Archive for the ‘ Minor Leagues ’ Category

Cubs come to terms first-round pick Schwarber

Schwarber-(2)

Just six days after becoming the fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft, catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber has finalized a deal with the Cubs. Schwarber will join the club’s affiliate in Boise, which plays its Short-Season Single-A Northwest League opener at home on Friday.

The 21-year-old from Indiana University batted .341 (238-for-697) with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. He walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He recorded a .984 career fielding percentage, primarily at catcher (though he also played some outfield) and threw out 51 of 154 (33 percent) attempted base stealers.

The 6-foot, 235-pound Middletown, Ohio, native hit .358 (83-for-232) with 14 home runs (tied for seventh-most in the nation) and 48 RBI for the Hoosiers this spring, adding career highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks (compared to 30 strikeouts) and 10 stolen bases. He started all 59 of Indiana’s games and recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, good for a 1.123 OPS.

Behind the plate, Schwarber had a .992 fielding percentage (3 E/383 TC) this season and threw out 16 of 43 (37 percent) attempted base stealers, en route to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

In 2013, he was named the top catcher in the country and a First Team All-American by Perfect Game and the NCBWA after hitting .366 (86-for-235) with 18 home runs (first in the Big Ten and third nationally) and 54 RBI in 61 games. He recorded a .456 on-base percentage, walking 42 times, and slugged .647, best in the Big Ten. He was also named Academic All-Big Ten and joined USA’s Collegiate National Team after the season.

As a freshman in 2012, Schwarber started all 60 of Indiana’s games, including 54 at catcher. He posted a .300 batting average (69-for-230) alongside a .390 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage, hitting eight homers and driving in 47 runs. Defensively, he nabbed 27 would-be base stealers, good for second-most in the conference.

Schwarber, a 2011 graduate of Middletown High School, was recommended by Cubs area scout Stan Zielinski.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/10/14

Iowa gave up a pair of runs in the sixth inning to let a lead slip away, and Daytona dropped another game Tuesday. Tennessee and Kane County were both off. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (33-29)
T-1st Place (–)

Fresno tallied two runs in the sixth inning to beat the visiting Iowa Cubs, 3-2.

  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.278) recorded his second-straight multihit game, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and his ninth triple of the campaign.
  • CF Matt Szczur (.234) and RF Casper Wells (.217) each recorded two hits apiece.
  • RHP Marcos Mateo (5.02) tossed a scoreless eighth inning of relief.

Daytona Cubs (25-38)
5th Place (-18.5)

Daytona lost its fourth-straight game, falling at Dunedin, 11-4.

  • C Chadd Krist (.214) went 1-for-3 with a third-inning, solo home run.
  • DH Rock Shoulders (.204) and SS Marco Hernandez (.284) each recorded two hits apiece.
  • RHP Zack Godley (5.74) struck out three and allowed an unearned run in two innings of relief.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/9/14

Iowa pounded out 17 runs for an easy win, while Kane County wrapped up the first-half home schedule in fine fashion Monday. Tennessee lost in extras, and Daytona’s bats sputtered. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (33-28)
T-1st Place (–)

Christian Villanueva and Rafael Lopez each belted grand slams to lead the Iowa Cubs to a 17-2 demolition over host Fresno.

  • LHP Tsuyoshi Wada picked up the win, giving up one earned run over six innings pitched.
  • SS Javier Baez (.239) kicked off the scoring with a first-inning solo homer. He tied a career-high with four runs and is now hitting .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs and six RBI in seven June games.
  • C Rafael Lopez (.313) went 2-for-5 with a ninth-inning grand slam and a career-high seven RBI (7).
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.228) reached base four times, going 2-for-5 with two walks, a grand slam and a season-high five RBI (26).
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.275) registered his fourth game with at least three hits, going 3-for-6 with two runs scored.
  • 1B Logan Watkins (.304), CF Ryan Kalish (.189) and RF Brett Jackson (.202) all had two hits apiece.
  • Iowa set season highs in runs (17) and walks (11) while tying a season-high in hits (17).
  • The last time Iowa recorded two grand slams in one game was August 12, 2006, at Memphis, when Micah Hoffpauir and Lou Montanez turned the trick.

