In addition to the draft and the trade deadline, the middle of the season also marks the time when mid-season All Stars are announced in each of the four full season leagues. The first to announce this year is the High-A Florida State League.
The Cubs place four players on the FSL All-Star team, and all four are hitters. This is, I think, a good thing. The FSL is notorious for being a great pitchers league. Anyone who can hit well enough in that league to make an All Star team knows what they are doing at the plate. That doesn’t mean each is a great prospect and guaranteed for stardom, but it is a nice and not-insignificant accolade.
Two of the Cub prospects so honored should come as absolutely no surprise to any Cub fan with a pulse: Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. They are both among the best players in the organization as well as some of the best hitters in all of High-A.
Joining them is infielder Dustin Geiger. This one is not a great surprise to anyone who has been following the farm system. We quickly tagged Geiger as one of the breakout candidates to watch this season, and I think we can safely drop that “candidate.” This guy is breaking out in a big way, and it is good to see him recognized for it. (Geiger was also named the Cubs’ Minor Leaguer Player of the Month for May.)
John Andreoli is the fourth Cub selected. Last season Andreoli caught our attention as a high OBP base stealing threat. This season he has added some additional power to his game and is frequently featured in the middle of the Cubs order. He has spent a long time in Daytona now and is overdue for a promotion to Double A Tennessee, but at least he is continuing to produce at a high level while he’s waiting.
Congratulations to all these All-Stars. Hopefully these are the first four in a long line of Cub prospect All-Star accolades on the way this summer.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The bats erupted for a big win at home. The final in this blowout was 10-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies pulled ahead with a three run seventh and held on for the 8-6 win.
Daytona – The Cubs won a close one on the road, 1-0.
Kane County – The Cougars had the day off.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Logan Watkins stretched his hitting streak to eight games with a 3 for 5 performance in this one.
- [Iowa] Steve Clevenger also had a nice day at the plate. His 2 for 4 rehab outing included a double.
- [Iowa] Starter Brooks Raley left the game after being hit with a line drive in the fourth inning.
- [Iowa] Casey Coleman came on in relief and pitched well for 3.2 innings. He allowed just one hit while striking out two.
- [Tennessee] Three more hits for Arismendy Alcantara, including another two doubles.
- [Tennessee] And Matt Szczur matched Alcantara hit for hit. Szczur also stole his 15th base of the season.
- [Tennessee] Ronald Torreyes finished with two hits, including his second home run.
- [Tennessee] The catcher with the mustache, Chad Noble himself, finished this game 4 for 5 with a double.
- [Tennessee] Frank Batista picked up his eighth save of the season by locking down the final four outs.
- [Daytona] Ben Wells and Frank Del Valle share the credit for the shutout. Combined they allowed six hits, three walks, and struck out eight.
- [Daytona] The Cubs did not have a lot of offense in this game. Soler picked up the lone RBI, but it was Andreoli and Tim Saunders who put together multi-hit games.
- After his four inning relief game for Daytona yesterday, I wonder if the Cubs are stretching Frank Del Valle back into a starter. It is not uncommon for pitchers in A-ball to spend half the season in the bullpen and half the season as a starter. This is about the time of year when teams start those transitions; it is something I’ll try to keep an eye on.
- In addition to being a nice breakout story, Dustin Geiger is a good example of why it is good to be patient with some prospects. The Cubs took Geiger in the 24th round of the 2010 draft. He spent parts of two season in Low-A before getting his chance in the Daytona sun. His 17 home runs in 75 games last season put him on some radars, but the high strikeout rate took him right back off many of them. Now? The patience is rewarded.