Instructional League Recap

Courtesy of AZ Phil at the Cubs Reporter, there is some actual Cubs baseball to talk about today.  Granted, it's just the instructional league where there are no trophies --or official stats for that matter-- but what happens in instructs can help determine a player's readiness to advance.  Cubs fans are eagerly awaiting big impact talent to arise from their system and the players with the best chance to fulfill that potential are in A ball or below.  The quicker they can rise through the system, the better it is for Cubs fans who don't want to acquire all their talent on the free agent market.

Some of the highlights:

  • Javier Baez held his own and batted .273, though he has yet to show power or patience with a 9/0 walk to strikeout ratio and just 2 doubles.
  • Jeimer Candelario more than held his own.  He put up a .297/.361/.459.  He maintained a respectable walk rate against more advanced pitchers and showed extra base power.  I look for Jeimer to be put on the fast track.
  • Dustin Geiger is a guy that Wilken really likes, once saying "He's going to be very big and he'll carry the weight easy. He plays a very good third base and we really like the bat quite a bit. He's a confident kid."  Geiger batted .333/.407/.458.  I see him starting the year in Peoria with a shot at Daytona by midseason.
  • Micah Gibbs was a little old for the league at 23 (6 years older than Candelario) but his bat was a very pleasant surprise.  Gibbs is known more as a defensive catcher but he batted .448/.541/.758.  I'd say that earns him a promotion to Daytona.
  • Garrett Schlecht once tweeted about how hard is to hit in AZ because it's tough to see.  Well, Schlecht saw well enough to hit .250 but, more importantly, get on base at a .455 clip.  Power not there yet, but he has enough size to develop it down the road and he has shown a tremendous batting eye early in his career.
  • Dan Vogelbach showed tremendous polish and, reportedly, tremendous enthusiasm in his game.  The numbers back it up.  Vogel-Bomb hit .261/.393/.413, walking an outstanding 10 times and occasionally flashing his prodigious power.  He also made just one error, was 2 for 2 in SBs and apparently legged out a triple. I would have loved to have seen that.  I wouldn't be shocked to see Vogelbach start in full-season Peoria.
  • Rubi Silva is a talented signee out of Cuba.  A bit older at 22 but he fared well, playing both the IF and OF and hitting .317.  He took to 2B pretty well.

Prospect Reggie Golden struggled a bit, as did last year's top international signee SS Carlos Penalver, Zeke DeVoss, and Shawon Dunston, Jr.  This year's prized Venezuelan recruit Marck Malave hit just .143, but give the kid a break. He's just 16.  The fact that he got to play as much as he did says a lot about what the Cubs think of him.  He's guy to watch in the DSL next year.

As for the pitchers...

  • Dillon Maples showed he had some work to do.  He struggled with his delivery and command and finished with a 4.91 ERA.  He walked 4 batters and had 1 HBP in just 3.2 IP.
  • 19 year old Austin Reed bounced back after a tough year, pitching 8.1 scoreless innings with a 0.60 WHIP.  He has an advanced change-up and feel for pitching so I'm hoping the Cubs promote him to the pitcher friendly Florida State League despite his poor season in Boise.
  • 19 year old and 5th round pick Tayler Scott also pitched well.  He finished with a 2.16 ERA and surprising control for such a raw pitcher.  He had 3 walks in 8.1 IP with 6Ks.  His athleticism and seemingly innate feel for pitching should help him develop very quickly despite his lack of experience.

That's all I'll write about at this point.  Check out the rest of the numbers at The Cub Reporter.




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  • Even though they are very young, It will nice to following their
    careers and see how they progress. As a long time Cub fan
    I know are more misses than hits.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    We can be sure there will be a lot of misses from this group, but I'm probably most encouraged by Candelario and Vogelbach, as well as Austin Reed's comeback and Tayler Scott beginning to develop perhaps quicker than expected.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We have all lived with the bad drafts. Too many misses with
    1st to 3rd round picks. As a big fan of Dunston, I hope to
    following his son's career just like I followed his.

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    First time poster, just wanted to throw my $.02 in. Austin Reed pitched pretty damn well this instructs, and I would love to see him in Daytona, but I think that is a tad aggressive. I could see how you would say he should be moved up, but he was only in Boise last season and struggled mightily. I think Peoria with an eye at Daytona late in the year would be my starting point.

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    In reply to W Flag:

    Also, as a side note, love your idea of sending Vogelbach to Peoria, but how do you think that affects Hoilman? Hopefully none as Hoilman K's too much, but do you think it will have any effect?

  • In reply to W Flag:

    Hoilman's power is impressive but he was striking out a whole lot against some younger kids out there. I don't feel confident in his abilities to hit more advanced pitchers.

    The MWL uses the DH and the Chiefs carried a few 1st baseman, most notably Rohan, Cuneo, and Jones. I'd give Vogelbach the majority of the time at first since he's your prospect, and it'll be good to DH him every so often because this would be his first long season. Hoilman can be your DH and play 1b to give big Dan a breather once in a while.

  • In reply to W Flag:

    Thanks for reading and the know, I think you may have talked me into that plan. You're right, you can't expect a big jump after his struggles in Boise. He's still just 19, no need to rush. Peoria and go from there...

  • I love seeing all this talent in the low minors. I will be shocked if the Cubs are not rated as having one of the 2-3 best farm systems

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