Eric Jokisch pitched his first complete game Thursday with the Smokies. (Photo by Rodger Wood)
Iowa and Kane County suffered shutout losses and Tennessee dropped both games in a doubleheader match Thursday. Daytona was unable to take the field due to rain, and the two-game outing will not be rescheduled. Despite the offensive shortcomings, here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (25-33)
Iowa lost for the seventh time in eight games, falling 6-0 vs. Round Rock.
- 2B Logan Watkins (.236) extended his hitting streak to nine games (.286/12-for-42), going 1-for-4 with a double (9).
- C Steve Clevenger (.400) went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (3) in the third game of his rehabilitation assignment. He has hit safely in all three games.
Tennessee Smokies (31-28)
Game 1: Tennessee mustered only four hits in a 5-0 setback vs. Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader.
- CF Matt Szczur (.292) went 1-for-4 with a double (13), extending his hitting streak to five games (.438/7-for-16).
- C Chad Noble (.394) went 1-for-3 with a double (3). He has hit safely in four consecutive games (.533/8-for-15).
- SS Arismendy Alcantara (.292) reached base safely for the 17th straight game, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
Game 2: Jackson scored two runs in the third inning and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Smokies in the nightcap, sweeping the doubleheader.
- 2B Ronald Torreyes (.250) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double (11) and a run scored. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games (.385/10-for-26).
- C Rafael Lopez (.266) went 2-for-3 with a RBI (16).
- LHP Eric Jokisch recorded his seventh quality start in 12 appearances, tossing his first complete game (7 IP).
Kane County Cougars (26-31)
Burlington blanked Kane County 9-0 in the middle game of a three-game set.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.267) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-4.
- CF Albert Almora (.415) went 1-for-4. He has 22 hits in 53 at-bats this season.
- On Wednesday, six Cougars were named to the Midwest League Western Division All-Star team: INF Dan Vogelbach, INF Rock Shoulders, OF Bijan Rademacher, RHP Tayler Scott, RHP Felix Pena and LHP Nathan Dorris. Vogelbach will start at DH. This marks the Cougars’ most mid-season All-Stars since the 2009 squad fielded seven.
The Chicago Cubs tonight selected right-handed hitting third baseman Kris Bryant out of the University of San Diego with the second overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Bryant was recommended by area scout Alex Lontayo.
“Kris had an incredible season at San Diego, hitting for both power and average,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs vice president of scouting and player development. “He is a big, strong, athletic player, and we feel he has the attributes of someone who could fit into the middle of a lineup at the major league level. He has the ability to hit for average along with power to all parts of the park.”
Bryant, 20, hit .329 (75-for-228) with 80 runs scored, 13 doubles, three triples, 31 home runs and 62 RBI in 62 games for the Toreros this season, his junior year. His 31 home runs led the nation and are a USD single-season record. Bryant also led the nation in runs scored, walks (66) and slugging percentage (.820). His 54 career home runs in three years at USD are a school record.
Named a finalist for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Bryant also led the Toreros in total bases (187), while striking out just 44 times in 302 plate appearances. In addition, Bryant was named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year to go along with All-Tournament Team honors at the West Coast Conference Championships. The Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year sported a .946 fielding percentage at third base (9 E/166 TC).
Baseball America listed Bryant as the top position prospect available in the draft, and the third-best overall. The publication ranks him as the top college power hitter available and third-best with regards to strike zone judgment.
In 2012, Bryant reached base safely in 53 of his 57 games and logged a .366 batting average (78-for-213). He led the team in RBI (57), home runs (14), runs scored (59), hits (79), walks (39), on-base percentage (.483) and slugging percentage (.671). Bryant earned All-Conference honors for the second-straight year, and was named to the WCC All-Academic Team after posting a 3.34 GPA. He was named WCC Co-Player and Co-Freshman of the Year in his first year at USD in 2011.
