Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Iowa bullpen shines as Kimbrel makes 2019 debut; Eugene wins in extras; Morel with another big day in DSL

Dillon Maples

Dillon Maples


Iowa 7, Sacramento 4

Game Recap

Colin Rea failed to hold an early 4-1 lead, allowing the River Cats to tie it in the bottom of the 2nd, but proceeded to hold firm over the next four innings. Phillip Evans hit a solo shot in the 5th to give the Cubs the lead back. From there it became a bullpen game, and with Craig Kimbrel and Tony Barnette lined up to pitch the 7th and 8th innings Iowa was in pretty good shape. That Dillon Maples guy who pitched the 9th is pretty good too. The three relievers hurled consecutive 1-2-3 innings, requiring just 32 pitches in total (22 strikes), while punching out four batters.

Top Performers

  • Colin Rea: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (W, 8-1, 3.30)
  • Colin Rea: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI (.158)
  • Craig Kimbrel: 1 IP, 1 K (8 pitches, 6 strikes)
  • Tony Barnette: 1 IP, 1 K  (10 pitches, 6 strikes)
  • Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 2 K (S, 2, 5.30)
  • Phillip Evans: 3-4, HR (10), 2 R, RBI, BB (.282)
  • Mark Zagunis: 2-4, 2B, R, BB (.333)
  • Trent Giambrone: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB (10) (.225)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Trent Giambrone (.225/.298/.468) was unable to extend his 4-game home run streak, but he still had a good day:

It was a fun day for the bullpen:


SL All-Star Game Performers

  • P.J. Higgins: 2-4, 2B, R, RBI
  • Vimael Machin: 2-5, R
  • Roberto Caro: 0-2
  • Tyson Miller: IP, H, R, BB, 2 K
  • Cory Abbot: 0.2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Wyatt Short: 0.1 IP, 0 R

Advanced A

CAR All-Star Game Performers

  • Javier Assad: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Jesus Camargo: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Paul Richan: IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 BB, HBP, 2 K
  • Tyler Payne: 0-0, R, BB


MWL All-Star Game Performers

  • Riley Thompson: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K
  • Brailyn Marquez: 0.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Jeffrey Passantino: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K
  • Andy Weber: 0-1, BB


Eugene 6, Vancouver 5 (10 Innings)

Game Recap

Trailing 4-3 in the 9th, Fernando Kelli tripled home Luis Diaz to send it to extras. In the 10th, Jake Slaughter stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a ground ball that got through into right field. Two runs scored, and though a third was thrown out at the plate, the two run lead proved sufficient as Carlos Vega managed to hold Vancouver to a single run in the bottom of the frame.

Top Performers

  • Chris Allen: 3 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 2 K
  • Fauris Guerrero: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K
  • Ivan Medina: 2 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 5 K (W, 1-0)
  • Carlos Vega: IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, K (S, 1)
  • Fernando Kelli: 2-4, 3B, RBI (.250)
  • Jake Slaughter: 2-5, 2 RBI (.368)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, 2B, R, 2 BB (.167)
  • Caleb Knight: 2-4, RBI (.444)
  • Danny Zardon: 1-3, 2B (.333)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Outfielders Edmond Americaan and Fernando Kelli each gunned down a runner at the plate in the game.


Cubs1 8, IndiansBrewers 6

Cubs2 3, DBack2 2

Yohendrick Pinango (.377/.459/.472) also had another big day with 3 hits, which extended his career-opening hit streak to 13-games, and he also swiped his 5th and 6th bags of the year.

I don't have a scouting report on him, but it seems fair to expect 17-year old Ezequiel Alvarez is a plus runner and athlete with a solid hit tool, as that is the profile the Cubs seemed to target in this latest IFA period. Leading off for the Cubs2 squad, Alvarez has posted a .357/.413/.452 line with 8 stolen bases in 8 tries. Alvarez is a 5'11 150 pound switch-hitter. Other outfielders in the class received bigger bonuses and more fanfare, but so far he has been nearly as productive as Yohendrick Pinango and Felix Stevens. The Cubs top signing from the 2018-19 class, CF Jose Lopez, has yet to debut.

2019 Draft Signings Update


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  • Zagunis. It sure would be nice if he could translate that .333/.418/.521 slash line to MLB. The Cubs could use an outfielder.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    With Zo away, and Descalso struggling I think the Cubs feel they need a left-handed bat more than a righty, which is why CarGo is getting the opportunity. That experiment may not last much longer though unless CarGo starts showing more.

  • Márquez hit 100!!! Wow. I don’t care what gun it registered on. That is a serious fastball.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    He sits 94-96 and touches 97-98 as a starter. In short stints I would expect he would sit 96-98 and touch triple digits. It is why he has a nice cushion as an elite power reliever if he doesn't cut it as a starter.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Will Marquez be a BP arm or a starter and what is his ceiling?

  • In reply to JL13:

    I think he ends up a starter. He usually loses his arm slot for an inning and will walk some guys, but that hopefully gets ironed out with more experience. He holds his velo well, and has ideal starter size.

    His slider is just average to me, but it could improve. The changeup will be the key. It flashes above average. If he can lock that pitch in he'll have everything he needs to face MLB hitters multiple times through. If one of the secondaries fails, or his command doesn't come around, then he could end up as a LIR or potentially even an elite closer, but I think a Mid-rotation or possibly even top of the rotation starter is within his grasp.

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    From what I've read, the best 2 unsigned picks are #3 and McAvene and #6 Hearn. They can be difference makers. Is there a doubt they'll be signed? I though either you or Arizona Phil said that most top ten picks are usually signed.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    McAvene's team is still playing in the College World Series. He can't be signed until after. He will also need to pass his physical. That is why the Cubs can't make Hearn official. They no doubt have agreed to terms with both, but if something is revealed in McAvene's medicals, it could mean he or the team decide to walk away from the deal, which would mean the Cubs lose his slot money and wouldn't be able to afford Hearn as well.

  • I thought Hearn was ready to sign or had signed.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    He has agreed to terms, but the Cubs can't make it official until McAvene passes his physical and are sure no contract re-negotiation happens. See above.

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    Kelli, Americaan, Morel, Marquez all are doing well, and Lopez was a highly regarded IFA before signing with the Cubs. Our farm system will not be a 29th for very long. Finally it's beginning to show potential in a number of players.

  • Really excited about the starts of Morel and Pinango.
    I realize it is only the DSL, but still very encouraging to see their hit tools and success, so far.

    I think the future for the Cubs minor league system, and eventually the parent club, will lie with some of these unheralded signings turning into future stars like Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez.

  • Kimbrel looks a little heavy. Too much offseason.

  • In reply to NilesNorth:

    He is well rested for a long run into November.

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