Cubs Minors Recap: Villanueva, Lake, Szczur HR; Boise blows 6 run lead

Cubs Minors Recap: Villanueva, Lake, Szczur HR; Boise blows 6 run lead
Matt Szczur

In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, Jim Callis of Baseball America was kind enough to have a Q & A session with us on Cubs prospects.  You can see that here.

Arizona had the day off, as did Peoria RF Jorge Soler, and Daytona played 2 again.

Iowa 5 - OKC 3

  • 28 year old Yoanner Negrin had a solid start, giving up 3 runs in 6 innings.  We walked one and struck out 4.  In two AAA starts, Negrin has a 3.60 ERA with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts in 10 innings.
  • The I-Cubs got a scoreless inning apiece from Jay Jackson, Scott Maine, and Jairo Asencio.  Jackson picked up the win and Asencio picked up his 4th save with a 1-2-3 inning in which he struck out 2.  He has a 1.59 ERA with 3 walks and 10 Ks in 11.1 AAA innings.
  • Tony Campana went 2 for 4 with a triple, RBI, and run scored.  Campana has played well in Iowa, hitting .289 and drawing 12 walks to put up a respectable .356 OBP.
  • Adrian Cardenas is hitting once again now that he has had consistent ABs.  He went 1 for 4 today, but he did HR and had 2 RBI.

Tennessee 11 - Mobile 5

  • RHP Dallas Beeler went 5 innings today and allowed all 5 Mobile runs, walking 2 and striking out 2.  The Smokies had their hitting shoes on today though, so Beeler goes home with the win.
  • The bullpen was key today.  After a 1st half where the Smokies had an incredible bullpen, they have lost some of that with promotions and the poor 2nd half of Kevin Rhoderick.  He was effective today, however, pitching 2 scoreless innings despite walking 2 batters.
  • One RP who has helped pick up the slack, especially lately, has been Tony Zych.  Zych pitched 2 scoreless innings with one walk and one strikeout has not given up a run in his last 7 appearances, a streak that has covered 11 innings. Zych's ERA is down to 4.03.
  • Good day for Matt Szczur who hit his 2nd HR at AA Tennessee.  He also singled, walked, and scored 3 runs.  It's been a struggle for Szczur at AA, and he's likely to start 2013 at this level again.  His walk rate has dipped slightly while his strikeouts have gone up.  The one thing that has improved has been his extra base power (.194 ISO vs. .112 at Daytona).
  • Logan Watkins had been quiet of late but returned to form today with 3 hits, including a double, an RBI, and 2 runs scored.  He's hitting .280/.380/.397 on the year.
  • Junior Lake hit his 9th HR and drove in 3.  While Lake has a bit to go, he has shown a solid combination of power and speed since being promoted to AA last year.  In 161 games, Lake has hit 15 HRs with 35 doubles, 5 triples, and stolen 37 bases.  He has hit .268/.323/.410 during that stretch.
  • LF Rubi Silva hit his first AA HR and the 23 year old Cuban is hanging in tough against advanced pitching, hitting .256.

Game 1: Tampa 11-Daytona 5...Game 2: Daytona 4 - Tampa 3

  • Tough start for Matt Loosen, who fell to 10-5 after giving up 8 runs in 3.1 innings. He was uncharacteristically wild, walking 6 batters.  The performance raised the 23 year olds ERA to 4.18
  • LHP Hunter Cervenka wasn't much better, though he did show solid control.  He did, however, surrender 6 hits in 2.2 innings that led to 3 runs. Cervenka's ERA rose to 4.20.
  • Newly acquired Kyle Hendricks had his longest outing as a Cubs, going the necessary 5 innings to get the win.  He allowed just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2.  He gave up 2 runs.
  • OF John Andreoli went 3 for 8 with a walk, driving in 2 runs.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva had a good doubleheader, going 3 for 6 with a HR, double, 3 runs scored, and an RBI.  He's hitting .291/.391/.545 since joining the Cubs with 3 HRs and has increased his walk rate to 12.6% in a short sample of 17 games. Villanueva was always considered to have a good eye, but didn't walk much with the Rangers organization this year.  Across two advanced A level teams, he's hitting .286 with 13 HRs, a .361 OBP, and a .437 slugging percentage.
  • OF Eliesser Bonne had a nice series going 3 for 6 with a double and a 3 run HR, his 3rd HR of the year.  He's hitting .278.
  • SS Javier Baez went 1 for 6 with an RBI, but the bright side is he didn't strike out.

Beloit 8 - Peoria 2

  • Yao-Lin Wang allowed a whole lot of baserunners today as he yielded 10 his and 4 walks in just 4.1 innings as he fell to 4-4 with a 3.28 ERA.  As to what his best role is, it's hard to say.  Now that he has a pretty good balance in innings between the two, his splits are remarkably similar, but the fact that he can sustain performance, particularly walk and strikeout rate over longer distances, it may be best to keep him as a starter for now.
  • 3B Dustin Geiger hit his 17th HR, driving in both Chiefs runs.  He's hitting .253 and has an impressive ISO of .234, but Geiger has walked 18 times vs. 68 Ks in 273 ABs. That ratio needs to improve.

Vancouver 7 - Boise 6

  • This was looking good for Boise as they close in on a playoff spot. They had a 6-0 lead and Tayler Scott on the mound, who entered the game with a 1.88 ERA.  Scott, however, gave back 4 runs following the Hawks 6 run 2nd and allowed one later to allow Vancouver to close the gap to 6-5. Scott lasted 5 innings but was wild, walking 4 batters while giving up 7 hits.  His ERA now stands at 2.41.  He did leave with a lead but the Boise bullpen blew it again.  This time it was Rafael Diplan, who didn't pitch badly, but gave up 2 runs (1 earned) in 3 innings to lose the lead and the game.
  • Jeimer Candelario had a much needed 2 hits.  He was 0 for his last 18 and 3 for his last 30.  The 2 hits got him back up to .272 after falling below .270 for the first time this year yesterday.
  • Albert Almora stayed hot with 2 more hits to put him at .333 on the year.  Almora has slugged .524 at Boise.
  • SS Marco Hernandez has been one of Boise's better hitters in August, batting .315 to raise his overall average to .271.  Hernandez has also slugged a solid .413 but has only drawn 9 walks and has a .298 OBP, something he'll have to improve on for next season.



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  • Thanks for the recaps, John, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading them and noting the progress and challenges of our future players.
    I hope to get to a Daytona game next week....the season is too rapidly coming to a close !
    Do you think Jae-Hoon Ha will move to AAA next year? Not a lot of OF prospects at that level. I think the kid can play. And Watkins too.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Your welcome. It is getting toward the end of the season. Gonna catch the last 3 Peoria games in Kane County next weekend.

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    John, you and Tom should come out to Z for the Cubs/D Backs next month....

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    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:


  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I'm thinking of making it out for the Fall League. Depends on wife's schedule and whether we can find someone to take care of our Doberman and Rotweiler. We usually don't get a lot of volunteers ;)

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