Results tagged ‘ Minor Leagues ’
Quick … which catcher had the greatest statistical season in Cubs history?
I’ll give you a second to think about it.
What about Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett? He went to six All-Star Games, won the 1935 NL MVP and was generally considered the best catcher in NL history until Johnny Bench came along.
Maybe Randy Hundley. He went to an All-Star Game, won a Gold Glove and threw out a remarkable 50 percent of base stealers four times in his career.
Jody Davis? Johnny Kling? Keith Moreland even played some catcher.
What would you say if I told you it was Rick Wilkins? Yes, the same Rick Wilkins who was a 23rd-round pick out of Furman University. The same Rick Wilkins who played for eight different teams in his 11 big league seasons. The same Rick Wilkins who put up a career .244/.332/.410 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line. Not exactly the stuff of legend.
But then there was 1993—a year in which the peripatetic Cubs backstop hit .303 (he never again hit better than .270), slammed 30 home runs (he never again hit more than 14) and drove in 73 runs (he never again plated more than 59). That season, he compiled 6.6 wins above replacement (WAR), an advanced statistic meant to summarize a player’s value to his team in a single, all-encompassing number.
According to stats website Fangraphs, the source of these ﬁgures, anything above a 6.0 is considered an MVP-caliber season. The best Hartnett ever managed was a 5.6. Mind you, Hartnett’s career WAR was 53.4; Wilkins’ was only 14.0 (and, remember, almost half of that came from one season).
There’s no better way to get baseball fans riled up than starting a good, old-fashioned intergenerational debate. Stats geeks and old-school fans alike can spend countless hours arguing the merits of Aramis Ramirez over Ron Santo or Ryne Sandberg over Rogers Hornsby.
For our July All-Star issue, we set out to ﬁnd the best-ever single season by a Cubs player at each position in the team’s more than 100-year history. Of course, it seems obvious Mark Grace would have had the best ﬁrst-base season (he didn’t) or that Billy Williams was the top left ﬁelder (he wasn’t).
There are a million ways to go about a task like this, and they’re all incredibly subjective. So we turned to a single advanced metric to help us ﬁgure things out. WAR is an all-inclusive stat that takes into account offense, defense and baserunning to determine how many wins a player is worth over a league-average replacement player.
We’re not saying the men on our list are necessarily the best players in Cubs history. Some of them are. Several of them decidedly are not. But they all had at least one spectacular season that set them apart statistically and can truly be considered the best ever by a Cub at their respective positions (as measured by this one metric).
We also take time this month to look down the chain at some of the other All-Star athletes throughout the organization. The Cubs are building a winner from the bottom up, and fans need to know which players are on the rise. That includes everyone from this year’s ﬁrst-round draft pick (second overall) Kris Bryant to minor league mashers like Dustin Geiger and Rock Shoulders (whose name we try to work into every issue if we can).
Finally, to ensure the pipeline of young talent remains strong, the Cubs are investing heavily in their international scouting and player development. Outside of the U.S., more major league players hail from the Dominican Republic than from any other country. The Cubs crop includes big leaguers such as Starlin Castro and top minor league prospects like Junior Lake. While the restoration of Wrigley Field is getting the headlines on the facilities front, the Cubs recently opened a 50-acre baseball academy in the Dominican to ﬁnd more top talent and diamonds in the rough. We give you a look inside the state-of-the-art facility.
We’ll be releasing our WAR All-Stars position by position here on the blog in the coming weeks. If you want to weigh in with your own opinions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to us on Twitter at @cubsvineline.
Let the debate begin.
Boise Hawks right-hander and Cubs top prospect Paul Blackburn was named Northwest League Pitcher of the Week for games spanning June 14-23, according to MiLB.com.
Though Blackburn did not record a decision in his first two starts of the season, the 19-year-old posted a 0.00 ERA in 10 innings of work. In his Hawks debut on June 15 at Eugene, he tossed five innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight. He followed that up with a five-inning gem in Spokane on Friday, allowing an unearned run on four hits, walking one and striking out four. He currently leads the NWL in ERA and ranks second in strikeouts.
Blackburn was a supplemental first-round pick (56th overall) in the 2012 draft and is rated the No. 16 prospect in the Cubs organization by MLB.com.
