Daily Cubs Minors Recap: The Return of Bruno; Cubs sign slew of draft picks, including 11th rd RHP Jordan Brink, 13th rd 3B Kevonte Mitchell

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: The Return of Bruno; Cubs sign slew of draft picks, including 11th rd RHP Jordan Brink, 13th rd 3B Kevonte Mitchell
Kevonte Mitchell (right)

The popular 2B returns to the lineup and the Cubs have signed a few draft picks (h/t to the guys @PSD)...

MLB Draft Signings

In draft news, the Cubs signed 11th round pick, RHP Jordan Brink. Brink is a bit of a sleeper as a converted outfielder and has thrown as high as 96 off the mound.  He normally works 91-93 with a sharp curve.  He is about 6' tall and lacks a lot of experience, so the temptation is to say he will be a reliever, but Brink may have the stuff to start.  The Cubs may have to choose an arm slot as he used a 3/4 slot the year before and used a slider instead of a curve.  I think the fact that he can change his arm slot and his primary breaking pitch and still have success tells you a lot about his athleticism and aptitude.

The Cubs also signed i3B Kevonte Mitchell who has an intriguing blend of size (6'4") power, and athleticism (star basketball player in HS).  He also has tremendous arm strength which profiles well at 3B.

Also signed are 20th round SS Alex Thomasovich (link) and 25th round catcher Tyler Pearson (per his Twitter profile).  According to the Chicago Cubs Draft Tracker website, the Cubs have also signed 12th rd RHP Tanner Griggs, 15th Rd SS Jason Vosler, and 27th round CF Calvin Graves.

It is no coincidence that most of the players announced are position players as the Cubs are more likely to want them to start playing right away, while pitchers tend to get more time off.

On with the recap...

Fresno 10- Iowa 1

  • Chris Rusin got shelled for 9 hits and 7 runs in 3 innings as he fell to 4-8 with a 3.85 ERA.
  • The ubiquitous LHP Jeffrey Antigua pitched 3 scoreless inning and lowered his ERA to 3.05.  He struck out 2 and did not walk a batter.
  • LHP Zac Rosscup struck out the side in his only inning as he bides his time and waits for another opportunity with the big club.
  • Logan Watkins doubled and scored the I-Cubs only run when he was driven in by Josh Vitters, who went 3 for 4.
  • Ryan Kalish seems closer to finding his groove, getting 2 more hits.  He is 4 for his last 9 with 2 walks.

Tennessee 3 - Mississippi 2

  • Eduardo Figueroa went 5 innings and was a little wild (3 walks) but held the Braves to 3 hits and 2 runs.  He also struck out 3.   Gotta give credit to Figueroa for taking one for the team by going down to AA to help out the decimated Smokies staff, but on the bright side for him, he gets another shot to start, so maybe he makes the best of it.
  • Tony Zych has quietly been stringing together some good outings and he lowered his ERA to 4.66 with 2 scoreless innings.  In his last 8.1 innings he has allowed just one run and has not walked a batter.
  • It seems that when PJ Francescon gets out on the mound, the game is going to be decided one way or another.  He pitched a scoreless inning but once again it was a timely appearance as the Smokies took the lead, crediting Francescon with a win.  Francescon has 19 appearances (all relief) and has 11 decisions.  He is now 7-4 with a 3.41 ERA.
  • Armando Rivero walked one and struck out 2 in one scoreless inning to earn his 10th save.  His ERA is at 1.71.
  • Anthony Giansanti singled and scored twice.
  • Forgive me if The Return of Stephen Bruno has me excited but he was having a good year and the last time he got hurt, last year in Daytona, he didn't return for the rest of the year.  So we're glad to have him back,  So are the Smokies, I imagine.  He immediately contributed with a double and a run scored.  Bruno was hitting 288/.381/.484 entering the season.  The double was his 16th in 42 games.
  • Kris Bryant hit 2 singles and drove in a run.  Can anyone think of anything more pedestrian?  He did drive in the 2nd run and his second single in the 8th sent Giansanti to 3rd, where he scored shortly afterward on a wild pitch.  Even his more human looking lines help the Smokies win.

