Cubs farm teams are rolling, but Hoyer not ready to judge last year's trades

The Cubs minor league affiliates are heating up.

Heading into Saturday's action, Iowa had won 9 of 11 games, Tennessee had the best record in the Southern League at 22-15, South Bend had gone 14-3 since May 3, and Myrtle Beach has been rolling all season with a 26-11 record.

"I'm really proud of the way the minor leagues in general are playing," Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said this week. "You can never have enough depth and you'll never get to the point of feeling like your system is good enough, but I feel like we're on the right track."

A couple of standouts so far have been right-handed pitcher Caleb Killian at Iowa, who was acquired from the Giants in the Kris Bryant trade, and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, who came from the Mets in the Javy Baez trade.

Overall, five of the top 11 Cubs prospects, listed by MLB Pipeline, came from the trades of Bryant, Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Yu Darvish. But Hoyer wasn't ready to declare any victories or consolation prizes from those unpopular deals.

"Ultimately, those trades are not going to be evaluated in the middle of May 2022, they're going to be probably evaluated in 2027 for real and I think that's probably the way it should be," Hoyer said. "I don't think anybody should be looking at it as a passing grade at this point. I think they should be looking at it as, 'What is that net down the road?'

"I do think that on the basis of those trades, some good drafts and good international classes, I do feel like we're definitely moving in the right direction in the minor leagues for sure."

Stay off Fergie's mound:

Cubs manager David Ross admitted having his mind blown when looking at the career stats of Ferguson Jenkins, which included six straight years of 20 wins and 30 complete games in 1971.

"What I think about is what he might do to me if I take him out in the fourth or fifth (inning)," Ross said with a laugh. "Can you imagine that? I'd like to hear his quotes on that."

The Cubs unveiled a Jenkins statue Friday in Gallagher Way, and the Hall of Fame pitcher has been no stranger at Wrigley Field in recent years.

"Fergie will come in and tell me who he likes and what pitch he likes from them," Ross said. "I think it's just valuable to have that kind of seniority around. Hall of Famers, the more you can have around, the better "

Cubs notes:

Manager David Ross said Nico Hoerner ran the bases on Saturday morning and is getting close to returning from a sprained right ankle. Ross estimated Hoerner looked about "80 to 85 percent." ... Outfielder Clint Frazier doubled twice at Iowa on Friday and could be closing in on a return to the big leagues after appendicitis.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSport

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