Cubs Minors Recap: Amlung signs, Vitters keeps producing,

Cubs Minors Recap: Amlung signs, Vitters keeps producing,

Another draft signing became official when RHP Justin Amlung, a 12th round pick, agreed to terms after a solid year at Louisville.  Amlung has a chance to have 3 average pitches, including a low 90s fastball, with good command  so he most likely projects as a bottom of the rotation starter at best.  The Cubs still need to sign top picks Albert Almora and Duane Underwood.

There are also talented late round flyers such as RHP/C Blake Hickman and CF Rhett Wisemann who have yet to agree to terms, while RHP/3B Damek Tomscha (19), LHP Jake Drossner (24), and RHP Clayton Crum (37) are also expected to be tough signs.

The deadline is July 13th.

Here's the lowdown on some of the guys who have already signed...

Iowa 3 - Nashville 2

  • Randy Wells got the start and had one of his better performances this year at any level, going 5 innings and giving up just 3 hits and one run.  Most importantly for him, he walked just 2 batters.
  • RHP Jay Jackson, 24, entered the game with a 1.48 ERA as a relief pitcher but was wild today, hitting a batter, throwing 2 wild pitches, and walking 2.  He managed to limit the damage to just one run over 1.2 innings, however, to hold the lead.
  • Michael Bowden continues to pitch well since his demotion and today he was entrusted with a precarious save situation.  Bowden came through with a scoreless inning with one walk and 2 Ks.  His ERA is 2.08.
  • CF Brett Jackson helped manufacture a run, by scoring after a single and his 18th SB.
  • SS Alfredo Amezaga scored the other 2 runs.  He went o for 3 with 2 walks.
  • 2B Adrian Cardenas got on base 3 times with a double and 2 walks.
  • 3B Josh Vitters continues to produce runs.  He went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs today, one of them on a sac fly.  He also drew his 20th walk of the year and is 2 away from a modest career high.

Chattanooga 11 - Tennessee 6

  • Trey McNutt had a typically short outing but he did keep his team in the game, giving up 2 runs in 4 innings.  He was working out of trouble all day giving up 7 hits and 3 walks, 88 pitches.
  • The bullpen imploded as Jeffrey Antigua gave up 3 runs in 2.1 innings while Kevin Rhoderick continues his big slide, giving up 5 more runs (3 earned) in 2/3 of an inning.  The game went from a 6-2 lead to an 11-6 loss.
  • 2B Logan Watkins had a pair of hits, including a triple, and a run scored.
  • RF Michael Burgess was once a first round pick and a top 20 prospect but 3 years at the same level and an inability to make consistent contact caused the Nationals and then the Cubs to sour on him.  This year he's had something of a resurgent year at .276/.343/.476.  The key to his turnaround has been a dramatic drop in his K rate.  It has gone down steadily from 29.8% in 2008 to 15.7%.  Burgess went 2 for 4 today with a triple and 4 RBI.
  • SS Junior Lake and RF Nelson Perez each contributed a single and an RBI.

Lakeland 9 - Daytona 8

  • LHP Austin Kirk had a rare bad outing, going just 4 innings and giving up 5 runs.  Kirk just didn't keep the ball down and in the strike zone, walking 4 and inducing just 2 groundballs.
  • As a converted 26 year old OF'er, LHP Matt Spencer is on the extreme fast track, getting promoted now to high Class A Daytona, his second promotion (third team) since being activated a couple of weeks ago.  Spencer had 2 scoreless, hitless innings before allowing a walk and his first hit in his 3rd inning of work.  RHP Scott Weismann came in and allowed both runners to score, one of them via a 3 run HR.
  • LF John Andreoli has leveled off since a hot start but continues to get on base at a very good rate (.375).  He had 2 more hits and a walk today.  He also stole his 28th base.
  • CF Rubi Silva had a triple and 2 singles, driving in 2 runs.
  • Matt Szczur was the DH today and went hitless but did draw two walks and scored a run.  Szczur had 36 walks in his career prior to this season and already has 33 this year alone as his OBP continues to creep toward the .400 mark.

Kane County 4 - Peoria 1

  • Knuckleballer Joseph Zeller got the start today and fared reasonably well.  The 24 year old RHP went 5 innings and gave up 6 hits and 1 walk, allowing 2 runs in the process.  He took the loss.
  • LHP Hunter Cervenka continues to mow hitters down despite a recent hiccup.  He went 3 scoreless frames today, walking one and striking out 4.  He has a 1.59 ERA with 22 Ks and 7 BBs in 22.2 innings.  Including his time in the Boston organization, Cervenka has 46 Ks in 43.1 innings.
  • Peoria managed only 3 hits, a double by Yasiel Balaguert, who later scored on an error, a double by Wes Darvill, and a single by Dustin Geiger.


