There are a lot of 2012 Iowa Cubs playing for Chicago right now. Rizzo, Vitters, Castillo, Clevenger, Jackson, Valbuena, Cabrera, Beliveau, Maine, Raley, Corpas, Volstad, and Wood all played for Iowa at some point this season, and I may be missing one or two more. If all these Iowa guys are playing in Chicago, who is left in Iowa?

From a prospect standpoint, it is a very sparse list. Greg Rohan has emerged as a utility and bench bat prospect, and Dave Sappelt still projects as quality fourth or fifth outfielder. If we add Tony Campana, that is pretty much the list of position prospects (and one could argue that Campana does not belong on that list). There are a few minor league veteran types who could spend a few seasons as a useful bench player for a major league team, but the trio of Rohan, Sappelt, and Campana are best of the very sparse bunch.

The pitching situation is better, but it consists entirely of bullpen arms or potential back of the rotation starters. From a major league depth perspective those guys are very useful to have in the high minors, but they are not the sorts of players a team can build a future around.

Fortunately, it only gets better from there. The next few waves of talent are both deeper and better, and that trend will continue for the next several seasons.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Iowa Cubs may be thinned out, but they still won Tuesday’s game 7-4.
Tennessee – The pitching just didn’t have it in this game. The Smokies lost 10-4.
Daytona – Daytona scored four times in the bottom of the seventh to put away a 6-1 win.
Peoria – Peoria never put together a big innings, but they won anyway, 5-3.
Boise – Boise committed two errors on their way to this 6-3 loss.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs scored early and put away the Angels 6-1.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Ty’relle Harris is still fairly new to the starter’s role, but he pitched a pretty good game for Iowa on Tuesday. The righthander lasted six innings and struck out five while giving up two runs on six hits. I’ll take that from a starter who was working out of the Tennessee bullpen just a few months ago.
  • [Iowa] Dave Sappelt picked up two more hits and raised his second half average to .286.
  • [Iowa] James Adduci is one of those minor league veterans I mentioned in the intro, but he is playing like he’s Anthony Rizzo. He was 1 for 3 with a double and three RBI in this game, and through 24 games in Iowa he is hitting .353/.421/.518.
  • [Tennessee] Three of the Smokies nine hits were triples. Matthew Szczur, Matthew Cerda, and Logan Watkins did the honors.
  • [Tennessee] From Jacob Bringham giving up six hits in the first inning to Zach Rosscup walking five batters in 2.2. innings of relief, the Smokies simply did not enjoy a good day of pitching. Kevin Rhoderick, Brian Schlitter, and Dustin Harrington pitched the only scoreless innings, and Harrington is an infielder.
  • [Daytona] Austin Kirk pitched into the sixth inning and allowed just the one run on four hits. Jeffrey Lorick and A.J. Morris finished off the game.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli reached three times on two singles and a walk, and he stole three more bases. His season stolen base total is now 47.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez picked up his first High-A hit in this game. He finished 2 for 4 with a double.
  • [Peoria] Starling Peralta pitched one of the best games we have seen from anyone in the farm system this season. He struck out 14 and allowed just one run on two hits over seven innings.
  • [Peoria] Zeke DeVoss was 4 for 4 with a triple and two doubles in this game. He also stole his 31st base.
  • [Peoria] Additional Chiefs’ steals were brought to you by SS Timothy Saunders (2) and Oliver Zapata.
  • [Boise] James Pugliese, Michael Heesch, and Su-Min Jung combined to strike out 12 batters. Unfortunately, they also combined to allow 16 hits.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya enjoyed a 2 for 5 day that featured his tenth triple. To put that total in perspective, Jeimer Candelario has also been playing well for Boise this season, and he hit his ninth double in this game.
  • [Boise] Daniel Vogelbach contributed his third Boise home run to the cause. He also walked in three at bats.
  • [Arizona] Ryan McNeil gave up just one hit and struck out four in his 2.1 inning start. He also walked three batters.
  • [Arizona] Anthony Preito pitched two more scoreless innings. He has now pitched nine innings in the Rookie League, and his ERA remains at 0.00.
  • [Arizona] Albert Almora and Jorge Soler each had two stolen bases in this game. Almora now has four on the season, and Soler has eight.

Other Minor League Notes

  • With yesterday’s loss, the Tennessee Smokies fell six games out of first place. They are now in last place, and their playoffs chances are all but dead. Regardless, I am still looking forward to being there on August 23 and 24.
  • Master Dan

    I’m curious, what’s the timetable for Almora, Soler, and Baez to reach the big leagues? I know it’s almost near impossible to tell but I’m just curious about your opinion.

    • Brett

      I wouldn’t look for any of them before 2015 – you’re setting yourself up for disappointment otherwise. It’s conceivable that each could see some time in the bigs in the second half of 2014 (Soler probably has a teeny, tiny outside shot of getting here sooner), but obviously they would still be on the young side of things. Seeing them at all – even in September – next year would be a shock.

