dan vogelbach cubsWith all the ruckus over Soler yesterday, I completely forgot to remind you that Kane County was going to Wisconsin. This is significant because Wisconsin is one of the very few teams in the Midwest League that is hooked up for MiLB.TV. If you want to watch the most prospect laden team in the farm system but can’t get to Kane County this summer, this is your chance to see the Cubs Low A franchise for yourself.

Fortunately, yesterday’s game was rained out; that means you can still catch Vogelbach, Shoulders, Amaya, Candelario, Hernandez, and the rest of that talent rich lineup in a doubleheader this evening as well in afternoon games over the weekend. And if you, like a lot of us, have been looking forward to seeing this crop of prospects in action, I would strongly recommend you take advantage of this chance. The Cougars won’t be seen on MiLB.TV again until June 29. By then a few of these prospects could easily be in Daytona.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa was shut out 2-0.
Tennessee – The Smokies let this one slip away; they lost 6-3.
Daytona – Daytona pitching coughed up four home runs and came up on the wrong end of a 12-2 blowout.
Kane County – As noted above, the Cougars were rained out. The will make up the game as part of a doubleheader this evening.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Not a lot of good to report in this one, but Brett Jackson was one of the few bright spots. Jackson reached twice on a single and a walk, and also picked up his second steal of the season.
  • [Iowa] Brooks Raley pitched a pretty decent game himself. Over seven innings he gave up just two run on eight hits while striking out seven.
  • [Tennessee] There was not a lot of offense in this game either. Christian Villanueva doubled for the team’s only extra base hit and Arismendy Alcantara swiped his second bag of the season, but that was about it.
  • [Tennessee] Brian Schlitter tossed a scoreless inning of relief, striking out one in the process. His name belongs on the list of potential future weapons for the Chicago bullpen.
  • [Daytona] With Soler out and Baez continuing to be terrible at the plate, three different Cubs tried to pick up the slack with two hit games that each featured a double. Unfortunately for Taiwan Easterling, Stephen Bruno, and Dustin Geiger, that was no where near enough offense in this game.
  • [Daytona] Somehow, despite giving up six runs on eight hits (including four home runs), Starling Peralta made it through six innings. He also struck out seven and walked none. In his defense, if only a small defense, the wind was blowing out to left at 13 MPH.

Other News

  • One positive note from the Smokies game: the team had the same number of walks (4) as they did strikeouts. It is only one game, but that is good to see.
  • Regular BN’er TC has taken in a couple of Pierce Johnson starts in Kane County, and you can read his impressions and watch a nicely edited video of Johnson in action over on his website.
  • Cerambam

    Great stuff, as always.

  • Frank F.

    I know it’s very early, but it’s quite saddening that of our Big 4 prospects, we have 2 injured, 1 off to a very slow start, and the one who was on fire just got suspended.

    But Rock Shoulders; who was a fairly well touted prospect when drafted is off to a hell of a start.

  • On the Farm

    Wasn’t Schlitter on the big league club a few years back? I remember right we got him for Scott Eyre? I thought he had spent some time at the MLB level and then the next year was at AAA level. Am I remembering this right, or am I way off on this guy?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m pretty sure Schlitter has been in the majors, and has looked good there at times.

    • JulioZuleta

      He was up for about a month in 2010 if I recall. He’s a local kid.

  • Mush

    The vaunted Cubs farm system is a combined 8-19. I was thinking the major league team might be good by 2015. Not a chance. Unless, Theo/Jed get lucky on some trades or they spend a ton of cash on free agents. This is the type of crap we will be watching for years. Buckle up folks!!

    • Kyle

      Minor league record has nothing to do with the quality of prospects.

      • ssckelley

        I guess they will have to learn how to win at the big league level.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Boise made the playoffs the last two years. Daytona won the Florida State League Championship in 2011. Tennessee missed the playoffs last year for the first time in quite some time.

          Unless you’re basing everything on two weeks as the start of the year, there really isn’t much basis on which to complain about a lack of winning in the farm system.

          • ssckelley

            I was not the one complaining, I know it is to early to look at records. Last year Boise got off to a horrible start and then they almost won their league.

            I was responding to Kyle’s comment, even though the Cubs have quality prospects they still need to learn how to win.

            • Kyle

              What does “learn how to win” even mean? It’s a meaningless platitude.

              Hit the baseball hard, don’t swing at balls out of the strike zone, catch the ones you can, and make it hard for the other team to do the same. That’s all there is to winning.

          • JR

            Minor league records aren’t everything, but I don’t think it’s entirely worthless to look at either. Winning teams have more talent, which ultimately is the most important thing, talent..

      • JulioZuleta

        Kane County has one of, if not the worst records at the Low-A level. I guarantee you most scouts would tell you that it is one of, if not the best teams at that level. Records have absolutely nothing to do with it, like Kyle said. If you look at the best AAA teams, a lot of times they’re full of 29-36 year olds. Guy that can crush the league, but never will grow into major leaguers.

  • ssckelley

    Brett Jackson still strikes out over a third of his at bats (11 of 31).

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      It seems all the work they have done on improving patience and walk rates has not worked(albeit it’s early in the season): Baez, Jackson, everyone on the Cubs not named Castillo.

