The Cubs’ first base prospect Justin Bour finished second in the Southern League All-Star Game Home Run Derby last night. Joe Dunigan and Justin Bour tied at one in the Championship Round, forcing a slug-off. Dunigan won that final frame one long ball to none and walked away with the title.
Bour is not the only power hitting first baseman on the Smokies roster, at least for now. Rebel Ridling, despite beating up on Double A pitching last season, has been a part of the Tennessee lineup all season with many of his at bats coming as an outfielder. However, with Anthony Rizzo presumably heading to Chicago in a matter of days, I would not be surprised to see Ridling get a promotion to Iowa. He won’t put up Rizzo-like numbers there, but his big bat should be right at home in the Pacific Coast League.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa managed to out hit Round Rock 13-8 and still lose the game 6-3.
Tennessee – Tennessee had a day off, but the Southern League All-Stars were in action. The South beat the North 6-2.
Daytona – Daytona dropped another close game. This time the final was 4-2.
Peoria – Peoria had the day off, but some of the Chiefs did participate in a dismal blowout of an All-Star Game that the West Division lost 18-2.
Boise – The Hawks dropped the finale of their road series 4-1. Now they head to Boise for the home opener.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Once again, I have to brag on the bullpen. Esmailin Cardid pitched two perfect innings, striking out one, and Rafael Dolis gave up a single hit in the final frame. Starting pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, on the other hand, struggled (5 IP, 6R, 7H, 4BB, 2K).
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters hit his tenth home run of the year, a solo shot. It was his lone hit for the night.
- [Iowa] Blake Lalli and Alfredo Amezaga both had two hits in this game, and both doubled.
- [Tennessee] The star of the night for the Northern All-Stars was minor league veteran outfielder James Adduci. The Smoky was 2 for 2 with a double; that accounted for a third of the team’s hits. When you factor in Justin Bour’s single, the Tennessee hitters accounted for half of the Northern offense.
- [Tennessee] The Smokies pitching also did pretty well. Kevin Rhoderick gave up a walk in his one inning of work, Alberty Cabrera gave up a walk in his third of an inning, and Frank Batista was perfect as he recorded two outs.
- [Daytona] Once again, Taylor Davis (at first base in this game) and Arismendy Alcantara lead the team in hits. Davis had two, and Alcantara had three.
- [Daytona] Matt Loosen was not as good as he has been, but he did strike out five in six innings while allowing only three earned runs. After earning this loss, his record now stands at 5-2.
- [Daytona] At the risk of sounding repetitive, the Cubs got another great performance from a minor league bullpen. Joseph Zeller (1K), Jeffry Lorick (2K), and Scott Weismann (2K) all pitched a perfect inning apiece in relief of Loosen.
- [Peoria] Three Chiefs got into the All-Star Game, but none of them played especially well. Kyler Burke allowed five runs on three hits and five walks in two thirds of an inning, far from the performances we are used to seeing from him. Zeke DeVoss entered the game as a right fielder instead of a second baseman, but left without a hit. First baseman Paul Hoilman was also hitless.
- [Boise] Wilson Contreras, Marco Hernandez, and Dong-Yub Kim all had two hits, but Contreras had the only extra base hit for the Hawks, a double.
- [Boise] Willengton Cruz struck out six in five innings of work, allowed no earned runs, and left with a no decision.
Other Minor League Notes
- If Darwin Barney does get traded, Alfredo Amezaga could also be a candidate to fill in at second base. He is on the experienced side of thirty, but he is a switch hitter who has put up some good numbers against right handed pitching. He does not walk much, but with just 20 strikeouts in 49 games, he is not an easy out, either. He isn’t ‘The Answer’ by any stretch of the imagination, but he could be a nice transitional piece, if necessary.
- Josh Vitters’ remarkable season does not appear to be slowing any time soon. His June batting average is up to .292 with three walks and eleven strike outs. Given the progress on his defense, I don’t think there is any doubt that he will get a chance to play third base in the majors one day next season. It remains to be seen if he will be wearing a Cubs’ uniform when that day comes.
- He’s twenty, he’s a switch-hitter, he’s posting the numbers of his career, and he has 20 stolen bases in 23 chances. You can be forgiven if you are starting to get a little bit excited by Daytona shortstop Arismendy Alcantara. He has some room for improvement (10 walks in 65 games? Ugh.), but the toolsy infielder is already starting to draw some national attention. His will be a name to watch for during the madness of trade rumor season.
- When you take a look at Daytona’s record a bit further down the page, what you will see is no typo. Many of the leagues in the minors reset their records in the middle of season and treat their season as two half seasons. The first half in the Florida State League is over, and the second half is just beginning. That means Daytona has a whole new chance to go on a run, make the playoffs, and earn a chance to defend their 2011 Championship.
- The Chicago Cubs are not the only team in the organization looking for a new stadium. The Hawks’ facility is in need of updates or replacement, and there is still a question of how much help, if any, the city will be in making that happen.
- The Arizona League (rookie ball) gets underway today.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 30 – 42.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 15.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 35-35
Southern League North Division – Second Place (tie): 7.0 Game Behind.
High A – Daytona Cubs : 0 -0
Florida State League North Division – First Place : 0.0 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 – 4
Northwest League East Division – Second Place (tie) : 1.0 Game Behind