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relieved happy catAs 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.

Other News

  • 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.
  • Justin H

    Just curious as to why Eric Jokisch never gets any love on here? He had a solid performance last night for the Smokies and is putting together a good year. 8-7 record (whcih doesn’t always mean everything) while putting up a 3.21 ERA. 92 strikeouts compared to 37 walks in 103.2 innings pitched. That’s not a horrible year.

    Previous years have also been pretty decent for him with the exception of 2010 in Boise. Think we might see a promotion to Iowa for him in the near future or hold him until next year? Possible trade candidate?

    (Confession time)

    I was on the High School baseball team with him for a few years and have seen the stuff he possessed even at a young age. It would be nice to see someone I knew on a daily basis make something of himself.

    • MichiganGoat

      Does he have a mustache? That would help.

    • EricR

      I’m with you. His strikeout/walk ratio is nice!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Jokisch was ranked 23 on the Top 40 and was the highest lefty on that list, and I’ve echoed that praise many times this year. Jokisch doesn’t get the accolades that Hendricks does, but then he isn’t pitching as well as Hendricks either.

      On this particular day I didn’t mention Jokisch because he gave up 6 walks and 6 hits over 5.2 innings. That kind of wildness is uncharacteristic for him, but it is still enough to keep him off Performances of Note, at least for today.

    • Dustin S

      I’m with you, I’ve been impressed by Jokisch recently. Too many walks last start, but overall he’s been very solid. IMO he’s probably the #2 SP between Iowa and Tennessee that I could see sticking as a mid-late rotation major league starter.

    • Ryan

      I work in your hometown. I’d love to see Jokisch make it to the show.

      • Jimmy James

        We got Virginia people’s in here lol

  • MichiganGoat

    Yeah we got better BUT we may not sign a couple of high school kids because Bryant is NOTa team player and he will destroy chemistry and that will continue feeding the cancer that Theo brought from Boston. He should have signed for 1M and allow the Cubs to sign ALL THEIR PICKS, but instead he got greedy and Theo got out played by a college junior… This team is a joke. If Ryno was manager and Tidrow was GM we’d be getting Mike Trout and Bryce Harper for a couple of our top 20-30 picks. Thedsveum has no idea how to get players winning and are more interested in getting a giant TV to watch the latest Jerry Bruckheimer action bore-fest. They want Wrigley to be thier Club Med and don’t care about winning. MOOOOAAAAARRRR this team makes the White Sox look like a quality organization.

    **** SARCASM ****

    NEED MORE BELLYFIRE BITCHES

    • Jared

      Can we go ahead and make an official sarcasm font already? That way we could avoid so much confusion in future posts. I’m nominating CENTURY GOTHIC in all caps.

      • Die hard

        Who nominated you to make nominations?

        • DarthHater

          I did. I’m now the Bleacher Nation Chat Board Captain. Haven’t you been paying attention?

      • MichiganGoat

        Internet boards, text messaging, facebook, twitter, etc has made sarcasm very difficult. After reading all the bizarro comments from Bryant’s signing I felt the need to get everything out the way before we hear it again later today. Yesterday I did the same thing and people thought I was being serious. I agree a national sarcasm font or tag needs to be created.

        • Die hard

          Is he signed yet? Haven’t heard fireworks or seen mascots on water slides at Wrigley yet …

        • cub4life

          I must admit Michagen you have a very good talant for make sarcasm look like true feelings (even for inernet posts). And I will say you make things ineresting.

          • DarthHater

            Goats struggle with conveying emotional nuance.

    • Timmy

      i think you’re actually secretly getting frustrated with the current organizational leadership like normal people

      • EricR

        I consider myself a fairly normal person and I’m not frustrated at all. I can’t remember a time when the Cubs were this interested in building up their farm system. As Cubs fans, we should all be happy about it.

        • Timmy

          i share this optimism for the future…and don’t want to wait another 5 years until the cubs even attempt to win.

