Cubs Boise affiliate sets roster: Ten prospects to watch

Besides the trading deadline, draft, and international free agency period  one thing I look forward to this time of year is the start of short-season ball.  Here is your Boise Hawks roster (from www.KTVB.com)

Pitchers (12)

No. Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown
45 ARIAS, Jose RHP R/R 6-5 220 01/17/91 Santiago, DR
29 CRUZ,Willengton LHP R/L 6-2 170 08/08/90 Romana, DR
37 DICKSON, Ian RHP R/R 6-5 215 09/16/90 Northport, NY
27 DIPLAN, Rafael RHP R/R 6-1 190 10/27/91 Licey Al Medio, DR
43 LEVITT, Pete RHP R/R 6-5 235 04/24/89 Chesapeake, VA
28 PAULINO, Amaury RHP R/R 6-1 185 08/31/91 Santo Domingo, DR
40 PICHARDO, Roderik RHP R/R 5-10 190 09/24/90 Santo Domingo, DR
5 PUGLIESE, James RHP R/R 6-3 205 08/12/92 Hamilton, NJ
25 SCOTT, Tayler RHP R/R 6-3 195 06/01/92 Roodeport, So. Africa
17 SHAFER, Bryce RHP R/R 6-0 180 11/14/88 Wabash, IN
44 SPENCER, Matt LHP L/L 6-5 245 01/27/86 Morristown, TN

26 SIMPSON, Hayden, RHP R/R 6-0 175 5/20/1989 Magnolia, AR

Catchers (1)

19 CONTRERAS, Willson C R/R 6-1 175 05/13/92 Puerto Cabello, VZ

Infielders (5)

13 AMAYA, Gioskar 2B R/R 5-11 175 12/13/92 Bejumas Edo Carabobo, VZ
14 CANDELARIO, Jeimer 3B S/R 6-1 180 11/24/93 San Pedro de Macoris, DR
7 HERNANDEZ, Marco SS L/R 6-0 170 09/06/92 Moca, DR
1 INOA, Brian 2B S/R 5-10 170 02/21/91 Santiago, DR
24 SHOULDERS, Rock 1B S/R 6-2 225 09/26/91 Tampa, FL

Outfielders (4)

23 BATISTA, Xavier OF R/R 6-3 210 01/18/92 San Pedro de Macoris, DR
DUNSTON Jr., Shawon OF L/R 6-1 160 02/05/93 Fremont, CA
18 GONZALEZ, Eduardo OF L/L 5-10 170 02/09/92 Barinas, VZ
20 KIM, Dong-Yub OF R/L 6-4 200 07/24/90 Chungcheongnam, So. Korea

Prospects to watch

Position Players

Marco Hernandez was starting to hit his stride in Peoria but the Cubs needed to make room for Javier Baez.  Hernandez is the better defender at SS and perhaps the only true SS in the system right now.  He is athletic and has good all-around skills -- good bat, average power, runs well, and has nice range in the field with a solid arm.  It may not be a bad thing to see him thrive in Boise rather than tread water in Peoria.

Jeimer Candelario, a switch-hitting 3B, with quick hands, a good approach, and gap power.  He has the ability to hit for high average and perhaps power down the road.  Finding a defensive home for him will be the key.  His bat will play best at 3B, but no guarantee he can stay there.

Shawon Dunston, Jr., is a plus CF with great speed, and a good arm, although, ironically, I wouldn't call it Dunston-esque.  He has a chance to hit for average with some decent power.

Gioskar Amaya, 2B, is a natural hitter who punches line drives all over the field.  Smart, instinctual player with excellent makeup.  He has good hand and a solid arm and should stick somewhere in the infield.

Xavier Batista, OF, tall, lean (6'3", 190) with big power potential.  Hit 10 HRs in the DSL last year, a  high number for that league.

Dong-Yub Kim, OF, is a 20 year old, 6'4", 200 lbs power hitter out of South Korea with suprising speed for his size.  He has the potential to be a 20/20 guy.  The swing can get a little long and he can get pull-happy but he certainly is one to keep an eye on.

Rock Shoulders, 1B: The aptly named first baseman is a big-framed, power hitter with a solid approach at the plate.  He was one of the Cubs many late round overslot signings in the 2011 draft.

Pitchers

Jose Arias, RHP: The 6'5", 220 lbs, hard-throwing righty out of the Dominican Republic dominated the DSL last season, pitching 43.1 innings walking just 8 hitters and striking out 50.  He gave up just 31 hits on his way to a 2.28 ERA.  At this point, his body is pretty close to being maxed out, so we'll find out a lot about how good he is at this higher level of competition.

Tayler Scott, RHP: Scott was a 5th round pick last year out of high school.  He is inexperienced, having played soccer in his native South Africa.  Scott is highly projectable at 6'3", 170 lbs and  already shows low 90s velocity and a feel for secondary pitches.  As a very good athlete, he figures to repeat his delivery well and have good command.

