Fall League Fridays: Trio of Cubs prospects standing out
In another week of Arizona Fall League action, a trio of Cubs prospects stood out on different sides of the ball.
Matt Mervis continued his power display last Friday with his 4th home run of the AFL season, tying him for the league lead:
THIS IS NOT A REPLAY 🎥— MLB's Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 14, 2022
Matt Mervis has crushed three homers in less than 24-hours 🔥 The @Cubs prospect is making a name for himself at the Arizona Fall League! #AFL22 @WatchMarquee @NBCSCubs pic.twitter.com/16UBObpJsj
His solo home run was the cherry on top of a 9-2 Solar Sox win. Up to that point, all 6 of Mervis’ hits had been for extra bases (4 HR, 2 doubles).
This week, he’s changed it up. In the 3 games he’s played in since last Friday, he has connected on 3 singles, including this RBI knock from Thursday night:
Matt Mervis drives in a run, the ninth RBI in as many AFL games for the @Cubs prospect. pic.twitter.com/dTsI5oMU7s— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 20, 2022
That single in the first inning had an exit velocity of 105.2mph. His following at-bat in the 3rd inning also resulted in a single — that one clocked at 107.4mph.
Through 31 at-bats in Arizona, Mervis is slashing .290/.361/.742 with a 1.103 OPS while matching his walks with his strikeouts at 3 apiece. And while the attractive walk-to-strikeout ratio comes from a small sample, it has continued a trend from his breakout 2022 minor league season.
As the 2022 season went on, Mervis increased his walks and cut down on his strikeouts without compromising his power. His isolated power (ISO is slugging percentage minus batting average) stayed around the same as he advanced levels in minors: .300, .296, .297.
[MORE: Where Mervis fits in Cubs 1B picture for 2023]
On the pitching side, Bailey Horn continued his scoreless streak Tuesday logging his first save of the AFL season in a 6-3 Solar Sox win. Horn pitched 2 innings, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 2. His scoreless streak is now at 9 innings while allowing an opponent’s batting average of .138.
Another Cubs arm who had a big week was Riley Martin. After a shaky start to the fall season (6.23 ERA through 3 appearances), Martin made two scoreless relief appearances over the past week. Last Friday, he entered the game in the 5th inning with 2 outs and a pair of runners on and got out of the inning with a strikeout. He came back in the 6th and after the first two batters reached base, he got out of the inning with a forceout and a pair of strikeouts.
On Wednesday, Martin covered 2 innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out 4. He has struck out 11 and walked 3 in 7.2 innings of work this fall.
In other Cubs prospect news, Brennen Davis has still not played since being removed from a game Oct. 10. Through 5 games, Davis had been slashing .278/.381/.667.