Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: BJ Murray Shows He's On The Rise

World Baseball Classic Pool C: Colombia v Great Britain
World Baseball Classic Pool C: Colombia v Great Britain / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap May 18: BJ Murray Shows He's On The Rise

  1. Iowa Cubs (AAA)
  2. Tennessee Smokies (AA)
  3. South Bend Cubs (A+)
  4. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A)

Iowa Cubs (AAA)

Iowa had a rough day yesterday. Two of the guys that, prior to Opening Day, may have been expected to be big league contributors at some point this season had especially troubling days, while a former top prospect had a great performance at the plate in a 10-5 loss to Pittsburgh’s AAA affiliate. Let’s get into the individual performances:

Yonathan Perlaza (OF) was one of only two Cubs with a multi-hit performance in yesterday’s game, going 2-4 with 2 runs scored.

Brennan Davis (OF) unfortunately, regressed yesterday by going 0-3 and thus dropped his batting average on the season to .198. He did draw a walk though.

Miguel Amaya (C) had a great day at the plate even if he had a throwing error behind the dish. He went 2-3, added a walk, and scored a run. He’s an injury away from being back in the majors, but for now, it’s good to see him tearing AAA up after so many lost seasons.

Javier Assad (RHP) started the game and went four innings. He was a little wild; he walked three gave up 4 hits and all those baserunners turned into 2 earned runs, but he did strike out 5.

Codi Heuer (RHP) had a… less than ideal day. He lasted ⅓ of an inning, gave up a hit, two walks, and 3 earned runs to take the loss. 

Bailey Horn (LHP) was solid to finish up the day. He pitched an inning and gave up 1 hit, 1 walk and an earned run but struck out 2.

Tennessee Smokies (AA)

The Smokies came away with the 5-4 victory yesterday after losing to the Blue Wahoos on Wednesday. There were a handful of impact performances that pushed Tennessee over the finish line and one of the players of the game finally started to get some love from national outlets as well.

BJ Murray (3B) had another great game yesterday going 3-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Even more important than that though, in an article posted to the Athletic yesterday by Jim Bowden, Murray was listed as the lone Cub on the list of “27 prospect names you don’t know but should.” The article had a quote from Cubs GM Carter Hawkins on Murray:

"Murray is a switch-hitting third baseman with elite plate discipline and emerging power. Getting better and better as he gets more reps."

Carter Hawkins

Chase Strumpf (2B) wasn’t able to help his batting average yesterday as he went 0-1 but he did manage to draw 4 walks, raising his OBP for the season to a respectable .383. 

Riley Martin (LHP) had a solid couple of innings. He pitched 2 innings, didn’t allow a hit or a run, and only walked one and struck out 4. That brings his total on the year to 26 in just 17 innings. The 2021 6th round pick may not have ideal size (6’1 215 lbs) but he’s almost identical in stature to Brandon Hughes and if we can forget that little blowup in Houston a couple of days ago, I wouldn’t mind another Brandon Hughes in the system.

South Bend Cubs (A+)

You can’t score 10 every day. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s offensive explosion wasn’t followed up by an encore yesterday as the South Bend Cubs only managed to bring across three runs in a 5-3 loss to the Beloit Sky Carp. Despite one of the Cubs hitters accounting for half of the Cubs hits in the game there were a couple of noteworthy performances.

Kevin Alcantara (OF) stole a base for the second game in a row bringing his total to double digits on the season, but he was relatively quiet outside of that going 0-4 in the leadoff spot with 2 strikeouts and a run scored. 

Ezequiel Pagan (OF) was mentioned in the Wednesday night recap but he had an even better day on Thursday. Pagan went 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI on the night accounting for nearly all of the Cubs’ less-than-stellar offensive production.

Richard Gallardo (RHP) got the start and went five innings, but he gave up 6 hits, 2 walks and all 5 of the earned runs on the evening.

The bullpen was great again going three innings without allowing a run. Joe Nahas finished the game out with 2 innings of one-hit baseball while striking out 2.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A)

Wednesday wasn’t great for the Pelicans but the bats came to play on Thursday and that manifested itself as 10 runs on 8 hits and 7 walks, while the pitchers did their job and one separated his performance from the rest in a 10-8 win over the Augusta Green Jackets.

Andy Garriola (OF) had his second multi-hit game in as many days. He went 2-4 with a walk, and 3 RBI. 

Juan Mora (2B) went 2-3 with a double, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Christian Hernandez (SS) filled it up yesterday. He went 2-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

Rafael Morel (CF/3B) went 1-3, drew a walk, scored a run and stole a base while playing multiple positions in the game. If that name or stat line sounds familiar it could be because he's Christopher Morel's younger brother.

Saul Gonzalez (RHP) was on today. He pitched 3.2 innings, gave up 2 hits and a walk, but didn’t allow any runs and struck out an impressive 7 while lowering his ERA at South Bend to 2.21.

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