No words. Wow. Wait, that’s one word to describe it. Drops to a knee, what a beast.
At the plate – Arismendy Alcantara was a one man wrecking crew in this one as he went 3-for-4 with four RBI’s, and a walk. Christian Villanueva was 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win. Villanueva was part of a group of hitters at the bottom of the lineup that got the job done in this one. The Smokies five through nine hitters were a combined 7-for-17 with two walks, three RBI’s, and eight runs scored. John Andreoli was 1-for-2 with a walk, his eighth stolen base of the year, an RBI, and three runs scored. Rafael Lopez was outstanding going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI’s, a walk, and two runs scored.
On the mound – Dae-Eun Rhee was magnificent in picking up his third win of the season against no losses. Rhee worked 6.1 innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out five. Hunter Cervenka was touched up a bit as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one. Frank Batista was great in closing this one out, he worked two innings giving up one run, unearned, on no hits (what?) while walking one and striking out one.
Notes: AZL Cubs were off, and Tyler Skulina was promoted to Kane County this morning (2013 – 4th round pick).
From time to time I like to make a post about a Cubs prospect so you the reader, and fan won’t look stupid if and when they make it to the big club. Well, now this feature has a name, “Who is this guy?” I wanted to use the line from the movie “Major League” but this is a family blog for the most part. Today we learn about Jeimer Candelario, and keep an eye out because there will be many more of these in the near future.
Jeimer was brought into the Cubs organization as a non-drafted free agent on September 29, 2010, he was only seventeen years old at the time of the signing. The switch hitting Candy man has quickly made a name for himself and has left some forgetting that he is still so very young.
Candelario got his professional career underway in 2011 playing in the Dominican Summer league, he played seventy-two games as a seventeen year-old, primarily at third base. The numbers were impressive, Candelario hit .337 with an eye-popping .443 OBP, and a robust OPS of .921, talk about Cubs way. In 305 plate appearances Candelario walked fifty times and only struck out forty-two times, that’s what makes him so desirable to the current organization, grinding at bats. I mentioned his OPS, he racked up sixteen doubles, two triples, and five home runs while driving in fifty-three, again, in seventy-two games.
That performance was enough for the Cubs to send Jeimer to Boise to start the 2012 season with the Hawks in the Northwest League. The Boise Hawks were oh so very close to an outright Championship in 2012 and Jeimer was a big reason why. It was a stiff test for sure as Jeimer was one of the youngest players on the roster at eighteen years old but he more than held his own. The numbers were similar to those that he put up in the Dominican Summer League, but you can see the increase in talent of the opposition across the board. Jeimer’s average dropped to .281 for the season, he had an OBP of .345 and a .741 OPS. Sure those are “big” drops, but not when you put it into context, there was no way he was going to sustain the numbers he put up in the DSL while playing against the talent of the NWL at eighteen years old. Those numbers are excellent, the main difference was the drop in walks, Jeimer walked twenty-six times for Boise compared to fifty in the DSL the year before. The result was more strike outs (55), and a lower average, but it was still a tremendous year.
That brings us to this year, the Cubs sent Jeimer to Kane County to embark on his first full season as a professional ballplayer. Jeimer was doing so as the second youngest player on the team, only Albert Almora is younger. As of today Candelario has played in ninety-six games, that is twenty-four more than he has ever played in one pro season. The increased work load has taken a toll on Jeimer as his numbers are down a bit since the all-star break (.225 average) but if you look closer he is starting to get back into good habits. For the season Jeimer is hitting .251 with a .337 OBP and a .714 OPS, all career lows, but the walks have bounced back and he has become doctor doubles. That is the nickname of Garret Anderson because he was a doubles machine, well Jeimer is starting to grow into that type of hitter. His previous career high in doubles was sixteen in the DSL, he already has twenty-nine with the Cougars.
There is progression across the board from Jeimer, and he is showing why MLB.com ranked him as the 13th best prospect in the system coming into the year. The future is bright for Jeimer, at only nineteen he has proven he can play at the class A level, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him transition to Daytona next year as a twenty year-old, after that anything can happen. I wish Jeimer the best of luck, and give him a follow on twitter (@Jeimer24C), super nice guy that loves to interact with fans.
At the plate – Daytona couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it in this one, but still found enough offense to escape with a win. Ben Carhart was 2-for-5 in the win, he is now hitting .251 on the season. Dustin Geiger has put together a stellar 2013, he was 2-for-4 with a walk in this one and is now hitting .289 on the season. Both Taiwan Easterling and Brad Zapenas had two hits, and a run scored today. Daytona registered nine hits but they were only 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eleven men on base.
On the mound – I was really excited for C.J. Edwards Cubs debut today and he didn’t disappoint. Edwards was nasty going five scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out eight. The only hit Edwards gave up was of the infield variety, and not one ball made it out of the infield. That wasn’t the only impressive stat from this one as Edwards struck out the first seven hitters he faced, unfortunately he walked away with a no decision. Lendy Castillo took over and was solid going three scoreless innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking three, and striking out three to earn his first win of the year. Austin Reed worked the ninth for his third save of the year, he allowed one hit and that was it.
Javier Baez is hitting home runs at a frantic pace, he just hit his 9th home run of the season for the Smokies, that gives him 26 for 2013 (Daytona and Tennessee)… it’s July 28th. Enjoy the video below, thanks to the Smokies for sharing it.
At The Plate – Not much going for the Iowa offense, luckily they didn’t need much to walk away with a victory. Darnell McDonald was 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in the win. J.C. Boscan had the big hit for Iowa as he was 1-for-3 with a double, and two RBI’s. The Cubs could only manage five hits in this one but they were 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
On The Mound – It was the Guillermo Moscoso show as he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing a double, and that was it. Moscoso worked eight scoreless innings giving up one hit, two walks, and five strikeouts. Brian Schlitter was solid as usual as he worked a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one to earn his eleventh save of the season.
Notes: Daytona was rained out
The deadline for signing draft picks is this Friday, well the Cubs got their number one priority taken care of today. Per multiple reports from Jim Callis, Peter Gammons, and Paul Sullivan the Cubs have agreed to terms with Kris Bryant for full slot, meaning $6.7M. It seemed like the Cubs would be getting Bryant signed all along, he is a Boras client so I’m not surprised it took this long. The money is a record in the slot era, but again, Bryant got slot so it’s not like the Cubs went over, but some were hoping he would go for under slot. Expect the Cubs to make it official shortly then we get to see where Bryant will start his Cubs career, wouldn’t be shocked to see him start at High A Daytona right off the bat.