Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Jimenez, Torres HR; Dewees gets 4 hits, 6 RBI; Galindo red hot

Iowa 3, Nashville 2 (Michael)

  • A thrilling two out, two run rally in the bottom of the 9th capped a come from behind victory for Iowa (17-16) and put them over the .500 mark for the first time this season. A Dan Vogelbach walk after the first two hitters were retired triggered the rally. Arismendy Alcantara would pinch run and advance to third when the throw attempting to catch him stealing second skipped into CF. A walk to Taylor Davis put runners on the corners setting the stage for Albert Almora (2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI). He drove a pitch into the LF corner, clearing the bases, and securing the win.
  • Ryan Williams went a season high 8 innings in his previous start and followed that up today with a season high 7 strikeouts over 6+ innings of work. His numbers have improved in conjuction with an improvement to his command in recent starts. Williams walked just 18 batters and surrendered just 2 HRs in over a 140 innings last season, but has already walked 12 and given up 3 HRs in just 38 innings to start this year, however he has walked just 3 in his last 3 starts.
  • The I-Cubs offense was able to get little going against Oakland prospect Daniel Mengden in the early going. The red hot Mengden entered having given up just 2 runs in his four AA starts and no runs in his previous two AAA starts. He shut down the I-Cubs for the first 6 innings, surrendering just an Albert Almora triple.
  • Willson Contreras finally got to him in the 7th. His solo HR to lead off the inning kicked the Iowa comeback into motion.
  • Gerardo Concepcion was rewarded for his excellent work in Tennessee with a promotion to Iowa and he picked up right where he had left off. He had not given up a run in 10 games (17.2 IP) at the AA level. He inherited two runners from Williams with no outs in the 7th and quickly struck out the side and then retired the side in order in the 8th. If the Cubs are looking for the best internal option as lefty for the pen Concepcion appears to be the best option right now.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a perfect 9th to earn the win.

Tennessee 12, Montgomery 5 (Michael)

  • Tennessee came ready to hit (and walk) tonight. After getting two runners on with no out in the 1st without scoring, they made sure to not come up empty handed in the same situation in the 2nd. In all, the first 5 Smokies hitters of the inning would  reach. A walk, a single, two doubles, and a triple gave them a 4-0. The big hits in the inning were a run scoring double by Carlos Penalver and a two run triple by Jacob Hannemann. It was just the beginning.
  • Tennessee would score in seven of the final eight innings. Every Tennessee starter reached base at least twice. They collected 13 hits, including 9 for extra bases, 12 walks and one HBP.
  • David Freitas walked, doubled twice and homered. He scored 3 times and drove in 2.
  • Penalver stuffed the box score as he walked twice, doubled twice, scored twice, drove in two and stole his first base of the season.
  • Making another start in place of the injured Jen-Ho TsengBrad Markey took gave up just one earned run (2 overall) in 4 innings. As a starter Markey works in the 88-91 range with his fastball and compliments it with his above average curve and occasional change.
  • Starling Peralta worked three scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.

Myrtle Beach 8 – Frederick 3

  • Erick Leal had his good command today, throwing 67 of 86 pitches for strikes and not walking a batter.  He went 7.2 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 3.  Leal is 4-2 with a 3.94 ERA on the season.
  • Jose Rosario continued his strong comeback season with a scoreless frame (1K, 1BB), lowering his ERA to 2.08.
  • The Pelicans jumped on Frederick early, scoring 2 runs in each of the first 2 innings.  Yasiel Balaguert started the scoring with a 2 run HR in the first, his 4th of the year.
  • Charcer Burks repeated the formula in the 2nd with a 2-run HR of his own to score Gioskar Amaya (2 for 3, walk, 2 runs scored).  Burks also doubled.
  • Gleyber Torres continued his good run with a 3 run HR in the 7th, though it was his only hit of the game.  Torres has hit .350 in his last 10 games and .239/.329/.415 on the season.  He has struck out just over 26% of the time, which is a concern, but has cut that rate down to 21% over the last 16 games, a span in which he has hit .338 with 3 HRs and a .569 slugging percentage in 70 PAs.
  • Jason Vosler doubled twice, walked, and scored.
  • Trey Martin went 2 for 4 with a run scored.

