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daytona cubs logoWith Brian Bogusevic coming up to Chicago and Jorge Soler hitting the disabled list for a while, there were some outfield slots available for promotions this week, and the Cubs wasted no time shuffling around a number of prospects.

Among the more interesting prospects changing addresses is John Andreoli, a speedy outfielder who’d been dominating High-A for a year and a half. The relative slowness of his promotion – he just turned 23 – has been something of a debate around these parts, with most of us landing on the “well, there just needs to be space for him to start every day at AA” explanation. Ty Wright, who is more of an organizational guy, got the call up to AAA to replace Bogusevic, and there was suddenly a spot for Andreoli in Tennessee.

Andreoli has the kind of plate approach the Cubs like – he’s walked 113 times in his minor league career, against just 152 Ks – and he’s got a whole lot of speed (23 SB against just 3 CS this year). His line this year at High-A is impressive (.318/.394/.405), and pretty well sums up his game. Andreoli is an on-base speed guy, without much pop. He’ll have to have a little bit of power to keep climbing the ranks, but there’s a chance that he develops into an interesting future bench piece. Maybe a slower, but overall better, version of Tony Campana. At similar ages and stages, Andreoli has always hit for a higher average than Campana and walked much more. He’s not a future star, but Andreoli is legitimately worth watching.

Andreoli’s departure – coupled with Soler’s injury – left a serious outfield hole in Daytona, which will be filled by 2012 draftee Bijan Rademacher. The 22-year-old outfielder is another low-power, high discipline type who was hitting .303/.374/.378 with Kane County. He’d struck out just 25 times against 21 walks.

There’s a theme developing, because the young man who will replace Rademacher at Low-A Kane County is another disciplined hitter, Kevin Encarnacion. The 21-year-old is actually a bit of a surprise promotion, given that this is just his first year in the United States after playing for a few years in the Dominican Summer League. Encarnacion was hitting extremely well at Boise (.298/.400/.489), and the Cubs must have felt he was ready for the challenge of full season ball. His approach at the plate got better and better over his time in the DSL, reaching the point where he walked 12 more times than he struck out last year. For Boise, that story has largely continued (8 BB, 10 K), and he’s showing some pop to go with his speed.

All three are outfielders worth following, particularly as there is a continued organizational shift in approach at the plate. Only Rademacher was brought into the organization by the new regime, but Andreoli and Encarnacion may benefit from being in an organization that now greatly values their offensive approach.

  • http://www.dccoffeeproducts.com John

    Maybe they can teach the guys how to swing when the count is in there favor and not lazily roll over on a pitch and get themselves out. It will be so noce to have a decent approach at the plate- frustrating to watch a lazy got to protect swing when they are ahead in the count. My two cents Brett-Thanks again for all you do for us bleeding fans.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, John.

  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

    Any thoughts as to why Rademacher got the call over Almora at this point? Age of Rademacher, lack of PAs in KC for Almora, other?

    • bbmoney

      i’m guessing they want Almora to spend some more time in KC. Rademacher’s age might have been a factor, but a secondary one.

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      Both of the reasons you mentioned.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Likely they feel that Almora still has some things to work on while in Kane County, even if those things do not necessarily appear in the stat sheet.

    • Kyle

      Rademacher is essentially roster fill. You move a guy like that around to wherever you have a spot open that needs filling.

      Almora gets promoted on his own timetable, not because a hole opens up.

  • mak

    Big ups to “Honey” Bijan Rademacher (trademark pending)

    • Chris Lattier

      haha I approve

  • Rudy

    Even with the Wright call up Iowa is a 23 active players. Is this normal?

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Don’t sleep on Rademacher’s power. He’ll never be a Soler class slugger, but I think he’s got more power potential than his current SLG indicates.

    • Brian

      It seems he has a pretty decent arm also.

      • Bilbo161

        I wonder if Rademacher is going to continue to pitch like he did at KC.

        • Brian

          Really? Are you an ass clown? Last time I checked, outfielders need an arm, some would even put classifications on that specific tool, tool.

          • Bilbo161

            Look at the stats man. He pitches too. My old coach had a saying on the wall. Plug in brain before opening mouth.

            • Brian

              My apology to you. I obviously took this text in content to; the kid is playing an outfield position and read\interpreted your response incorrectly.

              • Bilbo161

                Accepted.

          • gocatsgo2003

            That doesn’t seem like a reasonable response to a legitimate question given that Rademacher was a pretty decent two-way player coming out and has seen the mound a handful of times at KC. The kid can actually throw pretty decently off a mount with both arms:

            http://switchpitching.blogspot.com/2012/09/bijan-rademacher-drafted-by-cubs.html

            • Bilbo161

              Thanks. I’m impressed anytime a prospect shows real two-way talent. I heard he had a deal to hit with the cubs when most clubs wanted him to pitch.

            • wvcubsfan

              “The kid can actually throw pretty decently off a mount with both arms”

              So he jousts as well??

          • DarthHater

            “Are you an ass clown?”

            Why? Feeling lonely?

            • Bilbo161

              I’m sure I can be at times Darth. But not generally. Normally I’m just a plain idiot.

              • DarthHater

                Well, my wisecrack was directed at Brian, not at you. But since everyone is making nice, I apologize, too. Now, how about a chorus of Kumbaya?

