Dustin Geiger (Photo by Paul Gierhart/MiLB.com)

On Saturday, Peoria Chiefs third baseman Dustin Geiger homered in his fourth consecutive game. He has five homers over that stretch and eight in just 25 games this season. That would put him on pace for 45 home runs over a full 140 game minor league season. That’s not only impressive, it’s positively Rizzo-like. Even though this is Geiger’s third season as a professional, he won’t turn 21 until December. In other words, he’s producing at a high level while still the right age for his league. [Brett: Geiger is also something of a Twitter star.]

And that raises an interesting situation. If we add Geiger’s name to the Cubs’ list of third base prospects, it becomes very apparent that this is an area of extreme depth for the farm system. And what do good farm systems do when they have a lot of depth at one position? They deal that depth for something else they need. And the Cubs certainly have a lot of needs.

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the Cubs will be dealing one of their many third base prospects in July or over the winter, and the one I think is the most likely to go is Junior Lake. Lake has a fantastic ceiling, has made major strides in the last nine months, could possibly stick at shortstop for some teams, and is having success in Double A. But despite all that, there are still serious questions about his ability to play, and especially to hit, at a high level. Dealing Lake now would be a classic case of selling high, and that is something teams rarely regret doing.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa took the lead with a two run eighth and held on for the 5-4 win.
Tennessee – The bullpen gave up three in the ninth, dooming the Smokies to a 6-3 loss.
Daytona – The Cubs rallied in the ninth but were unable to salvage the game. They lost 6-5.
Peoria – The Chiefs used three home runs to power their way to a 5-3 win.
Boise – The Hawks won a shutout, 4-0.
Arizona – The Cubs won an 11-1 blowout.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] It was Chris Rusin‘s day to start, but he was scratched late. Esmailin Caridad took his place and tossed three decent innings.
  • [Iowa] Dave Sappelt is starting to heat up in Iowa. He had another two hits in this game, and raised his season average to an even .250.
  • [Iowa] James Adduci has been called up to Iowa. He got off to a great start with a 2 for 4 game.
  • [Tennessee] Logan Watkins reached three times on a double, a single, and a walk. Junior Lake also had two hits.
  • [Daytona] Arismendy Alcantara and Taylor Davis both went long for the Cubs. It was Davis’s first home run this year. For Alcantara, it was his seventh.
  • [Daytona] With two more hits in this game, Rubi Silva raised his July average to .481 and his season average to .302.
  • [Peoria] Jose Rosario, Hunter Cervenka, and Yao-Lin Wang combined to strike out ten in this game.
  • [Peoria] In addition to Geiger, Javier Baez and Yasiel Balguert also hit home runs. Baez’s long ball, his fifth, came as part of a three hit game in which he also stole his 13th base of the season. Balaguert’s homer was his first.
  • [Boise] Tayler Scott pitched six innings over which he scattered three hits and a walk and struck out four. His season ERA dropped to 1.61.
  • [Boise] Jeimer Candelario had another three hit game that included another double. Gioskar Amaya finished with a double, a single, and his fourth stolen base.
  • [Boise] Six of Boise’s twelve total hits were doubles.
  • [Arizona] Hunter Ackerman started the game with three no hit innings. He walked one and struck out four.
  • [Arizona] Arturo Maltos-Garcia, Loiger Padron, and Jin-Young Kim were all almost as effective in relief. Padron struck out three and walked two in his two innings of work. Maltos-Garcia and Kim each allowed one run on one hit in their two innings.
  • [Arizona] Timothy Saunders finished 3 for 4 with his second home run of the year. Through twelve games he is hitting a ridiculous .531/.556/.735.
  • [Arizona] Rafael Lopez also had three hits, including both a double and a triple.

Other Minor League Notes

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 37 – 53.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 19.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 7-10
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 4.0 Game Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 8-9
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 2.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 6-10
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fifth Place : 4.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 8 – 15
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 5.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 11 – 4
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 0.5 Game Behind

  • Mrp

    I know it’s still early, but I’m getting pretty stoked about Jeimer. I knew he was a solid prospect, but he is looking more like a top 5 guy every day.

