Cubs Minors Recap: Baez HRs; Johnson, Maples dominate; Darvill goes 5-6 with 5 RBI

Cubs Minors Recap: Baez HRs; Johnson, Maples dominate; Darvill goes 5-6 with 5 RBI
Wes Darvill

We're still giddy about 1st round pick Kris Bryant and today Mike Safford of @BoiseHawksRadio posted some video of Kris Bryant's first BP as a Boise Hawk.

Bryant struggled in the game, however.  He struck out 5 times in 5 ABs.  He did show off his plus arm with a nice play to his left, spin, and a bullet throw to first.

On with the recap...

Iowa 1 - New Orleans 0

  • Guillermo Moscoso is capable of dominating at times with his 90-93 mph fastball, slider and change and that was the case tonight.  He went 5 innings and allowed just one hit and struck out 9.  He did walk 3 batters.  Moscoso has a 3.93 ERA on the year with  exactly one strikeout per inning (94 Ks in 94 IP).  He has walked about 4.5 batters per 9 IP, however.
  • Henry Rodriguez is off the 40 man roster but he's still in the Cubs organization.  The hard-throwing righty pitched a scoreless inning though he did allow 2 hits.
  • Casey Coleman pitched 2 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 3.21 while Brian Schlitter picked up the win with a scoreless inning when Edwin Maysonet singled home Donnie Murphy to win the game in the bottom of the 9th.
  • Logan Watkins had two hits, one of the infield variety.

Huntsville 6 - Tennessee 4

  • Rough outing for LHP Eric Jokisch who allowed 7 hits including 2 HRs -- one of them a 3-run shot.  He walked 2 and struck out 4.  Jokisch fell to 8-9 with a 3.61 ERA on the year.  A solid season for the change-up specialist but he has been overshadowed by Kyle Hendricks and Alberto Cabrera.
  • Marco Mateo pitched a scoreless inning and continues to do well in his rehab.
  • Javier Baez isn't exactly setting AA on fire (.203 average, 3 walks, 20 Ks in 75 ABs), but he has shown he's fully capable of destroying mistakes.  He hit his 5th HR at Tennessee and 22nd overall on the season.
  • Arismendy Alcantara went 0 for 3 with an RBI and was featured today on MiLB.com.

Port St. Lucie 5 - Daytona 3

Daytona 7 - Port St. Lucie 0

  • The first game is one that Zach Cates would probably like to forget.  He walked 4 batters and lasted just 2/3 of an inning, allowing 5 runs on 3 hits.  Cates can pitch well and has solid stuff (89-93 mph FB, slider, change), but he can lose his command spectacularly at times, something I witnessed first hand when I saw him in Peoria last year when he was missing by wide margins.  Not sure if that was the case tonight but Daytona manager Dave Keller wasted no time pulling him.
  • Austin Reed was pressed into long relief and performed extremely well with 4.1 scoreless innings without walking a batter.  Curiously, despite his good stuff, he didn't strike anyone out either.  Reed lowered his ERA to 4.33 and has a 2.14 ERA since the all-star break.  In those 21 innings, he has walked just 2 batters.
  • Rehabbing Chang Yon Lim pitched 2 scoreless, no-hit innings, walking one and striking out 3.  He has allowed one run on 2 hits in his 5 Daytona innings.
  • Good to see Pierce Johnson back on the mound and dominating like his old self.  Reader Jason was at the game and said Johnson was clocking at 90-93 mph with a very good curve.  Johnson went 5 innings and allowed 3 hits, walking and striking out 3.   Johnson is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in Daytona this year in 27 innings.  He has walked 10 and struck out 21.  Overall across the two levels, Johnson is 8-6 with a 2.89 ERA walking 2.98 batters and striking out 8.84 per 9 IP.
  • LHP Frank Del Valle bounced back after a horrendous outing to pitch 2 scoreless innings.
  • Solid double-header for Dustin Geiger who went 1 for 4 with a double, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.
  • The big star today was Wes Darvill, who was drafted as a 17 year old, reed-thin infielder out of Canada in the 5th round (2009).  At the time, the Cubs considered him a sleeper because of his athleticism and the possibility of filling out his frame as he matured.  Well, it took 4 years but Darvill has finally put on about 30 lbs. of muscle and it's beginning to pay off.    He went 5 for 6 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 runs scored, and 5 RBI.  Darvill suddenly has respectable numbers at Daytona and he's still not old for the league despite being a pro for 4 years.  He's hitting .260/.342/.393 at Daytona and .279/.361/.410 overall this season.  Late bloomer?
  • Pin-Chieh Chen hit his first Daytona HR.

