Cubs Minors Recap: Lake, Villanueva HR; Vogelbach has 3-hit day

Cubs Minors Recap: Lake, Villanueva HR; Vogelbach has 3-hit day
Armando Rivero

Happy 4th everyone!

So the Cubs top two remaining trade candidates pitched well today.  Perhaps we'll see a deal soon -- and with that, maybe a few new prospects to track.

A couple of minor notes...

  • Here's an article (in Spanish) on Gleyber Torres and some pics of him signing his contract.  This kid looks every bit of 16 years old.
  • A good breakdown from MLBTR's Steve Adams (with assist from Tim Dierkes) on the Cubs international expenditures and how much money they have left.  The Cubs are currently $629,700 over the limit.  Though they are able to go up to 5% over their pool limit without losing the ability to sign players next year, so they need to get about $354K by my crude calculations to avoid serious penalties.  The Cubs traded a AA, non-top 30 prospect in Ronald Torreyes for 784K -- more than double that amount, so I'm not expecting the Cubs to lose a major prospect here.
  • The Cubs have signed Edgar Gonzalez to play for AAA Iowa.  He played 9 games with them last year.

Here's your Recap...

Memphis 6 - Iowa 5

  • The good news for Yoanner Negrin today was 1 walk and 6 Ks in 5.1 innings pitched.  The bad news was 11 hits and 5 runs and was unable to hold the lead given to him by a homer-happy lineup today.  His ERA went up to 4.71 on the year. The normally reliable veteran Brian Schlitter lost the game in the 9th.
  • Jae Hoon-Ha doubled and hit his first AAA HR and drove in 2.  He's hitting .256 early on.
  • The I-Cubs also got HRs from Junior Lake (3), Brad Nelson (15) and Ty Wright (2).  Lake was in RF today, a position where I think he profiles pretty well defensively, though I'm not sure he has the bat to carry a corner OF spot -- not that you would know that from his early season performance at Iowa.  Lake is now hitting .321/.358/.509.

Tennessee 3 - Montgomery 1

  • One thing I didn't see coming is AJ Morris' success as a starter.  Today he pitched 6 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out 2 to move to 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA -- but his ERA is 1.82 as a starter after posting a 5.82 ERA out of the bullpen.  Morris' peripherals are so-so, he has walked 10 and struck out 17 in 24.2 IP as a starter.
  • LHP Zach Rosscup earned his second save, though he did give up a run in his 1.1 innings.  He walked one and struck out 3.
  • RF Matt Szczur went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.  He also stole his 19th base.  Szczur continues to be a productive player at AA, hitting .301 with a .370 OBP and a .401 slugging pct.
  • John Andreoli got to play some CF today and went 1 for 4 with a walk.  He's off to a .318 start in AA in his first 5 games.
  • 1B Justin Bour hit his 6th HR and while he has struggled to a .214 average, he has gotten on base (18 walks, .325) and he's hit for power (6 HRs in 28 games, .223 ISO).  He's been his usual RBI machine self with 25 in 28 games.  The BABIP is just .216, so we should look for Bour to finish strong while hopefully retaining those power numbers.
  • Speaking of power, Christian Villanueva hit his 10th HR of the year.  His career high is 17 in the Sally League a couple years back so he has a shot to reach that with just under 2 months to go.  He's hitting just .248/.305/.438, however with a below average 6% walk rate, so getting on base has been an issue for him this year.

Brevard County 5 - Daytona 1

  • It's good to see RHP Matt Loosen start to bounce back a little since his return to Daytona.  He started off  the year in ext. ST, then went to AA and struggled mightily, but since his demotion to Daytona it appears that Loosen is figuring it out again.  He went 5 scoreless innings, walking 2 and striking out 6.  He has struck out 32 in 27 innings.  Loosen is 24, however, and you'd like to see him get back to Tennessee before the end of the year.
  • All the runs were scored of Eduardo Figueroa in his 2 innings of work.  He allowed 7 hits and 4 of the 5 runs were earned.  Figueroa fell to 1-4 with a 5.59 ERA.  Big, hard-throwing Larry Suarez finished off with a scoreless inning.
  • The D-Cubs managed just one run on 4 hits.  Javier Baez singled and drew his 20th walk.  11 of those walks have come in his last 25 games.  Baez has struggled a bit since the all-star break overall, hitting just .246, though he has walked in just under 10% of his PAs to help him put up a solid .348 OBP.  Perhaps Baez is learning he can still contribute even when he's not swinging the bat well by getting on base and hitting for occasional power.

Wisconsin 4 - Kane County 2

  • LHP Michael Heesch hasn't been missing a lot of bats lately and when that happens, you're going to get a few more drop in.  That was the case today as Heesch only walked one hitter but gave up 8 hits and didn't strikeout a batter in 6 innings.  He gave up all 4 runs.
  • Hard-throwing RHPs Armando Rivero (90-96 mph) and Steve Perakslis (91-93 mph) each finished the game with a scoreless inning.  Each gave up a hit and struck out one batter.
  • Albert Almora singled, walked and scored a run.  Despite cooling off a bit at the plate, Almora is hitting .343/.368/.490 with 2 HRs.  He has walked just 6 times for about a 4% walk rate though as I've said, he doesn't chase many bad pitches and works the count well at times.
  • Dan Vogelbach was the offensive star for Kane County with 3 hits, including a double, and 4 RBI.  He also drove in both KC runs.  Vogelbach is hitting .278/.351/.447 with 12 HRs.

