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Around the Minors- April 22nd

Matt Swain

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

Inspired by the NFL draft, today's video of the day is the most impressive workout feat I've ever seen, Adrian Wilson's 66 inch vertical jump. One though I had while re-watching it was that this could have gone very differently and probably been an even bigger hit on YouTube if he was a couple inches lower on the jump.

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 5-6 in 10

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Brad Snyder- 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBIs

  • When Welington Castillo gets a hit, it goes a long way. He has 5 hits: a double, a triple, and after another tonight, three home runs. Unfortunately, he doesn't hit for much average and probably doesn't make enough contact.

  • The ultra versatile Matt Camp is in the opposite camp, where he has 16 hits, and 13 are singles. He also has yet to draw a walk, leading to a .673 OPS despite a .308 average. That's essentially the definition of having no secondary skills. I guess his fielding is marketable, but I don't see any reason he should be considered for a major league job at any point.

AA Tennessee Smokies- W 7-3, W 8-1

Player(s) of the Games:
SS Starlin Castro- 4-7, BB, 2 2Bs, 3 Rs
RF Brandon Guyer- 3-7, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBIs, SB

  • The Smokies have played out of their minds this year so far, starting off 12-2 while hitting a combined .295/.373/.444 along with a 3.65 team ERA.

  • Leading the way for the Smokies offense is Starlin Castro, who with his big day today now has multiple hits in 8 of his last 9 games and a sterling line of .404/.426/.649. Yes that's right, Castro is hitting over .400 nearly 60 at-bats into the season. He won't continue that forever obviously, and it's a luxury for him to spend extra time in AA where he can have some success.

  • Guyer has moved up significantly on my top prospect list already this year by showing some great plate discipline and moderate game power to compliment his athleticism. Look out for the new list in the next week or so.

A+ Daytona Cubs- W 9-6

Player(s) of the Game:
3B Josh Vitters- 3-4, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 3 Rs

  • Huge game for Vitters, who's season averages so far are at .283/.328/.483. Nice to see that power showing up especially in a tough hitter's league like the FSL. The kid can hit, and while the plate discipline question still looms large, he'll always be able to do enough with the bat to at least partially make up for it.

  • Brett Jackson continues to play the lead-off role brilliantly, going 1-3 and drawing 2 more walks today. Guys who get on base as much as Jackson has this year are valuable baseball players, and when they come with power and defense like Jackson does, you have a very good prospect on your hands.

  • Ryan Searle is very overrated by many Cubs fans out there, and that's all I have to say on the subject.

A Peoria Chiefs- W 6-4

Player(s) of the Game:
C Jovan Rosa- 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 Rs

  • The Chiefs have been surprisingly good this year and now have a 10-5 record. Maybe I underestimated them.

  • Ouch, Matt Cerda, 0-4 with an error. Not your best effort.

  • I should recognize Greg Rohan, who's done a nice job in the clean-up spot for Peoria. He's not much of a prospect, but he's produced so far, and the beauty of the minor leagues is that anybody can become a prospect if they hit enough.



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