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When the Arizona Cubs lost their one game playoff to the A’s last night, they ended a successful and encouraging season. Even though the Cubs shuffled a crazy number of players through the Arizona roster (69 by my count) and aggressively promoted prospects out of that level, the AZL Cubs still finished with the second best record in the league.

The AZL Cubs played well on both sides of the ball. They finished third in the league in total OPS (.774 (and second in OBP with a .366)), had the second lowest number of offensive strikeouts (398), and was third in total runs scored (353, or 6.29/game). On the mound, the Cubs’ pitchers compiled the best WHIP in the league (1.305), allowed the fewest home runs (19, or 0.3/9), and finished with the fourth best K/BB ratio (2.42). And even though the Cubs did commit a lot of errors, they were actually better than average in that area for the league. Their fielding percentage of .957 finished fourth in the Arizona Rookie League, as did their error total of 95.

All in all, it was a pretty good year for the youngest group of future Cubs. While most of the prospect who played in Arizona are years away from Chicago, the success of this team still bodes well for the future of both the farm system and the major league franchise over the next several seasons.

Scores From Yesterday

Tennessee – The Smokies shut out Pensacola 5-0.
Daytona – The Cubs scored in the bottom of the ninth to win this contest 4-3.
Peoria – The final home game of the Chiefs’ season was rained out on Friday.
Boise – The pitching unraveled late as Boise lost 6-4.

Performances of the Day

  • [Tennessee] Since Iowa is no longer playing, the Cubs had to send Chris Rusin to Double A to get in a bit of work. He started on Friday and cruised easily through three hitless innings.
  • [Tennessee] Rusin was succeeded by Nicholas Struck who struck out six in 5.2 innings of one hit ball. Struck’s ERA in the second half of the season is now a measly 2.29.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva belted a three run homer and drove in four total runs during his 2 for 4 night. Matthew Szczur also had two hits.
  • [Daytona] Rebel Ridling was definitely the hero in this one. His seventh inning home run tied the game, and his ninth inning double drove home the game winner. He finished 4 for 5.
  • [Daytona] Matt Iannazzo made just his third appearance in High A in this game. Counting the three frames he pitched in this one, he has yet to give up a run in 5.1 innings on the mound.
  • [Boise] Felix Pena and Eduardo Orozco both pitched well for the Hawks. Orozco pitched particularly well in giving up just one hit while striking out four over two innings.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya, Stephen Bruno, Jeimer Candelario, and Rock Shoulders all had two hits in this game. Amaya also stole his 15th base.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Jae-Hoon Ha received more praise in the latest edition of Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet. Even though he is referred to as a former catcher, don’t get any ideas about moving him back behind the plate. Now that he’s established himself as the best defensive outfielder in the farm system there is no way the Cubs would want to return him to catching. His future likely lies as a solid, defense-first fourth outfielder.
  • Justin Bour has been named to the Southern League Postseason All-Star Team. That might just have been the easiest selection on the entire All-Star roster. After all, all he’s done is hit .290 with an OBP of .366, launch 17 home runs, and drive in a league leading 110 RBI. He even stole three bases.Bour should be promoted to Iowa and the tiny ballparks of the very hitter friendly Pacific Coast League next season. That could be fun to watch.
  • scorardpaul

    Luke,
    thank you for keeping us informed all summer long. Your daily post has been a highlight for me in a looong sumer of baseball.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      My pleasure.

  • Jimmy james

    Almost went to Peoria for a game today…that would have been embarrassing lol.

  • willis

    Struck has had a really fine season. I know his ceiling isn’t too high, but it’s nice to him succeed at AA. I’m guessing he’ll be in Iowa’s rotation next season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I thought he’d be in the Iowa rotation for much of this season. I will be very surprised if he isn’t there next year.

  • MoneyBoy

    Luke, you already know how I feel about your work. But it never hurts to say it again. Thank you so much for the detailed updates on each level all summer. It’s been fun and highly informative!!

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Bruno is doing well. SInce he played in college is he playing in a league under his level?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not really. Short-season gets a mix of high school draftees, college draftees, and injury rehab guys; it’s a fairly typical place for a guy like Bruno to start.

  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

    Bour is rule 5 eligible this offseason if I am not mistaken. Given the Cubs depth at 1B, I find it hard to believe that they will find a 40 man spot for Bour before then. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Bour left unprotected and selected by another club like the Astros or Mariners. But yeah it would be fun to see the numbers he could put up in the PCL.

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