The Chicago Cubs announced a couple of Minor League promotions today. Right-handed hitting slugger Jake Washer has been promoted to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies. Also, right-handed pitcher Richard Gallardo will make the jump from Low-A Myrtle Beach to the High-A South Bend Cubs.
C/INF Jake Washer
Selected as a catcher by the Cubs in the 29th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of East Carolina University, the 26-year-old Washer has stepped up his game in the batter’s box. This season, he has only caught four games behind the plate and played 11 games at first base. The organization has transitioned him to more of a DH role, as he’s made 31 starts at that spot for South Bend this year.
While his fielding hasn’t been as good as you’d like, the one constant has been his hitting, which has flown under the radar compared to other Cubs’ prospects. With South Bend, Washer slashed .300/.365/.606 (.971 OPS) with 14 bombs, 34 RBIs, and a 162 wRC+ in 46 games. That’s a vast improvement from what he did last season in basically the same number of games played. With South Bend in 2021, Washer hit .164/.231/.233 with two homers, 12 RBIs, and a 32 wRC+ in 47 games.
Apparent by his swing and bat path through the zone, Washer has emphasized getting more lift on the ball. Among minor leaguers in the Cubs’ system with at least 100 plate appearances, Washer ranks first in fly ball rate (50.4 percent). A key reason why his home run total has climbed from two last year to 14.
RHP Richard Gallardo
Although he has only pitched six innings three times this season and sports a 4.05 ERA, the Cubs saw enough from Gallardo to deem him ready for the next level. The Cubs signed Gallardo in 2018 as an international signing out of Venezuela for $1 million. Gallardo was considered the top overall International pitching prospect (No. 5 overall) by MLB.com for that year’s class.
Gallardo had mixed results in 39 starts through two seasons at Myrtle Beach but flashed a ton of strikeout upside. On July 14, against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the 20-year-old righty tossed six innings of one-run ball, walked zero batters, and struck out 13. Now, he’ll be able to continue developing against more mature competition at High-A South Bend.
Follow On Tap Sports Net on social media!