Chicago Cubs Weekly Farm Report (9/20/21): Tennessee, South Bend, Myrtle Beach Wrap Seasons

The minor league season is almost over. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, South Bend Cubs, and Tennessee Smokies have all wrapped up their respective slates, with only the Triple-A Iowa Cubs having games left on their schedule. After 468 games, this farm report serves as the unofficial last installment of a weekly column that has run for almost five months.

However, I will be back for two more of these posts following the final weeks of the Triple-A season. And just to cover my bases with the other affiliates, I’ll throw in a little info for the two Single-A squads and the Double-A team as well. Instead of harping on how the season went for each team, let’s take our usual look at the players who had big weeks.

News in the System

  • Brennen Davis has taken Triple-A by storm. I would typically put promotions in the sectionwith the player’s affiliate down below, but Davis was so extraordinary that he deserves to be featured first here. The phenom hit home runs in his first two at-bats at his new level and three homers in his first three games. That debut performance had me sitting in my living room literally laughing out loud at how preposterous it was. This kid is on a fast track for a June 2022 MLB debut, if you ask me.

  • While the affiliates wrapped up their seasons on Sunday afternoon, that doesn’t mean Cubs prospects are done getting better. Fall instructs begin on Monday and run through mid-October, immediately followed by the Arizona Fall League, which will feature several Cubs prospects.

Triple-A Iowa Cubs

  • Iowa actually had one of their best weeks of the season, going 4-2 and taking the first four games in their series with Omaha. They averaged seven runs per game in the first four games while the pitching gave up 12 runs per game in their two losses.
  • More Davis numbers. He went 9-for-20 at the plate with those three homers and a double, driving in six runs and posint a1.472 OPS.
  • Levi Jordan walked four times compared to just one strikeout while doubling, tripling, and homering.
  • After a bit of a rough start to his Triple-A career, Ethan Roberts has really turned it on and put pressure on the front office to give him that coveted 40-man roster spot. He threw four shutout innings out of the bullpen and struck out five with just one walk and one hit this week.

  • Lefty Scott Kobos to Tennessee was promoted to Double-A Tennessee exactly one month ago and was more dominant than ever, so the Cubs are giving him a shot to close out the season with Iowa. As first reported by our own Evan Altman, Kobos will join the I-Cubs for the final 10 games after posting a 0.29 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks across 30.2 innings spread between the three lower affiliates.
  • The entire Triple-A level tacked on two five-game sets to the back of the season schedule. Iowa will take on the two teams they have faced the most often this season, beginning with a road trip to St. Paul from Wednesday through Sunday and ending with a homestand against Omaha.

Double-A Tennessee Smokies

  • The Smokies ended their season in a pretty familiar way, by not getting the entire series in. The first two games were rained out and got canceled instead of being postponed. That meant they were only able to go 1-3 this week to bring their final record to 46-63 this year. Tennessee was shorted 11 games this season.
  • It was only appropriate that the last week of the season was highlighted by strong performances from Christopher Morel and Nelson Velazquez at the plate. Morel tripled on his way to a .357/.400/.500 slash line and Velazquez doubled and homered while only striking out once in his 15 plate appearances with a 1.043 OPS.
  • Grayson Byrd tacked on another double this week en route to a .928 OPS. His 16 doubles rank 10th best in the system this season.
  • Dakota Chalmers put together the standout performance on the bump, recording 10 strikeouts in five shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and three walks on 86 pitches.
  • This bullet point is reserved for who the team plays in the upcoming week, but the season is over and now I’m a little sad.

High-A South Bend Cubs

  • It’s only appropriate that South Bend ended their season with their third consecutive 2-4 week, though they snuck out a 5-4 win in extras in the last game of the season. They finish the year with a record of 52-67 and a -96 run differential.
  • Yonathan Perlaza did his damndest to inject himself into the Cubs minor league hitter of the year competition, all the way down to the final week of the season. This week, he homered twice and drove in six runs.
  • 19-year-old Yohendrick Pinango doubled, tripled, and homered while only striking out twice in his 25 trips to the plate. His performance this year was truly incredible.

  • Jake Slaughter had the fifth most at-bats in the system this season. It’s pretty amazing to think about, but his steadying presence in a season where we saw more transactions than ever before is super valuable. He homered twice this week to triple his season total and came away with a robust 1.180 OPS thanks to six more hits.
  • It wouldn’t be fair to wrap up the season without one more DJ Herz update. The future pitcher of the year made another five-inning start this week, going four hits, one run, two walks, and nine strikeouts. More on his place on org-wide leaderboards in the coming weeks.
  • Zach Leigh had another strong performance out of the ‘pen, going three total innings and not allowing a run off his high-90s heat. He struck out four and walked three.
  • Still the place for the next team on the schedule. Still sad.

Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans

  • The Birds were the only one of the three lower-level teams to put together a full season’s worth of games. They came up one game short of a clean .500 record, though, going 2-4 this week to bring their final season record to 59-61. The fact that a team that was consistently as young as the Pelicans was able to put together a season with the record they had is very impressive. I would expect nothing less from Buddy Bailey, one of the best managers in all of baseball.
  • Pretty cool that I get to talk about Ed Howard here. After a statistically brutal season, he put together one of his best this week as he had nine hits, including a double and a triple, to carry a .375 batting average. Oh, and Silk looked pretty in the field, too.

  • Josue Huma did a great job filling in at different levels throughout this season and he was able to finally get his feet under him in Myrtle over the last several weeks. We saw that pay off this week with two doubles and a triple while he walked more than he struck out in 21 plate appearances.
  • The pitching staff was stellar this week in allowing just over three runs per game. Daniel Palencia led the way for the starters, allowing just one hit over five shutout innings with seven strikeouts compared to one walk. He generated a whopping 18 swings and misses, putting a perfect exclamation point on the end of his season and proving that he is more than the throw-in to the Andrew Chafin deal.

  • Tyler Schlaffer has also ended the season strong with five innings of one-run ball. He struck out seven, walked one, and gave up just three hits.

I’ll be back next week with a special edition of this report, featuring updates from the Iowa Cubs’ week and a look back at the performances this season from the other three affiliates.

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