Results tagged ‘ Dan Vogelbach ’

The Cubs’ prospects performed well in the Arizona Fall League

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Bijan Rademacher hit .350 in the Arizona Fall League this season. (Photo by Aldrin Capulong)

The 2014 Arizona Fall League officially wrapped up on Friday with Salt River claiming the league title over Peoria. Though the list of Cubs playing for the Solar Sox this offseason lacked the firepower and name recognition of the 2013 participants, a few lesser-known commodities earned some positive press with solid performances.

Not much is typically expected out of an AFL taxi squad player, as they generally get into games only twice a week. But Bijan Rademacher delivered the highlight stat line for any Cubs prospect in Arizona.

The outfielder hit .350/.404/.525 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and totaled a .929 OPS. Though he didn’t record enough plate appearances to win the batting title, his average was second best among players with at least 40 at-bats. He added a home run, two doubles and a triple while stealing four bases and playing solid defense.

Rademacher, the No. 20 prospect in the Cubs organization according to MLB.com, was a 13th-round pick in 2012 out of Orange Coast College in California. The outfielder spent the entire 2014 season at High-A Daytona, where he hit .281/.363/.448 with 10 homers and 22 doubles. He could be expected to start at Double-A next season.

Jacob Hannemann, who played his first full professional season in 2014, also fared well in Arizona. The athletic center fielder got into 17 games and hit .279/.328/.410. Though he didn’t add a ton of pop, the 2013 third-round pick got better acclimated to the level of talent he’ll eventually be competing against on a regular basis.

Slugger Dan Vogelbach failed to go yard in any of his 21 AFL games, but he managed to show some patience at the plate. His 17 bases on balls tied for second in the league. The 2011 second-round pick received a free pass in more than 19 percent of his plate appearances, significantly better than his 2014 regular season total of 11.8 percent.

Getting C.J. Edwards a few more trips to the mound against elite competition was important for the Cubs after the right-hander missed the first half of the regular season with shoulder issues. In six starts, the club’s top pitching prospect looked like his old self, posting a 1.80 ERA and allowing three runs in 15 innings. He also struck out 13 batters. If there’s one concern over Edwards’ body of work, it’s likely his eight walks in that span. But his 1.07 WHIP also shows that even with the free passes, opposing hitters have a tough time reaching base against him.

The other impressive pitching effort came from Ivan Pineyro. The 23-year-old missed the early portion of the regular season with forearm issues and struggled upon his return to Double-A. But those struggles went away in the AFL, as Pineyro concluded the showcase with a 1.98 ERA in 13.2 innings. In seven appearances, the right-hander surrendered only three runs, all in one game on Oct. 22. Even more impressive were his 16 strikeouts versus only four walks. The pitcher, acquired for Scott Hairston in 2013, could open the 2015 season at Double- or Triple-A.

It’s a good sign for the Cubs organization when some of their lesser-known farmhands excel against such tough competition. This group might have lacked the name recognition of last year’s class, but plenty of prospects ended the AFL slate on a high note.

Cubs AFL recap: 11/13/14

The Arizona Fall League’s regular season came to a close Thursday with Mesa and Glendale wrapping up action in a 4-4, 11-inning tie. Plenty of Cubs farmhands got into the game with mixed results. Here are some notes from yesterday’s AFL action:

  • 3B Danny Lockhart singled in the third inning and scored four batters later on a Jon Berti (Blue Jays) homer. He also led off the 11th with a single to finish the afternoon 2-for-5.
  • RHP Ivan Pineyro earned his third hold of the fall, going two innings of hitless relief. He struck out three and walked none.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach recorded an RBI double in the fifth inning. He finished 1-for-5 with a walk.
  • PH-DH Bijan Rademacher finished 0-for-1 with a walk in the 10th inning.
  • RF Jacob Hannemann went 0-f0r-5.

Baseball Prospectus unveils Cubs top 10 prospects

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Scouting publication Baseball Prospectus unveiled its list of the top 10 Cubs prospects on Friday. For Cubs fans and prospect junkies, it’s like Christmas day.

Over the last few seasons, the organization has stockpiled a deep farm system many view as the best in baseball. Unlike some other major league clubs, the list of high-upside Cubs farmhands extends well beyond a top 10—even with Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks graduating to the big leagues. Here is how Baseball Prospectus viewed the top players in the organization:

1. SS Addison Russell
2. 3B Kris Bryant
3. OF Jorge Soler
4. OF Albert Almora
5. C Kyle Schwarber
6. OF Billy McKinney
7. RHP Pierce Johnson
8. SS Gleyber Torres
9. 1B Dan Vogelbach
10. LHP Carson Sands

On Russell:

Strengths: Impact potential with the stick; strong hands and barrel control; good bat speed; improved approach; should grow into high-contact MLB bat that will hit for average and power; solid actions at short; good hands with left-side arm; solid run paired with baserunning acumen; clocks plus times out of the box and should settle in as average run at maturity.