Boise 6 - Eugene 0

  • Dillon Maples may have had his best outing as a professional, pitching with both poise and command -- not to mention a 94 mph fastball and his usual filthy curve.  I was reminded today of an outing we saw earlier with Maples that we actually have on video.  He appeared to be constantly taking deep breaths, trying to settle himself down -- making us wonder at the time if he was just pressing.  That did not appear to be the case today as Maples dominated through 5 scoreless innings in which he did not walk a batter.  He also struck out 7.
  • Corbin Hoffner kept it going with 3 scoreless innings.  He did not walk a batter either but that's not unusual for him.  He did strikeout 2.  Hoffner continues to dominate at Boise.  The outing lowered his ERA to 1.35 in 26.2 innings.  He has walked just 6 batters while striking out 25.
  • Carlos Martinez-Pumarino finished up with a scoreless innings to complete the Boise Hawks 3rd straight shutout and 27.2 straight scoreless innings overall.  Pumarino stuck out the side, giving him 14 Ks in 15.2 innings and lowering his ERA to 2.87.  Pumarino was signed along with Yasiel Balaguert out of Cuba before the Cubs went on to sign higher profile signees Gerardo Concepcion and Jorge Soler.
  • CF Jacob Hanneman's day went well with 2 singles, a walk, and 2 SBs.  Hanneman is hitting .296 at Boise.
  • Daniel Lockhart went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 RBI.  He's hitting .311 on the season.
  • 1B Jacob Rogers doubled and hit his 5th HR of the season and drove in two.  He's hitting .293

AZL Cubs 7 - AZL Indians 2

  • A couple of rehabbers started the game and it started off strong with Jose Arias and 2 scoreless innings with no walks and 2 strikeouts.
  • Starling Peralta came on in relief and pitched 3 more scoreless innings before running into some trouble in the 6th.  He ended up leaving with just one out and allowed 2 runs that inning.  It started with an HBP and an error and then Peralta allowed a 2 run double.  In the end it was 3.1 IP, 1 earned run, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts for Peralta.
  • David DeJesus went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
  • 2B Zak Blair snapped out of a 0-20 slump with a single and 2 walks.  His average has dropped to .260 on the year.
  • One interesting lineup note was 18 year old Mark Malave playing SS.  He was signed as a catcher out of Venezuela and then moved to 3B, but this is the first I've heard of him playing SS.  If he can stick there, his bat would be a potential huge asset at the position.  He went 1 for 3 on the day and is hitting .268, but he's an advanced hitter who could move through the system quickly despite his young age.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Just when I thought Maples was gonna be a bust...bam! Good job, kid.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    He was nasty tonight. Gave up a few hits toward the end but was flat out dominant, especially in the beginning.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm going to bed, and I promise I'll read this in the morning, but am I crazy because I think the White Sox are crazy for turning down Alexei Ramirez to the Cardinals for Carlos Martinez?

    Do they hate the Cubs that much that they don't want STL prospects?

    Goodnight Cubs Den.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think I would have taken that deal. Maybe they think Martinez is a reliever? But I would think Don Cooper could work wonders with that arm.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm wondering if they are either concerned with Martinez' endurance or they think there's some health concerns because I would definitely take that deal.

