Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Bryant HRs (19); Vogelbach warming up; DSL season opens

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Bryant HRs (19); Vogelbach warming up; DSL season opens

Patience, my friends. Patience.

Also, the DSL started today and you can see the box score here.   Players to watch are Frandy DeLaRosa, who is healthy after the horrific car accident this past offseason, and Luis Acosta, a good hitter with a solid approach who has struggled so far.

Iowa 4 - Nashville 2

  • Tsuyoshi Wada continues to take AAA hitters to school.  They may not like it now, but they will be better someday for having faced him.   Sometimes guile and precision trumps great stuff and that was the case for Wada today as it has been for most of the season.  Once again he threw strikes, missed bats, and induced weak contact, keeping hitters off balance on his way to 6 innings of one run baseball,  He walked one and struck out 5.  He is 5-3 with a 2.60 ERA.
  • Blake Parker earned his 11th save, though he did give up a solo HR and 3 hits overall.  He still has just a 1.23 ERA.
  • Matt Szczur went 2 for 4, stole his 8th base, and scored a run.
  • Christian Villanueva doubled and drove in a run.
  • C Rafael Lopez made his AAA debut but went 0 for 4.
  • Javier Baez did not start but he did pinch-hit.  Considering it's his hand that's hurt, I'd say he's ready to come back and the Cubs are just being cautious.

Tennessee 3 - Birmingham 0

  • Matt Loosen is a riddle wrapped inside an enigma.  He has always had good stuff, though he may have lost a tick or two on that fastball this year.  Command, however, has always been an issue and he has been wildly inconsistent.  He can get shelled one start and then throw a gem the next time out.  This outing was closer to the latter as he worked 6 innings of 4 hit, shutout baseball while walking just one batter.  He struck out 7.  He moved to 3-2 with a 5.01 ERA on the eyar.
  • Hunter Cervenka has put himself on the map this year.  He's always been on our radar but this season he has improved his control and  with good velo along with some sink and tail to this FB, he can be awfully tough when the throws strikes.  He pitched 2 no-hit innings today, striking out 5 batters while walking one to lower his ERA to 1.61.  He has walked 9 batters (3.6 per 9 IP) while striking out 29 (11.7 batters per 9 IP).
  • Armando Rivero is another guy with swing and miss stuff and the back of this bullpen and he pitched a scoreless inning today, striking out 2 and giving the Smokies 14 Ks overall vs, just 2 walks.  It was his 9th save of the year to go with a 1.86 ERA and his strikeout to walk ratio per 9 IP is an incredible 13.5 to 3.86.  Walks will be the key for him and I suspect the Cubs would like him to cut that down to under 3, even if it costs him some Ks.
  • Rubi Silva went 2 for 4 and scored a run.
  • Kris Bryant HR'd again (19), walked twice, drove in 2 and scored a run.  As we said yesterday, expect him to play AA ball until the AS break and we should see him move up shortly thereafter, perhaps right after the break.  Don't be surprised, though, if he spends the rest of the season in AAA and then starts there again next season for the first 3 months or so.
  • Anthony Giansanti is making the most of his recent playing time, getting two more hits today and raising his batting average to .238.

Daytona 6 - PSL 5

  • Austin Kirk got a rare start and went 3.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits.  He walked one and struck out one.
  • Starling Peralta piggybacked the start and pitched 4 solid innings, allowing 3 hits and just one walk, including a HR and 2 runs to pick up the win and move to 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA.  We know Peralta can throw hard (clocked as high as 97 this year) and can throw a nasty slider, the key for him is control.  This year has been his best in that department, walking just 10 batters in 41 innings (2.2 per 9 IP).
  • Stephen Perakslis picked up his first save with 1.2 scoreless innings.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen (1 for 3, 2 walks, run) and Zeke DeVoss (1 for 4, walk, run) did a nice job setting the table today for Daytona.  Chen, in particular has been very consistent in this role, posting a .373 OBP on the year.
  • Albert Almora singled,  drove in a run and scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach is still rolling and has been since May 22nd.  Today it was a double, single, 2 walks, 2 runs, and an RBI.  If he has stolen a base and stretched that double to a triple I would have called that line Alcantara-esque.  Suddenly the lefty 1B has a respectable OBP of .353 on the year and his slugging percentage is creeping toward .400 (.398).  Of course, ultimately, Vogelbach's ticket to the bigs is going to be power, so the .400 slugging pct isn't going to cut it, but he does seem to be warming up toward what we hope is a big second half.
  • It's been a struggle for one of our favorites, Jeimer Candelario, but he did contribute today with 2 walks and 2 RBI.



