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A large part of the fun of a minor league game is watching all the strange promotions that take place on and off the field between innings. The Boise Hawks have taken that off-the-wall spirit to a whole new level with their latest promotional video. If you ever wanted dating advice minor league style, you are in for a treat. This (short) video is well worth watching.

So, ladies, consider yourselves warned. If a Hawks’ fan wants to take you to a ballgame, you may find yourself being leered at by a creepy guy while a dude in a giant bird costume tries to play the violin at you. Or something like that.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa needed just four hits to beat Round Rock 4-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies made the drive to Jacksonville yesterday. They open a five game set against the Suns this evening.
Daytona – Somehow the Cubs won this game 3-2 despite being out hit by eight.
Peoria – Peoria will resume their season on Friday.
Boise – The Hawks lost their home opener by a score of 7-4.
Arizona – The Cubs rallied late to win their opener 3-1.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Brooks Raley enjoyed one of his best games as a professional pitcher. He lasted seven innings (100 pitches) and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out seven.
  • [Iowa] Ty Wrightscored twice on a walk and a solo home run (his fifth).
  • [Daytona] P.J. Francescon struck out five in six innings, but he also gave up nine hits and two walks. Remarkably, despite all those base runners, he allowed just two runs (one earned).
  • [Daytona] The Cubs only had four hits in this game, but Rubi Silva had the one people will remember. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game, he hit his third home run of the season.
  • [Daytona] The battle of the stolen bases continues. John Andreoli and Arismendy Alcantara both had a steal in this game; for the season, Andreoli leads Alcantara 22-21.
  • [Boise] Jeimer Candelario hit his first home run of the season as part of a two 2 for 4 night. Among Boise players who have appeared in more than one game, the young, switch-hitting third baseman leads the team in both batting average and slugging percentage. It is very early, but he is off to a solid start.
  • [Boise] Shawon Dunston hit his first double in this game. Gioskar Amaya collected his second triple of the young season.
  • [Arizona] Four Cubs’ pitchers combined to strike out 16 batters in this game, led by Zach Cates and David Henrie with five Ks each.
  • [Arizona] Zach Rosscup, the forgotten man in the Garza trade, began his road back from surgery by striking out four of the five batters he faced.
  • [Arizona] 2B Gregori Gonzalez led the team with two singles and a stolen base. 3B Daniel Lockhart‘s double was the team’s only extra base hit.

Other Minor League Notes

  • The Daytona Cubs website is now once again reporting the season standings instead of the second half standings. For the time being, I’ll just relay what the website tells me rather than try to keep track of the entire league’s second half standings on my own. If last season is any indication, they’ll change the site to second half standings for good eventually. This may be a problem with other teams moving forward as well.
  • The official roster for the AZL Cubs has been released, and it is a long one. For example, I count 23 pitchers, including a few 2012 draft picks such as Anthony Prieto and Pierce Johnson. Dillon Maples in on the list, as are some guys coming off injuries such as Austin Urban and Zach Rosscup. You’ll also see Dan Vogelbach, who didn’t impress quite enough in extended Spring Training to earn a spot at Boise.
  • There are only two real surprises on the Arizona roster. First, Trevor Gretzky is once again listed as a first baseman. To recap, Gretzky was drafted as first baseman, moved to third base, moved to the outfield, and now has apparently been returned to first (I suspect he will still get plenty of playing time in the outfield). Second, Neftali Rosario returns to the Rookie League for a second season. The young catcher posted an OPS of .842 in the league last year, and I fully expected him to be moved up to Boise this season. It could be he is recovering from an injury himself, and if that is the case I think we’ll see Rosario playing further up the farm system by the end of the season.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 31 – 42.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 14.5 Games Behind.

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

High ADaytona Cubs : 30 -38

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

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 1 – 5
Northwest League East Division – Second Place (tie) : 1.5 Game Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 1 – 0
Arizona Rookie League – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Ahead

  • Idaho Razorback

    To any cougars in the Pacific Northwest: I have a free ticket to the Boise at Spokane game next Monday nite, June, 25. The ticket is right behind homeplate.

