Results tagged ‘ Kyle Schwarber ’

ESPN’s Law says the Cubs have baseball’s top farm system

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Jorge Soler is one of the many reasons the Cubs have the top farm system in the game, according to ESPN’s Keith Law (Photo by Stephen Green)

ESPN insider Keith Law unveiled his midseason top five farm systems Tuesday, and, based off his prospect rankings from earlier this month, the baseball world shouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs at the top of the list. The organization has three prospects in the top eight of Law’s individual rankings in Kris Bryant (No. 1), Addison Russell (No. 4) and Javier Baez (No. 8). And Cuban import Jorge Soler checks in at No. 38.

Along with that quartet, Albert Almora, C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson have all generated buzz and graced various prospect lists in the past year. But the farm system goes even deeper than that.

Here’s some of what Law had to say about the Cubs system:

I know Cubs fans have heard this before, but just wait ’til next year, because this club is going to get good in a hurry, at least on the run-scoring side of the ledger. The system already had the minors’ best collection of high-end bats, and it added several more during the past seven weeks, including the fourth-best prospect in the minors in shortstop Addison Russell, who came over with promising left fielder Billy McKinney in the Jeff Samardzija trade with the Athletics.

The Cubs also added catcher/left fielder Kyle Schwarber with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft. It’s a pick I think was an overdraft in part due to doubts he will stick at either position, but he has raked so far in limited at-bats, mostly against younger competition. They used the savings on Schwarber’s bonus to grab several high-upside high school arms later in the draft, including right-hander Dylan Cease, whose elbow ligament injury might require Tommy John surgery but who was seen as a top-15 pick talent before his injury. Cease has a fastball that can touch 100 mph and at times a plus breaking ball.

Most of the successful arms in the system this year have been pitchers at low-Class A Kane County, particularly undersized Taiwanese right-hander Tseng Jen-Ho and 2012 draftee Paul Blackburn, which means the Cubs probably won’t get the starting pitching help they need from their system in the next year or two. Fortunately for them and their fans, they have the bats to trade to acquire pitching from outside the organization.

Rounding out Law’s top five were the Twins, Astros, Mets and Pirates.

Updated midseason prospect lists praise Cubs’ talent

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Triple-A Iowa’s Kris Bryant has become a top-five prospect. (Photo by Stephen Green)

For a while now, the Cubs system has been widely viewed as one of the best in baseball. After the recent Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel trade with Oakland, it might now be the best.

On Monday, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both published their updated midseason top 50 prospects lists, and Cubs farmhands were scattered throughout each, with a trio of minor leaguers in the top 10. Below is what the publications said about the Cubs’ prospects. And while Baseball Prospectus’ and Baseball America‘s lists do differ, the quantity and location the Cubs farmhands can only be seen as a huge positive for the organization and its fans.

3B Kris Bryant
Baseball Prospectus Rank: 3
Baseball America Rank: 2

Baseball Prospectus:
Placement on preseason 101:
#17

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Iowa

Developmental Update: Bryant continues to launch home runs, rack up strikeouts, rake at an eye-popping clip, and show a discerning eye at the plate. Through 371 plate appearances between Double A and Triple A, Bryant is slashing .357/.453/.717 and finds himself knocking on Wrigley’s door. He has proven himself without question to be the loudest bat in the minors and a potential impact mainstay in the middle of the Cubs order for the foreseeable future. –Nick Faleris

Baseball America:
Power has been just as advertised, while his defense has been better than expected.

SS Javier Baez
Baseball Prospectus Rank: 5
Baseball America Rank: 7

Baseball Prospectus:
Placement on preseason 101:
#4

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Iowa

Developmental Update: Baez has the best bat speed in the minors, and it’s not even close for me; a lethal weapon that could make him the premium power bat in the game. But his approach is below average, and he routinely puts himself in bad hitter’s counts and conditions. With more refinement, the ceiling is cathedral but the risk is still quite high despite the fact that the 21-year-old is more than holding his own at the Triple-A level. –Jason Parks

Baseball America:
Long-term potential is still as an elite regular, but he has to moderate his swing-from-the-heels approach.

