Cubs Minors Recap: So...Rizzo hits a couple of more HRs and Cubs sign a Cuban OF'er

So this is a pretty good day for Cubs fans.  Off the field, the Cubs signed Cuban OF'er Jorge Soler, supplemental first round pick RHP Pierce Johnson, and a host of other draft picks.

The Cubs also have 2 catchers on the mend as Welington Castillo started his 4th day of rehab while Geovany Soto started his first.

And in case you missed it yesterday, here is Anthony Rizzo's blast off the CF scoreboard yesterday...

Omaha 9 - Iowa 7

  • Jay Jackson has really lost his way this year.  He pitched 3.2 innings, gave up 11 hits, 3 walks, and 7 runs.  His ERA on the year is 7.24.
  • Recently promoted Ty'Relle Harris continued his great season with an outstanding middle relief appearance, going 3.1 scoreless (and hitless) innings.  The performance allowed the I-Cubs to get back into the game after Jackson's tough start.
  • CF Dave Sappelt had a double, single, and walk.  He also scored a run.
  • Brett Jackson went 1 for 5 and scored a run
  • Geovany Soto started his road back and played half the game at catcher.  He went 0 for 2 but scored a run.
  • Anthony Rizzo had a lot to do with the near comeback, hitting 2 more HRs plus a ground-rule double.  He drove in 4 runs, giving him 57 on the year to go with his 22 HRs and .370 batting average.  Those numbers are ridiculous.
  • Our 2013 3B poll winner Josh Vitters had himself another solid day with a double, single and his 15th walk of the year.

Mississippi 14 - Tennessee

  • Trey McNutt didn't fare any better than Jackson, lasting just 3.1 innings, giving 9 hits and 8 earned runs.  He didn't walk anybody, but that's only because he was throwing meatballs all game.  No reason to take those pitches.  He struck out 2. The performance raised his ERA up to 3.65.
  • The pitchers of the day, such as it were, were Jeffrey Antigua and Kevin Rhoderick.  Antigua went 1.2 scoreless innings, while Rhoderick pitched one scoreless inning with a strikeout.   Antigua has a 3.09 ERA on the year while Rhoderick's is at 0.70.  We've talked a lot about Rhoderick here, but Antigua is quietly having himself another good season after finishing strong last year.  He has 10 walks and 29 strikeouts in 30.1 innings.  Antigua throws an 88-91 mph fastball with good deception, as he throws across his body, complimenting it with a good change-up.
  • Junior Lake had just one hit but he made it count, hitting his 4th HR.  He also drew his 12th walk.  He drew 13 in twice as many PAs last year.
  • 27 year old CF James Adduci had 3 hits and 2 RBI.  He's hitting .319 with a .394 OBP on the year.  He's slugging .445.
  • C Welington Castillo hit his 2nd HR since returning from the DL 4 days ago.
  • 1B Justin Bour had a double, single, walk, and an RBI.  He also scored a run.  Bour is hitting .276 with 6 HRs on the year.

Daytona 5 - Tampa 0

  • Matt Loosen did it again.  He went 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and 3 walks.  He struck out 7.  He went to 5-1 on the year with a 2.63 ERA.  He has 47 strikeouts in 48 innings while walking 19.
  • The D-Cubs pitchers struck out 14 batters in all.  Hayden Simpson struck out 2 batters in one perfect inning.  AJ Morris did the same, lowering his ERA to 1.93.
  • Fireballing Tony Zych struck out the side in his only inning.  He has 28 strikeouts versus just 5 walks in 31.2 innings.  He also has not allowed a HR all season.  His ERA is 3.13.
  • Arismendy Alcantara is starting to draw some national attention.  Kevin Goldstein wrote about him in BP today, saying, " he's a line drive hitter with a quick bat, plus speed, and the tools to remain at short. Scouts see Alcantara as a good utility player, at the very least, and many give him a chance to be an everyday player if he continues to progress."    Alcantara went 1 for 3 with 2 stolen bases and two runs scored, plus an RBI.  He's hitting .292/.317/.416 on the year with 18 SBs.  Of course, we've talked about Alcantara a lot already, but nice to hear positives from an objective prospect guru.
  • Ronald Torreyes seems to be heating up a bit, but we'll have to wait and see if he can sustain it.  He went 2 for 5 with a run scored to bring his average up to .227.  He's hitting .333 in his last 10 games.
  • 3B Greg Rohan continues to be one of the more productive minor leaguers in the Cubs system.  He has just 3 less RBI than Rizzo.  He had a double, single, run scored, and RBI (54).  He's hitting .302/.379/.539 on the year.  The biggest negative against Rohan is his age, 26.
  • Micah Gibbs went 1 for 4 (double) with a run scored.
  • John Andreoli also had a double, also walked, scored a run, and had an RBI.  His line is .279/.390/.355 on the year.