Weaknesses: Still working to slow down game in the field; set-up and footwork can get loose, particularly at the margins, leading to drift in throws; can slip into overly aggressive approach at plate.

The Year Ahead: Russell is close to major-league ready and possesses the skill set, makeup, and natural ability to make an immediate impact as soon as he is called upon. The profile is an elite blend of offensive upside, defensive stability at a high-worth position, athleticism, and strength; the aggregate of which could produce a perennial all-star capable of impacting the game in all facets. Not only might this be the best collection of tools, upside, and probability from a talented crop of minor-league shortstops, but there’s a case for top prospect in the game. He should debut in Chicago in 2015 and it won’t be long before Russell surpasses the ‘L’ stop as the best known Addison in Wrigleyville.

On Bryant:

Strengths: Elite raw power; big leverage and big-boy present strength; ability to produce regular hard contact; good plate coverage allowing for wide kill zone on mistake pitches; borderline double-plus arm; solid athleticism and coordination for a big man; strong grades for makeup.

Weaknesses: Long levers produce holes in swing that could be attacked by major-league arms; limited swing plane/pitch plane overlap narrows contact margin; some issues with velocity on inner half; capable at third base but may lack lower-half agility to excel; run could settle a tick below average at maturity.

The Year Ahead: Through his minor-league career, which totals just a shade over a full major-league season’s worth of plate appearances, Bryant has posted pornographic numbers at the plate, including a slash line of .327/.428/.666 while averaging nearly a home run every three games. He’s ready to bring his act to The Show, where he should eventually settle in as a fixture in the middle of the Cubs lineup. This season could be choppy at times due to the potential for major-league arms to exploit shortcomings in a swing. But the approach, work ethic, and IQ should aid Bryant in making his adjustments, and the raw power will be a legit threat from day one. Depending on the organization’s needs, Bryant could remain at third or transition out to right field where his arm and athleticism could make him a solid defender. Either way, he will join Russell as the foundation of a talented, young Cubs lineup for years to come, with 2015 likely to serve as the coming out party.

On Schwarber:

Strengths: Advanced bat; plus-to-better raw power that plays in game thanks to plate coverage and strike-zone awareness; solid bat speed and good bat-to-ball skills should help hit tool play average or better; strong leader and big makeup; lauded for work ethic; positive reviews from instructs on progress behind the plate.

On Johnson:

Strengths: Loud stuff led by lively, low-90s fastball and sharp, low-80s hammer; can dial up to mid-90s with regularity; capable of cutting fastball for different look, counterbalance to two-seamer; some deception; traditional starter’s build; good present strength; will flash above-average change piece with fade mirroring fastball action; showed improvement in consistency of pitch execution and command over final two months.

On Sands:

Strengths: Balanced repertoire featuring three above-average offerings and above-average command; reports of improved consistency in mechanics and arm action through instructs; comfortable pitching to all four quadrants; some room to bump velo band to firm plus in comfort zone; already showing feel for sequencing; sturdy build; solid presence and even demeanor.

A notable absence from the list was right-hander C.J. Edwards, ranked No. 5 a year ago. Despite missing three months to a shoulder strain, Edwards enjoyed a solid second half that included a nice run in the Arizona Fall League. The publication seems to be skeptical of his long-term health, but still had positive things to say about the hard thrower.

Upon returning to action in late July, Edwards showcased impressive swing-and-miss stuff over six starts, with his fastball and curve each grading out as plus offerings and his change showing promise to boot. Were there more certainty that Edwards could maintain the quality of his stuff over the course of a full season at the upper levels, he would fit comfortably as one of the top-ten prospects in the system.

Soler reached the majors in 2014, and the publication believes Russell and Bryant could both join him at Wrigley Field in the upcoming season. They expect Almora, Schwarber, Johnson and Vogelbach to see action in the majors sometime in 2016.

