You can’t have an All-Star Game without a Home Run Derby, and you can’t have a Home Run Derby without a left handed slugging first baseman. With the 2012 Southern League All-Star Game taking place in the home stadium for the Tennessee Smokies, Cubs’ prospect and left handed first baseman Justin Bour will not only be fighting for bragging rights, he’ll be attempting to defend his home turf.
Bour had already mashed six home runs at the end of May. Unfortunately, he still has six home runs. His June averages are higher than what we saw last month, but so far that has not translated into a June long ball. It seems, however, that he has been seeing the ball fairly well lately; hopefully that will give him a bit of an edge. The Derby begins at 6 PM ET this evening in Tennessee, and the All-Star Game will follow shortly thereafter.
The Midwest League All-Star game is also tonight. That event gets underway at 6 PM CDT.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa had a much needed day of rest yesterday. They resume play this evening at Round Rock.
Tennessee – Tennessee enjoyed a day off on Monday, but they will be hosting the Southern League All-Star Game on Tuesday evening.
Daytona – A rough first inning led to a 6-3 Cubs’ loss at home.
Peoria – Thanks to the Midwest League All-Star break, the Peoria Chiefs are off until Friday, June 22.
Boise – Once again, the Hawks had to go extra innings, but they walked away with their first win of the season by a final of 6-4 in eleven innings.
Performances of the Day
- [Daytona] The Daytona bullpen turned in yet another splendid game. Robert Whitenack left after three innings, but Eduardo Figueroa, Ryan Searle, and A.J. Morris combined to pitched to pitch five consecutive hit-less frames.
- [Daytona] The Cubs were once again active on the base paths. John Andreoli stole two bases (he also had two hits) and is now up to 21 steals for the season. Arismendy Alcantara stole his 19th bag of the year.
- [Boise] Ian Dickson allowed three runs and struck out two over four and a third in his first start of the year.
- [Boise] Rafael Diplan picked up the win by tossing three and a third hit-less innings of relief. He struck out four.
- [Boise] The Hawks’ only extra base hit was a solo home run (his first) by left fielder Dong-Yub Kim.
- [Boise] Also doing well at the plate were third baseman Jeimer Candelario (2 for 5) and catcher Justin Marra (3 for 5). This was Marra’s first game of the season.
Other Minor League Notes
- Taylor Davis, a catcher drafted by the Cubs in 2011, has already advanced to Daytona in his first full season as a professional. Compared the .902 OPS Davis put up in Peoria, his performance in Daytona has been lacking in the power department. He did have a double in this game, but that was only his third double in 16 games with the High-A club.
- The Cubs have already had some success in converting Kyler Burke from an outfielder into a pitcher, and the next prospect to make that transition looks to be Matthew Spencer. As an outfielder Spencer posted an OPS of .788 in Tennessee last season, and also made a brief appearance in Iowa. As a pitcher, the 6’4″ lefty has tossed just over two innings so far for the Hawks and has allowed only one hit. He also has four walks and four strikeouts.
- Shawon Dunston Jr. will forever be thought of alongside his father, one of the more beloved Cubs’ of recent decades. Dunston Sr. was famous for his arm and for his rocket like throws from deep in the hole at short. Dunston Jr. has a pretty good arm of his own, as he demonstrated by earning a rare outfield assist at first base in Monday’s game.
- [Boise] Rock Shoulders walked three times in this game. Is this a case of a good batting eye, or of opposing pitchers already fearing the Rock? Given that his batting average is just .200 on the young season, I’m leaning towards a good eye. On the other hand, he also has eight strikeouts in just four games.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 30 – 41.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 14.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 35-35
Southern League North Division – Second Place (tie): 7.0 Game Behind.
High A – Daytona Cubs : 29 -37
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 13.0 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 35 – 34
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place (tie) : 9.0 Games Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 1 – 3
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Ahead