kane county cougarsBrett, I’d love to tell you that this will happen every time you visit a minor league stadium, but I doubt you’d believe me if I tried. What happened in Dayton yesterday was just crazy. [Brett: Indeed. I’ll offer my own thoughts, reactions, reflections, etc., later.]

Let me start by saying that Dayton has been a good team this season, and they have some great fans. On a random Thursday in April 8,000 of those fans packed into the ballpark to watch their 9-3 Dayton Dragons take on Kane County. They came to watch Cincinnati’s No 18 ranked prospect (per Baseball America), a high ceiling lefty named Amir Garrett, face a young Cougars lineup that lacks any of the Cubs’ top tier offensive talents.

What they saw was borderline unbelievable.

Not only did Kane County hold Dayton to just one run on two hits, they erupted for nine runs on eleven hits of their own. By the end of the third inning.

When the smoke cleared Kane County had nineteen hits, including six doubles, and had won their 11th game of the season by a score of 13 to 1. Every single Kane County hitter had a hit. In fact, only two of them had just one hit.

I don’t think we should expect a repeat performance today… or ever, really. Nineteen hits against a quality (if in need of experience) prospect on a good team on the road is equal parts impressive and improbable, and whether they were cheering or suffering the fans in attendance were lucky to see it.

If you are an MiLB.TV subscriber, you might keep an eye out for that replay to become available (it should be linked off the boxscore below). The first three innings, at least, should be well worth watching.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Iowa Cubs won their second straight by a final of 5-4.
Tennessee – The Smokies were shut out in Game One of their doubleheader 4-0, but they bounced back to take Game Two 3-2.
Daytona – The Cubs tied it up in the eighth but lost it in the tenth. The final was 6-5.
Kane County – And then we have Kane County. I’m not sure what else to say here. They won 13-1. That pretty much says it all.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Once again Chris Valaika led offense with a 2 for 3 performance that featured his fourth double and a walk. Logan Watkins and Eli Whiteside also had two hits.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara (playing second in this one) hit his second triple of the season.
  • [Iowa] Eric Jokisch was the starter in this game, and through 5.2 innings he allowed 3 runs (none of them earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 5. Alberto Cabrera followed with 2 strikeouts in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, and Neil Ramirez walked one batter and struck out 3 in his inning of work.
  • [Iowa] The Iowa pitching had to be good in this one, because the Iowa defense gave up 6 errors. Watkins, playing shortstop, had two of the errors, Jokisch had two, and both Chris Coghlan and Christian Villanueva had one apiece.
  • [Tennessee] Corey Black did not have his best control in this game, walking 5 in just 4 innings, and that resulted in him giving up 3 runs despite allowing just 2 hits.
  • [Tennessee] A Dustin Geiger single broke up the no hitter for Jackson in Game One. Zeke DeVoss reached on a walk and stole both second and third. He now has 5 steals this season.
  • [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee was the Game Two starter, and he was solid if unspectacular. He did allow 6 hits in his 4 innings of work, but thanks in part to allowing just one walk he limited the damage to 2 runs while striking out 4. Hunter Cervenka struck out 3 and allowed 3 hits in his 2 scoreless innings of relief, and Armando Rivero struck out 3 for the save.
  • [Tennessee] Kris Bryant walked two more times in Game Two, and he also stole his third base of the season. John Andreoli reached on a single and stole his fifth base.
  • [Daytona] Rob Zastryzny did not allow any walks in his 4 innings. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he only struck out one and surrendered 4 runs on 9 hits. Zach Cates allowed just one run on 2 hits over the next 4 innings.
  • [Daytona] Arodys Vizcaino pitched another inning in this game, finishing with a hit and a walk to go with his 3 strikeouts.
  • [Daytona] Tim Saunders was hitting very well when his Daytona season came to an end last year, and he seems to have picked up where he left off. One of his two hits in this game was his first home run of the year, and he also stole his 6th base. Through 51 PA he is sitting on an .809 OPS.
  • [Daytona] Albert Almora returned to the diamond this game. He singled in 5 at bats and struck out twice.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Rogers (3 for 6), Ben Carhart (2 for 6) and Will Remillard (4 for 6) all had two doubles in this game. Those doubles were the only extra base hits for the Cougars.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann finished with two hits and stole his 8th base of the season. Carlos Penalver, also with two hits, had his sixth steal.
  • [Kane County] Rounding out the multi-hit games for the Cougars are two hit performances from Yasiel Balaguert and Daniel Lockhart.
  • [Kane County] The Cubs Low A franchise had a good day on the mound as well. Daury Torrez kept the ball through 8 innings and allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 4. The late innings of blow outs can sometimes be rough on relievers, but Nathan Dorris handled this one without any dramatics. And without any hits, walks, or strikeouts either.

