Although the Chicago Cubs prospects of the year made for the big organizational prospecting announcement this week, there was no major surprise there with Brennen Davis and D.J. Herz taking the honors.
The Cubs also announced their players of the month for the final month of the season, though, and that gives us a couple different names to discuss. The Cubs announcement:
The Chicago Cubs today named Arizona Complex League Cubs infielder James Triantos as the organization’s minor league player of the month for September, while Low-A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Daniel Palencia was named the club’s minor league pitcher of the month.
Triantos, 18, batted .391 (18-for-46) with 15 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 11 RBI in 11 September contests. He produced a .417 on-base percentage and a 1.199 OPS for the month while ending his season with 12 hits in his final five contests from September 11-18, a stretch that saw him knock in nine RBI and score 10 runs.
Selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2021 Draft out of James Madison High School in Vienna, Va., the right-handed hitting Triantos batted .327 (33-for-101) with seven doubles, one triple, six home runs, 19 RBI, 27 runs scored and a .970 OPS in 25 games for Arizona Complex League Cubs this season. He played eight games at second base and seven games at shortstop while also playing 10 games as the team’s designated hitter.
Palencia, 21, made three September starts for Myrtle Beach, pitching to a 1.23 ERA (2 ER/14.2 IP) with five walks and 20 strikeouts while holding the opponent to a .160 average, a .246 on-base percentage and a .506 OPS. He allowed just three extra-base hits in 57 batters faced.
Acquired by Chicago from Oakland on July 26 with outfielder Greg Deichmann for pitcher Andrew Chafin, Palencia in seven starts with Myrtle Beach to close out the season was 1-0 with a 3.67 ERA (11 ER/27.0 IP) with 18 walks and 38 strikeouts, good for an average of 12.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. He allowed just two home runs and six extra-base hits in 115 batters faced, contributing to a .179 opponent average and a .597 opponent OPS.
Triantos has been getting a whole lotta love lately, and given how ridiculous he was in the final month of the year, this is a well-deserved honor. And it’s particularly nice to see such a breakout from Palencia, who was a pure scouting play by the Cubs when they targeted him in the Chafin deal. The sample for his whole career remains tiny, but he was looking AWFULLY GOOD by the end of the season.
Two prospects who weren’t even in the organization in June finishing the year as the prospects of the month. You could probably take that in a couple directions if you wanted, but I’ll choose to see it as a nice indication of a system on the rise.