Cubs Minor League Daily: Venezuela Checks In

venezuelaIt has been a few weeks since we last checked in on the Venezuelan Summer League, but since many of the prospects on that team are right around the 100 Plate Appearance line this is a great time to take a glance at their progress.

The best known name on the roster is likely outfielder Ricardo Marcano, who received $400,000 from the Cubs back in 2011. Marcano is not playing badly, either. His OPS of .771 includes 3 triples and 9 steals, good enough for a tie for first in both categories. Even with Marcano in both those areas is SS Bryant Flete. Flete’s OPS of .766 just trails Marcano, but he betters the outfielder in both strike outs and walks.

The standout pitcher on the roster is probably Francisco Carrillo. Carrillo, a right hander, has struck out 25 in just 20.1 innings this year. He has only walked 3 and has yet to allow a home run. Carrillo is already 23, though. Leading Carrillo in WHIP (0.86 to 1.08) is Greyfer Eregua. Also a right hander, Eregua does not have quite strike out rate of Carrillo (25 in 29 innings), but his stats are still very solid across the board.

For the most part the earliest we can expect to see any of these players in the United States would the Instructional League this fall, and some will never move beyond that (if they make it that far). A few may make it to Arizona Rookie League next summer and begin their long climb up the major league ladder from there.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa stays within five games of .500 with this 5-1 win.
Tennessee – Tennessee was off yesterday. Click over to the Smokies website at 7:15 PM ET tonight, though, and you can listen to Alberto Cabrera pitch.
Daytona – Wet weather yesterday led to a doubleheader today. The Cubs lost Game One 6-3 before dropping the nightcap 5-4.
Kane County – Speaking of rain, Kane County was forced to cancel again.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic can play the multi-homer game too. He hit numbers 7 and 8 and accounted for 4 of the Cubs 5 RBIs in this game. He also stole his 15th base of the season.
  • [Iowa] Junior Lake also had two hits (both singles) and stole his 4th base.
  • [Iowa] Starting lefty Chris Rusin pitched a pretty 7 innings for the Cubs, and then handed the ball to Barret Loux who struck out 3 in his inning of work. Brian Schlitter pitched a scoreless ninth.
  • [Daytona] Jorge Soler spread 3 hits (including a double) over the two games.
  • [Daytona] Meanwhile, in his first games since the awesome 4 HR barrage, Javier Baez walked 3 times during the twin bill.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli also had a nice day. He walked twice in the first game, and then went 3 for 5 with two doubles and his 20th stolen base in the second.

Other News

  • Baseball America’s Jim Callis had some nice things to say about the Cubs’ 2013 draft in his recent chat. In particular, he seems to like how the Cubs drafted pitching.
  • Don’t be disappointed that Baez did not follow up his 4 home run game with another few long balls. In many ways, sandwiching that epic performance between two games marked by patience and walks is just about the best possible way he could have showed off his progress.

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation. He can be found on Twitter as ltblaize.

95 responses to “Cubs Minor League Daily: Venezuela Checks In”

  1. Die hard

    Bogie getting more and more interesting …here’s looking at you kid

    1. DarthHater

      We’ll always have Des Moines.

  2. bbmoney

    That’s the best 0-5 day ever. 3 walks. No K’s. No Errors.

    I mean it’s 1 day. But it’s nice to see.

  3. Blublud

    I love what Baez did yesterday more then what he did 2 days ago. He went 0-5 and still increased his OBP. We all know he can hit homers, but games like yesterday seperates the good players from the great players. Being able to help your team even when you don’t get a hit. Keep it up.

  4. Jp3

    I can just see Theo standing on his desk in the office on Baez’s 3rd walk of the day screaming “THAT’S MY BOY! “

    1. Blublud

      I was keeping up with the games on my phone. After the second walk in the second game, I was geeked. Baez has gone from “not being our #1 anymore”, to probably being top 5 prospect in the league in 1 month.

      1. Timothy Scarbrough

        If he can move up, and keep his K% below 25%, I’ll be curious to see how high he’ll rise in top 100′s.

