boise hawksHave you ever wondered how a player goes about choosing a bat? There are a lot of factors that must to go into but, but most of them seem very small individually.

Ash versus Maple? All the ratios of length to weight, not to mention the various options for handle width? To me it is mostly indecipherable. I know it is all important, but it is hard to understand just how one would go about figuring out which bat is right.

I suppose it might be similar to the way I am with keyboards. As both a writer and a gamer, my keyboard is extremely important and I am picky. I’m not sure I could put into words exactly what I am looking for in a keyboard or why one works for me while another one does not, but I know a good one when I find it.



And maybe it is the same way with bats. I have no idea, but I do wonder.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa
Friday – A big sixth inning carried the Cubs to a 9-5 home win.
Saturday – An even bigger sixth inning carried the Cubs to another win, 8-7.
Sunday – Iowa closed out the weekend with this 3-1 loss.

Tennessee
Friday – Tennessee had plenty of hits but only got three of those runners over the plate. They lost 4-3.
Saturday – The Cubs rallied in the eighth inning on Saturday and took the 5-3 win.
Sunday – On Sunday, though, it was the Smokies who gave up the rally. They lost this one 4-1.

Daytona

Daytona had the weekend off thanks to the Florida State League All-Star Game. Not only did Cub prospects do well in the game itself, Javier Baez finished second in the home run derby.



Kane County
Friday – The Cougars lost this one 5-1.
Saturday – Despite some good work by the bullpen, they lost this one 11-5.
Sunday – They salvaged the weekend, though, with this 4-2 win.

Boise
Friday – The Hawks opened up the season the right way with this 7-0 win.
Saturday – The lost a pitching duel on Saturday, though, by a final of 1-0.
Sunday – But on Sunday the bats roared to life as the Hawks claimed their second road win 8-2.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Jeffry Antigua has become a bit of a long man for Iowa since vaulting up from Kane County, and he tossed three scoreless innings on Friday.


  • [Iowa] Larry Suarez made his lone appearance for Iowa on Friday, striking out one in a scoreless final frame. He was returned to Daytona later in the weekend.
  • [Iowa] If there is any doubt who the Cubs should call up to Chicago next, Steve Clevenger is doing his best to put it to rest. Playing third base on Friday, Clevenger finished 3 for 3 with a home run. He followed that up with two more home runs on Saturday while playing catcher.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Hendricks had one of his rougher starts on Saturday. Over 7 innings he gave up 8 hits and struck out 3. Thanks in part to no walks and no home runs allowed, though, he gave up just a single earned run and walked away a winner.
  • [Tennessee] The Cubs raised a few eyebrows when they raised Pin-Chieh Chen all the way to Tennessee, but he made them look genius on Friday as he went 2 for 3 with triple.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva had a nice weekend. He opened with a 3 for 5 performance on Friday that included yet another double. After an 0 for 4 Saturday he finished the weekend by going 3 for 4 on Sunday. Sunday’s double was his 15th on the season.
  • [Tennessee] Silva still trails Arismendy Alcantara in two-baggers, though. Alcantara pushed his total to 16 with two doubles on Saturday. He also stole his 17th base in that game.
  • [Daytona] Not only did Baez finish second in the Home Run Derby, his two doubles accounted for half of the FSL North’s hits in the All Star Game.
  • [Daytona] And he wasn’t the only Cub putting his stamp on the box score. John Andreoli had the North’s only RBI, Dustin Geiger had the only walk, Frank Del Valle led the pitchers in strikeouts, and Jorge Soler was the only starter who did not get an At Bat. I suppose that means the Cubs also account for the game’s only controversy as well.
  • [Kane County] Dillon Maples had another game in which he had trouble finding the strike zone on Saturday. I am not certain what is going on here, but it is far to early to give up on Maples. He was and is a very talented pitching prospect with a very high ceiling and plenty of work to do to reach that ceiling.
  • [Kane County] The big blows on Saturday came from Bijan Rademacher. Leading off as the DH, Rademacher finished 3 for 5 with a double and his second home run.
  • [Kane County] Reggie Golden has been putting up some decent numbers in the early going. With just 12 games under his belt he already has two home runs and a triple. The strike outs were a problem early, but he has had just one since June 9th.
  • [Boise] Let’s start with the pitching. Friday’s shut out was provided by James Pugliese (5 IP, 3H, 7K), Jasvir Rakkar (2 IP, 3K), Matt Iannazzo (1 IP) and Michael Hamann (1 IP, 1K).
  • [Boise] Paul Blackburn was pretty good on Saturday. He struck out 8 while giving up just 1 hit over 5 innings. Corbin Hoffner struck out one over three hitless innings of relief.
  • [Boise] Loiger Padron had the start on Sunday, and while he pitched 4.2 scoreless frames, he did give up 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino and Matt Iannazzo set up Michael Hamann for his first save.
  • [Boise] Shawon Dunston Jr. opened his season 4 for 6 with a double and a steal. He had another hit on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • [Boise] Kevin Encarnacion is also off to a good start. Through three games he is already up to 4 hits (one double) and 3 steals. This is the first year the switch hitter has played in the United States, but he posted an OPS of .912 last season in the DSL while walking 39 times against 27 strike outs. That’s the sort of line that first brought Jeimer Candelario to our attention. Then again, Candelario is two years younger than Encarnacion.

Other News

  • It is still too early to take the Sample Size Alert off of Junior Lake‘s Triple A numbers, but his numbers through 10 games and 45 Plate Appearances are interesting. The 8.9% walk rate, if it stays that high, would be a career high. The 13.3% strike out rate would be a career low (by a wide margin). Conclusive? Far from it. But it is interesting and encouraging. If he can keep this up, the Cubs are going to have some tough decisions to make in Spring Training next year.
  • If you have not yet checked out the Tennessee Smokies auction in support of the Oklahoma City Red Cross, now is your last chance. The bidding closes at noon Eastern time, and with it your chance to score an Alberto Cabrera signed Cubs hat for $35. Oddly enough, as I write this there is a bid on the baseball signed by Darwin Barney, but not the one signed by Anthony Rizzo. They are the same price. Gold Glove effect?
  • You remember that Baez four home run game? You want to see the fourth home run? Click here. Better not blink, though. That ball got out to left in a hurry.
  • Baez isn’t the only slugger in the system. Rock Shoulders has tied him with 13 home runs apiece. Brad Nelson of Iowa has 12, and Dan Vogelbach trails slightly with 11.

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