Prospect Spotlight – Owen Caissie, OF
Owen Caissie, a lefty prep bat out of Canada, was the San Diego Padres’ second round selection (#45 overall) during the 2020 draft. At 6’4” and 190 lbs, Caissie stands out for his power and was a star on the Canadian Junior National Team as a high school senior. Hitting a home run off a Double-A pitcher during a spring training visit to the Blue Jays facility in Florida will get people’s attention. The Padres surely noticed but that time ended up being short lived; 6 months after being drafted his name was part of the five player package sent to the Cubs to acquire Yu Darvish.
Now considered as the top power hitting prospect in the system I’d say the Cubbies are happy to have him; regularly appearing on top ten prospect rankings on a quickly improving farm system. Looking at Caissie’s overall hitting profile, he’s gained recognition for plate approach and strike zone discipline putting together quality at bats consistently and working walks. Will absolutely go opposite field with contact and clear 400+ feet the other way with ease. Anyone up for some major oppo tacos?
Over 136 plate appearances in the Arizona Complex League he posted a .349/.478/.596 with 6 home runs and 20 RBI; batted ball splits for pull, center, and opposite came in at 31.3% / 28.4% / 40.3%. This also included a walk / strikeout rate of 19.1% / 28.7%. Swing and miss is a fair part of his game but you’ll take that as long as he continues to walk at a high rate. Promotion to Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans soon followed in August but cooled off the final 90 plate appearances of the season hitting .233/.367/.329 with just one home run. Batted ball splits and walk / strikeout rates were close to the same percentages as they were earlier in the year which is encouraging.
Turning 20 this coming July, Cassie’s done fairly well with the limited in-game experience so far. Other areas of his game are his plus arm strength, which is considered good to stick in right field, though his fielding and fly ball tracking will need improvement. He’ll continue to receive more live reps for his development in all areas of the game, however, it’s his bat that offers his best path to the majors as a middle of the order run producer.
A MLB pro hitter comparison I’d like to think that fits well right now as development continues is Joey Gallo; with similarities in power potential, plate discipline, and walk to strikeout rates. Caissie most likely will start 2022 back in Low-A Myrtle Beach since he was there for only 22 games previously. Still several years away, I’ll be watching closely to see how he develops in a new promising young system for the Chicago Cubs!