At a team level, we only periodically take a look at how one of the Cubs’ minor league affiliates is performing. Although it’s fun as a separate thing, it doesn’t necessarily tell you a ton about what you really want to know when observing Cubs minor leaguers: how are the various prospects doing in their development.
But when it comes to the Iowa Cubs, the organization’s highest minor-league affiliate, I do think it’s particularly nice to note that they are absolutely killing it right now:
If nothing else, the I-Cubs’ destruction of the PCL right now is suggestive of them having a roster with lots of theoretically useful pieces if the big league Cubs develop needs.
Of course, in that respect, it shouldn’t surprise you. The bullpen is pretty much exclusively big leaguers and legit relief prospects (Dillon Maples, Dakota Mekkes, James Norwood, Rowan Wick, Randy Rosario, Tim Collins, Brian Duensing, Xavier Cedeño), and the rotation includes the Cubs’ 2018 minor league pitcher of the year (Matt Swarmer), a rehabbing former top prospect with big league ability (Colin Rea), a guy whose ERA is barely over one (Trevor Clifton), and a couple guys who’ve previously reached the big leagues (Duane Underwood and Alec Mills).
Then you’ve got the positional guys on the roster, which features two guys who are basically big league Cubs in Ian Happ and Addison Russell, fringe big league guys who could be bench pieces on other rosters (Phillip Evans, Johnny Field, Cristhian Adames, and Dixon Machado), and an outfield prospect (Donnie Dewees) who is currently hitting .351/.462/.527 (151 wRC+) with a 7.5% STRIKEOUT RATE. My lord. Oh, and he already has two more hits today, including a double, so that line is going up.
On the whole, although the Cubs haven’t needed reinforcements beyond some relief swapping and Taylor Davis – indeed, they’re kinda overflowing as it is – it’s nice to see the AAA club is just destroying all comers.