Results tagged ‘ Minor League Recap ’

From the Pages of Vine Line: Minor League Prospectus, Part 3 – A Phone Call Away

Jokisch2
Eric Jokisch should be ready to step in and help the big league club in 2015. (Photo by Stephen Green)

As evidenced by the additions of players like Jon Lester and Miguel Montero, the Cubs front office is transitioning from a period in which it focused primarily on bringing in assets to help improve the future of the franchise to an extended period in which they expect to compete every year at the big league level. However, if you were to suggest to baseball president Theo Epstein or general manager Jed Hoyer that this transition means they are now less inclined to build through their farm system, they would be quick to correct you.

Just because Cubs fans may finally start seeing wins accumulate at Wrigley Field doesn’t mean the minor league pipeline is suddenly going to go overlooked. In fact, for the second year in a row, the North Siders will have arguably the best system in all of baseball. Boasting the top prospect in the game, an overabundance of high-profile shortstops and a suddenly large group of interesting arms at the lower levels, the Cubs have built the scouting and player development monster they promised to deliver more than three years ago.

In our annual minor league prospectus, Baseball Prospectus’ Sahadev Sharma helps us break down the names to know at all levels of the system. As the month progresses, we’ll unveil player bios on a section-by-section basis. Here is Part 3 of the Cubs minor league prospectus:

Part 1 – The Elite
Part 2 – The Up-And-Comers

A Phone Call Away

While prospects are always fun to follow, no player dreams of a long career in the minor leagues. The ultimate goal for each is to help out at the big league level. Most everyone is aware that guys like Bryant and Russell will be making an impact at Wrigley Field in the near future, but there are other, less-heralded players who could contribute this year as well in a variety of roles.

Dallas Beeler – RHP
Beeler isn’t the kind of prospect who wows you with his stuff, but he still made his major league debut last season after missing much of 2013 with a finger injury. His ability to work down in the zone, primarily with his sinker and splitter, means he has a chance to induce a significant number of ground balls, which could offset the fact that he’ll likely never be a big strikeout guy. And that’s where Beeler must live—down in the zone—if he’s going to carve out a career in the back end of a major league rotation. His modus operandi is relying on his defense while coaxing weak contact from hitters. The big righty is well aware of this fact and does his best to always work to his strengths. He’ll likely enter Spring Training contending for a spot in the big league bullpen.

Eric Jokisch – LHP
Jokisch is often called a left-handed version of Kyle Hendricks, and the comparison works for multiple reasons. Both pitchers are highly intelligent and attended acclaimed colleges (Jokisch went to Northwestern, Hendricks to Dartmouth), both rely more on command than stuff, and both soak up knowledge, using every bit of information they can get their hands on to try and make themselves better at their craft. Jokisch works hard on scouting the opposition, learning hitters’ tendencies and working to expose their weaknesses. While he could find success at the back of the rotation, he has the advantage of being a southpaw, which many believe will allow him to be most effective out of the bullpen. The Cubs, like most teams, could certainly use more left-handed help in the late innings.

Armando Rivero – RHP
Rivero has a solid chance to join a big league bullpen that rapidly improved throughout the 2014 season. He has an explosive fastball that hitters have difficulty picking up, especially when it’s down in the zone. It’s a special pitch with late cutting life, and he combines it with a power slider that’s one of the best breaking balls in the organization. No matter where he ends up, Rivero will likely rack up strikeouts (as evidenced by his 38 percent K rate last season). He also has a change-up that grades out as average or better, leading some to believe he could be a starter. However, he rarely uses it out of the bullpen, and the Cubs have determined that his best role right now is as a reliever. After missing some time following his defection from Cuba, Rivero has moved quickly through the Cubs system. It’s not unreasonable to think he could have a significant impact at the major league level this summer.

Christian Villanueva – 3B
After Villanueva enjoyed an impressive 2013 campaign that had many projecting a bright future, the 23-year-old struggled in his first taste of Triple-A action in 2014 and was eventually sent back to Tennessee when Bryant earned his promotion to Iowa. One thing that will never be in doubt is his glove. He offers plus defense at the hot corner—the type that could garner a Gold Glove or two if the bat ever comes around to the point where he’s getting regular playing time.

However, the bat does leave major question marks, as Villanueva struggled even when sent back to Double-A. He needs to stop giving away at-bats if he’s ever going to live up to the potential some saw after his breakout 2013 season. Either way, his glove makes him a valuable piece, and he could provide some versatility, as he did see time at second base last season and in the outfield in the Mexican Winter League.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 8/26/14

Daytona battled back to secure a win, and Kane County set a franchise mark with its 88th victory Tuesday. The other four teams were in action, but each lost. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league games:

Iowa Cubs (69-70)
3rd Place (-4.0)

Iowa allowed five runs on 13 hits in a 5-3 loss to their host, the Tacoma Rainiers.