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  • fb_avatar

    Bryant destroying AA is like your parents buying you presents in March, wrapping them, putting them under the tree and having to wait until Christmas to open them.

  • In reply to Phil James:

    He'll be up after the break. Just two more weeks.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, I get to see him in Des Moines, but all you suckers in Chicago have to wait another year. :)

  • Regardless of level hitting a baseball is a hard thing to do. This guy is incredible. Wish there were another guy like him available in this years draft. Imagine if we found the pitching equivalent of him.

    Last year a gift fell into our laps, maybe our years of bad Cubs luck is turning around, and another is headed our way. Lets hope.

  • In reply to Morgzie:

    Still possible, but I think the Cubs are going to get a good player regardless. No hitter like Bryant this year and that may not happen for awhile. Cubs got lucky for a change.

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    In reply to Morgzie:

    I'm excited too, but I don't want to put Bryant in the Hall of Fame just yet. There's still that strikeout rate. And the way things are going, I wonder if the Cubs are going to need Bryant to be a superstar. Someone to build the team around.

    I think he can be that guy, but he still has a long way to go.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I think we can calm down about the K's down to about 26% after hovering around 30% for most of the year (accompanied by a 14.5% BB rate, btw). The whole "he still has things to work on at AA" argument doesn't hold too much water these days.

  • In reply to Morgzie:

    The concern is that Baez was a monster in AA last year as well. Javy's AAA struggles have really reminded me that nothing is certain with prospects until they become steady producers in the majors.

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    In reply to springs:

    While you're right, nothing is certain with these guys, Javy did not come close to what Bryant is doing this season.

    Baez 2013 (at AA): 240 PA, 20HR, .294/.346/.648
    Bryant 2014: 248 PA, 19 HR, .353/.460/.700

    Granted, if you take away Baez's slow start, the numbers would be closer. But, that's kind of the point for me, Bryant has yet to look the least bit challenged at any level!

  • I really hope Bryant doesn't spend a day in the minors next season

  • In reply to NathanE:

    I don't think he does. Bryant, Baez, and Alcantara will be on the opening day 25 man roster in 2105.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Maybe Alcantara.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Thats one heck of a long career! ;)

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I hope your story is in pencil.

  • I might be wrong, but I heard Eloy Jimenez was assigned to the DSL from Arizona. Not positive, though. Random question here. I have heard many times that the Cubs are more likely to go big in free agency after next season instead of this one. But, I would think it would be smarter to go in big this year considering the first round pick will be protected. I obviously do not know about next year, but I am hoping we will be in the middle first round at least, so I would think it would be wiser this offseason in that aspect.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jswick23:

    Eloy Jimenez was assigned to DSL, though per AZ Phil he is still at the AZ complex, and not yet in the Dominican. No idea why. AZ Phil says he watched a couple games from the stands

  • In reply to jswick23:

    Just my opinion, but...the Cubs will "go big" the moment there is a free agent that fits their needs and they think will not be overpaid. If such a player is available this coming off season, then they sign him this off season.

    If that player never is available, they will never sign him.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Agreed, but as long as we don't sign a bunch of side way moves and 4th and 5th outfielders.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Cubs need 2 legitimate offensive players for next year and 1 all-star type starter.

    1) a leadoff hitting CF (hopefully left handed) maybe Alcantera?
    2) a middle of the lineup left handed outfielder.

    If they can get these 2 guys and Bryant is good and Baez puts up good power numbers this will be a team that can produce some runs.

    The key is the availability to trade or sign these guys are they out there?

  • If it's going to be another month or so before Bryant moves up, it'll be interesting to see if Christian Villaneuva can make much noise. He's been heating up, and his OPS is close to .700. Could the Cubs keep him at third and move Bryant to the outfield in Iowa?

  • I've been saying for awhile now I think they will leave Bryant in AA most of the season and then call him up to the majors perhaps around Sept. The problem with promoting him to AAA is that you then have to do something with Villanueva and he's enough of a prospect that you have to consider what you're doing with him.

