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

AAAIowa Cubs : 30 – 42.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 15.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 35-35
Southern League North Division – Second Place (tie): 7.0 Game Behind.

High ADaytona Cubs : 0 -0
Florida State League North Division – First Place : 0.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 35 – 34
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place (tie) : 9.0 Games Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 1 – 4
Northwest League East Division – Second Place (tie) : 1.0 Game Behind

  • EB

    Does Batista have a legit chance as the cubs future closer? Guy has been money pretty much the whole year

    • Luke

      He doesn’t have the raw stuff that most teams like to see in a closer, but he does seem to have a knack for getting guys out.  When get gets to the majors, I think he has a very good chance to be a successful middle reliever, and I would not be at all surprised if he one day pitched his way into a chance to close.

  • hansman1982

    It really does seem that as bad as last season was for our prospects – this season is as good. Save the pitching, we just don’t have good pitching.

    • Jack Weiland

      Which is exactly why the Cubs speculated on, like, five thousand high upside arms in the draft.

      Totally agree with you. This time last year the Cubs’ best prospect was probably Brett Jackson. Now he’s 5th by most accounts. Progress is being made.

  • ETS

    I saw alfredo throw some relief innings this year. Pretty good stuff.

  • Cubbie Blues

    What about Cardenas? He’s already on the 25 man (and not getting playing time). Is he just that bad but they don’t want to make the roster move to send him back down?

  • farmerjon

    Are there any other “position change” candidates for the move to pitcher? Ie, rocket for an arm, no bat, looking to keep the dream alive, kind of guys? It’s an out there thought,, just wondering.

    • Luke

      Junior Lake was thought to be on the border of that category, but by no rational measure can anyone argue his bat is not working right now.

  • JoeyCollins

    Whats the word on Matt Sczur? i know they finally announced he was on the DL but i never heard what the injury was or any expected return times?

    • Luke

      He is off the DL, I believe, and the injury was not thought to be severe.  However, the last game in which he played took place on May 31.

  • Jack Weiland

    Small request: even if he doesn’t play, can you just toss Javier Baez in there? Even if you have to make it up? Like, “Today Javier Baez chilled by the wading pool in his front yard.” Or “Sources indiciate Javier Baez is still totally sweet.”


  • LWeb23

    Isn’t the MiLB Home Run Derby a different format, something to do with innings? Otherwise a normal HRD resulting in a 2-1 victory would be a pretty awful result.

    • Brandon

      Round 1 was 8 outs……top 2 hitters advanced. (Bour and Dunigan tied with 4 HR’s each)

      Round 2 (championship round) was 4 outs……but Bour and Dunigan tied with only 1 HR in round 2.

      Round 3 was 3 outs……Bour went 1st and hit 0. Dunigan got 1.

      Game. Set. Match.

  • Brandon

    A quick note on yesterday’s Southern League All Star game and homerun derby…..I was there…It was HOT but it was pretty damn fun too.

    First of all, I’m pretty proud of Justin Bour….he showed some pop with 4 hr’s in the 1st round, then another in the championship round…..Looking forward to seeing some of these blasts during the 2nd half. But…make no mistake…Joe Dunigan of the Jackson Generals is a BEAST. He hit some moonballs that were well out of the stadium and into the shrubbery behind the secondary fence. A real pleasure to see some of these dingers.

    I actually was able to catch a homerun from Hunstville Stars All Star 1st Baseman Hunter Morris….sorry..just had to share (woohoo)

    BP was fun, and so was the derby. The game was a little boring though….too many errors and just seemed to be a little lack-luster to me. But overall, I believe the Tennessee Smokies staff put on a great show. Happy to see that our representatives all did well in the game.

    Did I mention I caught a HR ball in the derby?? WOOHOO!!

    Oh…..regarding Rebel to AAA if Rizzo gets called up…..I think it may happen….but make no mistake…..Rebel’s numbers this season do not necessarily warrant the promotion but I have seen Rebel carry a club with his bat….and with the warm weather here I can easily see him going on a tear. I wish it was for AA Tennessee, but I’d be happy for him getting the call to AAA. I believe Jim Adduci is ready to go to AAA as well. He has done everything you can do at AA and is 27 yrs old…..time for him to go to Iowa and keep progressing.


    • Luke

      Congrats on the home run ball.

      James Adduci was in Iowa in for 114 games in 2010, but he did not to much while there.  I’d like to see him get one more shot at Triple A to see if he can elevate his status from minor league veteran to AAAA guy, but I really don’t see him moving any higher than that at this stage.

      • Brandon

        I fear you may be right. Jim is married with children, and is by all accounts a swell guy. He plays the game right, and has everything you look for in a player. But…..he does not have eye popping characteristics in any particular area…..make no mistake; I am a Jim Adduci fan. Let’s see what another stint in AAA looks like for Jim. I think he is ready to move on from AA.

    • Brandon

      Update: Rebel Ridling and Brian Schlitter have been reassigned from AA Tennessee to High A Daytona. YIKES. Did not see that coming!

      • North Side Irish

        That’s crazy…just yesterday Luke was talking about him moving up to AAA. He’s like 26 now…sounds like his career is in real trouble.

      • Brett

        Wow. I think maybe we’re seeing a shift in organizational philosophy happening.

  • Matty Ice

    You forgot to add Alcantara’s 25 errors. I don’t care how well you’re hitting that is horrible. I’m sure you’ll tell me he’s young and learning, but he’s hasn’t been steadily improving his defense. He’s got a .927 fielding percentage at 2b(his major league position) in his career, that’s ridiculous. He better put up Cano or Uggla numbers to justify that.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Fielding conditions in the low minors are horrible, so errors border on meaningless.  The only important issue is what Alcantara’s range is like.  Indeed, the high errors are evidence of high range: so, if anything, errors are on the wrong side of the meaningless border for your conclusion!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Javier Baez was seen at lake Havasu, AZ with a pontoon boat full of topless blondes partying like a rock star. what else do yo do in AZ in the afternoon when baseball practice is over with for the day.