I would expect that getting a quick taste of the big leagues with one of your best friends, only to see him stay up and dominate while you have to head back to the minor leagues, has to produce some mixed feelings.
My guess is that Cubs outfield prospect Nelson Velazquez feels nothing but joy for his friend Chris Morel, who is doing some really special things right now in the big leagues. But I would also guess that it has to be hard to get that very brief taste of the big leagues, and then not really even get a chance to stick around for longer than a few days.
To that end, when a guy in Velazquez’s situation goes back down to the minors, you really want to see him shake off any disappointment that might be there (not saying there is for him! just saying if), and get right back to raking. It says a lot about a guy if he can take whatever he learned from a brief taste of the big leagues, and just put the head right back down and get to work.
… which is to say, I have been very happy to see what Velazquez has been doing since he was sent back to Iowa, including TWO homers last night:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 8, 2022
You may recall that Velazquez got really hot at Triple-A just before he was called up, and that has carried over since he was sent back down. Over his last six games, Velazquez has hit four homers and two doubles, and boasts a silly .435/.458/1.043 slash line.
Overall, the 23-year-old outfield prospect is hitting .247/.313/.517/114 wRC+ at Iowa. The power and contact quality will play. But that 35.4% K rate at Triple-A is what needs some work …
It remains to be seen whether Velazquez will get more time in the big leagues this year. It probably depends on the health of the big league outfielders, the decisions about finally letting certain guys go, and what happens at the trade deadline. I’d bet we see him at some point, and hopefully he gets a run of starts before the season is over so he can take even more info with him into the offseason in preparation for 2023.