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Gioskar Amaya. Idaho Press-Tribune.

The Boise Hawks have a second half record of 23 Р12. They lead their division by eight games. They are tied for the best overall record in their division. And yet they had only one player named to the Northwest League All-Star Team.

That one player is second baseman Gioskar Amaya. Amaya is third in the league (among those eligible) in OPS with an .864. He leads the league in triples by a wide margin (11 to 6), is tied for fourth in home runs with eight, and is comfortably in the top ten in OBP. With the glove he has committed just nine errors in 267 chances this season. That’s not bad for a 19 year old second baseman.

Amaya is a legitimate second base prospect who very clearly deserved to be named an All-Star. I’m not so sure he should have been the only All-Star from Boise’s roster, but there is no doubt that the selectors got this particular pick absolutely right. I think we will continue to hear much more from Amaya in the years to come.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Despite their seven hits, Iowa was shut out 3-0.
Tennessee – Today was a travel day for the Smokies.
Daytona – Daytona got to play baseball! The Cubs took the first game of the doubleheader 4-1, but they lost the second game 3-1.
Peoria – Late inning rallies made no difference in this 9-5 Peoria loss.
Boise – Boise rode a five run sixth to a 9-5 win.
Arizona – Their regular season over, the Arizona Cubs had the day off.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Diory Hernandez finished 2 for 2 with two doubles in this game. His was the only multi-hit effort for the Cubs.
  • [Iowa] Jeff Beliveau gave up just two hits and a walk in his two innings of relief. Had that one hit not left the ballpark, he would have had a pretty good night.
  • [Daytona] P.J. Francescon was able to pitch six full innings in Game One. He gave up just the one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three.
  • [Daytona] In Game Two, Frank Del Valle struck out six over five innings, but he also gave up four hits (including a home run) and walked two.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez finished these two games a combined 2 for 6 with a triple and a stolen base. Christian Villanueva finished 2 for 5 with a home run and a walk.
  • [Peoria] Bryce Shafer and Pete Levitt combined to throw five strong innings of relief for the Chiefs.
  • [Peoria] Jorge Soler raised his average to .323 with another two hit game.
  • [Boise] Michael Heesch continued to pitch well with just one hit allowed in two innings.
  • [Boise] Daniel Vogelbach went 1 for 3 with a home run and two walks in this game. He now has ten home runs for Boise this season.

Other Minor League Notes

  • The schedule says Tennessee will finish off their season in Pensacola. Since the Florida Panhandle was spared the worst of Isaac, I’d say there is a pretty good chance those games will take place.
  • In case you missed it yesterday, the Cubs have announced the players who will be sent to the prospect heavy Arizona Fall League. As usual, this list is a mix of the expected and the surprising, with the biggest surprise, I think, being Rubi Silva. Silva quietly had a bit of a breakout year in Daytona and Tennessee. He is being crowded off second base, one of the deepest positions in the farm system, but at the same time is emerging as a potentially plus defensive outfielder. To succeed long term I think he’ll need to draw a few more walks and raise his OBP somewhat higher than it has been, but I think he has the ability to make that happen.
  • baldtaxguy

    Looking forward to further things from Amaya.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Soler has adapted better than I thought he would have in Peoria.

    • JB88

      Soler’s hit tool has been his most impressive attribute to date IMO. Especially considering the long layoff he had from playing organized baseball.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I suspect batting really is one of those “riding a bicycle” sort of things: until you start actually losing skills to age, it takes very little to be back in game form.

        Given a long layoff, I would be more worried about injuries to legs, arm, etc.: sure, you can jog, lift weights, etc., but none of that is like running or throwing in a game where you have to do things without thinking about it.

        • cubchymyst

          Doc, i’m going to have to disagree with you about batting like ridding a bike. Just reading this site you hear about players working on their swings constantly to make adjustments. Rizzo worked to change his style after his time in the bigs with the Padres. Barney is working in the cages to be a better hitter (I know he isn’t the best hitter but still an example of the effort that needs to go into keeping a swing that can hit pro pitching). What impresses me the most with his hitting is that his timing does not appear to have been through off by the long lay off.

          • Scotti

            In a way doc is right but only in that riding a bicycle isn’t like riding a bicycle–at least not competitively. Take a couple months off and you don’t just hop on a bike and compete in even the Tour de Peoria. Swinging a bat is certainly like any other neural pathway formation (the more you do it the more ingrained it is) but, just as anything in competitive sport, you don’t just hop back into it. Hitting a baseball against competitive competition is probably the apex of what you don’t hop back into. If it were, why would even future HOF players go back down to A-ball to get their stroke back after a trip to the DL?

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Oh, sure, ball players have to constantly adjust and readjust. However, given how many examples there are of guys who just show up after layoffs and hit really well, it obviously is not a general truth. It probably is simply in keeping with the expectation that half of the time a guy will be hitting better than his average and half the time he’ll be hitting worse. Moreover, the pitchers probably will attack a guy the way that they were doing before: and there is no guarantee that a guy will come back with the exact same stance (and thus with the exact same heat zone) as he had when he left.

            As for sending guys down for rehab stints, that is a new aspect of the game. Prior to the aughts, most guys just started playing again after a DL stint: and sometimes they came in doing really well and sometimes they didn’t. There really was not general pattern.

            • Scotti

              I assume, then, that Spring Training is new? Look, obviously there is going to be a rare exception for nearly everything, but by and large when a player tries to come back from a long layoff he needs a time to get back up to speed. And, IMHO, the guy who is that rare exception has been working extra hard in the cages or taking extra BP at or near game speed.

