Cubs prospect Alexander Canario has been swinging a hot stick

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Ever since coming to the Chicago Cubs organization at last year’s trade deadline, prospect Alexander Canario has wowed people with his power. The 22-year-old outfield prospect, ranked #18 in the Cubs system, has hit 33 home runs in 128 games (as of July 24) with the organization. Canario entered Sunday’s action leading all Cubs MiLB players in home runs (23), with Matt Mervis (21) right behind him (and, for good measure, Canario added his 24th on Sunday as part of a four-hit afternoon).

His great power does come with some concerns, however. It has been noted that Canario has some holes in the swing with a sizable number of strikeouts. In 2021 he struck out 27.4 percent of the time and has struck out roughly 29 percent of the time so far this year. With all of that said, Canario’s overall production has been very good. He slashed .281/.360/.584 with a 156 wRC+ with high-A South Bend before being promoted to Double A Tennesse in early May. After an adjustment period, Canario has begun tearing up Double-A ball.

Cubs keeping an eye on Alexander Canario’s hot month in Tennessee.

Since June 22, Canario entered action Sunday hitting .279/.406/.651 with eight home runs, an OPS of 1.057 and 19 walks in 106 plate appearances. He’s also recorded six multi-hit games over his past 14 games played.

The on-base is really good to see as he is walking more. He only walked 5.5 percent of the time in his first stint with the Cubs organization last season. Small sample size last year, but good to see no less. His BB/K ratio is at 0.90 over this span, compared to 0.37 over the course of 2022.

The hope is that this streak is a progression for Canario, getting into a habit of taking more walks and cutting down a tad on the strikeouts. He will likely always be a bigger swing-and-miss guy, but taking advantage of walks and still producing is the ultimate goal.

Overall in Tennesse, Canario entered Sunday’s impressive contest slashing .241/.323/.530 with 16 homers, a .853 OPS in 61 games. This includes a .195/.233/.415 start in his first 20 games. This is why looking over the past month or so is so important. It tells you he has sustained much better production over several weeks and has made necessary adjustments after being promoted to a new level.

This is really nothing out of the ordinary for newly promoted players who need to adjust a bit. Even with that rough start, he did hit five of his 16 home runs over those first 20 games, so the power at least transferred right away.

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Canario is one of those prospects that has really impressive tools but will need to put some things together if he wants to be a legit MLB player. His future with the Cubs organization is a bit unclear at the moment, but him raising his stock over the remainder of 2022 would be very ideal.