Kane County 4 - Peoria 3 (Game 2)

Peoria 2 - Kane County 1 (Game 1)

  • Tyler Skulina pitched very well in Game 1 but the defense let him down, allowing 2 unearned runs to score.  Skulina fell to 4-3 but lowered his ERA to 2.70.
  • Michael Wagner finished up with a scoreless inning (2 Ks) as his ERA continues to drop,  It is now at 3.93 in 18.1 innings.  He has allowed just one run in his last 10.1 innings, walking 4 and striking out 12.  Wagner was just a 15th round pick but was underrated because he isn't overpowering, but he has a solid average stuff across the board (FB, SL, CH) and really knows how to pitch.  I think he could end up being a steal.
  • In the second game, Daury Torrez put in a quality start with 6 innings, allowing 3 runs while walking just one and striking out 2.  He moved to 6-4 with  3.74 ERA on the year.
  • Tyler Bremer picked up his 8th save with a scoreless inning, striking out the side in order,  Bremer has been outstanding since taking over for the promoted Zach Godley.  The 24 year old RHP has 5-0 record to go with the 8 saves and a 2.32 ERA.  He has been especially good in his last 6 outings where he has pitched 8.1 scoreless innings, walking just 2 and striking out 12.
  • Jacob Hannemann continues to play well and went 2 for 6 with a walk, double, 2 runs scored, and his 19th SB.  He's hit .236 overall but has been better in June (.275/.318/.400)
  • Carlos Penalver went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored.  He has been a steady player though he has hit just .246 overall.  He has added value with great defense and some plus baserunning.
  • Ben Carhart went 3 for 7 with a run scored as he continues to hover just below the .300 mark at .295.
  • Jordan Hankins has been the 2nd half of the Cougars steady 1-2 punch and he went 3 for 6 with a double and 2 RBI.  Hankins, a 3B, has hit .319/.358/.442 on the season.
  • Tim Saunders is now playing at Kane County after spending the beginning of the season in Daytona. He pitched in an RBI double in game 2.





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  • John, thanks for all this great information and the CCDT site.

    Speaking of which, another poster had an idea of you and your team putting up something from the last few years of Cubs drafts, player, round, where they are at now...and I'm excited to see something like that on this site. (Thank you poster, who's name I don't recall)! baseball site, bar none!

  • In reply to SymposiumX13:

    I will do that soon and thanks!

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    Symposium-- You are correct!

  • In reply to Bob from Salem:

    Thank you Bob!

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  • In reply to Col Med:


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    According to the Tribune, Kyle Schwarber will be in Boise's lineup on FRIDAY.

    The new CBA really encourages quick signings, and I love that....only 8 days after the draft, he's on the field

  • In reply to Zonk:

    didnt have to wait long to see schwarber in action

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    John, is Mitchell still going to attend SEMO and play basketball? Given how the seasons line up, especially rookie ball, it's possible he could do both.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Baseball only. He was a star basketball player but his future is in baseball.

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    I hope not but there is a precedent for that kind of working relationship. For some reason everytime I see a 2 sport guy that tries to do the baseball and college thing I think back to Trayjon Langdon for Duke. One heck of a SS in the early minors but as he got closer to the big leagues the rust in his game really showed. He never made it as a major league baseball player or basketball player because of the dual commitment IMO.

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    In reply to Richard Hood:

    Good point Hoody! I think there would have to come a point where he would have to choose one over the other, but I think it could work while he was still in the short-season leagues.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Very few can do both well, Mitchell needs a lot of work in baseball, so he will play it full time as far as I know.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Jim Brown once said he never considered Bo Jackson or Dion Sanders great football players because they were part-timers. I agree with him on Bo, somehow I always think Bos hip injury that ended his career in football(and eventually baseball) came from not being in football shape. OTOH, John Elway quit baseball early to concentrate on his better sport, football, and became a HOFer.

  • I would love to see Rosscup replace Russell and Parker replace Villanueva in the bullpen. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs deal one or the other

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    Is zagunis going to start out at Boise as well as schwarber?? Baez line last nite was disturbing 0-3 with 3 k's a night after going 0-5 with 3 k's. Heston only has a 6.75 k/9 rate this year so he's not even a strikeout pitcher. Is anyone else worried about Baez hole in his bat?

  • In reply to Melancubby:

    The hole is probably in his immature thinking.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Which is why I think having Bryant in AAA the rest of the season will help. He'll see how a guy goes about his business like a pro, and if baez doesn't get it together, we can trade him for a TOR guy in a nice package.

  • In reply to Melancubby:

    Baez is also only 21 years old playing in AAA. He has all of the time in the world to make adjustments and improve his game. I'm not worried at all. If he was 24 or 25 then I would be worried.

