Results tagged ‘ Justin Bour ’
Jorge Soler homered and drove in two on Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Tennessee Smokies and the Daytona Cubs picked up a win after Sunday night’s games while Iowa and Kane County both continue to search for their first victories of the season after falling short this weekend. Here are the highlights from Sunday’s games:
IOWA CUBS (0-4)
Iowa suffered its fourth consecutive defeat to start the season, falling 7-3 at Albuquerque.
- RF Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run.
- CF Brett Jackson (1-for-4, R) and LF Darnell McDonald (1-for-4, R, 2B) also collected hits and a run.
- RHP Casey Coleman allowed two runs on three hits in 2.0 innings out of the bullpen, striking out two.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (2-2)
Tennessee stranded the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, losing 5-4 at Pensacola.
- 1B Justin Bour (2-for-4, R, RBI) collected two hits including a RBI double in the third inning.
- 3B Tim Torres walked and singled twice in three at bats.
- RHP’s Tony Zych (1.2 IP, 2 H) and A.J. Morris (1.1 IP) combined to hold the Blue Wahoos scoreless over the final three innings.
DAYTONA CUBS (3-1)
Daytona scored nine runs over the final four innings to shutout Brevard County on the road, 9-0.
- RHP P.J. Francescon (1-0) surrendered one hit in five scoreless innings, striking out six.
- RF Jorge Soler (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, 2 RBI) homered for the second-consecutive day, knocking in SS Javier Baez (1-for-4, R, SB) in the sixth inning.
- LF John Andreoli reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, a triple and a RBI.
- RHP Yeiper Castillo struck out three batters in two scoreless innings.
- RHP’s Luis Liria and Austin Reed recorded the final six outs in order to complete the shutout.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (0-4)
Quad Cities scored two runs in the 13th inning to defeat host Kane County, 3-1, and finish off the four-game sweep.
- CF Oliver Zapata went 2-for-5 with a walk from the leadoff spot.
- LF Rock Shoulders (2-for-3, BB) extended his hitting streak to four games.
- LHP Michael Heesch took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrendering the first hit and run of the game.
- RHP Felix Pena pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and walking one while striking out five.
The Smokies return slugger Justin Bour. (Photo by Rodger Wood)
Coming off of a 2011 Florida State League title, many believed the Tennessee Smokies were destined to repeat in 2012. But that didn’t happen, as the team hovered around .500 for much of the year, finishing 72-68.
This year’s Smokies might not have the hype of the 2012 squad, but after retaining 17 players and adding a few highly touted prospects, a league title could again be in their sights.
The 2013 offense is fronted by a few key returnees in Justin Bour and Matt Szczur. Bour, a 24-year-old first baseman, was the rock in the middle of the order last season, hitting .283/.360/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 17 homers and a franchise-record 110 driven in. If he’s not moved up, he could near that RBI total again, especially considering Szczur and newcomer Arismendy Alcantara will bat ahead of him in the lineup.
Former fifth-round pick Szczur was all over Single-A hitting before his call-up last season. Though he struggled at Double-A (.210/.285/.357 in 35 games), he performed well in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .264 and drawing 14 walks in 105 at-bats. He also stole nine bases.
The 21-year-old Alcantara was promoted after a stellar 2012 in Daytona, where he hit .302/.339/.447 with 13 doubles and swiped 25 bags. The versatile infielder will likely line up at short, and he’s a tough out at the plate.
Alberto Cabrera is a Tennessee newcomer who will head a rotation that features three returnees. The 24-year-old Cabrera pitched in relief for the first time in his career last season and reached the majors, where he went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 21.2 innings. Eric Jokisch, Dae-Eun Rhee, Dallas Beeler and call-up Kyle Hendricks round out the starting staff.
Buddy Bailey returns to manage the Smokies, who play Friday night at 7 p.m. CST. Here’s the roster Bailey will have to work with to start season:
Frank Batista RHP
Dallas Beeler RHP
Alberto Cabrera RHP
Marcus Hatley RHP
Kyle Hendricks RHP
Eric Jokisch LHP
Trey McNutt RHP
A.J. Morris RHP
Kevin Rhoderick RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee RHP
Zach Rosscup LHP
Brian Schlitter RHP
Tony Zych RHP
(Photo by Rodger Wood)
The Estrellas de Oriente were one of the Dominican winter league’s most dominant teams during the regular season. They finished 30-20, two games out of the lead, and easily made the four-team round-robin postseason.
Though the team was led by its solid pitching staff, the offense was powered by Cubs IF/OF Junior Lake, whose bat not only led the Estrellas in multiple categories, but also ranked high among the rest of the league.
The 22-year-old had an excellent all-around season, hitting .312/.382/.474 (AVG/OBP/SLG), good for third, fifth and fifth respectively in the Dominican. His five home runs were tied for seventh, and his 11 stolen bases were tied for second. The only knock on his season offensively is that he struck out a league-high 46 times.
While his nine errors on the defensive side were a little alarming, the natural shortstop was asked to play a bevy of positions this winter, including third base, left field and occasionally center. Lake, who is expected to start the season at Double-A Tennessee, will likely continue honing his craft at multiple positions this year, as he is blocked by Starlin Castro at shortstop.
Playing left field on Thursday, the Dominican native recorded a pair of hits and drove in a run, giving Estrellas its first win of the postseason in six chances. He reached on a bunt single in the third inning, and drove in Eliezer Mesa from third on a single in the fifth. Lake also recorded a walk in the 10-inning game.
