Archive for the ‘ Minor Leagues ’ Category

Cubs name 3B Bryant, RHP Tseng organization’s MiLB Player, Pitcher of the Year

TsengPOY14

The Cubs named Jen-Ho Tseng the club’s 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Kane County Cougars)

The Cubs named third baseman Kris Bryant and right-handed pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, on Monday.

The award should come as no surprise for the 22-year-old Bryant, as publications like Baseball America and USA Today have already named him their Minor League Player of the Year. The 2013 first-round pick dominated all season, batting .325/438/.661 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with a minor league-best 43 home runs in 138 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He also tallied 34 doubles and 110 RBI and led the minors with 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases, a 1.098 OPS as well as the aforementioned .661 slugging percentage. His 118 runs scored ranked second among all minor league players, while his RBI total was third, his on-base percentage was fifth and his 86 walks ranked eighth.

A right-handed hitting third baseman, Bryant began the season with Tennessee and batted .355 (88-for-248) with 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 58 RBI, a .458 on-base percentage and a .702 slugging mark in 68 games. He was named the Southern League Hitter of the Week three times, including in consecutive weeks (May 26-June 1 and June 2-8) when he combined to bat .447 (21-for-47) with five doubles, eight home runs, 12 RBI and 15 walks. Bryant was named a midseason Southern League All-Star and led the league in batting average, home runs and RBI at the break.

On June 19, the top prospect was promoted to Iowa following the Southern League All-Star break and went on to hit .295 (72-for-244) with 14 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs, 52 RBI, a .418 on-base percentage and a .619 slugging percentage in 70 games. He hit five home runs in his first six career games at the Triple-A level and went deep in consecutive games on five occasions.

Selected by the Cubs with the second overall pick in 2013, Bryant owns a .327 batting average (203-for-620) with 140 runs scored, 48 doubles, three triples, 52 home runs and 142 RBI in 174 career minor league contests. He has a .428 on-base percentage and a .666 slugging mark to contribute to a 1.094 career OPS. Named the Cubs second-best prospect heading into this season by Baseball America, Bryant owns a .942 fielding percentage at third base (27 E/464 TC), including a .963 mark (7 E/190 TC) with Iowa this season.

Tseng, 19, was a key component in Single-A Kane County’s run to a Midwest League title in 2014. The right-hander went 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA (28 ER/105.0 IP) in 19 games (17 starts), fanning 85 and walking just 15. Tseng limited opponents to a .204 batting average (76-for-373), a .241 on-base percentage and a .308 slugging percentage.

In his first professional season since he was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in July of last season, Tseng allowed three or fewer earned runs in 16 of his 17 starts and surrendered two or fewer walks in 15 starts. He finished the regular season on a nice run, posting a 3-1 record and a 1.65 ERA (10 ER/54.2 IP) in nine games (eight starts) from July 6. The run included a seven-inning complete game in which he allowed just one run on three hits while walking none and striking out seven on July 13 vs. Beloit.

Bryant and Tseng will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 7:05 p.m. contest this Wednesday, Sept. 17, against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Minor League Recap: Cougars claim MWL title

Kane County’s solid play throughout the season was rewarded Saturday, when the Cougars topped Lake County to win the Midwest League title. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championship-clinching victory.

Kane County Cougars
First Half (45-25, 1st Place, +6.5)
Second Half (46-24, 1st Place, +4.0)

Kane County won the Midwest League title, and went 7-0 in the postseason, thanks to Saturday’s 7-2 victory over Lake County to complete a three-game sweep. Add that to their 91-49 regular-season record, and the Cougars finished the campaign 98-49 (.666).

  • RHP Daury Torrez gave up one earned run over five innings, striking out three to earn the win.
  • 1B Jacob Rogers (.259) belted his second homer of the postseason and finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs, three RBI and a walk.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.429) added three hits, one RBI and two runs scored.
  • LHP Michael Heesch (1.35) appeared in relief of Torrez and allowed one run in three innings to pick up the hold.
  • RHP Francisco Carrillo finished the game with a scoreless ninth.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/11/14

Kane County jumped out to a 2-0 series lead with a dominant pitching performance Thursday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s game:

Kane County Cougars
Midwest League Championship
Kane County leads best-of-five series 2-0

The Cougars held Lake County to just two hits for a 6-0 victory in Game 2 of the best-of-five MWL Championship Series. Kane County can clinch the title with a win tomorrow night at Lake County.