  • LF Junior Lake (.318) finished 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk, a double (2), a homer, two RBI (6) and a stolen base from the leadoff spot. His two hits extended his hitting streak to eight games (.350/14-for-40).
  • 3B Kris Bryant (.301) singled Lake in to put Iowa on the board in the first. His 109 RBI on the season (51 with Iowa) rank third in the minor leagues.

Tennessee Smokies (32-33)
T-1st Place (–)

Tennessee dropped its sixth-straight contest, a 6-5 comeback loss to visiting Jacksonville, to fall into a tie for first place.

  • CF Albert Almora (.256) doubled (7) and tripled (2) in his second game with multiple extra-base hits in the last four.
  • Five Smokies doubled in yesterday’s contest—Almora, SS-2B Anthony Giansanti (.237, 6 2B), 1B Lars Anderson (.330, 10 2B), C Charles Cutler (.313, 13 2B) and RF Rubi Silva (.257, 13 2B).
  • RHP Blake Cooper (1.49, 5 H) and LHP Hunter Cervenka (3.90, 14 H) each recorded a hold before RHP Frank Batista (4-2, 1.70) allowed three runs (two earned) in the ninth, suffering his second blown save and second loss.

Daytona Cubs (38-26)
1st Place (+2.0)

The D-Cubs maintained their first-place lead with a comeback 6-5 win at Dunedin.

  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.281) recorded all three Cubs extra-base hits, homering for the second-straight night, knocking two doubles (21) and driving in one (53).
  • 3B Wes Darvill (.251) singled twice in his first multihit game since July 29 vs. Bradenton.
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.270) also tallied two singles and knocked in two (51).
  • RHP Stephen Perakslis (5-0, 4.03) earned his fifth win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.
  • Perakslis was followed by RHP Zack Godley (3.69), who allowed one run over 1.2 frames for his seventh save.

Kane County Cougars (43-21)
1st Place (+3.0)

The Cougars tied a franchise record with their 88th win of the season, a 6-1 victory over host Burlington.

  • RHP Duane Underwood pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one earned run, walking none and striking out four.
  • DH Chesny Young (.337) recorded the lone multihit game for the Cougars, which included his sixth double.
  • Each player in the Cougars’ starting nine recorded at least one hit. Five Cougars recorded a double—Young, 1B Jacob Rogers (.267, 26 2B), CF Trey Martin (.243, 15 2B), 3B Jeimer Candelario (.252, 18 2B) and LF Shawon Dunston (.272, 16 2B). Dunston drove in a team-high two runs (35).
  • LHP Michael Heesch (2.43) and RHP Michael Wagner (2.68) combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out a combined five Bees.

Boise Hawks (16-16)
3rd Place (-5.0)

Everett overcame a 2-1 deficit with a three-run ninth in Boise, topping the Hawks, 4-2.

  • DH Kevin Brown (.269) finished 2-for-4 with his second triple of the season and both Boise runs.
  • RHP Joshua Conway did not factor into the decision, throwing three perfect innings before exiting the game.
  • In relief, LHP Sam Wilson (5-1, 3.82) suffered the loss, recording three earned runs over two innings of work.
  • RHP Daniel Lewis (0.90) allowed three inherited runners to score, suffering his first blown save despite a line of one scoreless inning.

Mesa Cubs (8-16)
5th Place (-8.5)

Mesa scored first, but surrendered a two-run lead to lose at the AZL Dodgers, 8-3.

  • 2B Varonex Cuevas (.329) hit his third triple (3) in four games, adding a single and driving in one (5).
  • CF Kevonte Mitchell (.292) also recorded his third triple, scoring one of Mesa’s three runs.
  • RF Eloy Jimenez (.225, 3 SB) and SS Ho-young Son (.254, 12 SB) each stole a base despite both going hitless.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 8/3/14

Tennessee and Boise pitchers got the job done Sunday, while Kane County returned to its winning ways. Iowa was the only team in the loss column. Daytona and Mesa were rained out. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (61-56)
2nd Place (-0.5)

Iowa fell out of first place with a 7-5 loss at Omaha.

  • SS Javier Baez (.260) posted his first multihomer game of the season, going 2-for-3 with two walks and two solo home runs. After hitting a combined 11 homers in 72 games in April, May and June, Baez has 12 blasts in 32 games in July and August.
  • DH Josh Vitters (.212) went 3-for-4 with his 13th double of the campaign.
  • RHPs Arodys Vizcaino (7.62) and Armando Rivero (0.92) combined to toss three scoreless innings.

