daytona cubs logoAnd then there were two.

By sweeping a doubleheader yesterday, the Daytona Cubs locked up a second half Florida State League North division title and ticket to the playoffs, joining the Tennessee Smokies as a playoff-bound Cubs team. The Cubs have now won eight games in a row, have the best record in the league in the second half, the best record in the league overall, and are featuring a prospect rich pitching rotation and lineup that is going to be tough to beat.

Daytona has had some success in the FSL series in the past. The Cubs High A team won the championship in 1995, 2000, 2004 (co-champion), 2008, and 2011. They are serious contenders for the championship again this year.

Daytona might not be the last Cubs’ farm team to make the postseason, either. Boise is in the middle of a three way race in the Northwest League, and Iowa is still hanging around in Triple A.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa will not go out quietly. They beat first place Omaha yet again by a final of 5-2.
Tennessee – Tennessee had the day off.
Daytona – The FSL North Second Half Champion Daytona Cubs clinched their playoff ticket with this doubleheader sweep. They won the first game 6-2, and took the second by a final of 3-0.
Kane County – The Cougars piled on the runs in this 9-1 blowout win.
Boise – Thanks to this 10-6 win, the Hawks are now in sole possession of first place.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs had the day off. Their season finale is today.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Mike “Multi-Walk” Olt earned 2 more free passes in this one. He has now piled up 7 walks in his last three games.
  • [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks gave up 2 runs on 6 hits through 8 innings. He walked one and struck out 4. His Triple A ERA now reads 2.38. This guy has been about as effective as it gets lately.
  • [Daytona] Home runs by Dustin Geiger (his 16th) and Kris Bryant (his 4th) were the only extra base hits in the first game.
  • [Daytona] Pin-Chieh Chen reached and stole a base in both games and now has 13 steals on the year.
  • [Daytona] On the pitching side, C.J. Edwards tossed 4.1 innings in the first game. He was not particularly sharp (2 R, 5 H, 1 BB), but he did strike out 5. Lendy Castillo pitched the last 2.2 innings and allowed just one hit.
  • [Daytona] Yao-Lin Wang (4 IP) and Ryan Searle (3 IP) split time on the mound in the second game, and each pitcher allowed just one hit. Wang struck out 3, and Searle fanned 4.
  • [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario homered (his 11th), doubled (his 35th), and finished 2 for 4. Carlos Escobar also homered (his 4th).
  • [Kane County] Scott Baker allowed just one hit and struck out a pair in his 5 innings of scoreless work.
  • [Boise] Home runs were provided to the Hawks by Jacob Rogers (his 8th), Yasiel Balaguert (his 8th), and Justin Marra (his 6th).
  • [Boise] Kevin Encarnacion finished 4 for 5 and stole his 9th base. Carlos Penalver double, walked, and also stole his 9th base.

Other News

  • Not only are four Tennessee Smokies on their way to the AFL this fall, the Smokies are sending their trainer as well.
  • Boise beat Salem-Keizer yesterday, and Hillsboro lost as well. That leaves Boise all alone on top of the division by one game. If they win out, they are in the playoffs. All five of Boise’s remaining games are at home: two more against Salem-Keizer, and three against Hillsboro. The Hawks are 11-3 at home in the second half this season.
  • Baseball photographer Dylan Heuer has brought us many excellent picture of the Iowa Cubs in action this season. Today he brings us some pictures of the Low A Kane County Cougars. Thanks to these great shots we now know that making funny faces while turning a double play is not just a Triple A thing.
  • Dylan Heuer also shot some video of Scott Baker while at the game last night. It’s tough to tell how hard Baker was throwing in this clip, but he was working very quickly.
  • macpete22

    Olt taking more walks has to mean he’s seeing the ball better

    • CubFan Paul

      Or he’s facing shakey minor league pitching (curveballs that never falls for strikes, slurvey changeups, & two pitch starters)

      • JB88

        That could be but seeing as how Iowa is facing the top two teams besides itself in the PCL over the last few days, you’d imagine he’s seeing at least a few halfway decent pitchers.

      • SalukiHawk

        Well, apples to apples, he is seeing that same pitching better than he was just two weeks ago. K’s way down, BB way up. Not much power or production through the last 10 games, but a marked improvement. It appears he is turning the corner. If he is able to do so, that would be big news for the Cubs. The possibility of a call up doesn’t sound nearly as ridiculous as it did a couple weeks ago.

  • Werner

    Well, well. Will see Baker later this month?

  • JB88

    Hard not to see Hendricks as the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year (with Baez as batter of the year). Just a tremendous year for Hendricks.