Javier Baez filled the stat sheet with a double, a run, an RBI, and a stolen base. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs minor league system had a rough day Sunday, as Iowa, Tennessee, Kane County and Boise all ended up on the wrong side of the ledger. The only affiliate to notch a win was the Single-A Daytona team, which kicked off the season’s second half on a hot streak. Here are some highlights from Sunday’s action.
Iowa Cubs (38-40)
Iowa was blanked at Memphis 6-0, the I-Cubs second loss in a row.
- SS Tim Torres (.194) went 1-for-3 with a double (2).
- 2B Logan Watkins (1-for-4), RF Dave Sappelt (1-for-4) and PH Donnie Murphy (1-for-1) each collected a single.
- RHP Barret Loux (4.84) scattered two hits and a walk while fanning four in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
Tennessee Smokies (2-3, second half)
Tennessee dropped its third game in a row, falling at Chattanooga 5-2.
- CF Matt Szczur (.297) went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
- 2B-SS Arismendy Alcantara (.284) was 1-for-4 with a double (17) and a run scored.
- RF Rubi Silva (.273) went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI (29) and an outfield assist.
- 1B Justin Bour (.211) was 1-for-4 with a double (4) and an RBI (16).
Daytona Cubs (3-1, second half)
Daytona won its fifth game in the last six contests, grounding the visiting Lakeland Flying Tigers 6-1.
- 3B Ben Carhart (.289) went 3-for-4 with a double (20).
- LF John Andreoli (.315) reached base three times, going 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.
- CF Zeke DeVoss (2-for-4, BB, R), SS Javier Baez (2-for-3, 2B, SF, R, RBI, SB) and 1B Dustin Geiger (2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI) added two hits apiece.
- RHP Austin Reed (6.00) converted his first save, fanning two in 3.0 perfect innings of relief.
Kane County Cougars (0-4, second half)
Kane County dropped to 0-4 after the All-Star break, falling at Quad Cities 6-1.
- C Carlos Escobar (.273) went 1-for-4 with an eighth-inning solo homer.
- LF Reggie Golden (.291) was 1-for-3.
- 2B Brad Zapenas (.200) reached base twice, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
Boise Hawks (4-6)
Boise dropped its third-straight game, falling at Spokane 8-6 despite collecting 14 hits.
- RF Kevin Encarnacion (.406) went 3-for-5 with two doubles (3), a run and an outfield assist.
- 1B Jacob Rogers (.273) went 3-for-5 with an RBI (2).
- 2B David Bote (.235) was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI (4).
Mesa Cubs (1-2)
Mesa had the day off. The Cubs return to action Monday, visiting the AZL Angels.
Steve Clevenger has hit safely in seven of eight rehabilitation games with the I-Cubs. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Daytona and Kane County both captured wins with sizable leads Thursday while Iowa and Tennessee fell short in narrow setbacks. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (30-36)
Iowa rallied from a 8-4 deficit in the eighth inning to tie the game, but fell in walk-off fashion at Oklahoma City, 9-8 in 12 innings.
- DF Dave Sappelt (.246) went 2-for-6 with a double (4), home run, two runs scored and four RBI (21).
- C Steve Clevenger (.333) went 2-for-5 with a double (5), run scored and RBI (5) in the eighth game of his rehabilitation assignment. He has hit safely in seven of eight games (10-for-30).
- SS Donnie Murphy (.262) extended his hitting streak to four games (.368/7-for-19), going 3-for-6 with two RBI (15).
Tennessee Smokies (32-33)
Tennessee lost for the seventh time in eight games, falling 3-2 vs. Mississippi.
- CF Rubi Silva (.262) went 2-for-4 with a double (13).
- PH-LF Matt Szczur (.289) and 3B Jonathan Mota (.228) collected RBI for the Smokies.
- Alberto Cabrera threw seven innings, tying his season-high.
Daytona Cubs (33-30)
Daytona collected 10 hits and five doubles in a 5-1 victory over visiting Fort Myers.
- 1B Dustin Geiger (.291) went 2-for-4 with a double (16) and run scored.
- 2B Tim Saunders (.216) collected his fourth multihit outing in his last seven games, going 2-for-3 with a double (4), run scored and stolen base (20).
- DH Chadd Krist went 1-for-4 with a two-run double.
