Results tagged ‘ Dustin Geiger ’

From the Pages of Vine Line: 2014 Minor League Prospectus, Ready to Break Out

Duane-Underwood

Duane Underwood has one of the highest ceilings of all the Cubs arms. (Photo by Scott McDaniel)

For many Chicagoans, February means cold weather. At Vine Line, it’s all about the Cubs minor league prospectus. In the February issue, fans can check out frequent contributor Sahadev Sharma’s player breakdowns for more than 45 of the organization’s top prospects, from teenagers like Eloy Jimenez to elite talents like Javier Baez. This is our final online installment. For more information, pick up the February issue of Vine Line.

Also from the Series:
2014 Cubs Minor League Prospectus – The Elite
2014 Cubs Minor League Prospectus – Close to Big Leagues
2014 Cubs Minor League Prospectus – International Impact
2014 Cubs Minor League Prospectus – Pitching Depth

READY TO BREAK OUT

Not every name in the Cubs system sits atop prospect lists like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. But the best organizations not only have top talent and balance, they also have players not everyone has heard of who have a chance to blossom into very good major leaguers.

Whether they’re lacking the flashy tool that garners headlines or are just a little raw and haven’t yet put everything together, there are definitely names worth watching in the Cubs system. And many of these prospects could become much more familiar to fans over the next nine months.

STEPHEN BRUNO
DOB: 11/17/1990
POSITION: 2B
HIGHEST 2013 LEVEL: DAYTONA
2013 STATS: .362/.436/.478 (19 GAMES)

There’s no two ways about it, this kid can flat-out hit. With a front-to-back stroke, Bruno uses the whole field, attacks the fastball and has the ability to stay on the breaking ball. Unfortunately, his season ended early with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. If not for that, it wouldn’t have been a surprise for Bruno to hit his way up to Double-A.

He likely won’t be ready by Spring Training, but the hope is he’ll be able to get on the field early in the minor league season. When he does, expect him to once again hit line drives all over the field.

ROCK SHOULDERS
DOB: 9/26/1991
POSITION: 1B
HIGHEST 2013 LEVEL: KANE COUNTY
2013 STATS: .258/.352/.445 (117 GAMES)

The man with the best name in the system mashed at a tough park for hitters in Kane County early on, earning organizational Player of the Month honors in April. A full-figured kid, Shoulders is more athletic than many realize. He played third base as an amateur, and there are those in the Cubs organization who believe he could have some value in the outfield.

With a winning combination of patience and power, the bat will always be enticing. Now it’s a matter of developing versatility on defense or finding one place to play and really focusing on it.

DUANE UNDERWOOD
DOB: 7/20/1994
POSITION: RHP
HIGHEST 2013 LEVEL: BOISE
2013 STATS: 54.1, 4.97 ERA, 36 K, 27 BB (11 STARTS, 14 APPEARANCES)

Outside of C.J. Edwards and perhaps Pierce Johnson, Underwood may have the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the organization. Unfortunately, he came into Spring Training in less-than-ideal shape, which led to inconsistent performance throughout the season. The hope is that he learned his lesson and will prepare appropriately this offseason so he can come into the spring ready to take off.

As far as the stuff is concerned, when he’s on, the fastball is 92-96 mph, and he has a knee-buckling curve. But consistency is an issue, and he didn’t get as many whiffs as you’d expect from a guy with his stuff.

“He’ll come into next season as a 19-year-old, and we’re just waiting for the light to come on,” McLeod said. “His upside is as high as anybody we’ve got.”

CHRISTIAN VILLANUEVA
DOB: 6/19/1991
POSITION: 3B
HIGHEST 2013 LEVEL: TENNESSEE
2013 STATS: .261/.317/469 (133 GAMES)

Already a big league-caliber defender at third, Villanueva showed some pop for the first time in his career in 2013, hitting 41 doubles and 19 home runs. There are some swing mechanics the Cubs will continue to work on with him, and they’d like to see him improve his plate discipline as far as controlling the strike zone. But Villanueva has the profile teams look for at third base, especially if the power output remains at the level he showed this season. Defensively, his hands and feet are as good as anyone’s.

