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iowa cubs mascotThe Venezuelan Summer League, the first of the international rookie leagues to get started, is underway. The VSL Cubs lost their home opener against the VSL Phillies yesterday in a game that saw Luis Ayala (2 for 4) and Jose Gonzalez (2 for 3, triple) both get off a good start.

The VSL will not be part of the Minor League Daily content, but I do keep a fairly close eye on events at that level and will call out performances of note from time to time (usually on Sunday). Those call outs are less likely to show up until the numbers have accumulated enough to have some significance.

Later on this summer the Arizona Rookie League and the Short Season A Boise Hawks of the Northwest League will get underway, and those teams will receive the Daily treatment here. We have a draft to get through before that happens, though.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - A run in the ninth and a run in the tenth set the Cubs up for this 2-1 win.
Tennessee - Despite a five run fourth inning, the Smokies lost 8-6.
Daytona - The Cubs produced 11 hits in this game, but they still lost 11-5.
Kane County - Kane County went down quietly, 6-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 8 and allowed a run on 6 hits and 3 walks in his 7 innings of work. Marcus Hatley struck out 4 in 2 innings of relief.
  • [Iowa] Lars Anderson tied the game with his second home run of the season in the ninth inning.
  • [Iowa] And Javier Baez drove in the winning run in the tenth with his first hit since last Wednesday.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva homered, his 4th, as part of a 2 for 4 game, and stole his 3rd base. Rafael Lopez hit his 3rd homer.
  • [Tennessee] Jeudy Valdez doubled and tripled as part his 2 for 4 game.
  • [Daytona] Gioskar Amaya homered (his first), walked, and scored twice.
  • [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher and Marco Hernandez both finished 3 for 4. Rademacher doubled and walked as part of his day.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Rogers and Will Remillard both doubled.
  • [Kane County] Tyler Skulina struck out 7 and walked 3 while giving up 4 runs on 5 hits in his 5 innings of work.

Other News

  • It may not be much of a positive given their general slide, but Daytona did walk four times against just two strikeouts on Monday.
  • The eighth iteration of their 2014 mock draft is up at Through The Fence Baseball, and they have Miami surprising everyone and taking high school shortstop Nick Gordon with the second overall pick. I like the reasoning, though. Since Miami also picks at 36, 39, and 43, they could look to save a little in the second slot to go over slot on some falling players with their supplemental picks. If I ran the Marlins draft, I would be thinking about that plan as well. And since that approach would leave, in this mock draft, Tyler Kolek available for the Cubs, I love that plan for Miami. Except TTFB does not have the Cubs taking Kolek. Instead, the Cubs pick Tyler Beede.If all that of sounded a bit wild, just imagine how things are going to be on the night of the first round. This draft is still very much in the air.
  • Chad

    I love how that mock draft plays out. Only one better scenario and that would be the Whitesox taking Jackson or Kolek and leaving the cubs with Aiken. Only way it gets better.

    • Chad

      Or Rodon, that’d be cool too.

      • ssckelley

        If the Astros and Marlins pass on Rodon I can see him falling to the Cubs at #4. It sounds like the Sox are high on Jackson, if Kolek and Aiken go 1 and 2 I think they take Jackson.

        • Chad

          If the cubs end up with Aiken/Rodon/Beede I will be happy. I am one that thinks Beede is in the same tier as those guys, just a bit behind maybe, but any of those guys would make me happy. The more and more I look at it, the cubs pretty much have to take a pitcher.

          • ssckelley

            My guy is Jackson, but I am starting to doubt he will be available at #4. But I like the idea of grabbing the top bat with the #1 pick and then load up on pitchers in rounds 2-10. Seeing all the injuries pitchers are having scares the hell out of me, I would be nervous if the Cubs take a pitcher at #4. But I am warming up to the idea as it looks more and more like a pitcher is what the Cubs end up with. I am liking the idea of Rodon possibly dropping to #4, I still think he is the best pitcher in the draft. My biggest concern about Rodon is the agent that represents him (Boras).

