Cubs Make it Official: Reach an Agreement with Kane County

It has been speculated for about a month now, but today it became official, the Cubs have announced they have reached an agreement to move their single A affiliate from Peoria to Kane County.  Opening day for the Cougars will be Thursday, April 4.

“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Chicago Cubs,” said Cougars General Manager Curtis Haug.  “The close proximity between both organizations will be mutually beneficial in numerous ways.  We believe that the Cubs organization and their philosophies about the minor leagues, including scouting, player development, and involvement in the community, are a fantastic fit for our franchise.”

The Kane County Cougars are excited to bring the Cubs affiliate to town and so are the Cubs as the comments from Jason McLeod below.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with the Kane County franchise,” said Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting/Player Development Jason McLeod. “The benefits of having one of our minor league clubs this close to Chicago are numerous and we look forward to starting this new relationship.”

Not only is it exciting for the Cubs and the Cougars, but for so many Cub fans who can see some of the young, exciting Cubs talent so close to the Chicagoland area.  The new contract with Kane County will last for two years, running through the 2014 season.

Thanks for Reading,

Javier Baez Promoted to Daytona

There were whispers last night and today it was confirmed, the Cubs have promoted Javy Baez to Daytona.  Its an aggressive move but he has earned it by hitting. 336 with 12 HR, and 20 stolen bases at low A Peoria.  Congrats Javy!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Get to Know A Guy Named Geiger

It is our goal here at Born on Third to educate Cubs fans on the talent that sits at the minor league level.  With the way that Theo Epstein has molded this franchise it’s clear that the goal is to have as much talent as possible come from the draft and the farm system.  Wouldn’t you hate to be that one person that has no idea who just got called up to the Cubs?  It makes you look stupid, so don’t look stupid, and learn about the future of the Chicago Cubs here.  Today we feature Dustin Geiger.

Dustin Geiger is 20-year-old third baseman from Merritt Island, Florida.  Geiger was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 24th round (730 overall) of the 2010 MLB first year player draft out of Merritt Island High School (Merritt Island, FL).  After getting drafted by the Cubs Geiger signed a deal to start his professional career, in doing so he earned a $150,000 signing bonus.

Geiger jumped right into action making his professional debut on July 10, 2010 with the Cubs Arizona Rookie League team.  Dustin struggled out of the gates hitting only .214 in July, in only 12 games however.  Not a surprise as most young players coming right out of high school need to take a step back and realize that belong at this level.  Geiger started to figure it out the longer he was in Arizona.  During a nine game stretch in August Geiger hit safely in seven of those games with a home run and seven RBI’s.  It was a glimpse into what Geiger could do with the bat, he finished off August hitting .259 with a home run and 11 RBI’s.  It was a solid 2010 for Geiger as he was able to get his feet wet before entering his first off-season as a professional.

2011 began with Geiger in a familiar spot, playing third base for the Cubs AZL team.  The results however were much different and that is a good thing.  Geiger went nuts in Arizona for the Cubs, he played in 19 games, he hit .342 with two home runs and 20 RBI’s.  He also added nine double and two triples for good measure which brought his SLG to .582 and his OPS to .948 on the season.  That was all the Cubs organization needed to see as they promoted Geiger to the Peoria Chiefs and Geiger made his single A debut on July 18, 2011.  Much like 2010, Geiger struggled with the jump in talent level.  Again, not something that is out of the ordinary, especially for a 19-year-old at A ball already.  Dustin played the final 43 games for the Chiefs, hitting .227 with a home run and 13 RBI’s.