  • DH Mark Zagunis (.435) registered a game-high three hits, going 3-for-5 with a run scored, a double (1) and one stolen base (1).
  • LF Shawon Dunston (.348) went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a walk, one RBI (2) and two stolen bases (7).
  • RHP Duane Underwood recorded the win after holding Lake County hitless in six innings of work. He struck out eight.
  • LHP Tyler Ihrig came on in relief and surrendered two hits while striking out four in three scoreless innings of relief to earn his second save of the postseason.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/10/14

Kane County jumped out to an early lead and grabbed the first game of the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series Wednesday. Here are some highlights:

Kane County Cougars
Midwest League Championship
Kane County leads series 1-0

Kane County scored four runs in the first two innings to defeat visiting Lake County, 4-3, in Game 1 of the MWL Championship Series.

  • RHP Jen-Ho Tseng gave up two earned runs over five innings, fanning eight, to pick up the win.
  • DH Mark Zagunis (.389) put the Cougars up 2-1 with a first-inning, two-run blast. He finished 1-for-4 with the homer.
  • LF Shawon Dunston (.300) recorded a game-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.462) went 2-for-4.
  • RHPs Ben Wells (0.00) and Jasvir Rakkar (0.00) each recorded their first hold of the playoffs while combining to toss three scoreless innings of relief.
  • RHP Francisco Carrillo (0.00) earned his third save of the postseason with a perfect ninth inning of work.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/8/14

Daytona’s season came to a close with a loss in extra innings Monday while Kane County had the night off before its championship series against Lake County. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Daytona Cubs
FSL Championship
Daytona loses series 3-1

Fort Myers’ Jason Kanzler hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to break a 2-2 tie, lifting the Miracle to their first FSL title in its 22-year history. With the setback, the Daytona Cubs lost their first postseason series in team history.

  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.250) and 1B Dan Vogelbach (.273) each recorded a double.
  • DH Kyle Schwarber (.174), 2B Gioskar Amaya (.385) and LF Bijan Rademacher (.391) had a hit.
  • RHP Jose Rosario (0.00) struck out five hitters while walking four in four scoreless innings of relief.
  • RHP Stephen Perakslis (1-1, 3.38) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings of work.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/4/14

Kane County advanced to the championship series while Daytona suffered a setback in the first game of its championship series Thursday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Daytona Cubs
FSL Championship Series
Daytona trails series 0-1

Daytona dropped Game 1 of the FSL Championship, falling at Fort Myers, 5-1.

  • LF Bijan Rademacher (.800) went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.462) went 2-for-4 with a double (3) and one RBI (1).
  • LHP Gerardo Concepcion (0.00) tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

Kane County Cougars
MWL Playoffs
Kane County wins series 2-0

3B Jeimer Candelario ripped a walk-off, RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning to help Kane County sweep Wisconsin in the first round of the MWL playoff series, 4-3.

  • Rehabbing 3B Mike Olt (.571) homered for the second-straight game, going 2-for-4 with an eighth-inning, two-run homer.
  • Candelario (.600) finished 3-for-4 with two walks, a run scored, a double (1) and two RBI (2).
  • LF Shawon Dunston (.375) and CF Trey Martin (.500) had two hits apiece.
  • RHP Francisco Carrillo (1-0, 0.00) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.

Cubs recall IF Mike Olt

MikeOlt_Cubs

(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

The Cubs recalled infielder Mike Olt from his rehab assignment in Single-A Kane County Friday. He will be available for the club this afternoon when it begins its series against the Pirates.

The 26-year-old Olt was a member of Chicago’s Opening Day roster and batted .139 (26-for-187) with 12 homers, four doubles and 30 RBI in 72 games before being optioned to Triple-A Iowa on July 22. Despite spending the last six weeks in the minor leagues, Olt is still tied for the National League lead among rookies in home runs and is tied for sixth in RBI.

Olt batted .302 (32-for-106) with seven homers, nine doubles and 24 RBI in 28 games before suffering a hamstring strain. He rehabbed the last two days with Kane County, hitting a home run in each game.

He was acquired by the Cubs last summer from Texas as part of the trade that sent pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers. Olt was originally selected by the Rangers with the 49th overall pick of the 2010 draft (supplemental round).

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/3/14

Daytona advanced to the FSL Championship Series with a win, and Kane County picked up a victory in their playoff opener. Boise’s season came to an end Wednesday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Daytona Cubs
FSL North Championship
Daytona wins series 2-0

For the fourth time in the last six years, the Daytona Cubs were crowned the Florida State League North Champions. The Cubs scored eight runs in the first two innings to beat host Dunedin, 9-4. Game 1 of the FSL Championship against Fort Myers will take place tonight at JetBlue Park.

  • LF Bijan Rademacher (.714) went 2-for-4 with a first-inning, two-run homer.
  • DH Kyle Schwarber (.200) went 1-for-5 with two RBI. He recorded six RBI in two games this series.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.400) and 2B Gioskar Amaya (.444) had three hits apiece while combining to score five runs.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.444) went 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBI (5).
  • LHP Nathan Dorris (1-0, 0.00) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.