  • Master Gonzo

    I’m headed to the Iowa Cubs/Round Rock game tonight and pretty pumped to see Rizzo/BJax and a few other soon-to-be Cubbies. They wouldn’t sit Rizzo to avoid injury this close to a call-up, would they?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not likely.  I think he’ll play.

      • Master Gonzo

        Thanks Luke! Your farm system reporting is superb and has helped expand my strategic understanding of the biz. Thanks again for your hard work.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    Thanks, Luke, Now I’ll have Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in my head all morning.

  • Steve

    Its painfully obvious our minor leagues are pitiful.
    Someone, tell me, other than Rizzo, why I should have ANY positive feelings about the farm?

    • Carew

      Soler, Rusin, Beliveau, Baez, Lake, Concepcion, etc. Its actually a solid list of players. Also the FO are trying like hell to boost the system so youll be seeing a lot of good additions i think

    • djriz

      Actually, bunches of talent, except pitching.

      Vitters-solid year at 22 yrs old @AAA
      Jackson-problem with k’s, but still projects to be 20-20 with good D.
      W. Castillo-solid catcher
      Junior Lake-nice start @AA. Plate discipline has improved (so far).
      Alcantara-couldn’t catch a cold (26 errors) but hitting great at High A @20 yrs old.
      Sczcur- injured, but was turning on the bat in last month. Great D, 19 SB.
      Torreyes- Terrible start to High A, but has hit .326 in June. 3rd youngest player in High A.
      Baez-very nice start to full season career. Only 19 (probably top 30-40 prospect in baseball)
      Geiger-very nice start to full season career. small sample size. only 20 yrs old.
      Candelerio-18 yr old with 1st exposure to the States. Hit well in ExST, and good start in Boise.
      (there are other prospects showing promise, and are still young for their leagues, but probably not considered ‘top 10′ types.)

      These are 10 top prospects. All of which are performing pretty well. Yes, history says only a few will make it, but in recent memory, probably the best group of hitting prospects over the last 15-20 years. IMO.

      Add Soler and Almora, and you have 2 more premium prospects.

      Pitching? Well, our pitching is like Fiber. It makes me SAD.
      (that may be a bit harsh. we have some arms who could play at the ML level, just no star potential. we need some of the 2012 draftees to shine. that could happen.)

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Upper levels? Not much to be excited about. Junior Lake in AA is progressing and probably has the highest ceiling of AA and AAA guys. Vitters isn’t going to be a stud, but he has a chance to be an everyday guy.

      Rusin? Meh
      Concepcion? LOL
      Beliveau? relief pitcher, who gets excited about relief pitchers?

      The lower levels are the most exciting, but that’s because they haven’t seen good pitching to weed them out.

      • Jp

        I’m actually starting to feel a little better about Vitters as an everyday player. I agree Norm that he may not be a stud but if you look at his stats he always as struggled with a promotion for about a season but part of that could be due to freak injuries he kept suffering. Also he hasnt struggled this year in his first full season of AAA ball and each month all his stats have improved. I think he’s figuring it out. Lol to whomever mentions his defense first because if you can hit big league pitching they’ll find a place for you to play (see Soriano and his 84 yr old knees).

    • Jack Weiland

      I wouldn’t say pitiful. A top 5 of Rizzo, Baez, Soler, Jackson and Almora (assuming he signs) along a young franchise shortstop already on the ML team is not bad. I think you’d be hard pressed to find 10 franchises with a better top 5 than that*.

      Before the season started the consensus seemed to be that the Cubs system was about the 20th best in the league, not horrible but not great, and the system has gotten considerably better since then with Rizzo’s great start, signing Soler, drafting Almora, seeing real game data on Baez, etc. Things on the farm are unquestionably better than they were a few months ago, but keep in mind … it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Retooling your player development system isn’t something that happens over night. The FO has to chip away at it, and I think they’re doing a really fine job of it so far.

