venezuelaThis seems like a good time to check in on the VSL Cubs of the Venezuelan Summer League. And not just because I need practice spelling Venezuelan.

Third baseman Roney Alcala is starting to stand out on this roster. Through 34 games he is hitting .376/.407/.541 with four home runs, six walks, and just 16 strikeouts. The switch hitter turned 19 in February and is in his second season in a Caribbean league.

Also catching my attention is shortstop Bryant Flete. This guys is another switch hitter also in his second season in the Caribbean. He turned 20 in January. Flete has an OPS of .781 thanks to his 23 BB in 161 trips to the plate. His strikeout total, 24, isn’t bad either.

Greyfer Eregua is not only a candidate for best name in the very low minors, he is also a starting pitcher who has a completely ridiculous K/BB ratio of 9.33. In 33 innings he has walked just three against 28 strikeouts. His WHIP is a very healthy 0.939. Eregua is also in his second year in the Caribbean and will turn 20 in October.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa is back to one game under .500 with this 4-2 win.
Tennessee – Wet grounds postponed the Smokies game. There will be a Doubleheader in Tennessee today.
Daytona – Daytona played two on Thursday. In Game One the Cubs rode a five run third inning to a 6-1 win. Game Two went into extras, but it ultimately ended in a 3-2 Cubs loss.
Kane County – Kane County scored in the bottom of the tenth to break the win drought and take this one 8-7.
Boise – Boise scored twice in the bottom of the eighth and held on for a 5-3 win.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs had a chronic lack of offense in this 3-1 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Guillermo Moscoso pitched a decent game for the Cubs. Michael Bowden, who came on for two innings of relief, pitched a good one. Bowden allowed just one hit and a walk while striking out four.
  • [Iowa] Jae-Hoon Ha was hitting second and playing center field in this game. He finished with a 2 for 5 game.
  • [Iowa] Also having a good game was Dave Sappelt. He finished 3 for 5 with a double.
  • [Daytona] Third baseman Wes Darvill doubled and tripled as he drove in three runs for the Cubs in Game One.
  • [Daytona] Ben Wells pitched six innings in the Game One start, allowing just one earned run and striking out seven.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli (three hits and a steal) and Zeke DeVoss (two hits) carried the offense in Game Two.
  • [Daytona] Zach Cates pitched a very nice game in Game Two. Over five innings he allowed just two runs (one earned) on two hits while striking out seven (and walking four).
  • [Kane County] Albert Almora had a 3 for 5 day that included his 11th double. Marco Hernandez also doubled as part of a three hit game.
  • [Kane County] And then we have Oliver Zapata. He hit his fifth triple, stole his ninth base, and finished 3 for 4 with a walk.
  • [Kane County] Sheldon McDonald and Jeffry Antigua each pitched three shutout innings in relief. They each struck out three.
  • [Boise] Jacob Rogers, Shawon Dunston, and Jacob Hannemann each had two hits for the Hawks. Hannemann’s day included a triple (his first).
  • [Boise] Yasiel Balaguert launched his second home run as he finished 1 for 2 with two walks.
  • [Arizona] Centerfielder Jeffrey Baez hit three singles and stole his fifth base. Francisco Sanchez had the only other hit for the AZL Cubs.
  • [Arizona] Lefty David Villegas struck out two in his two innings of scoreless relief.

Other News

  • How good has Almora been this year? In just 29 games he already has 11 doubles. Gioskar Amaya, a quality (but struggling) prospect in his own right, has 15 doubles in 65 games. In about 130 Plate Appearances Almora is holding on to an OPS of .910.
  • According to Twitter, Bijan Rademacher is headed for Daytona. He would take the spot left by Jorge Soler and the stress fracture. I suspect the Cubs would move another outfielder up to Kane County to take Rademacher’s place on the roster, but no such move has been announced as of this writing. My guess would be Jacob Hannemann, but that seems a little fast.
  • Kane County goes to Wisconsin on Saturday, and that means we can watch the Cougars on MILB.TV this weekend. This is a rare opportunity since very few teams in the Midwest League are hooked up with this service. If you’ve been wanting to see prospects like Vogelbach, Candelario, and Almora in action, this is one the last opportunities of the season.
  • Don’t forget to keep voting for Javier Baez. He needs your help to secure the final spot on the World Team for the Futures Game.
  • TonyS

    Appreciate your posts Luke.
    Your thoughts on the dbacks interest in shark? Cubs would have to be asking a huge haul.

