The Northwest League has entered the All-Star break, and a very Cubs-studded break it will be. Eight Boise Hawks made the South Division All-Star team this season, and four of them were named starters.
Catcher Lance Rymel (the second Cub catching prospect to make an All-Star team this season), first baseman Jacob Rogers, outfielder Yasiel Balaguert (listed as a DH), and infielder Daniel Lockhart (now with Iowa) were all named to the starting lineup. Coming off the bench will be outfielder Shawon Dunston, infielder David Bote, and pitchers James Pugliese and Tyler Bremer.
This is not an All-Star lineup loaded with name recognition and star power, but there are some very intriguing prospects to watch here. Balaguert is likely the best prospect in the bunch, but Dunston (a speed first outfielder with pretty good on base abilities) and the two pitchers may not be far behind.
Balaguert will help kick off the mid-season festivities as a part of the Home Run Derby.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - Iowa lost it in the bottom of the ninth, 6-5.
Tennessee - Tennessee loses another game in Jacksonville, 6-4.
Daytona - The rained out doubleheader gave Lakeland a chance to move up a game on Daytona in the standings. The Cubs still lead by three and a half.
Kane County - Kane County gave up six run in the seventh inning as they lost 12-4.
Boise - Boise is off for their All-Star break.
Arizona - Arizona rallied for three in the seventh and won it 4-3.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] The wind was blowing straight out in Tacoma, and it showed early. After struggling through the first two innings both starting pitchers settled down. Iowa’s Justin Grimm finished by striking out 8 over 6 innings. Casey Coleman gave up a solo home run and struck out 2 more over the remaining 2.1 frames.
- [Iowa] Darnell McDonald doubled, homered, and finished 4 for 5 as the Cubs lead off hitter. Brad Nelson also homered.
- [Iowa] Daniel Lockhart stole his first Triple A base and finished 2 for 4 in his second Iowa start.
- [Tennessee] Hunter Cervenka and Tony Zych pitched well in relief for the Cubs. Matt Loosen did not pitch so well in the start.
- [Tennessee] John Andreoli doubled and finished with 3 hits and his 9th steal. Javier Baez doubled as part of his 2 hit day and stole his fourth base for the Smokies. Rubi Silva also had a pair of hits.
- [Kane County] The Cougars managed just 4 hits in their blowout loss, and only two of them, including a double by Carlos Escobar, went for extra bases.
- [Kane County] The other extra base hit was a home run off the bat of Jeimer Candelario. It was the 8th of the season for the third baseman.
- [Arizona] Touted catcher Tyler Alamo drew a walk and finished 0 for 2. Alamo is still looking for his first professional hit.
- [Arizona] Infielder Mark Malave hit safely in his fourth straight game. Over his last ten game Malave is hitting .308/.438/.308 with 6 walks and 6 strikeouts.
- Lately Baez has been showing a strikeout rate closer to 25% than 33%, and although the sample sizes still make conclusions tough to draw, that is a positive sign. The talent is there for this guy to make the adjustments, but I think at each stage of his promotion path he will just need the time to make those adjustments. That includes his eventual promotion to the majors (should he get that far). Fans may want to bail on him if he strikes out 40% of the time (or more) in his first month or two, but the Cubs are going to need to be patient.
- Daniel Lockhart, recently promoted from Boise, made his second straight start for the Iowa Cubs last night. It will be interesting to see what the Cubs opt to do with Lockhart the rest of the season. If Logan Watkins stays in Chicago then Iowa will need a second baseman, but I would not be surprised if the Cubs prefer to leave Arismendy Alcantara in Tennessee where he can get some postseason experience. I suppose that could leave the door open to keeping Lockhart with Iowa the rest of the season, but I would find that a little surprising. Odds are better, I think, that Lockhart will head back to Boise when Iowa heads east. Anthony Giansanti or Elliot Soto could be candidates to jump up to Iowa to finish off the year, should such a move prove necessary.