Cubs Minors Recap: Javier Baez is pretty good, Vitters HRs, Szczur with 3 hits

Cubs Minors Recap: Javier Baez is pretty good, Vitters HRs, Szczur with 3 hits
Javier Baez

I apologize for the late minor league recap but we had guests yesterday and not only was I not able to catch the minor league games, but I missed the entire Matt Garza flap where he came out after 3 innings, leading some to speculate that he was either traded or injured.  The latter turned out to be true, though thankfully it was only a forearm cramp.  I also missed a 12 run Cardinals inning where apparently James Russell and Manny Corpas took the brunt of the damage.

On with the minor league recap.

Albuquerque 16 - Iowa 3

  • Like the parent team, the I-Cubs took their lumps today and the guy at the wrong end of the hit parade was none other than Casey Coleman, who nearly got a MLB start on Friday.  Coleman gave up 9 runs on 10 hits and 4 walks in 2.2 innings.  His ERA is now 5.04 on the year.
  • RHP Alberto Cabrera also struggled, giving up 5 runs in 2 innings, though only 2 were earned.  On the bright side, Cabrera walked just one batter and struck out 5.  Strange outing indeed.
  • Jay Jackson has cooled off from his torrid pace as a reliever and gave up another run, raising his ERA to 2.03 after it had been under 2 for most of the year.  Jackson's major issue of late has been a loss of what had been good control out of the pen.  He has walked 8 batters in his 7.2 innings and now has 14 walks in 31 innings of relief, a 9 inning rate of 4.06.
  • Josh Vitters hit his 14th HR and added a single, raising his line on the year to .302/.352/.506.

The Tennessee game was suspended at 8-8, we'll do the recap tonight when it's completed.
Jupiter 4 - Daytona 2

  • Kyler Burke got the start.  The 24 year old LHP  works with an 88-92 mph fastball, curve, and change, all of which he commands well when he's on.  Today he had good command, keeping the ball down and inducing 9 groundouts while not walking a batter.  The defense let him down a bit when a Matt Cerda out gave Jupiter an extra out, which they cashed in on with a 2-run HR.  In all Burke pitched 6 innings, gave up just one earned run, and struck out 2.  He's 1-4 with a 3.66 ERA on the year.
  • Matt Szczur was in LF today and faced a pitcher in Jose Fernandez who has MLB stuff, some think #1 starter stuff.  Well, Szczur didn't seem to have any trouble with it, getting 3 line drive singles off the top prospect and finishing the day 3 for 4 with a run scored.  Szczur's line on the year is a very solid .290/.386/.406.  That's nearly an .800 OPS in one of the toughest hitters parks in the minors.
  • CF Rubi Silva had 2 more hits to raise his average to .303. He also had an RBI
  • SS Timothy Saunders, 22, who made the jump all the way to advanced A from Arizona, got his first RBI as a D-Cub today with a run-scoring single, his only hit of the day.  He's 2 for his first 11.