Tennessee Smokies (22-22)
2nd Place (-0.5)

Tennessee held on for a 4-1 victory over visiting Pensacola despite recording just four hits.

  • SS Addison Russell (.293) went 1-for-3 with an eighth-inning, two-run homer.
  • LF Lars Anderson (.351) went 1-for-3 with a double (4) and two RBI (5).
  • LHP Andrew McKirahan (2.65) allowed one hit in two scoreless innings of relief.
  • RHP Pierce Johnson tossed his third-straight quality start, giving up two hits and no earned runs over six innings. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .181 batting average (26-for-144) this season.

Kane County Cougars (25-17)
1st Place (+4.0)

Kane County won its third-straight game, beating visiting Quad Cities, 9-5.

  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.305) went 3-for-5 with a sixth-inning, solo blast.
  • SS Dan Lockhart (.276) and 2B Chesny Young (.375) each recorded three hits apiece.
  • RF Jeffry Baez (.258) went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double (14), a triple (1) and two RBI (3).
  • CF Trey Martin (.253) went 1-for-4 with two RBI (28).

Boise Hawks (6-7)
4th Place (-3.0)

Boise limited visiting Vancouver to six hits in a 3-2 victory.

  • RHP Trevor Clifton picked up the win, giving up just one hit over five innings and striking out six.
  • 2B David Bote (.328) went 2-for-4 with a third-inning, solo homer.
  • CF Rashad Crawford (.276) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and his 12th stolen base of the year.
  • RHP Brad Markey (2.84) struck out four hitters in two scoreless innings of relief to earn his second save of the season.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 7/15/14

Most of the Cubs’ minor league squads had a scheduled day off, including Iowa, which is in the midst of the Triple-A All-Star break. Pitchers Blake Parker, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will all take part in Wednesday’s All-Star Game. Arismendy Alcantara was also named to the squad, but will not play due to his recent promotion. Boise was the only team in action Tuesday, and they secured a one-run win on a walk-off single. Tennessee, Daytona, Kane County and Mesa all resume play Wednesday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s Hawks game:

Boise Hawks (18-14)
2nd Place (-1.0)

After surrendering a one-run lead to Spokane in the ninth, Boise emerged with the 4-3 walk-off win thanks to an RBI single from RF Jeffrey Baez.

  • RHP Erick Leal pitched six innings, giving up one earned run and striking out five.
  • Baez (.288) knocked in the game-winner with his third hit of the night, extending his Northwest League-leading hitting streak to 18 games (.377/29-for-77). His season average has risen from .164 to .288 during the streak.
  • CF Rashad Crawford (.325), SS Chesny Young (.423) and C Mark Malave (.278) each recorded two hits. Malave singled and doubled, knocking in two (9).
  • RHP Ryan Williams (0.00) and LHP Sam Wilson (1.80) both suffered their first blown saves. Each allowed one run over two frames (Williams’ run was unearned). Wilson fanned five to earn his first win.

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 Minor League Recap: 6/5/14

Daytona secured a win on a walk-off single, while Kane County improved to 20 games over .500 with a win Thursday. Meanwhile, Iowa couldn’t get the ball rolling, and Tennessee was shut out in a loss. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (30-27)
T-2nd Place (-0.5)

Iowa fell to the visiting Sky Sox in the series opener by a final score of 6-2.

  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.267) went 2-for-4, including his team-leading eighth home run, a solo shot with two out in the sixth.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.230) went 1-for-4 with his 17th double in the seventh inning. He later scored on a bases-loaded walk from pinch-hitter Logan Watkins (.302).
  • C Rafael Lopez (.143) went 1-for-3 to record his first hit with Iowa.

Tennessee Smokies (28-32)
2nd Place (-12.0)

Tennessee managed just four hits in a 6-0 loss at Jacksonville.

  • 2B Jonathan Mota (.174) recorded a pair of doubles for Tennessee.
  • SS Elliot Soto (.105) also recorded his second double in three games.

Daytona Cubs (24-34)
5th Place (-16.5)

Daytona used a walk-off RBI-single from 2B Wes Darvill to beat Jupiter, 5-4.

  • RHP Felix Pena gave up no earned runs over four innings, striking out seven. Pena has a 1-5 record, despite having allowed one or fewer earned runs in each of his 11 starts.
  • RHP Zach Godley (2-1, 6.59) threw 3.2 frames in relief of Pena, allowing one unearned run to earn his second win.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.203) went 2-for-3 with a run, a walk, a homer in the ninth and his 25th RBI.
  • CF Albert Almora (.251), DH Dan Vogelbach (.268) and SS Marco Hernandez (.273) also tallied two hits apiece.

