Cubs Prospect Notes: Alcántara and Caissie Keep Blowing Up, Outfield Glut, Piñango, Kilian, Wicks, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Alcántara and Caissie Keep Blowing Up, Outfield Glut, Piñango, Kilian, Wicks, More

Chicago Cubs

With no big league Cubs game today, you’ll just have to make sure you enjoy some minor league Cubs baseball this evening. There are SIX minor league games this evening – yes, among the four minor league teams – thanks to a Tennessee doubleheader and also finishing off a Myrtle Beach game that was suspended halfway through yesterday. OK, so I guess that’s more like 5.5 games. But it’s a lot!

Other Cubs prospect notes for your enjoyment …

⇒ Outfield prospect Kevin Alcántara had a particularly big game this week:

⇒ Alcántara, who is still 19, is hitting .248/.340/.459/121 wRC+ with Myrtle Beach, with a .211 ISO at a home park that is brutal on slugging (albeit with a 28.1% K rate). Over the last month, Alcántara has hit an even better .264/.358/.527/143 wRC+, with a .264 ISO and 22.6% K rate. It’s the kind of improvement you want to see, and I think it’s very possible – likely, even – that Alcántara gets the bump to High-A South Bend sometime this season.

⇒ Speaking of 19-year-old outfield prospects who have been scorching hot over the past month, Owen Caissie hit this one 430+ feet and sent it out at 108 mph:

⇒ Caissie now sports a nearly league-average slash line in the Midwest League (bonkers given how he started), and is hitting a fantastic .309/.365/.559/159 wRC+. As a 19-year-old. In High-A. Just a few weeks ago, I would’ve thought it was crazy to think there was any chance Caissie would see Double-A this year, but I think it might not be entirely out of the question. He’s been obliterating High-A for a month now. Indeed, you wonder if his and Alcantara’s potential promotions would be tied to each other.

⇒ … though the Cubs have another outfield prospect who might need the bump up to South Bend sooner rather than later:

⇒ Alexander Canario and Bradlee Beasley have already gotten the bump to Double-A Tennessee from the South Bend outfield (that Tennessee outfield also features Yonathan Perlaza and Darius Hill, each of whom is really hitting, and you want getting regular starts). There is maybe-arguably another spot available up there for semi-regular starts, which could conceivably come down the road from a Caissie promotion, or maybe this guy:

⇒ Pinango, 20, is now up to .263/.322/.467/122 wRC+ in the Midwest League, including .278/.333/.556/147 wRC+ in May. Like Caissie, Pinango is a pure corner outfielder (probably left field only), so it seems likely that one – but maybe only one? – could get the bump to Double-A Tennessee in the next couple months (of course, in addition to the outfield crowding there, you have Matt Mervis and Bryce Ball manning 1B/DH, so those DH starts could be hard to come by, too!). Eventually something’s gotta give, because I think you’re going to want either Pete Crow-Armstrong or Kevin Alcántara (or both) getting some High-A exposure by the end of this season, but you also have Jordan Nwogu and Cole Roederer at South Bend, and you want them playing close to every day, too.

⇒ (For more crowding, you’ll eventually have Christian Franklin healthy again and he’s gotta play almost every day in center field somewhere, so … yeah. It’s a bit of a glut.)

⇒ Caleb Kilian is not coming up to start for the Cubs next week, but the top pitching prospect at Iowa is still getting plenty of attention:

⇒ Jordan Wicks is tabbed as having the best secondary pitch in the Cubs farm system by MLB Pipeline:

Cubs: Jordan Wicks, LHP (No. 6), changeup
Wicks established Kansas State records for season (118) and career (230) strikeouts in 2021, when Chicago selected him 21st overall and scouts graded his low-80s tumbling changeup as the best in the Draft. It has helped him thrive in High-A, where he has posted a 3.55 ERA with a 37/9 K/BB ratio in 33 innings. Fellow Cubs lefty prospect D.J. Herz also has a well above-average changeup that ranks right with Wicks’.

⇒ Please start your weekend by enjoying this beautiful, beautiful swing, and know that we are just over a week away from getting to see him finally in game action in the Arizona Complex League:

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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.