We've got lots of good stuff for you in addition to the game recaps today. This is going to be a longer piece than usual, so let's skip the usual intro and get right to it...
Professor Parks on the Cubs system
He singled out 7 prospects in particular...
Jason Parks @ProfessorParks 5m
#Cubs system is very legit: Bryant (he will sign); Baez, Almora, Soler, Vogelbach, Johnson, Alcantara, etc. They have a lot of talent.
Like the Cubs brass, he's not worried about what position Dan Vogelbach is going to play (which is 1B or DH only)
Jason Parks @ProfessorParks 3m
He’s a natural DH; not a problem to worry about yet. RT @tbg9 @ProfessorParks Where else can Vogelbach play if Rizzo is in front of him?
I chatted with him a bit on Twitter myself. We talked about how the lack of pitching isn't a huge concern when ranking the Cubs system. In Jason's words,
"Talent is talent. Its all currency. Look at the ML arms the Royals were able to acquire w/ prospects"
He specifically mentioned Javier Baez as a guy who could bring back a lot if the Cubs were ever to decide to trade prospects for pitching when they become competitive.
And finally Parks on Dillon Maples,
Maples is such a tease. Hate to see the velo issues. Hopefully it all in his mechs, which don't exactly get good reviews
Okay...not that we're all excited about the suddenly elite Cubs farm system, let's go to the recap and talk about some of these players...
OKC 9 - Iowa 8
- RHP Nick Struck continues to struggle to find the form that helped him win the Cubs organizational pitcher of the year at AA Tennessee last season. Control has been a new issue and it bit him again today. 4 more walks in 5 IP, gave him 33 in 62.2 innings this year vs. just 35 strikeouts. In all he allowed 6 runs (5 earned) and his ERA rose to 6.46. He avoided the loss however, when Iowa came storming back.
- Michael Bowden wasn't much help today. After Iowa came back to within 6-4, Bowden gave 2 of those runs back in his only inning of work.
- LHP Hisanori Takahashi has been outstanding since his demotion to Iowa and today was no exception. He pitched 3.2 scoreless innings as Iowa mounted their rally. Takahashi has a 2.13 ERA in AAA.
- Marcus Hatley started off with a scoreless inning but quickly got into trouble in the 12th when he gave up a single to lead off the inning. He threw a wild pitch to move the runner to 2nd then gave up a 2 out single to end the game.
- Logan Watkins singled and walked twice as he continues to put up a solid OBP (.348) despite a poor batting average (.237).
- Steve Clevenger went 2 for 5 with a double, single, run scored and an RBI. He's 10 for 30 (.333) with 4 doubles and 3 walks since coming back from injury.
- Dave Sappelt had a big day, including a 3-run HR that brought the I-Cubs within 1 in the 8th inning. He also had a double and 4 RBI total on the day. It was his 2nd HR and Dave Sappelt is hitting .246 overall.
- Veteran utility infielder Donnie Murphy had 3 singles and 2 RBI.
Mississippi 3 - Tennessee 2
- In a year when Cubs have a scarce supply of upper level pitching prospects, Alberto Cabrera continues to pitch well. Cabrera went 7 innings and allowed just 5 hits and 2 runs, but most importantly for him, walked just one batter. He also struck out 7. Cabrera has 29 walks (3.4/9 IP) and 75 strikeouts in 77.2 innings (8.7/9 IP) this year to go with his 3.94 ERA (3.29 FIP).
- Trey McNutt had been pitching well but he did take the loss today after giving up one run in one inning. I'm okay with it because he threw strikes again (no walks and 11 of this 18 pitches were strikes). Once in a while he's going to get hit, but I'd rather have him the hitters trying to beat him rather than him beating himself.
- LHP Hunter Cervenka pitched a scoreless inning. It was his 4th scoreless outing in a row, a streak that has lasted 6 innings in which he has walked one and struck out 7.