Kane County Cougars (40-20)
1st Place (+8.5)

Kane County beat Clinton, 7-3, to improve to a league-best 40-20. The Cougars are just one win away from a 2014 Midwest League Playoff berth.

  • RHP Tyler Skulina picked up the win, giving up two earned runs over six innings and fanning five.
  • RHP Michael Wagner (4.15) earned his first save with three scoreless innings of work.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.248) went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double (8), an RBI (21) and a stolen base (18).
  • 3B Jordan Hankins (.293) added two more hits, including a double (12), and had two RBI (24)
  • SS Carlos Penalver added an RBI single in the eighth and came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Hannemann later in the inning.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 5/29/14

There were quite a few bright spots in an 0-5 day for the Cubs minor league affiliates Thursday. Top prospect Javier Baez continued his rebound with a multihit effort, Arismendy Alcantara hit his seventh triple of the season, and Kris Bryant clubbed his league-leading 16th home run. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (27-24)
T-1st Place (–)

GM 1: Redbirds closer David Aardsma held the I-Cubs scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to close out a 2-1 victory for Memphis in the suspended game from Wednesday night.

  • SS Javier Baez (.229) recorded Iowa’s lone multihit game, going 2-for-3.
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.282) went 1-for-3 with an RBI (26) and his team-leading seventh triple.

GM 2: Memphis LHP Tim Cooney still had a no-hitter going with two outs in the top of the ninth inningbefore Alcantara spoiled his bid at history with a single to left field. The I-Cubs fell, 4-0.

  • Alcantara (.282) extended his hitting streak to five games with the two-out single.
  • RHP Alberto Cabrera (5.48) struck out two hitters in 2.0 scoreless innings of work.

Tennessee Smokies (26-27)
2nd Place (-10.5)

Tennessee lost its fourth straight one-run game to host Huntsville, as they fell 4-3.

  • 3B Kris Bryant (.347) went 1-for-4 and clubbed his Southern League-leading 16th homer of the campaign. Bryant has now homered in three of his last four games and is hitting .406 (41-for-101) with 28 runs, six doubles, 11 home runs and 33 RBI in 27 May games.
  • 2B Wes Darvill (.232) and 1B Charles Cutler (.330) each had two hits apiece.
  • RHP Joe Gardner has allowed just one run on three hits in two starts with the Smokies (11.2 IP).

Daytona Cubs (20-31)
5th Place (-17.0)

Visiting Palm Beach recorded 11 hits in an 8-1 victory over Daytona.

  • DH Chadd Krist (.226) recorded Daytona’s lone multihit game, going 2-for-4.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.315) went 1-for-2 with a walk and his 12th double of the year.
  • LF Zeke DeVoss (.189) went 1-for-2 with a walk and drove in his sixth run of the campaign.

Kane County Cougars (36-18)
1st Place (+6.5)

Kane County had its four-game winning streak snapped in a 5-0 loss at Clinton.

  • DH Ben Carhart (.297) reached base four times, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk.
  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.350) posted his second three-hit game of the year, going 3-for-4.
  • 1B Jacob Rogers (.246) went 1-for-4 and has now hit safely in five of his last six games.

Baez named PCL Player of the Week

BaezSwingST

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Javier Baez’s early-season struggles have been well documented, but the 2011 No. 1 draft pick looks to be returning to his dominant form. The Cubs top prospect, according to MLB.com, has been named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for his efforts from May 19-25.

During the week, the slugging shortstop hit .400 (12-for-30) with six doubles, three homers and eight RBI. He also extended his now-11-game hitting streak. Baez is currently hitting .225/.287/.437 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with seven homers, nine doubles and 25 RBI.

He is the third-consecutive I-Cub to receive a weekly award, as left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin and right-hander Kyle Hendricks both won Pitcher of the Week awards earlier in the month. Fellow left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada claimed Pitcher of the Week honors during the season’s opening week.

Baez is the first Iowa position player to claim the award since Welington Castillo did it in June 2011.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 5/22/14

Iowa powered its way to a win, the Smokies secured a victory in walk-off fashion and Kane County continued its winning ways Thursday. Daytona couldn’t hold its ninth-inning lead. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (24-20)
T-1st Place (–)

Iowa scored five runs in the fourth inning to roll past host Round Rock, 7-2.

