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Around the Minors- April 19th

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Matt Swain

Illinois engineering student, way too emotionally invested in the Cubs.

Today's ATM brought to you by Brendan Ryan's mustache. I wish we had more Cubs players this likable.


AAA Iowa Cubs- W 4-0

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Jay Jackson- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 12/4 GB/FB ratio

  • Great performance from Jackson, who has now allowed just 9 hits in his first 18 IP. He's pretty close to being major league ready, and he should get at least a cup of coffee this September. He probably isn't an ace, but looks to be a good #3 starter prospect.

  • Most of the offense came from solo homers from Jason Dubois and Micah Hoffpauir, the McGwire and Canseco of the Pacific League. Hoffpauir appears to have come back permanently from his 2008 form, and has settled in as a low average and OBP guy with power being his main calling card. He's not a really useful player at the major league level, and in hindsight probably never was.

AA Tennessee Smokies- W 2-1

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Andrew Cashner- 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (unearned), 2 BB, 5 K

  • As good as he's been this year, if Andrew Cashner steps on the mound, he wins player of the game. Another dominant outing finds him skyrocketing up prospect charts with his mid-90's fastball and improved control. I don't have much else to say about him at this point, except that Cubs fans should definitely be excited about his potential as a cornerstone of the franchise over the next decade or so.

  • Starlin Castro keeps hitting, going 2-4 with a pair of singles. He's played 10 games, and had multiple hits in 7 of them. He may not have much in the way of power or patience, but it's hard to see him not hitting for average, and that's perhaps the best thing about him.

  • I am really turning into a Jake Opitz fan. With another walk today, he's got 7 in 10 games and a .538 OBP. He's versatile and gets on base, which is a recipe for a valuable bench player.

A+ Daytona Cubs- L 4-2, W 4-2

Player(s) of the Game(s):
CF Brett Jackson- 4-7, 3B, 3 RBI

  • Josh Vitters had a pretty nice day, going 2-6 with a 2B and a BB. He's actually been decently patient lately, as he's had 3 walks over the last week. He's off to a pretty decent start, but more will be expected of him as things progress.

  • An 0-6 day for DJ LeMahieu drops him to .244/.314/.267. It's hard to hit for power when nearly every ball off your bat is a groundball. Put me in the not-a-fan camp. He'll be dropped significantly on my next top prospect list, due out in a week or so.

  • Does Nelson Perez have pictures of someone? I thought he'd be cut by now, but he's somehow kept a job in the middle of Daytona's order while hitting .115 with 12 strikeouts in 26 at-bats. He's a lazy player with big holes in his swing who takes a decent batting practice.

A Peoria Chiefs- W 2-1

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Ted Lilly- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
SS Hak-Ju Lee- 1-3, BB, R, 4 SB

  • That's about everything you could have hoped for from Lilly, who allowed his only run in the first inning before dominating the rest of the way. He was in the 90's on the stadium gun and appears fully ready to re-join the Cubs this week.

  • Hak-Ju Lee only reached base twice, but stole second and third each time to come within 1 of Pablo Ozuna's franchise record of 5 (h/t to Nathan Baliva). He's another exciting prospect who Cubs fans will love for his defense and speed at the top of the order, and he's done everything that's expected of him so far at Peoria. I could see him swapping spots with Junior Lake at Daytona at some point this summer.

  • Matt Cerda OBP watch: 2-4 today brings him to .479 on the year.

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