Peoria 10 - Kane County 9

  • LHP Gerardo Concepcion was turning things around but today he took a step backward.  He went just 4 innings and gave up 12 hits and 9 runs.  He walked 2 and struck out just one.  His ERA is 7.24 on the year.
  • There are some sparkling ERAs in the Peoria bullpen, starting with LHP Sheldon McDonald, who has been a pleasant surprise since his recall from extended spring training.  He went 3 scoreless innings today, walking none and striking out two.  His ERA is 1.23 in 22 innings since his promotion.
  • RHP Luis Liria continues to pitch well.  He had a scoreless inning but he did walk 2 batters.  His ERA is 1.29.
  • We'll save the best, and most pleasant surprise for last.  LHP Hunter Cervenka picked up the win when the Chiefs scored in the bottom of the 9th to win the game.  Cervenka has an astonishing 0.68 ERA since coming over to the Cubs.  He had an 8.10 ERA before he arrived.  It's safe to say the Cubs scouts/coaching staff spotted something they could fix in the hard-throwing lefty.  He has 5 walks and 14Ks in 13.1 innings.
  • Zeke DeVoss had a triple and an RBI in 5 ABs and made one of the most spectacular catches you'll ever see on a pop-up.  See below.
  • 1B Paul Hoilman had 3 hits, including his 5th HR.  He also scored 3 runs.  The 23 year old power hitter is at .280 with a .472 slugging percentage.  He has also drawn 28 walks on the year.
  • Dustin Geiger is a good defensive 3B  with a nice swing, good contact skills, and an approach that he needs to improve.  Today he showed off that offensive part of his game, along with a little power, in getting 4 hits in 5 ABs.  One of the hits was a 2 run HR, his first of the year.  He had 3 RBI in total.
  • C Sergio Burruel is a tough, stocky catcher known more for his catch and throw skills but he got into some of the offensive fun with 3 hits (2 doubles) and 3 RBI

Dominican Summer League

  • What were you doing in 1995? 16 year old, 5'11, 175 lbs. Venezuelan LHP Carlos A. Rodriguez was brilliant today, going 5 innings of one hit ball, walking one and striking out 6.  He has pitched 10 innings this year walked 2 and struck out 13.  He's not the biggest guy in the world, but hey, he's still got about 5 years of growing up to do -- and he's doing pretty well baffling bigger, older guys so far.
  • Chris Pieters, a long, lean, LHP from Curacao who got over 300K to sign, didn't exactly live up to his billing today.  He had all sorts of control problems, walking 4 in just 1.2 innings
  • Fellow lefty Victor Garcia (20), fared better, going 3.1 scoreless innings to keep the the DSL team within striking distance.
  • CF Kelvin Encarnacion continues to hit well, going 1 for 3 today and scoring a run.
  • Of the 3 big bats the Cubs signed during the last international signing period, the least heralded Ricardo Marcano is off to the best start.  He went  3 for 3 to raise his average to .321.  He also has shown a patient approach (7 walks in 35 PAs)

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  • fb_avatar

    Jay Jackson hasn't lost his way. He knows exactly where the best buffets in the PCL are located.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Ha! Big time regression. Should be entering peak years.

  • This Rizzo thing is starting to get pretty silly. It's about that time.

  • Nice that Cervenka's doing so good. Makes me feel about eating so much of Byrd's contract. Gotta go check out Alcantara sometime. I'm only about an hour away from Daytona.

    What's your best guess on when they'll call Rizzo up? I'm starting to suspect they're going to wait till July or August to avoid super 2 status.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    End of June...maybe the 25th. They may have to move an OF'er first.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Does anyone else suspect that when Rizzo comes up, and the inevitable falling off a blazing first half of AAA season, the observations will be that he struggled in the majors. again?

  • Zeke DeVoss is starting to frustrate me. Loved the pick, but at this point it looks like he just doesn't have natural contact skills. But he has a great eye and it looks like he's becoming a much better 2nd basemen. Just not sure how to project him right now. Lots to be excited about with the Cheif's pitching staff though.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    I wish he'd hit better, because he's not going to walk this often when pitching becomes more advanced.

  • No Baez for Peoria today?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    He had the day off. Too bad for all of us.

  • Ty'relle Harris - potential Rule 5 pick this winter
    Jeffry Antigua - potential Rule 5 pick this winter
    AJ Morris - potential Rule 5 pick this winter
    Luis Liria - potential Rule 5 pick this winter
    Hunter Cervenka - potential Rule 5 pick this winter

    I know some of these guys are too far away to matter, but still.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Harris and Antigua could get chosen if they're out there. Antigua being lefty can't hurt either.

  • Man, I almost forgot about Jay Jackson, he has really fallen off the map, prospect-wise. I am liking the steady improvement of Vitters, he's growing on me again...slowly.

  • Yes, it is indeed a good day for Cubs fans, but.....

    I used to not like Paul Sullivan. After reading his article today, I despise the man. I usually don't even read him, but I saw the Soler headline and went ahead and read it. Here we have the Soler signing, and the first thing he does is quip about when the "honeymoon is over" for Theo. Theo is doing exactly what he said he would do, this signing is an exclamation point for that, and we all should be lauding him. Not Sullivan and not other Trib writers. If the Cubs had lost out on Soler, what does anyone here suppose the reaction would have been? "Promises, promises" or some such tripe.

