Results tagged ‘ Daytona Cubs ’

Edwards named MiLB’s best starter

Edwards,-C.J.

(Photo by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

Though the minor league season finished more than a month ago, the Cubs organization keeps picking up accolades. Daytona Cub C.J. Edwards is the most recent farmhand to receive praise, as he was named Starting Pitcher of the Year by MiLB.com Wednesday.

Edwards started the 2013 campaign as a relative unknown, though that changed quickly. The 22-year-old former 48th-round pick was 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 93.1 innings for Texas’ Class-A Hickory Crawdads of the Sally League.

On July 22, “String Bean,”—a nickname given for his 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame—was sent along with Justin Grimm, Mike Olt eventually Neil Ramirez to the Cubs in exchange for Matt Garza. And the right-hander did not disappoint when he got to High-A Daytona, a club in the midst of a title race.

“The transition [to the Cubs] is going great,” Edwards told Vine Line prior to the postseason. “I had one goal with my last team, and that was to have a playoff run. Once I got traded, I found the same mentality here. I’m here to help them.”

In six starts for the D-Cubs, Edwards recorded no decisions, but posted a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings, fanning 33 batters. His efforts were good enough to help lead Daytona to a Florida State League championship. On the season, he finished 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA, 12.0 K/9, a 1.01 WHIP and just one home run allowed over 116.1 innings.

Fellow farmhand and Cubs pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks was also among the 12 finalists.

Minor League recap: 7/2/13

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Alberto Cabrera and five other Smokies were named to the Southern League All-Star team. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs minor league affiliates went an impressive 4-1 on Tuesday, with Iowa, Tennessee, Boise and Mesa all picking up wins. Daytona had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Iowa Cubs (44-42)

Iowa recorded nine extra-base hits in a 6-2 victory over visiting Memphis.

  • SS Donnie Murphy (.264) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double (11), a home run and two RBI (32).
  • 1B Brad Nelson (.266) logged his second-straight multi-RBI game, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI (50).
  • 3B Junior Lake (.324) recorded a season high three extra-base hits, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, adouble (8) and two triples (2).
  • LF Ty Wright (.250) was 2-for-4 with a double (4) and two RBI (10). He’s hit safely in four of his last five games.
  • RHP Casey Coleman (2.82) and RHP Marcus Hatley (5.17) combined for 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
  • Yesterday, LHP Chris Rusin was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Team and was called up to Chicago.

Tennessee Smokies (7-5)

Tennessee outlasted host Montgomery in a 13-inning affair, beating the Biscuits 4-3.

  • RF Matt Szczur (.298) extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 1-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base (18). He’s hitting .372 (16-for-43) with four doubles, six runs scored and eight RBI during the streak.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.248) went 2-for-6 with a double (21), a home run and two RBI (40).
  • C Rafael Lopez (.253) clubbed his fifth home run of the season, going 2-for-5 with the homer and two RBI (22).
  • RHP Yeiper Castillo (1-2, 4.60) struck out two while tossing 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to earn his first win.
  • Yesterday, six Smokies were named Southern League All-Stars: INF Arismendy Alcantara, INF Christian Villanueva, C Rafael Lopez, OF Matt Szczur, RHP Alberto Cabrera and RHP Kyle Hendricks.

Kane County Cougars (2-10)

Kane County mustered just five hits in a 5-3 loss at Wisconsin. The Cougars have lost four of their last five games.

  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.247) went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run, two RBI (28) and one stolen base (1).
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.258) extended his hitting streak to four games, going 1-for-3 with a walk and one RBI (24).
  • CF Albert Almora (.343) went 1-for-4. He’s hitting .464 (13-for-28) against left-handed pitching.
  • LHP Sheldon McDonald (0.00) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He hasn’t allowed a run in his first three appearances with the Cougars (7.0 IP).

Boise Hawks (11-8)

Boise won its sixth-straight game with a 10-5 victory over host Salem-Keizer.

