The Weekly – Baseball Begins, PCA Pub, 2 College Names off to Hot Starts, Re-Drafting Thoughts, Ed Howard BP, and a Slow Jam

The Weekly – Baseball Begins, PCA Pub, 2 College Names off to Hot Starts, Re-Drafting Thoughts, Ed Howard BP, and a Slow Jam

Updated: 25 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes, 19 seconds ago

We are getting closer and closer to minor leaguers reporting for minor league camp. While some have been there all winter, most of them will be in Mesa by the end of next week. Hopefully, we can see some game reports from Arizona Phil when they begin playing. For now, though, we are going to have to settle for prospects playing with the major league club, which began yesterday.

Here’s how they did on the day…

PCA – 0-for-3, 1 run
Matt Mervis – 1-for-2
Chase Strumpf – 0-for-1
Jared Young – 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Yonathan Perlaza – 1-for2, 1 RBI, 2 Runs
Darius Hill – 1-for-2
Blake Whitney – 0.1 IP, 0 runs

Video of the Day from Saturday

Here's the replay of Matt Mervis' single off a lefty in the 7th inning of Saturday's Cubs ST opener:— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) February 25, 2023

Dad Moment of the Week

Former Cubs pitcher Scott Sanders posted Cam’s shot from camp. Pretty, pretty, pretty cool.

News of the Week

They were a couple of prospect lists that came out this week. FanGraphs updated their top 100 list with Pete Crow Armstrong all the way up at number 14 and three other Cubs joined him, including Hayden Wesneski, Kevin, Alcantara, and Cristian Hernandez. On Thursday, Baseball America updated their top Cubs prospect list expanding it from to 30. Greg Zumach broke it down for you. 

Otherwise the news was pretty slow. MLB Pipeline published an article about the best hitting prospect for each organization. For the Cubs, they placed Pete Crow-Armstrong on top of the mountain. They said:

Not only is Crow-Armstrong the best defensive player in the Minors, he’s also a gifted hitter with a quick left-handed stroke and has made adjustments to deliver more power since the Mets made him the 19th overall selection in the 2020 Draft. Traded to the Cubs for Javier Báez and Trevor Williams in 2021, he batted .312/.376/.520 with 46 extra-base hits and 32 steals in 101 games between Single-A and High-A in his first extended stint in pro ball last season.

If you didn’t know already, the Cubs manager at Mesa this summer is going to be Nick Lovullo. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because his dad manages the Diamondbacks.

Nick Lovullo, son of the @Dbacks manager, is forging his own coaching path in the Cubs system.

At 29, he’s a first-time manager leading the #Cubs Arizona Complex League team.

“This is his journey,” Torey says, “and I’m enjoying the ride with him.”— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) February 20, 2023

MLB Draft News.

Greg Zumach published his Top 100 MLB Draft Prospect list this week and D1 Baseball is wrapping up their second weekend of the year this afternoon. There are already some names popping that I’m going to have to investigate during my spring break at the end of March. I’m still right in the middle of my busy season at school and that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to check out possible draft picks.

One player who is sure to be rising up the boards is Brock Wilken from Wake Forest who has just been punishing baseballs. Watch this ball get out in a hurry.

Brock Wilken Brockets are back in full-force this season. Leaned on. No. 4 on the season.— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) February 24, 2023

As well, I told you a couple of months ago to check out Homer Bush, Jr. of Grand Canyon and he has been a wonderful surprise. Bush could make his way from the backend of the top 100 up into the top 40 or 50. As well, he can go get a baseball.

What a grab by @GCU_Baseball's Homer Bush Jr.!— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 17, 2023

Normally, I usually do a post each year about guys the Cubs can re-draft. This year, that list is down to one and that is Arizona outfielder Mac Bingham who the Cubs took in 2019.  

There are two players the Cubs could re-draft that are currently not playing anywhere. They are Pitcher Nolan Letzgus from Walters State and pitcher Jayson Hoopes who last played at Rutgers in 2022. Then again, the fact that they aren’t suited up pretty much voids that idea.

Pictures of the Week

Ed Howard taking BP just warmed my heart.

Great surprise on the back fields this afternoon – I got to watch @Cubs SS Ed Howard take live BP for the first time since his injury last year. His swing looked good in the first AB and he walked in the second AB. #Cubs #CubsProspects #ST2023— Rich Biesterfeld (@biest22) February 24, 2023

Tweet of the Week – A Game Thread

Darius Hill against a right-handed sidearmer feels like a cheat code. You just know that hit is coming, even as the Sloan shadows are getting mean.

— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) February 25, 2023

Coming Up Next Week

I will still be wrapping up the mailbag a couple of times this week. I will have one on Monday about left-handed hitters in the system. Another mailbag later in the week will take on several questions in one post. 

Jam of the Week

I am going all the way back to 1981 for this jam of the week, the ever sultry “I Burn for You” by The Police. Originally written in Sting’s jazz band days, it was first recorded by The Police for the Ghost in the Machine but did not appear on a Police LP until the retrospective “Message in a Box.” I just love the bassline in the Coda and Andy Summers’ guitar create an atmospheric wonder.

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