The Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds in the Field of Dreams game 4-2 on Thursday night. Several hours earlier, the Iowa Cubs were taking the field nearby as the first game in a full slate of Cubs minor league games. If you missed the last edition of the Cubs' Around the Farm, you can check it out here. Otherwise, let's dive right into the biggest yes and yikes at each level in the Cubs farm system.
Triple-A Iowa Cubs: 3-4 Loss to Louisville Bats
Biggest Yes: Caleb Kilian — 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
Kilian gave the Iowa Cubs their second quality start of the season (yes, Iowa is not good; also, minor league pitchers tend to not go as deep into games). Right off the bat, it seemed Kilian was in for more of the issues that have plagued him. The Cubs' 5th-best prospect gave up two earned runs in the first inning and was struggling with his command. However, after the first, Kilian was locked in. He limited damage, was striking batters out with 97 MPH fastballs, and he didn't let another run cross the plate.
Biggest Yikes: Luis Vazquez — 0/4, 2 SO, 2 LOB
Not that you should expect much out of your 9-hole hitter, but Vazquez struggled immensely at the plate in a game that seemed like the Cubs' to lose. Beyond that, Vazquez had an error in the field, which isn't what you want from a shortstop who has been an above average fielder throughout his career.
Double-A Tennessee Smokies: 1-0 Victory Over Mississippi Braves
Biggest Yes: Walker Powell — 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
Walker Powell is simply crushing it in Tennessee. He started the season down in Low-A Myrtle Beach out of the bullpen, and he's done nothing but destroy batters as he has ascended up the system. As an example, Powell has posted a WHIP below 1.00 in Myrtle Beach (0.79), South Bend (0.99), and Tennessee (0.97). His BAA for the Smokies is a paltry .193. Well, he just continued to impress, locking down the Braves for 5.0 innings in relief.
Biggest Yikes: Cole Roederer — 0/3, 3 SO, 2 LOB
Well, Cole Roederer was the biggest yes in the third edition of this series, and he came right back and put up a stinker. Roederer struck out every time he came to the plate. Of course, this could easily go to Chase Strumpf, who left four runners on base in his 0/4 performance, many of whom were left in scoring position.
High-A South Bend Cubs: 2-5 Loss to Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Biggest Yes: Luis Devers — 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
In a game without much to get excited about, Luis Devers came out and did his job. He has a mind-boggling 0.57 ERA in seven games for South Bend since his call up from Myrtle Beach. The Cubs' 19th-best prospect is consistent. I have him at a 50-grade across the board, and he did what he could to keep the Cubs in the game.
Biggest Yikes: Pete Crow-Armstrong — 0/4, 3 SO, 4 LOB
The Cubs' top prospect had a rough night. Simply put, Pete Crow-Armstrong could not figure out Carlos Rodriguez and the rest of the Wisconsin pitching staff. When your best player is coming up to the plate with runners on base consistently throughout the game, it's tough to swallow an 0-4 night with three of those four outs coming via strike out.
Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans: 2-1 Loss to Columbia Fireflies
Biggest Yes: Didier Vargas — 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
This was a tough one to watch. It was a typical pitchers duel all game long, and Didier Vargas did his part to keep the Pelicans in a position to win. When he passed the baton to Frankie Scalzo Jr., the Pelicans had a 1-0 lead thanks to catcher Ethan Hearn. While Vargas doesn't have overwhelming stuff, he managed the game and kept the Fireflies off the board; what more could you ask for?
Biggest Yikes: Josue Huma — 0/4, 1 SO, 2 LOB
It's tempting to give this to Scalzo Jr. who—as mentioned above—ruined Vargas's gem on the mound by giving up two earned runs in 3.0 innings of work. Still, it's hard to give the biggest yikes award to a pitcher when the offense only mustered five hits. Josue Huma, hitting out of the 3-spot, had a brutal night at the plate. He left runners in scoring position, and he never made it on base. There needs to be production out of your third hitter, and Huma came up empty in the most literal sense of the word.