This Cubs prospect won't be under the radar much longer

May 21st, 2023

PHILADELPHIA -- There are plenty of players within the Cubs’ much-improved farm system that grab the spotlight. The names that crack MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list garner the most attention, but there are also organizational wins off the board.

One example for the Cubs?

“I think Luis Vazquez stands out,” said Jared Banner, the Cubs’ vice president of player development.

The 23-year-old Vazquez is not on Pipeline’s Top 30 list for the Cubs, and the shortstop does not have the prospect name recognition of some of the other middle infielders in Chicago’s system. He was not a first-round pick, nor was he a big-money international signing.

The Cubs grabbed Vazquez in the 14th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Puerto Rico and he is in his sixth season in the Minors. This season with Double-A Tennessee, though, Vazquez appears to have turned a corner in his production.

“Our hitting department did a lot of work with him this offseason to change some mechanics in his swing,” Banner said. “And he had a really good Spring Training and it's transitioned into the season pretty well, too. And you couple that with his impressive defense at shortstop and it's been a really great start for him.”

Banner noted that the Cubs’ hitting group worked with Vazquez on lowering his hands and shortening up his path to the ball. Combined with better swing decisions, the adjustments have paid off to date.

After hitting .225 with a .621 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A in 2022, Vazquez is hitting .287 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and an .828 OPS through 31 games with Tennessee this year. He had a .777 OPS in April and has posted an .881 OPS through 14 games in May.

Here are four other players of note this week from the Cubs’ four full-season affiliates:

Triple-A Iowa: C
Following an impressive stint in the Majors, the 24-year-old Amaya (No. 14 on Pipeline’s Top 30 list for the Cubs) has been off to a solid start in his first Triple-A assignment. Through his first six games for Iowa, Amaya was batting .389 with three doubles and a 1.006 OPS in 20 plate appearances.

Double-A Tennessee: LHP Luke Little
The 6-foot-8 Little has been a tough assignment for hitters since moving up to the Smokies. Through his first four games at the level, the 22-year-old lefty has struck out 15 of 30 batters faced, with five walks and no hits allowed in eight innings. Little was a fourth-round pick by Chicago in the 2020 MLB Draft.

High-A South Bend: INF James Triantos
Triantos, who is ranked No. 11 on Pipeline’s Top 30 list for the Cubs, has enjoyed a strong start since coming back from a preseason procedure on his right knee. In his first eight games with South Bend, the 20-year-old has hit .333/.389/.515 with four extra-base hits, six RBIs, seven runs and two steals, while playing second base.

Single-A Myrtle Beach: RHP Nick Hull
Hull, 23, has been on a nice run since the Cubs moved him from the bullpen to the Pelicans’ rotation. Through four starts, the righty has a 1.83 ERA with 20 strikeouts against six walks in 19 2/3 innings. The 2022 Draft pick (seventh round) has allowed just 11 hits with no homers.