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boise hawksThe Boise Hawks are holding an online signed jersey auction to raise funds for Main Street Mile, a local charity that works on behalf of men’s health issues. Most of the signed, game used jerseys are listed for an initial bid of $100, except for one. The jersey of their hitting coach is listed for an initial bid of $500, and given that their hitting coach is none other than Bill Buckner they might just see that bid met.

Given the bloodlines and Boise’s proximity to Canada it is not surprising to see that Trevor Gretzky‘s jersey has seen the most bids, but his is far from the only worthy offering here. There are, for example, a number of pitchers on the list who have pitched quite well this season and who have the potential to develop into major league pitchers in a few years (and of course have the potential to bust as well). I would not recommend speculating in so risky a manner, but I would not be at all surprised if at least one these auction items has a value much higher than the list price in a few years.

The problem, of course, as with with prospects themselves, is figuring out which item is the hit among the sea of signatures that will be forgotten in four years. Still, for Boise fans or minor league collectors (like me) auctions like this are a great opportunity to pick up some rare items in support of a good cause and at a good price. The fact that Boise has some of the best looking uniforms in baseball doesn’t hurt anything, either.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The offense was quiet, too quiet, in this 9-1 loss.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored in the eighth as they won yet again. The final was 4-3.
Daytona – Daytona scored first but came up short in this 4-2 loss.
Kane County – In a joint effort by four pitchers the Cougars shut out Burlington in this 1-0 win.
Boise – The Hawks scored early and often in this 8-3 win.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs came up one rally short in this 9-7 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Jae-Hoon Ha had just the one hit in this game, but for the month of August his line reads .316/.371/.456 with a steal and a home run. For a very good defensive center fielder, those are solid numbers.
  • [Iowa] Starter Brooks Raley gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in his 6 innings of work, but he also struck out 7.
  • [Tennessee] Javier Baez had another productive day. He finished 2 for 3 with a double, his 13th home run, and both a walk and a strikeout. And in his spare time he swiped third for his 7th steal as a Smokie.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies’ bullpen delivered yet again. A.J. Morris struck out one in 1.1 hitless innings and Frank Batista wrapped things up in the ninth for his 16th save.
  • [Daytona] Kris Bryant had the Cubs only multi-hit day as he collected a pair of singles and finished 2 for 4.
  • [Daytona] C.J. Edwards had another very effective start. He gave up a hit and walked no one while striking out 3 in 5 scoreless innings.
  • [Kane County] Tyler Skulina opened the game with 4 strikeouts and 2 hits over 3 innings. Rob Zastryzny followed that with 4 more strikeouts along with 2 hits and 2 walks over an equivalent 3 innings. Nathan Dorris struck out 4 more while walking a pair in his 2 innings, and Stephen Perakslis struck out one as he finished off the game for his 6th save.
  • [Kane County] The Cougars lone run came on a solo shot by shortstop Marco Hernandez. It was his fourth of the season.
  • [Boise] Dillon Maples did it again. The young right hander dominated this game to the tune of a 9 strikeout, 1 walk, 1 hit performance over 5 innings.
  • [Boise] Carlos Penalver doubled and finished 2 for 3 with a walk. Penalver got off to a slow start, but the teenage shortstop has blossomed over the past few weeks to the tune of a .935 August OPS. Remember this name. We may be talking about Penalver quite a bit two or three seasons from now.
  • [Arizona] Tyler Ihrig gave up a run on 3 hits and struck out 4 in his 3 innings of work.
  • [Arizona] Brian Bogusevic is currently rehabbing in Arizona. He doubled and walked three times last night. Greg Rohan (2 hits, 2 walks) is also continuing to rehab in the desert.

