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Cubs minor leagues: Three up, three down meets MLB Draft Prep

A look at the system, and a look toward next year as well.

Jordan Nwogu
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

As I began this article on a sunny Tuesday afternoon after lunch at Beef-A-Roo, the Cubs have debuted zero draft picks from their 2021 class. They're not alone in being slow about debuting players.

The players count against the 180-player limit either when they play their first game, or at the end of the season, whichever comes last. Owners gonna owner.

The Cubs signed 17 of their draft picks, whiffing on only their 11th-, 12th- and 19th-round picks. Perhaps their top two on day three were in case second-rounder James Triantos (whose name is stored in my mental filing system right next to Reggie Preciado, so I might confuse them) tried to game the system.

With Kumar Rocker and Jud Fabian not signing, the Mets (11th) and Red Sox (41st) will get an extra pick next cycle. Also, there's a possibility any compensatory picks get bounced back, as well.

If you are morbid enough to be assessing when the Cubs will draft in the first round in 2022, it won't be 11th. It could be 10th or before, or after 12. But not eleventh.

With the pipeline looking much improved, and with a likely early pick, the Cubs might go for a high-ceiling pick. One such re-classified last night.

Regarding Rocker, who is looking to Indy Ball as his next step, getting screwed by the Mets? Yeah, it's really soft that his getting hard-balled by the Mets keeps him from playing affiliated ball until the draft. Should the rules be modified? Probably.

However, I don't see the owners being unilaterally nice enough to give a player in that spot a valid out. I also don't see the union fighting for amateurs over themselves.

Three up

After a horrific start, Jordan Nwogu has improved markedly. He'd struggled to get over the .140 mark, but had an OPS of .756 for the season, and 1.005 over the month. He might be ready for a promotion.

South Bend infielder Josue Huma has an OPS of .835 the last month. I doubt he's on anyone's Top 50 Cubs prospects, but he's taken an opportunity and run with it.

Owen Caissie leads the Arizona Compound League in OPS with 1.256. He was not my favorite of the Darvish Contingent. I preferred Reggie Preciado and Ismael Mena. Let them play, and find out.

Three down

Jose Albertos' ERA the last month has been an even 14.00

Chase Strumpf's OPS the last montb has been .550.

Over the last month, Dakota Mekkes (ERA 9.53) and Cory Abbott (ERA 14.73) have struggled for Triple-A Iowa. If looking for a call-up for longer stretches, consider Adrian Sampson (ERA 3.48). What would it hurt, anyway?