  • 2B David Bote (1-for-4, BB, 2 R, HR, RBI) and 1B Jacob Rogers (1-for-1, R, HR, 3 RBI) each hit a home run.
  • C Lance Rymel (.235) went 1-for-3 with two walks, a season-high three runs scored and two RBI (5).
  • 3B Dan Lockhart (.296) logged his second-straight, multihit game, going 2-for-5 with a double (2) and two RBI (5).
  • RHP Orbandy Rodriguez (1-2, 6.75) worked 2.0 scoreless innings, earning his first win of the season.
  • RHP Tyler Bremer (1.93) recorded the final six outs for his second save.

Mesa Cubs (6-5)

Mesa won its fourth-straight game, defeating the visiting AZL Brewers 6-4.

  • SS Giuseppe Papaccio (.313) went 2-for-4 with a double (1) and a career-high three RBI (6).
  • LF Kevin Brown (.280) registered his second-straight multihit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and oneRBI (2).
  • RHP Marcos Mateo (1-0, 0.00) struck out the side in the fifth inning and recorded the victory.
  • RHP Erick Leal (0.75) allowed an unearned run on four hits in 2.0 innings of relief, converting his first save.

1000 Words: Baez belts four homers

(Photos by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

Hard-hitting Javier Baez is widely considered one of the Cubs organization’s top minor league prospects, and the shortstop hasn’t failed to live up to the hype this season. Though he struggled to find his stroke early, Baez is now hitting .291/.339/.570 (AVG/OBP/SLG) and is in the top four in home runs and RBI in the High-A Florida State League. But nobody could have predicted the near-perfect night the 2012 first-round pick had on Monday, when he went 4-for-4 with four homers and seven RBI, propelling Daytona to a 9-6 win over visiting Fort Myers.

Baez hit a two-run homer in the first, led off the third with a solo shot to center, ripped another two-run home run to left in the fifth, and wrapped up his night with a solo shot to left in the seventh. He now has 13 bombs on the year to go along with 44 RBI.

Daytona Cubs’ Geiger named FSL Player of the Week

Geiger

(Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

At the outset of the season, everyone knew the Daytona Cubs’ roster was loaded with talent. Now the individual accolades are starting to pile up. On Monday, the Florida State League announced Cubs infielder Dustin Geiger was the league’s player of the week for the week ending May 19.

In the eight games during that stretch, the 21-year-old batted .469 (15-for-32) with a pair of homers, seven doubles, a triple, seven runs driven in and six runs scored. This season, the Merritt Island, Fla., native is hitting .333 with five home runs and a league-leading 36 RBI.

Geiger, a 24th round pick in the 2010 draft, joins outfielder Jorge Soler, shortstop Javier Baez and right-handed pitcher Ryan Searle as Daytona Cubs to win the award this season.

Daytona’s Soler named FSL player of the week

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Jorge Soler might have gotten off to a rocky start this season, but the Cubs outfield prospect has been on a tear of late. On Tuesday, he was named the Florida State League player of the week for the week ending May 12.

In four games from May 6-12, the 21-year-old went 7-for-15 with a pair of homers, three doubles, a triple, four RBI and five runs scored. In addition, the organization’s No. 3 prospect (according to MLB.com) has reached base in 10 straight games. For the season, Soler is hitting .281/.369/542 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with five homers, eight doubles and 14 driven in.

The native of Cuba was suspended five games earlier in the year for an on-field altercation.

Cubs minor league recap: 4/9/13

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Zach Putnam pitched well for Triple-A Iowa Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Kane County Cougars captured a walk-off win Tuesday, while Daytona had its three-game win streak snapped and Iowa continued to struggle. Tennessee was off and will host Chattanooga Wednesday. Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s games:

IOWA CUBS (0-6)

Iowa suffered its sixth-straight loss to open the season, dropping a 4-2 decision at Round Rock. The 0-6 mark is the worst start in franchise history.