      2. Dynastyin2017

        Top 5 may be a stretch, but he is moving up. His first 5-6 weeks is the perfect example of people putting too much emphasis in small sample sides. I, for 1, think hid 4 homer day, followed by a 3 walk day is still a sss. That being said, it sure is a good sss.

        How’s this? In the last 10 games, Javy has:
        hit .429,
        walked 5 times
        k’ed 5 times
        homered 5 times

        1. Dynastyin2017

          too much emphasis on small sample SIZES.

        2. Blublud

          I love sample sides. You can get full for free if you get enough of them. Its the only reason o go to Sam’s Club. :)

          1. Dynastyin2017

            Damn, now I want a buffet. All the sides you can handle.

            1. Hansman1982

              Could sample all the sides you want….although, even there a small sample size of a side is enough, sometimes.

          2. Spriggs

            I always thought the sample sizes of the Sampler’s Platter at the brew pub I used to frequent were too small.

            1. Cubbie Blues

              Craft beer isn’t a side though, it’s a main course (if done right that is).

        3. JulioZuleta

          “People put too much emphasis on a 5-6 week sample size. Take a look at what he did the last 10 games though…Now that’s impressive.” ;)

          1. Dynastyin2017

            Well, it is impressive. Doesn’t mean anything, but, still impressive.

        4. Hansman1982

          If he is truly capable of being a low walk, low k guy AND the first 600PA if his professional career were a result of poor approach, he has the tools to be a top-5 prospect, easy.

          Problem is…we still have 600PA of him walking 4% of the time while King 25% of the time. AA will be a good test for him and I expect, if he has a good June, to see him there in July for another beatdown.

          1. Drew7

            To be fair, we have 600 PA’s of him K’ing 22% of the time.

            Make no mistake though: K’ing 22% of the time in A+ is still not a good sign.

  5. jj

    Is Loux to the pen a recent demotion? No more chance as a starter?

  6. Justin

    I would like to see what Baez does at AA before we start declaring that his flaws are fixed. Although, it is great to see. But this could just be a situation where he’s starting to figure out the pitching, and still has way more talent than pitchers at High A. Wasn’t Vitters always terrible when he first moved up to a new level and then always turned the corner? I know Vitters is a crap prospect now, but just using him as an example. It is great to see Baez doing the things that are asked of him.

    1. Cedlandrum

      Vitters isn’t an elite prospect anymore, but it is hard to call a 23 year old in AAA a crap prospect. He actually has been very patient this year when healthy.

      1. Voice of Reason

        Justin is just being very general in saying that Vitters is a crap prospect… in most cases he is!
        He has been given a chance in the bigs and failed miserably.
        He doesn’t have a position that coaches have determined he can play successfully every day. It’s certainly not third base which is where there is true value if he could handle the position. The Cubs know he can’t handle the hot corner. He might be an outfielder? Maybe a first baseman?
        Those reasons make him a “crap” prospect!
        Maybe his destiny is as a DH?

        1. cms0101

          Rizzo failed miserably his first go-round too. He’s not going to be what we hoped, clearly. Maybe there’s some value to be salvaged if he can show some hitting ability at the major league level. Maybe they even get him some innings in the OF. If he can play 3rd a little, maybe they can throw him into a deal to help get a better prospect in return when they start to dismantle the 2013 team. Hopefully he returns from injury, hits a little more in Iowa, and comes up to get ML playing time.

        2. Mat B

          Vitters wasn’t given much of a chance. They kept putting Jackson out there every day while Vitters got to sit there and watch Valbuena play.

          1. Voice of Reason

            What does Jackson playing have to do with Vitters?

            Did you watch Vitters when he was up? He was tremendously overmatched and keeping him up was counter productive to his progression.

            His numbers were BRUTAL!

            Management wanted to hand third base over to him, but he couldn’t handle it at the plate or in the field. When Vitters first came up he was given the position, but management quickly learned through his performance that he was overwhelmed and he sat the bench in favor of Valbuena. Then, they determined that Vitters was better suited to get more at bats in the minors.

            The Cubs believe that Vitters has a decent stick… he just can’t field!

