Cubs Prospect Notes: Matt Mervis is Confident, PCA is Kind, Gray is Throwing, Brown Breaks Out, Newcomb Clears Waivers, More

It’s not quite a matter of “prospect” note, but it’s a minor league thing: Sean Newcomb has cleared waivers and been assigned to Iowa (Maddie Lee). He can accept the assignment and pitch for Iowa the rest of the way, or he could reject it and start looking for his next opportunity. He is set to be a minor league free agent at the end of the year either way.

Elsewhere around the farm system …

  • The Double-A season has come to a close, with the Tennessee Smokies playing in the postseason starting tomorrow night against Rocket City at 6:15pm CT.
  • The extraordinary breakout season of first base prospect Matt Mervis continued this weekend, with his 34th homer on the year, putting him in a territory we almost never see from Cubs prospects.
  • Mervis is getting plenty of attention now, and figures to be a big prospect story in the fall and spring:
  • https://twitter.com/MLBastian/status/1570466785547419651

    Mervis has always believed that he could do this, and you can see and hear the confidence coming through in everything he says. I also love his attitude with respect to not getting called up to the big leagues this year, via that Cubs.com piece:

    This year, Mervis’ play has pushed him swiftly up the organizational ladder. He is not among the crop of players in need of Rule 5 Draft protection this offseason, though, so Mervis has not been among the high-priority promotions for September evaluation in the Majors.

    After Mervis’ experience with the MLB Draft, he has a better grasp of how to handle the absence of such a call. He knows it might still be just around the corner.

    “I let it get in my head for probably two days,” Mervis said. “Like, ‘I really want to be up there. I think I’ve earned it.’ You know, that sort of thing. But at the same time, I’ve taken a day-by-day approach every day this year, and I just I want to have a good game every day.

    “So if I have a good game, then my numbers get better and I improve in the eyes of the system. So once I got that out of my head, I got back to playing baseball every day, instead of worrying about things I can’t control.”

  • Careful now. Don’t put this on the kid just yet:
  • Even more from Mervis:
  • PCA kindness and PCA praise:
  • Great to see Drew Gray throwing again. The Cubs’ third rounder in 2021 was getting helium in the fall after the draft, but the arm injury took him out of commission this year:
  • Just a couple prospectors talking about Cubs pitching prospect Luis Devers:
  • Cole Roederer’s home run binge came to an end this weekend, but his productivity did not. Over the last ten days of the season, he hit .289/.317/.711/153 wRC+. Even going back to mid-June with an aggressive assignment, he’s hit an exactly-league-average .253/.325/.447/100 wRC+. Not enough to call him a breakout or put him on the radar for 2023 big league action or anything like that, but definitely enough to keep him as a regular in Tennessee to open next season.
  • Which Cubs prospect improved his stock the most this year, according to MLB Pipeline? Probably not who you’d guess first:

    Cubs: Ben Brown, RHP (No. 7)
    A Phillies 33rd-round pick out of a Long Island high school in 2017, Brown had Tommy John surgery in 2019, lost the 2020 season to the pandemic and worked just 16 innings in 2021. He came out this year firing mid-90s fastballs that top out at 98 mph, not to mention a pair of power breaking balls, which is why the Cubs sought him in the David Robertson trade in July. He has compiled a 3.42 ERA, .216 opponent average and 141/34 K/BB ratio in 100 innings between High-A and Double-A.

  • Literal bros being bros:
  • If you missed it, this season has been very good to the Cubs’ minor league pitching group:
  • 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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