Solid progress was stunted at the beginning of 2012 as Geiger was sidelined with an injury to start the season.  Something that drove Dustin crazy as he missed the first two months of the Peoria Chief’s season.  Geiger went through rehab and worked extremely hard to get back into game shape and back to the Chiefs as quickly as possible.  From the looks of it, the extra work he got has paid off.  Geiger made his 2012 debut with the Chiefs on June 7, 2012, and has spent the entire year with the club.  He is starting to make a name for himself, as 2012 featured a 13 game hitting streak in June where he hit .311 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI’s.  Geiger struggled in July, but something clicked, the power.  Geiger only hit .206 in July, but he hit 8 home runs and drove in 16 runs.  All of this led up to Geiger busting out here in August the last couple of days.  Over the last two days Geiger is 6-for-9 with three home runs and nine RBI’s including an 8 RBI GAME on August 1st.  To date, Geiger is hitting .268 with Peoria, he has 14 home runs and 39 RBI’s, not bad in just 47 games.

The reason I’m excited about Geiger is his ability to adjust and grow within the Cubs system.  At every level he has been at he as struggled early, but then adjusted and turned it on.  If he can continue to do those things moving forward eventually the struggles will be less and less and the production could be through the roof, like the last two days.  I would expect Geiger to finish off 2012 in Peoria and then get a chance to start off 2013 in Daytona.  If you want to interact with Dustin follow this link to Dustin’s twitter account.  He is a very active user, and talks with fans on a regular basis, so give him a follow.  Best of luck the rest of the way Dustin!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor League Monthly: July 2012

Here is a recap for the month of July for the Cubs minor league system.  There are a lot of players who had a good July, but I limited it to a player of the month/pitcher of the month at each level.

AZL Cubs:  21-10 (1st place)
July Record:  14-8
The Cubs had a pretty good month of July to go along with a great start to the season and they are in first place as of today.  There were a lot of exciting things happening in Mesa, mainly the debut’s of both Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.  There were other exciting debut’s as pitchers Dillon Maples and 2012 draftees Paul Blackburn (56 overall) and Ryan McNeil (3rd round) started there professional careers.  Finally Daniel Vogelbach just crushed the ball before being promoted to Boise.  He left the Cubs hitting .324 with seven home runs, 12 doubles, and 31 RBIs.

Player of the Month:  Ben Carhart
The 22-year old third baseman was drafted in the 35th round of this years draft out of Stetson University.  This month he hit a robust .400.  with one home run, six doubles, 14 runs scored, and 12 RBIs.  He slugged .550 and had an OBP of .486 bringing his OPS to 1.036.

Pitcher of the Month:  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino
In his first year in the organization, the 21 year-old pitcher has been very good.  This month Martinez-Pulmarino was 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA.  He pitched 15.2 innings in six games, all but one out of the bullpen.  He struck out 14, allowed only five hits and walked four in July.

Boise Hawks:  5-2 (1st place second half)
July Record:  12-17
Boise was off to a really rough start, but have been hot of late winning six out of their last eight and four in a row.  Luckily for them the second half has just started, so as far as the second half goes they are off to a nice start.

Player of the Month:  Gioskar Amaya
At only 19-years old the infielder has impressed with the bat thus far at Boise and July was no different.  He hit .330 with four home runs, four triples, and three doubles.  Amaya knocked in 13 and scored an impressive 24 runs while stealing six bags.  He had an OBP of .407 and slugged .567 brining his OPS to .974.

Pitcher of the Month:  Tayler Scott
The 20-year old starting pitcher had quite a nice July.  He started six games and went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA.  In his 30 innings pitched he gave up 21 hits, walked 14, and struck out 20.  Scott was drafted last year in the fifth round out of Notre Dame Prep High School in Scottsdale, AR.

Peoria Chiefs:  15-22 (7th place second half)
July Record:  12-16
July was not the best of months for the Chiefs and they will have some work to do to get back in the playoff picture.  Catcher Chadd Krist came up from Boise and has continued to hit and Pin-Chieh Chen has been on quite a tear over the last couple weeks.  Peoria will look to have a good August and make up a lot of ground in hopes to get back in the race.

