Final 2012 Cubs Minors Recap: Peoria, Tennessee wrap up seasons; Boise opens playoffs with loss

Final 2012 Cubs Minors Recap: Peoria, Tennessee wrap up seasons; Boise opens playoffs with loss

So I found out that I'd been sitting behind Ben Wells, Michael Jensen, Starlin Peralta, and Yao-Lin Wang at various times in the last 3 days.  They were rotating on the different days, charting pitches.  Jensen is actually in the minor league recap yesterday, he and Ben Wells were the ones walking in front of the camera to get a drink of water just before Soler launched one deep into the woods.  Today I gave Jensen grief about it and he had a great sense of humor about the whole thing.  The gist is this: If you're going to get some water, don't do it when Jorge Soler comes to bat...

Speaking of which, here's yet another angle on that Soler HR (via Born on 3rd Blog) and on this one you can see the ball land deep in to the trees well beyond the Budweiser sign in LF.

This was the last regular season game for Tennessee and Peoria, the last two teams with games remaining today.  We'll continue to cover Boise, however, until their postseason is over.

Boise did lose the first game in the best of 3.  The next two games are in Yakima.

Tennessee 8 - Pensacola 1

  • LHP Austin Kirk finished up with a strong outing, allowing just one run in 5.2 innings while walking 3 and striking out 2.  For the second straight year, Kirk had a better 1st half but this year he was able to battle despite not having his best command/stuff toward the end of the season.  He finished 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA at Tennessee, though he had a 12/13 walk to strikeout ratio in 23.1 innings.  Between A and AA, Kirk went 9-3 with a 3.12 ERA with 5.4 Ks and 3.5 BBs per 9 IP.
  • Trey McNutt pitched a scoreless inning and finished 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA as a reliever.  On the down side, he walked 4.4 BB per 9 IP.  He struck out  8.3 batters per 9 IP.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha went 2 for 5 with a double and finished the season .273/.352/.385 with 6 HRs.
  • Newly acquired C Anthony Recker had a big day going 2 for 5 with a HR and 4 RBI.
  • Junior Lake went 1 for 3 and drew 2 walks to tie his career high of 35 in one season.  Lake finished the year at .273/.341/.432 with 10 HRs and 21 SBs as a 22 year old in AA Tennessee.

Peoria 6 - Kane County 2

  • Ben Wells started the last game of the season and went 2+ shutout innings.  He did walk 3 batters and gave up 3 hits.  Wells was at 88-90 mph, significantly lower than he was this spring, but he did show some good sinking movement on his two seamer.  He also threw a slider that was usually a bit short, but he did break off a couple of good ones.
  • LHP Willengton Cruz came on in relief and pitched 4 innings of one run ball to get the win.
  • Big RHP Pete Levitt (6'5, 235) pitched the last 1.2 innings to get his first save and lower his Peoria ERA to 1.99.
  • OF Pin-Chieh Chen really has a knack for squaring up the baseball, making good contact in every AB and having a triple off the RF wall and a ringing, line drive single to show for it.
  • RF Jorge Soler hit a sharp single, walked, and was HBP.  He finished the year at .338/.398/.513 with 3 HRs and 4 SBs in 20 Peoria games.  Overall, Soler had 134 ABs between AZ and Peoria and hit .299/.369/.463 with 5 HRs and 12 SBs in 13 attempts.
  • C Yaniel Cabezas had the big hit -- a 3 run HR that put Peoria up 4-0 in the 5th.  On  the very next pitch, Cougar pitcher Michael Giovenco plunked Oliver Zapata and was immediately ejected from the game.  Zapata got the last laugh by stealing 2nd, going to 3rd on a wild pitch and scoring on a bang-bang play at the plate on a short fly ball.

Yakima 5 - Boise 4

  • RHP Pierce Johnson got the start in the playoff opener and acquitted himself well.  He went 3 innings and allowed just one unearned run.  He walked one and struck out 2.
  • Jose Arias, the regular season opening day starter, piggybacked the start but allowed Yakima back into the game after Boise had taken a 4-1 lead.  He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks.
  • LHP Nathan Dorris pitched 3 innings and did well, allowing just 2 hits and no walks.  Unfortunately, the two hits came in the same inning.  A single, sac bunt, and a double scored the winning run.
  • SS Marco Hernandez continued his hot hitting with 2 more hits, including a triple.  He scored one run.
  • The big hit of the day was by DH Rock Shoulders, who hit a grand slam, his 3rd of the year, and his 11th HR overall.
  • Albert Almora went 1 for 4.

