The focus of this space this week turn north of the boarder. No, I’m not talking about the Blue Jays. It’s Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.  The biggest names on the roster are Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers and Tyler O’Neill of the Cardinals. Making a splash for the team, albeit a small sample size, is Cubs minor leaguer Owen Caissie.

The 20-year-old outfield played 105 games in South Bend in 2022.  He posted an OPS of .751 with a batting average of .254 while knocking in 58 RBI and slugging 11 home runs.  This spring in WBC action prior to Wednesday’s game with Mexico, Caissie was batting .333 with a 1.067 OPS in 9 at-bats.  He also had 1 home run and 9 RBI. Unfortunately, Team Canada lost that game to Mexico and was eliminated from the WBC. Like several of his teammates, Caissie couldn’t get anything going at the plate. He went hitless in 4 at-bats while leaving 3 on base. This dropped his average to .231.

The Cubs plethora of minor league shortstops gets talked about a lot. I would argue that the organization has even more outfielders coming up through the system that can make an impact on the big league roster someday. We are talking about the obvious ones like Brennen Davis and Pete Crow-Armstrong on down to the other prospects that have yet to make it out of South Bend.  The SB Cubs outfield group alone featured 4 (if not all 5 guys) that I could potentially see roaming Wrigley Field in the future.  Tennessee had a group that was fairly good too.

Caissie’s time in the WBC shows he is ready to improve upon his 2022 season. Obviously, his final stats for the WBC aren’t completely indicative of what we will see from Caissie. I think his numbers will trend closer to what we saw prior to the game against Mexico. The bad thing about small sample size and a clunker like Wednesday’s game can leave a bad taste in your mouth when you don’t get the chance to step back in the box again.

The good thing is Caissie’s numbers all reset when the Minor League season opens up. You can certainly count on Caissie to continue to climb the MLB Top Prospects lists if he is able to continue his success. His highest ranking entering the 2023 season is 80 on the Baseball Prospectus list. We will soon be wondering about when will Caissie be making his Wrigley Field debut?


Featured Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

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