Player of the Month:  Javier Baez
Wow did the 2011 first round pick have a great month.  The 19-year old shortstop hit .368 with with seven home runs, three triples, and six doubles.  Baez drove in 20 runs, scored 21, and stole eight bags.  His OPS for the month was 1.076 as he slugged an impressive .679 and had an OBP of .397.  It was quite the month for the highly touted Cubs prospect.

Pitcher of the Month:  Joseph Zeller
Zeller, 24 pitched well in July going 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA in six appearances, five starts.  He pitched 32.2 innings giving up 32 hits, walking seven, and striking out 14.  He isn’t a huge strikeout pitcher and he gave up a hit an inning, but it is impressive to see the ERA as low as it was in the month.

Daytona Cubs:  18-21 (5th place second half)
July Record:  12-17
Daytona didn’t have their best month, but there were some highlights to go along with the disappointing record.  Matt Szczur was promoted to Tennessee after Jae-Hoon Ha was injured.  Szczur had been one of Daytona’s most consistent performers throughout the year and it will take some adjustments for them to get back on track without him.  The Cubs will have to make up a lot of ground in August as they sit six games back going into today.

Player of the Month:  Ronald Torreyes
At only 19-years old the second baseman is starting to really hit.  After a disappointing first couple months Torreyes had a very good June and followed it with a nice July.  He hit .333 with one home run, two triples, and seven doubles.  He also drove in 18, scored 16, and stole seven bases.  Torreyes was brought over in the Sean Marshall deal.

Pitcher of the Month:  Matt Loosen
Loosen went 4-1 in six starts in July.  He had an ERA of 3.08 throwing 38 innings, giving up 26 hits, walking 13, and striking out 35.

Tennessee Smokies:  17-20 (4th place second half)
July Record:  12-16
A sub .500 record in July wasn’t what the Smokies were looking for as they currently are 5.5 games behind the division leader.  The month was highlighted when Matt Szczur was promoted to Tennessee.  The reason he was promoted was because of an unfortunate accident when Jae-Hoon Ha got a concussion.  The Smokies need to got hot in order to make a run at the division.

Player of the Month:  Justin Bour
The 24-year old first baseman has had a good season and July was no different.  He hit .337 with four home run and eight double.  Bour drove in an impressive 25 runs which brings him to 84 on the season.  He slugged .529 and had an OBP of .381 with an OBP of .909.  It will be fun to watch Bour’s pursuit of 100 RBIs.

Pitcher of the Month:  Eric Jokisch
Jokisch, 23 was 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in five July starts.  In 28 innings pitched he struck out 2o, walked eight, and surrendered 21 hits.  We all know the Cubs system is light on arms, but Jokisch has had a pretty good season up to this point.

Iowa Cubs:  42-69 (Last place)
July Record:  8-20
Things don’t get much worse than an 8-20 month, but maybe it is when August is starting and you are 24 games back.  It was going to be tough when Rizzo was brought up, but I don’t think anyone was expecting a month like this.  There weren’t too many bright spots, but there were some.  Josh Vitters had a good month, not great, but good.  James Adduci came up from Tennessee and did well in the 18 games he played in compiling and OPS of .999.  All Iowa can hope for now is to end the season on a high note.

Player of the Month:  Dave Sappelt
The 25-year old outfielder had his best month since coming over from Reds.  Sappelt hit .317 in July hitting one home run, one triple, and eight doubles.  He scored 16 runs and drove in 12 while stealing eight bases.  He got on base at a .368 clip and slugged .442.  It was nice to see Sappelt have a good month and my guess is we will see him in Chicago at some point this season.

Pitcher of the Month:  Esmailin Caridad
I bet you didn’t expect to hear that name again, but he had quite an impressive month.  In 18.2 innings Caridad gave up 14 hits, walked 7, and struck out 22 as his ERA stands at 0.92 for the month of July.  if Caridad can continue we might see him again in big leagues.

It wasn’t the best month for the Cubs farm system, but there were some good things as well as some really exciting things.  There were a lot of hitters and pitchers who could have been included and narrowing it down to only one per level was tough.  Hope you like it.