South Bend 15 – Lansing 2

  • It wasn’t Adbert Alzolay‘s prettiest performance but with the kind of run support he got, he  could afford to be less than perfect.  Alzolay allowed 2 earned runs in 6 innings, walking 3 and not striking out a batter.  It was good enough for his 4th win with no losses.  His ERA is at 2.43.
  • Casey Bloomquist was brilliant in relief, striking out 7 in 3 perfect innings.  Bloomquist isn’t overpowering but uses good command, good movement, and solid secondaries to keep hitters off balance.
  • Donnie Dewees sparked the offense with 4 hits, inckuding a double and a triple, and 6 RBI.  Dewees also stole his 9th base and has 9 triples and 7 doubles on the season in what has been a dynamic season at the plate.  He’s hitting .315/.351/.529 overall.
  • PJ Higgins doubled, walked, scored, and drove in 2 runs.
  • Jesse Hodges drove in 2 runs.
  • Eloy Jimenez raw power hasn’t fully translated quite yet but he did hit his 2nd HR of the season today while also hitting his 11th double and driving in 2.  What’s most impressive about Jimenez is his maturing all-fields approach and improving plate discipline,  The double was to CF and the HR to RF.  The walks aren’t there and he is striking out more than you would like, but Jimenez is getting deeper in counts and the hope is that eventually starts to correct itself, not to mention getting him more pitches he can turn on and drive.
  • Tyler Alamo‘s strong season at the plate continued with 3 more hits, 2 runs scored, and an RBI.  Alamo is hitting .333 but surprisingly considering his strength and raw power, is slugging just .375 so far.  Considering Alamo may  end up as a 1B/DH, that will have to improve, though he still has a chance to stick at catcher.
  • Sutton Whiting used his good batting eye  to draw 3 walks and his good speed to help him score 3 runs.
  • Bryant Flete singled twice and scored 3 times.

Notes from the backfields

  • Box score from AZ Phil for today’s game can be found here.
  • Pedro Silverio was very impressive today, commanding a low 90s fastball and an above average curve.  It was interesting to watch as scouts gradually started paying more attention as the game went on.  He pitched 3 no-hit innings, striking out 5.  Silverio is 21 years old and should start in Eugene.
  • Tommy Nance looked sharp today, setting up hitters with his good fastball (92-95 with good plane) and then putting them away with his hard curve.  He struck out 5 in 2 innings.
  • Wladimir Galindo is one of the hottest hitters down here in AZ, consistently making hard contact this spring, especially in the last week or so.  Early on Galindo had shown himself to be very susceptible to breaking balls away, but he is becoming more proficient at taking those pitches the other way.  He is hitting .333 with a .462 slugging pct overall, per AZ Phil.
  • DJ Wilson is a burner (3.76 to first on a bunt and 4.1 today on an infield ground out) but he also has some pop, but like Galindo, he has been susceptible to breaking stuff away.  The Cubs had him working on going the other way a few days ago and today he seems to be applying that lesson well, going that way more often, including a rocket that one-hopped the LF wall today for a triple.
  • Alex Bautista has been hitting the ball well of late as well and had two more hard hit balls today, including a double.

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  • I guess April showers really do bring May flowers...

    Ryan Williams - In his last 6 starts (all except his AAA debut): 4-0, 2.27, 35.2 IP, 31 H, 10 BB, 26 K, 1.15 WHIP. He's 2-0, 1.80, 20 IP, 16 H, 3 BB, 16 K, 0.95 in 3 May starts.

    Carl Edwards, Jr. - In his last 5 appearances (since 4/28): 1-0, 0.00, 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 9 K.

    Albert Almora - Has a 10 game hitting streak in which he's hit .362 with 3 doubles and 2 triples but not drawn a single walk. At least his K% is low during that span and if you're hitting .362 (and raising your SLG to from .460 to .488), do we really care if you go a stretch without taking a walk?

    Willson Contreras - The Iowa Cubs have played a game every day so far in May, and Willson has gotten on base in every one with 15 hits and 8 walks (against just 5 Ks) in 13 games. It's not just walks and singles either. His SLG at the end of April was .410. After 2 doubles and 3 HRs this month, he's raised it to .500.

    Dan Vogelbach - After walking 57 times to 61 strikeouts last year in AA, Dan got off to a rough start in AAA striking out 13 times with just 2 walks in his first 9 games. Since then, he's K'd 19 times and drawn 15 walks. He's hitting .324 with 4 HRs, 5 BB and 6 Ks in his last 10 games.

    Vic Caratini - In nine May games, he's hitting .333/.462/.433 with 8 BB and 7 Ks. As a 22-year-old in AA, he's already a year young for his league and much younger than the average catcher at that level. He's the 2nd youngest catcher in the Southern League. Only Jacob Nottingham (Brewers) is younger, but he's currently hitting .210/.275/.290 with 8 BB against 25 Ks.