    Bryant is already walking at an advanced rate. Therefore, his K rate issues are different from Baez's. Bryant doesn't need to see advanced breaking stuff in quite the same way. And by giving him a look at MLB pitching at the end of the season you can get an idea if he needs AAA next year or if you consider breaking camp with him.

  • In reply to beckdawg:

    I am not sure I fully understand why Bryant's walk rate indicates he might not struggle with advanced breaking pitches. Bryant and Baez may be different in that Baez will gladly crush the first pitch you put over the plate while Bryant might work the count. But if Bryant strikes out on good AA breaking pitches (just an assumption), wouldn't he struggle with better AAA breaking pitches and need to learn to adjust?

    I am guilty of assuming last year that Baez was an uber-prospect that wouldn't struggle in AAA and would be ready for the MLB late this year or 2015 at the latest. Any assumptions that Bryant is definitely better equipped than Baez to automatically make that jump seems flawed based on Javy's experience (and the experience of the vast majority of other prospects).

  • Bryant plans to continue making a mockery of all time lines. If they hold him in AAA for 3 months next year the screaming will be 10 times louder than what the Pirates are doing to Polanco right now.

  • John, are u a season ticket holder? I would guess you are not with your assessment of the Kris Bryant situation. He should be starting at 3B the day after they are sure he would not qualify for Super Two status.
    Fans with actually skin in the game would want Bryant up quicker and for very good reason. He is handling AA pitching no problem, he strikes out a ton, but also walks at a very high rate. I agree that Baez needs seasoning against more experienced and nuanced pitchers, Bryant doesnt seem too.
    Heck, maybe we can wait until 2108 for a World Series title, we just need to be patient, wouldnt want to rush someone too quick and rattle their confidence.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    Ugh, Season ticket holders are not in player development or adequate talent evaluators -- and they are not decision makers when it comes to personnel.

    A responsible organization doesn't make decisions for the purpose of entertaining fans with shiny new toys when they get bored, only to watch them become bored or frustrated and have them demand a new one when the old one isn't as good or as fun as they thought it was going to be. The responsibility of the front office is only to do what's in the best interest of the organization.

    Nothing is worse for a franchise than to make decisions based on the fickle demands of fans or people who demand a short term return on their ticket investment. That is a recipe for disaster.

    When you buy a season ticket, you are guaranteed one thing, your seat at 81 baseball games a year. It doesn't give you any more say in personnel decisions than the average guy on the street. You can always choose not to buy the product if you don't like it. That is the extent of your influence. Maybe that is harsh, but that is reality.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:


    By the way, I have to spoil Game of Thrones for you. The whole series ends when they're sitting in the diner and the screen goes black. lol

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Haha! I don't think that dude realizes the set up I have from my dashboard and how easy it is for me to ignore his posts (or to recognize who it is right away). I'm sure he'll try again at some point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This. Especially that last paragraph. Season ticket holders get an attitude for some reason that they are above the average fan and should have some sort of say and power like they own a share of the team. I get it and I would be frustrated, but it's buying a product not investing in a business venture.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:


  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly as I have zero skin in the game. You write a blog which feeds off of speculation and Minor League reports which include big name prospects like Bryant/Baez/Soler/Almora. If those players make it to the bigs you will have less to write about(which is bad for your business).
    If you guys think people who actually pay a portion of the players salaries thru the 3RD Highest ticket prices in MLB should have no say in anything, then you are painfully naive. Also, you enable Hoystein and Tom Ricketts to piss away year after year of 90-100 loss seasons in an unmitigated disaster of a ballpark compared to Miller, PNC, Busch, etc.

    nmu'catsball--if you think buying Cubs season tickets isnt an investment in a business venture you are fricking dense and stupid. How many people on the waiting list? What happens if you choose to pass on tickets(you go to the end of the line)? Doesnt sound like a typical product at all, sounds like buying a rare commodity...
    P.S. Ask Hawks fans if season tickets havent been a "business venture" since going to and winning the Stanley Cup

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    If those prospects make it to the bigs, John will probably have other prospects to talk about, like every single year... And he will also be able to talk about their progress at the MLB level... Just saying...