Originally from Las Vegas, Nev., Bryant graduated from Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. As a senior, he hit .489 with 22 home runs and 51 RBI en route to being named an AFLAC All-American. He was drafted by Toronto in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB June draft, but did not sign, electing to attend USD.
The 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues this evening with the second round, in which the Cubs have pick No. 41. The draft continues tomorrow with rounds three-through-10 and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.
The Houston Astros selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the first overall pick.
Most people who throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field worry about just getting the ball to home plate. Former Scrubs star John C. McGinley worried about getting the proper movement on the pitch. The character actor and big-time sports fan has been gracing screens big and small for more than 20 years. He recently played iconic broadcaster Red Barber in the movie 42 and was on hand at the Friendly Confines for Jackie Robinson Day on April 16.
To read the entire interview, pick up the June issue of Vine Line.
The Kane County Cougars entered the 2013 season as one of the youngest squads in the Single-A Midwest League. Apparently, age hasn’t been a factor, as six Cougars—Nathan Dorris, Felix Pena, Bijan Rademacher, Tayler Scott, Rock Shoulders and Dan Vogelbach—were all named to the Western Division All-Star team on Wednesday. This marks the most All-Stars from Kane County since 2009.
Reliever Dorris has been a solid contributor out of the bullpen, posting a 2.52 ERA in 14 appearances and striking out 25 batters over 25 innings. He was drafted in the 17th round of last year’s draft.
Right-handed starter Pena has spent some time on the DL this season, but when healthy, the 23-year-old has posted a 2-0 record with a 2.11 ERA over 38.1 innings. The Cubs acquired him as a non-drafted free agent prior to the 2009 season.
A Johannesburg, South Africa native, Scott has started 10 games for the Cougars this season. He has a 2-2 record with a 4.56 ERA over 53.1 innings. The right-hander was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.
Designated hitter Shoulders leads the league in home runs with 12 and was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month in April. His .884 OPS is sixth in the league largely thanks to a .505 slugging percentage. The Cubs drafted him in the 25th round of the 2011 draft.
Rademacher’s .310 batting average leads the Cougars for all players with more than 100 at-bats. The outfielder also has five doubles and 15 RBI on the season. He was drafted in the 13th round of the 2012 draft.
Vogelbach will serve as the starting DH for the Western Division. The hulking first baseman has nine homers, fourth in the MWL, as well as 39 RBI. He has an .807 OPS to go along with his .282 average. Vogelbach was selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft.
The game will be played on Tuesday, June 18, and will be hosted by the Dayton Dragons.
Rock Shoulders reached base three times Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Kane County Cougars)
While Kane County overpowered their opponent Wednesday, Tennessee and Daytona rescheduled for doubleheader matches due to rain. Iowa had the day off, but will take the field against Round Rock tonight. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Kane County Cougars (26-30)
Kane County used a 14-hit attack to overpower host Burlington, 8-6.
- RF Reggie Golden (.368) collected his third multi-hit affair in his last four games, going 3-for-4 with two RBI (3).
- LF Oliver Zapata (.264) went 2-for-5 with two doubles (7), a run scored, a RBI (22) and a stolen base (8).
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.282) reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double (12), a homer, a team-high three runs scored and two RBI (39).
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.262) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI (19).
- DH Rock Shoulders (.270) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI (37).
- RHP Felix Pena (2.11 ERA) converted his first save, allowing a hit and a walk while fanning three in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
- Six Cougars were named to the Midwest League Western Division All-Star team: INF Dan Vogelbach, INF Rock Shoulders, OF Bijan Rademacher, RHP Tayler Scott, RHP Felix Pena and LHP Nathan Dorris. Vogelbach will start at DH. This marks the Cougars’ most mid-season All-Stars since the 2009 squad fielded seven.
