With the Cubs off, the focus was on the minor leagues today. The affiliates split their games. Tennessee is the only undefeated team left now at 2-0. As always, there were some individual performances worth noting...
Round Rock 4 - Iowa 3
- Before I get into the performances, during the game it was mentioned that Rodrigo Lopez was told to be prepared for a call-up this weekend. This would entail a roster move. The announcers did not say what that might be and it may not be announced until game time tomorrow if it happens.
- Iowa's offense got off to a rough start against top Texas LHP prospect Martin Perez. Perez was sometimes mentioned as a possible return for Garza. He pitched 6 innings gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, struck out 3 and gave up just one run. They did come back a bit against the Round Rock bullpen.
- Casey Coleman was knocked around a bit. He gave up back to back HRs and 4 runs total in 5 innings. On the bright side, he didn't walk anybody and struck out 5, but when Texas made contact, they hit him pretty well and Iowa's quick OF of Campana, Jackson, and Sappelt probably saved him from more damage.
- I was impressed today with Brett Jackson who looked a little lost against one of the top LH pitching prospects in baseball in his first 2 ABs. By the 3rd AB, he adjusted, went the other way and took him off the LF wall for a triple. He also got an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded.
- Welington Castillo had the game's first big hit, a double that drove in Iowa's first run.
- Josh Vitters had a hit and his 2nd walk in 2 days. Is the light coming on or is it just a fluke from a ridiculously small sample size? Until I see more, I'm going with the latter, but it is nice to see him make an effort.
- Anthony Rizzo had 2 hits, one was of the infield variety. The other was a single with the bases loaded to bring Iowa to within one.
- Tony Campana had a tough day on the bases. He got caught stealing and then he was thrown out trying to score the tying run from second on Rizzo's single.
- Jeff Beliveau came in and had a solid inning. He gave up a hit and walked one but the umpire didn't give him anything close. He was around the plate all inning -- which is what he needs to do to succeed.
Tennessee 1 - Chattanooga 0
- If I told you Trey McNutt started the game and his team won 1-0, you'd probably be pretty encouraged. The truth is he threw 3 solid innings before losing command in the 4th. Overall he pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up 3 walks. He also gave up 2 hits and struck out 3.
- Jeffrey Antigua, a one-time prospect trying to get back on the rader, came in relief and pitched 2 1/2 scoreless innings. He walked nobody and struck out 2.
- Alberto Cabrera then came in an pitched 2 shutout innings of his own. He also struck out two and, most encouragingly, did not walk anybody. He gave up just one hit.
- Frank Batista earned the save although he made it a nail biter by allowing men to get to 1st and 3rd.
- OF'er Michael Burgess was the games offensive hero. He accounted for the only run with a solo shot in the 6th. He also had a single.
- 2B Logan Watkins also had 2 hits. He has 5 hits in his first 2 games.
- 3B and utility infield prospect Matt Cerda made the only other offensive contribution. He had a single and a walk. Cerda has perhaps the best batting eye in the system. And yes, that includes Brett Jackson.
Daytona 6 - Brevard County 2
- Eric Jokisch is coming off a great year statistically and he got off to another good start this year. He pitched 6 innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 5.
- Tony Zych finished the game with a 2 inning save. Encouraging for Cubs fans used to watching Marmol (and Wood yesterday)? No walks!
- Have I told you about Arismendy Alcantara? No? Well, he's a SS prospect but he's pretty low on the depth chart right now. He's got a shot to be a utility IF'er in the pros but today the 160 lbs Alcantara hit like Ernie Banks. He had 3 hits, including a 3-run HR and 4 RBI overall. He also scored 2 runs.
- Cuban born prospect Rubi Silva had 3 hits for the second straight day. 2 of the hits were doubles. He's a good, versatile player with an aggressive approach, but he does have legit tools. He figures to be a 2B but is athletic enough to play all OF positions.
- 2011 draftee out of UConn John Andreoli got on base all 4 times, 3 of them via the base on balls. He's a good 4th OF'er type prospect. He plays good defense in the OF corners and a passable CF, runs slightly above average, and has a solid line drive swing.
- Matt Szczur scored a run and got on base via a walk. He's off to a slow start, but anytime I see Szczur walk, I consider that to be a good sign. He needs to get on base to be an effective player in the majors.
Beloit 6 - Peoria 1
- Sleeper prospect Patrick (PJ) Francescon had a brilliant outing, but his pitch count limited him to just 4 2/3 innings. He have up one run on just 2 hits. Most impressively, he walked none and struck out 9. Francescon was a 40th round draft pick whom the Cubs felt had a projectable arm. So far he has proven them right with a fastball that was clocked at 93 mph last season. Looking at the results, I'm wondering if it was even faster tonight.
- Middle relief prospect Luis Liria came in and struck out 3 more in 1 1/3 innings, giving the Chiefs 12 strikeouts in the first 6 innings.
- LH relief prospect Willengton Cruz came in and gave up a game deciding grand slam to Twins mega prospect Miguel Sano.
- Not much offense from the Chiefs today.
- 2B Zeke DeVoss was doing his OBP thing. and got on base twice with a walk and a single.
- Raw but exciting RF prospect Reggie Golden had a single and stole a base.
- Catching prospect Rafael Lopez had a hit. As did 3B-SS Wes Darvill, 1B Paul Hoilman,and intriguing athletic OF prospect Taiwan Easterling.