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latin americaYohan Matos is a long, long ways away from the majors, but he could start appearing on our radar soon.

Matos is a catcher for the Cubs Dominican Summer League team. He is seventeen, in his first professional season, and is hitting .299/.393/.506 with six home runs, seven steals, a walk rate of 13.4%, and a strikeout rate of 19.8%.

For a seventeen year old, there are two pretty important numbers on that resume. First is the walk rate. It is not terribly common to see players with that kind of patience and discipline at a very young age, even if they have the batting eye to support. That Matos is already earning free passes at an elevated rate doesn’t mean he will continue to do so as he moves up the system, but it bodes well. Second is his isolated power (ISO). Keeping in mind that power is generally one of the last tools to develop, at .213 his ISO is fairly impressive. That number may also decline as he slides up the system, but it is definitely a good place to start.

It may be the end of the decade before we see Matos in the majors, if in fact we ever do, but for now he is separating himself as one of the current crop of young international prospects to start monitoring. If he can continue to hold up a high OBP while hitting for power and staying behind the plate, he may just have a bright future.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa had the day off.
Tennessee – Very good pitching helped carry the Smokies to this 5-0 win.
Daytona – Daytona was on the wrong end of this 4-0 shutout.
Kane County – The Cougars won on the road, 4-2.
Boise Hawks – Boise had the day off.
Arizona – The Cubs had as many errors as runs in this 10-4 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Tennessee] Felix Pena allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks over 5.1 innings and 85 pitches. He struck out 8.
  • [Tennessee] Addison Russell and Pin-Chieh Chen both doubled and finished with 2 hits.
  • [Tennessee] Lars Anderson doubled and walked twice.
  • [Daytona] Kyle Schwarber doubled and walked for the Cubs. Billy McKinney singled and walked. Those were the only two hits.
  • [Daytona] Juan Paniagua lasted 4.1 innings, allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 6.
  • [Kane County] Paul Blackburn stuck out 5 over 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk. Jose Arias struck out 5 more in 3 innings of 2 hits relief. Tyler Bremer struck out 2 in a perfect ninth.
  • [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario had 3 hits for the Cougars, and Jeffrey Baez finished with 2 hits.
  • [Kane County] A double by Trey Martin was the only extra base hit.
  • [Arizona] Ricardo Marcano doubled and finished 2 for 4. Ho-young Son finished 3 for 4 with 2 stolen bases.
  • [Arizona] The Cubs used a lot of pitchers in this one, but only Hector Perez lasted as much as an inning without giving up a run. He struck out 2 and walked one in his inning on the hill.

Other News

  • Shawon Dunston left the Kane County game after a single at bat, and that promptly spawned trade speculation around the Internet. If he is traded – and that is still pure speculation as I write this – then here is what the receiving team (likely Miami) would be getting. Dunston’s game relies on his speed and his ability to get on base via contact hitting and working walks. He doesn’t show much power yet, and doesn’t project to have a ton of it, but he probably has a future in the majors as a light hitting speed demon should he get near to his ceiling. Defensively, he’s spent a lot of time in left in playing in the Cubs organization, but that could be due to the all of the exceptional defensive center fielders he has shared a roster with. I tend to think his arm could work just fine in center, and he definitely has the speed to handle that position. Long term I see him as more of a fourth or fifth outfielder type, but the upside is that of a major league leadoff hitter. As lottery tickets go, he’s a pretty decent one.

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