Kane County Cougars (29-34)
Kane County snapped a three-game losing skid, defeating Burlington, 4-1.
- CF Albert Almora (.430) extended his hitting streak to 11 games (.426/20-for-47), going 3-for-4 with a double (8), triple (1), run scored and three RBI (11).
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.327) went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. He has hit safely in seven straight games (.400/10-for-25).
- Tayler Scott allowed only two hits in a season-long 7.2 innings of work.
Brian Bogusevic recorded two homers Wednesday with Iowa. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Iowa captured its fourth win in the last five outings while Daytona fell in both games of a doubleheader Wednesday. Tennessee had the day off and Kane County was rained out. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (30-35)
Iowa won for the fourth time in five games, defeating host Oklahoma City, 5-1.
- RF Brian Bogusevic (.324) recorded his first two-homer game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a season-high four RBI (28) and a stolen base (15).
- 3B Junior Lake (.433) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base (4), extending his hitting streak to five games (.476/10-for-21).
- Chris Rusin posted his longest scoreless appearance of the season.
Daytona Cubs (32-30)
Game 1: Daytona allowed five runs in the fourth inning, falling 6-3 to Fort Myers in the first game of a doubleheader.
- RF Jorge Soler (.282) went 2-for-4 with a double (13) and a run scored.
- C Chadd Krist (.269) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, a run scored and a RBI (13).
Game 2: Daytona scored four runs in the final three frames, but could not complete the comeback, losing 5-4 in the nightcap.
- LF John Andreoli (.319) went 3-for-5 with two doubles (8), a run scored and a RBI (21).
- DH Zeke DeVoss (.231) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, a run scored and two RBI (27).
- 2B Wes Darvill (.242) walked a season-high three times in four plate appearances and scored a run.
- Yesterday, the Florida State League added LHP Frank Del Valle to the All-Star team. INF Javier Baez and INF Dustin Geiger were selected to participate in the Home Run Derby.
Smokies pitcher Kyle Hendricks was named the Southern League’s pitcher of the week. (Photo by Matthew Shalbrack/Tennessee Smokies)
Iowa, Tennessee and Kane County all tallied a loss Tuesday while Daytona rescheduled its game against Fort Myers for a doubleheader tonight. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (29-35)
Iowa allowed three unearned runs in an 8-5 loss at Oklahoma City, snapping a four-game winning streak.
- CF Brett Jackson (.236) extended his hitting streak to three games (.333/4-for-12), going 1-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run.
- 3B Ian Stewart (.168) went 1-for-3 with a walk, a homer and two runs scored.
- C Steve Clevenger (.320) went 1-for-5 with a run scored in the seventh game of a rehabilitation assignment. He has hit safely in six of seven games.
Tennessee Smokies (32-32)
Tennessee lost for the sixth time in seven games, falling 3-2 at Mobile.
- CF Matt Szczur (.288) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI (27). He is hitting .325 (13-for-40) with six runs and four RBI in 11 June contests.
- 1B Jonathan Mota (.234) extended his hitting streak to seven games (.423/11-for-26), going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- RHP Tony Zych (1.1 IP, H, 2 K) recorded his sixth consecutive scoreless relief appearance (8 IP).
- On Monday, RHP Kyle Hendricks was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 3-9. He went 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP) in two starts during the span, allowing 11 hits while striking out 13.
Kane County Cougars (28-34)
Kane County collected 13 hits, but fell to visiting Burlington 7-6. Every starter for the Cougars recorded a base hit.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.278) went 3-for-5 with two doubles (20), a run scored and a RBI (23). He is hitting .429 (18-for-42) with two homers and six RBI in 10 June contests.
- C Willson Contreras (.241) homered for the first time since May 14, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI (24).
- SS Marco Hernandez (.263) extended his hitting streak to seven games (.360/9-for-25), going 2-for-4. He has 12 multi-hit affairs this season.
- RHP Shawn Camp (IP, H) recorded a scoreless inning of relief in his first rehab outing with Kane County.
Smokies RHP Trey McNutt is holding right-handed hitters to a .220 average. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Iowa captured a four-game win streak and Javier Baez’s home run blasts led Daytona to victory, while Tennessee lost in walk-off fashion and Kane County fell after an early setback. Here are some highlights from Monday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (29-34)
Iowa won its fourth straight game, defeating host Oklahoma City 7-6.