      • Jacob

        What levels do you think Soler/Almora/Baez will start at next year, Brett?

        • Drew7


          • Drew7


            • Jonski

              I hope your right…man that would be awesome and I would also like to see what the 3rd base/2nd base propsect that we got from Rangers can do at a higher level.

            • Jacob

              I hear some people say that they think Soler is on the fast track.. I hope that’s true. It’d be nice to get him up ASAP, and not hurt his development.

              • Jonski

                I really think we might have got 2 from the Rangers in the Dempster trade that could move fast along with the 2nd base prospect we got from Reds in Marshall trade ,but Theo is all about a certain amount of at bats at each level so we will see. I see they had Hendricks throw a inning not sure if that was work in between a start or what.

          • Brett

            A+/A/A+. Just being conservative. Each could be quickly promoted from there, though.

        • Luke

          Soler and Baez will like be in Daytona. Almora is tougher. He is said to be much more polished than the typical high school draftee, but I still think he’ll start in Peoria.

          Soler and Almora may get a late start after spending extra time in extended spring training.

          • Jacob

            Thanks for the info! I appreciate it.

  • Jonski

    I still think that Baez will be a trade chip as for the 2 outfielders I could see late 2014 for cup of coffee and a chance to be starters in 2015!

    • Andy

      What makes you think Baez will be a trade chip? If anyone, this makes Castro a trade chip and not Baez.

      • Jonski

        I don’t have inside info that is just my gut feeling …we will keep some and trade some.I guess that’s just me hoping Castro and Vitters both pan out .

        • hansman1982

          Castro has panned out – now its just a matter if he can reach his ceiling or not.

  • Jackalope

    Wow, I wondered if it was a typo when I saw Peralta’s 14 Ks in the box score last night. Where did that come from?

  • BD

    Apart from the numbers simply sounding good, are there any reports on how Almora/Soler look as base stealers? I guess I mean- are they just taking bags because they’re more talented than everybody else, or are they both good at it?

    • Luke

      At that level, good stolen base success rates are as much or more about reading the pitching, stealing intelligently, and getting good jumps as about speed. The really fast guys who relied on their speed as amateurs to tend to start being consistently cut down at second for the first time in their lives.

  • dreese

    Ok so was Starling Peralta’s outing a fluck or sign that he has turned a corner? I didnt think we had a pitcher who had 1 or 2 starter potential in the system besides in Bosie and Arizona.

    • Luke

      For now I think we should continue to assume that Peralta is a potential No 3/4 starter. He may pitch his way into a higher classification, but I’m not going to go there after one game.

      • hansman1982

        For any confirmation on why you shouldn’t read anything into just one start see Gallaraga (sp?) and Humber.

  • dreese

    Very true.
    Thanks Luke

  • BRFScout2244

    Commenting here since player was a Cubs draftee. Was in WashPA a few days ago and saw former RF Klafczynski pitching. Know he had a great hitting career in high school and Kent State, never pitched in college. Here is what I saw, and what other scouts are saying.

    “took his electric 70+ arm to the mound, 2sFB with nice run/sink 90-92mph, 4sFB works at 92-94, hit 96 and many 95’s, developing changeup, good, sharp 12-6 curveball and a cutter/min-slider mid upper 80s. Fastball has late life and delivery smooth using average effort, more in the tank if needed”

    In the 3 innings I saw, no hits, 7 K’s, a failed bunt attempt and a dink out.

    Looking at the website, he threw another 3 scoreless/hitless yesterday and now has 10 consecutive no-hit innings going.

    I find it interesting that from what I know, the Cubs knew of the electric arm, and after being released after only 1/2 season Boise/Peoria in 2011, Epstein tossed the kid to the scrapheap in Mesa ignoring these talents, Makes one wonder why Epstein was so quick to cut when there was huge pedigree, a solid track record as a position player and great athlete before entering the Cubs Org.

    I called a few other scouts from the MW area, and they said great kid, great makeup, great leader, outworks everyone, and it is baffling. Talking to a few current Cubs farmhands recently, they said the kid was outhitting pretty much everyone back in Mesa which makes it even more odd.

    The buzz is that he will be signed after the season and continue to develop as a pitcher.

    • Jonski

      That would be cool if he comes back to Cubs…I was shocked that he was released.

    • Drew7

      Here we ago again…

      • Luke

        Klafzynski is far better in the imagination than he has ever been on the field.

        He was not out hitting everyone in Mesa. If he had been, another team would have signed him. Even if you think Epstein does not recognize talent, you cannot serious argue that no major league team that trains in Arizona is capable of recognizing talent. The simple fact is that Klafzynski’s bat was not good enough to make him worth signing by anyone, even the White Sox who had the most talent starved system in baseball (and one of the worst we’ve seen in decades).