            • cubchymyst

              I guess it comes down to what is the cause of the long lay off and what is being done during the long layoff. A layoff due to injury, where it takes a few weeks or months to gain back strength lost, is a large difference than a layoff due to waiting to be signed, during which time you can lift, run, and hit off a tee still. During Soler down time I’m sure he was still active and working out, so maybe his hitting should not be that surprising. However, I’m assuming it is difficult to simulate live game pitching for a hitter so it will take some time get re-adjusted to that.

              • Scotti

                FWIW, I don’t see the idea that Soler came back from a long layoff and just stepped in there at all. He signed (officially) late in June and got ready in Mesa for three, or so, weeks and THEN got into games at our lowest state-side level (a level well south of what he had played in Cuba). IIRC, he batted somewhere in the .250’s before being moved up to Peoria about 15 games later.

                • cubchymyst

                  I think me and you are in agreement that after a layoff, it is going to take a little while to get re-adjusted to in game pitching.

  • ETS

    I think when Vogelbach was a kid a baseball killed his dog or something.

    • JB88

      If this were a tweet, I’d retweet it. If it were a Facebook post, I’d like it. Since it is neither, I’ll just reply and say I laughed out loud at that :)

  • Full Monty

    Amaya’s strike out rate has climbed each of the last 3 years. I hope that trend doesn’t continue.

    • MIck

      Oh cool, the small sample size game. I’ll take double the Ks since it’s produced nine times the HRs. I win!

  • ssckelley

    Is that true, in a 8 team league Boise only has 1 all star?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Several of Boise’s better players began the year in Arizona, not Boise. I suspect that may have played a factor.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Sounds like Vogelbach, for example, is going to be an AZL All-Star.

        • Hee Seop Chode

          Below A ball has all stars? I haven’t had the chance to go to or see many minor league games, so bear with me. From a competition standpoint, is AZL comperable to mid-tier college baseball?

  • Richard Nose

    Baseball Ref lists Rubi Silva’s OBP lower than his BA in Tennessee. What’s the scenario (aside from typo) in which that can happen again?

    • JB88

      I saw the same thing with Vitters for awhile too. And I saw that on multiple sites. I wondered the same thing you are wondering now re: Silva.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know at least one way that can happen is if you have, like, no walks, and and a sacrifice fly or two – they don’t count against your batting average, but they do count against your OBP.

      • Richard Nose

        Thats right, I had heard that one. How about getting thrown out stretching single to double. Does that help both?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Hmm. I don’t know – it seems to me you should definitely get a single for purposes of the BA, but maybe not for OBP? Kind of interesting.

        • Melrosepad

          If you are thrown out there that just counts as a single and then an out. So the hit is still counted.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I think what he’s suggesting is that you shouldn’t get a “time on base” for purposes of OBP if you didn’t actually conclude your plate appearance on base. I don’t think that’s the way the stat is presently calculated, but it’s interesting.

      • hansman1982

        that is what happened…no walks and 1 sac fly in 59 plate appearances.

        If I am thinking correctly you typically only see the higher BA in tiny sample sizes such as this were just about anything can happen.

        • Richard Nose

          word.

  • Cedlandrum

    I don’t really care for Rubi Silva as a prospect especially if he can’t play 2nd base. He absolutely hits for no power. He walks less then Josh Vitters. He is a good defensive outfielder, but he is maybe the 4th or 5th best CF prospect.

    At this point he isn’t taking time away from someone who needs to play everyday in AA so I wasn’t too upset with his promotion, but unless he dramatically changes his approach he is maybe a 25th man utility guy at best.

    • Cedlandrum

      Ah shoot no edit button. Anyway I meant to say that he has to play CF to be a major leaguer. He can’t play the corner with his power.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        He did hit a nice opposite field HR at home the other day. His body frame is skinny and wirery but definately strong. I think if he knows his future is as an OF’er he will probably put on a bit of weight and you may see the power come. I am not predicting a sudden surge….but it could happen. Defensively, he has one of the best arms I have seen. Looking forward to seeing a full year in AA from him next season with Matt Szczur. Could be dynamic.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    If the Cubs had an offer for Barney that included a solid SP prospect or two, they might want to bite.

    AA Logan Watkins is 4th among 2B in the league with 100+ PA with a wRC+ of 131. He’s only 22 and could be ready for the majors in early 2013.

    A+ Ronald Torreyes has been up and down this year, but as a 19 year old he has a wRC+ of 103 at Daytona. In 2 or 3 years he could be a consistent .300/.350OBP guy in the majors, and Barney will never get on base that much.

    A Zeke Devoss has posted a wRC+ of 122 as a 21 year old in the Midwest League, ranking 6th among 2B with 100+ PA, and most of those other 2B are 24 years old, way too old to be considered a prospect at that level.

    A- Gioskar Amaya is the most exciting of the bunch. His wRC+ of 146 is best among 2B in his league, and Amaya is only 19. He has grounded into one DP all year, which is amazing. Kid deserves top 10 prospect status next year.

    This position looks solid for the Cubs in the future, as do most positions. As for the pitching…ugh.

    • Mak

      Agreed. I could live with Cardenas/cheap veteran for the first half of the 2013 season until Watkins is ready and Barney’s value will never be higher. Need to get a quality SP prospect or two.

    • Spriggs

      Plus, you might even throw Baez out there as a possible 2nd baseman. Heck, maybe even that Saunders guy has an outside shot.

    • Njriv

      I am a big Watkins fan, I think he is the future at 2nd base. If the Cubs can trade Barney in the off-season for a decent return, I’m all for it. Watkins may not be as good as Barney defensively, but he is still pretty good, plus, he’s more versatile, he bats left handed, he can hit for a decent average, decent power, he can steal bases and draw walks.

      • Njriv

        Another thing is that he could potentially be up maybe mid-way through the season next year, he will most likely start next season in Iowa.

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