Other News

  • I know many fans gave up on Maples when he had control issues in Kane County, but that decision is looking increasingly premature. His stats from Boise leave little room for argument – this guy is simply overpowering the league. Short-Season A is not that much lower than Low-A. The same pitcher who struggled badly in Kane County would not be producing these outstanding results in Boise. That makes sense, because I doubt he is really the same pitcher. I would love to see what Maples’ mechanics look like now (but I can’t, because the Cubs did not sign Boise up for MiLB.TV, and that is a terrible decision by the Cubs, but that is a different article), but I suspect what we would see if we could see is that Maples is comfortable with and repeating well the improved delivery we saw in progress in Kane County.
  • Believe in 2015

    I would like to see this starting next year:

    Javier Baez AAA
    Jorge Soler AA
    Pierce Johnson AA
    CJ Edwards AA
    Kris Bryant A+ (short stint)
    Albert Almora A+
    Dillon Maples A

    • JB88

      At this point, I’d be really surprised if Bryant started in Daytona next year. I think he’s Tennessee bound all the way, especially if Daytona makes the playoffs this season.

    • ssckelley

      Unless he has a big set back Bryant should start next year no lower than AA. Maples might end up at Daytona next year, I think he would be back in Kane County if they were in the playoff hunt.

      • On The Farm

        Agreed. Also, pending on Almora’s health issues they may just shut him down once the minor league season is over and just go with Bryant as the one player below AA for the AFL. If Bryant continues his success in Daytona throught the playoffs and has a decent AFL, no dobut he starts in Tennessee. Which is good because Candelario is going to be in Daytona next season anyway.

        • ssckelley

          I wonder about Candelario, I think there is a chance he starts at KC next year. Even at 20 years old he would still be considered young for the Midwest League and he has not dominated that level yet.

          Injuries are the only thing holding Almora back, he would already be in Daytona had he not gotten hurt. Had he stayed healthy and showed he could hit Daytona he may have been another candidate for Tennessee. Vogelbach is another potential candidate for AA if he keeps hitting Daytona well.

          That Tennessee team should be loaded next summer.

          • DavidC

            Candela has shown steady improvement all year and has dominated lately. No way he’s not at Daytona and no way Bryant isn’t at AA next April.

            • DavidC

              *Candelario.

            • On The Farm

              I too think Candelario has shown what he needs to and will be headed to A+. Should see Amaya, Candelario, and Vogelbach all re-united in Daytona. Hopefully Maples starts in Kane County tears it up, and gets to Daytona by midseason.

    • Rebuilding

      Bryant turns 22 this offseason and given his college experience will be fast-tracked. Unless he falls off of a cliff he’ll start in AA. I expect we’ll see him by the All-Star break next year. At this point I’m not ruling out Baez forcing his way on to the team in Spring Training. Instead of struggling the 2nd time through teams in AA he’s getting better. Although, deserved or not, they might until after the Super 2 deadline

      • On The Farm

        If they can add Bryant and Baez to this team by the deadline my expectations will probably shift even more for the 2015 window. You are getting me too excited.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I agree. 2015 Cubs should realistically be a good team…possibly very good.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        I think there is zero chance Bryant is up at the All Star break or Baez starting in the majors.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          They should both be up by the trade deadline simply because theres no reason they shouldn’t, unless they stop hitting.

        • Ivy Walls

          I will say this again and again. There is no such thing as a neat linear progression in sports for individual development. Players who are superior, not just better but superior move fast and continue to be superior through each level.

          There are few. I will also say that Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod are correct a player must be developed in how they approach the game, prepare themselves, prepare their own regime and understand the nuances, mentally.

          IF, IF, IF, Baez and Bryant are superior in the class of potential HOF level, not merely AS maybe or a good MLB player but a level that is exemplary, than they will be up faster than you think.

          Castro had the ability, but it was not developed. One might say it was not handled here in Chicago at the level but his BABIP says it all to me. First two years he was lights out with .350 BABIP and now he is running at or below the league level where he does not walk. I don’t know why,

          But Baez is dominating his competition at AA. Dominating. Bryant has just begun but if he is the real deal as in a generational hitter like some scouts said, than I expect him to dominate Advanced A and AA early next year, plus turn heads in Arizona next spring.

          As for Almora, he better get healthy, that is always the first thing.

