Cubs Minor League Daily: Keegan Thompson Pitches Yet Another Gem

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Keegan Thompson Pitches Yet Another Gem

Chicago Cubs

You should be paying attention to Keegan Thompson. The Cubs’ third round pick from 2017 out of Auburn is having a fantastic season, and I think it has now hit the point where we can safely admit that this guy might be better than we expected. He might in fact be pushing for a Top 100 slot.

Consider this selection from his last six starts:

May 26 – 6 innings, one hit, eight strikeouts
June 2 – 6.1 innings, two hits, three walks, four strikeouts
June 14 – 7 perfect innings, eight strikeouts
June 30 – 6.1 innings, one hit, two walks, seven strikeouts

He was promoted to Double A after the June 14 game. Thompson’s starts on June 8 and June 23 were not as smooth, but the trend here is just so good that the rougher starts become the aberrations. The fact is that it is hard for batters to just get hits off Keegan Thompson.

It would be safe to say that his stock is soaring right now, and that Thompson is probably going to rank higher on the mid-season Top 40 than No. 20 where I slotted him pre-season. It would also be safe to say that he’ll be in contention for best pitching prospect in the farm system, and probably in the conversation for best overall.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs

The Iowa game was suspended by rain in fourth inning with the Cubs trailing Memphis 3-1. We’ll do the stats when the game is completed.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 2, Chattanooga 0
Thompson and two relievers combined for the one-hitter.

  • Keegan Thompson: 6.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Wyatt Short: 1.2 IP and a line of zeroes
  • Jake Stinnett: 1 IP, 2 K
  • Trey Martin: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Zack Short: 1 for 2, HR, BB
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 3

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 4, Potomac 1
The Pelicans won for only the third time since their ten game winning streak at the beginning of the month was snapped.

  • Erich Uelmen: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Jhon Romero: 2 IP, 3 K
  • D.J. Wilson: 1 for 4, 3B
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Austin Upshaw: 2 for 3

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 13, Dayton 12 in ten innings
I can’t blame the awful extra innings rule for the high score in this one. Runs were scored in seven of the nine regular innings.

  • Erling Moreno: 5 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Brian Glowicki: 2.1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 2 H, 1 K
  • Cam Balego (3B): 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
  • Roberto Caro: 1 for 4, 2 BB, SB
  • Brandon Hughes: 2 for 6
  • Jared Young: 1 for 5, HR, BB
  • Miguel Amaya: 1 for 4, BB
  • Austin Filiere: 2 for 3, HR, 2 BB
  • Christian Donahue: 3 for 4, 2 2B, HR, BB
  • Cam Balego: 1 for 4, SB
  • Delvin Zinn: 2 for 5

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds

Eugene had the day off.

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1
White Sox 4, Cubs One 3 in eleven innings
The Cubs led all the way to the ninth inning when the White Sox tied it up to force extra innings.

  • Didier Vargas: 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Riger Fernandez: 3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Maikel Aguilar: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Luke Reynolds: 0 for 3, 2 BB
  • Josue Huma: 2 for 5, SB
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Luis Hidalgo: 1 for 4, HR

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2

Cubs 2 had the day off.

Other Notes

  • Keegan Thompson threw 93 pitches in that game, his season high.
  • Around June 25 the Cubs shuffled minor rosters in a way that took some relievers out of Tennessee, but also sent to the Smokies the (former) Myrtle Beach closer Wyatt Short. Since then, though, Short hasn’t been the Smokies’ closer as I expected. He’s been the setup man. The closer has been Jake Stinnett, and he has been excellent. He’s converted all three of his save chances (1 IP each), and in that time he has allowed zero hits, zero walks, and struck out three. He was so effective on June 28 (his second save) that he needed just seven pitches to retire all three batters. Making this run as a closer more impressive is the fact that prior to taking on that role Stinnett had allowed at least one run in each of previous five straight games.
  • Not only did South Bend third baseman Cam Balego pitch two scoreless innings, he allowed just one hit and struck out two. He came on in the ninth inning of a tie game, pitched the Cubs into extra innings, and put up another scoreless frame despite having a runner starting on second. As position player pitching performances go, I think it will be a long time before we see one to top that.
  • Luke Reynolds, 10th round pick last month, made his professional debut last night for Arizona Cubs 1. Like the rest of the college bats, look for him to head to Eugene after a few games.


Author: Luke Blaize

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