  •  LF Darnell McDonald (.313) went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning He’s hit safely in all five  games he’s appeared in.
  •  RF Brett Jackson (.280) recorded his second-consecutive, multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.
  •  DH Ty Wright (.222) went 2-for-4 to snap a four-game hitless skid.
  •  RHP Zach Putnam (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) and RHP Rafael Dolis (1.0 IP, 1 H) each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

DAYTONA CUBS (3-2)

Daytona had its three-game winning streak snapped, as the D-Cubs committed four errors in a 5-4 setback against visiting Clearwater.

  • DH Zeke DeVoss (.300) went 1-for-5 with a solo home run.
  • RF Jorge Soler (.450) extended his hitting streak to five games, including three straight, multi-hit affairs, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a RBI.
  • LF-CF John Andreoli (.471) reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base. He owns a five-game hitting streak and back-to-back multi-walk efforts.
  • LHP Sheldon McDonald (0-1, 3.38) worked 2.2-scoreless innings of relief, surrendering two hits while walking two and fanning one.

KANE COUNTY COUGARS (2-4)

Cougars third baseman Jeimer Candelario smacked a game-winning single to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 walk-off win against visiting Clinton.

  • SS Jeimer Candelario (.241) finished 2-for-5 with the game-winning RBI.
  • DH Rock Shoulders (.480) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and one RBI. He has recorded two or more hits in four-straight games.
  • 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.310) recorded his second three-hit game of the campaign, going 3-for-5.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.294), SS Marco Hernandez (.136) and 2B Gioskar Amaya (.269) collected two hits apiece.
  • RHP Eduardo Orozco (1-1, 6.00) picked up his first win of the season despite allowing two unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning.

Daytona’s offense packs a punch

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Javier Baez will be Daytona’s shortstop to start the 2013 season. (Photo by Stephen Green)

If there’s any Cubs minor league affiliate that’s going to attract attention at the start of 2013, it’s the organization’s High-A Daytona squad. Daytona season ticket holders will likely see an increase in occupied seats, thanks to the heart of the Cubs’ order.

Sitting third and fourth in the lineup are Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, two of Baseball America‘s top 34 prospects in baseball heading into the year. The talented shortstop Baez crushed Single-A pitching in 2012, hitting .333/.383/.553 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 235 plate appearances. He did struggle in 23 games at Daytona to end the season, but after a strong Arizona Fall League and an even better Spring Training—spent mainly with the big league club—his late-summer slide seems like a distant memory.

Likely batting right behind Baez will be hulking Cuban expat Jorge Soler. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right fielder signed a nine-year, $30 million free agent deal in early July. Though he played just 20 games for Single-A Peoria last year, he hit .338 with three homers and 15 RBI. A member of the 40-man roster, Soler was invited to big league Spring Training, where he hit .222 in 36 at-bats, but also flashed some impressive leather and showed Cubs management he’s more than just a big bat.

Other notable offensive weapons include John Andreoli, Stephen Bruno, Zeke DeVoss, Dustin Geiger and Tim Saunders. Former Florida State wide receiver Taiwan Easterling could also be an exciting player to watch. After hitting .307 in 2011, the 23-year-old’s average slipped to .243 last year in Peoria.

The pitching staff doesn’t have as many headline names, but getting right-hander Starlin Peralta back, after initially losing him to Arizona in the Rule 5 draft, helps. Austin Kirk returns after going 7-3 last year with a 3.13 ERA in 21 starts. Eduardo Figueroa was the club’s go-to reliever last season, appearing in 37 games and posting a 2.90 ERA.

