The Myrtle Beach Pelicans not only threw a no-hitter last night, but the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate has also just been dominant overall. At 15-6, they have the best record in the Carolina League (with a lineup almost exclusively far younger than league average, by the way), and their +40 run differential is second best in the league. As we’ve discussed before, a minor league team’s win-loss record doesn’t tell you THAT much about its prospect concentration or quality, but I have seen analyses that suggest it’s not zero. Moreover, being part of a winning club is believed to be good for long-term development.
More from around the system …
⇒ Closing off that no-hitter with two dominant innings was 2018 17th round pick Jake Reindl, who currently has a 0.00 ERA and a 56.5% strikeout rate over his six innings with Myrtle Beach (and if you’ve seen the video, the slider is NASTY). Reindl turned 25 earlier this year and is repeating Low-A, so you should probably temper any OVER-enthusiasm about his immediate future, but he probably will be getting a shot to climb quickly. We’ve seen relief prospects jump a level or two in a given season, so it’s not implausible that he could be at Double-A by the end of the year, and much more “on the radar” at that point if he’s still pitching well.
Jake Reindl closed out the no-hitter on Sunday night and he looked NASTY in doing so.
He faced 7 batters and generated a ridiculous TEN (!) swinging strikes. Here’s all of them, led by a sweeping slider that’s pretty gross. pic.twitter.com/EDWSPTjmJI
— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) May 3, 2022
⇒ The Pelicans got a couple homers in that win, too, from Juan Mora and Kevin Alcántara:
…we're having fun! pic.twitter.com/4Z3DoggXqU
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) May 1, 2022
⇒ Alcántara, 19, is doing exactly what you would hope a young prospect in his full-season debut would be doing, by the way – he’s adjusting and breaking out:
Kevin Alcantara since starting the season out 1-12 with a couple walks and 6 Ks: pic.twitter.com/gfnHzcacTy
— Brad (@ballskwok) May 2, 2022
⇒ As for Mora, he’s not a guy I was familiar with, and although he raked in the complex league last year, he was already 21. Now 22, the second base prospect is again raking in a small sample at Low-A (.303/.385/.485, 142 wRC+, 10.0% BB, 17.5% K), and I’m at least paying attention.
⇒ Speaking of guys who are blowing up lately, this guy has been as hot as it gets:
3-run HR for Alexander Canario gives South Bend a 4-0 lead. His 5th HR of the year. pic.twitter.com/o9X0yuK2Y8
— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) May 1, 2022
⇒ Canario, 21, is now up to a .286/.353/.558 slash line (153 wRC+), though that strikeout rate persists near 40% (basically, when he makes contact, he’s obliterating the ball – but he’s not making enough contact to thrive at Double-A and above). His scorching stretch won him some honors:
— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs) May 2, 2022
⇒ Oh, but don’t worry – the other scorching-est hot guy in the system, Pete Crow-Armstrong, ALSO won league honors:
It was his week.
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) May 2, 2022
⇒ Something to share on PCA:
PCA on base for the third time tonight. pic.twitter.com/r2MZ2keUx3
— Brad (@ballskwok) May 1, 2022
⇒ Decent look at his speed on that one. It was likely to be a hit for most players given the depth the third baseman had to go back, but the ball got to him quickly and the play at first was still not even remotely close. PCA already decelerating by the time the throw gets there! He is quite fast!
⇒ Some love for Brandon Hughes, who got the quick bump to Triple-A this year because he was clearly too good for Double-A, and he has just kept on cruising:
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) May 1, 2022
⇒ As a 26-year-old, Rule-5-eligible relief arm, it’s possible we’ll see Hughes called up to the big league team at some point this year if and when there’s a need that aligns with his availability. Hughes was a pitching conversion in 2019 (he used to be an outfielder), and he’s just kept getting better since then. I’m dreaming of another multi-inning weapon …
⇒ Brennen Davis continues to have the right attitude about his struggles to open the season:
The start of the season hasn’t gone according to plan for Brennen Davis. But the Cubs top prospect believes his troubles now will help him later.
"It's the stuff that I need to go through to be at the level I want to be at. It's not about now.”https://t.co/aCjLHcV4N2
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 1, 2022
⇒ There’s no point in NOT using how pitchers are getting you out in order to develop and improve, because if they’re onto you at Triple-A, it would only be worse in the big leagues.