Promotion season is underway in the Chicago Cubs’ farm system as Carlos Guzman and Bradlee Beesley move to Double-A while Christian Franklin and Ezequiel Pagan join High-A.
One of the most exciting things about following minor-league baseball is keeping up with the promotions that happen within a farm system. Tuesday saw some of the first promotions of the Chicago Cubs’ 2023 season. Right-handed pitcher Carlos Guzman and outfielder Bradlee Beesley, 25, jumped from High-A South Bend to Double-A Tennessee. In a pair of corresponding moves, outfielders Christian Franklin and Ezequiel Pagan moved from Low-A Myrtle Beach to the South Bend Cubs.
High-A to Double-A Promotions
I have mixed thoughts about Guzman and Beesley moving up to join the Smokies.
Beesley has been a high-contact bat all season long. With the Cubs, the righty slashed .302/.383/.491. He also swiped eight bags and was never caught stealing in his 13 games with South Bend this season. The 25-year-old is a decent outfielder, primarily playing in left field, but he’s spent time at all three outfield spots.
Meanwhile, Guzman’s promotion makes a little less sense to me, but I’m still excited about it. The 24-year-old was the return from the Detroit Tigers in the Zach McKinstry trade.
He does have a 1.93 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in four appearances with South Bend, but batters are still hitting .242 against him — right around his career average of .240. It feels like the 1.93 ERA is at least partially due to some good luck. Still, it will be interesting to see how he can handle himself in Double-A.
Low-A to High-A Promotions
Christian Franklin is a favorite of mine in the Cubs’ farm system. I have him ranked 53rd thanks to a solid glove, run tool, and patient approach at the plate. On the season with Myrtle Beach, Franklin is slashing .238/.373/.429 with three doubles, a triple, and a home run. The 23-year-old hasn’t played a ton of games as a professional due to injury, but — in his limited experience — the contact hasn’t quite been there. He still gets on base at a really nice clip and patrols the outfield admirably. Plus, he’s got a sweet bat flip.
Ezequiel Pagan getting activated and moving up to South Bend may be the move I am most excited about in this batch. Pagan, my 39th-best Cubs prospect, hasn’t played this season due to injury. However, Pagan slashed .292/.366/.443 with 15 doubles and 11 home runs in 104 games with Myrtle Beach last year.
The 22-year-old has a good glove, playing all over the outfield, and he has an above-average run tool to go along with it. It will be intriguing to see how Pagan performs in High-A once he sees the field.