Not to step on the toes of the much more qualified minor league writers, but a few guys' minor league performances are really standing out to me, so I thought I'd write them up. As was the case with the other look (you know, this one), small sample size admonitions apply.
Josh Vitters - Age: 24 - Line: .293/.356/.537, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10:4 K:BB
We've talked about Josh recently. If he's still slugging .530 in mid-to-late May, I'll start blogging about how the Cubs should dump Justin Ruggiano, who is most definitely not a long-term guy, move Junior Lake to center field, and put Vitters in left. I swear I'll do it.
Arismendy Alcantara - Age: 22 - Line: .289/.306/.467, 6 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB, 13:2 K:BB
Look look look at that potential. Baez and Bryant got a lot of the love this spring, but if you follow Dave Zsymborski's projection system, you know that ZiPS preferred Alcantara as a "ready-now" prospect. If you want to flip a crap about the walks, be my guest, but who damn cares? Seven xbh, three steals, .289 average... my heart, it flutters. This kid's gonna put Darwin Barney out of a job in a quick minute.
Kyle Hendricks - Age: 24 - Line: 4.82 ERA, 10 ER, 19 K, 4 BB, 0 HR, 18.2 IP
Hendricks got smacked around pretty bad in his first outing of the year (6 ER in 4.2 IP), but has settled down since. And for a guy who has never really racked up Ks, it's interesting to see him getting 19 in his first 19 or so innings. The Cubs will need another starting pitcher when they trade Jason Hammel for whatever they can get, and it's either Kyle or this next dude that will probably step in to fill the role.
Tsuyoshi Wada - Age: 33 - Line: 0.68 ERA, 1 ER, 18 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 13.1 IP
The Cubs are in dire need of some left-handed pitching help. Wada, a seasoned vet who was probably the 13th or 14th man on the pitching staff out of Spring Training, has posted dominant numbers over two starts in AAA. I could see him getting a lot of major league innings, if he's really all there, as a two-inning reliever who could also be used against lefties in high-leverage situations. And then there's the second half, where Wada could be starting, depending on how many SPs the Cubs trade.
Kris Bryant - Age: 22 - Line: .286/.444/.629, 3 2B, 3 HR, 2 SB, 11:8 K:BB
Coming out of spring I repeatedly cautioned folks that Bryant had not played a whole lot of professional baseball, that a few at-bats in A+ were nice but more time would be needed, not to think too much about his making the case to play in the majors. WELP, I WAS TOTALLY WRONG LOL. It's still a small sample, but Bryant looks next-level bound. He's doing everything -- even stealing bases. All systems are go with this one.
Dustin Geiger - Age: 22 - Line: .279/.354/.605, 2 2B, 4 HR, 12:5 K:BB
Lovely start for the young man, who is actually just one month older than Big Kris. He's got a few things counting against him: career line in the minors of .267/.330/.445, and b-ref has his weight at 180. But you take production where you can get it, and it's not like Coghlan or Valaika are blocking him at first up in Iowa.
C.J. Edwards - Age: 23 - Line: 2.45 ERA, 4 ER, 16 K, 6 BB, 1 HR, 14.2 IP
Edwards has plenty more work to do in the Southern League before the front office does anything with him, but you gotta love seeing this kind of start. He's racking up strikeouts *and* groundouts, a rare combination. Needs to get himself through the sixth inning at some point -- maybe even into the seventh! But this'll work for now.
Jake Arrieta - Age: 28 - Line: 0.73 ERA, 1 ER, 9 K, 4 BB, 12.1 IP
Arrieta is rehabbing from a slow start to spring. Brett at Bleacher Nation would know more about the intricacies of the promotion process with him, but just don't forget that he's down there in the minors getting warmed back up.
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Filed under: Minor League News