Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: P.J. Higgins
P.J. Higgins has been a longtime catcher in the Cubs farm system. He snuck his way up through the levels not by having a big booming bat, but by having a nice contact rate, solid on base skills, and an ability to play all over the infield. His .739 minor league OPS won't turn a lot of heads, but a .273 BA and .359 OBP? That'll do.
In 2019, he had a strong stretch at AA that led to his promotion to Iowa, where he promptly OPS'd .895 in 36 games. Then the pandemic shut his career down for a season. Bummer. 2021, he picked up where he left off, with a .971 OPS in Iowa for the first 11 games. The big league Cubs had some injuries, and needed a flexible roster addition. On 5/19, he got the call and made his debut in the show.
Welcome to the Cubs. It's great to have you on board. I hope you enjoy some of the fruits of your efforts, stemming from over 5 years in the minors. Not everyone blows through the minors in a year like Kris Bryant. Development has to happen, and it takes time as well as mental tenacity. There's a lot of bus rides that can sap the will to continue, but you've endured it. Now it's time to reap some of what you've sewn.
I hope you find success during this first trip to the big leagues. Enjoy your time in Chicago. Have fun playing with some of the 2016 championship team, and I hope you learn a lot. Even though there are a lot of good players who might be blocking you from an everyday role at the moment, you are going to have an opportunity to start soon enough. For now, take it all in, learn, grow, and be ready for the opportunities to come.
Welcome to the show! Congratulations on your promotion.