SS Addison Russell
Baseball Prospectus Rank: 6
Baseball America Rank: 5

Baseball Prospectus:
Placement on preseason 101:
#7

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Tennessee

Developmental Update: From a skill-set perspective, Addison Russell has the most well-rounded profile at the shortstop position in the minors, with above-average chops in the field (including double-plus hands), and impact potential with both the hit and power tools. Russell has lost half a season to injury, but could challenge for the top spot in the minors with a strong second half. The ultimate upside is a perennial all-star at a premium spot, and the future could start as early as 2015. –Jason Parks

Baseball America:
Missed half the year with a hamstring problem; remains an elite all-around shortstop prospect with his new team.

2B Arismendy Alcantara
Baseball Prospectus Rank: 18
Baseball America Rank: 33

Baseball Prospectus:
Placement on preseason 101:
#83

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Iowa

Developmental Update: I’ve always liked Alcantara, but I was too low on him coming into the season, despite a skill set that has three-way impact potential at the highest level (hit/glove/run). Now that the 22-year-old has taken his talents to Triple-A, and exceeded expectations at the plate and on base, the future first-division player has jumped the list and emerged as a top 20 prospect in the game. –Jason Parks

Baseball America:
Hard not to like an athletic middle infielder who can play short in a pinch and has power and speed.

OF Albert Almora
Baseball Prospectus Rank: 37
Baseball America Rank: NR

Baseball Prospectus:
Placement on preseason 101:
#25

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Daytona

Developmental Update: Almora’s had a rough start to his season. His lack of production in half a season at High-A as a 20-year-old shouldn’t obfuscate the tools he still has. Almora makes loud, consistent contact and plays a very good center field due to his ability to make early reads off the bat. The baseball IQ is high and it helps the other tools play up. He’s not the sexy name in the Cubs system, but don’t forget about him. –Mauricio Rubio

The recent 2014 draft class was off-limits for consideration on each list. But Baseball Prospectus noted a few prospects from the class, including the Cubs’ first-round pick in Kyle Schwarber.

Baseball Prospectus:
C/OF Kyle Schwarber
Where he fits:
Somewhere after Hunter Renfroe (44th)
Schwarber was the most advanced collegiate bat in the draft class, with an ability to hit for plus in-game power without sacrificing average. He puts together professional at bats, shows well against top competition, and has a general knack for finding his pitch and driving it. At present he’s being permitted to feast upon heavily overmatched Low-A arms, and likely won’t face his first real professional challenge until Double-A (or perhaps the Arizona Fall League if he finds a spot on the taxi squad). The BP Prospect Team loves catchers, so his ranking on the Top 101 might be largely dictated by the position at which the Cubs elect to stick him. If it looks like he is destined for first base, he won’t debut on the Top 101 as high as organization mate Kris Bryant (17th last winter), but he could fit comfortably in the Top 60 or so with a solid 2014 pro showing.

 

Cubs promote first rounder Schwarber to Cougars

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A lot can happen in five games. Just ask Kyle Schwarber.

Last Friday, the Cubs’ 2014 No. 1 pick was making his pro debut with the Short-Season A Boise Hawks shortly after signing his first contract. Not even a week later, the catcher/outfielder already appears to have outgrown the talent pool, as he has been promoted to Single-A Kane County.

In five games with the Hawks, Schwarber amassed a remarkable .600/.625/1.350 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line with four home runs, a double, a triple, 10 RBI and seven runs scored in just 24 plate appearances.

The Cougars open their second half on Thursday.

Schwarber, 21, was the fourth-overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Indiana University. He batted .431 and recorded 40 homers, 149 RBI and 41 doubles in three seasons with the Hoosiers (180 games).

 

Cubs Minor League Recap: 6/17/14

The Cubs minor league affiliates went 1-2 Tuesday, with only the Short-Season A Boise Hawks picking up a win, but the real news was two well-deserved call-ups. Last year’s first-round pick Kris Bryant is moving up to Triple-A Iowa after tearing up the Southern League, and 2014 first-round pick Kyle Schwarber is heading to Single-A Kane County after just five games. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (34-35)
3rd Place (-5.5)

After jumping ahead 2-0, Iowa surrendered eight runs to lose at home to El Paso, 8-5.