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    This comment is ridiculous and your reasoning is majorly flawed. First of all the Cubs Den is first and foremost a Cubs Blog NOT a prospect blog (although they do a very good job of covering prospects & the draft as well). To imply that it's good for John's business for prospects to remain in the minors is not only absurd but it's the exact opposite of the truth. This is a Cub's Blog, i.e. when the Cubs are doing good many more people get interested in the team and start reading Cubs blogs, articles, etc. Everybody knows this...except for you apparently.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    RE:"if you think buying Cubs season tickets isnt an investment in a business venture you are fricking dense and stupid." (ChitownDouche)

    No, if YOU think that buying tickets to an entertainment event is anything more than just that, then you are those things. You have no say in anything. You can buy your tickets or not, as you said yourself, their is a waiting list of people who will take your place, and none of them expect a say in how the team is run....they realize that they are buying tickets to a sporting event for entertainment purposes.

  • In reply to ChiTownD:

    If what you say is true--re:

    "If you guys think people who actually pay a portion of the players salaries thru the 3RD Highest ticket prices in MLB....and....piss away year after year of 90-100 loss seasons in an unmitigated disaster of a ballpark compared to Miller, PNC, Busch, etc."

    Then it sounds like you're the one enabling "Hoystein" and Ricketts. Why don't you give up your tickets and stop enabling them? Nobody here is enabling them but you, apparently.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ChiTownD:

    Looking at Baez' stats in AA, there's a lot of people who would've said that Baez doesn't seem to need any more seasoning.
    And yet... they would be wrong.
    So, let's not give Bryant that much credit yet, shall we?

  • fb_avatar

    Hey John,

    You had a small typo on tonight's recap, Almora went 1-5 today with a strike out and not a walk. I feel like I just bash the kid when I am on this blog but when will you start to get worried about his performance for this season. I hope he has a streak in him like Vogelbach but just looking at his numbers is starting to frustrate me more and more.

  • In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:


    I am not worried, not in the least bit. I have heard good reports on his mechanics, his quality of contact, and an approach that is better than the results indicate, I answer these questions every year on guys like Baez, Soler, Castro, Rizzo, etc, because I think people naturally want to see consistent steady visible progress but that's not how development/progress works. Certainly not in the early stages.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    If the hope is for Almora to be a .270/.310/.420 player when he hits his stride in the majors, I am not worried at all either. But I would hope for more from one of the Core Four. Maybe he is not star material, but I get anxious when minor-leaguers I have high expectations for struggle for the simple reason that when I look back at most Big Leaguers who had great careers, few struggled for any length of time in the minors. And if the Cubs are going to win a couple titles in the next 10-15 years, they are going to need three or four of these type of players to do it.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I don't worry about 2 month sample sizes in Class A ball and I certainly don't use them to project MLB stat lines. The idea that major league ballplayers don't struggle in the minors is not true, they struggle all the time and some of them much worse than Almora has. That is especially true of players who are young for their league.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Hopefully you are right and I end up looking like Chicken Little.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:


  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    You're asserting that players with great careers dominated their entire minor league careers?

    We are two months into the season. Not only could Almora finish the season above .300, he can be there before June ends.
    His stats are NOT THAT BAD.
    In all A+ leagues combined there are only 11 players who have 200+PAs with a lower K% than Almora.

    And most of them are 2-4 years older than Almora. Only one is younger, and that guy is exactly two weeks younger (and that guy was signed as an IFA so is in his 4th season of pro organized baseball.)

  • In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:

    Stop worrying about his numbers/production. He is in the minors for development not to put up arbitrary numbers. Albert Almora is the 6th youngest player in the Florida State League, over 2 years younger than the AVERAGE player in the league. He crushed at Kane County last year as a very young player as well, if he was in Kane County right now he would be putting up huge numbers (based on what he did there last year) but then he would not be taking the next step in his development plan. Nobody would say anything either because he would still be young for that level, but the FO believes that he is mature enough that they can challenge him beyond a regular prospect. Just as they are doing with Baez & Alcantara who are also two of the youngest players in AAA. That's why it's funny when people say that the Cubs are holding back their top prospects, as they are all playing at least a level ahead of where they should be based on age.

  • John, you should save doc files saying that Kris Bryant homered, another file that he collected 2 walks, another one that he collected 2 hits and drove in 3, etc... Because that's what you write about everyday anyway LOL.

