MESA, Arizona — When I saw this tweet from Tribune beat writer Mark Gonzales early this morning:
Fans planning to attend Sunday’s workout can watch the first day of live batting practice on the minor league fields at about 10:30 a.m. AZ time. But earlier arrival is advised— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 17, 2019
... I made plans to head over to Mesa and get there early, figuring there would be a big crowd watching.
There wasn’t. And part of that was because I went to the back fields and... most of the big leaguers were over hitting on fields 1 and 2, so I missed that. About 75 people or so were gathered at the minor league fields by 10:30, and I did get to see Victor Caratini and Willson Contreras hit:
Nice to hear the sounds of baseball, anyway, even if both hitters let many of the pitches go by. Pitching were non-roster righty Matt Carasiti and rostered reliever Rowan Wick . Here’s some video of Wick warming up:
Catching on this field was the Cubs’ top catching prospect, Miguel Amaya, who has been listed in the top 100 in some national pre-season prospect rankings. Amaya likely starts this season at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. I would not be surprised if he played in a big-league spring game or two, especially in the first week of camp.
Fortunately, Mark Gonzales took some video of Javier Baez taking BP:
Javier Baez taking batting practice: pic.twitter.com/flF5Kx9UQQ— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 17, 2019
On the other back fields, some Cubs minor leaguers were taking batting practice. I spotted one whose name you will probably recognize:
Weather permitting (and it might not), the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Monday. If rain doesn’t force the workout indoors, I hope to be there to shoot some more video. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is also scheduled to be in Mesa Monday for his traditional first-day talk with the team and media.