Other News

  • One of these days Daytona is going to break out. They are losing, but they are losing close, often losing in odd ways, and a lot of signs are pointing to their offense being better than it has produced so far. Another of those signs came yesterday when they walked 7 times against just 5 strikeouts.
  • In case you want to see if Kane County can repeat their extraordinary hit display, they will be on MiLB.TV at 7 ET tonight. Juan Paniagua, a well regarded pitching prospect with a high potential arm, will be on the mound.
  • In today’s edition of Dylan Heuer’s photographic awesomeness we have Iowa Cubs being awesome with kids, Javier Baez in one of those jazz album cover photos, and Logan Watkins showing off how qualified he is to be in Chicago by laying down a bunt. If Watkins is called up in the next day or two we’ll know for sure that Renteria was watching.
  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Mmm. ..I am excited for some Kris Bryant in Iowa.

    • ced landrum

      yep, can you imagine if he gets called up at some point before Baez and Alcantara leave? That would be very cool. Either way Baez and Alcantara this year and Bryant and maybe Soler next. Very fun times in Iowa.

      Plus the fun pitching. I know Jokish and Rusin are not studs, but they know how to pitch. Plus with Hendricks and then next year Johnson and Edwards. Fun times are ahead.

      • CubFan Paul

        “can you imagine if he gets called up at some point before Baez and Alcantara leave?”

        That’s not out of the question at all. Injuries and continued suckage in the OF could open up a spot for Bryant before July.

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Oh I hope that happens because Bryant is on my fantasy bench.

          • Edwin

            You should be starting him every day. How else is he going to develope?

            • mjhurdle

              haha +1

    • Edwin

      I’m starting to get more excited about Bryant than I am about Baez.

      • Sandberg

        Me too. The walk rate right now is insane.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Me too, so I can see him and Baez beat the hell out of the Sounds.

  • Steve

    You can have him….after I see him in Chattanooga the first week of May.

    Super duper man crush …..

  • IAN

    I feel like Jacob Hannemann is in every one of these minor league reports.

    The ML Cubs are so boring. I have zero interest in them, actually. I wish I could watch Iowa, Tennessee and Kane County instead.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can! You have to pay for it and you only get a few Kane County games, but you can!

      • CubFan Paul

        The games on the radio are free. I’ve found Iowa, Tennessee, and Kane Co.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Daytona should be there as well. Check the team’s home page (linked above) at game time and there should be an “Audio” link.

      • IAN

        Pay? Well, that’s just silly.

    • Chad

      I really like Hanneman. If he can refine his athleticism into baseball skill I think he could be ahead of Almora in terms of the next big OF for the cubs. I think his ceiling is higher that Almora, of course his basement is much deeper as well.

  • TheDondino

    “One of these days Daytona is going to break out. They are losing, but they are losing close, often losing in odd ways, and a lot of signs are pointing to their offense being better than it has produced so far.”

    Seems like we said the same thing all season long about Kane County last year yet it never happened. Now most of that team is in Daytona. Can’t really draw any parallels, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    • Rich H

      I think a lot of the problems with Daytona this year comes from the idea that it is definitely a pitchers league. Then you throw in the idea that every season the pitchers start ahead of the batters as far as getting ready and you it makes sense that Daytona is struggling right now. I do see some changes in that as the season and the weather heats up. Even in Florida it seems that spring ball is better for pitchers than hitters.
      Most of the upside for Daytona is just the opposite of Kane County. It is mostly on the offensive side of the ball with Almora and company. When some of the pitchers in Kane County get promoted you will see a difference in the outcome.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Keep in mind, though, that Kane County was a pretty good offensive team last year. They didn’t have much pitching, but the bats were there. Daytona right now is often having problems scoring runs.

      This team is walking a fair bit, and there are a couple big bats in that lineup that haven’t woken up yet. I’m not sure they’ll have enough to compete for a second straight FSL title without some reinforcements on the mound, but that offense should be scoring more than it is, I think.

  • Rich H

    My take on Kane County this year is that on the offensive side there is very limited upside outside of Hanneman. BUT what they lack in pure projectablity (is that a word?) they make up for in baseball savvy. Call it the TWTW or what ever but they just seem to always have a guy that will step up and make the big play. On the pitching side they are loaded that is for sure.

  • andrewsk97

    I haven’t heard about this at all. Does anybody know whether Eloy Jimenez and/or Gleyber Torres are going to be playing in the US this year?