            • Chad

              I like the strategy when the bat is clearly better than or at least equal to the pitchers at that point. I don’t think jackson fits that bill this year. I actually believe there are 3 pitchers that are far ahead of Jackson. If Aiken/Rodon/Beede are gone then yes take Jackson because Kolek is on the same level. You have to take the best player available at your spot whether pitcher or postion player. All equal take the position player.

              One thing about drafting a pitcher in the top of the 1st round is that if the pitcher does work out, odds are higher for impact at the ML level. It’s great to get 9 pitchers rounds 2-10, but if you get 1 at the top of the draft that works out that is a good problem to have for sure.

              • SenorGato

                Kinda sorta feel this way – but if drafted at C by the Cubs I would support a decision to draft Jackson. It has to be that specific situation, not really into the idea of a HS corner OFer in the top 4 unless his bat is so good that he shouldn’t be there at 4.

                I think Zimmer deserves a mention if we’re going to talk bats, but it goes to show how unappealing the bats are up top. He’s arguably a tweener in the OF, so RF, though I’m sure someone somewhere thinks he can stick in CF.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              My order would be

              Aiken
              Rodon
              Gordon
              Jackson
              Kolek
              Beede

              I also really, really like Kyle Freeland, but I’m not sure he’ll go this high. He has 111 K’s (inflated b/c it isn’t the best conference) to just 7 walks in just under 90 innings. Sits in the low 90s and can touch 96 with a plus slider and above average changeup from the left side.

              • SenorGato

                I was disappointed when Freeland had injury whispers himself, but then I started rooting for it to drop him to the second.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  I hadn’t seen these?? Are they recent?

  • Wrigley1

    Very interesting choice between a college pitcher and a HS pitcher. I know the front office doesn’t want to draft for need, but at the same time I really just want a college pitcher who can get up here and help us win soon. God knows how long a HS pitcher will take to develop.

    • SenorGato

      Yeah, I think Kolek requires a ton of work. Aiken is the only HS arm I would take at 4.

    • Chad

      I am simply not sold on Kolek. He has a fastball with great velocity, but does it move? I’m sure someone can answer that. What about his secondary pitches, I have not seen a report that actually says anything about them other than they “should” develop. And how is his control? I know Beede has control issues as well, but I think his overall stuff is probably better than Kolek’s and he is much more likely to rise through the system more quickly.

  • SenorGato

    Very down to draft Beede, I think he’s the ideal pick. Does anyone else care that he’s the only premium college arm with no whispers of injury? Well, him and Nola, but I would take Beede between the two.

    • Chad

      I am very happy with that projection as well. I think the cubs are in a better spot than everyone thinks.

      This is how my preference order for the cubs goes:
      1. Aiken
      2. Rodon
      3. Beede
      4. Jackson
      5. Gordon
      6. Kolek

      After that it doesn’t matter much.

      I have no doubt Hoffman goes in the 1st round, but I was still hoping he can fall to the cubs in the 2nd round, but just too many comp picks I think for that to even be possible now.

      • SenorGato

        While I do favor Beede/Jackson/Aiken we have the same top 4 names as I would definitely draft Rodon under the right circumstance (such as those guys being the first three picks).

      • itzscott

        >> I have no doubt Hoffman goes in the 1st round, but I was still hoping he can fall to the cubs in the 2nd round <<

        I don't know why he wouldn't.

        Why would a team risk a 1st round selection on any pitcher having TJS until at the least they have a positive indication from the surgeon/doctors that everything went well?

        No surgery outcome is 100% predictable.

        • Chad

          I believe he could be signed relatively cheap and TJS has a high success rate, so if he does come back you have got a top 5 talent in the late 1st round. Plus now you have more $ to spend on later round draft picks as well. It’s probably more appealing than you would think.

          • JakeMac

            And, that’s exactly what the Nationals did with Lucas Giolito. Early results there look promising.

  • Darth Ivy

    home team bias alert:

    I picked up Mike Olt! on one of my fantasy teams.

