Why Is Daytona So Bad? Cubs Prospects Almora, Vogelbach Struggling

Why Is Daytona So Bad? Cubs Prospects Almora, Vogelbach Struggling

Yikes man. It's not a pretty sight, the stats of this year's Daytona Cubs team.

Only one hitter has an OPS above .800. And at the same time, only one pitcher with at least three starts has an ERA below 4.60. Jeimer Candelario, a well-liked third-base prospect, was just demoted back to Kane County. Blahhhh.

Let's take a closer look at some more notable names on this team to look for trends or splits in the data.

Albert Almora

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Which do you want first, the bad news or the good news? Okay, here's the bad news.

Almora has a .582 OPS so far this season. He's got a .649 OPS against lefties, and an even-worse .546 against righties. He has 4 stolen bases and 3 caught stealings. He has just 7 walks and 2 home runs in 62 games.

You want things to get better, but it looks like they're getting worse. Through 14 games, he has a June OPS of .361. Yes, that's his OPS.

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Dan Vogelbach

At the start of this season, this guy was on my list of sure bets to make it to the majors and hit. I thought he had a great combination of both power and hitting ability (not the same thing!).

Vogy has actually managed a decent on-base percentage to date this year (.350), but a .259 average is disappointing, as is a .392 slugging. So what's going on here?

It appears Vogelbach is truly struggling against left-handed pitching (he bats lefty). Against righties, Dan is actually crushing (.300/.394/.493). But lefties are torching him (.183/.264/.207). In 82 at-bats against lefties he has just 15 hits, and only two extra-base hits, both doubles.

Dan is still just 22, and it's reassuring when you look at the splits to see how well he's doing against right-handed pitching. He'll be working the rest of this year on his approach against lefties.

Pin-Chieh Chen 

Just go back and re-read the Vogelbach write-up. He's a different kind of hitter, but like Dan, it's another case of a meh overall line and a wide L/R split.

Bijan Rademacher

The best bat in Daytona so far this year. Wanna guess how he's doing against left-handed pitching? Better than Dan and Pin: Bijan has a .235/.385/.373 against LHP, which still isn't great, but has kept his overall line from crashing. Like Dan and Pin, Bijan is doing a great job of hitting RHP (.846 OPS).

Gioskar Amaya

Another relative success story. After a white-hot April -- mostly driven by an unsustainably high BABIP (.408/.483/.429) -- Amaya's hitting soured in May, but then recovered in June. Through 13 games this month he's hitting .256/.347/.419. Still just 22, there are signs here that he could continue to develop as a hitter over the balance of this season, with a shot at Tennessee next year.

Rob Zastryzny

I'll tack on one pitcher here just for fun. Rob refuses to walk anyone: he's given up just 12 free passes in 54.1 IP, and has a health 56 strikeouts to go along with. Unfortunately, Z is spending so much time in the zone that hitters are repeatedly squaring him up. He's allowed 67 hits so far this year.

HOWEVER! While many Daytona prospects seem to be slogging through the season, there's a hint that Z may have taken a step forward. So far in June, through three starts and 18.2 innings, he's allowed just 12 hits, while keeping the strikeouts high (19) and the walks low (2).

It's been a tough year for the Cubs' A+ and AA teams, particularly on the pitching side. But Vogelbach and Chen at least have one foot on which to stand (they're smacking around RHP pretty good), while Rademacher and Amaya appear to be developing as complete hitters. If Zastryzny can keep the hits down, we'll have at least a few good players to watch, while we grit our teeth about Albert.


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Filed under: Minor League News


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  • On the other hand, how many years has Vogelbach been mired in A or below? Looks like this is his 4th

    Almora, only his 3rd, but if they aren't making it up the minors chain at some rate, I don't think anyone is going to write about how they are disappointments in Kodak, Tenn. a couple of years from now.

  • Daytona's lack of success befuddles me. Tennessee, they have been ravaged by injuries (soler, pinyero, johnson, edwards, and black). I think the best thing that could have happened to Daytona, happened yesterday when Jeimer Candelario was DEMOTED. Hopefully that woke up some of the more highly touted prospects on the team.

    Rademacher, Amaya, and Hernandez have all had decent years. Last year at Kane County, this team could score some runs, they had no pitching. It was not uncommon for them to fall behind three runs and they could come back and be competitive. When Pierce Johnson was promoted, that team went South...and hasn't really changed much.

    This year, the team is not hitting. I wonder if it is attitude, entitlement, arrogance, too much self-esteem, or they are just not that good. The Candelario demotion in just one full game and two innings tonight have seen a new Dan Vogelbach. The pitching, aside from Felix Pena and the occasional good start by Tayler Scott, has been horrid. Andrew McKirahan and Michael Jensen have been outstanding out of the pen.

    Awhile back, Jensen and Rock Shoulders were suspended for breaking team rules. One can only imagine, but I think they might just forget why they are there. One thing I continually have to tell myself is they are still 20, 21, 22 year old kids. Sometimes, we forget, they are there to develop. They are not quite ready made stars. Maybe they just need to grow up.

  • Here are my thoughts of why these guys are doing bad......

    - very long bus rides in hot weather......then playing in muggy, humid weather.
    - inconsistent pitching ......I noticed many pitchers on all FSL teams who do not throw strikes on a regular basis....hard to hit when strikes are not being thrown.
    - poor coaching staff......maybe a shake up has to happen in Daytona
    - too many distractions.......hot looking women..........the beaches.....the bars

  • The only guy on this list that matters is Almora. We need to see him make some adjustments.

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