Tennessee Smokies (30-34)
2nd Place (-10.5)

Jacksonville’s Alex Burg hit a walk-off 10th inning home run to beat the Smokies, 8-7.

  • 3B Kris Bryant (.357) homered for the third-straight day, going 2-for-5 with his Southern League-leading 22nd blast of the season. Bryant has five home runs in nine June games after clubbing 12 in 29 May games.
  • Bryant was named the Southern League Hitter of the Week for June 2-8, his second-consecutive weekly award and third this season. Bryant batted .417 (10-for-24) with seven runs, three doubles, three homers, five RBI and six walks in seven games during the stretch.
  • SS Elliot Soto (.184), C Charlie Cutler (.327), 1B Dustin Geiger (.226), LF Anthony Giansanti (.245) and 2B Jeudy Valdez (.236) all had two hits apiece.

Daytona Cubs (25-37)
5th Place (-17.5)

Daytona managed just six hits in a 2-0 loss at Clearwater.

  • SS Marco Hernandez (.281) and C Willson Contreras (.282) recorded multihit efforts.
  • LHP Rob Zastryzny fanned a season-high nine, and RHP Stephen Perakslis struck out the side in the eighth inning.

Kane County Cougars (43-21)
1st Place (+8.5)

Kane County wrapped up its first-half home schedule with a 2-1 victory over Cedar Rapids.

  • 1B Jacob Rogers (.244) and SS Daniel Lockhart (.275) drove in Kane County’s runs.
  • LHP Michael Heesch (1-0, 4.91) tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn his first win of the year.
  • RHP James Pugliese (1.23) fanned five over 2.2 perfect relief innings to record his fourth hold.
  • RHP Tyler Bremer (2.40) worked a spotless ninth to convert his seventh save of the campaign.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/8/14

Iowa continued its run of day game success Sunday, but Tennessee and Daytona couldn’t hold on late in their games, and Kane County had its winning streak snapped . Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (32-28)
T-1st Place (–)

Iowa improved to 18-3 in day games this season with a 3-0 victory over visiting Colorado Springs.

  • SS Javier Baez (.230) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and his 29th RBI of the season.
  • 1B Chris Valaika (.294) batted cleanup and went 2-for-4 with one RBI (29).
  • RHP Dallas Beeler posted his fourth-straight quality start, going seven innings and striking out five. Iowa leads the PCL with 37 quality starts.
  • LHP Zac Rosscup (2.45) tossed a scoreless eighth in the second game of his rehab assignment.
  • RHP Blake Parker (1.08) worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save of the campaign.

Tennessee Smokies (30-33)
2nd Place (-10.0)

Jacksonville scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Smokies, 6-5.

  • 3B Kris Bryant (.356) homered for the second-straight day, as he went 2-for-4 with his Southern League-leading 21st blast of the season. He also leads the league with 54 RBI.
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.222) went 1-for-4 with a ninth-inning solo homer.
  • RHPs Lendy Castillo (4.50), Zach Cates (0.00) and Tony Zych (5.00) combined to toss four scoreless innings of relief.

Daytona Cubs (25-36)
5th Place (-16.5)

Clearwater scored five runs in the seventh inning to defeat visiting Daytona, 8-7.

  • CF Albert Almora (.250) and SS Marco Hernandez (.276) each drove in two runs.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.275) went 1-for-3 with a run, a walk and two RBI (19).
  • LHP Andrew McKirahan (0.95) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.

Kane County Cougars (42-21)
1st Place (+8.5)

Kane County had its four-game winning streak snapped, falling at home to Cedar Rapids, 3-2.

  • 1B Ben Carhart (.295) recorded a game-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
  • RF Yasiel Balaguert (.229) went 1-for-4 with a double (10) and one RBI (32).
  • RHP Jose Arias (0.00) allowed just two hits over 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.

Cubs MLB Draft Wrap-up: Day Two

The Cubs today completed the second day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The club thus far has selected 10 players. The third and final day of the draft is tomorrow with rounds 11-40.

The Cubs selected right-handed hitting catcher Mark Zagunis out of Virginia Tech with their third pick, and took left-handed pitcher Carson Sands out of North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee, Fla., with their fourth selection. In the fifth round, the Cubs selected left-handed pitcher Justin Steele from George County High School in Lucedale, Miss.