  • In reply to Caps:

    There has to be something going on -- or maybe the rumor is just false.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think they are crazy for turning that down. Ramirez is now 31, has lost any semblance of power that he use to have, he doesn't get on base a whole lot, his defense is declining, and his salary increases to 10 million per after this year.

    Carlos Martinez on the other hand:

    Scouting Report: Martinez has always drawn considerable praise for his exceptional fastball. He consistently sits in the 94-97 mph range with his four-seamer and has regularly touched 99 mph in the past. Even his sinking two-seamer has excellent velocity, sitting in the 92-93 mph range and touching 95 when he wants a little more. Martinez likes to attack with his fastball and shows the ability to move it around the zone when he doesn’t overthrow.

    To back up up his fastball, Martinez offers both a very good curveball and changeup. His curveball will occasionally work as a plus pitch with tight rotation and good depth.

    As if that weren’t enough, Martinez’s changeup could be a second legitimate plus-plus offering. He has tremendous arm speed when throwing it, affording him excellent deception.

    Martinez routinely throws strikes with all three pitches and over the last two seasons has developed his ability to work outside the zone and make the “pitcher’s pitch.” If the Cardinals decide to keep Martinez in the bullpen long term, he could become an All-Star-level closer. But many scouts still believe Martinez has a future as a no. 2 starter in a championship rotation.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    wow.

    I'm amazed Martinez was even on the table.

    I realize they're hurting at SS. but STL likes their own prospects quite a bit, and the Sox system is such garbage that anything from STL would probably be top five in the South Side's organization.

  • I'm thinking Pierce Johnson could go to AZ Fall League so they can promote him to AA sooner rather than later, like they did with Baez.

  • fb_avatar

    ooooooh. The young Bryant has found the elusive Platinum Sombrero.

    Impressive.

    I have to think he's pressing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Well, at least he got it out of the way early in his career lol.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    After insisting on a big chunk of the Cubs draft money and with all the hoopla, I'm sure Kris is feeling the pressure, but he did dominate for 3 years with the high Division I schedule at USD, which is a better caliber of baseball than that played at Boise and the short season league. I expect Kris to settle down soon just like Jacob Hannemann did and to be in the majors after 2 full seasons in the minors, ultimately becoming a good starting 3rd baseman or left fielder. Btw, he was chosen in the 18th round by Toronto 3 years ago right out of HS. Bet Toronto wishes that they had set aside more money at the time to sign him.

  • fb_avatar

    Hi John,

    I've been a fan of Cubs Den for just a few months, and I think your stories are terrific.

    I'm pretty new to following the minor leagues, so here's my question. Why is DeJesus doing rehab in the Rookie League?

  • In reply to Matthew Dohrmann:

    Its usually the first step. The training facilities and staff in Mesa are superior to the minor league parks, so the players can do extra side work better there. He will probably go to Iowa for a couple of games right before he returns to Chicago.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    Thanks!

  • In reply to Matthew Dohrmann:

    Thanks Matthew. And thanks mjvz for fielding that question for me.

  • fb_avatar

    48 hours+ and Olt has yet to get in the lineup? Dude should have been packed and ready with all the advance notice he had. Milking the time, just because it is given to you, shows a lack of dedication. If I had a great shot at a Sept call-up, I would have been on the first bird to meet the new team.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ray A:

    Lack of dedication?

    Tell me you're not serious. Tell me I'm not getting the joke.

    He PLAYED on the 21st. He was traded on the 22nd. Round Rock was on the road that day and he may have traveled with the team. So he probably spent the 23nd packing and Moving.

    He plays later today. What do you want from the guy?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    Ha. Immediate results? ;)

  • In reply to Ray A:

    Ain't no such thing as immediate results in the game of baseball, my man. Don't be no sample size sucker.