        I sincerely doubt his arm is 70+, but he does have a good one. And if he continues to have success pitching in the Frontier League (I think that’s where he landed), he should at least have the chance to work out for some scouts next spring. We’ll see what happens from there.

        • hansman1982

          wait, so Kerpflunkel is not only the most amazing bat scouts have seen but also is the most amazing arm scouts have seen?

          Also, the language from the scouts is interesting:

          “…great kid, great makeup, great leader, outworks everyone…”

          So basically absolutely nothing about great TALENT, ABILITIES…

          • Jonski

            Well I fell for that shit hook ,line and sinker ,but I know very little about the guy other then he was a rf prospect drafted by Hendry and Wilkens.

        • Beer Baron

          I predict he gets signed by the New York Knights and single handedly leads them to a miraculous penant, winning over his stodgy old manager who at first thinks he is a washed up prospect only to later discover that he is the greatest baseball player he’s ever seen, all the while fighting against the unscrupulous owners who are trying to derail his success thanks to their shady business practices. I also think he’ll reunite with his long lost highschool sweetheart, only to learn that he knocked her up many years ago and has a son that he never knew about.

          • AB

            post of the year!!

    • Kyle

      Missed you, Ben’s mom. Don’t be a stranger!

    • TWC

      So in the last 48 hours: die hard has made a noisy return, Better News found a way around his ban, and Ben Klafczynski’s aunt is back with her windmill-tilting nonsense.

      Mid-August doldrums? Or something in the water?

  • Fastball

    I think there are some Cubs hitters who have heard too much preaching and have way too many swing thoughts going on in their minds. Right now they are just AFU’d from the moment the pitcher starts his wind up. You can almost see it everytime Castro gets up to bat. I think too much information and too many suggestions have completely hosed him up. I think the same thing happened to LaHair. It’s about the same as having to many things going on with a golf swing. Once you start thinking about what your doing it’s all down hill.

  • Jonski

    Luke I have been meaning to ask …What is Loosen’s projections back of the rotation or is his upside higher then that???

    • Luke

      I’ve got him as a No 3/4 guy right now.

      • Ced landrum

        Callus likes him better as a middle reliever

        • Jackalope

          Callis’ thoughts on Loosen at the bottom of this BA chat:

          • hogie

            At the end Callis mentions Zych, he was a college reliever with lots of polish and late inning potential if I remember right. He was good in Daytona, but has struggled in Tennesee. He is still stiking out a ton, but his H/9 are high. Anyone know if this is the result of one bad game or something to be concerned with?

  • cubchymyst

    Luke, what is the likely hood Szczur gets moved up to AAA to take Jacksons spot, or some other promotions happening soon to restock the AAA team with some prospects. That would also allow for some of the lower levels promotions as well.

    • Ced landrum


    • cubchymyst

      Okay, Szczur wasn’t the best example (forgot he was recently promoted to AA so there is basically 0 chance of another at the moment) but what about Watkins he has over 100 games at AA and has been doing well lately.

      • mak

        I don’t think you are going to see many, if any, promotions to AAA. They are further back from the Cubs, and there is less than a month to go. Maybe an injury forces an org. guy up, but I don’t see it until next year.

        • mak

          edit: they are further out of the AAA playoffs than the Cubs are from the MLB playoffs.

          • cubchymyst

            sounds logical, thanks for the reply

  • MightyBear

    This is for Brett/Luke

    Any word on the kid from the Dominican Republic we signed? (Can’t remember his name)The one that had problems signing in the past? Has he reported? If he does, where will he go? Thanks. Any info is appreciated.

    • Kyle

      Juan Carlos Paniagua? He is in Mesa last I heard. Throwing, but not officially during games.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Most disappointing player in the minors is Paul Hoilman. He had around a 30 game hitting streak earlier this year and his average is down to .237.

  • North Side Irish

    BA posted their list of Best Tools today in each league and at each level (AAA down to A) in 21 different categories. The Cubs were better represented than they were on the Major League list, though mostly in the lower levels. Also encouraging, is that Hendricks and Villanueva both made the list for the Carolina League.

    AAA – I.L. Best Hitting Prospect: Anthony Rizzo
    AA – None
    Hi A – FSL Fastest Base Runner: Matt Szczur
    Hi A – FSL Best Infield Arm: Arismendy Alcantara
    Hi A – Car. Best Changeup: Kyle Hendricks
    Hi A – Car. Best Control: Kyle Hendricks
    Hi A – Car. Best Defensive 3B: Christian Villanueva
    Lo A – MWL Most Exciting Player: Javier Baez

    I like that last one a lot…

    • gocatsgo2003

      Also nice little validation of a decent return for Dempster after that whole saga.

      • scorecardpaul

        why do we have to keep bringing up that guys name. let us try to forget about him PLEASE

        • Flashfire

          Should we talk about Delgado, instead?