Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Matt Shaw is too good for Double-A pitching

The Chicago Cubs minor league affiliates didn't have a great week in terms of wins and losses, but Matt Shaw and Moises Ballesteros had stellar individual performances.
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Honorable Mentions

Andy Garriola 

OF (A- Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

.368/.350/.789 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 R, 4 RBI

Garriola had an interesting week but we’ll start with the good: four extra-base hits in 19 at-bats is fantastic and that’s how you earn a .789 slugging percentage. 

That being said, it’s incredibly difficult to have a higher batting average than on-base percentage and that is a feat that Garriola did manage to pull of this week in Myrtle Beach by hitting a sac-fly that didn’t negatively impact his average but did impact his OBP.

You’re unlikely to find the 24-year-old Garriola on any top prospect lists, but late bloomers exist and there’s a chance that his newfound power is for real and that he can eventually help the Cubs in one way or another. 

Moises Ballesteros

C (AA Tennessee Smokies)

.300/.462/.600 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2/2 BB/K

Much like Shaw, Ballesteros saw his name in the honorable mentions list last week as well. He may be looking forward to Shaw getting promoted to the majors more than anyone else so that he can receive the recognition he deserves and stop being overshadowed by Shaw’s greatness. 

Ballesteros has been exceptional since turning professional. He’s a career .273/.374/.444 as a catcher and he’s still just 20 years old in AA. Perhaps his most impressive characteristic is his eye, as he has 130 career walks compared to just 152 career strikeouts. 

The best thing that he has going for him right now though is the fact that the Smokies have split his time between catcher and DH, implying that the Cubs intend to fast-track him to get his bat into the major league lineup as soon as possible. 

What we said last week still holds true:

MLB Pipeline has already predicted the future and they see Ballesteros as the top Cubs prospect by the time 2026 rolls around, but if Ballesteros continues to mash like this he could already have a year’s worth of MLB at-bats under his considerable belt by that point.