Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Most Underrated Prospect Who Can Help Cubs Offense


The Chicago Cubs had a hot month on offense in April, but like I and several others warned, some of those individual performances were not going to continue at that rate. However, I also didn’t expect the offense to tank as much as it collectively did in the month of May.

As a team, the Cubs posted a 92 wRC+ in May, ranking 24th in MLB. It was brutal. Batting average, OBP, SLG, all well below average, while also having the second-highest strikeout rate at 26.4 percent and only hitting 29 home runs in 28 games.

Christopher Morel gave the offense a boost his first two weeks up, but even then the Cubs didn’t really take full advantage of his rampage at the plate. Matt Mervis was called up to take over first base and he’s been bad, posting a .564 OPS in 71 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Trey Mancini has been underwhelming all year and the loss of Cody Bellinger since the Houston series also hasn’t helped matters.

The Cubs just have not been able to find a good mix on the bench to help out, but there are a few prospects who could be options to help the offense this year. Number one on my list is probably the most underrated prospect in the Cubs minor league system.

Yonathan Perlaza 

All Yonathan Perlaza does is hit. Since the beginning of the 2021 minor league season, the left-handed hitter has posted an OPS well above .800, as he’s moved up from South Bend, to Tennessee to Iowa during the past three years. Now at 24-years-old, Perlaza is breaking out in a major way. Entering play today, Perlaza had a slash line of .302/.413/.509, with a 136 wRC+ in 33 games at Triple-A.

On Thursday, Perlaza went 3-for-6, with three doubles and three runs scored. His third double of the game against the Columbus Clippers tied the game with two outs in the ninth inning. Perlaza drilled a ball to the right-center field gap, driving in all three runners on base. His third extra-base hit of the game increased his season’s batting average to .311 and his OPS to .950.

Yonathan Perlaza Stats 2021-Present
2021: (99 Games, A+ Ball) .280/.350/.479, 123 wRC+, 15 HR, 9.4 BB%, 23.5 K%
2022: (124 Games, Double-A) .255/.358/.491, 122 wRC+, 23 HR, 13.2 BB%, 23.2 K%
2023: (33 Games, Triple-A) .302/.413/.509, 136 wRC+, 3 HR, 14.5 BB%, 23.2 K%

I am always going to be a fan of guys who continually show the ability to draw walks. Perlaza has been doing that for the past few seasons and has gotten better at it after each passing year, while not losing his aggressive power approach.

Is the roster fit perfect for Perlaza on the Cubs? I mean, I still have no idea why the Cubs signed Edwin Ríos this offseason and then just have not used him at all. If they want to cut bait with him, then Perlaza can take that bench spot. Perlaza has mainly played left field with the Iowa Cubs this year, but he’s pretty much a DH.

I don’t think the Cubs are just going to dump Mancini, but I guess they could always give him the phantom injured list stint and bring up Perlaza to see if he can catch fire. I don’t know, I’m desperate here. The offense has been brutal and at this point I’m willing to listen to any possible solutions.

It’s not like the fringe guys are helping this year. Why not give a few more young guys a chance in the big leagues.


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Jun 2, 2023 2:22 pm

You’re right about Ríos, looks like the Cubs won’t catch lightning in a bottle with him. Perlaza looks good but so does BJ Murray

Carlijn Hannah
Carlijn Hannah
Jun 1, 2023 4:45 pm

chance in the big leagues

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