    Mark Zagunis - He's heating up along with the weather hitting .286/.400/.476 in May with 2 doubles and 2 HRs. He's known for his excellent K/BB ratio, and that's holding true this season with 18 BB to 25 Ks. Last year, in High-A, he walked 80 times and struck out 86.

    Gerardo Concepcion - His season has been one long encouraging trend. In 19.2 IP (over AA & AAA now), he's allowed 5 hits, no runs (earned or otherwise), walked 4 while striking out 20. His scoreless streak, including the last 5 appearances of 2015, extends back to August 22nd.

    Gleyber Torres - Started the season horribly hitting .113/.266/.226 in his first 14 games, striking out in every one for a total of 20. In the 17 games since, he's hit .338/.371/.569 with 4 SBs without getting caught.

    Jason Vosler - After getting off to a great start hitting .311/.402/.392 in April, Vosler's topping that in the 1st half of May with a .405/.442/.676 slash, 5 doubles and 1 HR. As an age appropriate player in High-A (he'll be 22 until Sept. 6th), Jason is opening some eyes. The Cubs developmental staff LOVES him.

    Trevor Clifton - He turned 21 two days ago but has been pitching in High-A all season. He was drafted as a raw prep arm but has improved his mechanics and come a long way. He still struggles to command his 95 mph FB and above average breaking ball, but things might be coming together for him. Since the calendar flipped to May, he's 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA allowing 10 hits in 11 IP with 18 Ks and just 3 walks.

    Eddy Julio Martinez - The most expensive IFA signing this season got off to an inauspicious start striking out 17 times in his first 16 games without drawing a walk and hitting .235/.246/.353. The hitting hasn't taken off yet, but he's improved that K/BB ratio striking out 13 times while drawing 8 walks since. Martinez has shown some pop, however, leading South Bend with 4 HRs

    Eloy Jimenez - For a 19-year-old in the Midwest League, Eloy has acquitted himself nicely thus far. He still is learning to control the strike zone, but he hit .284/.326/.420 in April with 6 doubles and a HR in 20 games. In 11 May games, he's up his production to .317/.333/.512 with 5 doubles and a HR.

    James Norwood - An elbow strain stunted his development after being selected in the 7th round in 2014. James has a mid-90s FB that he's struggled to control in his first 2 seasons. The Cubs moved him to the pen this year, but he got off to a rough start giving up 6 ER in his first 5 IP. Since then, he's been stellar. In his next 8.1 IP, he's allowed 1 ER on 7 H, 0 BB and 11 Ks.

    Carson Sands - He had a rough April walking 7 with just 7 Ks in 14.1 IP and a 6.28 ERA. He's won both May starts, pitching 11 shoutout innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 walks with 7 Ks for a BAA of .211.

    Justin Steele - As bad as Sands' start was, Steele's was worse. His April ERA of 9.49 was driven by a BAA of .414. 8 walks in 12.1 IP contributed to a 2.59 WHIP last month. He must have made an adjustment because since the new month arrived, he's 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA with 10 Ks and 3 walks in 8 IP. In April, guys were getting the ball in the air hitting a lot of line drives and 11 fly ball outs to just 10 on the ground. In his 2 starts in May, he's caused 14 ground ball outs to just 1 in the air and a BAA of .219.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Quedub, great job! I wonder how close Concepcion is to being a real interesting prospect?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Concepcion is a prospect already. If the Cubs need a lefty reliever from the minors, Concepcion is the best option. Soto and Riefenhauser are both on the 40 man right now, and not Concepcion, but it would not shock me if that changes if/when the big club is looking for help.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    What kind of stuff does Concepcion bring to the table? IIRC, he is not a high velo guy, and maybe has a good curve? I can't remember.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He is bigger and stronger than when he first signed. Fastball in the low 90s (used to be high 80s), and a decent curve, and a change. The difference this year is that he has regained his command. He walked a ton of guys last year, which was pretty out of character for him.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Low 90s FB, touches 94. Big breaking curve and a good change. Always been more about FB command with him and it looks like that is finally improving.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Great summary Quedub.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Quedub. It's really good to see these prospects grow and check their progress month through month. You did a great job in collecting these stats and they are greatly appreciated. Conception could be an answer if the Cubs want to change the bullpen. I see that as one of our few weaknesses and it's good to know that we have some talent available, and he's only 22 ( 23 in June).