    ...sorry, I just finished watching the movie "Ray". Damn, Jamie Foxx was good in that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quedub:

    Love that film too.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    He was completely serious. Players are suppose to be robots and anything else must mean they are not dedicated. Players get scrutinized far too much any more. They are real people with real lives. I wonder if Ray was traded today and told to move from Texas to Iowa if it would take him a day or two.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to The Cubs Way:

    I have travelled farther, in a shorter amount of time...and been shot at in the process. I honestly thought he didn't play the day of the deal, so had time to get moving. Goodness guys, I was just messing around.

  • It weird to be encouraged by one good start from Dillon Maples, but here's the thing about players with little experience or who are coming off of a long layoff. Inconsistency is to be expected. The real question is, when they're good, how good are they? Maples has the goods. Will he be able to learn to be consistently good over time? We'll see. The same can be said for Paul Blackburn, Juan Paniagua and to certain extent, Kris Bryant. At least for a little while anyway.

    That's what's been so impressive about Soler. He was a triple threat. He was young, inexperienced and coming off of a long layoff, and he did really well almost right away. But even he struggled at first in the AZL.

    Until Maples proves otherwise, he's a longshot. But he's showing he's still got a high ceiling.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I was talking about it Maples with Dan Kirby on Twitter and both of noticed the same thing about him when he was at Kane -- that he looks like he was pressing -- maybe thinking too much, trying to make that perfect pitch. I think sometimes he just needs to relax and trust his talent.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "I think sometimes he just needs to relax and trust his talent."

    I'm an actor and acting coach out in LA. That's true for just about all of us...

  • The list of legit starting pitching prospects is growing within the Cubs organization.

    Pierce Johnson, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Alberto Cabrera, Justin Grimm and to a lesser extent Ivan Pineyro and Ben Wells are all solid arms worth watching. Not a lot of TOR potential amongst that group, but 5 of those 7 weren't in the organization when Theo took over.

    The TOR guys are mostly in the "question marks with high upside" category. Some have question marks due to injury or inconsistency. Some are just too far away from the upper levels to really know how good they are. Arodys Vizcaino, Jake Arrieta, Dillon Maples, Paul Blackburn, Juan Paniagua and Duane Underwood fit this description.

    Then there are the "new wave" guys. Rob Zastryzny (lead vocals), Tyler Skulina (guitar), Trey Masek (bass), Scott Frazier (synthesizer) and James Pugliese (drums) make up this crew. Maybe not the highest of ceilings, but all have a chance of starting in the bigs.

    That's 18 names, 14 of which were acquired by the new front office. It's not near good enough yet. (Hopefully, the Cubs can get a TOR type guy with a top 7 pick in next year's draft.) But it's a whole lot better than it was a year and a half ago. After the 2011 season, the best the Cubs had to offer were Robert Whitenack, Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Trey McNutt and Casey Coleman.

    Considering the improvement in position players greatly outweighs that of the pitching, I'd say the rebuild is going pretty well. What a difference 18 months can make.

  • Not that anyone cares, but Vitters played 1B last night.

  • Arrieta and Vizcaino do not fit in your second grouping. Both could contribute at the major league level next year. In fact, Arrieta could still join the rotation this year depending on how things play out.

    We do have some interesting arms now but we really need that #1 caliber pitcher, which are obviously hard to find.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eric:

    Arrieta is pitching Tuesday against the Brewers.

  • In reply to Eric:

    "Arrieta and Vizcaino do not fit in your second grouping. Both could contribute at the major league level next year."

    They both have high upside. They both have question marks. Arrieta due to inconsistency. Vizcaino due to injury. How do they not belong in the "question marks with high upside" category. They sort of define it.

    I guess you could take issue with calling Arrieta a prospect, but that label certainly fits Vizcaino. What am I missing?

  • Bryant...

    His debuts in rookie league and short-season both have me wondering if we should have held out and saved our pick for next year's class. 3 errors in 5 innings and then the platinum sombrero? That's so far from what you want out of your worst prospect, that I'm dumbfounded.

    I know that everyone here is so shocked and paralyzed by this that you're all afraid to say anything. Jitters. Sample size. I call BS on that. This is just bad news.