  • SS Javier Baez (.219) hit his 11th homer, a three-run shot with two out in the eighth inning.
  • 1B Chris Valaika (.294) recorded his third multihit effort in his last four games, going 2-for-4 with a 
run, a homer and one RBI (33).
  • RF Matt Szczur (.243) added two more hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double (8).
  • Jokisch’s 10 strikeouts were his most since he fanned 11 on May 7, 2012, with Daytona.

Tennessee Smokies (33-36)
2nd Place (-12.5)

Recently called up Tennessee Smokies 3B Kris Bryant, LHP Hunter Cervenka, and RHPs P.J. Francescon and Armando Rivero all made appearances for the North squad in the Southern League All-Star Game. Bryant went 1-for-5 at the plate, and the three Smokies pitchers combined to allow one earned run over 2.2 frames. Tennessee OF John Andreoli, 2B Stephen Bruno and RHP Corey Black, as well as Iowa C Rafael Lopez, had been named to the North Division team, but did not compete. Tennessee will resume regular season play tomorrow, hosting Chattanooga.

Daytona Cubs (25-42)
5th Place (-20.5)

Visiting Tampa scored the game’s only run in the top of the first to beat Daytona, 1-0.

  • Daytona managed just four hits in the contest and went 0-for-10 with RISP.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.289) was the only Cub to reach base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Both times, he was retired on the basepaths, getting picked off at first and then thrown out stealing.
  • LHP Rob Zastryzny threw his second quality start of the season. His first came in his last start on June 9 at 
Clearwater. He has lost both efforts, despite allowing just three earned runs over 13.2 innings.

Kane County Cougars (45-25)
1st Place (+6.5)

In the Midwest League All-Star game, the Western Division routed the Eastern squad, holding them to two hits and winning 7-0. 3B Jordan Hankins and RHP Paul Blackburn represented the Cougars. Hankins went 0-for-2 filling in at third, while Blackburn did not make it into the game. Kane County will return to action on Thursday at home against Cedar Rapids.

Boise Hawks (4-1)
T-1st Place (–)

Boise hit five home runs en route to a 12-3 victory over visiting Tri-City.

  • 2014 first-round pick LF Kyle Schwarber (.600) extended his hitting streak to five games with 
his third three-hit game of the season, including his first double and two home runs (4). He is tied for the league lead with a .600 batting average and 12 hits. He was promoted to Kane County after the game.
  • C Justin Marra (.417) went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI (7).
  • RF Jeffrey Baez (.300) led off the game with a homer, finishing 2-for-6 with two runs and two RBI (5).
  • 1B Daniel Canela (.467) went 2-for-4 with three runs and a sixth-inning, solo home run.

 

Cubs come to terms first-round pick Schwarber

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Just six days after becoming the fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft, catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber has finalized a deal with the Cubs. Schwarber will join the club’s affiliate in Boise, which plays its Short-Season Single-A Northwest League opener at home on Friday.

The 21-year-old from Indiana University batted .341 (238-for-697) with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. He walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He recorded a .984 career fielding percentage, primarily at catcher (though he also played some outfield) and threw out 51 of 154 (33 percent) attempted base stealers.

The 6-foot, 235-pound Middletown, Ohio, native hit .358 (83-for-232) with 14 home runs (tied for seventh-most in the nation) and 48 RBI for the Hoosiers this spring, adding career highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks (compared to 30 strikeouts) and 10 stolen bases. He started all 59 of Indiana’s games and recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, good for a 1.123 OPS.

Behind the plate, Schwarber had a .992 fielding percentage (3 E/383 TC) this season and threw out 16 of 43 (37 percent) attempted base stealers, en route to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

In 2013, he was named the top catcher in the country and a First Team All-American by Perfect Game and the NCBWA after hitting .366 (86-for-235) with 18 home runs (first in the Big Ten and third nationally) and 54 RBI in 61 games. He recorded a .456 on-base percentage, walking 42 times, and slugged .647, best in the Big Ten. He was also named Academic All-Big Ten and joined USA’s Collegiate National Team after the season.

