Cubs in the Off-Season Leagues - Week 13

Good morning! The first week of the new year saw Cubs popping up everywhere in the off-season leagues. To see where the new faces showed up and how they fared, take a look inside today's report.

Dominican Winter League

Leones del Escogido

Escogido took some steps to separate from the field in round-robin play as they defeated Licey 6-1 on Sunday. Ryan Court remained at lead-off and was 2-for-4 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored in the win. Escogido 6 - Licey 1

Back in action on Wednesday, the Leones could not gain any traction as the lost to Oriente 4-1. Ryan Court was back setting the table as he went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in the loss. Oriente 4 - Escogido 1

Phillip Evans - from

Phillip Evans - from

On Thursday, the Pride used some new-found offensive punch to overwhelm Este 7-1. Along with adding veteran Mexican League outfielder Chris Roberson, Escogido activated infielder Phillip Evans to the lead-off role as he went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. Ryan Court also contributed by going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.  Escogido 7 - Este 1

Escogido remains in a pitched battle to break a three-way deadlock in round-robin play as they defeated Licey 7-5 on Friday. Ryan Court moved to DH and was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the win. Escogido 7 - Licey 5

The Lions could not keep up the pace on Saturday, as they lost to Este 7-3. Ryan Court drove in two as he went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to bring in a run. Este 7 - Escogido 3

Roberto Clemente League

Criollos de Caguas

Caguas ended their season on a high note as they defeated Mayaguez 6-2 on Sunday. Victor Caratini lined up at catcher and was 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Vimael Machin went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI as the designated hitter. Caguas 6 - Mayaguez 2

Gigantes de Carolina

Raidel Orta - Our Baseball Passion

Raidel Orta - Our Baseball Passion

After five scoreless innings on Thursday, Mayaguez unleashed their offense to defeat Carolina 7-4. The Giants were already down by four runs when Raidel Orta was asked to mop up in the eighth. Orta allowed an earned run on a walk and two hits as he tossed two innings. Carolina 7 - Mayaguez 4

Venzuelan Winter League

Navegantes del Magallanes

Magallanes made no doubt of the end result as early as the second inning on Thursday, as they crushed Anzoategui 13-5. With the game well in hand, Daury Torrez pitched the ninth and allowed an earned run on three hits while striking out two batters. Magallanes 13 - Anzoategui 5

Australian Baseball League

Brisbane Bandits

Wynton Bernard -

Wynton Bernard -

Brisbane kept the heat on front-running Sydney on Wednesday as they defeated Aukland 9-4. Newly signed Wynton Bernard lined up in left field and second in the batting order and went 2-for-5 with a walk in the win. Brisbane 9 - Aukland 4

The Bandits throttled up the offense once again on Thursday as they totally destroyed Aukland 15-4. Brisbane may have wondered where Wynton Bernard had been keeping himself this offseason as he exploded on offense. Bernard went 4-for-6 with a double, a home run, and RBI, a stolen base, and three runs scored while playing both left and centerfield.  Brisbane 15 - Aukland 4


After Geelong-Korea stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 5-5 on Sunday, their pitching could not hold as they lost to Melbourne 11-8 in ten innings. Kwang-Min Kwon played his heart out as he was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored, as his three-run homer in the bottom of the tenth kept Geelong’s hopes alive. Melbourne 11 - Geelong 8

Once again, Geelong got their offense in gear far too late on Thursday as they were crushed by Adelaide 13-7. The Koreans were actually tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh before allowing 12 runs. Geelong put up 6 in the top of the ninth to make the rout more palatable as Kwang-Min Kwon played both right and center field and went 1-for-4 in the loss. Adelaide 13 - Geelong 7


The Cubs have named Jonathan Mota their Minor League Infield Coordinator. A player in the Cubs' system for 11 years, Mota managed the Cubs-2 team in the Arizona Rookie League last season.

Outfielder Wynton Bernard, who played at both Tennessee and Iowa, has joined the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.

Infielder Phillip Evans has been activated by Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League.

Jhonny Bethencourt

Jhonny Bethencourt

South Bend INF Jhonny Bethencourt has joined Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League.




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  • Without any news from the Cubs FO, the off-season leagues are about all we have, except for arguing about Bryce Harper's ultimate destination, of course! I'm glad to see Jhonny Bethencourt picking up some ABs. Maybe it'll help his progression through the Cubs' system.

  • Thanks again Tom, for the update. Is Court just taking advantage of lesser competition, or would he be a viable AAAA backup?

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Based on his current success and his history at Triple-A, I would say that Court is taking advantage of a lower level of competition.

    I know this will not be popular with a lot of people out there, but I believe that players like Court, Phillip Evans, Mike Freeman, etc add nothing to the organization, and only serve to take away opportunities for developing prospects.

    After seven years on the job, if the Cubs front office does not have any middle infielders that they feel confident bringing to the majors in case of emergency, then they aren't doing something right. It's the way all good development franchises operate. The Astros do it, and so do the Cardinals.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    I'm sorry, Tom, I know we've done this multiple times but every time you state this I have to refute it because it is just plain inaccurate.

    You know what other team Mike Freeman played for the year the Cubs got him? The Dodgers (also the Mariners).
    The Dodgers also signed a guy in a similar situation in 2017 which turned out quite nicely for them (Max Muncy).
    Their starting SS at AAA last year? A 31-year old Donovan Solano. Their starting 2B was a 27 former prospect.

    The Astros started a 28-year old undrafted FA at 2B for their AAA affiliate last year.
    You know who the Astros starting SS at AAA was in 2017? A 32-year old Reid Brignac.

    EVERY SINGLE TEAM DOES THIS. You don't have a prospect at every position every year. You need to fill out the roster and also have depth in case of injuries.

    Last year the Cubs had David Bote as their main MI prospect at AAA, and guess what? He is the guy they leaned on when they needed help at the MLB level.
    The year before it was Ian Happ, and again, guess who played more games at MI in the Majors than Freeman? Ian Happ.
    In previous years? How about Javy, Russell, TLS, Alcantara, etc, etc, etc.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    This year the Cubs will have Zack Short and Trent Giambrone as their MI prospects at Iowa. Giambrone will likely move around to 3B and COF as well. When he is playing other positions, or in case someone gets hurt, you need to have other options available.

  • Totally agree Tom. The Epstein crowd has turned the Cub minor league franchise into a disaster. They have created lots of depth but of mediocre quality at best. As you say not a single middle infielder or a corner infielder for that matter. This latest deal of pickiing up Descalso for several million while Brandenberg was available for about a third the price and yet is younger, better defender and better hitter. They just seem to be fixated on bringing in old vererans who have shown their better days. Tired of looking at the same old names every year that show little progression.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Nico is on the way

  • In reply to veteran:

    Veteran, do you mean the minor league franchise Epstein and company built to win the 2016 World Series? Also who is Brandenberg?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    It's a perception problem. As long as the next Mike Trout isn't working his way through the system with lots of fanfare, some fans will complain about the awful "minor league franchise." It's difficult for those with short attention spans to research the big picture instead of being attracted by headlines.

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