    And Jose Fernandez? Oh, my.

  • SenorGato

    Hey Luke – have you heard anything about Mark Malave this year? Bonus baby as a SH catcher out of Venezuela during the 2011 IFA splurge. He was supposed to be the top catching prospect that year IIRC, and has shown good plate discipline so far.

    • JB88

      Not Luke, but from reports I’ve read which I believe Al Yellon posted, it sounds like Malave is doing well, has transitioned back to catcher, and will likely be starting the year in Boise.

      • SenorGato

        I liked that the Cubs moved him off the position a little bit at 16-18, but it’s a baseless belief that it helped his knees out.

  • SenorGato

    BTW: 2015 ASU LHSP Ryan Kellogg threw 8 against Oregon this past weekend with a career high 12 Ks. Ks are about the only hole in Kellogg’s game, he’s a fairly accomplished amateur otherwise.

  • ari gold

    Soler left the game early on Sunday and then didn’t play yesterday. Anyone know why? Hopefully just a regular day off.

    • bbmoney

      This is what I was hoping to find out as well.

    • Spriggs

      Hoping it was normal. They took a couple other guys out of the lineup early on Sunday. Hoping it was just because of the score and the day off was just for rest. Hoping…

      • bbmoney

        I’m kind of expecting it to be, especially since I haven’t heard otherwise…and i’ve looked. He’s coming back off an injury give him a few days off here or there. It would make sense.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Let’s see. He’s not…

      (1) Stepped on a thumb tack yet
      (2) Sneezed (a la Sammy Sosa) his back out of alignment
      (3) Had an aggravated in-grown hair
      (4) Stomped on a plate in celebration of a home run and broke a bone
      (5) Had aggravated hemorrhoids

      I’m guessing Jorge Soler-a-chondriac has done one of these so he can check it off the list.

      I kid. Hopefully he’s fine and continues his initial “rake” of AA.

      • ssckelley

        (6) Bloody nose

      • CubFan Paul

        ‘(5) Had aggravated hemorrhoids’

        That was Almora

    • http://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/TeamPage.aspx?Team=CHC RotoChamp

      Brett tweeted yesterday that it was a routine day off for rest.

      • Bilbo161

        Thanks Roto!

  • SenorGato

    The wind blew again so that means a reshuffling of the draft boards.

    These two are from MLB.com and Chris Crawford:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/wat…14/#list=draft

    Top 10

    1. Brady Aiken
    2. Carlos Rodon
    3. Tyler Kolek
    4. Alex Jackson
    5. Aaron Nola
    6. Nick Gordon
    7. Tyler Beede
    8. Jeff Hoffman
    9. Kyle Freeland
    10. Bradley Zimmer

    http://mlbdraftinsider.com/2014/05/the-board-volume-v/

    1. Aiken
    2. Rodon
    3. Kolek
    4. Gordon
    5. Jackson
    6. Zimmer
    7. Holmes
    8. Newcomb
    9. Nola
    10: Toussaint

    Beede at 12 lol.

    • ssckelley

      To bad the Cubs could not have gotten Zimmer signed back when they drafted him in the 23rd round in the 2011 draft. But not worth a top 10 pick IMO.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I have no problems with Zimmer in the Top 10. I’m not convinced he’s a Top 4 guy, though.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I was reading about Freeland and watching some video this morning and I really like what I saw. Do you now much about him Luke? Only reason he’s not in consideration at 4 is because he’s from Evansville?

        • ssckelley

          IMO Trea Turner would be a better pick than Zimmer of the college bats.

          Speaking of Turner he has been coming on as of late at the plate. With a strong finish he might sneak back up the draft boards.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    There is a writeup on Cubs.com about Gordon. He is the son of Flash Gordon.

    regards,
    5412

  • NorthSideIrish

    Callis and Mayo debating the Cubs choices at 1.4…both go with position players…

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/26271672/v32835051/who-will-be-the-fourth-overall-pick-in-the-14-draft

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