        • hansman1982

          “I can’t remember a time when the Cubs were this interested in building up their farm system.”

          Dallas Green

          “As Cubs fans, we should all be happy about it.”

          This.

        • ssckelley

          Honestly I think this is what Hendry set out to do as well but the Tribune pushed him towards winning now. The Cubs had a few years of a pretty good farm system under Hendry, it dried up real fast when the Tribune did not want to invest any money into the farm system. But I think this is the first time everyone from the ownership to the front office have been on the same page on how the organization should be built.

          • BluBlud

            I looked back over Hendry’s drafts as GM, and to be honest, while he wasn’t the greatest, I thik he did a decent job with a restricted budget. His first 1st round pick were pretty bad, I’ll admit, but he did a decent job after that. In 06 alone, he drafted Colvin, Shark and Clevenger in the 1st 7 rounds, in spite of not having a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round pick. In 07, he drafted Vitters, Barney, Russell and Andrew Cashner, and when he could sign Cashner, he drafted him again in 08, along with Flaherty and Carpenter in the first 3 rounds.

            • Timmy

              THANK you. more evidence that you can sign a decent player and make good draft picks. this whole hendry didnt draft well which is why we refuse to spend money on players for the next 6 years is total branding. it’s just a lie.

              • MichiganGoat

                Yes Hendry is not as bad as he has become in hindsight and pressure from Zell/Tribune is more at fault. This is a good discussion.

              • DarthHater

                You say the notion that Hendry didn’t draft well is false. That is true. But you then go on to suggest that the notion that Hendry didn’t draft well is a lie advanced by current Cubs management to justify their refusal to spend money on players for the next 6 years. That suggestion is undoubtedly supported by your research, depicted below:
                [img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2868/8956185088_e52630c43b_o.png[/img]

                • Timmy

                  he drafted “fine”, and there was room for improvement. and yes it’s been used an excuse to not pay for stars who might help the team in the current.

            • On The Farm

              You listed 9 players. Colvin is a 4th OF who can’t hit in Colorado, and Clevenger is a backup catcher. Vitters is yet to produce any value past the AAA level (and I am a Vitters guy), So far Casher has made 21 MLB starts, Carpenter has less than 16 MLB IP and Flathery has a career OBP .266.

              So he found Shark a great SP, Barney who’s main value is his glove, Russell a good lefty situational pitche, and a back up catcher

              Hendry’s value will always be his ability to find great value in trades, but even of the 9 guys you listed only 4 have done anything of worth.

              • Timmy

                no one can predict how players will mature, but you can adjudicate if they were promising picks. hendry did a good job overall and we contended repeatedly under him. the organization needs work but this notion that its in such bad shape that we can’t even bother to try to contend for many years is just totally false.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Your assessment also excludes consideration of the trail of pretty bad contracts Hendry/the Tribune Company left behind after spending to prop up valuation before the sale.

                  • Timmy

                    name three crippling contracts to *bad players besides soriano. and lots of teams make decisions to hire star players to bring fans in. it’s all just rhetoric so the ricketts can pursue other ends.

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      why do you need three? Soriano’s contract alone was soo bad it crippled the Cubs for about 8 years. Add a number of bad, but not crippling (by themselves) contracts, and Voolaa, you have the Hendry Cubs.

                • On The Farm

                  The easiest round to acquire talent is the first one (based off of average WAR produced per round) Going back to 2006 Hendry’s Career WAR for 1st rounders go 1.6, -1.3, .5 .1, NEVER MADE IT TO MAJORS, promoted to AA.

                  I will give Baez a pass, but Hendry didn’t have a pick from 2006-2011 to put up an AVERAGE career WAR in the first round. I don’t care about trying to get “signable” guys that is still terrible.