  • Bricklayer

    If he keeps up this power surge, you may have to start calling him “HR Gieger”.
    Get it? Huh huh?
    I own that.

    • Jackalope

      And you might need a Gieger counter to keep track of all those long balls.

  • Jackalope

    Alcantara is continuing to flash some power. He now has a .150 ISO on the season and nearly a .800 OPS. Not too shabby for a 20 yr old shortstop at A+. Any reports on his defense? He could definitely stand to improve his plate discipline, but is starting to look like a legitimate prospect.

    • djriz

      Well, about that defense, how about >30 errors so far. Even if his range is big, that’s a lot.

      • Jackalope

        I guess for a player so young, I’m not really concerned about error totals. Lot’s of quality defensive infielders make tons of errors in A ball. Granted, it’s a lot, but wondering, like you mentioned if he has the tools like range to make it work if he can get the errors under control.

        • dabynsky

          The reports I have read suggests he has the tools to stick at SS, but I have yet to see him play since he is at Daytona (MiLB.tv blackout of FSL exists right now). Seemed like most had him pegged as a utility player, but his stock is definitely rising with this year.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        As far as I can gather, most of his errors are coming from his throws and the result more of mechanical issues than anything else. That’s not to say all will be well in that department, but it does appear to be a known and correctable problem.

        • Jackalope

          Good to hear.

      • AB

        Somehow Geiger already has 11 errors

  • Corey

    I had the pleasure of watching Iowa’s victory last night for my first ever attendance of a minor league game.

    Vitters had an error last night, but it certainly wasn’t anything to worry about. The ball came off the bat of a speedy Chris Getz in between 3rd and short. Vitters made a nice play on it, then spun around and just bounced the throw past Lalli. I do believe he would have been out had the throw been clean or picked.

    This is more of a coaching issue though than a lack of any talent or skill, as there was no real need for the spin. A quick set of the feet would have given him enough time to fire over to 1st.

    There was a very comical (but really, just sad) appeal attempt that involved Caridad and Vitters on an Omaha sac fly. I’m hoping another BNer was at this game and can remember and report all of the minor details of this play.

    • ottoCub

      I was at the Iowa game last night too. The appeal play was funny: there were runners on second and third with 1 out. A fly was hit to the outfield, and the outfielder made a diving catch (from my vantage point it looked like a trap, not a catch, but the ump called it a clean catch). The runners on second and third tagged up and advanced after the catch. The Cubs tried to appeal both at third and second, but didn’t know how to do it. They threw to third before the pitcher toed the rubber and the ump didn’t make any call. Then the pitcher came set, stepped off and threw to third. Vitters tagged the runner there but didn’t step on third. The ump called safe. Then the pitcher again came set and threw to third. Vitters this time stepped on third, and the ump called safe. It was hilarious. Three attempts to challenge the tags. None successful.

      • ottoCub

        Any news or rumors about why Rusin was scratched from the game so late?

        • Illini Iceman

          Tight hamstring during pre-game bullpen session.

      • ottoCub

        I would add that Vitters looked shaky defensively. His footwork seems slow and awkward. He misplayed the ball, backing up on the grounder that gave him the error. And he was very slow coming in to field a bunted ball later in the game, forcing the pitcher to field the bunt and allowing the runner to beat the throw. But, he looked very solid at the plate. He’s got a strong quick aggressive swing.

      • Corey

        I’m pretty sure Amezaga and Esposito were the only ones who knew how to appeal. They were pointing and telling Caridad and Vitters what to do. Vitters tagging the runner on 3rd was just priceless.

        I thought that Adduci caught that ball, but I didn’t have a great angle. Later in the game, Tolbert had a diving catch that looked like a clear trap, but the umpire ruled it a catch. Could you be referring to that one?

  • art

    Luke, can Geiger field?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I haven’t heard about any significant problems in that department. He doesn’t have the ceiling of a Baez with the glove, but I think he’s expected to be better than Vitters.

