Cubs Prospect Notes: Minor League Spring Games Underway, Davis, Mervis, PCA, Canario, Caissie, Amaya, Horton, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Minor League Spring Games Underway, Davis, Mervis, PCA, Canario, Caissie, Amaya, Horton, More

Chicago Cubs

As the South Bend Cubs pointed out, minor league Spring Training games are officially kicking off today in Arizona:

  • Cubs President Jed Hoyer on outfield prospect Brennen Davis, who participated in big league Spring Training for a few weeks, but was sent out to minor league camp on Friday (Tribune): “It was just, hey, you’re healthy, go down and get the reps you lost last year. [The message] was really pretty simple …. All that matters with Brennen is he’s healthy. He looks great, playing great defense, running around well. He just needs reps. We weren’t able to get him full-strength reps at the end of the season.”
  • Everyone kinda knows the score with Davis: the talent is through the roof, the adjustments up until last year had been incredible. And then the back issue, the surgery, and the setback. It makes it all the more difficult to accurately project where Davis is right now in his development – there was still developing to do last year at Iowa – and it puts you in a spot where you just want to see him play for a couple months, healthily, at Iowa before even commenting on what’s up.
  • And more from GM Carter Hawkins on Brennen Davis, and also Matt Mervis:
  • Hawkins suggests that even the tiny bit of struggle Mervis showed in Spring Training could be good for him, since he hasn’t had that in a long time. You have to have those moments so you can work on getting past them, and it’s especially important for a developing player. You’ll also note that there was no equivocation there from Hawkins that Mervis will begin the season back at Triple-A Iowa.
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong uses virtual reality to train against big league pitchers (Sun-Times). As Jed Hoyer said about it, you can’t take endless swings, but you CAN use technology to “face” as many pitchers as you want. Very cool stuff, and you hope it pays dividends as PCA climbs against better and better pitching. It’ll be fascinating to see how he comes out of the gate at Double-A Tennessee this year, despite having relatively little time at High-A South Bend (well, I guess I’m making an assumption that he starts at Double-A, but he definitely starts at Double-A … ).
  • Speaking of PCA and young outfielders who are going to start at Double-A and whose performance I can’t wait to watch, I love seeing this support for Owen Caissie (and B.J. Murray, who ALSO should see some time at Double-A this year eventually):
  • That Caissie homer, by the way, was 108.3 mph off the bat and went 427 feet. Very real power. Only 20 years old.
  • The hope is that Alexander Canario can begin baseball activities as soon as this week, and here’s one good sign:
  • Sounds like Jed Hoyer wasn’t going to lay out a timetable for Canario’s return this year, and a piece from The Athletic indicates the current organizational hope is that Canario returns in the second half of the season (mid-July) and then plays in the Arizona Fall League. I’ll just be happy when he’s getting into extended Spring Training games, maybe sometime in May?
  • The same piece suggests that Miguel Amaya, who was nominally optioned to Double-A Tennessee last week at minor league camp, will indeed open the season back at Tennessee. That was the easy guess, given the multiple depth catchers at Iowa and the fact that Amaya hasn’t caught in a game in years. The Cubs will want to ease him back into that, and hope that his performance and circumstances make a rapid ascendance to Triple-A Iowa possible. Remember, this is Amaya’s final minor league option year. So the Cubs need to know by next Spring Training whether he’s ready to be at least a big league back-up.
  • Rich with some visuals, and a please-be-right on Cade Horton (photo up top is from Rich):

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.