DAN VOGELBACH
DOB: 12/17/1992
POSITION: 1B
HIGHEST 2013 LEVEL: DAYTONA
2013 STATS: .284/.375/.449 (131 GAMES)

Vogelbach grew up playing baseball in the Florida sun, so the cold late spring in Kane County was a shock to his system this past season. Many balls that normally would have cleared the fence or fallen for doubles became easy outs. However, his struggles in a cold and rainy April helped him grow immensely as a player. By the end of the year, his numbers were solid, and he’d done enough to earn a promotion to Daytona.

The bat has always been a plus for Vogelbach, as he shows light-tower power and can drive the ball to all parts of the field. Of course, the biggest question will always be his body and whether it will keep him from sticking at first base. While he’ll never be mistaken for slender, there have been some positive signs of late.
“He was probably the best I’ve ever seen him look [in November for instructs] in Arizona,” McLeod said.

McLeod pointed to next season as being a huge year for Vogelbach. He’ll have to continue to stay in shape and prove his bat can carry him to the bigs.

GIOSKAR AMAYA (2B) – Amaya had an up-and-down 2013, but he has bat speed, power for a second baseman, solid plate discipline and the speed to steal a base here and there. He’s a very hard worker, but he can be too tough on himself from time to time. Still, he’s an intelligent ballplayer with tools and plus-makeup.

SHAWON DUNSTON JR. (OF) – Dunston grew up a lot in 2013 after struggling early in his professional career. He had a strong first half in Boise but fell off toward the end. He has all the tools, drew a lot of walks and can steal bases. The Cubs are working on his bat path, as Dunston tends to get a little pull-happy.

KEVIN ENCARNACION (OF) – Encarnacion hit for average and power, drew walks and stole bases in a strong year at Boise. He’s a switch-hitter with a corner-outfield profile. Though he was a little old for the Northwest League, his confidence improved this season after a strong performance. He shows a fluid swing with a very good idea of the strike zone.

DUSTIN GEIGER (1B) – This streaky, big-bodied power hitter mashes lefties and holds his own against righties. Geiger should move into a hitters’ park in Tennessee next year, so he needs to keep putting up offensive numbers and improving defensively.

JACOB HANNEMANN (OF) – Hannemann was a surprise third-round pick in last summer’s draft. He flew under the radar because he hadn’t played for a few years due to a Mormon mission and commitment to the BYU football team. He has a strong left-handed bat and a good feel for the strike zone. From a tools standpoint, he’s a dynamic guy with tremendous speed, a Jacoby Ellsbury-type body and athleticism. He’s raw because of limited playing time, but the Cubs are betting on his upside.

CARLOS PIMENTEL (RHP) – Recently named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year, this strong-armed reliever has proven to be a tough match-up. He’s a short-arm guy, and hitters often have a tough time picking up the ball. He has been up to 94 mph with the fastball, which he complements with a slider and a solid change-up. His command and control can waver, but he’s a pitcher who gives opponents an uncomfortable at-bat.

IVAN PINEYRO (RHP) – Acquired in a trade with the Nationals for Scott Hairston, Pineyro is a strike thrower with an impressive change-up. He’s not a stuff guy, but the belief is he can end up at the back end of a good major league rotation.

—Sahadev Sharma

Quartet of Cubs named to FSL All-Star Game

Geiger2

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.

IF Geiger, RHP Hendricks named minor league player, pitcher of month

Geiger

(Photo by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee are two clubs in the organization that house some of the Cubs’ best prospects. A pair of those players recently received special mention for their solid play throughout the month of May.

Daytona Cubs infielder Dustin Geiger was named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Month while Smokies right-hander Kyle Hendricks was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Month.

In 27 May contests, the 21-year-old Geiger batted .307 in 101 at-bats with three homers, eight doubles and 23 RBI. He also accumulated a .368 on-base percentage largely due to his 11 walks while slugging .495. He was named the Florida State League’s Player of the Week from May 13-19. On the year, the 2010 24th round pick has a .310/.368/.495 batting line (AVG/OBP/SLG) with six home runs, 15 doubles, 21 walks and 47 RBI (second in the FSL). He’s committed just one error in 45 games at first base.

The 23-year-old Hendricks went 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five May starts for Tennessee, fanning 25 batters in 32.1 innings. His 1.02 WHIP was tied for fifth in the league during that stretch. On the year, Hendricks is 5-2 with a 2.47 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. The right-hander came over from Texas in the July 31 Ryan Dempster deal. He’s gone 13-12 with a 2.72 ERA in 56 career minor league games.

