Cubs Minor League Daily: Catching the Cougars

kane county cougarsDespite their lackluster record, the Kane County Cougars remain one of the most prospect-laden teams in the organization. Unfortunately, because the Kane County ballpark is not hooked up for it, the Cougars are not one of the teams we can regularly watch online. This weekend was one of the rare exceptions to that because the Cougars were in Wisconsin; hopefully many of you were able to take advantage of that.

If you missed your chance to see Kane County on MILB.TV this weekend, though, don’t panic. You still have today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to take advantage of this rare opportunity to watch the Cougars play.

Just remember, once players are promoted from Kane County they generally go to Daytona in the Florida State League, a league in which not a single team is hooked up to this service. That means it could be another year and a promotion to Tennessee before we might see that prospect in video again.  Take advantage while you can.

Scores From The Weekend

Iowa -
Friday – It took 16 hits to score their runs, but Iowa scored enough for a 5-1 win.
Saturday – The Cubs scored four times in the eighth for the 8-5 win.
Sunday – Iowa was shut out on Sunday, though, by a final of 3-0.

Tennessee -
Friday – Wet weather scratched the doubleheader.
Saturday – This was a great game for a lot of Smokies. They won 13-0.
Sunday – On Sunday, though, they lost in ten innings 4-3.

Daytona -
Friday – Daytona poured on the runs and walked away with a big 13-6 win.
Saturday – They scored twice in the first but were blanked the rest of the way. Daytona lost 3-2.
Sunday – The Cubs were rained out on Sunday.

Kane County -
Friday – The Cougars were blanked in this one, 2-0.
Saturday – Kane County rallied for 3 in the ninth to force extra innings, but despite scoring in each additional frame they ultimately fell in eleven 10-9.
Sunday – They bounced back with a win on Sunday, though, 4-3.

Boise -
Friday – The Hawks rallied to force extra innings, and then walked away the 5-4 winners in ten.
Saturday – Despite four errors they won again on Saturday, 8-6.
Sunday – And on Sunday Boise pulled one game over .500 with a 6-5 win.

Arizona -
Friday – The AZL Cubs had Friday off.
Saturday – Even though they were out hit the AZL Cubs picked up their third win 8-6.
Sunday – Two in the eighth propelled the AZL Cubs to a 6-4 win, bringing them within a game of .500.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins put together a couple of good games this weekend. On Friday he finished 4 for 5, and on Saturday he hit his eighth home run as part of a 2 for 5 day. His line for June now reads .294/.344/.454. That’s a nice recovery from a bad month of May.
  • [Iowa] Ty Wright, he of the Tennessee auction and Great Bat Mystery fame, has rejoined Iowa. In his first three games back in Triple A he already has 5 hits, including a double and a home run.
  • [Iowa] Not much to talk about on the pitching end of things for the Cubs. Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley had solid but not spectacular starts, and Brian Schlitter and Michael Bowden continued to pitch well in relief. That’s pretty much par for the course in Iowa these days.
  • Tennessee] Eric Jokisch started the shutout on Saturday. He struck out 7 over 6.1 innings and allowed just 3 hits. He also gave up 4 walks, but was able to escape without damage despite that. Yeiper Castillo and Tony Zych completed the shutout.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva came up with 5 hits over the weekend, including a double and his 10th home run. Arismendy Alcantara double twice and hit his 11th homer.
  • [Tennessee] John Andreoli was recently promoted to the Smokies, but he seems right at home there. He came up with 3 hits on Saturday, including a double. On Sunday he hit two more doubles.
  • [Tennessee] Zach Rosscup struck out both batters he faced in relief on Sunday before handing the ball to Frank Batista, and Batista proceeded to do a great Marmol impersonation. Despite walking three batters and only striking out one he escaped the inning without giving up run.
  • [Daytona] Austin Reed struck out 5 in 3.1 innings of relief on Friday. He gave up nothing but a lone hit.
  • [Daytona] Home runs on Friday came from Javier Baez (his 17th), Wes Darvill (his 1st), and Zeke DeVoss (his 4th).
  • [Daytona] There were multi-hit games all over the lineup in that Friday blowout. DeVoss, Darvill and Baez were joined in that category by Bijan Rademacher, Taylor Davis, and Pin-Chieh Chen.
  • [Kane County] Michael Heesch allowed just 6 runners to reach base in his 7 innings of work to open the weekend, but one of them scored and that was enough to give him the loss.
  • [Kane County] He only just arrived, but Kevin Encarnacion is already having an impact on the Cougars offense. He went 2 for 4 in his first game, and 3 for 5 with a double and a steal in his second.
  • [Kane County] Reggie Golden and Gioskar Amaya both doubled as part of their three hit Saturday games. Golden went on to hit his 3rd home run on Sunday.
  • [Boise] Outfielder Jacob Hannemann just keeps on hitting. His 2 for 5 Friday included his second triple. He has not played since Friday, but I am not aware of any official reason for that.
  • [Boise] Also just continuing to hit is Shawon Dunston. He doubled in every game over the weekend to raise his OPS to .945.
  • [Boise] This must be a good time to be an outfielder for Boise. Yasiel Balaguert has also gotten hot, to the tune of home runs in consecutive games. He now has four on the season.
  • [Boise] 2013 draftee Trey Masek made his debut with a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday. He pitched in between excellent outings by Corbin Hoffner (3.1 innings, 4 K) and Tyler Bremer (2.0 innings, 4 K).
  • [Arizona] Jesse Hodges and Zak Blair both had three hits on Saturday. Blair’s day included two doubles.
  • [Arizona] Jeffrey Baez walked four times and stole three bases on Saturday. After another one on Sunday he is up to 9 steals for the year.
  • [Arizona] Here’s a name you haven’t heard in awhile. Marcos Mateo got the start on Sunday as he starts to work his way back from elbow surgery. He threw one scoreless inning.