 

Cubs AFL Recap: 11/5/14

Mesa poured it on late with an 11-2 victory over Glendale Wendesday. The Solar Sox scored nine runs after the fifth inning. The Cubs’ top pitching prospect fared well on the bump and Mesa got some contributions out of the Cubs’ offensive farmhands. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • RHP C.J. Edwards got the start, giving up one earned run in two innings while striking out four.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach had a pair of singles and drew a walk, finishing 2-for-4 on the day.
  • LF Bijan Rademacher recorded a base hit and a walk, along with two sac flies.
  • DH Danny Lockhart, making his second AFL appearance of the season, drove in a run on a sixth inning walk and scored later that inning. He was 0-for-3 on the day.

Mesa heads to Salt River Thursday, where they will see 2013 first-overall pick, right-hander Mark Appel. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 local time. The game will also be broadcast on MLB Network.

 

Cubs AFL Recap: 11/4/14

Mesa scored three runs in the first inning, and that proved to be enough in a 3-1 win over Salt River Tuesday. Both offensively and on the mound, Cubs prospects played a big role in the victory. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • RHP Armando Rivero gave up one earned run on one hit and a walk over five innings to pick up the win. He struck out four and improved to 2-4 on the season.
  • DH Dan Vogelbach drove in all three Solar Sox runs on a bases-loaded single to center, scoring Tony Renda (Nationals), Cal Towey (Angels) and Daniel Robertson (Rangers). He added a fifth-inning double, going 2-for-4 on the day.
  • RHP Ivan Pineyro pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two against one hit.

Mesa is in action Wednesday afternoon, hosting Glendale. C.J. Edwards will make the start for the Solar Sox.

Cubs AFL Recap: 10/29/14

Mesa scored all their runs in one inning in a 7-5 victory over Scottsdale Wednesday. Here are some Cubs notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • 1B Dan Vogelbach finished 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He drew his walk in the second inning and swiped second base, his first stolen base of the fall. The slugger drove in Cal Towey (Angels) on a sac fly in the sixth.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher finished 0-for-4, but recorded a big outfield assist in the eighth inning.

Cubs right-hander Armando Rivero is scheduled to start for Mesa Thursday, as the Solar Sox host Scottsdale. First pitch is at 12:35 local time.

 

Cubs AFL Recap: 10/27/14

Right-hander Ivan Pineyro got the start Tuesday, but his outing was brief in a 2-1 Solar Sox loss to Peoria. Here are some notes from Tuesday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • RHP Ivan Pineyro fanned one of the game’s top prospects in Francisco Lindor, but had to be replaced just three batters into the game due to injury.
  • LHP Gerardo Concepcion pitched two innings of relief, giving up three hits and one unearned run while striking out one and walking none for Mesa.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the third inning and finished the afternoon 0-for-2 with a seventh-inning walk.

Mesa heads to Scottsdale Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 12:35.

Cubs AFL recap: 10/27/14

A strong pitching effort from one of the Cubs’ top arms and solid efforts at the dish by two farmhands earned Mesa a 3-3, 11-inning tie Monday against Salt River. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • RHP C.J. Edwards pitched three hitless innings, giving up no walks and striking out one. He lowered his ERA to 1.80 after four starts this fall.
  • RF Jacob Hannemann had three hits, including a pair of triples and a single. He recorded the game-tying run in the ninth after his second three-bagger of the day. Hannemann finished 3-for-6.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach recorded a pair of singles and finished 2-for-5.

Mesa will host Peoria on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time. Cubs right-hander Ivan Pineyro will take the mound for the Solar Sox.

Cubs AFL recap: 10/23/14

Mesa picked up a 7-3 win over Scottsdale with limited production from Cubs prospects Thursday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • SS Addison Russell finished 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the seventh, his second of the fall. It was announced after the game that this will be Russell’s final showing in the Arizona Fall League. Russell missed the early portion of 2014, so the front office brought the shortstop to Arizona to get a full season’s work.
  • DH Dan Vogelbach went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The Solar Sox head to Peoria Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35. Cubs right-hander Armando Rivero is projected to start for Mesa.

Cubs AFL Recap: 10/22/14

The offense again carried Mesa to victory, this time a 9-3 win over Scottsdale Wednesday afternoon. Every Cubs prospect who got into the game contributed to the result. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:

  • RHP Ivan Pineyro earned the win despite a shaky second inning. He pitched 2.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. All his earned runs came on a three-run homer in the second.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 on the day with a walk and two runs scored. He singled in the third and fifth innings. He also committed a fielding error in the game.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. He recorded singles in the second and eighth innings.
  • SS Addison Russell went 1-for-6 with a two-RBI single in the second inning, scoring Rademacher and Chad Hinshaw (Angels). In the field, he committed his third error of the season.

Mesa will host Scottsdale Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

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