Results tagged ‘ Kane County ’

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…)