Zagunis was recommended by area scout Billy Swoope, Sands was recommended by area scout Tom Clark and Steele was recommended by area scout JP Davis.

Zagunis, 21, batted .330 (69-for-209) with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 39 RBI in 53 games for Virginia Tech this season, his junior year. He walked 32 times (compared to 20 strikeouts), which contributed to a .426 on-base percentage, and stole 16 bases. He was named All-ACC Second Team for the second time in his career and was a 2014 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist.

Zagunis owns a .338 (213-for-630) batting average in three seasons at Virginia Tech, recording a .430 on-base percentage thanks in part to 85 walks and only 74 strikeouts. He has recorded a .979 fielding percentage (17 E/797 TC) primarily at catcher, but has also seen time in the outfield. With 52 career stolen bases, he is just the second Hokie to record at least 50 stolen bases since the school joined the ACC.

Sands, 19, was 11-1 with a 0.58 ERA and one complete game in 14 outings, 12 starts, for North Florida Christian this past season. He struck out 100 in 60.2 innings, good for an average of 14.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, while walking just 24. At the dish, the left-handed hitting Sands batted .361 (26-for-72) with 12 RBI.

Sands, who posted a 1.28 ERA while going 7-2 in 11 games (nine starts) in his 2013 junior season, has committed to Florida State University. He pitched for Team USA for three summers, winning a gold medal with the 18-and-under team in 2012.

Steele, 18, was 5-1 with a 0.98 ERA in eight games for George County this past season. He struck out 92 in 43.0 innings, good for an average of 19.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. He walked just 12 and held the opponent to a .109 batting average while throwing two no-hitters. He was named 5A Player of the Year by state coaches.

Steele went 14-4 with a 1.62 ERA in three high school seasons at the varsity level, striking out 210 in 125.1 innings of work for an average of 15.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings while issuing just 40 walks and allowing one home run. He has committed to the University of Southern Mississippi.

Through the first two days, the Cubs have selected eight pitchers (five right-handed and three left-handed) and two catchers. Additionally, the Cubs have selected seven college players and three high school players.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/5/14

Daytona secured a win on a walk-off single, while Kane County improved to 20 games over .500 with a win Thursday. Meanwhile, Iowa couldn’t get the ball rolling, and Tennessee was shut out in a loss. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (30-27)
T-2nd Place (-0.5)

Iowa fell to the visiting Sky Sox in the series opener by a final score of 6-2.

  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.267) went 2-for-4, including his team-leading eighth home run, a solo shot with two out in the sixth.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.230) went 1-for-4 with his 17th double in the seventh inning. He later scored on a bases-loaded walk from pinch-hitter Logan Watkins (.302).
  • C Rafael Lopez (.143) went 1-for-3 to record his first hit with Iowa.

Tennessee Smokies (28-32)
2nd Place (-12.0)

Tennessee managed just four hits in a 6-0 loss at Jacksonville.

  • 2B Jonathan Mota (.174) recorded a pair of doubles for Tennessee.
  • SS Elliot Soto (.105) also recorded his second double in three games.

Daytona Cubs (24-34)
5th Place (-16.5)

Daytona used a walk-off RBI-single from 2B Wes Darvill to beat Jupiter, 5-4.

  • RHP Felix Pena gave up no earned runs over four innings, striking out seven. Pena has a 1-5 record, despite having allowed one or fewer earned runs in each of his 11 starts.
  • RHP Zach Godley (2-1, 6.59) threw 3.2 frames in relief of Pena, allowing one unearned run to earn his second win.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.203) went 2-for-3 with a run, a walk, a homer in the ninth and his 25th RBI.
  • CF Albert Almora (.251), DH Dan Vogelbach (.268) and SS Marco Hernandez (.273) also tallied two hits apiece.

Kane County Cougars (40-20)
1st Place (+8.5)

Kane County beat Clinton, 7-3, to improve to a league-best 40-20. The Cougars are just one win away from a 2014 Midwest League Playoff berth.