- DH Brad Nelson (.282) recorded his second straight, multi-homer game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, two home runs and two RBI (41). All 12 of his homers have come against right-handed pitchers (.338/50-for-148).
- 2B Logan Watkins (.242) went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI (18).
- 3B Junior Lake (.435) went 1-for-5 with two runs scored, a double (5) and one stolen base (3). He’s hit safely in five of his first six games with Iowa.
- RHP Brian Schlitter (2.25) converted his second save despite allowing a run in the ninth inning.
Tennessee Smokies (32-31)
Tennessee fell in walk-off fashion for the second time in three games, dropping a 4-3 decision at Mobile.
- 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.290) recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the campaign, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- C Rafael Lopez (.271) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a season-high two doubles (14). He’s hit safely in five of his last six contests.
- RHP Trey McNutt (4.44) struck out two while tossing 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .220 batting average (13-for-59) with 14 strikeouts.
Daytona Cubs (32-28)
Javier Baez became the second player in the 94-year history of the Florida State League to hit four home runs in one game, as the Cubs defeated visiting Fort Meyers 9-6.
- Baez (.291) finished 4-for-4 with four runs scored, the four home runs and a career-high seven RBI (44).
- 2B Tim Saunders (.210) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
- LF John Andreoli (.316) went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and one RBI (20). He’s hitting .352 (56-for-159) with 19 RBI against right-handed pitchers.
- LHP Frank Del Valle (2.70) recorded the final two outs, converting his fourth save of the season.
Kane County Cougars (28-33)
Cedar Rapids used a four-run, fifth inning to race past Kane County 6-2.
- 1B Rock Shoulders (.260) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double (12).
- LF Oliver Zapata (.270) recorded his third multi-hit game in his last four contests, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
- LHP Lendy Castillo (7.05) struck out four while allowing a run on three hits in 3.1 innings of relief.
I-Cubs third baseman Junior Lake recorded his second-straight, three-hit outing Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
While Kane County was unable to overcome an early run deficit Sunday, Iowa and Tennessee picked up a win and Daytona swept its doubleheader. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (28-34)
Iowa won its third straight game, defeating visiting Round Rock, 10-7.
- DH Brad Nelson (.277) recorded his second multi-homer game of the season, going 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored, two home runs and a team-high three RBI (39).
- CF Brett Jackson (.236) went 2-for-4 with a walk, a season-high three runs scored, a home run, one RBI (20) and one stolen base (7).
- 3B Junior Lake (.500) registered his second straight, three-hit affair, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double (4) and one RBI (2).
- 2B Logan Watkins (.238) and C Steve Clevenger (.350) added two hits apiece. Clevenger has hit safely in five of his six games as part of a rehabilitation assignment.
- RHP Eduardo Sanchez (6.35) and RHP Michael Bowden (5.06) combined to toss four scoreless innings of relief. Bowden converted his first save of the season.
Tennessee Smokies (32-30)
Tennessee snapped its four-game losing streak, beating host Mobile 5-3 in 11 innings.
- RF Rubi Silva (.262) went 1-for-4 with a home run and one RBI (27). He’s hitting .303 (20-for-66) against southpaws this season.
- 1B Jonathan Mota (.226) recorded a team-high three hits, going 3-for-5 with a run scored, a double (6), a home run and one RBI (17).
- LF Ty Wright (.254) went 2-for-2 with a double (8) and one RBI (17).
- RHP Frank Batista (2-2, 1.86) threw a season-high 3.2 innings of relief, allowing one run on four hits while walking two and fanning two.
Daytona Cubs (31-28)
Game 1: Daytona stole six bases in an 8-2 victory vs. Brevard County in the first game of a doubleheader.
- 1B Dustin Geiger (.302) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, a home run and three RBI (52).
- 2B Tim Saunders (.208) recorded his third-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs scored, a double (3), one RBI (14) and two stolen bases (19).
- RHP Yao-Lin Wang (2.86) tossed two scoreless innings of relief, preserving the victory.
Game 2: Daytona completed the doubleheader sweep of Brevard County, beating the Manatees 3-2. The Cubs stole 10 bases in the doubleheader.