South Bend 6 - Peoria 5

  • Zach Cates isn't quite the same pitcher he was in the Padres organization.  He's not throwing as hard (89-91) which mitigates the effect of his next best pitch, his change-up.  The slider has always been somewhat inconsistent.  Right now he doesn't look like an MLB pitcher.  He worked just 3 innings and gave up 6 runs (4 ER) on 8 hits, falling to 0-3 with a 4.71 ERA.
  • Bryce Shafer is finding he likes the MWL better than Boise, though he's still walking a lot of hitters (8 in 11.2 IP).  Not today, though.  The 23 yr old RHP out of Wabash, IL and Valparaiso U. went 9 up and 9 down, striking out 5 of those hitters.  His ERA in Peoria is 0.77 after posting a 6.52 mark in Boise.
  • Big, hard throwing (up to 96 mph) Larry Suarez had a solid outing with 2 innings of scoreless baseball.  He walked one and struck out 2.  Despite the big velocity, the 22 year old has been easy to hit, largely because he lacks any kind of deception in his delivery, over 2 levels, he has given up 56 hits in 36.2 IP.  Suarez has an overall ERA of 8.10 (5.88 in Peoria), but has not given up a run in his last 4 outings (5.2 innings).
  • CF Pin-Chieh Chen is red-hot, hitting .419 in his last 8 games.  He doubled and tripled in 4 ABs, raising his line to .259/.344/.361 on the year.  One scout I talked to rated Chen's speed a 7 on the 2-8 scale and can play good defense with a solid arm, so the fact that he's starting to hit is a big plus.  He's hitting .318/.407/.452 since June 1st.
  • SS Javier Baez continues to make a case for being the best prospect in the MWL.  He went 3 for 4, tripled and hit his 10th HR.  He also stole his 19th base.  Baez is hitting an incredible .341/.397/.623 (1.019 OPS) on the year.  If you haven't seen him play and you're in the Chicago area, he'll be in Kane County on September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  Well, maybe he'll be there.  If he's not in Daytona, that is.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher just hits wherever he goes.  The 21 year old has shown the ability to hit for average with some good gap power.  He had 2 more hits, including a double, and scored 2 runs.  He's hitting .400 in Peoria and over 3 levels this season (AZ, Boise, Peoria), he's hitting .388/.405/.575.  The one thing missing so far is plate discipline as he has just 3 walks total on the year in over 80 PAs.

Eugene  7 - Boise 4

  • 21 year old Jose Arias is considered to be the best SP prospect in Boise on the strength of  a FB that he can command well sits at 92-93 (95 peak).  Despite the velocity, however, he hasn't been a swing and miss guy, striking out just 22 guys in 36 innings while allowing 42 hits.  In last night's game he didn't have his good command, walking 3 hitters (he had walked 4 all season prior to that game) and allowing 4 runs (3 ER) in 2.1 innings.  He fell to 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA on the year.
  • 22 year old Su-Min Jung had another good relief outing, going 3 hitless innings while walking one and striking out 5.  He has a 2.45 ERA with 12 strikeouts vs. 5 walks in 11 innings so far.
  • 19 year old 2B Gioskar Amaya continues to rake at Boise, getting a triple, single, and a walk in 5 PAs.  His triple was his 8th of the year as Amaya still has above average speed for now, though he does have a rather thick lower half and will probably slow down a little as he fills out.  His bat, however, may be more than good enough to compensate.  He has shown the ability to consistently barrel up balls, hit for gap power, and still take a walk.  His line is .314/.396/.545 on the year.
  • Fellow 2B Stephen Bruno, who has moved around the IF and now played CF, also continues to show a potent bat.  Bruno had a double and a single to raise his average to .319/.382/.450.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario is in a bit of a funk, going 0 for 3 and dropping his season average to .284 but the 18 year old is beginning to display the kind of plate discipline he showed in the DSL.  He walked 2 more times to give him 13 now on the year.  His OBP is .358.




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  • i read somewhere that the cubs called up beliveau. ive been looking forward to seeing him in chicago, i think he will become a mainstay in our bullpen for many years to come and will probably be a primary piece in our pen once we're trying to compete.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I heard that too but trying to confirm.

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    If Baez keeps this pace they will have no choice to promote him..

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    He may force their hand. I think they expected to keep him in Peoria all year long. As I've said though, the one thing that will hold him back that 7 to 37 walk to strikeout ratio.

  • Hey John, do you think Matt Sczur (Hope I spelled that right. lol) and Javier Baez will be promoted soon? I think Sczur has done everything that has been asked of him in Daytona. Baez is just terrorizing MWL picthers right now. Tho I would like to see him walk more. His bat is so dangerous I was just wondering.

  • In reply to cubsrock1988:

    He needs to be moved up very soon; however, there were a couple of gaffes, one on the base path (didn't read a hit in the gap) and one in left (turned the wrong way, and missed the ball by a mile). Also, Saunders made an outstanding play on defense, preventing a run by diving for a ball, throwing to third and catching a base runner who rounded third base a little too far. He' s someone to watch. Burke kind of petered out in the 5th and 6th innings, but pitched solidly the first four innings.

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