The US Team blew away the World Team 17-5, but I am not too interested in the final score of the Futures Game. My focus is almost entirely on Jae-Hoon Ha, the plus-plus defensive center fielder who started in the prospect showcase. Ha was definitely one of the biggest stars for the World Team, and he did the damage with his bat.

Ha finished the contest 2 for 2 with a single and a home run. That home run, a two run shot in the second inning, came off Gerrit Cole, one of the of the best pitching prospects in all the minors. Ha’s homer put the World Team up 3-0. (The single, by the way, came off the top pitching prospect in baseball, Dylan Bundy.) For the international guys, it was all downhill from there.

While Ha’s greatest value is going to continue to come from his glove, don’t assume he’ll be another Tony Campana at the plate. He has hit well off lefties in particular this season for a split line of .302/.368/.384 against LHP, and given that he is still only 21 I think he’ll add more power as he continues to progress. I still see Ha as a younger version of Reed Johnson; he’s a fantastic defensive outfielder with a enough of a bat to be valuable if used properly. His future definitely seems to be as a fourth outfielder, but within that role I think he has a bright future.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa scored in the bottom of the ninth to end the first half with a 6-5 win.
Tennessee – Tennessee scored three times in the fifth inning as they won 5-3.
Daytona – Daytona scored all their runs in the last two innings as they pulled out a 5-2 win.
Peoria – The Chiefs were shut out 3-0.
Boise – The Hawks lost a rain shortened affair 10-1.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs rallied in the ninth to tie the game, and then won it in the bottom of the eleventh 6-5.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Alberto Cabrera turned in another good performance in relief. He pitched 2.2 innings, gave up just two hits, and struck out four.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters finished off the best half season of his career with a 2 for 4 game that featured his 25th double.
  • [Iowa] With eight hits in his last three games, including three doubles, Alfredo Amezaga has suddenly gotten very hot.
  • [Tennessee] Trey McNutt picked up the win with a 72 pitch, five inning game. He did not have a great game, but he did out pitch Zach Lee.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour hit his eighth home run of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Greg Rohan keeps making it look easy. He played left field in this game and finished 2 for 4 with his fifth Double A double in just eight games.
  • [Daytona] Matthew Szczur finished 0 for 2, but he also walked three times and stole two bases (including his 28th of the season). For the season, Szczur has an OBP of .377.
  • [Peoria] Jeffry Antigua pitched three innings of no hit relief, striking out three.
  • [Peoria] Javier Baez stole his 14th base in the losing effort. Zeke DeVoss chipped in with his 15th double.
  • [Boise] Xavier Batista finished 2 for 2 with a double. Stephen Bruno reached twice on a single and walk and scored the Hawks’ lone run.
  • [Arizona] Carlos Martinez-Pumarino and Alvido Jimenez both pitched very well in relief. Both pitches tossed more than three innings of scoreless baseball, and both struck out four.
  • [Arizona] Timothy Saunders just keeps rolling. He finished this game 3 for 4 with a walk and two stolen bases. He now has five steals this season.

Other Minor League Notes

  • The Iowa Cubs head into their All-Star break on a three game winning streak that brought them to within 18 games of first place Omaha. After the break they immediately head to Omaha with a chance to make up a little more ground. The odds of them getting back in the playoff hunt are minuscule, but if they can put together a prolonged winning streak they’ll have a chance.
  • The Cubs scouts and coaches got another good look at Dodgers’ prospect Zach Lee on Sunday. He pitched against the Smokies in Tennessee and was neither particularly impressive nor particularly bad. It is still unlikely that the Cubs could land him in a Ryan Dempster trade, but I’m sure his is a name the Cubs’ are trying to keep in the conversation.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 38 – 53.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 18.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 8-10
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 3.0 Game Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 9-9
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 1.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 6-11
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place : 4.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 8 – 16
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 6.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 12 – 4
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Behind

  • Jackalope

    Alberto Cabrera = Rafael Dolis

    Both 6’4”, 210, right-handed relief pitchers who throw hard and generate tons of groundballs. Hopefully Dolis can pull it together and Cabrera can join him to form a nice duo in the pen.

    • Matt

      Alberto Cabrera has 10 walks in over 45 total innings this year. He is not Rafael Dolis, is now a far better prospect than Dolis.

  • daveyrosello

    Some scouts (I believe Goldstein is one) actually rate Ha higher than Szczur in terms of ultimate upside.

    Ugly bit in the sidebar and on Roto regarding Gerardo Concepcion, who looks like a total bust. The $6MM means nothing to the Cubs, but aren’t they wasting a 40-man spot on the guy as well? If so, how can they get him off of there? Surely they don’t NEED to keep him there for FIVE years, right?

    • ETS

      I haven’t seen Concepcion play, but my guess is it is too early to declare him a bust. And in answer to your question, no he doesn’t HAVE to be on the 40 man all 5 years, especially if he is terrible and they aren’t afraid to lose control of him.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Good god, he has played in America for a couple of months. I think it is a little early to throw that out there.

      • daveyrosello

        Um, I didn’t write this:

        >>The Cubs spent $6 million and a 40-man roster spot on 20-year-old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, but scouts who have seen him pitch in the Class A Midwest League have come away totally unimpressed. “They’re trying to tell people it’s just mechanics that he needs to get straightened out,” one scout said. “But I’m telling you, he stinks. If he was in a junior college game you were at, you’d leave.” Concepcion is 2-6 with a 7.39 ERA in 12 starts for Peoria.<<

  • Cerambam

    Any news on brett jackson/is he still injured/ is it serious?

    • Brett

      Back spasms aren’t necessarily serious (they can be), but they can keep you out for a while. I get them sometimes. Can take a week to feel better. He’s not on the DL yet, even after missing a few games, so the Cubs must not think it’s serious.

  • Carew

    damn man, i’m becoming a fan of that Timothy Saunders

    • Patrick G

      Me too, he’s been tearing it up. Hope he can continue this success at all levels

  • Cedlandrum

    Nice to see Prieto threw an inning. Should be an interesting one to follow.

  • Korean Goat

    I’m happy ha hits a home-run and a single against the highest top prospect pitchers. it was amazing hits. We in here his homeland are looking forward to seeing him at wrigley soon. Teo and Hoyer, please don’t trade him away!