    I mean seriously, the kid has a .700 slugging and we're already IN JUNE!!! SERIOUSLY??

    And he's hitting over .400 since the beginning of May with a .500 OBP!!! FIVE HUNDRE OBP.

    That's just video game stuff right there lol.

  • In reply to Caps:


  • As much as I like Villanueva, I think we all know he's the odd man out of the third base jam. You can't have a glove-only corner man. If his bat played to at least some power and decent OBP, maybe. But it's not looking like that is the case. Maybe he has the athleticism to move to 2B when Bryant moves up and make Alcantara's move to the OF permanent. Up the middle players are the only ones with any business being glove only in the NL in my opinion.

    A wise man once told me: if you're gonna stand in a corner, you gotta lean on the pole.

  • fb_avatar

    What kind of velocity does Cervenka have? I know you said "good", but is that good for a lefty (91-93) or good for any reliever (mid-90's)?

    A power lefty is the one thing the bullpen's missing right now. That would be great if he could fill that void.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    90 to 93 with good movement when I saw him in Peoria.

  • fb_avatar

    Bryant aside, it's been a depressing year so far for the prospects. Injuries to Soler, Edwards and Pierce Johnson and the struggles of Baez, Almora, Candelario, Vogelbach and to a lesser extent Alcantrara, who has show flashes, leaves me wondering if we aren't looking at another year at the bottom for the Cubs in 2016.

    Signing a couple frontline pitchers in the offseason and winning big on the Samardzija trade would help, but there's not much in the free agent market offensively to help the Cubs get better for 2015 and right now it's tough to see anyone in the minors other than Bryant having any kind of impact next year.

    This is another reason why it's hard for me to think about the Cubs drafting someone in the first round of the draft that isn't likely to help them for at least five years.

  • I think this got lost in the internets.

    Villanueva is clearly the odd man out in the 3B, and we all realize that now. In my opinion there really is no place for glove only starters at corner spots in the NL. If he could manage decent power and OBP skills then it would be passable, but it doesn't look that way at this point. He does have time still for sure, but maybe a test of his athleticism and a move to 2B is in order when Bryant comes up, because the bat plays better there. That would also effectively make Alcantara's move to the OF permanent.

    A wise man once told me: if you're going to stand on a corner, you have to lean on a pole.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Texas tried him at 2B. He's not athletic as you think.

    I think he still has potential, but not on this team. I'd love to see him moved as a strong secondary piece for some pitching.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I'm a doubter at 2B too, that's why a called it a test not just an outright move. I think a trade is his ultimate outcome.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I agree that he will be a sweetener on a trade at some point to open up a spot for Bryant. I just think that he will still have a very solid career as a glove first 3rd base. Maybe I am just looking at this from the wrong decade but a corner stone on your team defense still has a lot of value. The comparison I see the most is Scott Brosius. Good to AWESOME glove that may put it together to be a solid hitter later in his career.

  • fb_avatar

    Nice write up John. I tend to agree about Bryant getting a mid-to-late June call-up next year.

    Seems like a lot of negative comments overall, I don't get it.
    Patience can go a long way.
    I think everyone demanding call-ups ASAP should take a look at Josh Donaldson's career stats. He had 8 WAR (MVP caliber per baseballreference) in 2013 and currently leads the MLB in WAR.

    Yet he didn't get his first cup of coffe until he was 25, where he was awful. Didn't get back to the show until two seasons later where he played half a season of above average baseball metrics-wise but with an extremely unimpressive triple-slash.
    Now he's tied (with a teammate) for 4th in the AL in HRs and RBIs while leading the league in DWAR.

    So, I'm sticking with John here. I'm all about patience.
    (I couldn't help but be a little encouraged about Mike Olt by seeing Donaldson's stats BTW. Not saying he will become a 8 WAR player by any means, but definitely no reason to give up on a player with his potential)

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Thanks. I guess I understand the frustration and the emotion behind it but I don't understand the logic. It should be no different from the average fan to the season ticket holder, we should all want a strong organization capable of sustaining success indefinitely. Anything else is settling for less.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well said.

