Results tagged ‘ Trey McNutt ’

Cubs minor league recap: 4/18/13


Trey McNutt earned a win in relief for the Smokies Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Tennessee claimed its third-straight win in extra-innings while Daytona and Kane County both fell short Thursday. Iowa’s matchup was postponed due to rain for the second consecutive day. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action:


Tennessee scored two runs in the 11th inning, winning its third straight game at Huntsville, 5-3. Tennessee has won six of its last seven games.

  • SS Arismendy Alcantara (.268) went 3-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base, his Southern League-leading seventh stolen base of the season.
  • 1B Justin Bour (.208) walked three times and drove in three runs as part of a 1-for-3 performance.
  • LF Jae-Hoon Ha (.340) scored twice and went 1-for-4 with two walks. His .340 batting average ranks second on the team (Ronald Torreyes, .385).
  • RHP Trey McNutt (2.0 IP, H, BB) earned the win in relief and RHP Frank Batista (1.0 IP, H) converted his third save of the season.


Daytona fell to visiting Tampa, 13-7, in a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair. The two teams combined for 28 hits and 15 walks on the evening.

  • 2B Stephen Bruno (.408) extended his hitting streak to 12 games, going 2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI. He’s batting .438 (21-for-48) during the streak, including nine multi-hit affairs.
  •  C Chad Noble (.323) went 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, extending his hitting streak to five games (.421 during streak).
  •  1B Dustin Geiger (.327) extended his hitting streak to 11 games (.370 during streak) with a third-inning single. He finished 1-for-5 with a run and a RBI.
  •  SS Javier Baez (.226) recorded two hits, a run scored and a RBI in four at-bats (2-for-4).
  •  RF Jorge Soler (.423) went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his first game back from suspension.


Quad Cities scored a run in the 10th inning to claim a 9-8 victory over host Kane County. The game marked the Cougars’ sixth extra-inning affair in 12 games to start the season (2-4 record in extras).

  • C Wilson Contreras (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB) homered to left field in the second inning to start the scoring for Kane County, raising his average to .360 (9-for-25).
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.250) recorded his first three-hit game of the season in a 3-for-5 effort that included a run scored and a RBI.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.240) went 2-for-5 with two runs and two doubles, marking his first two extra-base hit game of the season.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.292) extended his hitting streak to five games (.412 during streak) with a second-inning double. He finished 2-for-5 with a RBI.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.294) scored a run, knocked in a run and went 2-for-5.

Cubs minor league recap: 4/8/13


Brett Jackson recorded a team-high two RBI for Iowa Monday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Kane County Cougars picked up their first win of the season Monday, while the Iowa Cubs surrendered their fifth-straight loss. Here are the highlights from Monday’s games:

Iowa suffered its fifth-straight loss to open the season, surrendering six first-inning runs in a 13-5 setback at Round Rock.

  • 2B Logan Watkins (.368) went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and a RBI.
  • CF Brett Jackson (.238) was 2-for-4 with a double and a team-high two RBI (2).
  • SS Donnie Murphy (.300) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
  • RF Brian Bogusevic (.389) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an outfield assist.
  • RHP Blake Parker (6.75) walked one and fanned two in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.

Tennessee lost its second game in a row, dropping a 2-1 pitchers’ duel at Pensacola.

  • CF Matt Szczur (.409) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base.
  • SS Arismendy Alcantara (.261) added two hits, going 2-for-4.
  • LF Rubi Silva (.154) went 1-for-4 with a stolen base.
  • LHP Zach Rosscup (0.00) allowed one hit while fanning three in 1.0 scoreless inning of relief.
  • RHP Trey McNutt (0.00) fanned one in a perfect eighth inning.

Daytona had the day off. The D-Cubs return to action Tuesday, hosting Clearwater.

Kane County squandered a 5-1 eighth-inning lead, but plated a run in the bottom of the 10th to defeat visiting Clinton 6-5 in walk-off fashion, snapping a season-opening, four-game skid.