      • Kyle

        It would definitely be nice to see some of that. They talk such a good game. All the organizational emphasis on “controlling the strike zone” sounds lovely and amazing. But it never shows up on the field.

        I keep waiting for this front office to show me something concrete besides clever soundbites and some off-the-wall but intriguing strategies. What are they doing that’s going to make us good enough to justify what is happening in the standings the last two years?

  • Mush

    Then go look at batting average, power numbers, and ERA and spin that to me. This whole system sucks.

    • Kyle

      That’s an entirely different story. It’s still a bit foolish to make such sweeping pronouncements based on one week of the season, but it’s been a rough week.

      • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

        A lot of the pitching numbers in Kane County can be attributed to just awful defense from most of the team not being called errors. Its been a struggle for Hernandez and Amaya so far

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    The top three guys are either injured, suspended or flailing away. The minor leagues are a crapshoot at best. This is why you don’t count on them for the core of any success. If you get one guy to every couple of years to turn into a decent player you’re lucky.

    • Mush

      Go to cubs.com of the top 20 prospects only 2 are having good springs. The majority are hurt or left behind in extended spring training. What is the front office doing? I have never seen an organization as a whole with so many injury problems.

      • willis

        Ha, then you haven’t watched the cubs too long :)

        It is a frustrating time for the organization. Not much hope to hang you hat on.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Season is two weeks old. Let’s not rush to judgement.

      • hansman1982



        • JR

          Ha… Hans you’re pretty funny dude. Good stuff.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Maybe he should “try” stand-up.

            • hansman1982

              Hey, that sounds like a terrific idea. I’m sure that I won’t flame out at all.

              • JR

                Yeah you definitely have some bust potential with stand up Hansman. The glimpses of stand up talent are there, but there are some holes that will get exposed with more exposure:)

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Holes being exposed during stand-up is usually not a crowd pleaser.

                  • D.G.Lang

                    That entirely depends on the crowd in attendance. Some are there only looking for whatever holes they can find.

  • Jp3

    Luke, I agree not rushing to judgement due to the SSS BUT at what time are we going to not put all our eggs in the preverbal prospect basket? I love the idea of building from within but ownership can’t expect to keep fielding 90+ losses teams and think the fanbase will understand.

    I think this begs the question will the Cubs draft a positional player in the draft? Other than Vogulbach all our other top positional players are showing glaring holes in their game,
    And Vbach obviously has his fielding limitations.

  • Big Daddy

    It is hard to be patient watching Lillibridge and Valbuena wail away, but I believe in Theo’s plan. We have to realize how terrible the whole organization was when he took over. It will take time to rebuild this thing, but I believe these guys are doing it the right way. Go Cubs Go!

  • miggy80

    I-Cubs home opener tonight. If there are any BNer’s going and want to meet other BNer’s check out the message board and drop a line

  • Rebuilding

    Let’s not go too hard in the other direction here. I have been one of the more vocal critics of the organizational approach we have taken, mainly because as we are seeing early prospects are prospects. Any plan that counts on ANY of these guys making it is a flawed one. Now chances are a few of these guys are going to be major league contributors, but predicting which ones is about like reading entrails. With that said, it’s been two weeks. Soler looked great before the suspension.

    The thing that concerns me the most is not the big 3 prospects, but rather the pitchers we drafted last year. After Almora we drafted nothing but arms and I have yet to see or hear about any of these guys showing the possibility of breaking out, increased velocity, surprising stuff, etc… For an organization that seems to be counting on superior scouting that is troubling to me

    • AB

      What are you expecting to hear??

      I don’t think any of those guys have even played short season ball yet, which isn’t uncommon for high school pitchers the year they aredrafted.

      Maples on the other hand, has been a huge disappointment. People blame injuries, but if athletes can’t stay healthy in their early 20s, its not a good sign. Though he is not a pitcher, That’s the one thing I remember about Felix Pie. Even when he was in the minors he was consistently injured for one reason or another.

      • Rebuilding

        Hmmmm…what am I expecting to hear? That someone really impressed during spring training? That maybe somebody drafted late has put a few MPH on his fastball? That maybe someone has really opened eyes with the better than expected stuff he has? Has anyone heard a peep about 1 arm? I have heard that about guys in other organizations. Take Michael Wacha for instance (a Cardinal of course) all you hear is about how much better he is than expected

  • Eric

    I don’t see Kane County Cougars game on milb.tv splash page for today anymore.


  • nkniacc13

    Hey Luke I see Torreys got promoted to AA. Was that due to an injury by someone or performance?

    • Tobias

      I think Torreys probably got promoted because Tim Torres got called up to AAA when they placed Vitters on their DL.

      • Cedlandrum

        It is probably a timing thing, but the only reason Torres got signed was because Torreyes wasn’t ready to break camp. Roni was going to go to AA but was delayed getting to camp and was reportedly a little out of shape defensively. As Luke said Roni is deserving of the promotion. Now who knows if he is ready to play there physically.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Little of both, most likely. Torreyes is a good enough hitter to handle Double A, and he has nothing left to prove in Daytona after the way he hit in the second of last season. At the same time, I think he is as much the beneficiary of opportunity as anything.