Cubs Prospect Notes: Estrada and Zarraga Promoted, PCA's Catch, Canario, Strumpf, Santana, Hodge, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Estrada and Zarraga Promoted, PCA’s Catch, Canario, Strumpf, Santana, Hodge, More

Chicago Cubs

So much Cubs prospect stuff to get to right now, so get your reading in before the Cubs game starts …

  • Relief prospect Jeremiah Estrada started the season at High-A South Bend, and posted a 1.17 ERA over 23.0 innings, while striking out 42.9% of the batters he faced (LOL). A promotion to Double-A for the 23-year-old righty was a necessity. There, over 19.1 innings, he posted a 1.86 ERA, and a 35.1% K rate. Soooo, yup, it was time to give him another bump: he’s headed to Triple-A Iowa, where Estrada might finish out the season … or he might get a bump to Chicago at the very end, given that he’s Rule 5 eligible.
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong’s bat has broken out this year, but of course don’t forget that his glove is just ridiculous:
  • That is as good as it gets on a play like that. Immediately turns and dashes to the precise spot – no wasted movement whatsoever. Also, he seemed to get up just fine after the play, in case you were worried!
  • More praise for PCA, and for the Cubs’ draft (where Jim Callis says he might try to sneak Cade Horton into his top 100(!)):
  • It was a day where baseball was being play, so Alexander Canario homered:
  • Canario has been so scorching for so long that you no longer have to say, “Well, his overall numbers at Double-A don’t look so impressive because he was so cold when he first started at the new level.” The overall numbers, even including the brutal start, are just flat out really good now: .251/.335/.551/126 wRC+, 26.0% K rate, 10.7% BB, .300 ISO.
  • Chase Strumpf returned from his brief hand injury (HBP), and homered in his first at bat:
  • Alfredo Zarraga, who made his professional debut this year (at any level) at Low-A, is already getting the bump to High-A South Bend:
  • At 21, Zarraga’s rapid ascent is appropriately timed, but with so little pro experience, it’s pretty impressive. He looks great on video, and I’ve had multiple people tell me that when they saw him at Myrtle Beach, he really stood out. Oh, and the 40.0% strikeout rate doesn’t hurt.
  • The Cubs started stretching Tyler Santana back out four appearances ago, and through those four starts, he’s been stellar:
  • Already 24, you probably want to see how he could fare at High-A sooner rather than later, but the Cubs moved him back into the rotation for a reason. They must like the stuff.
  • Speaking of starters who popped from Low-A to High-A this year, Porter Hodge has been eye-popping in his three starts at South Bend so far, including last night:
  • Caleb Kilian and DJ Herz also had really good outings last night, so that’s always nice to see.
  • New Cubs pitching prospect already earning hardware:
  • Breakout offensive prospect Jake Slaughter speaks:
  • Slaughter, 25, is hitting .326/.419/.594/165 wRC+ at Tennessee this year. A selection:

Slaughter has been on a hot streak since he arrived in Kodak, Tennessee. He explained that he made some adjustments to his mechanics during the off-season, and he believes they have paid off. When talking about adjustments to his mindset at the plate, he said “I’m playing with a lot more confidence, so I’m trusting myself more and knowing that I can face whatever’s out in front of me.” Knowing that a good mindset was important, he put in the work and made it a priority. Manager Michael Ryan weighed in saying, “Confidence in a player is a dangerous thing and when he came here, he didn’t skip a beat.” Ryan elaborated further explaining that Slaughter is “an unbelievable hitter, he’s a really good defender and he’s our best baserunner. He’s a middle of the lineup guy, and we probably wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in right now, if it wasn’t for Jake.”



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.