  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.238) went 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and a stolen base.
  • C Chadd Krist (.625) was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.214) added three hits, going 3-for-5 with a team-high three RBI and an outfield assist.
  • 1B Rock Shoulders (2-for-5, R) and LF Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5, R) both had multi-hit performances.

Prospectus Preview: Close to the Majors, Trey McNutt

(Photo by Adam Kline/Tennessee Smokies)

Close to the Majors / Matt Szczur

Close to the Majors / Junior Lake

Close to the Majors / Tony Zych

Down the Pipeline / Dan Vogelbach

Trades and Claims / Hunter Cervenka

2012 Draft / Stephen Bruno

Close to the Majors / Robert Whitenack

2012 Draft / Pierce Johnson

Down the Pipeline / Jeimer Candelario

Close to the Majors / Nick Struck

2012 International / Jorge Soler

2012 Trades and Claims / Barret Loux

Trey McNutt’s brief career has been both exciting and a struggle. The right-handed pitcher took the lower levels by storm in his first years, breaking out in 2010. At three levels that season, he was 10-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts and 116.1 innings. After a season where he earned Mid-Season All-Star nod in Single-A that year however, his numbers started to unravel.

In 2011, the power arm was derailed by injuries and appeared to have lost a lot of confidence in his stuff. He finished the year with a 4.55 ERA and a 6.2 K/9, significantly down from his 10.8 K/9 in 2010.

The struggles continued for McNutt in 2012 until a mid-season conversion to the bullpen, where it looks like the 6-foot-4 pitcher might have regained his confidence. In Double-A Tennessee, he finished 9-8 with a 4.26 ERA over 95 innings. A member of the 40-man roster, Spring Training will largely determine what level McNutt starts the 2013 campaign on.

McNutt is one of more than 60 players covered in Vine Line’s annual Minor League Prospectus. The issue is on newsstands now, with single issues available by calling 800-618-8377. It’s an exhaustive rundown, perfect for Spring Training and beyond.

P | Trey McNutt
Ht./Wt.: 6-4/220
B/T: R/R
Born: 8/2/89 in Birmingham, Ala.
Acquired: 2009 Draft (32)
Tools: Fastball, Curveball
2012 STATS (Double-A): 4.26 ERA, 95.0 IP, 93 HA, 45 BB, 66 K

It’s been two challenging seasons in the rotation since McNutt’s 2010 breakout, when the former 32nd-round pick had a 2.48 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 over 116 Single-A innings. But the Cubs saw a different pitcher after a transition to the bullpen, where McNutt’s 94-95 mph fastball had different action behind it. And that “action” wasn’t just improved movement; he also had more purpose and confidence behind the pitch. The big message the Cubs want to get across to McNutt is that he has the stuff and simply needs to be aggressive with it. The bullpen may be where he can finally let loose.

Other players featured in this section: infielders Junior Lake, Josh Vitters and Logan Watkins; outfielders Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur; and pitchers Alberto Cabrera, Brooks Raley, Nick Struck, Robert Whitenack and Tony Zych.

Plus, tidbits on OF Jae-Hoon Ha, LHP Chris Rusin, LHP Frank Del Valle, LHP Zach Rosscup, RHP Matt Loosen, IF Justin Bour, RHP Marcus Hatley, LHP Austin Kirk and RHP Eric Jokisch.

Top rookies learn to play the Cubs Way


Infielder Logan Watkins participated in this week’s Cubs Rookie Development Program.

(Photo by Rodger Wood)

Since Theo Epstein was named Cubs President of Baseball Operations in November 2011, the organization has been stressing the Cubs Way. After getting a full season to view their minor league talent, upper management decided to give a select group of prospects a small crash course on what Cubs baseball is all about.

Starting last Friday, 12 prospects the organization feels are knocking on the major league door have been in Chicago for the club’s first annual Rookie Development Program. The prospects have spent their time going to seminars, practicing at Northwestern University and getting better acclimated to the ways of major league baseball.