James Pugliese, RHP:  Pugliese's best pitch is a low 90s sinker and he also throws a slider, curve, and change . He has pretty good command for a 19 year old.  There's still some projection left in his tall, lean frame.

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  • I'm really kicking myself for not scheduling holidays earlier and missing out on the chance to see Boise in Vancouver in late August.

    It's pretty exciting to see Candelario making the jump from DSL to SS Aball though. I won't be surprised if he has some struggles, but if he continues to be a top player, he will start to get some serious attention.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    You can make up for it this year! Some good players to see and maybe Almora and Pierce Johnson joins it later

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was talking about this year. Maybe next year I'll be able to see the Boise @ Vancouver series. I like seeing Amaya and Hernandez playing together. Who knows, could be the double-play combo one day.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    Ahhh. That's too bad. As for those two, it'd be nice if at least one of them makes it. Hernandez is more athletic with a broader skillset, but something I think it'll be Amaya who'll make it.

  • As for Candelario,this is a big year for him and Cubs showing big faith by skipping AZ. I agree if that he performs at this level, he'll move up the Cubs prospect charts.

  • im really excited about following this team this year alot of people to watch and the draft picks arnt here yet and includeing the kids that will get called up from AZ

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    I really like some of the hitters on this team. Thankfully this team is on MiLB this year so I'll get to watch some of the games.

  • I like the sound of Gioskar Amaya... which is ironic because I have no damn idea how to say that first name.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Haha! I like him as well. Pronounced "gee-oh-skar"

  • Thanks, John, cool! Mind if I pepper you with a few questions?

    I gather that the roster is not set, but will be filled in with some of the draft picks, both high-end ones and some of the college players, like the C drafted out of Nevada, I think it was. Correct?

    What can you tell us about C Wilson Contreras? He had outstanding numbers for ExST. Is he OK defensively?`

    What are the Cubs planning to do with Simpson? Will he start, relieve or simply try to build up strength and stamina? Is this in essence his chance to start over?

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    There will definitely be some draft picks joining Boise before the year is out.

    There are a couple catchers who were drafted in the first 15 rounds, both defensive backup types. The guy from Nevada, Carlos Escobar, and a guy from California, Chadd Krist.

    As for Contreras. he's a converted IF'er, so he was a little error prone at ext. ST. He did play in Boise last year. Kind of aggressive with some gap power. Not a big prospect, but he's very young and the move to catcher can be a plus for him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    As for Simpson, I'm guessing the Cubs are a bit concerned with his lack of velocity and lapses in command. This not a good sign for him at all.

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    No--thread related: Twins signed Buxton for $6M.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Looks like that will be the biggest bonus in the draft.

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    Is that Matt Spencer the same who used to be an outfielder that we got in some trade a couple of years ago?

  • In reply to James Knott:

    Yep! Made it as high as AAA. Has 150 career HRs in minors, not a bad minor league hitter, but not good enough to be an MLB hitter.

  • I have to admit, I love the name Rock Shoulders, nobody could ever make up a name like that. I really want to see Marco Hernandez blossom, he intrigues me.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Great name. Rock is a nickname, though, real name is Roderick...but Rock is too perfect when it comes to his name and his build.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John - put me down for $20 if the Ricketts decide to market a Rock Shoulders action figure. That guy looks like something out of a comic book!

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Haha! I like it. He sure is built like an action figure and the name is perfect.

  • Candelario was the one I was impressed with in Fitch at ST. He looked like a natural with gap power. I hpoe that the Cubs do not mess with that swing too much. Line drives from both sides of the plate.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. I'd say he or Hernandez is the top prospect on this list.

  • Two prospects I expected to see on the roster that seem to be "missing" are Dan Vogelbach and Dillon Maples. Any word on when or where they will surface?

  • In reply to jimmy mac1:

    Vogelbach is going to AZ for sure. Has really struggled at the plate this spring. I'd heard Maples was going to be ready for SS ball, but maybe they're waiting to see how the draft picks shake out to see who goes where.

  • John: Jed Hoyer recently stated that he is looking to acquire hitters who wear down pitchers with deep at bats and pitchers(especially power arms) that throw strikes. Putting yourself in the role in GM for a moment, which young prospects to your knowledge match up well(I'm thinking about such names as Middlebrooks, Castellanos, Marisnick, Drabek, Syngaard, Turner, Nicolino but you may be hearing others). Thanks.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    No source that I know of will actually give you precise names in a deal but you get a feel for what the team likes, what their needs are and what might be considered a fair return. Right now, I haven't honestly thought about that all too much. I like the mention of Lonnie Chisenhall of the Indians the other day. Has a chance to be a heck of a hitter.

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