I feel like we’re seeing an inordinate volume of minor league signings by the Cubs right up to the start of – and past the start of – the minor league season. I’m sure that’s not a coincidence of timing, and probably has to do with some or all of the shutdown last year, the limited scouting opportunities because of the pandemic, and the shortened draft that brought in fewer low-level guys to get roll-the-dice shots.
To that end, the Cubs have signed yet another minor league deal, bringing in righty Tyler Suellentrop, who immediately joined the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Unfortunately Suellentrop’s debut didn’t go well, walking four of the six batters he faced (striking out the other two), so he may have some refining to do. But hey, that’s part of the deal on these kinds of signings.
Now 24, Suellentrop was the Mariners’ 14th rounder in 2018, but didn’t get past rookie ball in 2018 or 2019. It looks like he was doing the private work thing over the past year, like so many others, and earned himself a shot back in affiliated ball.
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The Cubs have taken so many of these shots over the past couple months that they clearly made it a priority to bring in a bunch of these guys, give them a serious look out of the gate, and see what sorts itself out by midseason. I really dig it, because you already know you’re getting a grinder who is open to the hard work AND the data components, and you get to see how your new player development infrastructure can work with guys who are already in a mode where they’re trying to reinvent themselves.
I’d be shocked if at least one or two of these types of minor league free agent/undrafted free agent/later-career-bounce-back guys are not squarely on the prospect radar by June or July (and I mean in addition to High-A righty Max Bain, who already is).