    Check out the above video. Watch his head travel steadily, it's moving an entire foot, left to right, as he waits for the ball. They can start with that, keep his head still, the rest will follow.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    Completely agree Hack, get rid of him now.

    And then sign Junior Lake for 15 years, $300 Million. They guy is hitting .550 with an OPS of about 1300. Clearly he will do that for the rest of his career.

    Sheesh.....

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Ha.

    My point is, this is as ugly a debut as a guy could possibly put forth. I think it's funny that nobody is saying anything.

    Believe me, I get it - let's wait a couple weeks or a month and see what happens. That makes perfect sense.

    All I'm saying is:

    "THREE ERRORS IN FIVE INNINGS OF ROOKIE BALL!"

    "FIVE STRIKEOUTS IN FIVE AT-BATS IN SHORT-SEASON A BALL!"

    These are profoundly alarming performances for any player in any game, and frankly, I'm not sure I can think of a player who has done both of these things in a season at any level.

    That's all I'm saying. And we all knew this was a weak class. History will show us if it would have been better to call Boras's bluff and pick twice in the first round of 2014. Don't think the FO didn't consider that.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    They're bad performances, but they aren't alarming. It's a 2 game sample. It's not that people aren't talking about this because they're terrified by those performances. People aren't talking about this because they understand this is a ridiculously small sample from a guy that hadn't played in a month.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    Hey genius, the guy hasn't played a live game in 55 days. But his college numbers must totally be a fluke, you're right.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    Hey, Bryant could be the next Dave Kingman. He could also be the next Jim Thome (hitting wise). The point is nobody knows because he needs development. Ryne Sandberg was 1 for his first 32 and didn't have near the pedigree that Bryant does. I don't think anybody is upset the way that turned out.

    I put way more trust in his 1.314 OPS this season in college than I do his 0-5 in his first game against professional pitchers. As far as fielding, I think the Cubs traded for Olt because they see Bryant as a RF. His arm plays well there and he has the bat to be a very good RF for a number of years.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I find these stats a little more relevant than 2 or 3 pro games.

    2011 .365/.482/.599 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 21 tries.

    2012 .366/.483/.671 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs

    2013 .329/.493/.820 with 31 homers and 62 RBIs. Through the end of regionals, he was leading the nation in home runs, slugging, runs (80), total bases (187) and walks (66).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    HAHAHA!! Love that reply!

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    So he destroyed college pitching for an entire season, showed great power, patience -- yet a few games after a long layoff defines him?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I tend to think of it as being drafted by the Cubs defines him. The strikeouts are just a symptom of that problem. ;-)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    He's going to argue that college ball was nothing compared to the elite level of competition Bryant had to face in the frightening Arizona Rookie League...

    Seriously though, HackWilson09, did you even consider, for instance, the fact that those three games were the first time Bryant has ever swung a wooden bat? Or that's also BS like ridiculously tiny sample sizes, long lay-off and nervousness?

  • DeJesus to be activated today? Who goes?

  • Sappelt has no place, Gillespie has better talent and defense.

    Or Soriano????

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I'd like to see Soriano finish his career in the A.L.

  • Sappelt goes to Iowa, probably

  • It's going to be interesting to see who gets an invite to ST next year and who we lose/get in the Rule 5 draft.

  • I'm delighted to have opened up the Kris Bryant conversation. I appreciate all the optimism, and it's fun to read nothing but Kingman, Thome and Schmidt comparisons, while letting go of any possible comparisons to Ryan Harvey and Brian Dopirak.. It's all we have, after all, isn't it?

    I'd be happy to give the guy a break. But we'll see if rushing him to Boise was a good idea after such a long layoff. Someone should answer for that.

  • John or Tom, what's the most recent on Soler? Any idea as to when he is expected back?

  • In reply to Burnsie25:

    He might come back at the end of the year. More likely he goes to the AZ Fall League to make up some ABs.

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