  • mak

    Just a matter of time before Szcuzr gets a chance at Iowa?

    • Bilbo161

      I was a bit surprised he wasn’t the one moved. What does he still have to work on at AA that couldn’t be done at the same time as challenging him with some tougher competition?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Absolutely. He will likely be in Iowa by year’s end.

      • BluBlud

        He should have been in Iowa today. Promoting some guy who will never play in the league, and who has been to AAA 3 or 4 other times, only to keep getting shifted around over a guy who is clearly ready is absolutely crazy.

        • Kyle

          What makes you think Szczur is clearly ready?

          A .764 OPS doesn’t say “I have nothing left to learn in this league!”

        • DarthHater

          If Szczur is working on some things at AA that the FO thinks he should work on a little more before going to AAA, I have no problem at all with that. And the opinions of the coaches who work with him every day and know the details of his development plan are a heck of a lot more important than half a season of AA game stats.

  • Bilbo161

    Eager to see how Encarnacion takes to Kane County. I also think Rademacher is a decent prospect in his oun right. He was performing well enough that the Cubs didn’t mind using him to fill the void at the next level. He may well have been promoted soon anyway.

  • BluBlud

    So Ty Wright gets promoted to AAA instead of Sczcur?????? What a waste. Szczur should have been the easy decision. If I’m Szczur, with almost 500 PA’s in AA, where I have been damn near great this season, and jae-hoon Ha, who is younger then me got the other call-up that i should have got, I would be pissed at the FO. This is just plain stupid.

    • Kyle

      The standards for “damn near great” have slipped considerably.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, I’ve been noticing a lot of adjective inflation around here lately, including in the main articles (Are you listening, Bert?). There’s really nothing wrong with calling a good performance good, rather than great or fantastic.

        • Kyle

          I call it “prospect creep.” It’s really bad with prospects.

          I’m not even sure I’d call Szczur’s season “good.” Adequate, sure.

          • DarthHater

            I thought “prospect creep” was what happens when Ian Stewart gets sent to the minors.

            • cb

              I thought it was what happened when an older, socially awkward guy goes to a college bar at closing time.

          • SenorGato

            I really do thank you for applying a label to the phenomena. I use it all the time now.

      • BluBlud

        .300/.371 14.4% SO rate, 8.9% walk rate, .355 wOBA, .764 OPS and 17 SB from a leadoff guy who plays a very good CF and has only made 1 error, If that is not damn near great, then what is.

        • Kyle

          Something considerably better than a. 764 OPS, I’d imagine.

          • BluBlud

            Jaun Pierre set the tables for a Championship team and had some very good season, but only twice put up a better OPS, Ellsbury only put up a better OPS twice, Jose Reyes OPS average is close to that, and he has been considered great, Starlin Castro minor League OPs was lower, and his MLB OPS is lower. All these guys have been to all star caliber players. I didn’t say great, I said damn near great, which slighly better then good, but not quite great. It time to see if he can play at the next level, that mainly the point of the post.

            • BluBlud

              There is a lot of S’s missing in this post.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?
    • Rebuilding

      Really nice article. Between Blackburn and Johnson it looks like we at least have some arms in the lower minors to get excited about

    • DarthHater

      Begin countdown for absurd Diehardian comments about weight training…

    • Kyle

      Very excited about start. The velocity reports are quite exciting.

      He’s a teenage pitcher, so you now get to have three years of praying he doesn’t hurt his arm, but otherwise he looks legit. If he had been throwing this hard at the time of the draft, I don’t think he makes it out of the first 25 picks or so.

    • SenorGato

      Blackburn is 6’8″? Says so in the article. 6’8″ 160 would be a dead person, no?

      I believe hes 6’3″ or maybe 6’4″, but unless I am forgetting he was 6’2″ or so when drafted.

    • wvcubsfan

      Thanks for the read. A couple of lines I really liked.

      “Hitters, take note: Paul Blackburn is not afraid.”
      Look ya’ll Blackbeard ain’t skeered of no one.

      “If I go out and throw seven innings, allow one hit and walk a guy, it’s a great outing, but I’m not as happy as I would be if I went out there, didn’t give up a hit and didn’t walk anyone,” he said. “One of the biggest things to me is just finding a way to keep the team in the ballgame to get a win.”
      This looks a lot like something Greg Maddux would have said.

  • Ivy Walls

    Non verbal message to the system. All three players approach to hitting is what they looking for from genuine star prospects….note Castro….his approach is not what they are looking for.

  • AB

    Does anybody know if Alberto Cabrera is out of options for next year??

    • Kyle

      Yes. He’s using his final option year this year.

  • DaveY

    It’s nice to see Andreoli finally get promoted. One thing I don’t get about him is his lack of power. You look at his numbers and you think he’s someone like little Tony Campana or Ronald Torreyes but Andreoli is listed at 6’1″ and 215 lbs. That’s not a small guy. Not that I expect him to hit 20+ hr but 5+ doesn’t seem unreasonable. He only has one in over 700 minor league at bats. Hopefully he’s just a late bloomer as power often is the last thing to develop.

  • John (ibcnu2222)

    Is Rademacher related to the kid from Rookie of the Year? Sounds like a name the coach would have said.

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