Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Taylor hits 3 homers!; Garcia homers in 3rd straight game; Top IFA signing Jose Lopez debuts;

Robel Garcia (photo by Dylan Heuer)

Robel Garcia (photo by Dylan Heuer)

AAA

Iowa 5, Omaha 4

Game Recap

Home runs by Robel Garcia and Trent Giambrone gave the Cubs an early lead. Once Omaha finally got on the board with a two-run homer of their own off Alec Mills in the 5th, Dixon Machado responded with a solo shot in the bottom of the frame to put the Cubs in front 5-2. Junichi Tazawa surrendered two runs in the 7th to narrow the Iowa advantage to a single run, but Tim Collins and Dillon Maples slammed the door over the final two innings.

Top Performers

  • Trent Giambrone: 2-4, 2B, HR (16), R, 2 RBI (.223)
  • Robel Garcia: 1-3, HR (15), R, RBI, BB, CS (2) (.300)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-3, HR (9), R, RBI, HBP (.253)
  • Jim Adduci: 1-3, R, BB (.296)
  • Taylor Davis: 0-1, R, 2 BB (.262)
  • Alec Mills: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K (W, 4-2, 5.18)
  • Dillon Maples: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 3, 4.95)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Robel Garcia (.298/.379/.626) made his first start in LF, which could give him additional positional flexibility for a possible bench role. Oh, and he also hit his 21st home run of the season, his 3rd in 3 games, and 4th in 8.

Trent Giambrone (.223/.299/.474) is on a homer binge of his own. He has now hit 6 over his last 11 games. He is 2nd in the system behind Garcia with 16 home runs this year.

Mark Zagunis (.342/.398/.513) extended his hitting streak to 8 games. He has reached base in all 20 of his games since returning to Iowa.


It's been a while since Dillon Maples has given up a hit, let alone a run. Since walking 3 batters and allowing 4 runs on 6/7 Maples has been on quite a run:

AA

Tennessee 9, Chattanooga 8

Game Recap

Gioskar Amaya

Gioskar Amaya

The Lookouts came out swinging, putting up four runs in the bottom of the 1st off Luis Lugo, but the Smokies would eventually storm back in the middle innings. Jesse Hodges hit a bases loaded double in the 4th as part of a Tennessee's own four-run inning, which tied the game back up. Then, Vimael Machin hit a two-run double as the Smokies plated three runs the next inning. Veteran Gioskar Amaya went 4-for-5 with three doubles on the afternoon, and came in to score as he ignited both of the Smokies big innings.

Top Performers

  • Gioskar Amaya: 4-5, 3 2B, 2 R (.269)
  • Vimael Machin: 2-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB (.302)
  • Jesse Hodges: 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI (.207)
  • P.J. Higgins: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, SF (.273)
  • Charcer Burks: 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, SB (9) (.235)
  • Bailey Clark: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (5.06)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Wynton Bernard dropped down to Tennessee to fill in with Eddy Martinez back on the IL.

Jesse Hodges (.207/.273/.319) is 7-for-19 with 8 RBI in his last 6 games.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 7, Winston-Salem 6

Game Recap

Ryan Kellogg gave up three runs in both the 3rd and 4th innings to surrender an early three-run lead. The Pelicans came through in the 6th however, as Carlos Sepulveda bunted in a run before Tyler Payne hit a three-run homer which gave them back the lead. From there, Enrique De Los Rios and Garrett Kelly secured the victory with five combined shutout innings of release.

Top Performers

  • Tyler Payne: 3-4, 2B, HR (5), R, 3 RBI (.258)
  • Jimmy Herron: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB (13) (.212)
  • Grant Fennell: 2-3, BB (.216)
  • Zach Davis: 1-3, R, BB, CS (7) (.247)
  • Enrique De Los Rios: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (W, 1-0, 0.00)
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 1, 2.81)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jimmy Herron (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jimmy Herron (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

We've seen some positive results from Jimmy Herron (.212/.320/.333) over the last two weeks. He's hit .333 with a .438 OBP and 2 stolen bases in 9 games since 6/15. While he hasn't managed the type of average I expected from him up to this point, Herron has drawn walks, and the former 3rd round pick has been effective on the basepaths throughout the season, swiping 13 bags in 17 tries.

He began the year on the IL, but since returning in mid-June, Enrique De Los Rios has tossed 9.1 shutout innings across the NWL, MWL and now CL. The 24-year old been a valuable swingman for the organization over the past 6 seasons.

A

Fort Wayne 9, South Bend 1

Game Recap

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a very young team would suffer some wild swings in performance, but it was still shocking to see South Bend go from having four different players post four or more hits last night (with one hitting for the cycle, and another just missing), then going out this afternoon and getting no-hit until the 7th inning and shutout until the 9th.

Top Performers

  • Tyler Durna: 2-3, 2B, R, HBP, CS (6) (.293)
  • Brennen Davis: 2-4, 3B, R (.307)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Brailyn Marquez photo by Rikk Carlson

Brailyn Marquez photo by Rikk Carlson

Control was an issue once again for left-hander Brailyn Marquez (L, 3-3, 4.68) as he hit a batter and walked 5 more across 4 innings of work. There is no doubting the talent, as he has racked up strikeouts and ground outs at impressive rates, but the 20-year old continues to be plagued by inconsistency. It is not something to be overly concerned about at this point as Marquez is still early in his development and there are plenty of innings, and even entire outings, where he gets locked in. He has grown considerably over the past couple of years, and is likely still learning to harness his body, and keep his mechanics inline on a consistent basis.