            • falselife

              Drafting is one thing, but there is much more to a prospect’s success than his draft slot. Teams with solid farm systems just don’t get prospects that equate to an exact numerical value equivalent to their draft stock. Player development is vital. It’s just as easy to point the finger at the Cubs minor league development plan/personnel as it is to specifically target Hendry’s drafting ability. I would think this is especially true in baseball where a team controls a players development for potentially years before he reaches the pros. I would think a mediocre drafting club with amazing development is a more valuable asset than a great drafting club with a mediocre development system. But they are entwined and it’s easier to analyze a person’s theorized tools and draft position.

    • Chrisfchi

      Holy crap goat, I thought ya fell on your head and woke up die hard

  • ssckelley

    These updates are great, it will be even more interesting once Bryant gets to Boise. We are all crossing our fingers for a great start.

    • cub4life

      actually I think he might skip Boise and move straight to Daytona. but we will see once he reports to Mesa.

      • Andrew

        you forgot about Kane County

        • Kyle

          I still want to call it Peoria. Heck, I still want to call it Lansing.

  • EricR

    I’m surprisingly excited by the prospect of seeing Lake in Chicago this season. I know it’s a long shot but still, homegrown and all.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    For those of you begrudging the Bryant signing because we may not sign Clifton, let me give you a point of reference. In 2011, we paid WAY over slot for a 14th round HS pitcher….Mr. Dillon Maples.

    • MichiganGoat

      Good point, although Maples its still too early to give up completely on plus this was pre-new-CBA so over spending was quite common.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Oh, I’m not giving up on Maples, and Clifton may be great, I’m just pointing out the risk in HS pitchers.
        I’m just not understanding the angst with Bryant’s signing. Unless they took the 6.7 million out of my bank account (good luck with that) why should I care what they spend.

        10 years from now, this draft will be measured by the success of Kris Bryant (probably), not Clifton. (I’m still betting we sign Clifton anyway).

        • ssckelley

          Good points, but you would like to see the Cubs get as many of their top talent that they drafted signed. The more they sign the better chances of one of them pans out. As both you and Kyle have pointed out we have seen similar situations and talent flame out well before AA and the odds are overwhelming that neither Alamo or Clifton will ever get to Wrigley. This FO has been all about acquiring as much young talent they can get their hands on, and the draft is the easiest way to acquire it if the money is right.

          Twitter is a blame for a lot of this, seeing these guys making comments about their demands and pictures of them signing contracts gets everyone worked up. Back in the day we would have never heard about any of that and would have just been celebrating Bryants signing.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            I agree. It doesn’t hurt signing as many players as you can (I actually was holding out hope Jeremy Martinez would sign also), but hating on
            Bryant/Boras/Theo because a lower round guy doesn’t sign seems counterproductive. I can’t wait til we see Brett do a “Obsessive Kris Bryant Watch” series.

            • ssckelley

              True, but that would be like those pining for Rhett Wiseman last year. I think he wanted a million to skip college last year and I thought I read somewhere that Martinez was looking for 1st round money. In situations like that it is best we let them go and see how they do in college. It is not uncommon for teams to draft the same player again after their junior year.

              Oh, and that Wiseman guy a lot wanted last year only started 11 of the 54 games for Vanderbilt. Not to suggest he is a bust, he had an ok season, but college is a good place for him to develop.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Oh, if it’s not there already, there will soon be an amendment to ‘The Cubs Way’ book. It’ll be titled “Proper use of social media (including drafted players)”.

            • On The Farm

              You will never win with fans, I rememeber reading on here after Baez’s 4 HR game in Daytona some people came on here complaining how their twitter feed was full of people congratulating Baez and he retweeted a lot of them. Baez is what, 19/20? And people were jumping on him and declaring him big headed because he was excited to do something since Ryan Harvey.

              • Mr. B. Patient

                As a fan, I find Twitter hilarious. What Baez did with his RT’s was great. How can you get upset at a guy who had a historic day. What still amazes me though, is people will tweet stupid stuff (talking to you Ian), and then get upset when it comes back to bite them..