SalemKeizer 11 - Boise 3

  • Things aren't going really well for Loiger Padron and he may be in danger of losing his starting spot.  He didn't get out of the 2nd inning today, allowing 6 hits, 3 walks and 7 runs.  His ERA is now 7.63.
  • Corbin Hoffner has been dominant since joining the Cubs as a very unheralded draft pick and today was perhaps his opportunity to make a claim for a starting spot -- surprisingly he got hit hard for the first time in his professional career, allowing 7 hits and 4 runs in 3.1 innings.  The ERA rocketed all the way up to 2.30.
  • Scott Frazier made his second professional appearance and perhaps with the nerves out of the way, pitched much more efficiently, tossing a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout.
  • 3B David Bote singled, walked and drove in a run.  Bote really struggled at Daytona and Kane County but the 20 year old has found a groove at Boise.  He's hitting .296 with a .411 OBP.  He's shown patience (11% walk rate) and a little pop (2 HRs, .431 slugging).
  • 1B Jacob Rogers singled twice and walked. The 23 year old Rogers is off to a .281 start with 2 HRs.
  • C Justin Marra doubled, walked and drove in 2 runs.  He's hitting .235, though he only has 17 ABs at this point.  Marra was one of 3 catchers selected in the 2011 draft.    Neftali Rosario was the most highest regarded, but injuries have derailed the start of his career.  Marra was the next selected in Round 15, followed by Rafael Lopez, the only college catcher of the group and the most advanced (currently in AA).  The Cubs liked Marra's approach and ability to make contact and he's hit well when he's played (.337 last year between in AZ and Boise -- but only 95 ABs).  This is a big year for him to stay healthy and stay on the field.


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  • Good luck to you, Mr. Torres, hope to see you on the top of prospect lists very soon. (couldn't tell if his mom was happy or sad).

  • Just a few Boise questions.

    I see Hannemann didn't play today. With the new draftee's, do they usually like to spread out the AB's? Since he has not played in a few years, I would think that the Cubs would want to get him back into more action.

    Pugliese seems to be doing a lot better so far. Perhaps the new way of thinking from DJ has started to sink in and possibly start him next year in KC.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    Well you only have so many roster spots, but you do try to give everyone some chances regardless what league.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    He had some sort of flu bug the other day, so they could just be making sure he gets some rest.

    As for Pugliese, I think he's always had an approach similar to what the Cubs like. Maybe they fixed a thing or two somewhere because he's throwing very well this year -- there were times in the past couple of years where he'd be very good, so you could see it in him, but it's been more consistent so far

  • Let's go Cachorros!

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    ha! I always think that's funny. I speak Spanish and I have no idea why they have to translate baseball names.

  • Carrie Muskrat said
    "On Wednesday, the Cubs added catcher Johan Matos for $270,000."
    Is this player an international signing? He is not mentioned in the Steve Adams article. He might push up the amount we need to trade for.

  • In reply to John57:

    We had him in our wrap a couple of days ago. He is an international signing as well.

  • And if my calculations are correct, they'd only need less than $150K had they not paid the Dodgers over $200K in IFA money to take Marmol off their hands. I'm having a hard time swallowing the fact that we are trading away prospects and International Free Agents pool money just so we can save a few bucks.

  • I just went to an article:

    It said Mareno was signed for 650K not the 800K Steve Adams is using in his calculations. So there is another 150K we don't need. Boy the dust hasn't settled on this yet.

  • In reply to John57:

    You would think the Cubs who have said they want to build thru the farm wont just blow their chance at top IFA talent next year especially with a big bonus pool just to sign players this year gotta be more moves right?

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Yes you got to think that the FO can keep track of how much they have spent. There is very likely a trade already agreed to that will bring us more IFA money to spend. Or the dollar amounts we are using for the agreed to contracts are not correct. Right now I think we need 474K more money to avoid serious penalties.

    E J 2.8 m
    G T 1.7 m
    J M .85 m
    E M .65 m
    J M .27 m

    total spent = 6.27 mill and IFA money is 5.52 + 5% = 5.796 mill

    The difference between those two numbers is 474K.

  • John

    Thanks for keeping the "Light at the end of the Tunnel" in focus.

    In our last playoff seasons, we had very effective 1-2 hitters : Jerome Walton and Smith, Bobby Dernier and Ryno, Soriano and DeRosa. Who do you see in the 1-2 roles when our wave of prospects settles into the MLB?

    Thanks again

  • Thanks for posting the Torres article. Cool picture of the contract itself. While reading it, I was suddenly reminded of how odd it is that Venezuelans are not allowed to keep US dollars in their Venezuelan bank accounts (there's a strict limit of $1000). I wonder what 16 year old kids like this do when they are suddenly millionaires. I guess they have to open a bank account in the US or Colombia or somewhere other than VZ.

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