Thanks for Reading,

A Day With The Peoria Chiefs (Lots of Pics)

Born on Third traveled to Kane County today to take in the Peoria Chiefs game against the Cougars, here’s a recap, mostly pictures, from the day.

We actually bought the tickets before Javier Baez was assigned to Peoria, so it was a bonus that he was playing for the Chiefs and we couldn’t wait to see the 2011 first round draft pick of the Cubs.  Unfortunately, the Peoria Chiefs politely warned us of something on the way to the game..

Yes, that was the Peoria Chiefs twitter account letting us know that Javy Baez was not in the lineup today, oh well I guess, at least we still get to see the Chiefs and Kyler Burke pitch.  We got to the park around 11:30 because we were expecting the gates to open at 12 which is what the website said but they had the gates open already.

NOTE:  Click the picture for the full size, it’s worth it! (Please feel free to use my pictures, but please ask, I would like some credit, thanks!)

  5th/3rd Bank Field is easy to look at from the outside

Massive picture recap after the jump!

Continue reading “A Day With The Peoria Chiefs (Lots of Pics)”

The Kyler Burke Story

Peoria got another stellar outing from LHP Kyler Burke last night as he went 6 innings giving up 2 hits and allowing no earned runs.  He recorded his first win of the season dropping his ERA to 2.31.  The 25-year-old has enjoyed success thus far as a pitcher dating back to last year at Boise where he pitched out of the bullpen.  He ended the season with a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings pitched including one save while striking out just over one batter per inning.

So what makes Kyler Burke so interesting?  Well we need to get in the time machine and go back a few years to 2007 when Michael Barrett was on the wrong side of Carlos Zambrano’s fists.  Shortly after that memorable June day the Cubs traded Barrett to the Padres for two players.  Most of us remember or are trying to forget that we received catcher Rob Bowen, but many don’t recall the centerpiece in the deal was a 19-year-old OF who was drafted 35th overall in just the previous years draft.  That player was Kyler Burke and the Cubs were very happy to acquire the talented outfielder.  Burke’s next few seasons were plagued by drastic inconsistency with the highlight coming in 2009 when he was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year.  He hit .303 with 15 HR, and 89 RBI’s in Peoria.  The next year however was when things took a turn for the worse, while in Daytona Burke hit only .212 with 131 strikeouts in 135 games.  The following March the Cubs and Burke, who had pitched in high school, decided it was time for a change and with that Kyler Burke began his new career as a pitcher.

The Cubs have to be happy with his progress thus far, as he is doing quite well in only his second year as a pitcher.  Burke recently has moved from the pen to the starting rotation for Peoria with pretty good results.  Where will Kyler Burke go from here we don’t know, but with a premium on quality left-handed arms out of the bullpen it is hard to think he won’t make it to the show as a big league pitcher sometime down the road.  As long as it seems Kyler Burke’s story has been, it really has just begun.  The best of luck to him on his continued development and we hope to see him at Wrigley somtime in the future.

Thanks for Reading,

Gerardo Concepcion Has His Best Pro Start

That sigh of relief you just heard was probably from Gerardo Concepcion as he just finished his outing against the Burlington Bees.  Concepcion has struggled, that is an understatement actually.  The intriguing Cuban prospect was 0-3 with a 12.66 ERA in four starts coming into today.  In most of those starts he has had trouble making it out of the first inning unscathed, let alone still in the game.

Today was different, Concepcion still had some issues with command but he was much better.  His final line was 6 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts, he is in line for his first pro victory as Peoria leads 2-0 in the bottom of the 7th against Burlington.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Peoria Chiefs Add Concepcion to Roster

Gerardo Concepcion officially signed with the Cubs back in March, you can read about that here, he will now make his Organizational debut tomorrow for the Peoria Chiefs, where he will be starting.  We will keep you posted on his progress for sure. 

Thanks for reading,
– George