  • Barry

    Olt’s last 10 games.
    .321 BA, .500 OBP, .964 OPS 10walks, 6 Ks
    Looks like the Garza deal was a good one!

    • cub4life

      that is a pretty good line….

    • Jon

      Fun with arbitrary endpoints!

      • Jon

        But I hate to break it to you, but the other games count too.

        • hansman1982

          If he was being non-serious with his “Looks like the Garza deal was a good one!” line, then yes, his statement is a bit bupkis.

          However, it is good to see he is turning it around, and that is where arbitrary endpoints can be useful.

          • cub2014

            I think with Olt he doesn’t make or break
            that trade he was a throw-in, hoping for a
            turn around. Probably another Bret Jackson
            but any sign off life and I think us fans are

            We all love these prospects but remember they
            could easily turn into Vitters or Jackson or so on
            in history. Vitters still has a chance though.

  • Chad

    Have not seen Alcantra’s name much lately.

  • Jono

    mmmm, yeah, “The Cubs have now won eight games in a row, have the best record in the league”

    This felt so good to read

  • C. Steadman

    i’m liking the season Dustin Geiger is havin…too bad hes a 1B/3B guy…hopefully he could be a good bench bat in the majors some day if he pans out, maybe get switched to a COF spot

    • Luke

      I think he can play good enough OF to make it as a corner everything bat off the bench type.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Yeah, Geiger has really been coming on under the radar. Just looked at his numbers the other day and was wondering why he wasn’t getting a mention.

        Which one shows more promise as a future 1B, Volgelbach or Geiger? Was wondering since Geiger playing a level and a half higher, has about 60 point lower OPS and showing similar HR power this year (though I would imaging Volgelbach’s power ceiling is much higher).

        • Luke

          Geiger is better with the glove, I believe, but Vogelbach’s offensive ceiling is much higher.

      • cub2014

        Geiger is only 21, his numbers have improved
        (AVG,OBP,HR & RBI) each year always a good
        sign. Be a nice righthanded 1B-OF emergency
        3B off the bench.

    • C. Steadman

      yeah that’ll be a good type of bat to have on the bench thats able to play a some different positions

    • cubchymyst

      Be better if he was a Lefty, the Cubs have a lot of Right handed hitters coming up through the system. Figure they will need a few lefties on the bench who can provide some quality spot starts.

  • Zachary

    Luke how good of a prospect is wang. If I remember correctly wasn’t he one of the top international kids out of the 2009 class.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I love Wang.

      • waittilthisyear


  • Cedlandrum

    Man looking at those pics, Gretzky is super thin. Dude needs to bulk up a bunch.

  • Vin23

    Kendricks came in as a low ranked prospect….but is he the closest thing the Cubs have to a starter for next year in the minors? Is it possible he comes up in September?

    • MaxM1908

      If he emerges as a quality starter at the MLB level. . .we might have to rethink how upset we all were at how the Dempster drama unfolded last year. Christian Villanueva and Hendricks for two months of Dempster from a really crappy negotiating position? Not bad, FO. Not bad at all.

      • On The Farm

        Yeah, its too bad people will remember the Scott Baker signing and trading DeJesus just for salary relief instead of the Dempster and Feldman trades which could turn out to be huge wins.

        • Jon

          Instead of Scott Baker for 1 year @ 5 million we could have had 2 years of Lirano for 9 million.

          • On The Farm

            Why are you so butt hurt about the FO missing out on one guy?

          • cub2014

            ya Jon and we should have never traded
            away: josh Donaldson, ricky nolasco, chris
            archer and Marlon Byrd or anyone else over
            the years like Lou Brock. Liriano was a big
            gamble same as Baker going into this year
            except he was a 2 year gamble.

            • Jon

              Actually, the 2nd year @ 8 million, that being a team option, wasn’t a big gamble at all. If he wasn’t good, or healthy, you just decline the option.

          • ssckelley

            If the FO is not making a few mistakes then they are not trying hard enough. I have no problem with the few miss steps they have taken because I still like the direction this organization is headed. The good out weights the negative by a long ways.

        • willis

          Nah, I think people will remember and point to all of the good and bad. You cant have it one way or another because there have been brilliant moves and awful moves. Such is life when you have to pull triggers at the top.

          We have to be as objective as possible when looking at these things. Baker, Stewart, Dejesus dumping…yep kinda suck. But Plenty of other moves like Demp trade, Feldman signing/trade, Schierholtz, Navarro, Soler…maybe the Garza and Soriano trade depending on a lot to come.

