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Around the Minors- May 23rd

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Matt Swain

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

You may have noticed I took the weekend off of ATM. Hope you didn't miss it terribly.

AAA Iowa Cubs-
W 11-7

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Jim Adduci- 3-5, R, 4 RBIs

  • How about Jason Dubois' line today? 0-0 with 4 BBs, 3 Rs, and an RBI. He had another day way back in April when he totaled 3 walks, meaning that 7 of his 9 on the season came on just two days.

  • Since his demotion, Jeff Samardzija has thrown 221 pitches, and just 116 of them have gone for strikes (52%). That's a lower percentage than any other pitcher in the upper minors by a pretty good amount. It's also the primary reason that he's issued 10 walks in 12 innings, and the latest concern in a career that has so far been defined by disappointment.

  • May has been kind to both Darwin Barney and James Adduci, who each had 3 hits Sunday. For the month, Barney is hitting over .400, though he only has 2 walks and 9 extra base hits among his 39 hits. His 25% line drive rate is impressive though, and while he lacks several things, he certainly can hit singles with the best of them.
AA Tennessee Smokies- L 4-1

Player(s) of the Game:
C Steve Clevenger- 2-4, 2B

  • If it wasn't for Frank Robinson Chirinos destroying the league, Steve Clevenger would likely be getting a lot of attention for what he's done this year. He's played sparingly, but in his 63 at-bats has hit .365/.397/.460. It's basically the best Clevenger can hope for, since he doesn't walk a lot and has very little power. As such, he's a singles hitter who will rely on that batting average be high to have offensive value (not unlike Barney).

  • Tony Campana's excellent season continues, and after 2 more hits, he's up to .360/.423/.435. The one problem is that his baserunning has been subpar, and he's been caught 7 times in 21 attempts. My typical rule of thumb is 75%, where if you're above that you're having positive value and if you're below it then you aren't being effective. So you'd like to see Campana wield that plus-plus speed a little bit better.
A+ Daytona Cubs- W 9-7

Player(s) of the Game:
2B DJ LeMahieu- 4-4, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB

  • Good to see LeMahieu having such a nice game, and it's notable that 3 of hits were to right field, 2 of them being line-drives. The 4th was an infield hit deflected by the pitcher. He's really hit his stride of late, and in May his GB% is down and his LD% is up, which is promising. Unsurprisingly, his slugging percentage has gone up significantly. He's also been running well, with 5 SBs in his last 5 games. The one bad sign is that Sunday's walk was his first of the month.

  • One of my personal favorites, Jake Opitz is now 7 of his last 9 at the plate, and his season line sits at .267/.387/.384 with 17 BBs/14 Ks. He's not a stud prospect by any means, but I just love his on-base ability and versatility for a bench role.
A Peoria Chiefs- W 6-5

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Nelson Perez- 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI

  • Hak-Ju Lee's bounce back has been pretty sudden, and is a direct result of him adjusting to the new level. His BB% doubled in May and his K% fell significantly, indicating that his pitch recognition was finally there. He's still a terrific prospect and may even move up after this season.

  • The story is similar for his double play partner Logan Watkins, who has had similar shifts in his numbers in May. He's not as sure of a thing to bounce back as Lee, because he's had some major contact problems. His K rate has been over 20% all year after being below 10%, and that's both odd and concerning.

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