Chicago Cubs Weekly Farm Report (5/24/22): Morel, Hughes to Chicago with Kilian Right Behind

When people asked me over the past couple years what makes this rebuild different from the one that involved the likes of Javier Báez and Kris Bryant, the first thing I pointed out was the balance in the organization. It appeared to me that the retooled front office was gathering talent that could ultimately make staggered appearances in Chicago rather than the group that got off the I-80 exit around the same time back in 2015.

We are really starting to see that balance play out now as there are a handful of guys at every single level of the system that will make an impact in Chicago for that “next great Cubs team.” Whether it’s Christopher Morel, Brennen Davis, and Caleb Kilian at Wrigley this season, Alexander Canario and DJ Herz next year, Owen Caissie and Pete Crow-Armstrong the year after that, or Kevin Alcantara and James Triantos even further down the road, you are going to see talent trickling to the major league level for years to come. It will look a lot more like what you see in Los Angeles and Tampa than what you saw here in the past.

That’s something I can get behind.

Affiliate Records

  • Triple-A Iowa: 3-3 this week, 22-19 overall
  • Double-A Tennessee: 2-4 this week, 23-16 overall
  • High-A South Bend: 3-3 this week, 23-16 overall
  • Single-A Myrtle Beach: 6-0 this week, 28-11 overall

Trends and Notes

  • For a third consecutive week, a Cubs affiliate has registered a week-long sweep of an opponent. And for a third consecutive week, it was a different team. After South Bend and Tennesse accomplished the feat previously, it was Myrtle Beach’s turn this week. They beat up on the Columbia Fireflies, something they have been doing all year long as they now sit at 11-1 against the Kansas City Royals affiliate.
  • The promotion commotion continues as the season wears on. Four pitchers found themselves chucking the ball for new teams this week with Brandon Hughes up to the bigs, Wyatt Short bumping up to Iowa after a quick trip to Double-A, CD Pelham getting the post-rehab assignment to Tennessee, and Jake Reindl finally getting moved up to a level he is more suited for in South Bend.
  • On the hitting side of things, we saw both Morel and P.J. Higgins display some heroics in Chicago this week while Matt Mervis and Bradlee Beesley headed south to Double-A Tennessee. Grayson Byrd road tripped the other way from Arizona to South Bend.
  • I want to point out a pair of players that are really living up to the hype we placed on them before the season started. Crow-Armstrong has been the best player in the system up to this point and, in addition to finding himself in the newly released MLB Pipeline Top 100, he has also solidified his spot as the second-best prospect in the Cubs system in my eyes. It took less than two months into the season for him to earn that distinction, but man, has he earned it with the stat line he has put up and the ease at which he is doing it.

  • Triantos got off to that rough start over the first couple weeks of the season but has turned it on in a big way since then. His bat-to-ball skills are arguably the best in the system and it is safe to say Rojito is creeping into the back of my mind as someone we could see in South Bend before the year is up…as a teenager.

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Standout Players

  • Crow-Armstrong (A-): 27 AB, 11 hits, 2 home runs, triple, double, 9 runs
  • Triantos (A-): 25 AB, 9 hits, 2 triples, 7 runs
  • Kevin Made (A-): 17 AB, home run, 2 doubles
  • Felix Stevens (A-): 16 AB, 2 home runs, double
  • Caissie (A+): 23 AB, 8 hits, 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 10 RBI
  • Darius Hill (AA): 26 AB, 9 hits, 2 home runs, 4 doubles, 7 runs
  • Levi Jordan (AA): 16 AB, 8 hits, 4 doubles, 6 walks, 8 RBI
  • Matt Mervis (AA): 21 AB, 2 home runs, double, 7 RBI
  • Robel Garcia (AAA): 22 AB, 10 hits, 2 home runs, 2 doubles
  • Higgins (AAA): 11 AB, 7 hits, 3 doubles
  • Richard Gallardo (A-): 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, .079 opp avg
  • Luis Devers (A-): 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
  • Bryan King (A-): 3.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
  • Manny Espinoza (A+): 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
  • Bailey Horn (A+): 5.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
  • Walker Powell (A+): 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
  • Jordan Wicks (A+): 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
  • Herz (A+): 4.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
  • Daniel Palencia (A+): 3.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
  • Blake Whitney (AA): 4.1 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
  • Brandon Leibrandt (AA): 4.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
  • Kilian (AAA): 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

Season Leaders

Pitchers (min. 20 IP)


  1. Brandon Hughes – 0.44
  2. Caleb Kilian – 1.31
  3. Manny Espinoza – 1.72


  1. Brandon Hughes – 0.58
  2. Manny Espinoza – 0.83
  3. Blake Whitney – 0.84

Strikeout Rate

  1. Riley Martin – 41.7%
  2. Brandon Hughes – 40.5%
  3. Eric Stout – 40.0%

Opp. OPS

  1. Brandon Hughes – .305
  2. Manny Espinoza – .454
  3. DJ Herz – .481

Hitters (min. 90 PA)


  1. Robel Garcia – 1.136
  2. PJ Higgins – 1.087
  3. Levi Jordan – 1.059

Home Runs

  1. Nelson Velazquez – 11
  2. Robel Garcia – 11
  3. Alexander Canario – 10

Strikeout Rate

  1. Ildemaro Vargas – 10.1%
  2. Dixon Machado – 11.5%
  3. Darius Hill – 11.9%

Walk Rate

  1. Jacob Wetzel – 16.5%
  2. Chase Strumpf – 16.2%
  3. Robel Garcia – 15.4%

The Highlights

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