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kane county cougars logoVictor Caratini has arrived from the Atlanta organization and is now one of the better catching prospects for the Cubs.

Kyle Schwarber, while his long term position remains in doubt, remains the best catcher on the farm. Carantini is nex,t based largely on a high floor, followed by Iowa catcher Rafael Lopez and bunch of guys in Low A and Short Season A.

Carantini is a switch hitter who will likely make his biggest impact with his bat, and figures to head to Kane County. He is a patient hitter who doesn’t give away many at bats, is fairly tough to strike out, and who hits line drives as opposed to fly balls. His home run rate is lower than we might like in a catcher, but at worst he has a chance to be a quality eight hitting catcher from both sides of the plate.

If he can stick at catcher. Atlanta moved him to third base for a time, but I doubt he has any future at that super-crowded position in the Cubs system. Behind the plate his path is more open, but can he do it? That remains to be seen. The scouting reports are not in agreement here – some talk about an awful arm, some a good one for example – so for now we’ll just mark his defense as ‘needs monitoring’ and go from there.

In terms of ranking, pending that defense, I’d currently be comfortable slotting him anywhere from about fifteen to a about twenty five. I think the bat gives him a pretty good chance to move up the system, but his glove will largely define his ultimate value.

Scores From Yesterday

Here are the box scores for all of yesterday’s action. Again, I recommend you sample the Iowa results in particular. Kris Bryant homered. Javier Baez homered. Mike Olt homered. Dan Straily pitched well. It was just one of those all around good games of that kind that seem to be appearing a lot from Iowa recently.

Other Notes

  • I will have more firsthand comments from Tennessee later on, but here are a few items from last night.
  • Felix Pena has some effective off speed pitches, but he needs the fastball to set them up and his fastball was being hammered by Pensacola. He will have to solve that problem to have much success in Double A.
  • Albert Almora is a great contact hitter. He is such a good contact hitter that he can make contact with pretty much any pitch in the rough vicinity of the strike zone, and he does so regularly, regardless of if the pitch is a good one to hit or not. If he learns to wait on a pitch he can hammer he could emerge as a Starlin Castro type hitter. If he doesn’t, he could be another Josh Vitters. I remain high on him, but he has some work to do.
  • Lars Anderson, in his few chances, looked passable in left field. If he can hit enough, and if he can play decently in left, he could emerge as a candidate to be a bat off the bench for a team like the Cubs next year.
  • Addison Russell has a wonderful swing. And from what I could tell tonight, his glove looks just fine at short. I am really happy this guy is playing for the Cubs now.

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