    I look forward to when Theo has this team in as good of a situation as his previous employer.
    The Red Sox have viable (if not great) prospects at virtually every position on the diamond. And at multiple levels, usually. Really there's virtually no position they can't fill within a season, at worst.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    I can already see "the plan" coming up. Just think of the depth that has been developed at 3rd in the last 18 months. Pretty freaking impressive. Though I would still have rather had Chisenhall but that was a personal like/dislike rather anything bad about either him or Olt.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, what's the rush?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    If Bryant does indeed get pumped up to AAA in the next month or so, and tears it up for the rest of the season, I think he should have every opportunity to make the MLB roster on opening day next season.

    If he struggles more so than expected in AAA, I see the argument in giving him more at bats.

    Not every prospect has the same timeline, just because Donaldson struggled early on in his career doesn't mean Bryant will.

    I guess we just have to wait and see.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    You're not taking the business side into account though. Epstoyer isn't building a team that will just get there, they want them to stay in the hunt year after year....

    Why give up a full year of cost/team control for a marquis prospect/player down the road when you are in contention for a few months in 2015 when you're not in contention?...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    My whole point is every prospect has their own time table; none are the same. I fully respect what the front office is doing, and would not be mad if he starts the year in AAA next season.

    But if he dominates AAA the second half of the season, just like AA right now, I think he deserves the chance to compete for an Opening Day job next season.

    If the front office decides not to do anything this offseason to help the MLB roster for next season, than it makes more sense to keep him down for 3 months and save the year of control. But if they sign a few key veterans, I think Bryant could help make the Cubs a contender next season.

    It just all depends what goes on until Opening Day 2015, both performance wise by Bryant and front office wise.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I fully would be different if any of the prospects were struggling when they are 25 at AA or are repeating a level. But Baez, AA, Candelario and Almora are all young for their levels, Vog is coming along and we are seeing some glimpses from other prospects (the catchers at KC, reemergence slowly of Peralta, etc). Also the development of what could be the best bullpen in baseball is interesting....some combo of Rondon, Ramirez, Grimm, Schlitter, Rosscup, Cervenka, Russell (if not traded), Rivera and Vizcaino could make every game a 6 inning affair.

    2015 is too early to expect greatness from our hitting prospects. But it is impossible for me as a fan to not be excited about watching the development of this team over the next 3-5 years from the worst team in 2014 to (what I expect to be) a perennial contender.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Josh Donaldson had nowhere near the success Bryant has had in his minor league career.

    You can bring up Donaldson, I can bring up Mike Trout

  • Hi John what is the mindset of leaving Kris Bryant in AAA to start the 2015 season if he does what he has in AA in AAA this year when he gets promoted. I personally really don't buy into the rule 6 service time in some instances it makes sense but not for a guy who has proved himself time and time again in the minors. Like Tod Holly has said, real development happens in the big leagues ie. Houston Astros Springer and Singleton.

  • I was at the Smokies game last night, so a few comments. Bryant - what is there left to say? He k'd his 1st AB on an out-of-the strike zone breaking pitch. 2nd AB, he took a FB the other way and cleared the fence - effortless, so it appeared, swing (this was after fouling off several pitches with 2 strikes on him). 3rd AB, the pitcher wanted nothing to do with him and might just as well have thrown 4 pitches to the catcher standing 4 ft. wide of home. 4th AB, another walk where he wouldn't help the pitcher. He only had one chance at 3rd, a bunt down the line that he couldn't get to in time. One thing I observed is that the kid is not really filled out yet - pretty lean. Imagine adding muscle to that frame!

    I like the looks of Silva. Made a couple of nice catches in right and threw a laser to third when a Birmingham runner made a turn at second to get to third on a single. "Oops - think I'll hold at 2nd." He might be a valuable 4th outfielder if he can hit.

    I really like the looks of Andreoli. Lots of spark there, good speed. Another hopeful 4th/5th outfielder, methinks.

    Taylor Davis impressed me behind the plate. Handled Loosen very well. Also drove in a run with a single.

    Matt Loosen was outstanding, I thought. Sat 90-91 all night and commanded both the FB and slider well, missing bats with both. He also threw one knee-buckling curve that I recall that simply froze the hitter. Their hitters were not getting around on him and I don't remember a single pull to the outfield. Silva was busy all night. Fly ball after fly ball with our infield getting basically no opportunities. Foul balls to the right side all night, too. I think there's some real projectable aspects as a starter there.