  • RHP Tyler Skulina picked up the win, giving up two earned runs over six innings and fanning five.
  • RHP Michael Wagner (4.15) earned his first save with three scoreless innings of work.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.248) went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double (8), an RBI (21) and a stolen base (18).
  • 3B Jordan Hankins (.293) added two more hits, including a double (12), and had two RBI (24)
  • SS Carlos Penalver added an RBI single in the eighth and came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Hannemann later in the inning.

Cubs finish first night of MLB Draft with RHP Jake Stinnett

The Cubs Thursday made two selections in the opening rounds of the 2014 Major League First-Year Player Draft. With the fourth-overall pick, the team took left-handed hitting catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana University, a player many believe is the best college bat in the draft pool. In the second round, the Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Jake Stinnett out of the University of Maryland.

Stinnett, 22, posted a 2.65 ERA (33 ER/112.0 IP) and a 7-6 record in 16 games, all but one in a starting role, for Maryland this season. In his senior year, he struck out a school single-season record and Atlantic Coast Conference-high 130 batters, good for an average of 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, and walked just 27. Stinnett also led the ACC in complete games (four) and innings pitched, and became the seventh pitcher in program history to throw a no-hitter when he turned the trick in the first game of a March 1 doubleheader against Massachusetts.

Stinnett began pitching full-time in 2013, posting a 2.83 ERA (20 ER/63.2 IP) in 16 games (nine starts), after splitting time on the mound and in the field—primarily at third base—during his first two seasons with Maryland. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder was selected by the Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 draft, but he did not sign. Stinnett is a graduate of Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, Calif.

The 2014 MLB Draft continues Friday at 12 p.m. CT with Rounds 3-10 and concludes Saturday with Rounds 11-40.

Cubs take C/OF Kyle Schwarber with No. 4 overall pick in MLB Draft

The Chicago Cubs tonight selected catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana University with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Schwarber was recommended by area scout Stan Zielinski.

“Kyle has been one of the premier performers in the college ranks the last few years. He displays what we look for in patience and power at the plate,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs vice president of scouting and player development. “He is a high character guy we think teammates will rally around.”

Schwarber, 21, owns a .341 batting average (238-for-697) with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons with Indiana, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. He has walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He owns a .984 career fielding percentage, primarily at catcher with some outfield, and has thrown out 51 of 154 (33 percent) of attempted base stealers.

The six-foot, 240-pound college junior from Middleton, Ohio, hit .358 (83-for-232) with 14 home runs (tied for seventh-most in the nation) and 48 RBI for the Hoosiers in 2014, adding career-highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks (compared to 30 strikeouts) and 10 stolen bases while starting all 59 of Indiana’s games. Schwarber, a left-handed hitter, recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, good for a 1.123 OPS.

Schwarber registered a .992 fielding percentage (3 E/383 TC) this season, and threw out 16 of 43 (37 percent) attempted base stealers, en route to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

In 2013, he was named the top catcher in the country and First Team All-American by Perfect Game and the NCBWA after hitting .366 (86-for-235) with 18 home runs (first in the Big Ten and third nationally) and 54 RBI in 61 games.  He recorded a .456 on-base percentage, walking 42 times, and slugged .647, best in the Big Ten. He committed just three errors en route to a .989 fielding percentage. He was named Academic All-Big Ten and joined USA’s Collegiate National Team after the season.

As a freshman in 2012, Schwarber started all 60 of Indiana’s games, including 54 at catcher. He posted a .300 batting average (69-for-230) alongside a .390 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage, hitting eight homers and driving in 47 runs. Behind the dish, he nabbed 27 would-be base stealers, good for second-most in the conference.

Schwarber is a 2011 graduate of Middletown High School in his hometown Middletown, Ohio.

The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues this evening with the second round, in which the Cubs have pick No. 45. The draft continues tomorrow with rounds three-through-10 and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/4/14

Tennessee, Daytona and Kane County all racked up victories Wednesday while Iowa had the afternoon off. The Cubs organization is a combined 8-0 over the last two days. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Tennessee Smokies (28-31)
2nd Place (-11.5)

Tennessee won its second-straight game, beating visiting Birmingham, 4-1.

