Prospects of the Week for Chicago Cubs Affiliates of the Week 5/15-5/21

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A Hitter of the week

2B Juan Mora (23 Years Old)

.467/.579/.667 2 BB, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 5 R, 2-3 SB

Mora started the season at High-A South Bend and appeared overmatched. He went on the Developmental List and was reinstated to Myrtle Beach a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t looked back since. 

In eight games at High-A Mora had a .115/.233/.154 slash line. In the nine games at Low-A Mora has had a .481/.548/.630 slash line. Whatever the Cubs are doing on the Developmental List it seems like it’s working.

Even compared to the player he was at Low-A last year Mora looks like a completely different player the last couple of weeks. Could this be due to his incredibly bloated .565 BABIP? Yeah, probably. But could it also be due to the fact that he’s figured something out and is striking out at a more manageable 12.9% rate? Sure, let’s hope so!

A Pitcher of the week

RHP Michael Arias (21 Years Old)

1 G, 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K

I feel like I’ve said this a lot lately, but this may be one of my favorite stories in the Cubs minor league system. If you go to Arias’s page, you’ll find a SS. Not a RHP. The Cubs signed Arias after the Blue Jays gave up on him as a shortstop and have been developing him as a pitcher ever since.

The fastball is good, but it’s the secondary stuff that’s really impressive, specifically the movement on those secondary pitches. That being said, with the nastiness in movement like that his problem has been, and will likely continue to be, the walks. He didn’t escape them this week as he had two walks in four innings, but if he can limit them he can really be a difference-maker. 

According to fangraphs, he threw 192 pitches in 2021, 247 in 2022 and 387 so far in 2023. While he’s improved from a rate of 61% strike throwing in 2021 to 63% so far this year, that’s still nowhere near good enough to find himself climbing the minor league ladder, but if he can figure out how to get closer to 70% and can be effectively wild rather than just wild, he can become an extremely usable high-leverage bullpen piece given the stuff that he has.

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