Other news around the Caribbean:
Justin Bour ripped an RBI double for the Gigantes in Puerto Rico. He finished 1-for-4.
Esmailin Caridad pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Yaquis de Obregon of Mexico, striking out the side.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Luis Valbuena‘s winter play has been a hot topic of discussion for Cubs fans this entire offseason. Though the coaching staff was impressed with his glove in 2012, it’s his bat that’s been opening eyes in the Venezuelan league. Not only did the infielder’s Cardenales de Lara side capture the final spot in the circuit’s round robin postseason tourney, but Valbuena was a key component in an offense that ranked near the top in many categories.
Though the re-signing of third baseman Ian Stewart might have blocked Valbuena’s best chance to play every day for the Cubs in 2013, he again demonstrated his ability to play multiple positions, including second base, his natural position, and third, where he spent most of his time in 2012. His flexibility around the infield as well as his solid glove work might give him the inside track at a hotly contested utility spot on the Opening Day roster.
The 27-year-old finished the winter league regular season hitting .306/.414/.497 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 183 at-bats and drawing 34 walks, second best on the team. He recorded a team best 15 doubles, and his six homers ranked second. The Venezuelan native also scored 32 runs.
The Cardenales dropped their opening game of the postseason 10-6, though Valbuena recorded a single and scored one of the team’s runs. Lara hosts Caribes on Thursday.
Notes around the Caribbean:
Esmailin Caridad picked up the win for the Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican league Wednesday. The right-handed reliever pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, fanning two and walking one.
Justin Bour had a base hit in a losing effort for the Gigantes de Carolina of the Puerto Rican league.
Right-handed starter Yoanner Negrin has had a solid 2012 winter ball campaign for the Leones del Caracas of Venezuela. He’s been tough all year, posting a 2.61 ERA in 12 starts, fourth-best of all starters in the league. The 28-year-old also has a 4-1 record, which is tied for third in the league. Over his last 20 innings, he’s allowed just two earned runs and struck out 10 batters.
Negrin continued his consistent ways Thursday, allowing three hits over five innings and surrendering one unearned run in a Leones victory. He was awarded the win for his efforts.
Other notes around the Caribbean:
Justin Bour had a two-RBI double and scored a run for Carolina of the Puerto Rican league.
Tony Campana had a pair of hits and a walk for Leones. He also scored a run.
Dave Sappelt had a base hit for the Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan league.
(Photo by Rodger Wood)
As Vine Line noted on Wednesday, Justin Bour didn’t arrive in Puerto Rico until Dec. 6, so his totals thus far are limited. But he made a big impact Wednesday afternoon for his Gigantes de Carolina team.
Batting third and playing left field, the 6-foot-4 slugger went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks. His RBI came in the first on a single to center, and he was left stranded after ripping a double in the third. He grounded out in the fifth, and his next two at-bats resulted in walks.
Bour had a successful year in Double-A Tennessee this season. The natural first baseman finished with a .283/.360/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line and had a franchise record 110 RBI. He hit 36 doubles and 17 home runs, good for third and seventh best, respectively, in the Southern League.
The Cubs’ 25th round pick in 2009 was also a Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star this year.
Other notes around the Caribbean:
Jay Jackson got the start for the Venados de Mazatlan of the Mexican league. He went 4.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits.
Dave Sappelt led off and had a pair of hits for the Bravos of Venezuela. He drove in a run, scored a run and recorded a walk.
Johermyn Chavez recorded a pinch-hit, two-RBI triple in his lone at-bat for the Caribes of Venezuela.
While the rest of the players in the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues were resting during the midseason All-Star break, the best players from both leagues squared off in a Tuesday night showdown. While the game wasn’t studded with Cubs prospects, Junior Lake represented both the Cubs and his Dominican side well.
Batting fifth and playing center field, Lake finished the night 1-for-3 with an RBI in an 8-2 Dominican win. In the top of the third with Dodgers star Hanley Ramirez on third base, the Cubs lone All-Star representative beat out a soft ground ball to short, scoring Ramirez to make the game 4-2.
Other highlights around the Caribbean:
Justin Bour went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk for the Gigantes in the Puerto Rican league. It was his first hit in nine winter at-bats.
Josh Vitters took part in Wednesday night’s Triple-A All-Star Game, wrapping up the Midsummer Classics for each level of the Cubs organization. Vine Line recapped how Cubs players and prospects performed in their respective All-Star Games.
Major League All-Star Game:
Starlin Castro: 0-for-1, flied out to center, two defensive innings played
Bryan LaHair: 0-for-1, ground out to shortstop, three defensive innings played
MLB Futures Game:
Jae-Hoon Ha: 2-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, R, started at CF
Triple-A All-Star Game:
Josh Vitters: 0-for-1, BB, K, four defensive innings played
Double-A Southern League All-Star Game:
Jim Adduci: 2-for-2, double, RBI, four defensive innings played
Frank Batista: 2/3 IP, 0 R
Justin Bour: 1-for-3, BB, started at DH
Kevin Rhoderick: 1 IP, BB, 0 R
Single-A Florida State League All-Star Game:
Arismendy Alcantara: 0-for-1, three defensive innings
Austin Kirk: 1 IP, 0 R, starting pitcher
Nelson Perez: 1-for-3, double, RBI, BB, started at left field
Greg Rohan: 0-for-4, started at DH
Single-A Midwest League All-Star Game:
Kyler Burke: 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER
Zeke DeVoss: 0-for-1, three defensive innings played
Paul Hoilman: 0-for-2, started at 1B
The 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.
Here’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.”