- Not much offense. Matt Szczur went 1 for 2 with an RBI while Rubi Silva singled and doubled in 4 ABs.
Daytona 5 - Fort Myers 1
- With no game until Monday due to the All-Star break, the D-Cubs used several pitchers starting with Yao-Lin Wang, who went 4 shutout innings in which he allowed 3 walks and struck out 4. He lowered his ERA to 2.42. Wang has struck out just a shade over a batter per inning (27 Ks in 26 IP) while walking just over 3 batters per 9 IP.
- LHP Kyler Burke gave up the only run of the game from the Daytona side yet picked up the victory. Starter PJ Francescon (1 IP, 2 W, 2 Ks) and relievers Jeffrey Lorick (1 IP, 2W, 1 K) Eduardo Figuroa (1.1 IP, 1W) and Frank Del Valle (0.2 IP, 2 ks) shut down the Miracle the rest of the way. Del Valle now has 45Ks in 31.1 innings pitched, a rate of 12.9 Ks/9 IP.
- RF Jorge Soler went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
- 1B Dustin Geiger went 2 for 4 with a double and also scored a run.
- C Chadd Krist doubled and drove in 2.
- With all the heavy hitters in Daytona's lineup, versatile Tim Saunders has been one hitter who has struggled but he is breaking out of his slump. He had 2 more hits, including a double, to raise his average to .216, but a after a .214 April and a dreadful .159 May, Saunders has hit .364/.463/.424 in June so far. He also stole his 20th base of the season.
Kane County 4 - Burlington 1
- Tayler Scott isn't going to wow you with his peripherals but he has done a good job of avoiding hard contact at the lower levels. That was the case again today as Scott allowed just 2 hits in 7.2 IP while walking 3 and striking out 2. Scott moved to 4-2 with a 3.84 ERA.
- Steve Perakslis' string of dominant performances has him now getting higher leverage roles and today he was the closer, a job he may just hang on to for awhile, or at least share with LHP Nathan Dorris. Perakslis lowered his ERA to 3.06 with a scoreless inning and a third. He struck out 2. He has a 0.84 ERA since a horrendous April (7.67 ERA). Perakslis throws hard (91-94 mph FB) and can be effective when he throws strikes.
- MiLB.com is also starting to notice Cubs prospects. After writing articles on Javier Baez and Jorge Soler earlier in the year, it was Albert Almora's turn today. Almora had another multi-hit game -- his 9th in just 19 games this season to raise his batting average to .430. Almora singled, doubled, tripled and made a fine sliding catch in CF. Aside from those 9 multi-hit games, Almora has gone hitless just twice -- and one of those games was the game where he got injured and was taken out after just one AB.
- Bijan Rademacher was in the leadoff spot and he played that role well today. He singled and walked twice, scoring 2 runs. Rademacher has cooled off a bit but is still hitting .327 and has an even .400 OBP. His walk rate has reallly improved this season. The walks were his 17th and 18th of the season, a rate of 10.6%.
Boise season starts tomorrow
- RHP James Pugliese makes the opening day start tomorrow and we'll have the recap for you tomorrow.
Draft signing update:
- The Cubs signed RHP Michael Wagner out of the University of San Diego (yes, the same school as Kris Bryant). Wagner was a 15th round draft pick but was considered a steal at that point. He projects as a back end starter/bullpen arm in the majors. He works 88-91 as a starter, according to BA, but his stuff is better out of the bullpen. He also has a good slider and a solid change. He has good command of his stuff and a clean, repeatable delivery.
- In case you missed it in the Game Notes a couple of days ago, the Cubs also signed 9th round CF Charcer Burks to a an overslot deal of 170,000. Burks impressed scouts late in the process, particularly a workout in which he ran 60 yards in 6.5 seconds and showed some aptitude with a wood bat. Because he wasn't really well known, I had assumed this was a money-saving pick but the Cubs obviously see a potential sleeper here. Burks will report to AZ.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap