In addition to Brennen Davis’s homer in his AFL debut yesterday, each of Matt Mervis and Owen Caissie doubled in the game, with Caissie’s double a must-listen affair.
- Yes, I said must *listen* because that sound is ridiculous:
- Bonus? The double earned those in attendance some free food, so he’s a hero:
- Jordan Bastian wrote about the Cubs rotation options for next year within the context of Javier Assad’s final outing (it was really quite solid!), and I thought it was interesting that among the names discussed as POSSIBLE 2023 options, Bastian mentioned Luis Devers:
The 22-year-old Devers was one of the farm system’s steadiest arms this year. That was important for the right-hander, as he is on Chicago’s long list of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players this offseason.
Across Single-A and High-A this season, Devers turned in a 1.91 ERA in 26 appearances (22 starts), racking up 122 strikeouts against 26 walks in 117 2/3 innings. Once promoted to High-A South Bend, he logged a 1.05 ERA in 51 1/3 innings.
It might be aggressive to think a pitcher who topped out at High-A in ’22 might rise all the way to the Majors by ’23. The following season is probably more realistic, but if the Cubs add Devers to their 40-man roster this winter, that gives him an edge for consideration if a need arises.
- We talked about Devers yesterday, and how he’ll have to show his changeup-heavy approach can keep working against more advanced bats. He dominated at Low-A and High-A this year, and showed some physical development, too. Another step forward in 2023 is certainly realistic, but I think the big question is the one hinted at there at the end by Bastian: will the Cubs add Devers to the 40-man this offseason? That question, itself, comes down to a separate question: would another organization really try to stash an A-ball pitcher on their big league roster, even with pitcher limits at 13? Devers is not a prototypical stash-a-reliever type either (you’d be looking for a playable fastball/breaking ball combo), but you never know what another org might see. On the one hand, you CANNOT risk losing Devers. On the other hand, if you roster him before you have to, you might wind up losing someone else.
- Great pull by Brad here, rediscovering this spot-on early point by Bryan:
- What was incredible about Mervis over the ensuing two seasons is just how contact-oriented he became without losing any of that prodigious power. I still can’t get over the fact that his strikeout rate WENT DOWN at every level this year, and he struck out just 14.6% of the time at Triple-A (despite a whopping .297 ISO!). One of the best offensive seasons in the minor leagues for the Cubs since the days of Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber doing silly, silly things.
As we’ve said before, wins and losses in the minors aren’t a great evaluation tool for prospects, in isolation, but there is a broad belief that the winning can, itself, be good for player development:
- What you really want to see is your minor league teams winning a lot of games *with true prospects,* rather than organization-filler or journeymen. That’s how the Rays keep doing it, and the Cubs definitely had a good year on that front. Is it any surprise, then, that three of the teams ahead of the Cubs in the minor league standings are the Dodgers, Yankees, and Guardians?