The Chicago Cubs may not be eyeballing a surefire division run this year, and may have been heavily focused on the draft over the past 10+ days, but neither thing is going to stop them from continuing to add talent from the independent leagues.
The latest addition is catcher Dean Nevarez, who has been signed from the Missoula PaddleHeads of the Pioneer League:
In the words of the great 21st century philosopher, @DeanNevarez, "Let's go PaddleHeads, we're the best"
— Missoula PaddleHeads (@GoPaddleHeads) July 7, 2021
Nevarez established himself as the PaddleHeads’ go-to man behind the plate. The 6-foot native of Tijuana, Mexico, appeared in 30 games. In 104 at-bats, Nevarez posted an average of .317 with 11 extra-base hits, six home runs and 19 RBIs.
The Cubs’ acquisition of Nevarez marks the catcher’s second stint in affiliated baseball. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 19th round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Nevarez, 24, has been assigned to the ACL Cubs (rookie ball) for now, and we’ll see if that’s a long-term thing or just a placeholder while post-draft assignments shake out. He briefly reached full-season Low-A in 2019 when with the Mariners, who appear to have let him go during the pandemic. From there, Nevarez took to the Pioneer League, raked, and got himself noticed by the Cubs.