            1. Justin

              I really believe Vitters is a crap prospect. I wasn’t trying to be general, but just stating what I believe. He can’t field enough to start at 3rd, and can’t hit enough to play everyday at a corner outfield spot. So he has the upside of a good bench guy, which too me is a crap prospect. Just saying…

            2. Cedlandrum

              A lot of 22 year olds are over matched in the bigs. It doesn’t make him a crap prospect. He may never make it, but he has the talent to make it.

              1. Justin

                My comments have nothing to do with what he did in the Bigs last year. By all accounts he cannot play 3rd base even at a poor level in the Majors. And can you imagine Vitters starting at leftfield everyday for a big league team? I can’t. And bench/role players don’t have much value in my book. I know the Reed Johnson’s of the world have value, but do nothing for me..

  7. Zachary

    To say that you like his 3 walk day to his 4hr day makes me think you should be locked up. I think taking walks isn’t that big of a deal . If he was a top of the order guy then yes but he is going to be up in the bigs as a run producer. What good is a walk when the guys behind are less likely to drive u in. When he gets to the bigs he is prolly going to be in the 5 or 6 slot

    1. cubchymyst

      The number one goal of any player is not to make an out while at the plate. Swinging at pitches out of the zone generally results in an out. By not swinging at those pitches he will force pitchers to throw a strike that he is more likely to drive instead of hoping for a mistake over the plate while the pitcher is aiming off the plate.

    2. Cyranojoe

      When the heck is Andreoli going to get promoted???

    3. BluBlud

      Zachary, saying that you like his 3 walk day better then his 4 homer day is for developmental purposes. We all know Baez has the ability to hit homers, and every day in the Majors, 4 homeruns are better then 3 walks. But as far as his development goes, the 3 walks are much more important right now then the 4 homers. His minor league homeruns will not get him into cooperstown, but his minor league development in taking walks might.

  8. willis

    I too like the 3 walk effort by Baez yesterday. Many young guys could take a four homer game and be way overzealous the next game, thinking they could hit anything. He had a lot of patience coming off the great night. That’s a good sign for sure.

  9. Mat B

    I don’t understand why nobody is talking about a possible future starting outfield of Almora, Soler, & Szczur.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      Because as of right now, it is a pipe dream.

      1. Mat B

        Why? Szczur is doing everything you could ask for from a leadoff man. He’s even driving in runs.

        1. Kyle

          I ask my future MLB outfielders to be better at AA than he’s been.

          1. Mat B

            He’s near the top of almost every offensive statistic in the league. He leads his team in hits, runs, is 2nd in stolen bases, 2nd in triples, 3rd in doubles, tied for 3rd in rbi. That’s all from the leadoff spot.

            1. Kyle

              How’s his OBP and SLG? You know, the important stats.

              1. gocatsgo2003

                Google is fun: .288/.359/.383 triple-slash for Szczur right now.

          2. hansman1982

            He has a lower AA SLG than Campana did

            1. Mat B

              Anybody know Juan Pierre’s career slugging percentage?

              1. TWC

                Anybody know how to use the Googles?

                1. Mat B

                  Yeah, yeah, yeah. My point is that Juan Pierre’s AA slg. was .380. His major league career mark is .361. Szczur is at .383 this season. I’m not saying Szczur will have a Pierre like career. I’m just saying you can have a successful career with numbers like that. I don’t think anyone would argue that Pierre has not had a successful career.

              2. hansman1982


              3. DocPeterWimsey

                On Jeopardy, I think that is a correct response to “Juan Pierre’s Batting average.”

                1. Brett

                  Heh. Nice.

                2. hansman1982

                  Wrong, that applies to Tony Campana.

                  Pierre has enough power to hit triples and home runs (out of the park ones, even!).

            2. gocatsgo2003

              A leadoff man who scraps for singles and walks then has the ability to make something happen on the basepathes? The horror!!!

        2. Voice of Reason

          Because one of the three probably won’t make it. Another one of the three will probably end up being traded. And, the other will probably end up being a utility outfielder or playing in Japan.

          There are just toooo many variables to broad brush all three and say they are destined to be the outfield of the future!!

          1. Mat B

            Optimism. Almora and Soler are off to good starts for their careers and Szczur has been very solid, showing progress at every level, even if it does take him a few weeks to get it going after each promotion.

