Max the Bain of the Inland Empire's Existence at Sloan Park
SP Max Bain fired three innings of one hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and combined with five relievers on a four-hit shutout with 14 punch-outs, and Ed Howard IV singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Lo-A affiliate) blanked the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Lo-A affiliate) 4-0 in Cactus League Minor League Camp game action Monday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Defensive Gem of the Day was a spectacular back-handed diving catch in left-centerfield by Pelicans LF Jacob Wetzel, proving the old adage, "You can take the boy out of centerfield, but you can't take the centerfielder out of the boy."
Meanwhile, 23-year old 6'5 240 Max Bain has emerged as one of the Cubs top pitching prospects, and today he showed why.
Doing his best Trevor Bauer impression, Bain absolutely smoked the 66ers with overpowering gas, throwing mostly his electric 97-99 FB (which sat at 98-99 throughout his three innings of work) and mixing it with a high-velo 86-88 MPH SL/CT and an 84 MPH CH combo. I think it's likely that Bain will be the Opening Day SP for Myrtle Beach, but he probably won't remain there for long.
Bain had an unusual path to affiliated ball (to say the least), signing with the Cubs as a non-drafted free-agent just before Spring Training 2020. He pitched for four years in obscurity (and mostly ineffectively) at NCAA D-2 Northwoods University in Michigan 2016-19, and then spent the summer following his senior year pitching for the Utica Unicorns in the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League in suburban Detroit. The Cubs signed him only after he lost a considerable amount of weight, which is why the timing of his signing (January) was so peculiar.
Since signing with the Cubs, Bain has embraced the 21st century technology available at the Cubs Pitching Lab in Mesa and he has become an expert in the lab's various tools. He has also worked extensively with ex-Cub Luke Hagerty at Hagerty's 's X-2 Athletic Performance training center in Scottsdale.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
MYRTLE BEACH LINEUP:
1a. Darius Hill, CF: 0-2 (K, BB, P-6, R)
1b. Jacob Olson, LF: 0-1 (F-8)
2a. Ethan Hearn, C: 0-2 (K, F-8, BB, R)
2b. Jake Washer, C: 0-1 (K)
3a. Ed Howard IV, SS: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
3b. Scott McKeon, 2B: 0-1 (4-3)
4. Jacob Wetzel, LF-CF: 0-3 (K, K, F-9)
5. Yohendrick Pinango, RF: 0-3 (3-1, E-3, 1-3, R, SB)
6. Jake Slaughter, 3B: 1-2 (1-3, 1B, HBP, RBI)
7. Ryan Reynolds, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, K, 1B)
8. Grayson Byrd, DH: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
9. Yeison Santana, 2B-SS: 0-2 (K, F-9, BB)
MYRTLE BEACH PITCHERS:
1. Max Bain: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 47 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Tanner Jesson-Dalton: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
3. Richard Gallardo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Graham Lawson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Eury Ramos: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 9 pitches (7 strikes)
6. Ben Leeper: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 13 pitches (11 strikes)
MYRTLE BEACH OUTFIELD ASSIST:
CF Darius Hill - batter thrown out 8-6-5 attempting to stretch double into triple, this play also featured an outstanding middleman laser relay throw from Ed Howard IV irom short CF to 3rd base...
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"
Hagsag 46 min 45 sec ago (view)
Phil, I hope you get to see this group. What a bunch of middle infielders!
Arizona Phil 4 hours 45 min ago (view)
The top four DSL Cubs position player prospects (SS Cristian Hernandez, C Moises Ballesteros, INF Pedro Ramirez, and OF Frank Hernandez) have been added to the Cubs AZIL roster (see updated roster in post above).
Arizona Phil 23 hours 2 min ago (view)
Dillon Maples does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime.
crunch 23 hours 16 min ago (view)
p.wisdom is the new cubs all-time rookie HR leader.
Arizona Phil 1 day 33 min ago (view)
The Cubs will very likely be splitting the AZIL position players into two 14-man squads (like they did last year), with each squad playng in every other-game, and with the other squad having a Camp Day instructional work-out on a back-field when that squad is not playing in a game. There will also be five combined Camp Days during the course of the four weeks for all players from both squads.
Arizona Phil 1 day 55 min ago (view)
DJL: No. Signing a 2022 minor league successor contract would only matter with regard to a player in the Arizona Fall League, because the AFL schedule goes past the date when minor leaguers are declared free-agents.
AZ Instructs ends on October 16th, which is about two or three weeks before minor league free-agency, so the three guys at Cubs Instructs who are eligible to be free-agehts after the World Series (Dakota Chalmers. Nicholas Padilla, and Eury Ramos) do not need to sign successor contracts in order to play in AZIL games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Sorry to hear about your dad, Charlie. I lost my father almost 2 years ago now, some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Wrigley with him.
All the best wishes to you, sir.
First.Pitch.120 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
If you had Bote in the '11-'12- '13 Cubs draft dead pool, then you are a winner!
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Dakota Chalmers... interesting. He's scheduled to be a MILB FA, correct? Would this be a good sign he has signed a successor deal?
Cubster 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Maples dfa. Double Martini too. Hoerner and Thompson back and Keegan to start today. Hoerner bats 5th.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
it's never a good time to be in the hospital, but things are extra complicated right now.
hope everything goes well for everyone.
Charlie 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
Listening to this in a hospital room because we are blacked out on MLB.tv. I don't know which surprises me more, that the Cubs haven't beaten the Brewers since April or that the Cubs beat the Brewers in April.
crunch 2 days 21 hours ago (view)
m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.
Jackstraw 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.
Eric S 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.
George Altman 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?