Dae-Eun Rhee (22, High A) – An international signee back in 2008 (signed the same time as former Cubs prospect Hak-ju Lee – somebody buy that scout a donue), Rhee has already had to deal with recovering from Tommy John Surgery in his young career. But it seems he’s finally gotten back to his baseline of success. In his last three starts, he has averaged 6 and 2/3 innings pitched striking out 9 with only 3 free passes to the tune of a 1.89 ERA.
Logan Watkins (21, High A) – After an extremely disappointing April/May from Watkins, he has recovered by producing a 1.071 OPS in June and .866 in July so far. A 21st round, big bonus type in 2008, Watkins is absolutely on fire, and is getting on base in almost half of his plate appearances in the last month.
Austin Kirk (21, A) – Of course, 2009 third rounder Austin Kirk needs to be recognized for his spectacular no-hitter. Not only did he go 9 innings without giving up a hit, but he struck out 10 and only issued 2 walks. Even more impressive, he threw his no-hitter as a lefty pitching to 7 of 9 hitters hitting right handed.
Jeimer Candelario (17, DSL) – The Cubs paid good money for Candelario last year as an international free agent, and so far, he’s making on good on it. In his first 30 games of professional ball, Candelario has a .353/.465/.451 line.
Justin Bour (23, High A) – Unfortunately, Bour has really had trouble adjusting after his red hot start. He’s only hit 4 home runs since June 1st after hititng 13 in April/May. Bour was a 25th rounder in 2009.
Rafael Dolis (23, AA) – Dolis, a member of the Cubs’ farm system since he was signed as a teenager, is having a tough time recently after having a terrible game on June 19th where he surrendered 5 earned runs in less than an inning. In his last 6 appearances, he’s had more earned runs (7) than strikeouts (5).
Jae-Hoon Ha (20, High A) – Ha, another international signee, had a brutal June in which he produced a .584 OPS. It may be just a coincidence, but Ha was given a quick stint in AA while Brett Jackson was out with a hand injury. Ha was quickly demoted (even before Jackson was back) and some have speculated that it may have affected his play. He tends to be a hot and cold player though, so hopefully we’ll see him bust out of this slump.
Matthew Szczur (21, A) – In his last 10 games, Szczur is sporting a .556 OPS. Interestingly enough, Dusty was kind of right in his opinion of “speed doesn’t slump”. Of the 10 times Szczur has reached base in those 10 games, he’s scored a run 6 times.
On the Mend:
Angel Guzman – Guzman’s last three appearances have been with the Cubs’ High A-ball affiliate in Daytona. On the year, he has a 1.86 ERA with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts in 9 and 2/3 innings pitched.
[This article was co-written with Scarey from SOI, who did most of the heavy lifting. Because he’s the man.]