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Very awesome summary of our guys' progress during May. Love to read this stuff!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Quedub :

    Thanks for the research and exceptionally well organized and written "comment". People like you are EXACTLY why I love this web site.

    I trust that John has issued your own copy of the Corporate Credit Card to you!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Couldn't agree more to all the positive comments, Quedub. Marvelous write ups on a slew of prospects. As DropThePuck said, your work is exactly why I (also) love this site!!!

  • In reply to Quedub:

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  • fb_avatar

    Taylor Davis...is he a for-real backup C option? It certainly seems like he can hold his own with the bat, how is he defensively?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Davis is well-regarded in the organization for his knowledge of the game and the mental side of catching. Physically he's limited, despite the good numbers. Not the prettiest swing you'll see but it works for him at the minor league level. Not sure if Davis will ever be anything more than an emergency 3rd or 4th catcher but I am willing to bet he sticks with the org for a long time.

  • fb_avatar

    Piece in Des Moines Register about Contreras and Montero:

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/iowa-cubs/2016/05/12/miguel-montero-willson-contreras-cubs-catchers/84296266/

    Last year, Cubs sent Montero to AA on rehab assignment, that was when Miguel tweeted nice things about Willson. This year AAA where Contreras was. Cubs are pairing them up on purpose it seems.

    It probably helps that they are both originally Venezuelan (IIRC Montero is now a US citizen)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Contreras and Montero hung out together on the field in spring training as well.

  • I haven't seen Williams pitch at all and the only things I know about him are what I have read on this site the last two years.

    If the Cubs needed an emergency starter for a game or for a two week period, would he be the likeliest call up (outside of a Cahill or Warren spot start)?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    He isn't on the 40 man so they would probably go with Richard or Cahill in that scenario. With Beeler and Brooks and Johnson on the DL the Cubs don't actually have any starters on the 40 man that are currently pitching in the minors. If they did have to summon someone right now, they might go with Buchanon or Rucinski given both have MLB experience or Fife is expected back soon too. If they need someone later in the year then one of the injured starters could be available. I think Williams might be able to handle it, but there is no rush this year. The team has 3 long relievers on the roster with recent starting experience and 5 guys (when healthy) in Iowa with previous MLB experience, plus Johnson who is already on the 40 man. Williams could well be the first option next year though.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It's not fair to Williams but I would be surprised if the Cub's put him on the 40 man before he is rule 5 eligible. (2017 I think) The Cub's seem to prefer going dumpster diving. I understand they just signed a RP out of Arizona who is currently struggling at Mobile.

    In Williams case I believe they would be reluctant to burn an option year and possibly a year at league minimum before they have to.

    I am currently wondering about all the players we have stashed at AAA as major league depth. Take the case of Tim Federowicz. It appears the Cub's are going to have a hard time getting him through waivers. For the amount of use the Cub's get out of him does he really have more value than Contreras? Stashing him at AAA pushes Davis back to AA, which puts Frietas to a DH, or causes Brockmeyer to repeat A+ all on down the line. From a development point of view, perhaps the Cubs are better without him. Is Willson so bad that they can't sneak him in for a couple of games at the MLB level?

  • In reply to LOB8591:

    Being a WS contender changes development plans for all but the highest ranked guys. Federowicz was exactly what the doc ordered during Miggy's injury. Contreras is allowed to develop normally at AAA

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Cubs now 10-1 against pirates cards and nats. Next 2 weeks if they go 10-5 against @brewers, giants, cardinals, phillies and dodgers. I would be extremely pleased. That would cement them as best team in baseball.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    If Montero goes down with a season ending injury do the Cub's go with Federowicz for the long haul or do they start burning up the phone lines looking for a replacement?

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Isn't Contreras our #1 prospect on most lists?

  • In reply to LOB8591:

    For lists that emphasize empirical results in pro ball, Contreras is #1 on every list I'm aware of. Some people prefer to over-emphasize potential/ceiling instead. On those lists, Torres is usually #1, though I'm betting it's only a matter of time before Dylan Cease becomes that pure upside guy. Myself, I like Contreras, with Almora and Happ as my 2 and 3. Hard data over projection.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    The irony is that for years Contreras was the potential/ceiling guy as opposed to the results guy. Not really trying to make a larger point, but just was struck by that since Contreras was a guy John was building up for years despite middling to poor results. Then last year he exploded onto the scene with production matching what John had been talking about years.

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