Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate hit seven homers in dominant showing

The Chicago Cubs have a ton of good prospects and Kevin Alcantara, James Triantos, Pablo Aliendo and Haydn McGeary showed that off on Wednesday night.
Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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The Tennessee Smokies were supposed to be exceptional this season. The team carries top prospects all over the diamond, and despite a slow start to 2024, those top prospects exploded on Tuesday night for seven homers.

Those seven home runs were hit by four players who have all had a very different journey in the Chicago Cubs system thus far but have started to come alive in Double-A.

James Triantos hit two homers on Wednesday. He was an uber-helium prospect in the 2021 MLB Draft that was selected in the second round and given an overslot signing bonus in order to lock him down.

Since then, he’s been seen as a top second base prospect in the game and a top-ten prospect in the Cubs’ exceptionally loaded farm system. That being said, power was never his calling card coming into this season so seeing his .519 slugging percentage so far this year has been a great sign of things to come. 

Pablo Aliendo also hit two homers on Wednesday. Unlike Triantos, he joined the system via international free agency in 2018, and also, unlike Triantos, power is his defining characteristic.

Aliendo would be the top catching prospect for a lot of teams but the Cubs are lucky enough to have Moises Ballesteros in Double-A as well and that doesn’t even mention Miguel Amaya playing well at the major league level.

The Chicago Cubs' Double-A affiliate is loaded with talent.

Last season, Aliendo broke through with 16 homers, 40 extra-base hits, and a .458 slugging percentage. He’s not going to hit for average or get on base a ton, but he’s a solid catcher behind the dish that can provide some power when the starter needs a breather, which is extremely valuable in its own right.

The last player to hit multiple homers in that game was Kevin Alcantara. He joined the Cubs via trade with the New York Yankees for Anthony Rizzo, and his 2024 season began in much the same way as his 2023: dreadfully.

He went hitless in his first seven games taking an (honestly impressive) 0-26 to start the year. Since then, he’s 13-26 including his two-homer night that should help to remind fans and opposing teams why he’s considered a top-five prospect in this system.

Finally, Haydn McGeary hit a homer in that game as well. McGeary was drafted in the 15th round of the 2022 MLB draft. He didn’t have the helium or huge signing bonus that Triantos had, but he’s hit at every level in the Cubs’ system and is considered one of the top ten first base prospects in the game right now. 

The Smokies did what they were supposed to do on Wednesday night. Their great players played like great players and they obliterated baseballs. Everyone better get used to hearing stories just like this one, because Wednesday night was just a sign of things to come.

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