Cubs News

One of Cubs’ top prospects returns to Triple-A

1 year agoAndy Martinez

One of the Cubs’ top prospects is back at Triple-A.

Outfielder Alexander Canario (No. 7 on Lance Brozdowski’s Top 30 prospects) was assigned to the Iowa Cubs on Friday as he battled back from a fractured ankle that required surgery and a shoulder injury that also needed to be operated on. Canario suffered the injury last October while playing with the Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Winter League.

“He worked incredibly hard through two really tough rehabs and it’s one thing to rehab one injury another thing to rehab two injuries at the same time,” Hoyer said. “He’s already obviously performed at Double-A, performed at Triple-A. So, for us, it’s just a matter of getting him healthy and getting him back to Triple-A and letting him go.”

Canario, acquired in the Kris Bryant deal along with Caleb Kilian, was a breakout prospect in 2022, hitting 37 home runs with an .899 OPS across three levels, culminating in Triple-A. It appeared that 2023 could be the year where Canario reached the major leagues, given his ascension and dominance last season.

If he stays healthy and performs like he did last year, the Cubs would still like to get him in the major leagues at some point this season, since it’s his last option year, per a team source. Next season, the Cubs would have to pass him through waivers to send him down to the minor leagues. Like Miguel Amaya earlier this season, the Cubs will want to have a look at Canario in the major leagues.

The first step, though, is to have Canario looking like himself in Iowa.

“He’s a great kid and I’m just trying not to evaluate him too much right now,” Hoyer said. “Let him get going and playing and I think once he really gets comfortable out there and gets at-bats under him, I think he’ll be right back to where he was.”

During his rehab with High-A South Bend, Canario was 6-for-21 (.286) with a 1.042 OPS with a home run, 2 doubles and a triple. Just as important, though, was the influence he had on some of the younger Cub prospects. While Canario was in the Midwest League, No. 2 prospect Kevin Alcántara had one of his most impressive stretches of the season, going 13-for-35 with 3 home runs, a 1.248 OPS and a 239 wRC+.

“I know a lot of people credited [Canario’s] mentorship and he was really helpful,” Hoyer said. He’s a great teammate.”

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