The tabs had built up on me, so I have just a whole bunch of stray Cubs prospects bits to chuck at you today …
⇒ In tandem with the announcement of the Cubs’ prospects of the year – Brennen Davis and D.J. Herz – the Cubs also announced prospects of the year, specifically, from the Dominican Summer League. It’s something new, and done presumably because it’s just such a different experience than being stateside. From the Cubs announcement:
(I)nfielder Pedro Ramírez and right-handed pitcher Oliver Roque have been named the Cubs Dominican Summer League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively ….
Ramírez, 17, hit .359 (70-for-195) with 37 runs, 11 doubles, seven triples, one home run, 30 RBI and nine stolen bases in 50 games for the Cubs DSL Red squad. The switch-hitter drew 13 walks compared to 20 strikeouts in 216 plate appearances and recorded a .417 on-base percentage with a .919 OPS. His 70 hits led the Dominican Summer League, while his 98 total bases tied for the league lead, his seven triples tied for second and his .359 average was third.
Signed as an international free agent by Chicago out of Temblador, Venezuela in January of this year, Ramirez played 24 games at shortstop, 23 games at second base and four games at third base this season for the Cubs DSL team.
Roque, 19, was 1-1 with a 0.85 ERA (3 ER/31.2 IP) and one save in 16 games (two starts) for the Cubs DSL Blue team. He walked eight, struck out 26 and recorded a 0.66 WHIP with a .125 batting average against. He did not allow an earned run in his first eight outings spanning 12.2 innings. Born in Santo Domingo, D.R., Roque signed with Chicago as an international free agent in November of 2019.
⇒ This is really the first we’re hearing about Roque, so that’s just fun to see a new name getting some love. And don’t get thrown by the age – international pitching prospects are frequently a touch older than their positional counterparts because it can take a little longer to scout them as their bodies develop. The 6’0″ righty got great results this year in the DSL, but outside of that, I’m gonna have to plead ignorance until next year. He was a late 2019 signing (which means he didn’t sign in the initial wave in July, which in turn means there was less third party scouting).
⇒ We’ve talked about Pedro Ramirez before, given his dominance at such a young age, though I want to note that the Cubs release listed him as 21 years old. That’s really odd, because every other source has him as 17, and since he was just signed as an IFA, him being 17 makes a lot more sense. Just a typo? Obviously would make a huge difference. The 17-year-old switch-hitting shortstop was one of the best hitters in all of the DSL this year, slashing .359/.417/.503 (155 wRC+), while striking out just 9.3%(!) of the time. Based solely on the age/position/production, you would start to presume this is a pretty special player. Now we wait to see if he’ll play in the Arizona Complex League next year, when he’ll have just turned 18.
⇒ Good sign on that front? He has been brought to Arizona this year for Instructs:
The @Cubs international man of mystery Pedro Ramirez! (It was hard to find a photo of him to verify his identity.) Pedro made a strong impression this summer in the DSL at only 17 years of age as a middle infielder. pic.twitter.com/bVordciIXG
— Rich Biesterfeld (@biest22) October 15, 2021
⇒ Other looks from Instructs:
— John Antonoff (@baseballinfocus) October 14, 2021
— Rich Biesterfeld (@biest22) October 13, 2021
Burl Carraway breaking out the slider down at instructs
(From Burl’s IG) pic.twitter.com/FbFUEt6HmW
— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) October 10, 2021
— John Antonoff (@baseballinfocus) October 14, 2021
⇒ Speaking of PCA, the latest, via Patrick Mooney writing for Baseball America: “Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, the 2020 first-round pick the Cubs acquired from the Mets in the Javier Baez deal at the trade deadline, is a regular presence at the Arizona complex as he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder. Crow-Armstrong is tracking pitches and working with the club’s strength and conditioning and high-performance departments. He was expected to begin his hitting progressions at an early stage of the offseason and return to full strength by the start of spring training.” I remind myself often that (1) surgery on PCA’s non-throwing shoulder leaves open huge questions about how his hitting will develop from here, but (2) absent that injury, the Cubs would’ve had zero chance at acquiring him this year. So you just hope it’s a fantastic recovery and he rakes next year. Absolutely possible.
⇒ Brendon Little will be getting some time in the AFL this fall as the Cubs look to make a 40-man roster decision:
Interesting blurb on Brendon Little’s sinker. The “killed movement” refers to spin deviation/seam-shifted wake. The pitchers listed have had lots of success with it at lower velos than Little.
— Steven (@GoCubs49) October 14, 2021
⇒ Love for Cubs fourth rounder Drew Gray, whose work at Instructs is his debut:
Lovely tidbit on Drew Gray. Reminder that he’s 18 and listed at 6’4” 190. pic.twitter.com/Bb9s5NzcDx
— Brad (@ballskwok) October 8, 2021
⇒ Bryan saw a little Instructs work:
Not a ton to report here from the Cubs complex, but good to get an in-person Kevin Alcántara sighting nonetheless. pic.twitter.com/OOLBEKduEE
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) October 7, 2021
⇒ The Cubs’ first rounder is already awesome:
Jordan, thank you for taking so much effort in encouraging my son. You’ve gained 2 fans for life. pic.twitter.com/CISKQ4kZbq
— Frontz Crew’s Cardboard Collection (@RhettsCards) October 8, 2021
⇒ I love this guy:
Coming soon 👀
A series of open, transparent interviews with prominent figures from my rookie year & the 2021 @SBCubs!
— Max Bain (@mbain_38) October 15, 2021