  • RHP Ian Dickson lasted just one inning, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks while allowing 3 runs.  He was relieved by 20 year old Rafael Diplan, who pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing just one baserunner on a single.  Diplan has a 0.61 ERA.
  • Not much on offense for the Hawks, 3B Jeimer Candelario had a pair of hits, one of which drove in Marco Hernandez, who was 1 for 4.  Candelario is at .353 on the year.
  • 1B Rock Shoulders hit the ball well with a double an RBI.

Arizona Rookie Level Cubs

  • Not a good day for the Arizona pitchers.  Cuban RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, who came into the game with an 0.96 ERA, found the going a little rough.  He lasted just 2/3 of an inning and had control issues, walking 3 hitters to go with 4 hits.  Martinez-Pumarino only gave up 2 earned runs (4 overall) because of an error by catcher Albert Mineo.
  • Undrafted free agent LHP Matt Iannazzo took the loss after the Cubs had rallied to tie the game.  He gave up a two off walk off single after allowing a single and a walk.
  • 2B Daniel Lockhart had 2 singles and 2 RBI.  The 19 year old son of former MLB'er Keith Lockhart is hitting .275/.326/.400.
  • Jacob Rogers, 1B, is a 22 year old 40th rd. pick who is probably a little too advanced for this league.  He had 2 more hits and 2 walks.  He has 10 hits (2 HRs) in 20 ABs to go with with 5 walks.
  • Albert Mineo, a catcher whom the Cubs signed for $225,000 out of  Italy in 2010, made his U.S. debut and had mixed results.  His error hurt the team in the first, but he also threw out both runners who tried to steal, and went hitless but walked twice, scoring 2 runs.
  • RF Izaac Garsez was the star of the game, a 30th round pick in this year's draft, had 4 hits, including a 3-run HR, and 4 RBIs total.  He also stole 2 bases.  Like Rogers, Garsez is a bit old for the league at 22.
  • Garrett Schlect played CF and had a solid game with a double, walk, RBI, and run scored.  Schlect has struggled early on this year (3 for 27).  If he can play CF well, that would be a big boost for his chances

Dominican Summer League

  • Slightly built 18 year old Greyfer Eregua (5'11, 160) pitched another solid game, going 5 scoreless innings and allowing 2 hits and now walks.  The Venezuela native has yet to walk a batter in 10 IP this year.  He has a 0.90 ERA.
  • Kelvin Encarnacion was in RF today but it didn't affect his usual offensive prowess.  He went 3 for 4 with a single, double, triple, and a walk.  He had 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.  The 20 year old has a 1.067 OPS on the year (.333/.471/.605).
  • LF Ricardo Marcano went 1 for 4 with a triple, a run scored, and 2 RBI.
  • SS Jenner Emeterio continues to barrel up the ball.  He had 3 more hits to raise his line to .378./461/.556 on the year.


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  • I have been pleasantly surprised at how well Vitters seems to be doing this year. It seems he may be re-establishing himself as a solid prospect.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    It looks that way. I'd say he's put himself back into legit starting prospect status. Really hope we see him in September.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If he remains with the Cubs, he ultimately ends up in left field.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Could well be. Lot of competition coming down the line at 3B. Vitters will be in there for his bat, but the offensive bar is set a little higher in LF, especially since Vitters won't contribute much except for a solid arm in the OF.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    He could be another one of those Moreland types who has no real defensive home, but he still gets a lot of AB as a sub for all four corners.

    I think one of the things that '84 team had going for it was its depth, and not just from injury, but the kind of depth that makes a manager unafraid to give guys days off. Depth is critical for any team trying o win a title, but I think it's twice as important off the Cubs because of day baseball.

  • fb_avatar

    John, are you familiar with the new draft signing rules?

    If Almora is playing hardball is there anything preventing the Cubs from offering overslot money to sign Wiseman and the rest of the picthers?

    I'd prefer giving Underwood, Drossner, Crum, and Wiseman a million apiece rather than have trouble signing the rest of the class because Boras is trying to get Almora too far over slot.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    They won't be able to spread it out that way.

    I'd rather have impact players like Almora, and of those other guys, I only see Underwood having that potential now.

    If I had a choice between Almora and Underwood or the rest of those guys, I'd take Almora/Underwood. Drossner, Crum, and especially Wisemann are interesting, but they're not at the same level of talent right now.

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    That won't work unfortunately if we don't sign AA his money disappears from our pool so, we can't then use it sign other guys with expensive price tags. At least I think thats how it works, who the hell knows with these dumb new rules?

  • after july 11 you should do a piece naming the players signed and telling us thier potential

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