Like an iceberg that can either sink the ship or turn out to be made from chocolate, the 2012 Draft is looming ever closer. We have a pretty good grasp on what the Cubs would like to do (draft one of the top three college pitchers), what they probably won’t have a chance to do (draft one of the top three college pitchers), and what they will probably do instead (take a high school hitter). All of that only applies to the Cubs first round pick, though. What about the rest of the draft?
Baseball America has a tool for you. They have put together a searchable database of their Top 500 draft prospects. The data set can be filtered by rank, name, school, or position. If you are a subscriber you can read scouting reports for many of the players. If you aren’t, you can still enjoy the searchable ranking goodness.
For example, we think the Cubs would like to take pitching early in the draft. We also think they would prefer college pitchers (because they will be ready sooner) and left handed pitchers (because the farm system doesn’t have very many of them). So, who might they be able to take in the supplemental round that is a southpaw and maybe pitching in college? By filtering the database by position for LHP and looking at players ranked between roughly 35 and 55, we have a list of candidates: Brian Johnson from the University of Florida, Hunter Virant from a high school in California, and Alex Wood from the University of Georgia.
Combine a tool like that with the power of Google and the sheer amount of prospect videos on the internet, and you have the perfect way to waste every waking hour from now until the draft. (Brett: Holy crap.)
Chris Rusin did not have one of his better games. He held division leading Omaha to four runs in six innings despite giving up a pair of home runs, but he did not get the win. That went to Jeff Beliveau, who was excellent in an inning of relief. Also excellent was Mike MacDougal. Yes, that Mike MacDougal. After a very rough start as a Cub, MacDougal has been putting up some surprisingly good innings lately. Collecting his third save of the season was Scott Maine.
With Anthony Rizzo still nursing a sore wrist, Josh Vitters not only got to start at first base, he put on his best Rizzo impression. Vitters was 2 for 3 with a home run, two runs scored, and a walk. That home run was the third Vitters has hit in the last four games, and his seventh this month (and this season).
Dave Sappelt also had two hits for the Cubs, and catcher Brian Esposito doubled for the team’s only other extra base hit. The team was horrible in RBI situations (just 1 for 11 with men in scoring position), but still managed to score five times on just eight hits for the win.
Nick Struck was spectacular. He pitched six innings and gave up just three hits as he struck out nine, earning a well deserved fifth win. Alberto Cabrera allowed two runs to score, but thanks to Kevin Rhoderick (who collected his first save) the Smokies escaped with the win.
Tennessee did not have much offense in this game, but they had just enough to win. Junior Lake returned to the top of the order and put together another two hit night, including the team’s only extra base hit (a double). Jae-Hoon Ha also had two hits and Justion Bour reached three times on a hit and two walks. Ha stole his fifth base of the season.
The biggest story of the day was Robert Whitenack‘s return to Daytona after enduring elbow surgery last season. His first outing, four and a third innings, was not spectacular (10 H, 3ER, 1BB, 0K), but it wasn’t a disaster either. He’ll need a few more innings to shake the rust off before we can start to measure where he is and how much work he has to do.
Ryan Searle stepped in to relieve Whitenack with an impressive performance of his own. Of the five outs Searle recorded, four were strikeouts.
The Daytona offense managed just six hits in Game One, and two them (including a double) came from Richard Jones. Arismendy Alcantara stole his thirteenth base of the season in this game, and John Andreoli added two steals to his season total, which now stands at fourteen.
Patrick Francescon pitched a six inning complete game in Game Two of the doubleheader, but it resulted in the first loss of his High A career. In his six innings he allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Daytona managed only six hits in this game as well. Greg Rohan‘s two run homer (his ninth of the season) accounted for both of the Cubs’ runs. Alcantara was 2 for 2 with a walk.
Kyler Burke only allowed one hit in his five innings of work, but he also walked five. Burke is not usually wild; this is an odd result for him. Larry Suarez came on for the sixth and seventh and allowed one run on four hits. After that, Luis Liria, Yao-Lin Wang, and Sheldon McDonald combined to throw five innings of scoreless relief. That was all for the bullpen. In the thirteenth inning, shortstop Kenny Socorro (recently arrived in Peoria) took the mound and threw two perfect frames for his first win of the season.
A lot of Chiefs had rough nights at the plate. Only Ryan Cuneo, Anthony Giansanti (playing catcher again), and Yasiel Balaguert had two hits in the game. Cuneo hit his fourth home run of the season. Balaguert and Zeke DeVoss both doubled. Oliver Zapata was just 1 for 7, but that one hit drove in Pin-Chieh Chen with the game winning run.
Javier Baez stole his first base of the season (and otherwise was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and a walk). DeVoss stole his thirteenth bag, and Chen swiped his sixth.