Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Tyler Thomas shines in one-run victory for South Bend; Amaya homers

Tyler Thomas (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Tyler Thomas (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Round Rock 4, Iowa 2

Game Recap

A Chesny Young single in the bottom of the 2nd gave the Cubs a 2-1. Alec Mills made short work of Express through five innings but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead. After tossing a scoreless 6th, Kyle Ryan returned to the mound in the 7th and allowed the tying run to score. In the 9th, Dillon Maples continued his recent rough stretch. This time it was walks that did him in though, it was three hits that led to two runs.

Top Performers

  • Alec Mills: 5 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 5 K
  • Randy Rosario: IP, H, K
  • Chesny Young: 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Bijan Rademacher: 2-4
  • Ryan Court: 2-5, 2B
  • Tyler Pearson: 1-3, R

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Chesny Young

Chesny Young

Randy Rosario just keeps on rolling along. The lefty has still allowed just one earned run all season. In 17.1 innings Rosario has allowed just 10 hits (none to lefties) and 5 walks. He isn't missing a ton of bats (10 K) and his BABIP is really low so a correction is likely heading his way, but this start has been impressive none the less.

Both Chesny Young and Ryan Court continue to swing a hot bat after brutal starts in April. Since reaching a season-low average of .132 on April 27, Young has hit in 11 of 14 games, including 6 multi-hit efforts to raise his average to .242/.300/.293. Court finished April at .117 but is 15-for-52 since the calendar turned to May which has raised his line to .196/.291/.339 overall.

AA

Chattanooga 11, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

Oscar De La Cruz (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Oscar De La Cruz (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Everything was proceeding smoothly for Oscar De La Cruz (4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K) through three innings. He was pounding the strike zone (37 pitches, 28 strikes) and keeping the Lookouts off balance. In the 4th he worked around what appeared to be a momentary lapse in control when he hit back-to-back hitters. The wheels fell off in the 5th, however. He retired just one of the five batters he faced, walking three and allowing two singles as his control abandoned him. Four runs scored in the inning.

From then on, the Lookouts just kept adding, and adding, beating up on the normally reliable Tennessee pen to the tune of 7 runs over the final 3.2 innings.

Top Performers

  • Yasiel Balaguert: 3-3, HR (3), R, RBI, BB
  • Charcer Burks: 1-3, R, 2 BB, SB (4)
  • Jesse Hodges: 1-3, 2B, BB
  • Jeffrey Baez: 2-4

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Charcer Burks (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Charcer Burks (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Sticking with the theme of hitters staging a turnaround after slow starts, Yasiel Balaguert is 20-for-57 (.351) with all three of his home runs since 4/28 when his line had dipped to .169/.200/.197. He has 8 hits and 7 RBI in his past 5 games.

The turnaround for Charcer Burks has been no less dramatic. After a .151/.279/.192 April in which he struck out in nearly a third of his plate appearances, Burks is hitting .321/.400/.434 in May. He has already matched his extra base total from April while also cutting down on his strikeouts, although his K rate is still hovering around 25% for the month.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach PPD

A

South Bend Score

Game Recap

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Consecutive wild pitches brought in two South Bend runs in the top of the first to give starter Tyler Thomas an early cushion. Thomas took advantage. Plowing through the Lake County lineup, he needed just 91 pitches to get through 6.2 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. An error in the 4th allowed a runner to move to third and led to an unearned run on a sacrifice fly to cut the South Bend lead in half.

The Cubs would add insurance in the top of the 7th as Miguel Amaya led off with his 5th home run of the season, then back-to-back two-out hits by Brandon Hughes and Rafael Narea extended the Cubs advantage to three runs. Manuel Rondon, making his 2018 debut, struggled a bit in relief of Thomas, but Enrique De Los Rios came on to shut the door in the 9th.

Top Performers

  • Tyler Thomas: 6.2 IP, H, 2 R, 1 ER, BB, 7 K (W, 2-3, 2.86)
  • Enrique De Los Rios: 0.2 IP, 0 R (S, 3, 0.00)
  • Miguel Amaya: 1-4, HR (5), R, RBI
  • Austin Filiere: 2-4, 2B, R
  • Brandon Hughes: 1-3, R, SB (8)
  • Rafael Narea: 1-3, RBI

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Brandon Hughes (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Brandon Hughes (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Brandon Hughes (.204/.330/.269) has compiled a modest 4-game hitting streak, but it has raised his average above .200 for the time in a while. Hopefully it is a sign that his bat is starting to heat up. The Cubs have received sporadic production from their outfield this season. Hughes, Chris Carrier and Chris Singleton have all struggled with their opportunities. Nelson Velzaquez has not gotten going yet since his promotion to the club. The team did get a boost from Roberto Caro's scorching hot bat once he was summoned from EXST, but he has been on the DL. Zach Davis has been the only steady contributor at the plate throughout the season.

Austin Filiere is hitting .353 over his past ten games to push his season line up to .311/.421/.509. I would expect Filiere is in line for a promotion in June.

Consistency at the plate, as expected, has eluded 19-year old Miguel Amaya (.255/.325/.482) but he is on a hot streak at the moment. He is hitting .333 over his six games with a pair of home runs. His five dingers puts him in sole possession of the team lead.

Outside of one bad start on the road in Cedar Rapids, Tyler Thomas has been dominate for the Cubs. The club's opening day starter has held the opposition to two or fewer runs in six of his seven outings. He is striking out over a batter per inning, his K-to-BB ratio is 5-to-1, and opposing batters are hitting just .218 against him.

Comments

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  • 19?! I would have thought Miguel Amaya was 25 by now. It seems like we’ve been following him for a long time here.

    Thanks for the continued great coverage Michael!

  • In reply to Cubsinfl:

    Nope. Just turned 19 in March actually. Youngest guy on South Bend. Albertos and Velazquez are also 19, but a few months older. Narea just turned 20 in April.

    Ademan is also 19 (20 in Sept). Youngest guy on Myrtle Beach. Close to a year younger than Peguero, Hudson, Monasterio.

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    Has Amaya had throwing issues this year? He's given up quite a few steals, which is surprising for a prospect with a "glove-first" reputation

  • In reply to Zonk:

    No. The South Bend staff is atrocious at holding runners. Lot of young, inexperienced guys on the staff. I think they have told Albertos to not even bother, and just try to throw strikes. Same with Little early on. Amaya and Payne are both excellent throwers and neither has been given a chance. There have been tons of steals on balls in the dirt and also plays where the catcher just eats it because the runner got such a good jump.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    So you're saying Victor Victor Mesa, the young Cuban prospect, would probably have a 100℅ stolen-base rate if playing against this team of his peers? Impressive. :)

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