          The one that could come back to really irk people is the Jackson signing. He’ll give effort and innings, but I don’t think he’ll perform to that contract or come close.

          • On The Farm

            All of those things should be weighted though and that’s where I think the problem occurs. I have no problem recognizing that Baker and Stewart were bad acquisitions. However, Baker was pretty much a $5 million dollar lottery ticket. I don’t like the lottery ticket term too much, but they had some money to spend and they had already filled their rotation so why not take a chance at a guy with a June return if it pans out, good for us. It didn’t but Baker wouldn’t have changed this team enough to be that big of a loss. Stewart is a heavy loss and I don’t need to explain why. If DeJesus is considered a loss, it has to be a minimal one, he is in his 30s, pretty much only bats against righties (his OBP vs LHP has been declining the last three seasons), we can get pretty close to equal production of DeJesus from Sweeney or Bogie.

            • Some Guy

              Stewart is a heavy loss because we gave up the next Ron Santo for him? We gave up crap and got crap in return. It’s a push, at worst.

              • clark addison

                Stewart is hitting around .175 at Albequerque.

                Makes Mario Mendoza look like a batting champion.

                • Jason

                  Clark. Spent one season with Mendoza as he managed a Double A team. Kind of an edgy guy and nobody dared to kid him about the Mendoza line. We had a bad club but he did not help matters by playing his nephew Carlos as his career burnt out after that season. Mendoza managing in Mexican league now. After that season Bill Russell took over and he was a terrible manager for kids at this level–no patience at all and a total wash with fans and media. Arrogant.

              • On The Farm

                No, but he was an expensive worthless option on the team, not to mention he drew a ton of negative attention to the franchise. He was a unnecessary distraction.

  • Kevin

    Luke. Will you be at any of the Daytona Cubs playoff games?

    • Luke

      I wish, but there is no way I can make it work.

      I’m too tied down by my regular job to make any trips like that right now.

  • ssckelley

    Boise is almost 2 games ahead of Hillsboro since if they finish in a tie Boise wins due to the first 2 tie breakers. Boise owns a 2-1 record against Hillsboro in the 2nd half, they would have to be swept by Hillsboro for them to lose that tie breaker because the 2nd one is head to head for the season (Boise is 7-2) in the event Hillsboro wins 2 of the 3 and ends up tied with Boise. If Salem wins the 2nd half then Boise is 2nd half champ due to better overall record. Not that it matters but Boise is also a game out of having the best overall record in the Northwest League, but there is no home field or anything awarded for this.

    Even without Bryant that Boise team is stacked and will be tough to beat. They have a few prospects that I am getting excited about. They have decent prospects almost at every position and a pretty good pitching staff. I hope to see a number of these players at Kane County next year.

  • Edward

    I wish these minor league updates had a bigger focus on the stats of the Cubs top prospects. Perhaps a running stat line of the top 10? Because that’s the only reason I check it out. I really don’t care much about who wins or loses. Or maybe a weekly prospect update in addition to the daily minor league update?

    • On The Farm

      Well the whole point of who wins is important, with Daytona qualifying (and Tennessee earlier) it means those top prospects get extra playing time. Specifically Bryant, Vogelbach, CJ Edwards, Pierce Johnson, Baez, and Alcantara with those two teams for our “top ten guys”.

    • ssckelley

      You have to be in the minority on this. The best part of Luke’s articles is he sometimes finds the diamonds in the rough. It would be to easy if all he did was focus on the top 4 and it would get boring fast.

      • On The Farm

        Especially if they had an 0-fer night, its not a video game where one of them is going to have a magical night every game so there will be something worth writing an entire article about.

        • ssckelley

          I agree, plus there are prospects outside of the top 4 that are worth keeping an eye on. There are prospects that are ranked lower because of how good this system is. I can’t help but wonder where some of our 11-20 prospects would have ranked even just a couple of years ago. It seems like only yesterday McNutt was our top pitching prospect.

  • terencemann

    Next time someone asks if Trevor Gretzky is a prospect, I think the response should just be his photo from that set. He could hide behind a light pole.

    • terencemann

      Also, holy shit, Reggie Golden’s arms. 😮

    • Jason

      Come down to instructs and watch him play this fall. He actually has a little pop. Of course, his big pop may be in bleachers with you. He loves his kid.

    • On The Farm

      Its clear why he is not playing hockey, that’s for sure

  • Mat B

    Hey Luke, I noticed that Matt Szczur moved from # 10 on the prospect list to # 9. Who dropped off the list?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Junior Lake.

      • Mat B

        Thought that might be it.