Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning in Vancouver the Boise Hawks led 7-3; Game One of the Northwest League Championship Series was there for the taking… and then the wheels came off. Vancouver scored seven times in that seventh inning and dealt the Hawks a 10-7 loss. The two teams resume play in Boise on Saturday night.

  • Marco Hernandez led all Hawks with three hits in this game. He scored twice and drove in two, but he also committed two errors.
  • Jeimer Candelario finished 2 for 5 with an RBI. Like Hernandez, Candelario finished with two errors.
  • There is no doubt that the bullpen melted down in that seventh inning, but they are not entirely to blame. Five of Vancouver’s ten total runs were unearned thanks to four errors by the Hawks. Two of those errors (and a wild pitch) occurred in that awful seventh inning.
  • The wind was likely a factor as well. The box score says it was blowing out to center at 12 MPH. Oddly, despite that wind, not one of the Hawk’s sluggers managed to hit a long ball.

In other news, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has released his newest league and team top prospects lists, and the Cubs unsurprisingly do quite well. Five players (Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Brett Jackson, Arodys Vizcaino, and Jorge Soler) made the league Top 100. That’s a clear sign that the farm system is trending in the right direction.

There were some notable omissions from the Cubs list, however. Juan Carlos Paniagua should be a candidate to be a league Top 100 guy, but he is no where to be found even on the team list. I suspect that is more a result of when he signed and when he actually started playing than it is a commentary on his abilities. There is a good chance this list was written before Paniagua ever appeared in a game for the AZL Cubs.

More curious is the omission of Christian Villanueva. The third baseman had just sneaked into some Top 100 lists before the Cubs traded for him, but despite that he does not appear even on the Cubs’ list at all. His season numbers are not impressive, but rankings are as much about tools and potential as they are about numbers. I doubt Villanueva missed the Cubs’ Top 20 by much.

Keep in mind as you scan the list that the Cubs really do have a very, very deep farm system. A guy like Ronald Torreyes is still a legitimate prospect despite not making the Cubs’ Top 20. In a lot of other farm systems he could be a candidate for the Top 10; the Cubs are just that deep.

[Brett: And if you haven’t gotten enough parsing of this list, I’ll have my thoughts later this morning.]

  • ETS

    The Mayo list seems pretty flawed. Not sure it’s worth revisiting over and over.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s the first of many (which I’m sure was the intention), so it’s bound to get lots of attention. It’ll be visited exactly twice on the site by the writers. That’s fine.

  • ssckelley

    Biggest surprise for me was seeing McNutt still ranked as high as he is even though he has struggled in AA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      As a reliever, he’s worth the high ranking. He’s stuff plays quite well out of the bullpen, and that should only improve with experience. He’s definitely got future closer potential.

  • Zach

    That list will change quite a bit this winter.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Mayo’s list wasn’t terrible, but I’d wait for Sickels and Laws list personally. A few thing jump at you pretty quickly. Hak-ju Lee, Zach Lee and Anthony Gose that high? Syndergaard and Soler that low? Bryce Brentz on there period? Overall you’re not likely to make a top 100 MLB prospects without getting too much resistance.

    • Cedlandrum

      His Cubs top 20 was pretty debatable. McNutt at 7? this is picking nits too, but you usually wait till after a season to do a list because then a guy like Jackson might not be eligible. Candelerio at 16 is way too low. Also not sure about Lake that high and Whitenack either.

      It almost feels like he went with the names that he knew people would recognize.

      Most every other list will have it.
      Baez, Almora, Soler, Vizcaino, and then 5-10 will be interchangeable. I doubt very likely you will see McNutt or Lake in a top 10 for others. I could be wrong but I doubt it. Also leaving off Villaneuva is pretty sketchy and also leaving off Paniguilla is criminal.

      Other then that I think it looks just fine:)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        McNutt is going to continue to be high. Maybe not quite this high, but high. I know Cub fans have soured on him already, but there is a lot of talent/potential there.

        • Cedlandrum

          I’m fine with him in the top 20, as I am fine with Cabrera, but more in the 13-20 range. McNutt still has potential but his stock has dropped a ton and moving to the bullpen drops it more.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Unless he can close (and I think he can). Closers have nearly the same level of value as front line starters, even in prospect terms.

  • willis

    McNutt top 10 was a “wow” to me. Top 20 I’m still buying, but as a back end reliever, it’s hard to justify a top ten spot.

  • Diesel

    Random question. What is it that makes the PCL more hitter friendly than the International League? I feel like a dumbass asking but I honestly don’t get to follow the minor leagues very much. I have to make time to get to follow the cubs due to work.

  • nkniacc13

    high altitudes