        3. Cubbie Blues

          They are still prospects right now. No telling what is going to happen with them. Everybody thought Patterson was going to be a staple in the outfield of Wrigley for year to come. Now where is he?

          1. Mat B

            I’ve been a Cub fan for a very long time. I’m hopeful that each prospect is the next Jerome Walton. Oh….crap

          2. Voice of Reason

            There are plenty more names than just Patterson! lol

            Earl Cunningham, Ty Griffin, Gary Scott, Bobby Hill, Mike Harkey, Lance Dickson, Derrick May, Bobby Brownlie….

            these were all players “destined for greatness” and penciled in just as you want to pencil in Almora, Soler & Szczur as the next big names in the organization!

            1. Mat B

              I just want to see Szczur given a chance. It seems everyone is writing him off, in spite of progressing nicely through the system.

              1. mudge

                If he’s progressing nicely through the system, doesn’t that amount to a chance?

              2. DarthHater

                He’s being given a chance. He’s playing every day at AA and, so far, the results, when rationally interpreted, lead one to project a mediocre future. I’d like to see him break out and do better as much as any other Cubs fan, but wishful thinking and statistical cherry-picking do not substitute for reality.

                1. mudge

                  I lost my statistical cherry a long time ago…

                2. Mat B

                  So, if he hits .280 with an OBP of .359 at AAA, does he still not get any consideration with the Cubs?

                  1. Kyle

                    In the PCL? That’s good enough to get “well, we don’t have anyone better” consideration, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to clear a spot for him.

                    1. Mat B

                      So, Jackson is outperforming him? I think he has sprinted past Jackson as a prospect.

                    2. Kyle

                      That’s not hard, because Jackson is barely a prospect anymore.

                  2. hansman1982

                    That’d get you a (at best) .260/.330/.350 hitter at Wrigley.

                    1. Kygavin

                      also known as the entire current Cubs lineup…….

                    2. Mat B

                      DeJesus is currently hitting .262 with a .322 OBP and everyone talks about what a great job he’s doing in the leadoff spot. I’m not saying I want to settle for numbers like that, but wouldn’t it be nice to see if one of the kids could outdo that?

                    3. Mat B

                      Slugging .429, so, that is markedly better, but the other numbers obviously are not.

                  3. jt

                    “So, if he (Szczur) hits .280 with an OBP of .359 at AAA, does he still not get any consideration with the Cubs?”
                    —Mat B
                    Szczur has had periods where he has hit singles and walked and has hit doubles an not walked.
                    Since June he has hit doubles and singles and walked.
                    This is about the time when the rubber hits the road. If he has learned to combined the two styles (hit with gap power and hit for OBP) then he is a legit prospect. If not, they just drafted his replacement #3.

                3. Mat B

                  I don’t understand how pointing out how he is leading the team in batting average,runs scored, 3rd in rbi, 2nd in stolen bases with an OBP of .359 is cherry picking stats. The only thing I left off was slugging, and thet may come as he matures more. You win when you score more runs than your opponent. So, the most important stats to me are runs scored and rbi. He’s good on the base paths. That leads to runs. He puts the ball in play and gets on base. That leads to runs. I’m not asking to anoint him a superstar. I’m saying he deserves to play at the next level, and if he continues to produce at the same rate, he will deserve to see what he can do in the outfield at Wrigley.

                  1. bbmoney

                    “the most important stats to me are runs scored and rbi”

                    Cut to me slamming my head against a wall.

                    1. SenorGato

                      Runs scored is somewhat underrated as a basic number, but that also might be a crime to say with no urge to support it. That said, I check it.

                    2. TWC

                      Yo, BB, you gotta sign my petition to have Ace pad the walls around here. He’s got a lotta liability on his hands otherwise. You’d think him being all lawyery would know this by now.

                    3. bbmoney

                      Runs scored are great. But they’re great because it means you’re getting on base AND, importantly, people behind you are hitting. Scoring is totally dependent on your teammates unless you’re hitting HRs, which he is not. It’s all about getting on base, that’s the most important basic offensive statistic.

                      It’s great that the next sentence is about putting the ball in play and getting on base. But that’s (OBP) the important statistic in player evaluation, not runs.