As a freshman in 2012, Schwarber started all 60 of Indiana’s games, including 54 at catcher. He posted a .300 batting average (69-for-230) alongside a .390 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage, hitting eight homers and driving in 47 runs. Defensively, he nabbed 27 would-be base stealers, good for second-most in the conference.

Schwarber, a 2011 graduate of Middletown High School, was recommended by Cubs area scout Stan Zielinski.

Cubs finish first night of MLB Draft with RHP Jake Stinnett

The Cubs Thursday made two selections in the opening rounds of the 2014 Major League First-Year Player Draft. With the fourth-overall pick, the team took left-handed hitting catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana University, a player many believe is the best college bat in the draft pool. In the second round, the Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Jake Stinnett out of the University of Maryland.

Stinnett, 22, posted a 2.65 ERA (33 ER/112.0 IP) and a 7-6 record in 16 games, all but one in a starting role, for Maryland this season. In his senior year, he struck out a school single-season record and Atlantic Coast Conference-high 130 batters, good for an average of 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, and walked just 27. Stinnett also led the ACC in complete games (four) and innings pitched, and became the seventh pitcher in program history to throw a no-hitter when he turned the trick in the first game of a March 1 doubleheader against Massachusetts.

Stinnett began pitching full-time in 2013, posting a 2.83 ERA (20 ER/63.2 IP) in 16 games (nine starts), after splitting time on the mound and in the field—primarily at third base—during his first two seasons with Maryland. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder was selected by the Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 draft, but he did not sign. Stinnett is a graduate of Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, Calif.

The 2014 MLB Draft continues Friday at 12 p.m. CT with Rounds 3-10 and concludes Saturday with Rounds 11-40.

Cubs take C/OF Kyle Schwarber with No. 4 overall pick in MLB Draft

The Chicago Cubs tonight selected catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana University with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Schwarber was recommended by area scout Stan Zielinski.

“Kyle has been one of the premier performers in the college ranks the last few years. He displays what we look for in patience and power at the plate,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs vice president of scouting and player development. “He is a high character guy we think teammates will rally around.”

Schwarber, 21, owns a .341 batting average (238-for-697) with 40 home runs and 149 RBI in 180 games in his three seasons with Indiana, adding 182 runs, 41 doubles, 12 triples and 23 stolen bases. He has walked 116 times compared to 91 strikeouts, leading to a .437 on-base percentage. He owns a .984 career fielding percentage, primarily at catcher with some outfield, and has thrown out 51 of 154 (33 percent) of attempted base stealers.

The six-foot, 240-pound college junior from Middleton, Ohio, hit .358 (83-for-232) with 14 home runs (tied for seventh-most in the nation) and 48 RBI for the Hoosiers in 2014, adding career-highs with 66 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, 44 walks (compared to 30 strikeouts) and 10 stolen bases while starting all 59 of Indiana’s games. Schwarber, a left-handed hitter, recorded a .464 on-base percentage alongside a .659 slugging percentage, good for a 1.123 OPS.

Schwarber registered a .992 fielding percentage (3 E/383 TC) this season, and threw out 16 of 43 (37 percent) attempted base stealers, en route to being named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award, given to the top Division I catcher in the nation.

In 2013, he was named the top catcher in the country and First Team All-American by Perfect Game and the NCBWA after hitting .366 (86-for-235) with 18 home runs (first in the Big Ten and third nationally) and 54 RBI in 61 games.  He recorded a .456 on-base percentage, walking 42 times, and slugged .647, best in the Big Ten. He committed just three errors en route to a .989 fielding percentage. He was named Academic All-Big Ten and joined USA’s Collegiate National Team after the season.

As a freshman in 2012, Schwarber started all 60 of Indiana’s games, including 54 at catcher. He posted a .300 batting average (69-for-230) alongside a .390 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage, hitting eight homers and driving in 47 runs. Behind the dish, he nabbed 27 would-be base stealers, good for second-most in the conference.

Schwarber is a 2011 graduate of Middletown High School in his hometown Middletown, Ohio.

The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continues this evening with the second round, in which the Cubs have pick No. 45. The draft continues tomorrow with rounds three-through-10 and concludes Saturday with rounds 11-through-40.

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