Chicago Cubs Weekly Farm Report (4/26/22): Velázquez, PCA Lead Way as Hitters Go Wild on Farm

It’s starting to get nicer outside here in the Midwest, which makes it feel more and more like baseball season. There’s still a little hint of football, however, as the MLBers’ 21-run outburst on Saturday showed. That means it’s time to start planning those summer trips to various ballparks, something I’ve done for the past several years.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the year of weddings for me and I don’t have anything besides a quick trip to a couple South Bend games on the docket. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out to as many as possible, though. I can’t recommend enough that you plan summer expeditions around trips to Des Moines, Sevierville/Kodak, South Bend, or Myrtle Beach to see some of the best talent in the system take the field.

The Cubs are blessed with four terrific affiliates and you’ll have a great time wherever you go.

Affiliate Records

Triple-A Iowa: 3-3 this week, 9-8 overall
Double-A Tennessee: 3-3 this week, 8-6 overall
High-A South Bend: 4-2 this week, 7-8 overall
Low-A Myrtle Beach: 5-1this week, 10-5 overall

Trends and Notes

  • Just like it’s drawn up in baseball, the weather improved this week and the bats took off in a big way. The system averaged nearly six runs per game across 24 affiliate games, including big-time performances by Myrtle Beach (17 runs on Wednesday) and Tennessee (10 runs on both Wednesday and Thursday). The organization had a collective slash line of .264/.335/.437.
  • You’ll see all the standout performers down below, but I want to specifically call out a few guys here as well.
  • Nelson Velázquez earned Southern League Player of the Week honors with his 1.747 OPS performance. After an ice-cold start to the year, this was one of the more absurd weeks I’ve ever seen.
  • Have you ever heard of a guy recording four triples in one week? Ildemaro Vargas did it against the Louisville Bats, which would have been good for 23rd in MLB last year over the course of the entire season.
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong is officially in competition with Christopher Morel as the most exciting player in the system. This week he hit an inside-the-park homer, an over-the-fence homer, and stole home twice. He is an absolute electric factory out there.
  • We saw our first true promotion of the season on Sunday (excluding players assigned from Mesa or MLB roster shuffling). Brandon Hughes was assigned to Double-A to begin the year, but 6.1 innings of one-hit, one-walk, 10 strikeout dominance out of the pen earned him the bump up to Iowa.
  • Five dudes went yard twice in one game this week. Velázquez did it on Wednesday and was joined by Matt Mervis, Jared Young, Robel Garcia, and Jake Washer.

Standout Players

  • Velázquez (AA): 25 PA, 10 hits, 3 doubles, triple, 4 home runs, 9 RBI
  • Crow-Armstrong (A-): 30 PA, 10 hits, 2 doubles, triple, 2 home runs, 10 RBI, 3 SB
  • Vargas (AAA): 29 PA, 13 hits, double, 4 triples, home run
  • Alfonso Rivas (AAA/MLB): 23 PA, 11 hits, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 9 RBI
  • Nelson Maldonado (AA): 24 PA, 9 hits, double, home run
  • Chris Clarke (A+): 9.0 IP, 7 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
  • Riley Martin (A-): 7.1 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 17 strikeouts
  • Manny Espinoza (A+): 5.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts
  • Richard Gallardo (A-): 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
  • Porter Hodge (A-): 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
  • Peyton Remy (AA): 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts
  • Walker Powell (A-): 4.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts
  • DJ Herz (A+): 4.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts
  • Tyler Schlaffer (A-): 4.0 IP, 1 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Season Leaders

Pitchers (min. 8 IP)

Dalton Stambaugh – 0.00
Erich Uelmen – 0.00
Eric Stout – 0.00

DJ Herz – 0.36
Riley Martin – 0.53
Riley Thompson – 0.67

Strikeout Rate
Riley Martin – 56.3%
Riley Thompson – 53.1%
Blake Whitney – 45.5%

Opponent OPS
DJ Herz – .194
Riley Martin – .259
Eric Stout – .362

Hitters (min. 40 PA)

Nelson Maldonado – 1.272
Pete Crow-Armstrong – 1.044
Nelson Velázquez – 1.006

Home Runs
Nelson Velázquez – 5
Jared Young – 5
Three tied with 3

Strikeout Rate
Darius Hill – 6.9%
Ildemaro Vargas – 9.8%
Dixon Machado – 14.3%

Walk Rate
Liam Spence – 18.8%
PJ Higgins – 15.9%
Esteban Quiroz – 15.9%

The Highlights


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