Baseball America has released version 2.0 of their 2012 mock draft, and their projection for the Cubs has switched from OF Albert Almora to SS Carlos Correa. The Cubs’ pick likely will come down to one of those two, or high school lefty Max Fried. Unless the Orioles decide to take Correa with the fourth overall pick (unlikely), none of the top three college pitchers are likely to be on the board when the Cubs make their selection. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the Bleacher Nation 2012 MLB Draft Primer for more information on these, and other, potential picks.
The Cubs’ first round pick is going to continue to get all the attention as we inch closer to draft day, and rightfully so, but one pick will not make this draft. The Cubs have four early picks; all four are going to be important.
Player development is a numbers game. Even the best farm systems in baseball only manage to send a tiny fraction of their players to the majors. Many of the players on any top prospects list, including the Cubs’ own list, will ultimately not make it to the major leagues. The counter to that reality is to have a farm system that not only has premium talent, but a lot of talent. The more potential major league catchers a team has, for instance, the more likely that team is to produce a catcher from their farm system. With that in mind, it is important that the Cubs draft as well as they can from their first to their last pick. The more talent they can pack into the system, the greater the odds that some talent will ultimately make it to the majors.
Rodrigo Lopez started the game, but he did not last long. In fact, he lasted exactly one pitch (it was a strike). I would say the odds are very good that Lopez is injured, but I am not yet aware of anything official on the subject.
That means Jay Jackson was officially a reliever, and he responded by pitching five very good innings. Jackson gave up just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. As a reliever, Jackson is good (1.86 ERA). As a starter, Jackson is not good (7.79 ERA). Apparently that trend holds even when he’s a starter in all but name.
After Jackson was removed, the remainder of the Cubs bullpen pitched well. Carlos Marmol, now on his rehab assignment, pitched one good inning. Even Mike MacDougal managed to avoid giving up a run. Scott Maine was on the mound for the final two innings and earned his third win.
Iowa was light on offense. Steve Clevenger, also on a rehab assignment, doubled in the seventh inning and came home on a sac fly by Brett Jackson. Luis Valbuena hit the go ahead home run in the ninth. Other than that, there isn’t much to say.
Eric Jokisch celebrated his return to Double A by pitching five very good innings. He allowed just one hit, but unfortunately that hit was a two run home run. He also walked one and struck out three. Kevin Rhoderick threw two innings of no-hit ball, receiving a Hold for his efforts, and Alberto Cabrera pitched the final two innings, allowing one run to score on one hit, for the save.
Jae-Hoon Ha launched his second home run of the season, and Luis Flores doubled and hit his first homer of the year to lead the Smokies. Justin Bour also doubled. Matt Cerda did not have a hit, but he did walk three times in five trips to the plate.
High A – Daytona Cubs. 18 – 28
The Cubs’ starter threw a great game, but the bullpen coughed up the lead. Sound familiar? It happens in Daytona just like it does in Chicago. The Daytona Cubs lost another close one 2-1.
Austin Kirk pitched a great game (8 innings, 7H, 4K) and left in line for the win. Tony Zych, who has been pretty good much of the season, allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth and took the loss.
Daytona had their chances to give Kirk some much needed run support, but they could not turn their nine hits into more than a single run. Micah Gibbs, Rubi Silva, and Dustin Harrington all had two hits in this game, while Arismendy Alcantara doubled for the team’s only extra base hit. The Cubs did not draw a walk, and they were a dismal 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Starling Peralta has arrived from extended spring training and pitched fairly well in his first start. He only threw four innings in this game, allowing five hits, one run, one walk, and collecting two strikeouts. Larry Suarez threw two innings of score less baseball in relief and earned his first win of the season. Luis Liria tossed three innings of two hit ball for his first save.
Zeke DeVoss led the team with two hits, including a double. Ryan Cuneo also had two hits while Paul Hoilman collected the only other extra base hit for the Chiefs, a triple. Taiwan Easterling stole his ninth base of the season.