          • On The Farm

            “Twitter is a blame for a lot of this …. Back in the day we would have never heard about any of that and would have just been celebrating Bryants signing.”

            Well put, not sure if it could have been said any better.

    • AB

      Chris Huseby says hi

      • Mr. B. Patient

        he was over hyped, wasn’t he?

      • ssckelley

        I never understood that one, he had one heck of a season in Peoria as a closer and then went back to Boise to play right field and is now playing independent league. Anybody remember what happened?

  • JB88

    Luke, do you get any sense that Lake changed his approach at the plate over the last two seasons. It is only a vague recollection, but I do recall that his power numbers, namely HRs were significantly higher before last season but his BA was somewhat middling. Over the past two years, it seems that the reverse is true for Lake. I haven’t looked at the numbers to see if my sense is backed up but was curious if you had noticed any sort of trend with Lake.

    Also, given how much Lake is being moved around positionally, do you have a sense whether the Cubs are trying to develop him as a utility player or just trying to maximize where they could potentially start him?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Lake has gotten better over the past few years, and part of that is a change in how he attacks at bats. I’m not sure how much of that is a deliberate decision to change and how much is experience starting to show, though.

      The Cubs are trying to find a spot where they can get his bat in the lineup. It isn’t going to happen at short, so the next best options are 3B and OF.

  • Kevin F.

    Wonder why Balaguert was sent to AZ…….

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I think it’s because of visa issues. Boise is traveling to Vancouver this weekend, and some of the Boise guys don’t have passports. So a bunch of guys who were in AZ are playing this weekend for Boise.

      • MoneyBoy

        Balaguert is Cuban. Any clue if all the players refused entry were as well?

    • cms0101

      Yes, they wanted him to keep playing when the went up to Canada. There were 3-4 guys that went to Arizona because of visa problems.

  • Die hard

    Prediction— we will see Dunston before Bryant at Wrigley

    • Mr. B. Patient

      For an old-timers game?

      • Die hard

        Haha

  • kenster

    I figured you would wait until trade deadline given the bevy of young prospects I hope we get in return. Would like to see where they would rank in the system

  • Assman22

    Hate to even say this since it’s been so widely reported and even confirmed by Callis, but I received this response this morning…”Bryant’s deal is slightly under slot if Clifton signs, if not Bryant gets full slot”…this was the deal made in principle I mentioned on Tuesday and was leaked yesterday…don’t shoot the messenger…

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Makes perfect sense.

    • hansman1982

      PITCHES AND TORCHFORKS!!!!!

    • MichiganGoat

      Interesting… that what I figured was the plan all along. If true all the gnashing of teeth from yesterday seems silly.

      • MoneyBoy

        Will NEVER stop trolls like DieHard and ssckelley from whining!!

        As my Grandfather said, “They’d kick if they were swimming.”

        • ssckelley

          So just because I have an opinion that not everyone agrees with makes me a troll? You have any idea how boring blogs and forums would be if everyone had the same opinion about everything?

    • cubchymyst

      Hoping for Clifton as well but Bryant was the one the Cubs needed to sign. No body knows how the negotiations with Clifton have gone, maybe he was asking for more money the the Cubs deemed he was worth. Hopefully the Cubs gave him their highest offer and he signs it so the Cubs end up with both. If he doesn’t let Bryant get the extra cash.

    • cms0101

      It makes perfect sense. It would be impossible to go into the signing period not knowing where you stood with the 1st rounder and still be able to negotiate over slot deals with later round draft picks.

    • cms0101

      Assman, any word on Alamo’s signing bonus? Or what happened with Daniel Poncedeleon?

      • MichiganGoat

        O think Poncedeleon was a issue with his physical, and the rest of the signing bonuses will start to come out right after the Bryant signing is official.

    • DarthHater

      Oh, ye of little faith who dared to doubt the Assman shall now see the folly of your ways.

  • Cubsfan66

    Kane County is playing at my home town!! Heading to the Silverhawks game tonight. Can’t wait to see Almora!