- LF John Andreoli (.316) recorded his 18th multi-hit game of the campaign, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base (19).
- CF Zeke DeVoss (.226) went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored, a double (4), one RBI (23) and one stolen base (13).
- RHP Eduardo Figueroa (1-3, 5.08) earned his first win of the season, tossing two scoreless innings of relief while fanning four.
Kane County Cougars (28-32)
Cedar Rapids used a four-run, fifth inning to race past the Cougars, 8-4.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.277) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double (13), a home run and two RBI (42).
- SS Marco Hernandez (.258) went 1-for-4, clubbing his second home run of the campaign.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.326) and CF Albert Almora (.433) collected two hits apiece.
- RHP Justin Amlung (4.81) and LHP Nathan Dorris (2.33) combined for 4.0-scoreless innings of relief.
Eric Jokisch pitched his first complete game Thursday with the Smokies. (Photo by Rodger Wood)
Iowa and Kane County suffered shutout losses and Tennessee dropped both games in a doubleheader match Thursday. Daytona was unable to take the field due to rain, and the two-game outing will not be rescheduled. Despite the offensive shortcomings, here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (25-33)
Iowa lost for the seventh time in eight games, falling 6-0 vs. Round Rock.
- 2B Logan Watkins (.236) extended his hitting streak to nine games (.286/12-for-42), going 1-for-4 with a double (9).
- C Steve Clevenger (.400) went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (3) in the third game of his rehabilitation assignment. He has hit safely in all three games.
Tennessee Smokies (31-28)
Game 1: Tennessee mustered only four hits in a 5-0 setback vs. Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader.
- CF Matt Szczur (.292) went 1-for-4 with a double (13), extending his hitting streak to five games (.438/7-for-16).
- C Chad Noble (.394) went 1-for-3 with a double (3). He has hit safely in four consecutive games (.533/8-for-15).
- SS Arismendy Alcantara (.292) reached base safely for the 17th straight game, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
Game 2: Jackson scored two runs in the third inning and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Smokies in the nightcap, sweeping the doubleheader.
- 2B Ronald Torreyes (.250) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double (11) and a run scored. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games (.385/10-for-26).
- C Rafael Lopez (.266) went 2-for-3 with a RBI (16).
- LHP Eric Jokisch recorded his seventh quality start in 12 appearances, tossing his first complete game (7 IP).
Kane County Cougars (26-31)
Burlington blanked Kane County 9-0 in the middle game of a three-game set.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.267) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-4.
- CF Albert Almora (.415) went 1-for-4. He has 22 hits in 53 at-bats this season.
- On Wednesday, six Cougars were named to the Midwest League Western Division All-Star team: INF Dan Vogelbach, INF Rock Shoulders, OF Bijan Rademacher, RHP Tayler Scott, RHP Felix Pena and LHP Nathan Dorris. Vogelbach will start at DH. This marks the Cougars’ most mid-season All-Stars since the 2009 squad fielded seven.
Rock Shoulders reached base three times Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Kane County Cougars)
While Kane County overpowered their opponent Wednesday, Tennessee and Daytona rescheduled for doubleheader matches due to rain. Iowa had the day off, but will take the field against Round Rock tonight. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Kane County Cougars (26-30)
Kane County used a 14-hit attack to overpower host Burlington, 8-6.
- RF Reggie Golden (.368) collected his third multi-hit affair in his last four games, going 3-for-4 with two RBI (3).
- LF Oliver Zapata (.264) went 2-for-5 with two doubles (7), a run scored, a RBI (22) and a stolen base (8).
- 1B Dan Vogelbach (.282) reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double (12), a homer, a team-high three runs scored and two RBI (39).
- 3B Jeimer Candelario (.262) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI (19).
- DH Rock Shoulders (.270) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI (37).
- RHP Felix Pena (2.11 ERA) converted his first save, allowing a hit and a walk while fanning three in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
- Six Cougars were named to the Midwest League Western Division All-Star team: INF Dan Vogelbach, INF Rock Shoulders, OF Bijan Rademacher, RHP Tayler Scott, RHP Felix Pena and LHP Nathan Dorris. Vogelbach will start at DH. This marks the Cougars’ most mid-season All-Stars since the 2009 squad fielded seven.