Chicago Cubs Weekly Farm Report (5/28/19): Brennen Davis Debuts, Craig Brooks Unhittable
News in the System
- Brennen Davis was the story of the week on the farm. In a somewhat surprising move, he got the call to make his full-season debut on Saturday. The Cubs’ 2018 second round pick is one of the top prospects in the system and has the most untapped potential. He is just 19 years old and will look to lock down a spot in the outfield in South Bend now that Nelson Velazquez is on the Injured List.
- We saw some promotions of Cubs prospects to the Major League level last week, with Rowan Wick getting the call and making one appearance before giving way to James Norwood, who then was sent down for Dillon Maples.
- Just a reminder that we are now one week away from the MLB Draft. I repeat: One week away.
- To prep for the draft, be sure to read up on Kody Hoese, a favorite of many to land with the Cubs at No. 27 in the first round.
Triple-A Iowa Cubs
- The I-Cubs just snuck over .500 for the week with their win on Sunday against New Orleans. They went 4-3, putting their season record at a system-best 30-21. They wrap up their series with the New Orleans Babycakes before traveling to Round Rock for a four game series.
- Typically the ironic usage of “Cubs Legend” is reserved for players that have been shipped to other organizations, but it seems like Taylor Davis already has that tag. With Victor Caratini activated from the IL, Davis returned to Iowa and had solid week at the plate, homering twice while posting a .375 average.
- Jim Adduci joined the long list of Iowa hitters signed this offseason to have a huge week. He hit three home runs and added a double en route to a 1.329 OPS. He drove in 10 runs, six of which came in Sunday’s game.
- Ian Happ is looking closer to his return to Chicago after hitting for more power last week, smacking two homers and three doubles. He struck out in nearly a quarter of his plate appearances, not great but still acceptable when posting a .708 slugging percentage. That’s a huge number compared to what he has been doing in recent weeks.
- Adbert Alzolay made his first really good Triple-A start of 2019 on Wednesday. He allowed just one run on three hits in his five innings of work, striking out six without walking any.
Double-A Tennessee Smokies
- All things considered, it was a good week for the boys from Kodak as they went 4-2. They are slowly and surely improving that record, now sitting at 25-24 on the season.They have an off-day on Monday as they hit the road for a five-game series with the Biloxi Shuckers. They will then play on Sunday evening in Montgomery against the Biscuits.
- I have now created a shortcut on my keyboard to paste the sentence, “Vimael Machin had an incredible week.” This go-round he only struck out once in his 25 plate appearances, hit his first home run of the season, and put up a 1.227 OPS.
- Jared Young had been coasting for several weeks, putting up stats that weren’t bad enough to be put on notice, but also nothing to write home about. Last week changed that a bit as he doubled three times, drove in five runs, and walked as much as he struck out.
- Roberto Caro has always been fairly old for the level at which he has competed, but he put up a .420 OBP between the two Single-A levels a season ago. The 25-year-old is now heating up for Tennessee, slashing .350/.500/.550 last week for the Smokies.
- Craig Brooks is ready for his promotion to Triple-A and he really has been all season long. After four more scoreless innings last week in which he struck out six compared to no walks, his season ERA is down to 0.48. Opposing hitters are hitting a measly .121 off of the righty and he is striking out 42.1% of the batters he faces.
High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- I wish I had better news on the Pelicans this week, but their 2-5 record sort of tells the story. They are now down to 18-33 this season and sit 16 games out of first place. But hey, this week seems as good as any for them to turn things around as they wrap up their series with Wilmington before returning home for the first time since May 16 to face the Potomac Nationals for four games and the first of three at home against Wilmington.
- DJ Wilson made his way back from the IL on Sunday and drew three walks, a skill that has proven to be very important this season for him as he struggles with hitting the ball hard in play. It raised his season walk rate up to 15.3%, not bad at all.
- Miguel Amaya has hit for some impressive power in a league and in a park that saps home runs out of the game. He clobbered his fifth homer of the year on his way to a weekly OPS of 1.012.
- It was a big week for four Pelican relievers last week as the combination of Jesus Camargo, Ryan Kellogg, Tyler Peyton, and Manuel Rodriguez went a total of 12.2 innings on the bump but only gave up seven hits and one earned run on a long ball given up by Camargo. Combined, they had a 13:3 K:BB ratio.
Low-A South Bend Cubs
- South Bend had a streaky week as they went on a four-game skid before rattling off three wins. They now have a season record of 27-11. The Cubs have one more game against West Michigan before a three-gamer with the Lake County Captains. They will then travel to Dayton to play the Dragons in a three-game set that yours truly will be in attendance for.
- Davis made a terrific first impression with his new ballclub. Making just two starts, the first being as a DH, Davis doubled, drove in two, and scored three times in his nine trips to the plate. He scored every time he got on base.
- Andy Weber probably fell off most radars after his slow start this season. If you want to impress your friends, tell them to keep an eye on Weber going forward. He just finished a great week, one that is more on par with how the rest of his year should look. He homered, tripled, and doubled on his way to a .991 OPS.
- Riley Thompson might be one of the highest flyers up top prospect lists this season and he made yet another good-looking start for South Bend. He went six innings with six strikeouts and no walks and did not give up a run with three hits allowed.
- Peyton Remy, the reliever in the no-hitter earlier this year, made his first start of the season last week and did not disappoint. The mustached man went five innings of three-hit ball, refusing to give up a run while striking out five and only surrendering one base on balls.
- Jack Patterson had another good week out of the bullpen in his five innings of work. His line read one in the hit, earned run, and walk columns and he struck out six.