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Matt Mervis – Picture by Todd Johnson

The second full week of the off-season is set to be a doozy here at North Side Bound. We will begin releasing our updated prospect lists this week. I will have my list on Tuesday, Greg Huss will have his Wednesday, Mr. Zumach will wrap it up on Thursday, and we will have our combined list on Friday.

In addition, our Rule Five Prediction Roundtable will be out tomorrow and we will covering the announcement of who the Cubs protect on Tuesday afternoon on Twitter (if it hasn’t burnt down yet) and we will follow that up with a post in the early evening.

As for this past week….

The first official week of the off-season turned out to be a doozy. We had the end of the Arizona Fall League, some updates on some injuries, and some All-Stars were named at both Tennessee and South Bend. In addition, Greg Huss debuted his new podcast Cubs on Deck and we announced last week that Stephanie Lynn um had joined North side bound. Let’s take a look at each of these one by one

Final AFL Stats

The Mesa Solar Sox did not make the playoffs and their season officially ended on Thursday. The Cubs had two guys who really stood out the last six weeks in Arizona. One was Matt Mervis and the other was Bailey Horn. Both improved their stock with Mervis even getting some pub from GM Carter Hawkins who said that Mervis will be given a chance to compete for a spot on the opening day roster during spring training. Riley Martin also did well as he had one of the highest strikeout rates in Arizona.

Sometimes it’s a little hard to figure out what all the stats mean. Sometimes they mean a lot and sometimes they don’t. Some guys only play once a week like BJ Murray. But what is important is what these guys learn from playing in Arizona. What is Owen Caissie going to take back home with him to work on this winter? What is Zac Leigh going to try to improve on to help get more advanced hitters out. The same is true for Sheldon Reed and Riley Martin. And it also gives Brennen Davis a little extra incentive to be in the “best shape of his career” when spring training starts.

Final AFL Pitching Stats for Cubs prospects
Bailey Horn – 12 IP, 1.50 ERA, 9 Ks, .150 BAA
Riley Martin – 12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 19 Ks, BAA .196
Zac Leigh – 7.1 IP, 4.91 ERA, 6 Ks, .259 BAA
Sheldon Reed – 8.1 IP, 4.32 ERA, 10 Ks, .258 BAA

Final AFL Batting Stats for Cubs prospects
Matt Mervis – .262, 6 HRs, 14 RBI, .914 OPS in 17 games
Owen Caissie – .220. 1 HR, 9 RBI, .626 OPS in 16 games
BJ Murray – .211, 1 HR, 2 RBI in 7 games
Brennen Davis – .278, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, 1.048 OPS in 5 games

Injury Updates

Even though Brennen Davis only played a week in the AFL, the Cubs released information this week that he is pretty close to being fully healthy and will be resuming baseball activities shortly. We also heard that Alexander Canario underwent surgery on his ankle/leg and will be having shoulder surgery any day now and he could be out anywhere from 6 to 10 months.

We also heard that Miguel Amaya is progressing nicely from his ankle issue and that Ed Howard is going to resume baseball activities and hopefully he’ll be ready to pick up his career at the start of 2023.

Video of the Week

Dinger of the Week

All Stars

Minor League Baseball also released their All-Star teams for each league. I was stunned to see that nobody made it from Myrtle Beach onto the Carolina League All-Star team. There was no Porter Hodge or Luis Devers or Kevin Alcantara. I was flabbergasted to see that.

Instead, Pete Crow-Armstrong and DJ Herz both made the Midwest League All-Star team for South Bend. And over in Tennessee, Jake Slaughter, Alexander Canario, and Yonathan Perlaza made the Southern League squad. No one from Iowa made it in the International League but Pedro Ramirez made it at 2B in the Arizona Complex League.

Podcast of the Week

If you haven’t checked out Greg’s new podcast, Cubs on Deck, please do. North Side Bound is pleased to also host the podcast on YouTube. The first episode is below.

Draft Picks

If someone signs Willson Contreras this winter, the Cubs will get a compensation just before the third round after the Competitive Balance B Round.

Jam of the Week

I just love to listen to Sara Bareilles sing live. Here, the haunting lilt of “Someone to Love Me” is accentuated by some funky chord changes and groupings of going from C major to E major to A minor to C7 to F major to F minor in the verse. It is just so beautiful, so ghostly, and such a tender melody.