey Clark’s eight strikeouts fell one short of his season high; he struck out nine on July 5.
  • With yesterday’s loss, Eugene dropped into a three way tie for first place with Boise and Hillsboro. The first half ends on Sunday.

Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.