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Minor League Monday: Prospects in Spring Training

The Cubs had a number of prospects join the spring training squad this year. As prospect performance in spring training can be a bit of a "blink and you miss it," I wanted to take some time to highlight some individual performances.


Hitters


Miguel Amaya: 13 games, 16 plate appearances, .250/.250/.500/.750

Amaya didn't get a ton of playing time this spring. As he's not really projected to have an impact this year, that is to be expected.


Brennen Davis: 16 games, 26 plate appearances, .182/.269/.227/.497

Brennen Davis got a handful of games this spring, and struggled. Baseball reference has a handy "opponent quality" tool. For Davis, this came in at 6.2, in a similar ranges as Baez, Bryant, and Contreras. That said, i guess some struggles would be realistic, especially after no game action in 2020.


Trent Giambrone: 11 games, 12 plate appearances: .091/.167/.091/.258.

Giambrone struggled a bit in his scattered playing time this spring. After a full season at AAA in 2019, he figured to be an outsider for MLB action this year. With opponent quality being rated at just 5.6, he didn't really do himself any favors this spring.


P.J. Higgins: 17 games, 32 plate appearances, .192/.323/.308/.630

Higgins is 28, but split time between AA and AAA in 2019. He figures to be an injury away from emergency call up duty at the big league level. He didn't exactly light up the league, even with a 4.7 OppoQual. That said, he did show off his OBP skills, which is something he's also shown in MILB action as well (.357 career OBP).


Nico Hoerner: 17 games, 48 PAs, .364/.396/.659/1.055

Even though he spent all of 2020 with the big league club, I'm still considering him a prospect. He absolutely lit up pitching in spring training, and his oppoquality wasn't a half bad 6.3. Regardless, he has stuff to work on. We will see him by June at the latest.


Alfonso Rivas: 12 games 18 PAs, .313/.389/.500/.889

Rivas figures to start the year in AA. He's a relatively unknown player, but owns a career .801 MILB OPS. With a strong showing in his limited playing time this spring, perhaps he's worth paying a little attention to.


Chase Strumpf: 13 games 16 PAs, .250/.438/.500/.938

In his limited time, the 2B made the most of what he had. He's likely going to start in A+ ball. His oppoqual was only 3.7.


Andy Weber: 16 games 17 Pas, .143/.294/.214/.508

Weber is an infielder and will start the year at either A+ or AA. He's got college experience, yet is still just 23. It's a bit too soon to tell what he's capable of.


Pitchers:


Cory Abbott: 1 game 1 IP

Abbot is a guy that a lot of pundit thinks can pitch at the MLB level as soon as this year. While he's 25, he has 26 games at AA in 2019. I just don't see him coming up before September, and that's if everything goes right for him. He certainly wasn't given much chance this spring.


Adbert Alzolay: 3 starts, 7.2 IP 10.57 ERA

I love Alzolay, but I was a bit surprised to see him make the rotation out of spring training. He walked 4 and hit a batter, not showing great control. Regardless, he has swing and miss stuff, so he'll get a chance. Here's to hoping he makes the most of it. Worth noting: oppoquality 8.8


Brendon Little: 4 games 2 IP 2 ER

Here's a guy who hasn't even pitched in AA yet, but still got an invite to spring training. he's 24, but owns a minor league ERA of 5.05. Honestly, I'm not sure what he was doing in Arizona, but the front office knows things I don't.


Dillon Maples: 8 games 10.1 IP 5.23 ERA 16 Ks 6 BBs oppoqual: 7.5

There's not much to say about Maples that hasn't been said already. Electric stuff, poor command. He's out of options, so this is likely his last chance with the team. The 16 strikeouts is noteworthy. Maybe this time he figures it out.



There is still no official minor league games for another month. In the meantime, we will see some scrimmages between AAA teams. Way to go Rob Manfred (sarcastic clap).





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