                    4. Mat B

                      So, you propose to win by scoring less runs than your opponent? He gets on base. He drives runs in. He scores runs. That’s my point.

                    5. Cubbie Blues

                      Runs scored and RBIs are team stats. They rely on others. OBP, wOBA, wRC+ these are all stats that only reflect the player you are looking at.

      2. terencemann

        Because Szczur is looking like more of a 4th outfielder if he makes it. The dream at this point is Bryant/Almora/Soler, imo.

        1. Mat B

          I hope that if he makes it, Bryant will still be a 3rd baseman. I think that’s a better dream.

          1. SenorGato

            Yeah, Bryant working out at 3B will be awesome. Unfortunately that eliminates a corner for Baez THO, so maybe Soler/Almora/Baez!

            1. gocatsgo2003

              If Baez potentially has the range to stay at SS and/or the arm to play 3B, why wouldn’t he be able to handle 2B?

              1. TWC

                Because Barney’s holding that spot for when Ryno returns.

                1. gocatsgo2003

                  Dang it… I forgot.

              2. Mat B

                I love the way Barney plays defense, but some offensive production would be nice.

              3. SenorGato

                Nobody likes 2B. Not sexy enough.

              4. Dustin S

                I’m always a bit amazed that Soriano played 2B for 5 full major league seasons. If Soriano did it, pretty sure Baez would be fine there. Heck if Soriano did it, Vogelbach probably could lol. We’ve been spoiled with Barney, but historically 2B has been a place to often hide bad defensive players.

                Two things that always make me scratch my head…#1 why folks think players are so locked into positions like a RF can’t play LF or a SS couldn’t play 2B (or 3B ftm), and #2 why moving a player to a different position in the lineup will affect their batting. Protection or if the pitcher is behind them might impact pitches they see, but aside from that what spot they are in the batting order is probably one of the last things they are thinking about in the box.

  10. Mat B

    I think he’s very overlooked.

  11. SenorGato

    I know that I’m almost an extreme amateur, but I think Tyler Skulina getting more love than Scott Frazier is balderdash. That might sound like someone enjoying red more than green apples, but what if the green apple threw harder and is less of a stiff?

    I’m pretty excited to see what can be done with Frazier.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      Did he sign?

      1. SenorGato

        Not yet, but I assume he will.

        This system still.doesn’t have one SP prospect I like playing significant ball. Pierce Johnson is the #1 SP prospect in the system. I hate Houston with the hate of one thousand gods. HopefullyUnderwood lays waste to opponents at Boise. Then hopefully Frazier or Massive sign and catch up to Johnson fast.

  12. steve123

    Has anyone heard anything about the two prospects we received from the d-backs for Campana?

    1. SenorGato

      They’re in ExST. IIRC one of them (Leal?) was doing well.

  13. Mat B

    So, I am left to conclude that the Cubs do not need a player that gets on base, goes first to third on hits to right and center, and 2nd to home on singles to the outfield, advances when cutoffs are missed, and puts himself into position to score on wild pitches and passed balls. Nor do they need a player capable of driving in 70 runs from the leadoff spot. White flag. I now demand the immediate release of Matt Szczur.

    1. DarthHater

      minor league equivalency calculator:

      Szczur’s current AA stats project to a .299 OBP in the majors. The Cubs do not need another player that gets on base less than 30% of the time. And if you don’t get on base, you don’t do any of those baserunning things, either.

      And I don’t know where you came up with 70 RBIs. Szczur projects to 20 RBIs in the majors.

      He has made progress and hopefully will continue to improve. But his current numbers do not justify excessive optimism.

  14. Mat B

    I don’t know how in the world you can project only 20 RBIs.

    1. DarthHater

      20 is the ML equivalent of his current AA stats. Project them to a full season and you get, maybe, 50, but not 70. In any event, one cannot assume that he’d have similar RBI opportunities at the ML level.

      The guy will get his chance at AAA in due course, but he’s not burning up AA in such a way as to make promoting him a big priority. When the coaches and scouts think Szczur has accomplished what he needs to accomplish at AA, they’ll recommend promoting him. But I can guarantee you that their recommendation will not be based on run and rbi stats from 60 AA games.

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