Chicago Cubs Prospects

Cubs Minors: Myrtle Beach is quickly becoming the team to watch

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are off to a fast and furious start. Two weeks into the minor league season, the Chicago Cubs Single-A affiliate is 10-5 and sits atop their division, tied for first place and in the green with a plus-15 run differential. As was projected as one of the best rosters coming into this year, they are living up to the hype.

While, by and large, the results do not have much effect on anything, there is something to be found among the noise, and that is how strong the contributions from both the offense and the pitching have been thus far.

The Pelicans directly connect with the Cubs regarding the four offensive producers currently ranking within the top 30 of the organizational farm system. Unfortunately, a couple of the arms that have stood out early on do not rank in the top 30. However, there is a shift that should excite fans looking down the road for answers to how this team will work their way back into a contending organization.

Chicago Cubs: The kids are leading the charge at Myrtle Beach

To refer to grown men as kids is pedantic, of course, yet in the hierarchy scheme, the young stars leading the offense and the pitching will likely not step foot in the majors for quite some time. But then again, the Cubs are in a position now where they can play the long game again, which is precisely what this team had in mind last summer.

Pete Crow-Armstrong is showcasing precisely what made him a first-round pick just two short seasons ago. The front office gained significant capital when they landed Crow-Armstrong from the New York Mets last summer in the Javier Báez deal. After Báez signed his massive deal with the Detroit Tigers, the value is sweeter.

Through his first 43 at-bats, Crow-Armstrong is slashing an astonishing .326/.463/.581 with a 1.088 OPS, two home runs and 10 RBI. Including his long balls, the 20-year-old has six extra-base hits and seven stolen bases. He is seeing the ball incredibly well right now as he is pacing himself with only eight strikeouts and eight walks. These numbers are impressive for anyone, making them even more impressive for his age.

The other intriguing name on this list is right fielder Jacob Wetzel. His average may be a subpar .200 right now through his first 50 at-bats. However, Wetzel has a commonality with Crow-Armstrong in his patience at the plate as the 22-year-old is walking at a ridiculous 20 percent rate which is fun but not the least bit sustainable.

In terms of the arms, each of the three guys who qualified have strong numbers. However, the biggest standout has to be Riley Martin. Martin is a reliever through and through, and that is not a bad thing considering that is an area of weakness for the Cubs and something that should be addressed long-term.

Martin has thrown 13 1/3 innings, all in relief roles. However, he has held opponents at bay, giving up just a single run in this small sample size. Porter Hodge, a former 19th-round pick by the Cubs, has a 2.19 ERA through his first three starts, and longtime prospect friend of the club Richard Gallardo has an ERA of 3.55 through his first three starts.

Next. Looking at Cubs Statcast leaderboard rankings. dark

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We are just a couple of short weeks into the season, and yes, these are small observable sample sizes, yet it begins painting a picture of the ceiling of these young prospects and what a fun team the Cubs will transform into in the coming years.

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