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty)
It was a lot of travel for a brief, two-game series, but Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo made the westward journey to Anaheim worthwhile Wednesday night. After Angels slugger Mark Trumbo tied the game with a solo homer (his first of two) in the eighth inning, Rizzo came through with two outs in the 10th, driving a bases-clearing, three-run double down the right-field line to boost the Cubs to an 8-6 victory over the Angels.
Dustin Geiger is one of four Daytona Cubs who will participate in the FSL All-Star Game. (Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)
Many had a feeling that—if nothing else—the High-A Daytona Cubs would be an entertaining offensive squad. Several of the organization’s top prospects comprise the middle of a batting order that already housed a healthy balance of power and speed. So it should come as no surprise that four position players—John Andreoli, Javier Baez, Dustin Geiger and Jorge Soler—will be representing the D-Cubs in the Florida State League All-Star Game.
The 22-year-old Andreoli leads the team in hitting (.320) and on-base percentage (.390) and has 15 stolen bases, after leading the FSL in stolen bases last season. In a league known for its pitching, the outfielder is just one of seven players with an average of .310 or better. He was the Cubs’ 17th round pick in 2011.
By this point, most Cubs fans should be familiar with phenom Javier Baez. The shortstop, who will be making his All-Star debut next weekend, is widely considered the organization’s top prospect. Already an FSL player of the week recipient, Baez has a team-best nine homers to go along with his 36 RBI and a .278/.324/.514 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line. The 20-year-old was the ninth overall pick of the 2011 draft.
Geiger has put together a solid campaign, especially considering it’s his first full professional season as an everyday first baseman. The 21-year-old has a .299/.368/.471 line with six homers batting out of the five spot in the order. He has also drawn 21 walks and leads the team with 47 RBI. The Cubs drafted Geiger in the 24th round of the 2010 draft.
The Cuban-born Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million deal in 2012, and early returns are promising. His eight home runs are second on the team, and he leads the squad with an .855 OPS. He’s batting .291 on the year and doing it all while still assimilating to the American culture. Most prospect lists have the outfielder ranked as one of the top three players in the system.
The FSL All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, June 15, at 7 p.m. EST at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
Javier Baez is one of four D-Cubs players that were named 2013 All-Stars by the FSL Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Iowa snapped a six-game skid, Tennessee continued its hot streak and Daytona collected its third shutout in its last seven games. Kane County was off Tuesday, but will return to the field at Burlington tonight. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (25-32)
Iowa scored seven runs in the fifth inning on its way to a 10-2 win over visiting New Orleans, snapping a six-game skid.
- 2B Logan Watkins (.236) went 3-for-5 with two runs. He has hit safely in eight straight games (.289/11-for-38).
- RF Brian Bogusevic (.355) went 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored and three RBI (24).
- 1B Brad Nelson (.283) collected his second consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a three-run homer.
- C Steve Clevenger (.429) went 2-for-4 with a double (2) and a run scored in the second game of his rehabilitation assignment.
Tennessee Smokies (31-26)
Tennessee collected eight extra-base hits, defeating Jackson 8-6, the Smokies third straight win.
- 2B Ronald Torreyes (.247) extended his hitting streak to five games (.400/8-for-20), going 2-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and two RBI (19).
- RF Matt Szczur (.292) went 3-for-5 with two doubles (12), two runs scored, three RBI (26) and a stolen base (15).
- C Chad Noble (.400) went 4-for-5 with a double (2), a run scored and a RBI (4). He has hit safely in three consecutive games (.583/7-for-12).
- LF Ty Wright (.248) went 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and a RBI (16).
- SS Arismendy Alcantara (.290) reached base safely for the 16th straight game, going 3-for-5 with two doubles (13) and a RBI (30).
Daytona Cubs (29-27)
Daytona collected its third shutout in the last seven games, blanking Bradenton, 1-0.
- LF John Andreoli (.320) went 2-for-4 with a stolen base (16).
- 2B Tim Saunders (.191) went 2-for-4.
