Honestly, I did not think this was going to happen until August, but it went down today.
— MyrtleBeachPelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) June 29, 2015
I love Cael Brockmeyer. He is one of my favorite Cubs prospects; he hits for average, he hits for power, he is a leader. If you ever watched him play, you know who is in charge of the team out on the field. At 6’5” he sets a nice low target behind the plate. Pitchers respect him and his ability to make adjustments throughout a game.
His promotion to Myrtle Beach will be a smooth one because he knows all the pitchers. He caught all the starters last year at Kane County in the regular season and was the starting catcher in every game in the Midwest League playoffs.
Drafted in the 16th round out of Cal State Bakersfield in 2013, some people weren’t sure Brockmeyer would stick at catcher because of his size. In his first year, he initially got 2 games in at Iowa as an organizational fill-in before he was assigned to Boise where he hit .271 in 33 games with an OBP of .355. In 2014, he arrived at Kane County in late April but didn’t begin seeing regular duty until a back injury to Will Remillard opened things up for him.
In 77 games, Brockmeyer caught 48, played first for 6, and was the DH in the rest. In the second half of the season, he was one of the best players in the entire organization. In July, he hit .279 with 2 HRs and 12 and in August he .286 with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs, while in the playoffs he over .400.
I really thought he was going to go to high-A to start the year in 2015, so I was a little surprised he stayed at low-A. On opening night he hit a walk off home run and he earned Player of the Week honors the first week this season in the Midwest League. Brockmeyer has been the anchor in the middle of the lineup for the first three months.
In 63 games, he clubbed 5 HRs with 33 RBIs and is hitting .274 with a .356 OBP. In an interview I did for Cubs Insider last week, announcer Darin Pritchett argued that “Brockmeyer didn’t have much left to prove at this level.” Darin was right.
At Myrtle Beach, Brockmeyer will catch, DH, and play some first base, just like he has done the last year and a half at low-A. Having intimate knowledge of all the starters at high A will make his transition seamless.
What he brings to the lineup is some punch for an offense that has been struggling the last two weeks to put some runs on the board. He should provide some protection either in front or behind Jacob Rodgers and Jeimer Candelario. I could even see him hitting third behind Zagunis and Chesny Young, but more than likely Manager Mark Johnson will slide him in at 5th or 6th. I look forward to his continued success.
As for South Bend, they will be fine. Erick Castillo and Gioskar Amaya will handle the duties behind the plate. Soon, a new bat (hint, hint) will arrive from Eugene to fill the void.