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.

Cubs minor league recap: 4/14/13

BRIAN-WEB

Brian Bogusevic posted his third-straight, multi-hit game Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

While Kane County’s doubleheader in Wisconsin was postponed due to inclement weather, Iowa, Tennessee and Daytona all collected a win Sunday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (3-8)

Iowa won its second game in a row, plating three fifth-inning runs in a 4-1 victory over visiting Albuquerque.

  • LHP Chris Rusin (1-1) went seven innings, surrendering one earned run on four hits for the win.
  • CF Brian Bogusevic (.378 AVG) recorded his third-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
  • 2B Darwin Barney (.200) went 0-for-1 with three walks, a run scored and a stolen base (1) in the second game of a rehabilitation assignment.
  • 3B Ian Stewart (.000) went 0-for-3 with a walk and a RBI (1) in the first game of a rehabilitation assignment.
  • 1B Brad Nelson (.205) was 1-for-4 with a team-high two RBI (7).
  • RHP Zach Putnam (8.44 ERA) converted his first save, walking one and fanning three in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.

Tennessee Smokies (5-5)

Tennessee plated two runs in the first inning, one in the fourth inning and four more in the seventh in a 7-3 victory over visiting Chattanooga, the Smokies third straight win.

  • RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (1-1) went six innings, surrendering one hit and allowing no earned runs.
  • RF Jae-Hoon Ha (.343) reached base four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk, a double (2), a run scored and a RBI (6).
  • 2B Ronald Torreyes (.667) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a RBI (1).
  • LF Rubi Silva (.345) was 2-for-4.
  • 3B Jonathan Mota (.227) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI (2).

Daytona Cubs (5-5)

Daytona used a three-run seventh inning to race past host Tampa, 3-1.

  • RHP Zach Cates (1-1) surrendered one earned run over six innings, striking out four in the win.
  • DH Stephen Bruno (.385) went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He extended his hitting streak to eight games (.424), including six multi-hit affairs.
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.286) went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
  • C Micah Gibbs (.286) was 2-for-4 with a double (2) and a RBI (5).
  • LHP Frank Del Valle (0.00) converted his second save, striking out the side in a perfect ninth frame.

Farm Report Wrap-Up: Peoria featured top prospects in last year as Cubs affiliate

Third baseman Dustin Geiger was named the Chiefs’ season MVP (Photo by Roger 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 low Class-A Peoria Chiefs take the spotlight.

There weren’t many constants on the Chiefs roster this year, but the Cubs hope several players featured there will develop into cornerstones in Chicago.

Many locals got a sneak peek at the future when Peoria visited Kane County in Geneva, Ill., during the last weekend of the minor league season. Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler hit the longest home run of the season at that ballpark, a monstrous shot over the trees in left field. MLBlogger Born On Third Cubs caught the bomb on video (skip to 1:40 for the last swing):

That’s the sort of middle-of-the-order power potential that earned Soler a nine-year contract from the Cubs in June. Just 20 years old, Soler hit for a .338/.398/.513 slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) with three home runs and five doubles in 20 games after his mid-August promotion from Short-Season Boise. He’ll now continue his season in the fall instructional league at the organization’s complex in Mesa, Ariz. That will allow him to get controlled instruction—as well as cultural immersion—under the watchful eyes of Cubs coaches.

He was replacing, in effect, Javier Baez, who showed he was worthy of the ninth-overall pick in the loaded 2011 draft class. He started the year in extended Spring Training before being assigned to Peoria when the weather warmed up around Memorial Day. From that point to his Aug. 4 promotion to high Class-A Daytona, Baez had a .333/.383/.596 slash line with 10 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs in 235 plate appearances. The shortstop also added 20 steals in 23 tries while establishing himself as arguably the organization’s top prospect.

Beyond that, the Peoria roster was a bit of a carousel due to injuries and promotions. The Chiefs featured 53 players this season.

Final Records:

First Half / 35-34, third place, 9.0 GB

Second Half / 28-41, seventh place, 19.5 GB

Storylines: The 2012 season marks the Chiefs’ last as a Cubs affiliate, as the organization announced a new player development contract with the Kane County Cougars this month. That will bring the Cubs within 50 miles of their low Class-A team or “right in our backyard,” as Jason McLeod put it. (more…)

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