Cubs Prospect Notes: What a Night, PCA, Canario, Slaughter, Verdugo, Leigh, Correa, Assad, Hill, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: What a Night, PCA, Canario, Slaughter, Verdugo, Leigh, Correa, Assad, Hill, More

Chicago Cubs

It was one of those nights of Cubs minor league baseball where I felt like I was seeing something awesome every time I turned around. Which was easy to do, because Marquee was covering all four Cubs affiliate games in their new ‘Road to Wrigley’ show, featuring Elise Menaker, Lance Brozdowski, and MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis.

I mention the show at the top because, for example, with Pete Crow-Armstrong doubling and walking twice on the night, we got a chance to hear from Callis that he plans to have PCA the new number one prospect in the Cubs’ system, and the 31st overall prospect in baseball when the new rankings come out.

Or that, for Callis, Alexander Canario is going to be the Cubs’ new number seven overall prospect (people are gonna stop sleeping on his breakout!). Also, he hit a grand slam last night, no big deal:

Also at Tennessee, Jake Slaughter just missed a cycle … because he homered a second time instead:

Infield prospect Luis Verdugo was discussed just yesterday as yet another guy to keep on your radar, and he followed by driving in five runs in a three-hit (with a homer) and one-walk performance last night:

Verdugo, 21, is now hitting .283/.364/.423/120 wRC+ at High-A, with the ability to play all over the infield. He’s going to be a tricky Rule 5 decision, among so many others. I think it’s REALLY hard to see a big league team even trying to roster him in 2023 – such a huge leap – but the guy clearly has loads of talent and versatility.

B.J. Murray also had a huge night for South Bend and also now has his High-A wRC+ up to 120. It took him a minute to adjust to High-A after destroying Low-A, but the 2021 15th rounder seems to have his footing now. Murray, a 22-year-old switch-hitting corner infielder, is walking nearly as much as he strikes out this year, with both numbers approaching 20%.

Zac Leigh gets mentioned among the Cubs’ upcoming relief prospects, and let me show you why:

That thing just TURNS LEFT. Leigh, 24, was a 16th rounder last year, and has his ERA down to 2.35, with 32 strikeouts and just 8 walks over 23.0 innings. I expect he will be in Tennessee soon enough.

Speaking of relief prospects, Danis Correa made his Triple-A debut last night, and it was a bit of a mixed bag with the dinger. But he did touch 100 mph and strike three dudes out:

With yet another great starting pitching performance, I think we’ve gotta talk more about Javier Assad. The 25-year-old righty has seen his stuff tick up considerably this year, and now he’s got a 2.81 ERA (3.90 FIP) on the year, split between Double-A and Triple-A. He’s striking out nearly 25% of the batters he faces and has a groundball rate that is approaching 50%. Seems like there’s a very good chance he’ll be added to the 40-man this offseason and will be one of the depth starting arms next year.

Speaking of Iowa Cubs who are on the edges of a 40-man roster decision, outfielder Darius Hill showed off a little power in helping the Cubs win it late:

Hill, who has been playing some CF lately, is now hitting .337/.371/.462/122 wRC+ at Iowa.



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.