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Cubs' Owen Caissie Could Move Quickly With New Team



Owen Caissie won’t turn 20 until July 8, but his advancement as a hitter has vaulted him into consideration as a candidate to start the 2022 season at High-A South Bend.

“I don’t think it’s a reach at all,” Cubs vice president of player personnel Matt Dorey said.

The lefthanded-hitting Caissie, acquired as part of the seven-player trade with the Padres centered around pitcher Yu Darvish in December 2020, has pleased team officials in all facets—particularly his hitting skills and willingness to address weaknesses.

Dorey said team instructors occasionally have pulled him out of the batting cage and reminded him of his workload.

“He’s evolving at a very quick pace,” Dorey said.

The coronavirus pandemic did little to stunt Caissie’s development. After signing for $1.2 million as a 2020 second-rounder of the Padres from high school in Ontario, Caissie spent the final month at their alternate training site and faced advanced pitching.

At the time of the trade, the Cubs were delighted to acquire the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Cassie because of his upside and a shortage of power-hitting prospects in the organization. Caissie proceeded to bat .349 with six home runs and a 1.074 OPS in 32 games in the Arizona Complex League in 2021.

That earned him a promotion to Low-A Myrtle Beach, where he posted a .367 on-base percentage despite batting .233 in 73 at-bats.

“He dives into data and breaks down what he’s trying to accomplish," Dorey said. "He’s mature above his years and really in tune with what kind of player he wants to be and what kind of complete hitter.”

Caissie expressed a desire to receive extra work in the outfield due to his lack of experience while training indoors in his native Canada. He often power shags during batting practice, and Dorey believes working under sunny and windy conditions in spring training are beneficial to his improvement.

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