      *Totally picking this number off the top of my head without thinking about it.

  • Spriggs

    Luke, how did the Cubs acquire Henrie? He’s a big kid with a nice arm! I can guarantee you that he weighs a lot more than 190 too.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Non-drafted free agent out of a junior college last season.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      whtas his full name?

  • Kyle

    Three more Ks for Jackson last night. This is becoming depressingly fascinating. He’s somehow getting worse.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Maybe a Ritalin prescription will help him out…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I suspect he’s pressing at this point.

      He might benefit from a trip to the DL with a partially stubbed toe; give him a mental break, maybe a quick rehab assignment with the hitting coaches in Arizona, and then turn him lose again.

  • AB

    Nice pro debut for Chris Archer for Tampa Bay tonight.

  • Kevin

    Concepcion is not really working out. Maybe the Cuban connection is overrated, maybe not enough time to scout them properly.

    • Jack Weiland

      Or maybe that’s one dude and we shouldn’t judge all Cuban players as one.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      It’s much too early to be giving up on Concepcion.  He’s had some really bad games (June 11, May 26, April 30, for example), but he’s had some good ones also (June 6, May 15, May 31).

      I’d like to see him string four or five good starts together.  I’d also like to see a break down of his pitch ratios in each of those starts.

      • Kyle

        His “good” ones haven’t been all that good, really. Even in his good ones, he walks too many, barely strikes out enough, and relies on a lot of BABIP outs.

        Too early to give up on him, definitely. But not too early to be pretty darn pessimistic. And I, as always, am there to answer that call :)

    • Njriv

      This is his first year playing American ball and he’s really young, give him time. He’s no more than a 4/5th starter anyway, who knows he could probably end up in the bullpen.

  • http://Bill Bill

    AZ Phil said today that Ben Wells had TJ surgery. Bummer.. I had him as a break out candidate this year.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      WHAT?!?
      that’s a pretty big blow. I think he would have been top 10 after the year

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      NO!

      • JulioZuleta

        Uhhh, I posted that in the comments about 10 days ago. Get with it.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I mandatorily skip all of your comments.

          (I knew he’d been out with an arm injury, but I didn’t know it had come to this… I must’ve missed your comment.)

          • JulioZuleta

            To be fair I think I posted at like 2 in the morning.

            • Chris

              That sucks. I was at the game in Kane County that he came out of. They didn’t make much fanfare about it, but he left abruptly. What a shame. At least he’s young and will have some time to come back from it. This is why you have to stack your organization with quality pitchers.

    • Jack Weiland

      Ugh. Really like that kid.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      TJ Surgery has a very good recovery rate these days.  I don’t think we need to assume we’ve seen the last of Ben Wells by any stretch.  It will slow him down by a year or two, but there is no reason to think this automatically wrecks his long term potential.

      • Jack Weiland

        No, I know, but it’s a setback. And I thought he was going to be a big pop up guy this year. Just disappointing.

  • North Side Irish

    Jae-Hoon Ha (AA – OF) named to World Team for the Futures Game…

    BA’s Comments: “Ha was a catcher when the Cubs signed him, but he has developed into one of the best defensive outfielders in the system. Ha still has to learn to walk a little more as he doesn’t have enough power to profile as a slugging outfielder.”

    • North Side Irish

      Only Cubs prospect on either team…which shows the state of the system. Players like Rizzo, Jackson and Vitters are too advanced for the game, and Baez and Candelario aren’t ready yet. Cubs really don’t have much high level talent in the middle levels.

      The U.S. team is pretty stacked, so there weren’t a lot of spots available anyway.

      • cubs217

        I’m a little surprised Lake did not make the game. He is playing well at AA and is an exciting player, seems like a perfect fir I would think

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, NSI.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    Why is Zachary fates in arizona

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Because he was really struggling to start the year in High A.

  • Steve

    After all this…again, this system is almost completely void of talent.

    • Jack Weiland

      False.

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