The roster for the rookie league AZL Cubs is finally set, and this time it has an infield. Not surprisingly, that infield contains a few selections from the 2013 draft.
Mark Malave, a switch hitting third baseman signed out of the Caribbean, is probably the highest ceiling and best known infield prospect on the roster. Kevin Freeman has quite a bit of power, though, and could be a sleeper. I’d keep an eye on Giuseppe Papaccio as well.
Kevin Brown (no, not that Kevin Brown) joins outfield. Brown had some of the most well rounded numbers of any of the 2013 drafted hitters; it will be interesting to see what he can do in a professional league. He resides solidly on the fringe for now, but he is one I will watching a little more closely.
On the mound Cub fans will get their first look at the other end of the Tony Campana trade. Erick Leal, the second youngest pitcher on the roster (behind intriguing lefty Carlos A Rodriguez) is one of the starting pitchers in the AZL Cubs rotation. Daury Torrez, another Caribbean free agent, is also a prospect worth watching closely.
Now that the AZL Cubs season is underway, you can find their box score linked in each of the Minor League Dailies.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa has pulled to within two games of .500 and into a tie for first place with this 6-4 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies rode some very strong starting pitching to a 3-2 win on the road.
Daytona – Daytona was the beneficiary of a shutout in this 4-0 win.
Kane County – The Cougars had more hits, but not more runs. They lost 5-3.
Boise – Boise’s game was postponed by rain. It is scheduled to be made up on Saturday as part of a doubleheader.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs opened their season on the short end of a 1-0 nail biter.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Yoanner Negrin pitched 8 innings in this game, striking out 7 and allowing 4 runs on 9 hits. Brian Schlitter finished the game for his fifth save.
- [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic lead the offense with a 4 for 4 outburst that included his 14th double.
- [Iowa] Infielders Junior Lake (3B) and Donnie Murphy (SS) had three hits each.
- [Tennessee] Austin Kirk picked up his first Double A win of the season with a 5.2 inning 8 strikeout performance. He only allowed one hit, but that was somewhat offset by the four walks he gave up.
- [Tennessee] Tony Zych, Trey McNutt, and Frank Batista were not perfect in relief, but they held onto the lead. It was Batista’s 10th save.
- [Tennessee] Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara hit his second triple and drew a walk for the Smokies.
- [Daytona] Matt Loosen struck out 8 in 6 beautiful innings of 4 hit baseball. Jeffrey Lorick struck out 4 over the final three frames for his first save.
- [Daytona] His 15th home run highlighted a 2 for 4 day for Javier Baez.
- [Daytona] And Ben Carhart stayed red hot as well. After this 2 for 3 performance (that included a double), Carhart is the proud owner of a 1.007 OPS for June.
- [Kane County] Brian Smith got the start for the Cougars. He gave up 4 runs (3 earned) over 5 innings while striking out 4.
- [Kane County] Dan Vogelbach, Marco Hernandez, and Rock Shoulders all had two hits in this game. They all doubled as well.
- [Arizona] Erick Leal struck out 5 over 5 innings in his Cub debut. He allowed just 4 hits, but one of them was a solo home run.
- [Arizona] Not a lot of offense in this one for the AZL Cubs, but it is good to see that they only struck out five times against three walks.
- You read that right. The Iowa Cubs are in a tie for first place in the division with the Memphis Redbirds despite being two games under .500. They hold a four game lead over Omaha and a sizable 10.5 game lead over hapless Nashville. Iowa reached first place thanks to the best home record in the division (26-16). In fact, their 26 home wins leads the Pacific Coast League.