Wake Up and Watch Cubs Outfield Prospect Alexander Canario Go Off

The first few weeks of the minor league season haven’t been too great for a large number of the Cubs’ positional prospects. Yes, that’s been a trend around minor league baseball this year (and Cubs pitching prospects have been quite good), but you still kinda wish you were seeing more breakouts.

One of the Cubs’ big bats who has been struggling badly is Alexander Canario, the 21-year-old outfielder that came over last July in the Kris Bryant trade (together with starter Caleb Kilian). Coming into yesterday, Canario was hitting just .176/.263/.333 (70 wRC+) with a YIKES-inducing 45.6% strikeout rate. It’s so early, and most of that came from a first four brutal games to the season, but still. It’s not what you want to see from a guy who is already on the 40-man roster, and who really needs to reach Double-A this year (he’s got just two option years left after this season).

Well, Canario had himself A DAY yesterday, with a single, a walk, and these two bad boys:

That second one! Holy smokes. The kids trying to figure out where it landed. I’m not laughing at them, of course, it’s just funny to see! Sorry, kids. I don’t think that one stayed in the building.

Canario is one of the hardest hitters in the system, so when he gets into one, it really goes. The strikeouts are really the issue, but they aren’t necessarily driven by a swing-and-miss problem – more likely that it happens because, when he gets behind in the count, he’s more likely to strike out than most. You also wonder if he’s not being quite aggressive enough early in the count.

After the big day, Canario’s line is up to .218/.306/.473 (116 wRC+), with the strikeout rate obviously still being the thing that’s holding it all down. He takes his walks. He has superior power. Presumably just needs to keep working on putting the ball in play when he gets down in the count, and maybe do his damage sometimes earlier in the count.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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