“The whole thought behind it really is to get some players in the minor leagues … expose them to the market, get them in a smaller group and talk about what to expect when they get here, how to be professionals, how to handle the media, how to deal with the fans,” said Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod.

The minor leaguers, including notables Javier Baez, Matt Szczur and Trey McNutt, have received instruction from former pitcher Kerry Wood, Bears linebacker Nick Roach and current pitching coach Chris Bosio. Former Cub Mark Prior was scheduled to fly in and speak to the group Thursday, though he is unable to make this weekend’s Cubs Convention.

Today’s low-key practice saw the pitchers throw a little long toss before getting on a mound, while the position players took fielding practice and eventually got some rounds in the batting cages.

The organization’s player and pitcher of the year, Logan Watkins and Nick Struck, were both in attendance. Others joining them were Dallas Beeler, Jae-Hoon Ha, Marcus Hatley, Barret Loux, Zach Rosscup, Robert Whitenack and Tony Zych. All players at the program are scheduled to be at this weekend’s Cubs Convention.

Cubs add 4 players to 40-man roster

The Cubs’ 2012 Minor League Player of the Year Logan Watkins was added to the club’s 40-man roster. (Photo by Rodger Wood)

The Cubs added right-handed pitchers Trey McNutt and Robert Whitenack and infielders Christian Villanueva and Logan Watkins to the 40-man roster Tuesday, the last day to protect prospects from next month’s Rule 5 draft. The Cubs also designated Brian LaHair for assignment and optioned righty Carlos Gutierrez to Triple-A Iowa.

McNutt, who is currently ranked eighth on the Cubs’ Prospect Watch list, went 9-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 34 appearances (17 starts) with Double-A Tennessee. In four minor league seasons, the 23-year-old has a 27-16 record with a 3.45 ERA. After being selected in the 32nd round of the 2009 draft, McNutt started the Single-A Midwest League All-Star Game in 2010, was a midseason Double-A Southern League All-Star in 2011 and was a 2011 Arizona Fall League rising star. He has recently thrived after a move to the bullpen.

Villanueva, a slick-fielding third baseman, came over from the Rangers in the midseason deal for Ryan Dempster. The organization’s No. 7 prospect hit .279 with 24 doubles, 14 homers, 68 RBI and 14 stolen last season between Single-A Daytona and Texas’ Single-A affiliate, Myrtle Beach. The 2011 mid- and postseason All-Star in the South Atlantic League was signed by the Rangers in 2008 as a nondrafted free agent from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Watkins, the Cubs’ 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, batted .281 with 93 runs, 20 doubles, 11 triples, nine home runs and 52 RBI for Double-A Tennessee. He led the Southern League in runs scored, was second in triples and walks (76), and was fourth in on-base percentage (383). The 23-year-old possesses a career average of .285 with a .372 on-base percentage and was selected in the 21st round of the 2008 draft.

Whitenack joined Single-A Daytona in May after missing part of 2011 with Tommy John surgery. He went 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA in 15 starts. The organization’s No. 13 prospect was drafted in the eighth round of the 2009 draft, and has a career 19-18 record in the minors.

LaHair, who was designated for assignment, was a 2012 National League All-Star, batting .259 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI in 130 games for the Cubs. LaHair and the Cubs are reportedly working on a deal with a Japanese team. Gutierrez was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Twins on Oct. 24.

