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Cubs minor league affiliates unveil rosters as season approaches

3 months agoTony Andracki

For the first time in nearly 20 months, there will be real, live Minor League Baseball action.

The top four levels of the minors will suit up Tuesday (May 4) to kick off the 2021 campaign. Due to the pandemic, there was no minor league season last year — only alternate site action and instructs at each team’s complex in Arizona and Florida.

[Marquee Sports Network’s Top 20 Cubs prospects: 2021 preseason]

The Cubs unveiled the rosters for each of their affiliates — Triple-A Iowa, Double-A Tennessee, Advanced Class-A South Bend and Class-A Myrtle Beach.

Triple-A Iowa

Marquee Sports Network will broadcast 14 Iowa Cubs games this season, beginning May 6 at 7 p.m. For a complete list of the broadcast schedule, head here.

Here’s the Iowa roster:

I Cubs Roster

Players to watch:

—Jason Adam was just sent down to the minors earlier this week after starting the year in the big league bullpen.

—Cory Abbott, Kohl Stewart, Keegan Thompson and Brad Wieck are all on the 40-man roster and could be called up to Chicago if the team needs another arm.

—The Cubs value Cameron Maybin’s veteran presence and he has been on the taxi squad on road trips this season, as has Ildemaro Vargas.

Double-A Tennessee

Here is the Smokies’ Opening Day roster:

Smokies Roster

Players to watch:

—Manuel Rodríguez is on the 40-man roster and the Cubs like his potential as a reliever.

—Miguel Amaya and Christopher Morel are two of the organization’s top prospects. Both could arrive in Chicago as soon as this season, but it’s more likely they remain in the minors for continued development.

—The Cubs acquired Dauris Valdez from the Padres in exchange for James Norwood early this month. Valdez stands at 6-foot-8 and can touch 100 mph with his fastball.

Advanced Class-A South Bend

South Bend was the home of the Cubs’ alternate site last summer and again this spring. They also now serve as the organization’s High-A club as the Midwest League transitioned to the advanced level of A-ball over the winter.

Their Opening Day roster is as follows:

Sb Cubs Roster

Players to watch:

—Some of the Cubs’ most recent high draft picks will be teammates on the South Bend roster. Burl Carraway (2020 2nd rounder), Ryan Jensen (2019 1st rounder), Chase Strumpf (2019 2nd rounder) and Cole Roederer (2018 2nd rounder) will share the same clubhouse to begin the season.

Class-A Myrtle Beach

Here’s how the Pelicans roster looks in advance of Opening Day:

Pelicans Roster

Players to watch:

—The name that jumps off the page is Chicagoan Ed Howard, the team’s 1st round pick last summer. He will play alongside 2020 3rd rounder Jordan Nwogu and Yeison Santana, one of the prospects the Cubs acquired in the Yu Darvish trade.

—On the pitching side, 19-year-old right-hander Richard Gallardo is an arm who could take a leap into top prospect territory in 2021.

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