Cubs prospect Caissie off to hot start with aggressive approach

April 16th, 2023

CHICAGO -- As went through Spring Training, including a stint with Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, the Cubs prospect had a clear goal for his upcoming campaign.

"For the season, just play hard and start up better than I did last year," Caissie said. "That's really it. Just carry a good level head all the way through."

So far, so good.

Through his first seven games with Double-A Tennessee, MLB Pipeline's No. 12-ranked Cubs prospect was sporting a robust .345/.367/.897 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs. There have been a pile of whiffs (16) and few walks (one), but Caissie has come out of the gates with an aggressive approach.

In a three-game stretch this past week, Caissie went 7-for-13 at the plate with four homers, one double, one triple and nine RBIs. That included a three-homer performance -- including a grand slam -- on Wednesday against Montgomery.

Since acquiring the 20-year-old Caissie as part of the blockbuster Yu Darvish trade with the Padres prior to the '21 season, the Cubs have pushed the prospect with aggressive assignments. This year, he opens at the Double-A level, where he is nearly four years younger than the average position player.

It was similar a year ago, when Caissie started the year with High-A South Bend. Out of the chute in '22, though, he slashed .143/.221/.214 in his first 20 games. Caissie sorted out his swing and approach and finished the season with a .278/.371/.450 showing in his next 91 games.

"No peaks and valleys," Caissie said of his goal for 2023. "Just play good baseball."

Let's highlight four more players who have had notable weeks down on the farm at each of the Cubs' four full-season affiliates.

Triple-A Iowa: 1B

One of the best breakout stories in all of the Minor Leagues last year, the 25-year-old Mervis has slashed .293/.456/.585 with three homers, three doubles, 13 RBIs and more walks (13) than strikeouts (nine) through his first 12 games. This past week, Mervis (No. 6 on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Cubs list) had a four-week stretch in which he went 6-for-13 with a homer and two doubles.

Double-A Tennessee: OF

Crow-Armstrong, who is the Cubs' MLB No. 1 prospect and ranked 25th overall on Pipeline's Top 100, is off to a scorching start. Through his first seven games, PCA was slashing .357/.400/.536 with four multihit games. He had 10 hits, including two triples and a double, while adding five stolen bases. The outfielder also pulled off an acrobatic slide into third that had fans buzzing on social media.

High-A South Bend: 1B Haydn McGeary

McGeary, 23, is not currently on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 list for the Cubs, but he is one of the most intriguing power bats in the system. Through his first eight games, the right-handed slugger was slashing .344/.417/.688. This past week, McGeary had a four-game stretch in which he had two homers, two doubles and six RBIs for South Bend.

Single-A Myrtle Beach: RHP Cade Horton

The 21-year-old Horton -- picked seventh overall in the first round of the 2022 Draft -- made his professional debut for the Cubs on Wednesday. Ranked as Chicago's No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Horton struck out five of the nine batters he faced over 2 1/3 shutout innings. The righty induced three groundouts, gave up two hits and issues zero walks against Lynchburg.