Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Davis with 6-RBI game; Navarro and Zagunis reach 5 times each; Cory Abbott with another strong outing

Mark Zagunis (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Mark Zagunis (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Iowa 13, New Orleans 3

Game Recap

This one was all Iowa, right from the start. After putting up a four-spot in 1st, Iowa managed to do one better in the 2nd. The five-run inning put the game firmly in their hands and even some unexpected wildness from starter Jen-Ho Tseng didn't allow the Baby Cakes to sneak there way back in. The Cubs even put a capper on the night with three runs in their final time up at the plate in the bottom of the 8th.

They did all this damage with the aid of a single home run. Instead, they pounded out 18 hits and drew 7 walks. Three and four hitters in the lineup, Efren Navarro and Mark Zagunis both reached safely in all five of their trips to the plate. Taylor Davis had himself a career night with 4 hits and 6 RBIs.

Top Performers

  • Efren Navarro: 4-4, 2 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB
  • Mark Zagunis: 2-2, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB
  • Taylor Davis: 4-5, 2B, 2 R, 6 RBI
  • Jacob Hannemann: 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
  • Ryan Court: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
  • David Bote: 2-5, 2B, 2 R
  • Chesny Young: 2-5, RBI
  • Jen-Ho Tseng: 6 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 6 BB, 2 K (W, 2-4, 6.70)
  • Alberto Baldanado: 2 IP, BB, 3 K (3.57)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jacob Hannemann

Jacob Hannemann

Difficult to pick what to focus on. Obviously Navarro, Zagunis and Davis were stellar. Those three have been pretty solid all season for the I-Cubs. None of them provide much in the way of home run power, which has been an issue all season for the team, but they are all steady contributors which is something that has also been in short supply. The ascension of Jacob Hannemann over the past four weeks has been a bit more surprising. The guys just keeps on hitting. After reaching base four times on Friday, his line is up to .364/.447/.455 in May.

AA

Pensacola 2, Tennessee 0

Game Recap

Early command troubles by Thomas Hatch eventually led to a pair of runs in the 4th, but the righty battled through and still managed a solid outing. The Smokies offense never materialized to support him though.

Top Performers

  • Thomas Hatch: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K (L, 4-3, 3.07)
  • Charcer Burks: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB
  • Eddy Martinez: 2-4, 2B
  • Erick Castillo: 1-3, 2B

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Thomas Hatch

Thomas Hatch

Refining his command and control is the main hurdle remaining for Thomas Hatch. He answered questions regarding his durability last season by taking his turn in the rotation all season long and he has once again not missed a start so far this year. The team is now letting him regularly throw 90-100 pitches and Hatch is working deeper into games this season. His 25 walks in 55.2 IP is the still higher than you would like to see from him, though. He battles control issues every 2 or 3 games it seems, and for him to take the next step he needs to cut down on the frequency of those occurrences. It was a positive sign to see him limit the damage in this one.

Advanced A

Carolina 4, Myrtle Beach 1 (10 Innings)

Prospect Profile

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Game Recap

Hopefully, Keston Hiura is just getting this out of his system while in the Minors. For the second time this season, the Brewers 2017 1st round pick beat Myrtle Beach with a walk off hit in extra innings. This time it was a three-run homer off Jordan Minch in the 10th.

Bailey Clark (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Bailey Clark (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Bailey Clark was solid in his first start of the season. His command faltered a bit in the 2nd and 3rd inning which led to some hard contact but Clark limited the damage. He throws a heavy ball so even when he does give up hard contact it tends to stay in the park. The team is still working to stretch him out so he was only allowed to go 4 innings (58 pitches). He was still hitting 95+ in the 4th so he wasn't showing any signs of tiring.

Another bit of good news came in the form of Erick Leal returning to the mound for his first official game action since 2016. He missed all of 2017 with an elbow injury and then began this year in extended spring training as he continued his rehab. He tossed a pair of shutout innings in this game.

Top Performers

  • Jhonny Pereda: 2-3, R, 2 BB
  • Luis Ayala: 1-3, RBI, BB, SB (2)
  • Aramis Ademan: 1-3, BB, CS (4)
  • Bailey Clark: 4 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (2.78)
  • Erick Leal: 2 IP, H, K
  • Casey Bloomquist: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jhonny Pereda

Jhonny Pereda

Jhonny Pereda reached safely in 4 of 5 trips to the plate, and has now drawn 6 walks over his past four games. Pereda has been the club's most consistent hitter, with a .304 average in April and again with a .304 average so far in May. His OBP has risen to .390 on the year. The biggest breakthrough for him is a willingness to turn on hittable pitches and drive them into the gaps or even over the wall. He was almost exclusively a singles hitter last season.