Kane County Cougars
MWL Playoffs Series
Kane County leads series 1-0

Kane County recorded 13 hits in a 7-3 victory over host Wisconsin in Game 1 of the MWL Playoffs.

  • Rehabbing 3B Mike Olt (.667) went 2-for-3 with a fifth-inning, three-run homer.
  • DH Mark Zagunis (.600) went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.500) and CF Trey Martin (.500) had two hits apiece.
  • LHP Tyler Ihrig (3.00) allowed a run on four hits while fanning four in three innings of relief to earn the save.

Boise Hawks
NWL East Divisional Series
Boise loses series 0-2

Boise’s season came to an end with a 5-2 loss at Hillsboro in Game 2 of the Northwest League playoffs.

  • DH Justin Marra (.125) went 1-for-4 with a second-inning, two-run homer.
  • CF Rashad Crawford (.429) had a game-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double (1).
  • RHP James Farris (0.00) struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief.

C/OF Schwarber, RHP Johnson named Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Month

Schwarber_Catching

Kyle Schwarber is the organization’s player of the month. (Photo by Aldrin Capulong)

A couple of first-round picks were honored for their strong efforts in August as Single-A Daytona catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber and Double-A Tennessee right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson were named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August.

The 21-year-old Schwarber batted .330 (34-for-103) with 20 runs, 14 walks, eight doubles, eight homers and 17 RBI in 28 August games for Daytona. He recorded a 15-game hitting streak from August 14-27, going 25-for-60 (.417) with nine multihit efforts and 14 RBI during that stretch. Schwarber hit six home runs and went deep in five straight contests, from Aug. 21-24. The left-handed hitter posted a .403 on-base percentage and a .660 slugging percentage, good for a 1.063 OPS, and was named the Florida State League Player of the Week for August 18-24.

In 72 games this season between Short Season-A Boise, Single-A Kane County and High-A Daytona, Schwarber hit .344 (90-for-262) with 55 runs, 39 walks, 18 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 53 RBI. He played 36 games in left field and 20 games behind the plate, throwing out 11 of 32 (34 percent) attempted base stealers. He also drove in six runs in Daytona’s two-game sweep of Dunedin in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs.

Schwarber is completing his first pro season after being selected by Chicago in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 draft.

Johnson, 23, went 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA (6 ER/31.1 IP), 34 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP in six August starts for Tennessee. He held opponents to a .186 batting average and a 1.72 ERA, fourth and fifth lowest, respectively, in the Southern League. From Aug. 3-15, he recorded three-straight scoreless starts, going 2-0 with 21 strikeouts and just six hits and six walks allowed in 16.0 innings.

In his third pro campaign, Johnson posted a 2.54 ERA (29 ER/102.2 IP) in 20 games (19 starts) between Kane County and Tennessee. He was 4-3 with a 1.80 ERA (13 ER/65.0 IP) and a .187 batting average against in his final 12 starts for the Smokies beginning July 2.

Johnson was selected by Chicago in the sandwich round (43rd overall) of the 2012 draft out of Missouri State University. He is 16-11 with a 2.68 ERA (69 ER/232.0 IP), 237 strikeouts and 103 walks in 49 career minor league outings (46 starts).

Cubs Minor League Recap: 9/2/14

Daytona cruised in its first playoff game, but Boise put itself in an early series hole with a loss. Kane County had the night off and will start postseason play today. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Daytona Cubs
FSL North Championship
Daytona leads series 1-0

DH Kyle Schwarber hit a two-out grand slam in the fourth inning, helping Daytona to an 11-1 victory over visiting Dunedin in Game 1 of the FSL North Championship.

  • LHP Rob Zastryzny picked up the win, giving up one earned run over six innings.
  • Schwarber finished 1-for-5 with the blast.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach also homered, adding a double (1) to finish 2-for-5 with two RBI (2).
  • LF Bijan Rademacher went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double (1) and three RBI (3).
  • C Wilson Contreras singled three times and scored three runs.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya and RF Billy McKinney each added one of Daytona’s four doubles in the rout.

Boise Hawks
NWL Divisional Series
Boise trails series 1-0

Boise surrendered a one-run lead to lose to Hillsboro, 5-2, at home in Game 1 of the Northwest League Divisional Series.

  • RHP Jake Stinnett gave up one earned run over five innings, fanning eight.
  • 1B Alex Tomasovich led off the third with a solo homer to tie the game, logging the lone Hawks extra-base hit.
  • 2B Bryant Flete (.250), LF Kevin Brown (.250), C-1B Daniel Canela (.250) and SS Gleyber Torres (.333) each singled.
  • Boise committed four errors, contributing to two unearned Hops runs.
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