          • ssckelley

            I think the only other thing that might hold them back is financial reasons. This FO (and ownership) see the long term effects of calling someone up to early, they held Rizzo down at Iowa for this very reason. Player control is everything these days and the Cubs will want to have it with both Bryant and Baez. But if they think they can make a run at the playoffs next season and Baez is killing it in spring training we might see him make the team.

            There is a part of me that still wonders if the Cubs won’t move Castro this off season. Baez has been adamant about playing shortstop and every report I read on him suggest that he could stick. Remember the Cubs negotiated Castro’s extension without giving him a no trade clause. I can’t help but wonder if this FO did not see this coming. Castro has value and if they find the right trade partner (maybe the Rays?) perhaps this could open the door for Baez to make the team next spring.

      • JB88

        If you want to compete in 2015, I think Baez and Bryant need to be up by at least the second half next year. I don’t think you want to be trying to integrate too many rookies onto this team at one time and I think that these guys are going to need some ML experience in advance of the Cubs competitive window.

    • willis

      For weeks I thought regardless, Baez would start next season in TN. But lately I’ve seen him lose his mind to the point where Iowa is the lowest he’ll start next season, if not break camp with the big boys. He’s just special.

      As far as the other thoughts, I think Maples starts in A, Almora and Vogelbomb start in A+, Johnson, Edwards, Black, Soler and Bryant in AA.

      What do you do with Alcantara and Villanueva? If this regime still believes in Olt, he’ll be manning 3B in AAA. If Baez starts at AAA, there are not enough IF spots. But if he breaks camp that infield in AAA Could be Vitters 1B, Villanueva 2B, Alcantara SS?

      Then again there will be plenty of trades I’m sure.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I think Olt will need to move up or move down to start next year…he can’t just stay at 3rd base with a crowd behind him that need to get through at 3b. I see him starting at AA next year and moving up again if he figures it out.

        • On The Farm

          The only problem is that Villanueva has had a good enough season to move on to AAA, Bryant (if he continues as is) is expected to be at AA. If that’s the case Olt will need to move to LF/1B (probably alternating with Vitters so that both can get reps). I think he has the rest of this month and then the Spring to see if he can get his swing back. If he can’t stick with the MLB club out of Spring training, then I believe he will be in Iowa as the starting LF.

  • JB88

    Cubs Den mentioned that Maples scraped the change up and is working with his FB and curve right now.

    I’d love to see him add a two-seamer to the repertoire as well and basically work with three pitches. Of course, he’ll need a change up or some other breaking pitch against better lefties down the road but if he is able to harness his FB and his insane curve, he should advance to AA pretty quickly within the next two seasons.

    • Edwin

      I’m a big fan of the 2-seam/curveball/cutter approach for RH pitchers.

      • JB88

        Me too. The movement on a 2-seamer can be similar to a slider and the stress on the arm is so much less. My preference for preservation of arms would be 2-seamer, 4-seamer, change-up, but I’m okay with the curve.

        • Edwin

          I was thinking less of “preserving” an arm, and more about effective pitching. I’m thinking more in the mold of Chris Carpenter, Doc Halladay, Adam Wainwright, even to a lesser degree Scott Feldman and Brandon McCarthy. I don’t know if there really is such a thing as a pitch that “saves” arms or prevents injury, I just think it seems that the 2-seam/cutter/curve is an effective approach for a RHP. Typically, sinkers work great against same handed batters, and cutters and curveballs work well against opposite handed batters.

          • CubsFaninMS

            Doc Holladay huh? I’m you’re huckleberry.

  • waittilthisyear

    minor league daily is consistently my favorite post of the day. no slight on you brett, the big league team just leaves a lot to be desired

    • ssckelley

      Same, but mainly because the MLB team stinks so bad.

  • Rebuilding

    Dillon Maples! I have heard the same thing – they finally just said heck with it throw what works. Nice to see him have some success

    • JB88

      It also doesn’t mean they can’t add it back in later, but why screw up everything else working on that pitch.

  • On The Farm

    My thoughts on the article: Looks like Raley is going to have to prove himself as a bullpen comidity this September (although we were all pretty sure if a rotation spot opened up it was Arrieta’s to lose anyway). CJ Edwards continues to make me happy about that Matt Garza deal, I’ll say it again that AA rotation next year is going to be good. Nice to see Kane County actually have a good pitching performance (at least since Johnson left).

