Cubs Prospect Notes: Canario, Slaughter, Santana, Verdugo, Davis, Preciado, More

A smattering of Chicago Cubs prospect notes to offer up this Monday off-day …

  • Outfield prospect Alexander Canario went off yesterday, homering twice for the Tennessee Smokies:
  • Canario is doing the thing you want to see from prospects at new levels: he struggled at first, and then over the last two and a half weeks, he’s hitting .274/.319/.629/130 wRC+, and, most importantly, the strikeout rate is just 23.2% over that time. Although he’s already on the 40-man and using minor league option years, you still really don’t worry about the chronology with Canario all that much. He only just turned 22, and if he can show contact-related adjustments (without losing too much of the power production) by the end of this season at Double-A, that’d be just great. That would put him on a trajectory to be, potentially, an up-down outfielder next year between Iowa and the big league team (with a heavy emphasis on Iowa).
  • Speaking of guys having a lot of success at Double-A lately, Brad pretty much sums up my take on Jake Slaughter, too:
  • The 25-year-old corner infield prospect has hit A LITTLE bit in the past, and started to get hot at High-A before his promotion to Double-A earlier this year, but what he’s done since arriving at Double-A kinda makes no sense. It’s not just that he’s gotten good results over a small sample – it’s that the manner in which he’s getting those results looks crazy elite. Through 91 plate appearances, you can sum things up that he’s simply “hitting everything hard.” Not sure what to make of it, if anything.
  • Kevin Made, 19 and an excellent defensive shortstop, continues to hit at Myrtle Beach:
  • Yeison Santana, 21, is also a good defensive middle infielder and also continues to hit after his promotion to High-A South Bend … but whenever I see him batting, he looks awfully slight. And then I mull how he’s getting results – .293/.381/.354, .367 BABIP, .061 ISO, 10.4% BB, 17.4% K – and I don’t really see how it translates as he climbs the ladder unless there is development in his contact quality. The BABIP and walk rate will shrink, naturally, as he goes up level by level, and the strikeout rate will increase. It’s something we’ve seen before with guys who can slap line drives all over at the lower levels and accept their walks from wild young pitchers. Of concern: Santana has a 58.4% groundball rate right now at High-A. He’s still young and there could be development from here, but I suppose I just want folks who see the 113 wRC+ to know there are reasons to be very cautious.
  • Meanwhile, fellow 21-year-old sweet-gloved infield prospect Luis Verdugo has been on fire the last couple weeks at South Bend: .353/.389/.500/148 wRC+, 16.7% K. He is very much a legit prospect who just needs to stay healthy enough to play a full season at High-A.
  • Updates on the health of two key Cubs outfield prospects:
  • The Cubs are still hoping that Brennen Davis (back surgery) can be in a position to take some at bats in the fall or in winter ball, because increasingly – even if he is fully healthy after he recovers – the concern is that he’s had so few professional at bats during his development window. That likely means he’ll spend a lot of time at Iowa next year (which would have thrown a wrench in our hopes for the Cubs being a clear contender in 2023 … if the back surgery hadn’t already done that). For now, you just hope he recovers well, that the surgery did in fact alleviate the pain he was experiencing, and that he can get those ABs in the Fall League and/or winter ball.
  • If you missed the news, Cubs infield prospect Reggie Preciado is on the IL, and obviously it’s something not great with the knee:
  • Although Preciado was given a tough assignment at Low-A at such a young age, you still have to chalk this year up as a disappointing one, because the results weren’t there. It’s reminiscent of Ed Howard last year, where you could see some of the development as the year went on, which is good and the most important thing, but the assignment just seemed like too much most of the time. For Howard, he seemed to learn a lot from it, and the Cubs got aggressive again in sending him to High-A to open this season, where it looked like he was getting his footing just before a serious and season-ending hip injury. No idea how the Cubs will proceed with Preciado, especially since we don’t know his injury just yet. Hopefully it’s not too terribly bad.
  • Speaking of which, while there have been a number of exceptional developments in the farm system this year for the Cubs, the injury bug is definitely showing itself. In addition to Howard and Preciado, there is also top prospect Brennen Davis essentially losing the whole year, Brailyn Marquez still not pitching, Miguel Amaya out after Tommy John, Christian Franklin still not back, Drew Gray wound up having to get Tommy John, etc. That’s a lot of top 20ish prospects in the system who are missing most or all of the season.
  • Watch out, blue:
  • https://twitter.com/SBCubs/status/1541196162790735874

  • Moms:
  • written by

    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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