Cubs’ Minor League Daily: When Santo Was A Prospect

Ron Santo goes into the Hall of Fame this weekend, an honor that is long overdue.

Before Santo was a perennial All-Star and a cultural icon in Chicago, he was a minor league third baseman playing in Texas. In 1959 Santo began his minor league career at Double A San Antonio, the Cubs’ affiliate in the Texas League. He hit .327/.390/.473 with 11 home runs, 56 walks, and 54 strike outs. He also committed 53 errors and finished with a fielding percentage of .884.

The following year he played for Triple A Houston in the American Association. He appeared in 71 games, compiled an OPS of .759, and once again finished up with more walks than strikeouts. He committed only 16 minor league errors that year, raising his fielding percentage to .932. After those 71 games he was called to Chicago, and the rest is history.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa earned their 60th loss of the season in this 16-3 beat down.
Tennessee – The Smokies game was suspended after seven innings with the score tied at 8-8. The game will be concluded prior to the start of Sunday’s finale.
Daytona – Daytona is starting to slide out of playoff contention. This 4-2 loss certainly didn’t help matters.
Peoria – Peoria led early, but it didn’t last. They went down 6-5.
Boise – Boise out hit Eugene, but they still lost 7-4.
Arizona – The Cubs game was postponed on Saturday. I’m only speculating here, but it is possible that this dust storm had something to do with the lack of a game.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Rodrigo Lopez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless baseball.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters picked up two more hits, including his 14th home run.
  • [Daytona] Kyler Burke gave up just one earned run in his six innings of work. Unfortunately, he also got tagged with two more unearned runs and was dealt his fourth High A loss.
  • [Daytona] Matthew Szczur had another three hit game. In his last ten contests he has a line of .410/.444/.538 with four walks, three strikeouts, and five stolen bases. He now has 117 games of High A experience. I think it is time to send this guy to Double A.
  • [Peoria] Bryce Shafer pitched three perfect innings of relief. He struck out five.
  • [Peoria] Javier Baez hit his tenth home run, his fifth triple, and stole his 19th base as part of his three hit night.
  • [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen also tripled (his seventh) and doubled as he finished 2 for 4. Bijan Rademacher had two hits, including a double.
  • [Boise] Su-Min Jung pitched three very good innings. He did not allow a hit and struck out five.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya hit his eighth triple as part of a two hit game. Remarkably, he has hit more triples than he has doubles and home runs put together. That’s very unusual.
  • [Boise] Jeimer Candelario has not had a hit in his past three games, but he did draw two walks in each of them. The young third baseman is in a bit of a slump, hitting just .206 over his last ten games, but in that same span his OBP is an excellent .372.

Other Minor League Notes

  • I will wait to discuss most of the happenings from the suspended Smokies’ game until the game is concluded and the box score is final. However, I do want to break from that pattern to mention that the Cubs’ Double A affiliate again clobbered Dodgers’ pitching prospect Zach Lee. He lasted just 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs (five earned). Three of Lee’s five Double A starts have come against the Smokies, and in those games he has surrendered 17 runs (12 earned) in just 11.2 innings. Keep in mind that the Smokies are by no means an offensive powerhouse. If the Cubs do manage to trade for Lee, they should strongly consider sending him back to High A. I think the Dodgers are rushing this kid unmercifully.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 41 – 60.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 19.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 12-17
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 5.5 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 12-18
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 5.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 11-17
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fifth Place : 4.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 12 – 24
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 8.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 18 – 6
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.0 Games Ahead

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation. He can be found on Twitter as ltblaize.

16 responses to “Cubs’ Minor League Daily: When Santo Was A Prospect”

  1. Spencer

    Right box score, wrong final for Peoria. 6-5 Silverhawks win. Baez was a double away from the cycle, but K’ed in his last AB in the seventh inning. It’s the third time this week he was a hit away from the cycle. In his first AB, he CRUSHED the first pitch to dead center and cleared the batter’s eye 405 feet away…it’s probably about 35-40 feet high. Impressive to see in person. I snapped some pictures from the game and they’re on my twitter if anyone wants to see them: @spncrpatterson

    1. Brett

      Thanks, Spencer for the correction (Luke probably just had 4-2 on the brain from Daytona) and the Tweets. I enjoyed them last night.

    2. Alec

      I was at the game too. Baez flashed some pretty impressive leather to go along with those hits.

  2. Clark Addison

    Looks like Hendry got it right on his final draft.

  3. Mr. Gonzo

    i’ll be doing some heel-clicks at my softball game today. You can finally RIP Ronnie, and it’s long overdue. Can someone lay a scotch, water and slice of chocolate pie on his grave today?

  4. leroy k.

    My Grandmother was a huge Ron Santo fan. She passed away a week before he got into the Hall of Fame. Even though this is Ron Santo Day in Chicago, I will be thinking of you today. RIP Marion Verdon!!! Ronnie did it!!!

  5. Zach

    What is Ben Wells on the DL for and when is Maples making his debut. They said they werent worried about his mechanics and here he is with an arm injury.

    1. djriz

      Wells had Tommy John.
      Maples was supposed to pitch mid-July. It’s now July 22. I’m guessing another ‘overslot’ player not panning out. Can’t be a top 10 prospect if you don’t pitch a year into your pro career. Guess we’ll just wait for Pierce Johnson and Duane Underwood to pitch, he says while holding his breath.
      Not sure this FO is different from FO’s of the past. (Isn’t Prior just be held out as a precaution? He’s day-to-day. Yeah.)

    2. Mak

      Believe wells had tommy john. Maple debut imminent

  6. mark

    From reports re Baez, it’s hard to believe that he has anything to learn at Peoria. I doubt that giving him a shot at Daytona would be rushing him. A challenge might be just what he needs.

    Re Szczur, I agree it’s probably time to give him a shot at AA. It’s not like he’d be taking ABs away from a bunch of all but MLB ready prospects. I understand they’re trying to develop his batting approach a bit, batting him 3rd at times, but surely that could continue at a higher level?

    1. Brett

      I wonder if the Cubs are trying to figure out how to get CF reps for all of Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and Jae Hoon-Ha if Szczur moves up. Obviously B-Jax and Szczur are the better overall prospects, but Ha is thought by some to be one of the best defensive CFers in the minors. Hard to dislodge that guy.