Cubs Prospect Notes: Mervis Again, So Many Dingers Generate So Many Talking Points, Ballesteros, Hearn, Alcántara, Amaya, Nwogu, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Mervis Again, So Many Dingers Generate So Many Talking Points, Ballesteros, Hearn, Alcántara, Amaya, Nwogu, More

Chicago Cubs

Saturday night is a bit of a weird time to be dropping Cubs prospect notes, but I had a bunch of tabs start to really back up on me, and there were a bunch of stray highlights I wanted to share. So this is me unloading a lot of those …

  • Starting with tonight, as Matt Mervis hit homer number 31 on his incredible, break-out season:
  • And speaking of homers, there have been a bunch of fun ones over the past 36 hours, each with a little bit of remarking in order. First, the 18-year-old catching prospect who is crushing Low-A, even while playing in a particularly tough ballpark for lefties. Moises Ballesteros can really hit, folks:
  • Ballesteros now has more plate appearances at Low-A than he had in the complex league (hitting well above league average), which is pretty incredible for a guy making his stateside debut. He’s going to have to be able to stay behind the plate to really maximize his value down the road, but the bat might be special.
  • Speaking of catching prospects at Myrtle Beach, Ethan Hearn has been on fire in the second half, and if the glove/catching work with pitchers is as good as people say, the 22-year-old over-slot 6th rounder is going to head into 2023 a very legit catching prospect in the system.
  • Ope, and as I type about THAT homer, Hearn just hit another one tonight. Like I said, dude is scorching.
  • And speaking of guys who are finishing the season scorching hot, take it away, James Triantos:
  • Parker Chavers, 24, was the Cubs’ 7th rounder in 2021, but he’s barely had a chance to play since then. He’s a favorite of many of the Cubs prospecting guys who really watch a ton of games, and he certainly is a great athlete:
  • Ultimately, you’ll need to see Chavers really break out with the bat at a higher level before you can buy in, but maybe we’ll see a big step forward next year now that he’s getting his pro feet under him.
  • In less great Myrtle Beach outfield news, another
  • Alcántara did not play last night, and he’s not playing again tonight. He’s another guy who was finishing his season strong, so hopefully he can get back in time for a little more game action and the playoffs.
  • And speaking of outfield prospects who are finishing the season on a tear and have been on a recent homer binge, South Bend outfielder Jordan Nwogu is hitting a ridiculous .289/.358/.611/162 wRC+ since mid-July. What’s that? You don’t think that’s ridiculous? Well did I mention that his ISO is a monstrous .322 and yet he’s striking out only 17.6% of the time(!). Generally speaking, you rarely hit for THAT much power and strike out THAT little. That’s Matt Mervis territory.
  • That is just a very, very pretty swing:
  • In his post-Tommy John return at Double-A Tennessee, Miguel Amaya is hitting .269/.352/.452/110 wRC+, which is fine enough in its own regard, but what I really like to see is that power taking a step forward (even as the strikeout rate is now in the mid-20s). He has the *ability* to be a very high-contact, very high-discipline guy, but it was trending like he wasn’t going to be able to do enough damage to actually support an overall positive slash line. More power was necessary, and his .183 ISO this year seems like a major step forward. Plus, that swing. Like I said. That is a very pretty swing.
  • Fun with homers, and Chase Strumpf quickly adding number 21 after this:


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.