- DH Yaniel Cabezas (.250) went 0-for-3 with a walk, scoring the only run of the game.
- LHP Frank Del Valle (4 IP, 4 H, 4 K) converted the save, throwing a season-high, four scoreless innings.
- Prior to the game, the Florida State League announced that outfielders John Andreoli and Jorge Soler and infielders Javier Baez and Dustin Geiger were named 2013 First-Half All-Stars.
Mike Trout has held the Angels’ offense together this season. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Big contracts have left the Angels with outsized disappointment so far in 2013, one year after the Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson signings failed to ignite the team past a third place finish in the AL West. This winter, the Angels came out of nowhere to snatch up free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, but the early returns have been equally unsettling. With Hamilton hitting for a .216 AVG/.280 OBP/.380 SLG slash line, and Pujols not much better at .243/.315/.408, the Angels sit in third place once again at just 25-33. The Cubs head to the City of Angels for quick a two-game set starting tonight.
HITTING: 4.3 RS/G 10th in AL
To focus too much on Pujols’ and Hamilton’s struggles would overlook one of the game’s most outstanding players: 21-year-old phenom Mike Trout. The electric outfielder is backing up his breakout campaign with a .299/.371/.547 slash line, with 10 home runs and 12 steals in 15 tries. Combined with very good outfield defense, Trout’s versatile skill set is matched by few—if any—in baseball. He’s also been manning center field while Peter Bourjos, a consistently outstanding outfielder, continues to rehab from a strained hamstring that has kept him out for more than a month. With Hamilton swinging at, and missing, everything and Pujols hobbled by a lingering knee issue, the Angels have had to rely too much on Trout, slugging first baseman Mark Trumbo and second baseman Howie Kendrick for offense. The net result has been roughly league average but with little indication of how the performances will even out in the long run.
PITCHING: 4.6 RA/G 10th in NL
Though the Angels have some depth issues in the back end of the rotation and in the late innings, the Cubs will face some tough matchups the next few nights. Right-hander Jered Weaver takes the hill Tuesday in his second start back from a broken left elbow. Weaver has established himself as one of the game’s true aces despite seeming to have rather ordinary stuff. His fastball velocity has declined steadily to the high-80s, and his strikeout rate has dropped along with it. But Weaver makes such outstanding use of deception, location and sequencing, that he’s consistently ranked as one of the AL’s most unhittable pitchers. The Cubs’ right-handed hitters will have to be particularly wary of the change-up (a rarity from same-handed pitchers), while both sides will see fastballs sneaking up on them with two strikes. Wednesday night’s starter is left-hander Jason Vargas, an extreme fly-ball pitcher who has so far made the transition nicely from spacious Safeco Field to the more neutral Angels Stadium. Vargas is primarily a fastball-curve pitcher, who will sink and cut his fastball to get hitters out in front. Hard-throwing Ernesto Frieri holds down the ninth—at least until veteran addition Ryan Madson returns from injury. Frieri’s a relative wild card due to extremely high walk and strikeout rates.
Rick Sutcliffe (right) will be throwing out the first pitch and singing the seventh-inning stretch next Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs kick off a seven-game homestand Friday, as they welcome the Pirates and Reds to town. If you’re headed out to Wrigley Field between June 7 and June 13, here’s your first pitch and seventh-inning stretch lineup:
Friday – 6/7
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern Football Coach)
Saturday – 6/8
Seventh-Inning Stretch: Ernie Banks (Ernie Banks retired flag giveaway for the first 10,000 fans)
First Pitch: Thomas Ian Nicholas (Actor, Rookie of the Year)
Sunday – 6/9
Randy Hundley (Chicago Cubs great, season tickets feature Randy Hundley)
Monday – 6/10
Cast from The Book of Mormon
Tuesday – 6/11
Arsenio Hall (Talk show host)
Wednesday – 6/12
Rick Sutcliffe (Chicago Cubs great)
Thursday – 6/13