  • RHP Dallas Beeler earned the win after throwing seven innings, giving up one earned run and striking out six.
  • SS Javier Baez (.201) extended his hitting streak to seven games (.429/12-for-28), going 4-for-5 with two runs, two doubles (6), a home run and two RBI (17). Baez has homered in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
  • C Eli Whiteside (.161) went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning, two-run homer.
  • RF Justin Ruggiano (.188) went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a double (1) in the third game of his major league rehab assignment.

Tennessee Smokies (25-21)
2nd Place (-5.5)

Smokies LF Charlie Cutler hit a walk-off RBI-single to lift Tennessee over Mobile, 6-5.

  • RHP Corey Black struck out seven over five innings, giving up one earned run.
  • 3B Kris Bryant (.335) extended his hitting streak to eight games (.400/12-for-30) while reaching base five times, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a run, two walks, a double (12), three RBI (40) and one stolen base (6). He’s hitting .397 (31-for-78) with seven home runs and 28 RBI in just 20 May games.
  • Cutler (.324) finished the contest going 2-for-4 with a double (7) and three RBI (19).
  • RHP Arodys Vizcaino (1-0, 4.50) earned the win despite blowing the save in the top of the ninth, as he allowed three runs on three hits.
  • Mobile 1B Jon Griffin homered in his first at-bat, giving him five-straight at-bats with a homer.

Daytona Cubs (16-27)
5th Place (-15.5)

Bradenton scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Daytona, 2-1.

  • RHP Tayler Scott gave up no earned runs over 6.1 innings, striking out three.
  • C Willson Contreras (.237) went 3-for-4 with two doubles (4) and his first triple of the year.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.183) went 2-for-4.
  • RHP Austin Reed (2.70) tossed 1.2 scoreless inning of relief.

Kane County Cougars (31-16)
1st Place (+3.5)

Kane County won its Midwest League-leading 31st game, beating visiting Clinton, 6-1.

  • RF Yasiel Balaguert (.237) went 1-for-4 with an eighth-inning, solo home run.
  • SS Carlos Penalver (.247) and 3B Ben Carhart (.281) each had two hits apiece.
  • RHP Paul Blackburn won his team-leading fifth game. He owns a 1.00 ERA (2 ER/18.0 IP) with 16 strikeouts over his last three starts (2-0 record).

Cubs Minor League Recap: 4/3/14

Vitters_ST

Josh Vitters homered for the I-Cubs Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Kane County’s offense was on full display early, capturing a win in the season opener. Iowa and Daytona both struggled to put some runs on the board while Tennessee let a five-run lead slip away in a loss. Here are some highlights from action around the minor leagues.

Iowa Cubs (0-1)
T-3rd Place (1 game back)

Iowa dropped its season opener vs. Memphis, 10-2. The Redbirds scored three first-inning runs off I-Cubs starter, Chris Rusin.

  • LHP Chris Rusin (0-1) gave up five earned over 3.2 innings, fanning two in the loss.
  • LF Josh Vitters was 2-for-4 and hit a third-inning solo home run.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva had two hits with a double and a run scored.
  • RHP Yoanner Negrin followed Rusin and spun 3.1 shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out four.

Tennessee Smokies (0-1)
T-3rd Place (1 game back)

The Smokies had a 5-0 lead through three innings at Pensacola, but fell to the Blue Wahoos, 6-5, in their season opener.

  • RHP Dae-Eun Rhee pitched four innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits and four walks while striking out four in a no-decision.
  • 3B Kris Bryant clubbed a two-run homer in his first at-bat off RHP Mat Latos, who was on a rehab assignment. Bryant went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, the home run and one stolen base.
  • CF Zeke DeVoss went 2-for-5 with a triple and one RBI from the leadoff spot.
  • LF Rubi Silva and RF Jorge Soler each recorded a double. Soler left the game following his double due to hamstring tightness.
  • RHP Ryan Searle allowed just one run on one hit while fanning five in three innings of relief.

Daytona Cubs (0-1)
T-4th Place (1 game back)

Daytona opened its 2014 campaign with a 1-0 loss at Brevard County.

  • RHP Felix Pena had a solid outing, giving up one run on three hits while striking out three over six innings despite picking up the loss.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya recorded Daytona’s lone multi-hit effort, going 2-for-2 with a stolen base.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach and 3B Jeimer Candelario both went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • RHP’s Zach Cates and Arodys Vizcaino each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

Kane County Cougars (1-0)
T-1st Place ( — games back)

Kane County kicked off its 2014 season with an 8-4 victory at Quad Cities.

  • RHP Paul Blackburn gave up four runs over four innings, striking out three.
  • RF Yasiel Balaguert went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI.
  • SS Carlos Penalver was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, one RBI and two stolen bases.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann batted leadoff and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
  • LHP Nathan Dorris tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.

 

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