The Cubs’ current 40-man roster:

Scott Baker
Jeff Beliveau*
Michael Bowden
Alberto Cabrera
Shawn Camp
Lendy Castillo
Jaye Chapman
Casey Coleman
Gerardo Concepcion*
Rafael Dolis
Matt Garza
Carlos Marmol
Trey McNutt
Zach Putnam
Brooks Raley*
Chris Rusin*
James Russell*
Jeff Samardzija
Arodys Vizcaino
Robert Whitenack
Travis Wood*
* – LHP

Welington Castillo
Steve Clevenger
Dioner Navarro

Darwin Barney
Starlin Castro
Junior Lake
Anthony Rizzo
Ian Stewart
Luis Valbuena
Christian Villanueva
Josh Vitters
Logan Watkins

Tony Campana
David DeJesus
Brett Jackson
Dave Sappelt
Jorge Soler
Alfonso Soriano
Matt Szczur

Farm Report Wrap-Up: Keep an eye out for some sleepers on Smokies roster

Tennessee Smokies infielder Logan Watkins was named the organization’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year. (Photo by Rodger 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 Double-A Tennessee Smokies are next in the spotlight.

For all the talent we’ve written about in the lower levels of the Cubs system, it was the Tennessee Smokies who featured two full seasons from the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.

Two nights ago, infielder Logan Watkins and right-hander Nick Struck were honored by Jason McLeod and farm director Brandon Hyde in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field. Watkins was a 21st-round pick out of high school in the 2008 draft, and he’s shown a consistent ability to get on base throughout his minor league career. This year, he hit for a .281/.383/.422 slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) and collected 76 walks in 588 plate appearances. His 13 percent walk rate was three percentage points higher than his already lofty career standards, and his slugging percentage was nearly 50 points higher despite having roughly the same batting average. In other words, it was a career year.

Of course, Watkins’ skill set is broader than just patience. He has versatility in the field—spotting at shortstop and center field in addition to second base—and the speed to rack up double-digit triples and stolen bases. He bats left-handed too. A 23-year-old sleeper to track as he likely moves to Iowa next year.

Struck also is turning out to be a late-round sleeper. A 2009 39th-round pick out of an Oregon community college, Struck emerged as the Smokies’ ace a season after he split time between three levels (A, AA and AAA). His 155 innings led the team, and he finished with a 3.18 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Just as importantly, his hits and walks allowed ticked down from a year ago, while his strikeouts climbed to just over seven per nine innings.

Struck isn’t a high-ceiling type—in other words, someone with a high-90s fastball or a wipeout breaking ball—but he’s succeeded with poise, pitch ability and a versatile four-pitch mix. He turns 23 this month and also is likely to wind up in Iowa next season.

Final Records:

First Half / 35-35, tie-second place, 7.0 GB

Second Half / 37-33, tie-second place, 4.0 GB

Storylines: This is a team that the Cubs front office hopes will develop some future contributors in Chicago. Matt Szczur struggled in his first taste of Double-A, but he has the toolset to hit for average and use his speed on the basepaths and in the outfield alongside Brett Jackson. Right-hander Trey McNutt has had mixed success since his breakout campaign two years ago, but this summer, the Cubs found a new home for his plus fastball and power breaking ball in the bullpen. Shortstop Junior Lake also is smoothing out rough edges, but he has a ceiling that few prospects in the higher levels can match. Outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha deserves special mention after a successful all-around campaign including a home run in the Futures Game.

Minors tracker: Week one prospect report

We’re only a week into the minor league season, but some young stars already are starting to blossom. A few of the Cubs affiliates are playing better than others, but there’s no denying some individuals left Spring Training ready to go.

High-profile corner infielders Josh Vitters and Anthony Rizzo have powered Triple-A Iowa to a 5-3 start. Vitters (.458/.500/.500) has racked up 11 hits in 24 at-bats, driving in six runs. Rizzo, who the Cubs acquired from the Padres for Andrew Cashner, has been just as impressive (.387/.424/.677), smacking three home runs and driving in 10.

Welington Castillo, a backstop who narrowly missed a spot on the Cubs Opening Day roster, is hitting .357 with a 1.214 OPS in 14 at-bats.

Top prospect Brett Jackson has recorded a .276 average with four RBI.

Ace Randy Wells is 1-0 in two starts, posting a 5.25 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and seven strikeouts.

