The Chicago Cubs already have one champion in the farm system, and the Tennessee Smokies will try to keep their season alive tonight against Rocket City at 6:35pm CT. The starter for the Smokies is going to be Ben Brown, who is emerging as one of the highest-upside arms in the system.
Elsewhere from the Cubs’ system …
- There are not swear words or phrases I can scream loudly enough to fully capture my reaction to this news:
- Miguel Amaya, who finally returned to hitting at Double-A at midseason after last offseason Tommy John surgery – and was raking! – was then supposed to finally return to catching in the Arizona Fall League. But late in the Double-A season, he suffered an ankle injury that now it looks like was pretty darn serious. We knew it was bad enough to keep him off the initial AFL roster, but I’d hoped it was just a sprain that needed a month or two of rest. This is obviously quite a bit more involved than that, and I don’t know how much we can actually tell from the post there. Sure doesn’t sound good.
- We’ll await word on the rehab and timeline, but it’s absolutely a damper on any hopes you may have had for Amaya to be the Cubs’ third catcher next year – and up-down back-up-back-up who could be developing at Triple-A while getting some big league exposure. He’s only 23, so it’s not like he isn’t still very young; but you’re talking about so much key development time missed. My hopes were that he *could* emerge as a viable big league back-up or starter (with upside) by 2024. Now we’re back to having no real idea if or when he can contribute at all.
- In better news, one day after his teammate Alexander Canario tied him with 34 homers on the season, Matt Mervis hit ANOTHER home run yesterday:
- That was Mervis being like, “Hey, I’m really happy for you, Alexander, and you’re having a great season, but I’m gonna need to take that lead back, thanks.” In all seriousness, it is CRAZY that the Cubs have TWO prospects who have risen from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A this year and have 34+ homers on the season.
- Though he didn’t homer in the game, Canario had another big one, which has now pushed his Triple-A line up to .244/.407/.488/141 wRC+ over 54 plate appearances. He is going to finish the season with bonkers numbers … and finish third in minor league player of the year honors behind Mervis and Pete Crow-Armstrong. This season in the minors has just been so wild.
- Speaking of which, congrats again to the Midwest League Champions:
- Congrats to manager Lance Rymel, too:
- Tonight’s big league starter is still technically a prospect, so praise for Hayden Wesneski: