For the first time since June 17th, a streak of 21 consecutive games, Brett Jackson played an entire game without a strike out.
Hitting second in the order, behind Alfredo Amezaga and ahead of Adrian Cardenas, Jackson finished 2 for 5 with a double and his 22nd stolen base. And no strikeouts. It has been a month since that happened. A month. That’s incredible.
Checking his splits, his K% in July is a more reasonable (but still too high) 33.3%, well down from the horrifying 40.7% he posted in June. The sample size is less than ideal, but given that he had made comments early in the month that recognized he needed to work on his two strike approach and cut back on the strikeouts, I am willing to believe that this is a sign of progress. I still do not expect to see him in Chicago any time soon. Likewise, I still think he projects at best as a good, but not great, all around outfielder.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Despite Jackson’s historic milestone, the Cubs lost 7-2.
Tennessee – Tennessee went down quietly in a 9-2 loss.
Daytona – The Cubs cruised to a 6-1 win.
Peoria – The Chiefs had the night off.
Boise – Thanks to some great pitching, the Hawks won 5-0.
Arizona – The Cubs rallied for three in the ninth to pull out a 6-5 win.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad struck out two in two scoreless innings.
- [Iowa] Late season call up candidates Josh Vitters, Adrian Cardenas, and Dave Sappelt all had two hits in this game. Sappelt also gunned down a runner at home.
- [Iowa] With his two hits, Josh Vitters pushed his hitting streak up to 16 games.
- [Tennessee] Frank Batista pitched scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, and Tony Zych pitched a scoreless ninth.
- [Tennessee] I hope you aren’t tired of hearing about Logan Watkins. This time he finished 2 for 5 with his ninth triple. His second half OPS is currently .977. He will not turn 23 until late August.
- [Daytona] Matt Loosen pitched an excellent game (7.1 innings, 1R, 6K), but don’t take my word for it. BN’er butlerdawgs was there and wrote all about on the Message Boards.
- [Daytona] Matthew Szczur, back in the lead off spot, had another 3 hit game. Ronald Torreyes and Elieser Bonne backed him up with two hits apiece.
- [Boise] James Pugliese allowed a single hit in five innings while striking out five.
- [Boise] And when Pugliese went to the bench, the bullpen was more than able to finish off the shut out. Michael Heesch and Pete Levitt pitched two frames each.
- [Boise] Trey Martin was 3 for 3 with two walks, his third home run and his fourth stolen base.
- [Arizona] Chad Martin struck out the side in the ninth inning for his first save.
- [Arizona] Daniel Vogelbach hit his seventh home run and his second triple as part of his 2 for 5 game.
- [Arizona] Shawon Dunston, David Bote, and Carlos Penalver all reached base three times with two hits and a walk. One of Bote’s hits was his second double.
Other Minor League Notes
- Digging into Brett Jackson’s numbers a little more, it turns out that June was a wild aberration all the way around. His astronomical K% strongly suggests he was in a serious slump. The truth is, though, that he just wasn’t. He finished the month with a line of .282/.352/.545 that included six home runs. No matter how you slice it, June was a good month for the outfielder (except for the strikeouts). How did he manage to put up solid numbers despite that crushing K%? I think two numbers tell the story. First, his BABIP (Batting Average On Balls In Play) was an impressively high .463. Second, and this partially explains that unbelievable BABIP, nearly 30% of the balls he did hit were line drives. Line drives have a good chance of turning into hits, and that in turn raises numbers like BABIP and OPS. If Jackson can find a way to cut those strikeouts down to 27% or so while maintaining a high line drive rate, he is going to have a nice career.
- I think we can take Chris Volstad off the list of potential post-trade Ryan Dempster replacements, if in fact he was ever on the list. He started last night for Iowa, and it did not go well.
- There were a few interesting roster shuffles in the low minors this week. After beating up rookie league pitching for 17 games, Timothy Saunders takes his .493 batting average to Daytona. That is a huge jump that probably had something to do with Daytona’s usual SS Arismendy Alcantara going on the 7-day DL. Also moving up to Daytona will be Hunter Cervenka. Cervenka was off to a horrible start in the Boston farm system this season, but ever since he came to the Cubs he has been pitching very well. I would not get too excited until he shows he can keep that up against tougher competition, but Cervenka is a reliever worth monitoring. Finally, OF Bijan Rademacher will move from Boise to Peoria. He was one of the Cubs higher position player selections in the 2012 draft.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 40 – 57.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 18.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 12-14
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 4.5 Games Behind
High A – Daytona Cubs : 12-14
Florida State League North Division – Fifth Place : 4.5 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 10-14
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fourth Place : 4.0 Game Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 12 – 20
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 7.0 Games Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 17 – 5
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.5 Games Ahead