    Question for Luke: What are your thoughts on Austin Reed from Daytona?

    • JUICED1

      still like to see who we get as the player to be named later. olt has been miserable. the front office has been great at picking talent but I think they got suckered on that one.

      • willis

        Olt is putrid.

        Grimm is meh. Nothing great.

        Edwards is a boss.

        • hansman1982

          Either Olt has completely forgotten how to hit a baseball, the concussion last year ruined his professional career or he’s just having a bad year. I doubt he will be a stud but I think this year is not who he is as a ballplayer.

        • Cubswin

          Grimm and Hendricks remind me a lot of each other. Both need location to be effective and I think both can end up being reliable back end of the rotation types. Grimm was rushed up to the big leagues with Texas b/c of injuries so it will be interesting to see how he does when he has a little time to polish up his stuff

      • DarthHater

        Yes, Olt has been terrible since the trade and his 2013 as a whole has not been as good as earlier seasons. However, his 2013 performance before the trade was a lot better than it has been since the trade. So his bad performance since the trade just looks like a good old-fashioned slump. In any event, Olt was just one piece of a larger package and the FO has gotten what it bargained for — i.e. a former stud prospect who is teetering on the edge between resuming his progress and tumbling into a permanent decline. Yes, there’s risk involved and no guarantee that Olt will ultimately succeed. But it’s silly to say that the FO got suckered because this one guy in the package is having a bad slump.

        • Cubswin

          I agree with Darth. I don’t think the FO got suckered into anything. They knew the risk they were taking in taking Olt on, especially during a struggling year but must believe enough in the upside to deem it was worth it. He wasn’t the center package either. If he can turn into even half of what was originally expected in Olt I think it was a solid move

  • ssckelley

    Did anybody notice Shawon Dunston Jr was back in the lineup for Boise yesterday? He should be in KC next year and will be another fun player to watch.

  • Jared

    Does anyone have any updates on Paniagua since he was sent down from Kane County? I don’t remember seeing any results lately.

  • When the Music’s Over

    Javier Baez is such a beast.

    I remember Goldstein at BP being on the negative side about him from the get go and even after his first year, which was quite successful all things considered. Would love to hear him continue to be stubborn about Baez now.

    Also, funny that even in Goldstein’s absence, BP still runs with the somewhat negative vibe on him with comments like #want. Yet they, especially Parks, literally cant report enough positive stuff about Sano.

    • JB88

      It’s hard not to be excited about Sano. That said, I remember Parks writing about his slump post suspension and some other less than flattering things about him in the same time frame.

      • another JP

        If anyone thinks Baez has an attitude they obviously haven’t seen the likes of Sano yet. Dude acts like a serious tool.

        • Edwin

          It’s probably just young kids being kids. Apparently Bryce Harper also had an attitude problem in the minors. When you’re 19-23 and on pace to be one of the best on the planet at what you do, it’s probably hard not to have an attitude.

          • JB88

            Just the minors? I think many would see Harper’s antics these days and think he has an attitude problem now.

        • ssckelley

          I don’t mind a little cockiness in the sports world, I think a little of it helps. I have heard others say that Baez is a nice person away from the field.

    • Kyle

      I think this is just some of that “everyone is biased against my team” stuff that we can’t help thinking sometimes.

      Parks couldn’t possibly be more positive about the Cubs’ system in general.

    • hansman1982

      Here’s the thing, up until about 2.5 months ago, there was plenty to be negative about considering that it’s incredibly tough to find a successful player that had the BB/K split he had in A ball.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      I’m not following? #want is a good thing.

  • Diamond Don

    Trade Olt in off season in a package that includes Barney for some pitching. This will open some infield spots for Baez, Vitters and Bryant.

    • ssckelley

      Sounds great, who is our trade partner? Which team is desperate enough for a 3rd base prospect who is on the decline and a no-hit-good-glove middle infielder that they will give the Cubs pitching?

      • Kyle

        A ton of teams.

