Dan Vogelbach and Kris Bryant arrived in Daytona yesterday, were immediately inserted into the lineup, and both homered during the Cubs’ doubleheader. That is exactly the kind of fast start we were hoping for. They will now remain in Daytona for the rest of season and serve as two of the biggest pieces of a suddenly powerful lineup.
And that lineup is not all Daytona has going for them. The pitching staff, lead by Pierce Johnson and C.J. Edwards, is arguably the best (in terms of prospects) in the organization. It is entirely possible that the Cubs are now the favorites to win the Florida State League title.
Scores From Yesterday
While I am on vacation the scores will be presented as a single link. Box scores and recaps are just an extra click away from this page.
Observations From Tennessee
- Brett Jackson‘s swing looks improved compared to what I have seen in the past, but there is still room to polish it up some more. I noticed in particular that his head seems to drop some right as his bat is entering the hitting zone; that drop is pronounced enough that I would not be surprised if he is losing sight of the ball right around the plate. I don’t know how big of an impact something like would have on his production – if that is in fact the case at all – but it does look like a mechanic that could be improved upon.
- Dayan Diaz has some good, mid-nineties velocity, and when he is pitching well he is able to use that velocity to great effect low in the strike zone. So long as his stuff was down he was generating a lot of swings and misses from the Chattanooga lineup. When he lost the bottom of the zone and started leaving his pitches up, on the other hand, he began to get smacked around. All in all I liked what I saw. When he is pounding the bottom of the strike zone he could be a tough guy to hit.
- Javier Baez continued to demonstrate that there are no real concerns about his abilities as a shortstop. There were some miscues between Baez and his double play partner Arismendy Alcantara, but nothing that greater familiarity will not solve. Baez looked quite disciplined at the plate, and I think the league is starting to notice. His walk late in the game was of the intentional variety.
- Matt Szczur is a good, maybe a very good, defensive center fielder. At one time there were questions in some corners about how well his glove would play in center, but those questions should now be dead. Szczur can handle center just fine, and should look even better in the corners. The only question with this guy is whether his bat will make him a fourth outfielder or a second tier regular in center. I think he will be playing in the majors under either scenario.
- Today is the day I start driving home. This has been a wonderful trip made all the more so by the great Smokies fans and Bleacher Nation readers I met at the games. My wife and I are already planning to come back next year; hopefully we can see even more of you at the ballpark then.