A

South Bend 4, West Michigan 2

Game Recap

Cory Abbott (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Cory Abbott (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Cory Abbott continued the theme among the starting pitchers as he battled through some shaky control at times. He entered the game having walked just 10 batters on the year but issued three in the early part of this game. He didn't let it affect him though as he was his usual self in another regard: difficult to hit. After allowing only four hits through his six innings of work he lowered his batting average against to .205 on the season.

Zach Davis sparked the offense once again as he reached base three times and stole two bases. It still shocks me that South Bend took so long to insert him into the leadoff spot in the order.

Top Performers

  • Cory Abbott: 6 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 5 K (W, 3-1, 2.55)
  • Brian Glowicki: 1.1 IP, BB (S, 6, 1.57)
  • Zach Davis: 2-3, R, RBI, BB, SB (14, 15)
  • Christian Donahue: 1-3, R
  • Chris Singleton: 1-3, A

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Zach Davis

Zach Davis

There may be no one faster in the Cubs system than outfielder Zach Davis (.252/.364/.328) and he does not let that speed go to waste once he reaches base. With his two steals on Friday he now has 15 (in 17 tries). Davis was 24 out of 29 in 60 games last season. His 84.8% career success rate is stellar. Unlike many speedsters, Davis has also shown a knack for getting to first base. The former 32nd round pick has taken up switch hitting as a pro which has helped him compile a .364 OBP in 2018 and .351 OBP so far in his career.

He may struggle mightily at the plate, but Chris Singleton can definitely play some outfield defense. Not only does he cover a good amount of ground in center, but he possesses a strong and accurate throwing arm. He gunned down a man at third base in this one, his fourth victim of the year in just 35 games. Singleton also cut down 4 runners in 37 games last season.

Comments

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  • So Bailey Clark is back to being a starter -- or was this just a bullpen game? If so, seems like a positive development, given his sleeper TOR status as a draft pick. He seemed to struggle initially, but has found his way in the bullpen of late. Glad he took it the the mound again in his start.

  • In reply to Gunga:

    They are stretching him out.

  • I noticed that that there were a total of 15 walks in the Iowa game. Was it the pitchers or the umpire?

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Pitchers

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks. I saw where the ump had won a Cal League "Best Umpire"-type award.

  • Michael, what are Clark’s secondaries? What dongive his chances to stick as a starter?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Do you give—man I hate my phone at times.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Clark mostly relies on his heavy fastball (91-95, T97). When he drives it down at the hitters knees it is very difficult to do anything but pound it into the ground. He is also able to elevate it above the waist and get whiffs. Not sure if he is throwing both a two and four steamer but would surprise me.

    When he stays on top of his slider it is a plus pitch with depth and horizontal movement. When he doesn't, it becomes a sweeping pitch with a lot of horizontal movement but his control suffers and will usually finish out of the zone.

    He has used a changeup in the past when working as a starter but I've seen less of it this year in relief. Ive seen it be a usable pitch but far less consistently than slider. He'll need to reestablish it if he remains in rotation.

    He has a lot of traits you like to see in a starter. Size, ability to get early weak contact but also pitch for a K when he needs it. The issue has always been consistency with him. You can't go out and not have it once every four or five games if you want to be a MLB starter. You got to find a way to go 4+ innings nine out of 10 times. Clark has never been able to do that and at 23 I'm not holding my breath that it suddenly comes. His stuff is well suited as a LIR and while I have no issue with him continuing to get opportunities as a starter I don't believe that will be his ultimate role. I really like Clark and think he will be a major league pitcher but he is far more likely to make an impact out of the pen.

  • What you describe is what I was kinda thinking. I like the velocity and size. He’ll need to refine his slider and get a change in his arsenal.

    Thanks for the insight.

  • Nice to see Hannemann have a good month. Maybe at age 27 he is figuring things out offensively.

  • Good to see another decent day from the starters. Clark was not bad for returning to starting. He might be 23 but he was drafted just 2 yrs ago in the 5th rd. Keep these guys coming & pushing the guys above em. Maybe they find their own Arrieta, Hendricks, Quintana or Chatwood & at some point their own ace w/1 of their 1st, supplemental & 2nd rounders & IFA signings.

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