Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Nelson Velazquez among standouts from May 17

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Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Nelson Velazquez among standouts from May 17

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

Iowa Cubs (AAA)

Iowa played the Indianapolis Indians in a matinee game and came away victorious 5-4. Even though the Cubs left 14 men on base, Indy left a whopping 18 on base and after the 7th inning couldn’t push another run across. Let’s get into the individual performances:

Nelson Velazquez (OF) has continued to destroy baseballs. He had a double, a home run and a sac fly on his way to a 2-4 game with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.

Brennan Davis (OF) had a better day and has finally pushed his batting average above the Mendoza Line. He went 1-3 with a double, a walk, a strikeout, and his 7th stolen base of the season.

Caleb Kilian (RHP) continued to look pretty ordinary. He missed a couple of bats with 3 Ks but he served up a homer, walked 2, and gave up 2 runs (1 earned). 

Brendon Little (LHP) was great. He came away with the win by pitching 1.2 innings and striking out 3. He only allowed one walk and didn’t give up a hit as he lowered his ERA to 3.38 on the season. 

Tennessee Smokies (AA)

The Smokies went up against a buzzsaw in this one in the form of one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues so far this year, Patrick Monteverde. The 2021 draft pick out of Texas Tech continued to impress as he struck out 8 Smokies through 5 innings and only gave up one run on 2 hits and 2 walks. He now has an impressive 57 strikeouts through just 42 innings as a 25-year-old in AA. The Smokies would score more later but it wouldn’t be enough to beat the Blue Wahoos as they’d fall 7-4.

BJ Murray (3B) had a great game going 2-4 with a double, a triple, 2 RBI and a run scored, raising his OPS to .926 on the season.

Luis Vazquez (SS) is quickly becoming one of my favorite prospects as he continues to just produce. He went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored yesterday.

Chase Strumpf (2B) is trying to get his batting average back to a respectable place as it currently sits at .216 on the season. Yesterday’s game helps a bit as he went 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored. 

Luke Little (LHP) is also one of my favorite unheralded Cubs prospects at the moment. He pitched 2 innings in relief had 2 strikeouts, didn’t allow a hit, but he did walk 3. He’s a name to keep an eye on if the Major League bullpen continues to struggle as his size and stuff combine to become an intriguing late-inning lefty option. 

South Bend Cubs (A+)

South Bend played the Beloit Sky Carp and threw up a ten-spot on them en route to a 10-2 victory. Anytime the offense can put up double digits it’s going to be a good day and the pitching managed to keep them in check as well for a good all around win.

Kevin Alcantara (OF) filled up the stat sheet. He went 1-5 with 2 RBI, a stolen base and a run scored while also striking out twice. 

Ezequiel Pagan (OF) went 1-3 with a double, two walks and a run scored raising his slash line on the season to .367/.433/.517.

James Triantos (DH) had himself an absolute monster of a day. He went 4-5 with a double, a home run and a run scored.

Casey Optiz (C) hasn’t shown a ton of offensive potential since the Cubs drafted him out of Arkansas in 2021. He’s never had a slugging percentage for a season over .333 and his career OPS is .646. That being said, he did hit his second home run of the season last night in a game that he went 1-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Cade Horton (RHP) got the start but it was pretty pedestrian. He went 3 innings, gave up 3 hits, a walk and 2 earned runs while striking out 3.

The bullpen went the remaining 6 innings without allowing a run. They combined for 6 strikeouts and only gave up 2 hits and a walk with Chase Watkins (RHP) turning in the best performance with 3 Ks across 2 IP while not allowing a base runner.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A)

It was a good day for most of the Cubs affiliates but the Pelicans had a rough one against the Augusta Green Jackets. The final score was 5-0 and the Pelicans only managed 4 hits and 6 total base runners on the day while striking out a combined 10 times.

Andy Garriola (OF) was the lone Pelican with a multi-hit day. He went 2-4 with a double and a strikeout. 

Moises Ballesteros (DH) also managed to reach base twice but both times he did so via walk on an 0-2 day.

Michael Arias (RHP) had a decent day on the mound even if he took the loss. He went 4 IP gave up just 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8.

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