    Cervenka and Rivero picked right up where Loosen left off. Cervenka, a big stocky dude, Rivero somewhat of a bean pole, but both with two-pitch command (at least last night). Two more power arms in the system.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Nice write up! And even better use and proper spelling of "methinks." :)

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I saw Kris Bryant in Huntsville last week and it was pretty much the same as you saw. He struck out the first AB and then got on base every other AB. Errorless defense, one web gem - I see no reason he can't be the Cubs 3B for the next 6-1/2 years (when Boras takes him to FA).

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Thanks '69, nice update.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I saw Bryant in person for the first time last year in Daytona and had the same impression of him. Very tall and lanky, yet deceptively strong, athletic, and fast for a man of his build. I think he can stick at 3B, at least until he loses a step in his early 30's. but he bulks up much, he may be destined for the OF.

    Last summer when TEN came to JAX, Silva stood out more to me than anybody not named Baez. He is a essentially a LHH version of Junior Lake. Fast, Athletic, Strong, Cannon for an arm, but still very RAW!. He's got all the tools, the question is the "approach" and consistency.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Great observations, thanks for sharing! Very interesting to hear first and how the teams are approaching Bryant. I think this is good for him in the long run, because if he's going to be a dominant hitter in the Majors as well then Pitchers will also try to pitch around him and see if he will chase something outside. Front office probably wants to see if he will take the walks or get frustrated and he's obviously staying true to his approach. It's all part of his development, the more stuff he goes through in the minors, the less he will have to adjust in the show.

  • John,Just wonder if part of the reason Vogelbach struggled in the beginning was due to his losing all that weight and having to adjust.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    It could well be. He's been playing with a different body.

  • I think most fans understand that prospects need to be kept down as long as possible for their development, but the reason some fans want Bryant and Baez up now is because they cannot accept how bad the cubs have been these past few years. I believe that if Theo and Jed don't try to improve the team in the off-season then some of the fans will be livid. When I say improve, I don't mean fringe starters either.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    I would hope that even the people who were calling for Baez to come up last year have seen that he has struggled so maybe him staying in Iowa is the right call. As for Bryant, him being older and having played college makes it a different situation. And I assume Jed and Theo treat players on a case-by-case basis. If they draft a college arm this year, there's a good chance he will be up in 2015 even if he's only spent time at AA. I guess my only reason for wanting Bryant to go to Iowa is so that he can get some time in the outfield, and then bring him up in July.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    You say if Theo doesn't improve the team with FAs this coming off season some fans will be livid but some fans are livid now. I don't see any change, there will always be some fans livid. Theo will sign FAs when he thinks it is appropriate and not when some livid fans think it needs to be done.

  • In reply to John57:

    And when they do sign an free agent and he under-performs, like Edwin Jackson, they'll be livid anyway. I'm sure they ignore the fans--at least I hope they do.

  • In reply to John57:

    You are correct, I guess what I really meant is that the mainstream media will be more harsh towards Theo, Jed and the cubs

  • I was in Nashville for the Iowa game yesterday afternoon and wanted to add a couple notes to John's recap.

    1) Wada has 3 speeds : slow, slower, and even slower. Between Rusin, Jokisch, and Wada, we have the Crafty, LHP market cornered. Hopefully, Ted Lilly can lend an experienced hand here.

    2) if you're looking for offensive help, don't bother looking at Iowa's roster right now. Szczur is hitting .235, Villaneuva is at .228, Alcantara is at .265, Kalish is at .143, ... Casper Wells is our cleanup hitter and is thumping .212. Our offensive highlight was the the Sounds pitcher throwing a bunt into the bullpen, allowing 2 runs to score.

    3) Brett Jackson came in as a PH after the aforementioned Mr. Wells was ejected for arguing a called strike and looked AWFUL. Last spring we heard that Jackson had reworked his swing; yesterday, he took 3 very slow, awkward swings, was nowhere close, and grabbed some bench.

    4) over the last 2 weeks I've watched the Brewers AAA and AA teams (Nashville and Huntsville) go 7-2 against Iowa and Tenn. Position by position (other than Kris Bryant), the Brewer player is WAY outperforming the Cub player. So, remind me again why the Cubs farm system is ranked so much higher that the Brewers (eg, Prof. Parks has Cubs at #2 and the Brewers at #29)?

    Sorry this post is so long.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Thanks for the update!

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