    • Shawn

      11 errors in 25 games according to Cubs site, FWIW.

  • Mike S

    Is there a reason that Tim Saunders is not in Boise right now? I mean, .531/.556/.735?? And it’s not like they’ve only played 3 games. They have played 15 games already. Just wondering, since I was the one who predicted that he could be the “gem of the draft” in the 32nd round.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Nice to hear from you Mr. Saunders. Just kidding. I think they put him in CF lately, trying to find a spot for him so they can promote him.

      • Mike S

        Lol. Just so everyone knows, the “S” for my last name does not stand for Saunders. I played against him while he was at Marietta College and he was the best overall D3 player I’ve seen.

      • Mike S

        Just saw that he’s played 5 different positions in the last 6 games…I think you are right about the position thing.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          One thing’s for certain: he is not in Arizona because of his bat. He is very clearly not being challenged at all by AZL pitching.

          I wouldn’t be shocked if they jumped him to Peoria, once they figure out where his at bats will be coming from.

  • Stinky Pete

    Hhhhmmmmmmm……. Only 25 points between BA and OBP? Better take some walks then we’ll see about promoting him.*

    *Completely not Serious.

    • DH


  • lp

    went to the smokies game

    was hoping to see chris reed who i have a man crush on, but didn’t happen…. and i was hoping to see frank batista and tony zych but that didnt happen either.

    my impressions on juniour lake: toolsy guy, very huge, long swing, but its really quick, good composure he had one ball that went in and out of his glove but instead of rushing he just tossed it over(very good arm)… the scouting report on him ouldnt be more accurate toolsy, but rough around the edges.

    other notes: burgess is slow, bour has serious pop, watkins i could see being future backup, and i don’t know if rhee will amount to anything, but his changeup is sick!!!

    go cubs!!!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    If the Cubs were to deal Vitters or Junior Lake what kind of value would we see in return? We get prospects in return or a major leaguer? I’m thinking we would want nesar major league ready prospects instead, preferably pitching.

    • Vladimir

      Don’t take my word as gospel but I think generally guys with upside who are near ML ready and cheap the smaller market teams would target. Generally I think Theo and Jed could target guys in the 25yo range that are really good but about to get expensive for smaller market teams. Those teams will be after cheap, good, near ML ready and upside prospects like Vitters and Lake. Using guys like that is one way we can add a “core” guy to the team that is just slightly older than Rizzo and Castro, just that his paycheck will be coming sooner. Which is fine with me.

      • Turn Two

        Not sure why everyone is so quick to include guys like Vitters and Lake. This isn’t about selecting 8 starters from the minor leagues who will be your 8 guys in a few years. Its about stockpiling talent and seeing who forces their way to the major leagues. Trading 2 young guys who are working to get to the major leagues with promise would be counterproductive.

    • AB

      we’ll see lake converted to a pitcher before he’s dealt anywhere

  • T Wags

    So where has Brett Jackson been? I’m not sure but it seems like he’s missed around 3 games in a row now. Sorry if this has already been discussed and I’m just out of the loop.

  • Dylan

    Brett Jackson is out with some back spasm. Just saw it in the Des Moines Register this morning.

  • Richard Nose

    ERA’s looking good Hayden!!!……errrrrrr. you’re 23 pitching in Low A. Farm system would be in an even better place if they would’ve just drafted someone on the board with that pick.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Wasn’t Hayden Simpson taken in the draft a few picks before the White Sox took Sale ? Nice picking Wilken -and this guy still has a job with the Cubs – please.

  • Dougy D

    Went and watched Peoria play in Cedar Rapids yesterday and today. Baez has a nice looking swing. All three homers left in a hurry. Today wasn’t as fun to watch, but still a nice day at the ballpark. If any of you live in the vicinity of CR, I suggest that you catch the Chiefs (or another game) next time you are in the area. It’s a nice small ballpark, with free parking!

    • Ralph

      Yeah, Baez absolutely smoked that home run to left and Geiger’s was hit over the foul pole in left… both bombs. Great to be able to see another future Cub or 2.