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theo epstein and jed hoyerIn the wake of Germany blowing out Brazil in the World Cup, some very interesting articles have emerged regarding the German national soccer program. It turns out that Germany was pretty bad back in 2000, and so their national soccer organization decided to do something about it.

That something, as it turns out, was a systemic approach that focused heavily on scouting and player development. They instituted a standardized training curriculum across the junior level soccer clubs, added enough scouts that every corner of the nation was carefully scrutinized for the best talent, and then made sure that talent was transitioned into progressively more difficult leagues, each with a focus on additional development. The end result is a very deep, young, and talented German national team that ranks among the very best in the world and offers substantial promise for getting better in the future. Their success is not built on a few star players, in other words, but on a commitment to a systemic approach.

The details are different, but that overall strategy should sound familiar. Translate it to baseball terms, it is pretty much exactly what the Cubs are doing right now. Of course the Cubs are not scouting kids at the age of eight and steering them into the minor leagues soon thereafter, but the philosophy is the same. Find young talent. Build the best possible training and player development system for that young talent. Be patient.

For the German soccer team, the strategy worked. It remains to be seen if it will work for the Cubs as well.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – In fourteen innings, Iowa won 2-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies had the day off.
Daytona – The Cubs had another doubleheader yesterday. They won the first game 4-1, but lost the second one 8-6.
Kane County – Kane County had more hits, but they lost anyway by a final of 3-1.
Boise Hawks – Boise pulled to within a game of first place in this 6-2 win.
Arizona – The Cubs could not find their offense in this 8-0 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Eric Jokisch needed 107 pitches to pitch 7 innings. He allowed a run on a solo homer, one of just 3 hits he allowed. He also walked one and struck out 11.
  • [Iowa] Armando Rivero gave up 2 hits and a walk in 1.2 innings on the mound while striking out 3. Michael Heesch allowed just one hit and 2 walks while striking out 4.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur, Javier Baez, and Josh Vitters all doubled in this one. Logan Watkins contributed his 3rd home run.
  • [Daytona] Albert Almora finished the first game 2 for 3, but went 0 for 4 in the second one.
  • [Daytona] Between the two games, Billy McKinney walked twice and singled once.
  • [Daytona] Gioskar Amaya finished the pair of contests with a double and 3 hits.
  • [Daytona] Rock Shoulders hit his 7th homer in Game Two.
  • [Daytona] In Game One, Felix Pena struck out 7 over 5.2 innings while allowing a hit and 2 walks.
  • [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario finished 2 for 4 with his 4th Kane County double. Kyle Schwarber also doubled as part of his 1 for 3 night.
  • [Kane County] Trey Martin and Ben Carhart each had 2 hits.
  • [Kane County] Daury Torrez struck out 6 and walked one over 5 innings in this one. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. Gerardo Concepcion struck out 3 and walked one over the final 3 innings.
  • [Boise] Jeffrey Baez had another good game. He finished 3 for 5 and stole his 13th base.
  • [Boise] Rashad Crawford doubled, tripled, and finished 2 for 4. Justin Marra also added a double.
  • [Boise] Erick Leal pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk while striking out a pair.
  • [Arizona] Varonex Cuevas lead the Cubs with 3 hits. He had the only multi-hit game.
  • [Arizona] Kyuji Fujikawa pitched another inning of rehab in this game. He struck out one and allowed nothing.
  • [Arizona] Andin Diaz (2 IP, 1 H, 3 K) and James Norwood (1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K) both pitched particularly well in relief.

Other News

  • The Kane County game was a loss, but it took place in a very nice ballpark. BN’er Chuck Hoffman sent out several pictures of that stadium and the game on Twitter, including a nice shot of Schwarber after the game. You can find them here, here, and here.
  • Want to see more pictures of the minor league teams in action? Be sure to follow both Brett (@BleacherNation) and me (@ltblaize) on Twitter. And if you are attending any games, feel free to send some shots our way to be retweeted back out to the broader Bleacher Nation community.

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