Alexander Canario My Goodness, What a Hot Stretch

Outfielder Alexander Canario earned a promotion from High-A South Bend a month into the season on the strength of a .944 OPS that included seven homers and six doubles. When he arrived at Double-A Tennessee, however, the advanced pitching appeared to have been getting the best of the 22-year-old slugger. But expecting his performance to remain muted was about as worthwhile as believing he’s really 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds.

A fire hydrant of a human being, I’d venture to guess Canario’s thighs and backside alone tip the scales at 165 right now. More important than weight is wait, as in all the Cubs needed to do was give him time to adjust to the new level. And adjust Canario has here in July.

After a 4-for-4 display Sunday that included a homer and a double, the organization’s No. 18 overall prospect is batting .371 with seven dingers, eight doubles, and an obscene 1.352 OPS. Wanna hear something even better? After striking out 27 times with eight walks in June, Canario has walked 18 times with just 12 strikeouts this month.

The outfield is a little crowded in Iowa right now, which might be the only reason Canario hasn’t been promoted. But once the trade deadline passes, we’re likely to see Jackson Frazier and others — maybe Narciso Crook and Greg Deichmann — getting regular time in Chicago. That could mean Canario joining Matt Mervis as hot hitters who have move all the way from South Bend to Des Moines this season.

Hell, it’s possible the Cubs could get really aggressive with either of them and give them a little time in the bigs come September. That’s not really much of a stretch for Canario because he’s already on the team’s 40-man roster and wouldn’t necessitate a separate procedural move outside of clearing a spot on the active roster via trade or IL stint.

It would be pretty wild to see both players the Cubs acquired from the Giants for Kris Bryant contributing to the big club so quickly, and it’s really a testament to the club’s professional scouting department. As emotionally taxing as that and other trades may have been for some fans, it remains evident that the Cubs made out quite well in terms of the talent they got in return.

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