Other News

  • Trey McNutt has been placed on the DL by the Smokies, and in his place the team now has the services of Jeffry Antigua. Keep an eye on Antigua. I’ve been told by a few people who know their prospects and have seen him firsthand that Antigua has a lot of potential. He has some work to do still, but reports are he could yet emerge as a quality middle relief arm for the Cubs, if not a late inning candidate. It should be interesting to see what he can do in Double A.
  • If you like flexibility, you’ll love David Bote. The infielder started at second base on Saturday, moved to center field when Daniel Lockhart came into pinch run for Dunston, and on Sunday was the starting shortstop.
  • In case you missed it on Sunday, the most recent edition of This Week In The Minors featured a primer on wOBA and a mystery concerning a bat. More evidence in the bat mystery can be found by checking out the Message Board.

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

42 responses to “Cubs Minor League Daily: Catching the Cougars”

  1. On The Farm

    Do Dunston and Hanneman have a shot at getting to Kane County late this summer? They seem to be hitting pretty well and it would nice to give them at least a cup of coffee at the level they are most likely going to start at next summer.

  2. Jp3

    Yeah I was curious about J Hanneman too

  3. Die hard

    Apples to apples … Castro and Machado — each kid fast tracked — big difference tho is Orioles took pressure off kid by letting him play 3B which if you go back couple yrs will see my rants about what to do with Castro for same reason— time will tell if Machado can adjust unlike Castro … But at least he is not being asked to anchor the infield too

    1. Bwa

      I doubt it’s any less stressful to play an unfamiliar position in the bigs.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Indeed, it put more pressure on Machado to play 3rd instead of SS: it’s not like 3rd base is SS-lite. Moreover, Machado was being asked to do that in a pennant race: instead of trading for a veteran, the O’s called up a minor leaguer and “just” switched his position!

        Machado and Castro had some important differences coming up to MLB. Castro was an impressive contact guy: he put the ball into play in over 80% of his PAs. Machado K’d 50% more (but still an impressive 16%) but hit for a lot more power and walked a lot more. The batting eye part is pretty important: all of Castro’s problems stem from a below-average batting eye, after all.

  4. Mike

    Are there cameras there filming for the Cubs org? I would imagine they would still want footage of this team, unless they rely on first hand accounts from every game.

  5. Rebuilding

    Given Hanneman’s age you would expect that they might promote him a little more aggressively than some others. I would expect to see him get some time in a more advanced league this year

    1. Jp3

      I thought the same too, I figured that’s why he didn’t play for a couple days after ripping the cover off the ball

    2. Brett

      Age yeah, but he’s played just one season of baseball in the last three years. I’m not sure how aggressive you can be with a guy like that, regardless of his age.

      1. Norm

        But he did just play at a Div I school and performed very well. Boise compared to BYU is a step down in competition.
        It’s not so much age that I think he needs to be in KC, it’s that he played, and played well, at BYU despite the time off.

    3. Rebuilding

      Yes, he did have limited experience in college, but even that little bit prob makes him too advanced for Boise. Looking at his stats he is pulling an Almora there 0 BBs in 41 ABs so I assume he’s not really being challenged and hitting everything near the strike zone. My guess is that they just wanted to get him acclimated and when Almora goes to Daytona he will go to KC

      1. On The Farm

        Speaking of Almora, I think I saw Sahadev Sharma say over his last ten games he was hitting .237(ish), I will be curious to see how he handles his first “slump”.

    4. JR

      Am I missing something with Hannemann? His numbers aren’t that impressive at all in Boise. Why is everyone going nuts on him, like he’s tearing it up?

