Cubs Minor League Highlights: Iowa's Weird Walk-Off, Stewart Dominates, Another Ortega Shot, Morel's Monster Blast

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Cubs Minor League Highlights: Iowa’s Weird Walk-Off, Stewart Dominates, Another Ortega Shot, Morel’s Monster Blast

Chicago Cubs

There were a few video highlights from the Cubs’ minor league action last night that I wanted to give a look this morning, as well as giving a shout to Triple-A Iowa starter Kohl Stewart, who kicked off his time with the Cubs by absolutely dominating.

Just saying that sometimes you get a stalled-out former top pitching prospect into a new organization, and some switches flip:

Obviously one outing doesn’t tell you that much, but that is just overwhelming. We’ll keep a close eye on Stewart, whose stuff we love, but who hasn’t ever been able to translate it to the kind of dominance you’d expect.

That Iowa Cubs game, which was on Marquee, wound up finishing in walk-off fashion. Weird walk-off fashion, because this poor catcher just … didn’t … catch the ball:

In that win, outfielder Rafael Ortega hit his THIRD homer already this season:

I just don’t know what will happen with Ortega this year, especially given that Nick Martini just got the outfield fill-in call rather than Ortega, who turns 30 this year. Having hit well over the winter and in Spring Training, and having hit well at Triple-A the last five years, there’s really not anything else Ortega can do to get a shot. Either the stars will align for a fit, or they won’t. Unfortunately, as wide open as the outfield bench picture once looked on the Cubs, it has tightened up considerably given the performance of guys like Jake Marisnick and Matt Duffy (by way of Kris Bryant playing in the outfield).

At Double-A Tennessee, where he landed after last year’s alt site experience and skipping High-A, Christopher Morel continues to rake in the early going, including his first homer of the year. I cannot even tell where this ball landed:

Morel, who has been playing some center field in addition to his typical third base, is just incredible talented, with bat speed for days. He will remind you of Javy Báez in a lot of ways, albeit without the same elite defense or ceiling. He is just physically very gifted, very fluid, very athletic, and makes such hard contact.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.