A-

Boise 11, Eugene 5

Game Recap

Every time the Emeralds clawed their way back into the game Boise would put up a crooked number on the scoreboard.

Top Performers

  • Yonathan Perlaza: 2-4, R, BB (.283)
  • Reivaj Garcia: 1-3, R, BB (.121)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-4, R, RBI, BB (.156)
  • Rafael Mejia: 1-4, 2 RBI (.150)

AZL

Cubs1 14, Reds 7

Top Performers

  • Zac Taylor: 5-6, 3 HR (3, 4, 5), 4 R, 5 RBI, SB (3) (.458)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 2-2, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB (4, 5) (.348)
  • Zack Short: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, 3 BB (.400)
  • Carlos Pacheco: 1-3, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.150)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 3-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI (.263)
  • Raymond Pena: 1-3, 3B, R (.273)
  • Henderson Perez: 1-3 (.304)
  • Misael Garcia: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K (9.00)
  • Brandon Hughes: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (W, 1-0, 1.80)

Cubs2 4, IndiansR 3

Top Performers

  • Luis Ramos: 5 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K (W, 1-1, 4.50)
  • Manuel Heredia: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, BB, 3 K (5.40)
  • Matteo Bocchi: 2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 1, 5.40)
  • Darius Hill: 2-4, HR (1), 2 R, RBI (.263)
  • Javier Cardona: 1-3, R, RBI, BB, CS (1) (.176)
  • Josue Huma: 2-3 (.348)
  • Chase Strumpf: 1-4, 2B, R (.167)
  • Fidel Mjia: 1-4 (.263)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

You're probably not going to see a better batting line this season than the one Zac Taylor (.458/.500/1.208) posted yesterday. Cole Roederer had 5 hits while completing the cycle (plus adding a double for good measure) and that effort still only amounted to 12 total bases in comparison to Taylor's 14. And his 3 homers come less than a week after Taylor homered twice in just his 2nd professional game. The 5th year senior drafted from the University of Illinois earlier this month added his 3rd career stolen base as well. Taylor led the conference in stolen bases (23) in 2019, while also contributing 10 HR as part of an All-Big Ten season (.321/.405/.612).

I think we may need to start paying more attention to 2nd year CF Ezequiel Pagan (.348/.484/.391). He entered this season as a sleeper prospect after the Cubs selected him out of Puerto Rico in the 13th round last year. Known for his speed and overall defensive game including a plus arm, Pagan is listed at 6'1" 163 pounds and was tagged as a guy with good feel for the barrel, but one who lacked the strength to do much with the bat in his hand (.217/.315/.272 in 2018). He was a guy still growing into his frame though, which gave hope there was more to come on the offensive side. I'm not sure if he has filled out any yet, but the hits are dropping so far, and in his first 7 games Pagan has maintained the good plate discipline he showed off last year and his speed is translating on the bases (5/6 SB).

Like Pagan, Misael Garcia is an under-the-radar prospect to keep an eye on. Signed for $150K in the the 2017-18 IFA class, Garcia grew considerably over the last couple of years according to reports, and while he was throwing in the mid-80s when he agreed to terms, he began throwing in the low-90s with good feel for a curveball last year. He was among the Cubs best starters in the DSL last season, striking out 46 in 45.2 innings, while compiling a 3.55 ERA.

Converted outfielder Brandon Hughes earned his first professional win as a left-handed reliever. He's now struck out 9 batters in 5 innings, while allowing just 1 run on 1 hit and 3 walks.

DSL

DodgersS 5, Cubs1 3

Cubs2 15, Mets2 4

Given he only played half of the game in this his professional debut, it seems safe to assume the Cubs top IFA signing, Jose Lopez, missed the early portion of the schedule due to injury. He walked twice, stole 2 bases and scored 2 runs across 4 plate appearances before being removed. The Cubs inked Lopez for $1.5M in the last signing period. He is a twitched up, left-hand hitting CF with plus bat speed, who packs a bit of punch despite a shorter frame and a bit of an unorthodox swing. There is a hitch in the video I've seen that he's been able to overcome thanks to his bat speed, but I imagine the Cubs are working with him to eliminate it. His speed has graded out as plus, and Lopez is expected to be a good defender, one able to roam from alley-to-alley.

Comments

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  • Let's hope that we have a few prodigies that are emerging from last year's IFA signings because the upper levels are deplete of major star talent, a few look very promising in the DSL league, like they're too good for the DSL.

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    Thanks Michael. What kind of stuff does Hughes have? Is Bailey Clark still throwing in the mid 90's and what does Garcia have to do to be called up and have either Descalso or CarGo released? I really don't think we need to trade prospects for a relief pitcher because we have arms at Iowa and I'd hate to see Hoerner or Amaya go.

  • Taylor was a 25th round choice? What did he sign for ?!? Does he have the possibility of at least being a contributor to the big league club?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Taylor will be 24 years old in October. He played 2 years for Houston in the NCAA and 2 years for U of Illinois. His 4 year average batting average was .263, with this year being his best. The AZL is an easier league than the NCAA.
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=taylor003zac

  • In reply to shalin:

    Still he just got drafted this month and his line is

    .458/.500/1.208/1.708 with 3 out of 3 SB

    That is nothing to sneeze at.

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