Cubs Prospect Notes: Preciado, Murray, Canario, Mervis, Rehabbing Arms, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Preciado, Murray, Canario, Mervis, Rehabbing Arms, More

Chicago Cubs

The big league Cubs are off again today, but there are prospects aplenty to discuss …

•   The massive Pelicans explosion last night included the first really great game for infield prospect Reggie Preciado, who entered the game slashing just .132/.164/.170 (-2 wRC+). One blowout later, and he’s up to .186/.213/.254 (34). You have to keep some perspective and remember that Preciado is just 18, and we’re learning that without short-season Low-A anymore, that jump from complex ball to Low-A is enormous for the younger, less-experienced prospects. What you want to see is progress, and that’s what we’ve seen from Preciado over the last 10 days or so.

•   “I am really proud of Reggie and to see him have this night was special,” Pelicans hitting coach Steve Pollakov said of Preciado after the game. “He scuffled a little at the beginning here, but he’s handled everything like a pro. And he’s just 18 and in this league, so that’s really telling you something about the kind of kid he is. But we’ve been working on a lot of things in terms of swing traits and stance and the right approach, so to see him put it all together and have these results tonight, that was special.”

•   That Pelicans team now has seven batters who are hitting above league average*, and that doesn’t include James Triantos, who started out so slow in that first week, and then has raked. Shouts to 2021 15th rounder B.J. Murray, a 22-year-old corner infielder we haven’t heard much about, but who is hitting .276/.400/.517 (156) in his first taste of full-season ball.

•   *(The Tennessee Smokies respond that they ALSO have seven batters hitting above league average, though I suppose they no longer get credit for Nelson Maldonado, who got the bump to Iowa.)

•   I started collecting these prospect notes on Tuesday when this happened:

•   But it was immediately made obsolete the next day, before I could actually get these out:

•   I expect that Canario has homered again as I’m typing. South Bend doesn’t play again until tonight, but still. I wouldn’t rule it out. He’s been that hot.

•   Speaking of which, Alexander Canario has his season line up to .289/.366/.614 (172 wRC+), and after the rough first four games, it’s a whopping .333/.421/.727 (215). It’s hard to find a hotter player, and yet the Cubs have two other outfield prospects right up there with him lately!

•   I’m talking, of course, about Pete Crow-Armstrong, whose SEASON line is up to .392/.489/.635 (210), and Nelson Velazquez, who has somehow been on an even more ridiculous recent streak that Canario – in his last 13 games, Velazquez has hit EIGHT homers, and is slashing .362/.474/.979 (264). Just absurd stuff. You wonder whether those three outfielders will ride the promotion line together, with PCA getting bumped to South Bend, Canario getting bumped to Tennessee, and Velazquez getting bumped to Iowa. It might not be that soon – you still want to be deliberate about these things – and there’s another small wrench: Cole Roederer is going to be going to South Bend soon (his stay at Myrtle Beach is technically a rehab stint), and he’s a guy you’ll definitely want starting there every day this year. So he might actually be the outfielder who bumps Canario up to Tennessee, if the Cubs do make it a one-for-one thing. PCA will get his promotion eventually.

•   Matt Mervis, a first baseman, is like don’t forget about me! The 2020 undrafted free agent signing (but remember, that draft was only five rounds) is hitting .375/.419/.825 (242) over his last 10 games, and he’s homered five times.

•   Cayne Ueckert is approaching triple digits:

•   A heads up on some rehabbing arms from Arizona Phil at TCR:

•   Pelham, 27, is a monster of a man who has not pitched in a game since 2019 due to injuries and the pandemic. Little, 25, was breaking out last year in relief at Double-A/Triple-A when a stress reaction in the fall shut him down. Patterson, 26, was one of the big stories of 2019, but then his elbow went poof and he’s been working back from Tommy John surgery.

•   In other Arizona updates from Phil, a scary moment in a recent extended intrasquad game, as Pedro Ramirez – the surprisingly awesome second base prospect in the DSL last year – took a pitch to the helmet and stayed down for a while. Hopefully he’ll be OK, but it may take some time to come back.

•   If you missed Bryan’s interview with the Cubs’ pitching prospect of April, make sure you check it out:

•   Heads up, prospect nerds:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.