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Have fun. But, I think Almora will have a bad game and only get two hits.

    • DougS

      Another SBer! Awesome!… I also hope to be in attendance tonight. I was hoping that Bryant would get signed earlier, and assigned to Kane County so I could see HIM in person, too.

    • Austin

      I’m also going to the game tonight, I live up in Niles so worth the 30 minute drive. I’ll be sitting behind home plate hoping to hear in some of the Scouts talking if there are anywhere.

  • Ivy Walls

    I will say it again, Cubs now have 4 legitimate Top 20 prospects, in all of MiLB…you could squeeze Vizcaino in that range if/when he is fully rehabbed and ready to join the Show at the age of 22. I also say that Vogelbach could be knocking at that designation if the NL finally passes the DH

    • Ivy Walls

      All told you have the following; SS(BAEZ AA), CF (Almora A), RF (Soler A+), 3B (Bryant AZ), top 20

      in Cubs TOP 20 super utility IF/OF, (Lake (AAA), 4th OF (Jackson AAA), SP (Rehab), SP (Maples A), SP (Johnson A), 3B (Villanueva AA), 5th OF’er (Sczcur AA), DH/1B (Vogelbach A), 5th OF (Ha AAA), 3B (Candelerio A), SP (Hendricks AA) and SS/2B (Alcantara AA)

      One has to presume that the shuttle will become active soon enough between IA and Chicago and then between TENN and IA Daytona and Tenn

      Got to think that Lake will be brought up sometime after either Soriano or Barney are dealt or Sapelt is placed on waivers. Jackson is probably a Sept call up as is Wadkins.

      The thing will be winter and 2014 where IA could become something other than an insurance place to park marginal MLB players and a development zone where Alcantara is brought up with Sczcur, Hendricks, Villaneuva, Vizcaino and even Baez along with Soler that would make for interesting tickets in the PCL before they all begin to ascend to the big club.

      Watch for trades that include Hendry first rounders big names like Jackson and Vitters over the next six months.

  • Cubsfan66

    That would have been cool Doug! Looking forward to the game tonight! Sounds like great weather for it!!

  • jrod

    Where’s Trevor Gretzky been playing at this year?

    • Spriggs

      Boise

  • Randy

    Damn… Baez has been STRUGGLING since that dinger in his first at bat. At least he didn’t strike out in that second game. Anyone know if he’s hitting hard liners to the wrong spots, or is this just a sign of being in way over his head with the pitching there?

    • DarthHater

      He needs to be challenged and learn to make adjustments. This is an important part of his overall development.

      • Randy

        True. Was bound to happen eventually. So talented, I hope he shows us he’s capable of making adjustments – he hasn’t really had to yet, has he?

        • On The Farm

          Last season he posted a wOBA .432 in Peoria (A ball) and then a wOBA of .288 in Daytona (his average was .188 in 86 PAs.)

          Luke did say that the jump to AA is considered by him to be the hardest adjustment for players. (Brett disagreed and said it was the jump to the majors, but the jump from A+ to AA was a close second)

          • Randy

            That’s reassuring, thanks!

    • willis

      I heard that he hit a couple on the button yesterday that were just unlucky outs. I may stroll over there tonight so if I do I’ll let y’all know anything I see. If not tonight then tomorrow night I’m heading over.

      • On The Farm

        This would be much appreciated.

        • willis

          No problem…that stadium is about 75 miles from my house so it’s not a bad drive. Worth it to see that lineup.

          • willis

            Double header tomorrow…for makeup of the 6/27 game. Outstanding.

            • Randy

              Jealous! That’s awesome man, let us know how he looks. Hopefully he’s not swinging out of his insoles on every pitch still. Hoping he’ll save those swings for hanging breaking balls one day.

  • DReese

    Luke I was on mlb.com and the prospect page on Arismendy Alcantara and they ranked his power at 30. Should we trust the scout rankings or trust what we are seeing from him for a future projection?

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