There is no news on the Jorge Soler front, but he is not the only international prospect we should be keeping an eye on. The summer signing period will be here before you know it, and it will bring a whole new crop of young talent from Latin America into the Cubs’ farm system. According to MiLB.com, outfielder Gustavo Cabrera is the prize of this year’s class. Jonathan Mayo says he has been compared to a young Justin Upton. Cabrera would look good in a Cubs uniform, but he is far from the only talented player waiting to be signed. Looking over that International Top 20 list, I would be happy to see any of them added to the Cubs’ farm system.

As is almost always the case with Latin American signings, these are teenagers who are likely to be four or five years away from the majors, at least. We cannot expect to see anyone who signs a contract with Cubs to arrive in the United States, let alone in Wrigley field, for a year or so. Patience is always a virtue when it comes to prospects.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 18 – 23
On Saturday the Iowa Cubs were shut down in a rare case of a dominant pitching in the Pacific Coast League. The Cubs managed only three hits on their way to a 6-1 loss.

Chris Rusin gave up three runs in six innings, far from his best work this season, and earned his third loss. Mike MacDougal again struggled in two innings of relief. Esmailin Caridad finished the game off by allowing a home run in the ninth.

Iowa’s three hits were delivered by Iowa’s three best prospects. Brett Jackson tripled (and scored the Cubs’ only run), Anthony Rizzo doubled, and Josh Vitters singled. Other than four walks, that was it for the Iowa offense in this game. This is not a team that is prone to prolonged hitting slumps, though. I would not be surprised to see the bats back to full strength within the next game or two.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 19 – 24
It was a very close game for the Smokies, but it was a game they won. The final was 3-2.

Dallas Beeler finally picked up his first win of the season. Despite giving up eight hits in his five innings of work, he held the Braves to just two runs. Marcus Hatley pitched two innings for the hold, and Alberto Cabrera pitched two innings for his third save of the season.

The Smokies found enough runs to win, but they left a lot more on the bases. Junior Lake got his first hit of the road trip when he singled and stole his third base of the season. Jae-Hoon Ha drove two doubles and walked once. Justin Bour also doubled as part of his two hit night, and Rebel Ridling reached base four times with two hits and two walks.

Rebel Ridling, playing in left field, helped preserve the game by cutting down a runner at home.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 16 – 24
With the exception of the fifth inning, Daytona played a very good game. Unfortunately that fifth inning counts, and it results in a 5-3 Daytona loss.

Eric Jokisch did not make it out of that disastrous fifth inning and was dealt his fourth loss of the season. Ty’relle Harris picked up four outs in relief of Jokisch. and then handed the game over to Ryan Searle who pitched an effective final two innings.

Matthew Szczur, batting third in the order, carried the Daytona offense. He hit his first home run of the season, his tenth double, scored two runs and drove in two. He has definitely rebounded from a slow start to the 2012 campaign. Right now, he is as hot as any hitter in a Cub uniform.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 19 – 24
Peoria had a big inning, but Cedar Rapids had a bigger one. The Chiefs kept this game close, ultimately losing 7-6.

Kyler Burke had a rare bad game for the Chiefs, but his defense did him no favors. He made it through five innings and allowed six runs (three earned) on eight hits. Sheldon McDonald took the loss by allowing one run in two innings of relief. Yao-Lin Wang pitched a scoreless final frame.

Catcher Taylor Davis made his case to fill in for injured and promoted catchers further up the farm system by drawing two walks and smacking both a double and a triple. Paul Hoilman‘s two hit game also included a double. Pin-Chieh Chen, batting ninth, scored two runs and drove in three as he went 1 for 3 with a walk. That one hit was a three run homer, his first of the season.



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