I first just want you to know that I think of a flock of bears like a flock of sheep on a farm or something every time I type “Cubs Farm.” Alternatively, bears like the Berenstain Bears on a farm checking to see if the eggs are ready. Well you know one ready egg? His name is Mark Zagunis.
Mark Zagunis (#13, OF) has started off the year in Triple-A slashing .327/.446/.423 over 66 plate appearances. And he’s just getting started. Over the last ten days that slash line is .483/.568/.655. Zagunis has also kept his walks on par with his strikeouts so far and is really turning into a hitter that doesn’t belong in the minors. The major league club has a bit of a crowded outfield and fight for playing time, which continues to make me think the team will explore trade possibilities.
Jose Albertos (#2, RHP) has… not had good start to 2018. Over his first three starts in Single-A, Albertos has yet to see the third inning (and the second inning only once). The season is as young as Albertos, but an ERA of 27.00 and WHIP of 4.00 doesn’t look too pretty for a top system prospect. He has a strikeout per inning!.. he just also has given up three runs per inning. I’ll make the wild guess that things might improve a bit from here, but… yeesh.
Top Ten Notes
Oscar De La Cruz (#4, RHP) hasn’t had a great start to Double-A and currently owns a 9.82 ERA over four starts. It’s all been rough except for one start of six shut-out innings against the Montgomery Biscuits. Take that biscuit-heads!
Over three starts in Single-A, Brendon Little (#5, LHP) also sports a 9.82 ERA. Never tell me the odds! Also don’t tell me about the start of the year for top Cub pitching prospects!
Let’s look for something a bit more positive… Miguel Amaya (#8, C) is doing well in Single-A and owns a slash line of .269/.367/.481. You could get a lot less from a 19-year-old catcher in Single-A.
Tom Hatch (#10, RHP) has been the most successful pitcher here in the top ten so far. Hatch sports a 2.70 ERA that drops down to 1.69 if you dismiss his first start of the year. And we’re going to do that because we need someone in the top ten here to have an arm.
Others Showing Up
Jeffrey Baez (UR, OF) has bursted onto the Double-A scene and has hit three home runs over the past week to put his early slash line at .361/.425/.806. He has done all that while also stealing five bags in 16 games. The 24-year-old has progressed slowly through the minors, but that could be changing if this start continues.
Jared Young (UR, 1B/2B) is currently leading Cub minor leaguers in wOBA of players with at least ten plate appearances with .527. Young is currently on the DL, but his slash line of .406/.472/.844 is more than enough to generate some excitement about the 2017 15th round draft pick.
Bijan Rademacher (#45, OF) is making his case to see the majors before he turns 27 in June. Rademacher has a line of .343/.410/.486 despite having a short DL stint in the middle. With a name like Rademacher, he’s bound for the bigs soon (and oh boy, now I’m reading this Wikipedia page as if I actually know what it says).
Featured image – Mark Zagunis, via Iowa Cubs Twitter