    I wish Sullivan would go back to covering the Sox where he belongs. He'd fit right in with Hawk.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Agree! White Sox fans should stay out of Cubs business.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I really think Sullivan is miffed that he doesn't have Hendry around to make his job easier.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's it John!! Lazy people like Sullivan and Rogers loved Hendry because he gave them info and gossip without them asking. The new breed of exec's like Theo, Billy Beane ect..., see no benefit giving information to the media, and rightly so. Due to this Rogers, Sullivan and their bretheren don't like the younger generation because they don't kiss their ass and actually make them work for information.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    He's done things one way for so long. Let's see if Sullivan can step up like the ballplayers he likes to criticize....can he adjust to the new approach?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't even bother reading those fools anymore. I come here where people know what they're talking about.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Thanks eaton!

  • Completely agree. Without going into specifics, it really seems he has an axe to grind with the current FO. I guess he is pissed b/c he now has to work for a living and, if he is to keep up, learn a new way of thinking. As an example, saying that the Marshall/Wood deal is a bust since Wood doesn't have any W's. Yeesh.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I don't even think it's "an axe to grind" so much as it is disdain for the Cubs, period. I know I sure wouldn't want to be covering the Sox, and I think he's pissed over having to cover the Cubs. I wish the Trib would give us a writer that actually wants the Cubs to win.

  • What type of stuff does Loosen have? He's been on a tear lately..

    Also what are thoughts on the Boise Hawks roster?

  • In reply to furiousjeff:

    Love the Boise lineup, pitching will be the key for them.

  • I threw together my UPDATED TOP 20 PROSPECTS LIST for fun. I based it on current performance, projection, guys that have been on the PARENT club and been sent down, and B.A. 2012 OPENING DAY list. Here goes. Let's see what you all think.
    1. ANTHONY RIZZO 1B AAA
    2. JAVIER BAEZ SS A-
    3. ALBERT ALMORA CF DRAFT
    4. JORGE SOLER RF F. A.
    5. BRETT JACKSON CF AAA
    6. MATT SZCZUR CF A+
    7. TREY McNUTT RSP AA
    8. DILLON MAPLES RSP EXT. SPR.
    9. PIERCE JOHNSON RSP DRAFT
    10. JUNIOR LAKE 3B. AA
    11. JOSH VITTERS 3B AAA
    12. DAN VOGELBACH 1B EXT. SPR.
    13. ERIC JOKISCH LHSP AA
    14. JOSH CONWAY RSP DRAFT
    15. ROBERT WHITENACK RSP A+
    16. KEVIN RHODERICK RRP AA
    17. AUSTIN KIRK LHSP A+
    18. JEIMER CANDELARIO 3B EXT. SPR.
    19. GERARDO CONCEPCION LHSP A-
    20. MICHAEL JENSEN RSP A-
    HONORABLE MENTION
    ARISMENDY ALCANTARA SS A+ MATT LOOSEN RSP A+

  • In reply to cubs25:

    Interesting list. Agree with a lot that you have at the top there, but I was actually in the process of composing my own, but was wondering if I should wait to see who signs and who the Cubs trade for...and how guys do in short season ball.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cubs25:

    I agree with a lot of it except I think I'd have Paul Blackburn somewhere on it, really like that kid the more I read and watch poor-quality Youtube clips of him .

  • In reply to James Knott:

    Blackburn is a top 20 candidate, I think. I'll make my list, but a lot of work. Top 5 is easy, top 10-15 not too bad, but then it gets really dicey after that. I'll expect a wide range of opinion and good debate whenever I get that out.

  • Loosen is 6'2", 205 lbs RHP and throws 4 pitches. His fastball is at about 89-91. He also has a slider, an occasional slow overhand curve, and a change. He's a mix and match, change speeds kind of pitcher with a body that doesn't leave a lot of room for projection. When his command is good, he can be awfully tough. I guess the pitcher I might compare him with is someone like Randy Wells.

  • John, looking ahead to the next international draft, I'm curious about Jairo Beras, who might have been signed by Texas at too young an age. MLB has been investigating his age for months now, with no end in sight. Do you know anything about the kid's prospects a a ball player? If he's found to have signed the contract at too young an age, woul there be a special draft for him?

    Would the Cubs still pick 6th in this upcoming draft? When is it going to be held?

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Going off the top of my head, the international FA signing period is July 2nd? It's not a draft so much as a signing period, though teams will have specific amts of money to spend.

    Beras is a very good prospect, though always hard to say at that age. I don't know if his situation gets resolved before then.

  • During the next 6 weeks the 40-man roster is going to be a mess.
    How do you think is the best way to handle it. Is it better to trade
    for low minor leaguers who don't have to be protected. Making
    1 for 2 deals (we get the 2) might be hard to manage.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It's a nice problem to have. Once you start building a good organization, you inevitably start losing good players -- roster management becomes trickier and trickier.

  • It's always interesting to throw out lists, especially for those great fans that don't follow the minors as closely. I scratch my head every year when I look at B.A. list. We do have a lot of depth especially in the pen where guys don't get recognized in TOP 30 LISTS. I like reading the feedback, because I miss things. My hope is that about 10-15 guys get pushed up a notch to gage where they are at after the ALL STAR break next week.

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