Double-A Tennessee, resting at .500 with a 4-4 record, has plenty of bright spots in both the lineup and on the bump. Shortstop Elliot Soto has a .476 OBP and is slugging .500. Michael Burgess (.333/.417/.524) has a home run and 11 total bases.

Nicholas Struck (1-1, 2.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 15 K, 12 IP), Dallas Beeler (1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11 IP) and Trey McNutt (0.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8 K, 7.2 IP) have all been consistent members of the rotation early on.

Despite Daytona’s 1-6 record, a few individuals still have something to smile about. First-round pick Hayden Simpson has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in two starts, and outfielder John Andreoli has a .429 average with a .600 OBP, drawing six walks in 20 total at-bats.

Pitching has been the key for Class-A affiliate Peoria. The Chiefs, who sit at 3-4, have gotten two solid outings each from Michael Jensen (2-0, 2.45 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 11 IP) and Patrick Francescon (0-1, 3.48 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 12 K, 10.1 IP).

Cactus Notes: Cubs cut down spring roster

MESA, Ariz.–The Chicago Cubs today sent four players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 63 to 59 players.

Four non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Marco Carrillo and Trey McNutt, infielder Jonathan Mota, and outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha.

Chicago’s current spring roster consists of 28 pitchers (eight non-roster invitees), seven catchers (four non-roster invitees), 14 infielders (five non-roster invitees) and 10 outfielders (three non-roster invitees).

Future Watch: Arizona Fall League preview, Part I

With the Arizona Fall League beginning today, Baseball Prospectus’ prospect guru Kevin Goldstein contributes updates on three Cubs prospects to watch for in the AFL. Subscribe to Vine Line today to receive Goldstein’s monthly update and for more coverage from top to bottom of the Cubs organization.

While the major league season ends in October, it never stops for prospect watchers. The Arizona Fall League will be well into its season by the time the World Series has ended, with the Latin American Winter Leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela starting afterward and taking us into next year’s spring training.

The Arizona Fall League is the most prospect laden, as players make a final push to hit the big leagues or make a 40-man roster, and the Cubs are lined up to send seven prospects to the Mesa Solar Sox, who begin play today. Here’s one prospect worth keeping an eye on:

Trey McNutt, RHP

McNutt entered the year as one of, if not the, top arms in the system, but he struggled to keep his ERA under five at Double-A during an injury-plagued year. With a pro body and two plus power pitches, his time in the desert will be dedicated to finishing on the right track in hopes of a bounce-back 2012 season.

Inside the Numbers: Delayed gratification?

ESPN SweetSpot’s Christina Kahrl, who contributes analysis to Vine Line and Vine Line Game Day Edition, discusses the reasons Cubs fans may or may not see Josh Vitters (left) and Brett Jackson (right) at Wrigley Field this September. (Photo by Stephen Green)

So the 2011 season isn’t going to involve a renewed bid for contention, and fans are understandably turning the page and wondering when they’ll get to see the organization’s top prospects getting called up. Chances are, you’ll be waiting for a while. The way baseball’s rules work, there are significant disincentives for the Cubs to add their best kids to the 40-man roster.

First, there’s the disincentive to bring somebody up if they’re not likely to make the team next spring. This is strictly economic: Why would a team unnecessarily grant a prospect already under team control early ignition on his service-time clock? Doing so now means very little in terms of improving the Cubs’ chances for 2011. By granting service time, the team is already putting the prospect down a path toward arbitration eligibility—and an escalating pay scale—while not necessarily guaranteeing the Cubs that they’ll control the player’s best seasons before free agency.

The second challenge for a player looking to get called up between now and Opening Day 2012 is the question of whether or not the Cubs need to protect him from the Rule 5 draft in December. Although a player taken in the Rule 5 draft would have to be kept on the big league roster all season or else offered back to his original organization, clubs prefer to avoid the risk of losing a prospect this way whenever possible. (more…)