The Venezuela Summer League has been underway for about two weeks now, and that means the Cubs new Venezuelan team has about a dozen games under its belt. Sample sizes are still small, but we can start to get an idea how the prospects are beginning to shape up.
Keep in mind that we are relying too heavily on numbers to gauge both the VSL and the DSL when it starts up soon. The best way to evaluate prospects is to mix numbers with videos, scouting reports, expert analysis, and a regular dose of first hand impressions from people who know both the players and the league. From the Caribbean leagues we get the numbers and not much else. The best prospect in baseball history might be on the page in front of us, but if he starts out in a slump we would not know it. And on the other hand, someone who appears to be wrecking the league now could simply a player on the very fringe of prospecthood who is playing out of his mind. Sometimes looking at ages can help us sort out these categories, but not always.
The biggest name on the roster is probably Ricardo Marcano. Marcano was one of the Cubs’ higher profile non-Cuban Caribbean signings in recent years, and so far he is putting up a nicely mixed bag of stats. His line of .205/.321/.295 is notable only for the high IsoD. And sure enough, he is tied for the team lead in walks with 8. He is also tied for the team in league in strikeouts at 12.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for power potential, take a glance at Delbis Arcila and Miguel Rico. Both already have four home runs this season, and along with Arnaldo Calero are the only players on the roster to slug over .500.
Francisco Carrillo is the clear standout on the pitching side in the early going. He has struck out 13 through 11.1 innings while giving up just one walk. Jesus Castillo and Greyfer Eregua are right behind him with 11 each.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Four in the third were all Oklahoma City needed to beat the Cubs 4-3.
Tennessee – Two runs in the bottom of eighth proved to be the difference as the Smokies won it 8-6.
Daytona – Daytona had the day off.
Kane County – A big eighth inning rally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the Cougars won 8-4.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] A double and two more walks for Brian Bogusevic.
- [Iowa] Hisanori Takahashi did not allow a hit in his two innings of relief, but he did walk three. Brian Schlitter (recently promoted from Tennessee) allowed two hits in his two innings, but struck out three.
- [Tennessee] Ronald Torreyes hit his first homer of the season as part of a two hit day.
- [Tennessee] Matt Szczur also had a good day with a single and two walks. Arismendy Alcantara singled, walked, and stole his 15th base.
- [Tennessee] He has had some rough innings this season, but this was not one of them for Tony Zych. He picked up the win by throwing two innings of one hit ball to finish the game.
- [Kane County] His 6th home run came in that big eighth inning, but for Dan Vogelbach it was only part of a three hit day.
- [Kane County] Gioskar Amaya singled, walked, and stole his 7th base. Jeimer Candelario doubled and walked.
- The Smokies totaled 6 walks against 5 strikeouts. That sort of ratio makes me happy.
- No, really, Daytona had a scheduled day off. Memorial Day is one of the best baseball watching days on the calendar. How in the world does any team at any level have a day off on Memorial Day? This should be a day for doubleheaders and picnics at the ballpark, not bus trips and empty stands.
- Brian Schlitter, as noted, has gone to Iowa, and so has Marcus Hatley. Replacing them in the Tennessee bullpen will be Hunter Cervenka moving up from Daytona. Lance Rymel, last seen on the Boise roster, has also been assigned to Double A, as has catcher Chad Noble from Daytona. Jair Fernandez, catcher, has been released.
- Albert Almora did leave the game early with an apparent leg injury, but he seems to be mostly ok. The injury is being referred to as a “tight hamstring,” not a pull, and his removal from the game was apparently precautionary. There will be an additional evaluation today (routine in these cases, no need for conspiracy theories). If that goes well he should be back in a few days.