As noted on Bleacher Nation yesterday, Kris Bryant has signed with the Cubs for roughly slot (according to reports). This is, without reservation, an extremely good thing for the Cubs. The Cubs today are a better, deeper organization with a brighter future than they were at this time yesterday. That is definitely something to be happy about.
The Cubs no doubt tried to talk the Bryant camp below slot by pointing out that he would likely not be in as strong a position in the draft next year, and the Bryant camp likely tried to talk the Cubs up by pointing out just how good Bryant’s season was (historic) and how much of a very bad thing it would be for the Cubs to not have him in the organization and to lose the extra 5% on the their draft pool that was attached to his slot. In the end, as we should have expected (although perhaps not hoped), they met right back where the negotiations started – slot. I can’t be unhappy about that.
This process worked out about as we expected. It would have been nice to sign Bryant on the first day and to bring all their draftees into the organization, but we never expected either of those things. The draft signing process is, by it’s nature, uncertain and a little messy. As signing seasons go, the Cubs had a relatively smooth one. And twelve months from now we’ll likely be right back here again having a similar discussion about a similar signing process.
There is one final chapter to this saga, though. I have promised to re-rank the Bleacher Nation Top 40 once all the draft picks that could factor into that list have signed. There were only a few picks who fit that criteria, and Bryant is the last of them to join the organization. The updated Bleacher Nation Top 40 is planned for Sunday as part of This Week In The Minors.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - Despite a run in the ninth, the Cubs lost 6-5.
Tennessee - Tennessee had an odd sort of doubleheader yesterday. Game One was the completion of a game begun on June 28 and resulted in a 7-2 Smokies win. Game Two also went to the Smokies 5-2.
Daytona - Daytona gave up bunches of runs late and lost 7-6.
Kane County - They led early, but in the end Kane County took a 7-2 loss.
Boise - Three errors did not help as the Hawks lost 6-5.
Arizona - It was a huge day in the desert. The Cubs piled on the runs and enjoyed some very good pitching on their way to a 14-2 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Nick Struck was roughed up in the start, but Esmailin Cardiad and Michael Bowden both pitched well in relief.
- [Iowa] The math types (including me) say Anthony Giansanti has to come back to earth eventually, but for his sake I hope this ride lasts all season. Batting sixth Gainsanti finished 2 for 4 and raised his Iowa OPS to 1.261.
- [Iowa] Junior Lake has picked up his 10th steal in 14 chances.
- [Tennessee] Arismendy Alcantara is up to 13 home runs now. Rubi Silva also went long (his 11th).
- [Tennessee] John Andreoli went 1 for 2 in the resumed game, and then finished the scheduled game 1 for 1 with 2 walks and his 3rd steal.
- [Tennessee] P.J. Francescon finished the resumed game with 3 innings of 1 hit ball. Kevin Rhoderick pitched 1.1 hitless innings in the second game.
- [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher fell a homer short of the cycle. His 3 for 4 day included his first High-A triple.
- [Daytona] Dustin Geiger finished 2 for 4 with his 10th homer.
- [Kane County] Third baseman Jeimer Candelario is up to 5 home runs now. It came as part of this 2 for 3 day that included a walk.
- [Kane County] Albert Almora also had two hits, including his 12th double.
- [Boise] Shawon Dunston reached base three more times on two singles and a walk. His was the only multi-hit game for the Hawks.
- [Boise] Duane Underwood struck out 5 in 2.2 innings of work. The bad news is that he gave up 4 walks and 6 hits resulting in 4 runs (3 earned).
- [Arizona] There were a lot of pitchers pitching well for the AZL Cubs. Daury Torrez finished the game by striking out 7 in 4 innings of work while allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. Marcos Mateo, Trevor Graham, Tyler Ihrig, Josh Davis, and Trey Lang all threw a scoreless inning before Torrez took the mound.
- [Arizona] The AZL Cubs had 4 triples in this game thanks to the bats of Jeffrey Baez, Yasiel Balaguert, Francisco Sanchez, and Xavier Batista.
- [Arizona] As a team Arizona walked 10 times against just 4 strikeouts.
- Lake is well over the 100 PA line that we generally look for as a minimum before a player moves from one level to another, but I don’t think that means we can expect Lake to come to Chicago unless he is starting. Through his first 146 PAs, though, his numbers are solid. A walk rate of 6.8% is nothing to sneeze, and his strikeout rate of 19.2% is pretty good given his OBP of .356 and SLG of .485. His wOBA is weighing in at a very healthy .370. If the Cubs make enough trades that a starting position opens up at third or in the outfield for the rest of the season, I would have a hard time finding an argument against promoting him.
- Ronald Torreyes appears in one of those box scores for Tennessee, but that is only because it is a continuation of a game that started before Torreyes was traded. That also explains how Giansanti wound up in box scores for Iowa and Tennessee on the same day.
- If you want to see another oddity, check out the player page for Javier Baez on the Smokies website. History tells us that Baez was promoted for the July 6 game and homered in his first at bat. The Last 10 Games section says Baez actually went 0 for 3 eight days prior. Yay suspended game weirdnesses. That sort of thing will drive you nuts when you stumble across it a few years after it happened and you find dates that make no rational sense. Trust me, I’ve been there.