Keeping my brain in Cubs prospect mode this afternoon to distract myself from the CBA talks that are happening right now …
⇒ Gotta love this tease:
For the hardcore prospect watchers, Owen Caissie is a name you already know.
If you don't know him yet … don't worry, you will 😈
He has the type of rare, all-fields power to go mainstream https://t.co/E1dJrzGzJX
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 6, 2022
⇒ At Baseball America, Cubs outfield prospect Owen Caissie comes in for his all-fields power, with the noted caveat that Myrtle Beach (where he finished the year) is a particularly tough place for a lefty power-hitter to operate. Caissie is just 19, so you wouldn’t think it odd if he spent most of the year at Low-A Myrtle Beach this year, but there’s a chance he gets the bump to High-A South Bend at some point. That would be extremely fun. Oh, also? Caissie was just ranked the 6th best corner outfield prospect in baseball by Baseball America.
⇒ Another profile on Caissie here:
"He got traded for Yu Darvish. A lot of guys might take that and put some more pressure on their shoulders. He's just like, 'Back to work.'"@MLBastian introduces #Cubs fans to Owen Caissie: https://t.co/JUhXy35ktz pic.twitter.com/lLV100vqq9
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 6, 2022
⇒ That’s a great read, and it’s got a great pull – a little of Caissie’s high school home run derby performance:
⇒ Pete Crow-Armstrong’s offense will be in primary focus this year, since it’ll be the separator for him, but it’s probably worth the periodic reminder that his defense could be elite:
"𝘉𝘦 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘍𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘈𝘳𝘦"
Pete Crow-Armstrong is drawing rave reviews about his defensive ability in the outfield.
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) March 7, 2022
⇒ DJ Herz getting ridiculous praise from Lance Brozdowski:
Luke Little, DJ Herz’s velo and much more.
Teaser below. 🔥
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) March 8, 2022
⇒ The full take from Brozdowski is great:
⇒ More from Jordan Wicks on his evolving arsenal:
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) March 8, 2022
⇒ Speaking of the pitching, a good read at NBC Sports Chicago on minor league spring training includes this quote from Cubs VP of Player Personnel Matt Dorey (formerly the farm director): “So No. 1, our goal is to keep guys healthy and on the field and allow them to develop without trying to battle through nagging injuries or even injuries that sideline them for four to six weeks. And I think we’ve put in a plan that should help that and to get guys prepared earlier. Having [a weeks-long, pre-spring] mini camp hopefully takes care of a lot of the soft-tissue injuries that we had last year …. [Goal No. 2 is] the pitching just taking another step forward. I think we’ve seen guys’ stuff tick up last year. We had a lot of really encouraging signs with that reliever group [that reached the majors]. But I think this group of starters that we think really highly of and think they have all the ability — really watching that group grow and mature ….Whether they impact the major leagues this year, just seeing a 2023 season with several homegrown prospects at the upper levels in our rotations, that really is my goal.” Good goal. Yes please.
⇒ Baseball America offered up a sleeper prospect for every organization, and I absolutely love who they chose for the Cubs’ system:
Pablo Aliendo, C – Aliendo is an athletic catcher with excellent catch-and-throw skills behind the plate. He has an easy, level swing that makes a lot of contact and has room to get stronger.
⇒ Aliendo, 20, was getting attention late last year for his surprisingly strong offensive performance as a young catcher at Low-A Myrtle Beach (he even got a cup at South Bend to finish the year). It’s a line drive stroke right now without a lot of present power or walks, but at his age and as a catcher, it was an eye-opening performance. Definitely put Aliendo on a lot of our radars, and if he keeps it up at South Bend this year, he’s going to be in everyone’s top 30.