Here are the players manager Dave Keller will have on his roster as Daytona opens its season Thursday:

PITCHERS
Yeiper Castillo, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Frank Del Valle, LHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
P.J. Francescon, RHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Sheldon McDonald, LHP
Starlin Peralta, RHP
Austin Reed, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Ben Wells, RHP

CATCHERS
Taylor Davis
Micah Gibbs
Chad Noble

INFIELDERS
Javier Baez
Stephen Bruno
Ben Carhart
Zeke DeVoss
Dustin Geiger
Tim Saunders

OUTFIELDERS
John Andreoli
Taiwan Easterling
Jorge Soler

Farm Report Wrap-Up: Daytona featured key prospects on left side

Outfielder Matt Szczur stole 38 bases for Daytona in 2012. (Photo by Rodger Wood)

Today we continue our tour around the Cubs farm system, taking a level-by-level look at performances the organization hopes to build on in 2013. The high Class-A Daytona Cubs are next in the spotlight.

They may have dropped from Florida State League champions to last place, but the Daytona Cubs featured several intriguing position prospects worth keeping an eye on. And it’s the continued development of that talent that’s going to be vital for the Chicago Cubs in the coming years.

Chief among them is Javier Baez, who spent the last month of the season in Daytona Beach. He’s become the organization’s quickest climber since being drafted out of high school in 2011. Since his mid-August signing last summer, Baez has played in four different leagues—at the Rookie and three Class-A levels. (He spent the season’s first two months in extended Spring Training before resuming his rapid ascent.) Though Baez batted just .188 in 86 plate appearances for Daytona, he ended the year with two home runs in the finale to bring his season total to 16 (12 with Peoria) in 80 games. That evidence of his plus bat speed, as well as his overall athleticism and competitiveness, puts him as baseball’s 23rd-best prospect and fourth-best shortstop in Jonathan Mayo’s end-of-season rankings at MLB.com.

To Baez’s right, third baseman Christian Villanueva was an important midseason addition via the Ryan Dempster deal with Texas. He’s considered to have very natural actions at third base, along with a strong arm and good hands. On the offensive side, he has plus bat speed and good pop, though he’s still refining his approach. Considering that third base is wide-open at the major league level, Villanueva could be one to watch.

Both Baez and Villanueva will be getting extra at-bats this fall—Baez in the Arizona Fall League and Villanueva in the Mexican Winter League (for Obregon). And both have considerable upside in how high they can climb.

Final Records:

First Half / 30-38, fifth place, 12.5 GB

Second Half / 29-36, sixth place, 7.5 GB

Storylines: Hope you had your stopwatches ready—new Manager Mark Johnson loved to send his runners around the bases. The Cubs’ 201 steals was 34 better than the No. 2 team in the league. Daytona also led the league in triples. Outfielder John Andreoli stole 55 bases in 75 tries to pace the team. Outfielder and top prospect Matt Szczur, promoted to Tennessee in July, had 38 steals in 50 attempts, while shortstop Arismendy Alcantara was 25-for-29. (more…)

Farm Report: Cubs are hot in Daytona

Daytona Cubs logoThe Daytona Cubs, the Chicago Cubs’ high Class-A affiliate, haven’t just started well this season—they’re pacing all of baseball in several categories through two months. With 34 wins in 46 games, the team has baseball’s best record and just played to its second consecutive four-game sweep.

First baseman Justin Bour, who turns 23 on Saturday, leads the team with 39 RBIs, 12 home runs and 60 hits. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Bour has slugged .626 and shown a good approach at the plate.

Junior Lake, the athletic 21-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, has paced the Florida State League with 18 stolen bases and is currently on a ten-game hitting streak. He’s hitting well—boasting a .314 AVG/.337 OBP/.481 SLG line—but is walking less and striking out more in his second go-around with Daytona.

Junior LakeHere’s what our Minor League Prospectus, issued in Vine Line every February, had to say about Lake:

“Lake continues improving in the minors. His physical talent is a given, but refining his baseball skills remains paramount. He made huge strides at the plate, cutting down on his strikeouts from 138 in 2009 to 99 in 2010 and increasing his walks from 18 to 35. He possesses the strongest infield arm in the organization and, with added power, might eventually fit best at third base instead of shortstop.”

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