        Like it or not, an elite glove/no-hit middle infielder is a valuable player in the current offensive environment.

        • JB88

          I would be more than happy with trading Barney this off-season, though I suspect it would be a sell-low situation. I’d much rather wait until the trade deadline next year when, hopefully, his offensive numbers rebound.

  • Jon

    One thing I noticed is that when browsing the box scores, I consistently see starting solid starting pitching lines, but limited to five innings or so.

    Is this common in the minor leagues? I’m guessing they are trying to strike a balance between development and arm preservation.

    • On The Farm

      Well not only that, but most of the pitchers are nearing their career high in innings pitched, but Daytona is looking at the playoffs and wanting their SP to get the playoff experience. So I can understand why some of the minor league teams are limiting innings. But I assume the guys in KC or guys who were just drafted are just trying to limit the number of innings to avoid any “dead arm” cases.

      • Jon

        It’s good to see. I’m glad you don’t have minor league managers going “rogue” per say.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, it’s an organizational thing – they have some innings limitations in mind for many of the young pitchers, and one way they achieve it is by ramping down the innings later in the year.

      • JB88

        I’d also imagine as they build depth in the organization they are going to need to also figure out a way to get innings for all of their pitchers. And using 3- and 4-inning starts and piggybacking onto that start is a great way to accomplish their dual interests.

  • North Side Irish

    MiLB.com ‏@MiLB 1m
    #Cubs top prospect Javier Baez got all of this one for his 30th homer of 2013, 13th with @smokiesbaseball. WATCH: http://atmilb.com/16U40G2

    That swing is almost vicious…like he’s mad at the baseball.

    • Danny Ballgame

      He swings pretty damn hard

      • MichiganGoat

        It’s so violent – it hurts my back just to watch it.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Doesn’t everything hurt your back? /s

          • MichiganGoat

            Just snarky comments

  • Mr. Future Ashley Chavez

    I was watching Chicago Sports Talk Live with David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer was talking about how out off all of these Cubs prospects, he said something along the lines of that the Cubs will be lucky if two of them make it to the big leagues and if one of them ever becomes just an average contributor. I know that the changes are slim with prospects making it to begin with, that there are some guys that can contribute that are under the radar (Hendricks, Alcantara) and that what the Cubs are doing is playing the numbers and just stock piling guys. But if guys like Baez, Soler and Bryant carry over their productions into next season, it will be kind of hard seeing these guys NOT making the big league team.

    • JB88

      Wittenmyer has caught the bug that afflicts Paul Sullivan. He was actually a pretty decent follow up until this year, but he’s been pretty much a miserable curr since he ran that article on the Cubs’ finances this spring.

    • Jon

      “The Kap Man” and Gordy. Two of the biggest idiots in the Chicago media.

  • Diamond Don

    There isn’t a team in the MLB that wouldn’t want Barney on their team. He can start on a strong offensive team like the Cardinals or could be a super utility great defensive back up infielder that can play 2nd, SS, or 3rd. Barney has a lot of trade value!

    • On The Farm

      If he was as valuable as you say he probably would have been traded this summer to a team looking for someone that you described. Barney’s trade value should proabably never be described as “a lot”

    • MichiganGoat

      He’s basically a defensive super sub and yes that has value but it’s not going to result in anything interesting and until the Cubs have a replacement for him there is no rush to move him unless the return was good. In the MLB if you can’t hit you don’t have much value.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Supposed Cubs mouthpiece Carrie Muskat tweeted with regards to Javier Baez:

    line vs LHP with AA Tennessee: .447/.500/.915 w/5 HRs;
    vs RHP .217/.278/.481 w/8 HRs

    • On The Farm

      Something scary about Baez, his ISO (.327) would make a great batting average and an average OBP. Just scary numbers in AA, although if we could combine him and Rizzo we could have a player who hits LHP and RHP.

  • Joepoe321

    Of the cubs Big 4, how many are projected to bust, and how many are projected to at least be solid player not necessarily reach full potential, and how many will reach their full potential? I know there is no way of knowing but what are the odds?

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