Believe it or not, we are already approaching the middle of the minor league seasons. That means it is time for the various leagues to name their mid-season All-Stars. The roster for the Florida State League has been announced, and, despite their lackluster record, the Daytona Cubs are quite well represented.
Keep in mind that these players were not selected by a fan vote, as is the case in the majors. Ballots were given only to team managers, official scorers, and the media attached to each team. In other words, the only people voting on these awards are the people who are not only in the best position to evaluate the players, but are also people who are likely to know what they are talking about. This was not a popularity contest.
Representing the North Division of the Florida State League from the Daytona Cubs will be:
Nelson Perez and Greg Rohan are both older than we like to see in the FSL and are probably best considered fringe prospects and minor league veterans at this point in their careers. The other three are all solid prospects. Szczur is a Baseball America Top 100 guy, Alcantara has greatly improved his stock and is likely to be featured on many Cubs Top 25 lists over the winter, and Kirk is one of the better left handed starting pitching prospects in the Cubs’ system.
On a related note, I am in the process of writing up The Bleacher Nation Honors for May. That article should be coming sometime early next week.
Chris Volstad pitched into the seventh inning. He did not pitch particularly well (10H (2HR), 4R, 2BB), but he did keep the Cubs in the game. Jeff Beliveau allowed a run on three hits in the final inning and a third for the loss.
Brett Jackson had a huge game. He went 3 for 4 with a walk and his seventh home run of the season. Josh Vitters hit his eighth home run to tie the game in the eighth, and also walked. Luis Valbuena was 2 for 5 with two doubles, and Matt Tolbert stole his fifth base.
Trey McNutt needed fewer than eighty pitches to throw six pretty good innings. He only struck out two, but on the other hand he allowed just one run on four hits. Most importantly, he threw 79 pitches and pitched a full six innings. That’s the longest outing of the season for the blister-plagued prospect.
Michael Burgess had two hits, including his eighth double of the season. James Adduci had a three hit night as Junior Lake and Matt Cerda also had two hits each. Justin Bour doubled for the Smokies’ only other extra base hit.
Matt Loosen pitched five pretty good innings for the win. Hayden Simpson had one scoreless inning and two thirds of a not so scoreless inning. Tony Zych collected the final seven outs in hit-less fashion.
The offense poured on the runs in giant bunches. Eight of the nine Cubs scored twice. The lone Cub who did not cross the plate was Arismendy Alcantara, and he still collected a walk and an RBI. Ronald Torreyes and Greg Rohan both had two doubles, Micah Gibbs and Nelson Perez both hit home runs, and five different Cubs had multi-hit games.
Reading anything into a blowout like this is dangerous, but it is hard not to be encouraged by the day Torreyes put together. No one questions his gift for hitting, but so far this season balls off his bat have not been finding holes. The numbers say he has been extremely unlucky, but that may be changing. He now has two multi-hit games in a row and has kicked his June off to a fantastic start.
Michel Jensen allowed five hits in five and two thirds innings as he won his fifth game of the season. Luis Liria and Yao-Lin Wang both collected five outs, both struck out three, and Wang collected his fourth save.
Pin-Chieh Chen hit his second home run of the season in this game. Taiwan Easterling, Anthony Giansanti, and Paul Hoilman all doubled for the Chiefs. Hoilman, Yasiel Balaguert, and Javier Baez each had two hits. Zeke DeVoss did not have a hit, but thanks to three walks he did score twice.