McKinney, Billy 1503 (Mitchell)

Young Cubs: Billy The Kid Round Three, and Some Waffles

Hello, readers. No odds and ends this time around, as the weekend was relatively uneventful. We’re still at least several weeks away from trade chatter beginning to pick up and thus, we’re in a state of little promotion/demotion activity. It is important, of course, to continue watching individual performance as what happens this next month or so will have a great deal of influence over trade value and team trade talks. You’re likely to hear a lot of names tossed around by the media in the coming weeks and I caution you not to get too attached to any one prospect, as they could be gone in an instant. Just enjoy watching your favorite young players while they’re around and root for them while you can.

BP Top 10 Update (Stats for 5/4-5/7)

  1. SS Addison Russell, MLB: I will no longer be reporting major league stats for Russell or Bryant, as it seems a bit unnecessary.
  2. 3B Kris Bryant, MLB: I will no longer be reporting major league stats for Russell or Bryant, as it seems a bit unnecessary.
  3. OF Albert Almora, Double-A Tennessee: 1-for-8, 0 BB, 0 K
  4. C Kyle Schwarber, Double-A Tennessee: 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
  5. OF Billy McKinney, High-A Myrtle Beach: 7-for-16, 1 3B, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 K; Yeah, so Billy The Kid just keeps hitting. I feel like I’m exhausting the point right now, but he truly belongs in Double-A. He’s at the top of most major batting categories for the Carolina League and for good reason. Keep it up, Billy.
  6. RHP Pierce Johnson, Double-A Tennessee: 7-Day DL
  7. SS Gleyber Torres, Low-A South Bend: 1-for-7, 1BB, 3 K
  8. 1B Dan Vogelbach, Double-A Tennessee: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
  9. LHP Carson Sands, Extended Spring Training: Extended spring training stats are difficult to come by, but if you’re interested, Arizona Phil at The Cub Reporter does some great work covering the team out of Mesa.
  10. RHP Jen-Ho Tseng, High-A Myrtle Beach: 2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K; Things have been a bit rough for Tseng his last two times out on the bump. The lack of control in his latest start is especially uncharacteristic for Tseng, who has relied on precision to get him this far. He’s most likely just going through a rough patch, but it would still be nice to see him come out next time and dominate.

The Non-Prospects

Javier Baez: Baez only struck out three times in 13 PA this weekend, which is not all that bad, especially in conjunction with the two walks he took. He also didn’t hit for much power, but his progress is being judged on far more than simple statistics. Baez isn’t hitting the ball too much yet at Triple-A, but he’s also struck out far less this time around. It’s still a small sample, so we only really know so much. What we can have confidence in is the fact that when/if he comes back up to the majors, it will be because the organization feels he’s ready.

Arismendy Alcantara: Mendy struck out five times this weekend, which is not really all that encouraging. Just as with Baez, Alcantara is working on things that may require a variety of changes to his approach. This means that we can’t necessarily judge him too harshly based on his statistics. However, it would still be preferable to see Alcantara making more contact than he’s been at Iowa. All that we can do is continue monitoring his progress and hope that he returns to form soon.

Team Updates/Standings

South Bend Cubs, Low-A, Midwest League:  15-15, 4 GB of first place, fourth place in the Eastern Division (tied w/Lake County Captains)

Myrtle Beach Pelicans, High-A, Carolina League:  19-12, first place in the Southern Division

Tennessee Smokies, Double-A, Southern League:  15-14, 2 GB of first place, second in the North Division (tied w/Birmingham Barons)

Iowa Cubs, Triple-A, Pacific Coast League:  15-15, 7.5 GB of first place, third place in the American Northern Division

Player To Watch: Ivan Pineyro, 23, RHP, Tennessee Smokies

Pineyro went seven innings on Friday with no walks, 10 strikeouts, and three earned runs allowed. The three earned runs mostly look a bit fluky, as he was dominant in most every sense of the word. He had his pitches working and it was difficult to drive anything off of the young righty. This start looks even more impressive in the context of the start prior to it. When taken together Pineyro has put up 14 IP, 3 ER, 15 K, and 0 BB in his last two starts. Those are some eye-popping numbers and it now makes four starts this season in which Pineyro has not walked a single batter. If Ivan can continue to widen his K:BB, then he’ll begin to attract more attention as a future power reliever.

Tweet(s) of the Week

James Farris, who pitches for South Bend, is not someone I expected to highlight here. He only tweets every so often, so it’s pretty rare to catch a gem from him. However, this tweet deserves a mention. It’s just vague enough for me to want to know more about the specifics. We need DETAILS, James. Who was at Waffle House with you? What does it mean to “destroy” an All-Star Special? I’m immensely curious. I’m going to go ponder this for a while.

Best Promotion of the Upcoming Week

If you’ve ever been to a minor-league baseball game, you’re likely aware that the teams have some great promotions. They are sometimes fun, sometimes silly, sometimes downright bonkers, and they ultimately are a large part of what make the minor-league experience so much fun. Here, I will highlight an upcoming promotion that stands out to me.

Tennessee Smokies vs. Montgomery Biscuits, Thursday, May 14, Zombie Prom Night: Full disclosure: I love zombie movies and all things zombie-related. The Smokies really caught my attention with this one. Basically, you dress up in tuxes, suits, dresses, and the like and also do yourself up to appear like a zombie. It encourages fans to get creative and be a little weird. It just seems really quirky and extremely fun.

Game(s) To Look Forward To

Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ Carolina Mudcats, Thursday, May 14, 7:05 PM ET:  This would be the projected next start of major Braves pitching prospect Lucas Sims (no. 54). Getting a chance to see intriguing prospects such as McKinney and Mark Zagunis take hacks against a top pitching prospect is going to be interesting. When matched up against top talent, you often get a glimpse of just how much progress a prospect is making at the plate. Sims certainly fits the bill and I’m looking forward to getting to see another great prospect in action against Billy The Kid and the underrated Zagunis.

Related Articles

1 comment on “Young Cubs: Billy The Kid Round Three, and Some Waffles”

A well written article. It would make any mother proud!

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username