This is the last recap of 2012, but our minor league coverage is not over.  We'll cover Boise, there's still the AZ Fall League as well as instructs (and I'll be going down in October to see both) and then we'll go through the different leagues and examine the best prospects at each level.  The recaps are over, but now it's time to look back and see where the Cubs stand after year one AT (After Theo). 

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    Great Job this minor league season John.. Wouldn't have as much minor league insight without this site.. Excited for fall league.. And exactly what are Soler and Almora gonna be doing.. And I was watching ESPN and saw padres recap.. I really wish these got Chase Headley.. Really do guy has 24 HRs pretty good defense I see why theo and he'd were gonna go after him or Stewart unfortunately the ball didn't bounce are way..

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Thanks!

    Soler and Almora will be in instructional league, so they'll be playing and developing, just not in a competitive environment.

    Headley would be great but from all accounts, he was cost prohibitive, the Cubs weren't the only ones who weren't biting on that this past offseason. SD had only one reason to trade him and that was to get a great prospect package in return, and the Cubs really can't afford to do that. Not at this stage of the process.

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    Jed*

  • Thanks, John, for a year of awesome recaps. You rock.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Totally agree with Svazcub, John. CubsDen has enhanced my enjoyment of this baseball season (yes, even THIS baseball season) many times over. You, Tom, and Felzz indeed rock.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Exactly!

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Thanks Norway and Hoosier!

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Thanks Svaz!

  • Ditto on everything that's been said. I can't think of a place ( even BA) where someone can get the minor league news on the Cubs like this place John.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Thanks Steve, we'll keep it going. It just won't be the recaps.

  • Thanks for everything John. Cant wait till next year.

  • In reply to GoFreakingCubs:

    You're welcome and we'll still have some stuff on the minors through the offseason. Time for fall baseball and then to round up all the information, make prospects lists, depth charts, etc.

  • John and Tom, let me add my thanks for everything you guys do. It saves the rest of us a lot of time on the "keep up with the Cubs" front. Many thanks to all of the readers as well. All of you guys are to be commended for your work and insight. And Felzz, you have the uncanny ability to turn a bad game into a fun read. Hope you stick around for the duration.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Thanks Cubs1969!

    It should be fun this offseason as well. More changes coming. It's going to be fun watching this team continue to grow.

  • John,

    I know he's probably only going to be a 4th/5th outfielder at best, and he hasn't even got a hit yet, but I really like what I've seen from Sappelt. He's clearly MLB ready.

    I'd love to see the staff improve Campana's read/jump on fly balls. He always gets to them, because of his speed. But he got a better jump/read on them he would catch them in a throwing position to help compensate for his weak arm. Then if he could drag bunt/walk/steak 1st whatever to get on base more effectively.... I'd love to see these two guys as our 4th/5th outfielders for 2013. Plus it would give Sveum an opportunity to rotate them to play L/R match-ups....

    Campana is a weapon off the bench and he can alter the game. Look at what he did to Clippard yesterday....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Sappelt is going to hit. He's always done it except for a bad first half this season. He's also athletic enough to be useful off the bench. He'll be in the mix next spring with a better shot of making the team than last season.

    I missed the game yesterday since I was at the Peoria/Kane County game but you hit the nail on the head with Campana. He lacks some basic fundamental skills and too often relies on his speed to bail himself out. Still, that speed can be a serious weapon if he ever improves his approach at the plate. He can be absolutely disruptive when he's on base.

  • Thanks John & Tom! If it wasn't for your site I would never be able to hold a decent conversation about the minors with anyone with basic knowledge. I just started following the minors this year and I can honestly say that I can now hold a decent conversation with some of the best. Cheers for keeping me up to speed. Keep up the good work!

  • In reply to johnnywest333:

    You're welcome! Really great to see so much interest this year and I think it's only going to get better.

  • Thanks for all of your work making the minor recaps so interesting for us Cubs fans. Keep up the great work. I'll be following your fall leagure updates...

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Awesome. Hopefully the fall league will speed up the development and ends up being a stepping stone for a couple of these guys.

  • At this point John I wouldn't be surprised at all if Theo/Jed are reading the articles here or at least have some scouts getting info from here. I say you pull off a prank and do an article with completely false information and see if your contacted by the brass saying WTF John??? LOL

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