cactusThe Arizona Cubs have concluded their season, the first of the six U.S based teams to do so. This conglomeration of 2012 and 2013 draft picks mixed together with a fair helping of international free agents and injury rehab assignments finished the year a little under .500 at 27-28 overall.

If we learned anything in Arizona this summer, it is that Erick Leal and Daury Torrez are not pitching prospects we want to ignore. There was plenty of talent on this pitching staff, but those two broke out enough to place themselves firmly on our prospect radar as we head into the postseason. They are not in the upper echelon of the Cubs pitching prospects, and might not even make the Top 40 this winter, but they caught my attention. It may be two or three years before we really know what the Cubs have in those two (particularly Leal), but there is a chance that it will be well worth waiting for.

There were quite a few other good stories coming out of the Arizona Rookie League this season, but we will save those for the winter.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – I’m not sure what’s gotten into these Iowa Cubs, but they seem to have forgotten how to lose. Yesterday’s 4-2 win completed a sweep of first place Omaha.
Tennessee – Tennessee looked very good as they one-hit Chattanooga in this 5-0 win.
Daytona – Daytona played just one game yesterday, and they won yet again. The final was 3-2.
Kane County – The Cougars scored in the ninth but still lost 5-2.
Boise – Boise dropped back into a tie following this 10-8 loss.
Arizona – The Cubs finished the season off with a bang, winning 8-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Casey Coleman gave up just 2 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings while walking 3 and striking out 3. One of those hits was a home run.
  • [Iowa] When Coleman left the game three relievers each put up a single perfect inning. Those zeroes were hung up by Alberto Cabrera, Marcos Mateo, and Eduardo Sanchez.
  • [Tennessee] Welcome to the Cubs Neil Ramirez. Over 4.2 innings the newly acquired hurler struck out 5 and gave up just 1 hit and 2 walks. P.J. Francescon stuck out 3 more in his 1.1 innings, and Yeiper Castillo completed the one-hitter with 3 innings of 1 strikeout ball.
  • [Tennessee] Arismendy Alcantara doubled (No. 35), tripled (No. 4) and scored twice for the Smokies. His was the only multi-hit game. Christian Villanueva had the only home run, his 17th.
  • [Daytona] Corey Black pitched a very nice game. Over 6 innings he struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run on 3 hits while walking no one.
  • [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher doubled and finished the game 2 for 5. Zeke DeVoss walked twice and stole his 36th base.
  • [Kane County] The 26th double of the season by Rock Shoulders was the only extra base hit Kane County came up with.
  • [Kane County] Marco Hernandez finished 2 for 4 and the only multi-hit day for the Cougars. He also stole his 19th base.
  • [Boise] The pitching as a whole was not good in Boise’s loss, but Tyler Bremer was brilliant. Through 2.2 innings he surrendered nothing and struck out 5. Eddie Orozco was also very good, striking out 2 in his inning of work.
  • [Boise] Carlos Penalver, Daniel Lockhart, Shawon Dunston, and Kevin Encarnacion all finished with two hits. Encarnacion also homered – his 4th this month and 6th for the season.
  • [Arizona] Trevor Clifton struck out 3 in his 2 innings of work. Tyler Ihrig also struck out 3 over 2 innings.
  • [Arizona] Rehabbing Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena combined for five hits (including a double each) for the Cubs. Mark Malave also doubled.

Other News

  • We might need to seriously start talking about scenarios with these Iowa Cubs. When I wrote that they needed to win out to have a shot at the playoffs I really did not expect it to happen, but the hard part is over. They swept the series from Omaha and in the process dropped Omana into a tie with Memphis atop the division with the Cubs just two games back with four games to play. Memphis plays an excellent Oklahoma City team, and Omaha get the a good Round Rock squad to finish the season. Iowa visits the hapless Nashville Sounds. If Iowa can sweep the Sounds (not easy, but doable) and both Memphis and Omaha split their final series (also very possible), then we are looking at a three way tie atop the division when the season ends.
  • I can’t find expanded standings for the Pacific Coast League anywhere, so I’m counting up games for the tiebreakers by hand. The first tie breaker in either a two way or a three way tie is the record of the teams against each other, and that scenario is not all good news for the Cubs. I have Iowa at 11-4 on the season against Omaha, but just 6-10 against Memphis.
  • Dylan Heuer strikes again, this time back on his familiar turf in Iowa. Check the pictures out here.
  • cubchymyst

    Who do people think put up a better year in AA, Alcantara’s season this year or Watkins season last year?

    • Cedlandrum

      It’s a good question. They both had very good years in AA.

    • JB88

      For me it is AA hands down. The power numbers and XBHs really separate him from Watkins, even with Watkins better OBP.

    • ari gold

      Alcantara’s and it’s not even close. He’s only 21 and has much more power than Watkins. Good eye at the plate. He’s getting better as he moves up.

      • cubchymyst

        Forgot to consider age when I first thought about it. Alcantara being younger does push the needle to his side a bit, but Watkins was only 22 in double A last year. I’d probably got with Alcantara as well but I wish he had Watkins K%.

  • cub2014

    I think our old and newly acquired talent
    is starting to show up all over the minors
    in the won loss column.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I know it’s just Boise, but Encarnacion has been on fire, especially over the last 10 days or so. Does he start at KC next year?

    • JB88

      He’d better. He’s been old for every division in which he’s played so if he is a real prospect he better start advancing a couple levels in at least one of the next few years if he wants a legit shot at the majors.

  • Jorbert Solmora

    Looks like Clifton should start next year in Boise with a mid season call to KC.

  • cub4life

    Luke –
    Just a thought (and you prob already do this) but during the offseason sometime do a surmise of the specific teams (ex. Ari Cubs) and say the best prospects on that eam and how they did and players that are on that team that might have been better prospects and might have dropped off alot. Also with that a possible year that they might make it to the pros (given they stay with the team and we have room for them when they are ready) and if you expent that a player might be on the fence to make it or you don’t expect them to make it. As always thanks for the hard work you do and thanks for keeping us up with the minor leagues.

  • cub4life

    And as for expanded standings did you mean complete season or what?

    • cub4life

      nevermind i figured it out.

  • Corey

    Baez didn’t hit a home run?

    Demote him, he sucks.

  • miggy80

    In case anybody was wondering about that smoke in the I-Cubs pictures. There was a HUGE fire at a recycling plant that was only a mile or so to the east of the park. In fact it’s still burning. nasty

    • ETS

      where do you see pictures?

      • TheDondino

        Last bullet in the other news section.

        • miggy80

          That American flag sits right out in dead center. So that smoke was the batter eye. I wonder if that made it easier to see the ball? and it was more like 1/2 mile to the east of the park

  • Cubswin

    Love Ramirez first game with the cubs. Hoping he starts at triple A next year and has some early success. I know we’re not rushing him but not unrealistic to think 2014 sept call up of 2015 opening day with him if he performs

  • True(ly) Blue

    Love the photos!

  • True(ly) Blue

    Luke, Sorry! I also meant to say that I also love the minor league news and updates. Thanks for all your efforts.