July Has Been the Month of Promotions

The MLB All-Star break is typically the time of year where we tend to see the bulk of the Minor League roster shuffle. At this point, organizations have seen enough and the small sample size alerts are thrown out the window. Half of a season at any particular level is normally enough time for the front office to decide on moving a guy up or down a level in the Minor Leagues.

The 2018 halfway point has been no different. In fact, over the last month or so, we have seen a flurry of roster moves from South Bend all the way up to Iowa. While the number of moves has been impressive, the names that have been moved may be even more crucial to the organization.

Below I’ll give you a rundown of all the moves that have occurred since June 23rd with a brief explanation of why the move is important.

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Baez (the other one) Goes Yard, Hatch & Mekkes Shine for Smokies

It was all about the pitching on Monday night in Tennessee as the Smokies brought home the W in a low scoring 2-1 matchup. It took the former 3rd rounder Thomas Hatch and a trio of high-upside bullpen arms to lock it down. The offense was supplied by one swing, a home run off the bat of the red-hot Jeffrey Baez (no relation to the other red-hot, Javy Baez).  Continue reading

Guess Who’s Back, Corey Black’s Back

Tell a friend. The man who was once acquired by the Cubs as a part of the Alfonso Soriano deal is set to make his return to the diamond on Saturday. According to his Twitter account, he will be throwing to live hitters for the first time since his Tommy John Surgery that kept him off the field for the entirety of the 2017 season. Continue reading

Arizona Fall League Recap & 40-Man Roster Shuffle

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up Saturday afternoon with the Mesa Solar Sox, the squad with all of the Cubs’ prospects, falling to the Peoria Javelinas by a score of 8-2. While watching Cubs prospects make it all the way to the league’s championship game is fun, the most important thing is seeing each player’s individual success (or lack thereof) while down in Mesa. Continue reading

Tennessee Smokies Season in Review

There wasn’t much team success to be found around the upper levels of the minors for the Cubs from a team perspective. Much like the Iowa Cubs, the Tennessee Smokies finished in 4th place in the Southern League North division with an overall record of 68-70.

But also like Iowa, the Smokies had several players that picked up for the lack of team success with plenty of individual success. The roster was full of talent and had several top prospects that showed out and a few that underperformed. Continue reading

Sleepers No More, Five Smokies are Impressing on the Farm

As Cubs fans, we have grown so accustomed to seeing freak athletes in their early 20s get called up to Chicago to make an immediate impact. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora are exactly who you think about when you think of the word “prospects.”

But there are more than just superstars that make their way through the system. Role players can be found all around the country among each level of the minor leagues. Players included in this list are considered to be pinch-hitting extraordinaires, integral fourth outfielders, back-end starters, and middle relievers.

There are a few players in Tennessee that are having great seasons so far in 2017 that have quickly made a name for themselves. The four position players that have performed admirably enough to take a dive into today are not players that will be cleanup hitters for a World Series champion team, or even players that can expect to get 500 at-bats on a Major League roster over the course of a season. What you can expect from these players is for them to carve out a very decent professional career as a role player of some sort. Continue reading