  • RHP Joe Gardner picked up the win, giving up one earned run over 6.2 innings, fanning five and walking none.
  • 3B Kris Bryant (.348) went 0-for-3 to snap his seven-game hitting streak. He walked once and has now reached base safely in 20 of his last 21 games.
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.234) went 1-for-3 with a fourth-inning, two-run homer.
  • LF John Andreoli (.231) went 1-for-3 while swiping his league-leading 27th and 28th stolen bases.
  • RHP Arodys Vizcaino (2.61) worked a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season.

Daytona Cubs (23-34)
5th Place (-16.5)

Daytona scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Jupiter, 4-2.

  • LHP Rob Zastryzny gave up two earned runs over five innings, fanning four.
  • RHP Jose Rosario (3-4, 4.10) earned his third win in relief, spinning three scoreless innings and fanning five.
  • All-Star LHP Andrew McKirahan (1.00) fanned two in a scoreless ninth for the save (5).
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.261) ripped a two-run double in the eighth, bringing his RBI total to 23.

Kane County Cougars (39-20)
1st Place (+7.5)

Kane County beat Clinton on a walk-off fielder’s choice in the 10th inning, edging the LumberKings, 5-4.

  • CF Jacob Hannemann went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two doubles (7).
  • 2B Daniel Lockhart (.264) and 1B Jacob Rogers (.247) each recorded two hits apiece.
  • Four Kane County players were named to the Midwest League Western Division All-Star Team: C Will Remillard, INF Jordan Hankins, RHP Jose Arias, and yesterday’s starter and the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May, RHP Paul Blackburn.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/3/14

All three Cubs minor league affiliates that saw action picked up wins Tuesday. Kane County had the day off and returns to the field Wednesday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s games.

Iowa Cubs (30-26)
T-1st Place (–)

Iowa beat the Sounds, 4-2, to split the four-game series in Nashville, despite being outhit 11-6.

  • LHP Tsuyoshi Wada struck out five and gave up just one earned run over six innings to pick up the win and earn his seventh quality start of the year.
  • RHP Carlos Pimentel (3.97) threw 1.2 scoreless frames to earn the hold (1), and RHP Blake Parker allowed one run on his way to a four-out save (11).
  • LF Matt Szczur (.244) went 2-for-4 with a run and his eighth stolen base.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.230) hit his 16th double in the fifth and drove in his 21st run.
  • CF Ryan Kalish (.167) had an RBI single in Iowa’s three-run sixth, his only hit in four tries.

Tennessee Smokies (27-31)
2nd Place (-11.5)

The Smokies won for the first time since May 25, snapping an eight-game skid by blanking visiting Birmingham, 3-0.

  • RHP Matt Loosen gave up just four hits and no earned runs over six innings, striking out seven, to pick up the win.
  • 3B Kris Bryant (.353) clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth. Bryant leads the league with a .353 average, 19 home runs, 51 RBIs, 50 runs, 73 hits and 145 total bases. He also leads the Southern League in OBP (.460), slugging (.700) and OPS (1.160).
  • RF Rubi Silva (.240) and DH Anthony Giansanti (.238) notched two singles apiece.
  • In relief of Loosen’s third quality start, LHP Hunter Cervenka (1.61) earned his fourth hold with two scoreless frames, and RHP Armando Rivero (1.86) retired the side in the ninth for the save (9).
  • Bryant and Rivero were among six Smokies named to the Southern League North Division All-Star team. The other Smokies honored were LF John Andreoli, RHP Corey Black, SS Stephen Bruno and C Rafael Lopez, who will not play as a result of his promotion to Triple-A Iowa.

Daytona Cubs (22-34)
5th Place (-17.5)

Daytona held off a pesky Mets offense to win 6-5 at St. Lucie, despite being outhit 11-6.

  • RHP Starling Peralta (3-1, 3.29) relieved LHP Austin Kirk and earned his third win, allowing two earned runs over four innings.
  • RHP Stephen Perakslis (5.34) threw 1.2 scoreless innings for his first save.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.267) went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double (11) and his 20th RBI.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.193) tallied his fourth multi-RBI game, going 0-for-3 with two walks and two RBI (24).
  • Four Daytona players were named Florida State League North Division All-Stars: 2B Gioskar Amaya, LHP Andrew McKirahan, RHP Felix Pena and LF Bijan Rademacher.
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