Off-days are for the birds, baby.
With no game for the big league Cubs tonight, Marquee Sports Network has decided to cover and broadcast the Triple-A Iowa Cubs game against the Indianapolis Indians. Cory Abbott is taking the mound for the Cubs in this one, marking his Triple-A debut.
Abbott, the Cubs second round pick back in 2017, was Bleacher Nation’s 10th ranked prospect coming into this season, and this is what Bryan had to say about him at the time:
Skill Set: Cubs love the edge he plays with, and he benefits from an attack-attack-attack mentality on the mound. I believe the slider is more plus than it gets credit for, a belief that is backed up by the results (as a reminder, hitters went 25-for-213 in his last 11 AA starts). Can pitch backwards off his two breaking balls, or pitch conventionally, as the command of his fastball is generally above-average.
Developmental Focus: Drew considerable praise from Cubs personnel for the way he’s attacked workouts this winter, as he’ll enter 2021 in the (say it with me) Best Shape of His Life. I believe this, in concert with minor mechanical adjustments from South Bend, are going to result in the best velocity of Cory’s career. He talked in the past about finding a comfortable changeup grip, and Matt Dorey recently mentioned on a podcast that he’s added a one-seam fastball, so it will be interesting to see how the Cubs integrate those into the four-seam, slider, curveball mix that earned him 2019 Pitcher of the Year honors.
Big League Projection: I see a long career starting games in the big leagues.
With most of the Cubs top prospects in the lower levels of the minors, Abbott is by far the guy to watch tonight (though, I’m sure you’ll recognize Cameron Maybin, Ian Miller, P.J. Higgins, and a few others). Hopefully, Marquee continues to cover the minor league teams in the organization, because for most of us, this is a rare look at some of our favorite prospects.
Indianapolis Indians (1-1) at Iowa Cubs (1-1) – Thursday, May 6th at 7:08 CT on Marquee Sports Network, MiLB.TV
Indians: Cody Ponce (R)
Cubs: Cory Abbott (R)
1. Ian Miller, CF
2. Abiatal Avelino, 3B
3. Rafael Ortega, RF
4. P.J. Higgins, 1B
5. Cameron Maybin, LF
6. Taylor Gushue, C
7. Andrew Romine, 2B
8. Sergio Alcantara, SS
9. Cory Abbott, P