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    Yes, I would like to see Baez spend the whole year in AAA and possibly half of next year as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wouldn't mind him getting his cup of coffee in the MLB in September for the experience, but I agree with your statement.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yup, you can't bring him up and watch him fail like Olt is now. Joey Gallo struggled with strikeouts last year but has figured it out this year. Hopefully Baez can do the same.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Another factor is that Baez is going to have to learn a new position. I do not advocate moving Castro, so unless a trade is happening, Baez needs some reps at 2B or 3B or wherever he ends up

  • In reply to Melancubby:

    For now let's just not rush him. Is Manny in Iowa?

  • In reply to Melancubby:

    Manny too

  • In reply to Melancubby:

    Im not.. he is a slugger. he is always gonna have alot of K's, the question is can he slug enough to overcome the K's

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    In reply to Melancubby:

    My concern is that he hasn't done much since he fouled the ball off his face...and it seems like his already high SO rate has increased....does anybody have the actual stats to back that up? Or am I just imagining things?

  • Great to see all the draft picks signing and hope the high school pitchers and other flyers can get on board.

    AZ Phil has a very good analysis of what the upcoming 40 man roster will look like next year and which players appear to be on their way out before the end of this season. To no surprise, Schierholtz, Fujikawa, Carville, Bonafacio, and Hamel are certain to be gone, Baker, Coghlan, Whiteside, and McDonald will be released, with Barney, Ruggiano, Russell, and White as non-tender candidates. If Shark is traded that is a slew of openings that could be available on the 40 man by next year.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I for one will love to see Carville gone from the roster.


    Who is Carville?

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Yeah With a FO that likes to play games with 40 man there is no reason for Baez an Bryant to get called up this year

  • At some point, I really hope Baez figures out an approach. Joey Gallo struck out a ton last year and now is tearing the cover off of the ball. Maybe Baez needs a year of struggling and he'll figure it out. Baez is only a year older than Gallo.

  • Open Question :Nice to see the two IFA bonus guys getting at bats in extended spring training. Any word on how they looked and what the next step is? I thought I heard VSL but I have not seen them in the lineup.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    They will be playing for the Arizona Rookie League Team in Mesa. Torres has had a good extended spring training and Jimenez has done really well since mid-May per Arizona Phil

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    In reply to rsanchez11:

    Adding to historyrat's answer, AZPhil actually put up their unofficial EXST stats the other day, and I thought they'd be of general interest:

    GLEYBER TORRES (SS) - Age 17 - 2013 IFA (Venezuela)
    123 PA (31 GAMES)
    33-106 - 5 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 15 R, 14 BB, 21 K, 2 HBP, 1 SH, 1 GIDP, 4 SB (2 CS), 3 PO
    ERRORS: 14

    ELOY JIMENEZ (RF-CF) - Age 17 - 2013 IFA (Dominican Republic)
    LAST 10 GAMES: 297/324/778
    97 PA (26 GAMES)
    24-92 - 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB, 23 K, 1 SF, 1 SB (3 CS)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I do not care what the level is the ability to dictate in the strike zone is impressive for a 17 year old. Lets hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg for Torres.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I feel like this is completely obvious and I'm just not getting it, but...

    What is "PO"?

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Maybe picked off? Thanks HistoryRat and Moody!

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    In reply to rsanchez11:

    This was how I read it.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Thanks! That makes sense.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    PO = Putout

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    That was my first thought, but it does not add up. The shortstop has only 3 putouts? OK, maybe. But I scrolled down all the players at the link Mike provided above

    and added up the PO's for everyone listed as having played first base. I came up with one. I may have missed a couple, but it is clearly not putout.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    It has to be pickoffs. There's just no way that a shortstop could play 31 games, commit 14 errors and only complete 3 putouts. That would be an historically bad fielding percentage.

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    In reply to rsanchez11:

    It should be put far as I am aware getting picked off rolls up under caught stealing...

  • Wow, Kevonte Mitchell looks huge. Does anyone else think he kind of looks like Derek Lee?

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    I thought the same thing this morning when I saw this photo. Similar build...Buck Showalter would approve...

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    Question for you guys who know the intricacies of minor league baseball...what exactly does a minor league GM do? Isn't the player development coordinator basically the GM for all the minor league teams???

  • Seriously, how much longer are they going to wait until they decide to move Big Bryant to AAA?! This guy is just a monster. The guy is doing absolutely nothing that says, let's keep him in AA just a tad bit longer. Aside from the K's, but we already knew he had high K rate. So what's the hold up?

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    In reply to lokeey:

    Everyone thinks he'll be in Des Moines after the AA all star game

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