      1. ruby2626

        because after a very slow start he has been tearing it up albeit very small sample size

      2. cubchymyst

        Hannemann is SLG 0.512 and over half of his hits have been extra base hits. His average might only be 0.268 but he is literally 2 singles short from hitting over 0.300 due to the small number of plate appearances so far. Considering he plays center and his high slugging percentage makes me feel like he has been playing well so far.

  6. jeff1969

    I could see Hanneman ending at Daytona. Dunston I think will do the entire Boise season.

  7. cubchymyst

    Looking at Josh Vitters this year, to bad injuries has prevented him from getting into a lot of games because he has been putting up decent numbers when he plays. He is probably due for a call up again when roster expands, and maybe he’ll be able to put up some decent numbers this September. Hopefully his defense doesn’t prevent him from playing to much.

  8. Katie

    Anthony Giansanti tweeted that he’s arriving in Des Moines today.

  9. ruby2626

    Other site said Hanneman and Dunston had the flu although Dunston was able to still play on Saturday.

  10. fromthemitten

    Glad to see Dunston is doing well after his nausea… must’ve been too much belly fire he inherited from his old man!

    1. Katie

      +1

  11. ssckelley

    Anybody know how Watkins looks defensively at 2nd base? I see he has made 7 errors but in the minors that usually does not tell the whole story. Offensively he appears to be a slight upgrade over Barney with a little more power, walks, and speed although he has been caught stealing more than he has stolen this year. Plus he is a lefthanded hitter.

    Middle infield is one of the surplus areas in the Cubs organization and I hope they take advantage of it. After Watkins you have Torreyes and Alcantara, who looks even more exciting than Watkins being a switch hitter with a little more power. With some of these prospects getting close to graduating from the minors it would make Barney even more expendable.

    1. Cedlandrum

      Watkins is a very good defender. I think he has the ability to be as good as Barney with help from the Cubs positioning him like they do at the majors. He has great range, hands and he is incredibly quick turning the double play.

  12. HackAttack

    Past scouting reports have said Junior Lake has had trouble with off-speed stuff.

    Luke or anyone else have an idea how he’s doing with that this season?

  13. cubchymyst

    Looking at Keven Encarnacion numbers makes me extremely hopeful of me. His slugging has been trending up as he has gotten older and he walks about as much as he strikes out. He is definitely someone I’m going to keep an eye on the second half of the season.

  14. Idaho Razorback

    I see how Dunston Jr. could have suffered heat exhaustion down in Boise, 400 miles south of me. It’s been hot up here, nothing like Las Vegas and Phoenix the last few days though. We are expecting our 1st 100 degree day today in the past three years in the Spokane, WA – Coeur ‘d Alene, ID area. As for Dunston Jr, I expect him to be in Boise all year.

  15. BluBlud

    I’m moving to Tennessee on the 17th, so I will be close enough to catch some Smokies games.

    Jeffrey Baez is a very legit prospect. This guy is a very exciting player. The only reason to hold off the excitment is the fact the he is yet to get an extra base hit.

  16. Spriggs

    Is Almora hurt?

  17. cubbie blue thru n thru

    badler just put out his international prospects predictions, would anybody with BA account like to enlighten us on who he predicts the cubbies to sign.

    1. cms0101

      The Cubs are listed as signing the top two ranked guys, OF Eloy Jimenez and SS Gleyber Torres. There also a RHP ranked #16, Erling Moreno.

      1. cubbie blue thru n thru

        sweet thanks man. that would be an awesome coup!!!

  18. SenorGato

    Id really like the FO to clear some of this fodder in the system up with a trade.

    I noticed Jeffrey Baez a while ago and continue to be suspicious of the lack of scouting reports. Besides that he can be noted for his age and performance, but he is no Candelario as far as being a DSL standout, getting scouted, and moving. Hes had a few injuries inclduing a wrist last year IIRC. There was a Twins OF prospect back in the day – Alex Romero – that I was all in on because of his age and K:BB. Physically he was a tweener without much projection from a young age. This might be a worry for Baez, but I would need some video or at least scouting reports.

    Ive been thinking a lot about Hanneman’s age wondering why I’m not penalizing him harshly. Sometimes age is just one of the many numbers…

    1. SenorGato

      Stupid mobiles….sometimes age is just one of the numbers, and scouting reports + performance are a factor. Hes legitimately a good athlete for the sport and his position. Ive been thinking that Shane Victorino was a popular comp for guys like Szczur and even Jackson but Hanneman might be the best candidate of them all to pull it off. Time will tell on stuff like that since prospecting is part psuedo science and part art (shut up).

      The only thing I see the guy getting hammered for is his age, and unlike many others there is a legitimate life based reason to it.

  19. SenorGato

    Definitelynoticed Reed’s Friday numbers. As far as raw arm strength he is one of the best in the system. It gives him significant upside in a bulloen, but there’s a ton to do to get him there. Definitely a player I track because of youth, size, pedigree (brother of Addison), and arm strength.

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