A little over a month into the minor league season, here’s what the Cubs top prospects have been up to.
- Eloy Jimenez (#1, OF) is still rehabbing in extended spring training after injuring his right shoulder earlier this spring. Jimenez could start in Advanced-A Myrtle Beach as soon as next week. Ian Happ (#2, 2B/OF) was excelling in Triple-A Iowa hitting a slash line of .298/.362/.615 over his first 26 games. Happ has nine home runs in that span and got the call up to the big leagues last Saturday (5/13). Happ hit a home run in his first career major league hit and appears to be ready for the bigs, but this may be a short time deal until Jason Heyward can return from the DL.
- Dylan Cease (#3, RHP) is wreaking havoc in Single-A South Bend. In the past, Cease has been limited in coming back from injury, but the Cubs have finally set him loose. Cease has started six games so far and thrown 28 2/3 innings to the tune of a 1.88 ERA and a gaudy 13.5 K/9. The next step is seeing when the Cubs will move him to Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.
- Jeimer Candelario (#4, 3B) was called up to the bigs while Jason Heyward hit the DL. This allowed the Cubs to play their MVP third baseman, Kris Bryant, in the outfield and let Candelario play a corner infield position. Candelario was slashing a fantastic line of .340/.443/.649 in Triple-A Iowa and he is clearly ready for a major league roster. The problem with his place on the Cubs’ roster will resurface when Heyward is ready to return. At least for now, Candelario has a chance to be put on display in the majors and have a shot at increasing his trade value. Though, with the recent call up of Happ as well, there is a growing chance Candelario can stick around for longer.
- Trevor Clifton (#6, RHP) is excelling in Double-A Tennessee. Clifton has pitched 32 innings over six starts while collecting a 2.25 ERA. He is feeling right at home playing close to where he grew up in Tennessee, but if he keeps it up he might find himself in Iowa before too long.
- Victor Caratini (#17, C/1B) is hitting better than ever in Triple-A. Caratini has a slash line of .351/.392/.523 and is starting to look like a major league-ready player.
- Zach Hedges (#25, RHP) is showing more of what he did last year in Double-A again and has pitched six starts for 34 2/3 innings and a 2.60 ERA. He could see Triple-A this year if he keeps it up.
- The trio of Ian Rice (#35, C), Trey Martin (NR, OF), and Jason Vosler (NR, 3B) all have an OPS over 1.000 for Double-A Tennessee.
- Zack Short (NR, 2B/SS/3B) is off to a good start in Single-A South Bend hitting a slash line of .277/.427/.491 with four home runs and seven stolen bases over his first 31 games.
- Daniel Spingola (NR, OF) is crushing it in Advanced-A hitting .340/.425/.577 and has five triples over his first 31 games.
- Adbert Alzolay (NR, RHP) has started seven games in Advanced-A for 34 innings and a 2.38 ERA.
Article featured image of Trevor Clifton – courtesy Brian McLeod/MiLB.com