    • Brett

      Post coming soon on that.

      • Luke

        It would have to be a haul, all right.

    • BluBlud

      I havent seen the reports, but that would be a wierd trade. Didn’t Shark get into it with the Diamondback and Gibson earlier in the year. Now they want him to come play for them…………

      • davidalanu

        Gibson liked the fire and passion.

      • cjdubbya

        Maybe his standing up to Gibby showed the grit he wants in a starter? *shrug*

      • HackAttack

        I thought it was Matt Williams.

      • Josho

        Jeff is full of grit

  • BluBlud

    I think Jeffrey Baez shoyuld get the bump up to KC. I don’t think the league is to advanced for him, and I would like to see what he can do there. I don’t think Boise will be all that challenging for him. I think people will be very excited when they see what the Cubs really have in him.

    • Cedlandrum

      KC would be a H U G E jump for him. He isn’t more advanced at this point then say Dunston or Hannemann. Boise would be an o.k. landing spot, but the Cubs obviously thought he needed the time in AZ.

    • On The Farm

      Is your last name Baez by chance? You seem to have an unexplainable love for all things Baez. Don’t get me wrong I am excited for SS Baez as much as the next guy, but you are nearing bromance territory

  • EricR

    The Hannemann kid seems like he can hit. Is he too advanced for Boise?

    • Luke

      Possibly. Small sample alert applies, but he looks like a candidate for rapid promotion. There are av few college draftees each year who fit that description.

      • On The Farm

        Not to mention he is a man among boys, he’s like 22 right? Most of the guys in Boise are HS sprinkled in with a few college kids. It would be nice for the FO to silence all the nervous-Nellys after we signed him to $1mil+ as a 3rd round reach to see him promoted to KC, but I know that shouldn’t be the only reason for promotion.

        • King Jeff

          He’s also only been playing baseball for a few years, and I believe this is the first time he’s concentrating on playing only baseball. He may be physically older, but his game is still very raw.

  • Cedlandrum

    Xavier Batista could get the move up to KC for the temporary. He played in Boise last year and is in AZ this year.

  • Cedlandrum

    I was just looking and even with Soler on the DL the D-Cubs have 4 outfielders, so did Andreolli get moved to Smokies?

  • cub4life

    Luke, what are the records for these teams? Is there a thought of doing something to show us where they are in the standings? ea team (record, place, games up/back), like Iowa (40-41, 1st, -). I know we can go to there sites but with the greatness that Brett has made this site and the superiority that you give us what is going on with the Cubs minors, it would just be awesome here. Either way great report as normal.

    • Luke

      I do that on a weekly basis, on Sunday’s, with This Week In The Minors.

      • cub4life

        I knew I saw it at some point. Thank-you sir.

  • OregonCubsFan

    It is good to see Zeke Devoss on the highlight board. It seems it has been a while.
    Luke, can you comment on his progress? It seems we were constantly hearing about him last year.

  • Spriggs

    What happened with Javier Baez last night getting ejected? Home plate ump tossed him in the 8th inning. Was that already discussed somewhere?

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  • ssckelley

    Has Michael Bowden rediscovered his fastball or something? He has 20 strikeouts in only 13.2 innings of work. He is still only 26 years old (seem like he should be older), perhaps he can make his way back to Chicago and be an effective relief pitcher some time soon?

    • Cedlandrum

      No he is still throwing 91 or so. He seems more aggressive though.