While the Cubs have prospects at all levels, it's becoming apparent that the star potential is down at the A ball level: Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Alberto Almora and Pierce Johnson -- arguably the Cubs top 4 prospects right now all played well.
Meanwhile the Cubs may have a find in minor league free agent pickup Yeiper Castillo, who was promoted to AA today.
And is Josh Vitters learning to walk?
Iowa Oklahoma City
- Nick Struck was wild today, giving up 5 free passes in 5.1 innings while striking out 4. He did limit the damage to 3 runs.
- Zach Putnam pitched 2 scoreless innings to get his 3rd save. He walked one and struck out 2 and has a 3.44 ERA on the year.
- Dave Sappelt singled, walked and scored a run to raise his average to .309 since his return to Iowa.
- Josh Vitters hit his 3rd HR and also walked twice. It's really, really early for Vitters but he has walked in 10% of his ABs so far this season. Has the light bulb finally gone on? He's hitting .271/.343/.444 on the year. They're not numbers that are going to blow you away, but I'd almost take that from Vitters if he can keep it up.
Huntsville 6 - Tennessee 2
- Yeiper Castillo got the promotion from A ball after posting a 2.33 ERA and 4 walks and 27Ks in 27 IP. He didn't miss a beat in AA. He worked 6 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 run. He did not walk a batter and struck out 7. Castillo was once a Boston farmhand. His fastball is in the 90-92 range and peaks at 94. He also features a mid 70s curve, but his best pitch may be his change up which he throws with good arm speed.
- It's been a struggle for Trey McNutt this year and today he allowed just one walk and one hit, but the hit was a 2 run HR that gave Huntsville the lead for good in the 7th inning.
- Rubi Silva was the main offensive star, hitting his 8th HR of the year. His previous career high was 5. He's also slugging .528, over 100 points over his previous career high of .412.
Lakeland 7 - Daytona 3
- Ben Wells was cruising along before things started to unravel in the 6th. In Wells' defense, his defense let him down and he's really become more of a contact pitcher since returning from his injury. Wells allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 5+ innings of work. Wells has 19 walks and 29 Ks in 53 IP this season.
- LHP Frank Del Valle has been effective this year despite being a bit wild. Today he walked one but hit 2 batters in 2.1 innings of work. He also allowed 3 hits. When all was said and done the damage was 4 runs and a loss.
- RHP Austin Reed continues to be one of the team's hottest relievers. He has allowed just on run in his last 14 innings (0.64 ERA) to lower his overall ERA to 5.32.
- John Andreoli had 3 more hits, including a double, to raise his line to .314/.394/.413 on the year.
- Javier Baez seems to figuring things out at least on offense. He didn't walk but did work counts better and singled twice. His OPS is up to .793. He has an 11 game hitting streak and has raised his average to .271. On the flip side, he committed two more errors to give him 22 on the season.
- The consistent Jorge Soler had a single and a walk in 4 PAs, scoring a run.
- Guess what Dustin Geiger did? He drove in runs. Two of them on two singles to give him 42 on the year. He's hitting .329/.389/.503 on the year.
Kane County 8 - Peoria 1
- Pierce Johnson is breezing through the MWL and one has to wonder how much longer he's going to stick around. Johnson gave up just one run in 6.2 innings, walking 2 and striking out 8. He has an ERA of 3.04 with 14 walks and 53 strikeouts in 47.1 innings.
- Steve Perakslis is rebounding nicely after a couple of bad outing in the season, the hard-throwing RHP pitched 2.1 perfect innings, striking out 2. He's had a 1.53 ERA in his last 11 appearances, covering 17.2 innings, lowering his overall ERA to 4.30.
- Albert Almora showed he has a little patience too, walking twice and hitting a single in 5 PAs. 1n 16 PAs this season, Almora has gotten on base 10 times.
- Dan Vogelbach singled, walked and scored two runs.
- The Cubs got a lot of production from a couple of reserves today. Yaniel Cabezas, who I presume was starting because Willson Contreras bumped the ump yesterday, had a triple, 2 walks and 3 RBI. David Bote, who started at 2B, had a single and 2 RBI.
- The Cougars took 7 walks today. Between Daytona and Kane County, we'll soon see more patient hitters in Chicago.