Last Friday we took a look at an early mock draft and talked a bit more about the Cubs possible options with their first round pick in June. Coincidentally, Baseball America chose Friday to release their first mock draft of the spring. You will want to read what Baseball America has to say.
And that’s not just because I really like their pick.
While admitting that the Cubs have trended to take bats when everyone is expecting them to take arms in recent years, and pointing to LSU shortstop Alex Bregman as a bat they might take should he slide down to number nine, Baseball America sends to the Cubs pitcher Carson Fulmer. There is some dispute as to whether or not this Vanderbilt right hander has the stature, stamina, and mechanics to start over a full season, but absolutely no one disputes his stuff. If the Cubs take Fulmer, they will be taking a guy who could emerge as a front end starter or a potentially electric back of the bullpen guy. I tend to think he can start, at least until he proves he can’t, and Fulmer happens to be one of the guys have had my eye on all spring. If this is how it goes down I think we should be pretty happy.
Interestingly, Baseball America has Brady Aiken sliding all the way to the Giants at number eighteen. Given that this is not the first time I have seen a Giants – Aiken linkage, I wonder if there are some whispers there. We are about a month away from finding out.
Scores From Friday
Iowa – The Cubs received some great pitching on their way to this 4-0 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies were on the losing end of this shutout, 3-0.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach had thirteen hits, but they still lost 10-6.
South Bend – An early South Bend lead did not hold up as the Cubs lost 5-2.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Donn Roach struck out 4 over 6 innings while allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks. The bullpen picked up where he left off, and it was a group effort. Armando Rivero (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Drake Britton (0.1 IP, 1 BB) tag teamed the seventh, Hunter Cervenka (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) took care of the eighth, and Joe Ortiz (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) nailed down the ninth.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli doubled twice, stole 2 bases, and finished 2 for 4.
- [Iowa] Javier Baez walked, singled, and stole his 2nd base of the year.
- [Iowa] Mike Baxter also had 2 hits, one of which was a double.
- [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro struck out 10 over 7 innings and walked no one. He only gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, but on this day that was enough to seal the loss.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras (2 for 3) had the only multi-hit day for the Smokies. There were no extra base hits.
- [Myrtle Beach] Paul Blackburn had a short, rough outing. He lasted just 2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. Half the outs he recorded were strikeouts, so there is that.
- [Myrtle Beach] Billy McKinney doubled twice and finished 3 for 5. Jacob Rogers also finished with 3 hits, one of which was his 5th homer of the season.
- [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis and Trey Martin each finished with 2 hits. For Martin, one of those was a double.
- [South Bend] Trevor Clifton allowed just 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 over 5 innings. James Norwood added a scoreless inning of relief.
- [South Bend] Yasiel Balaguert and Rashad Crawford each finished with 2 hits for the Cubs.
Scores From Saturday
Iowa – Iowa never led in this 3-1 loss.
Tennessee – The Smokies came up with a lone run in this 5-1 loss.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans played seventeen total innings in this doubleheader. They won the opener in ten innings 3-2, but lost Game Two 6-1.
South Bend – South Bend was dealt a road loss in this 4-1 final.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Eric Jokisch only allowed one earned run, but he gave up 3 total on 5 hits over 6 innings while striking out 3.
- [Iowa] Rubi Silva and Rafael Lopez each finished with 2 hits. Adron Chambers added a double.
- [Tennessee] Felix Pena is generally not known for his strikeouts, but in this one he fanned 7 over 5 innings. He also gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk.
- [Tennessee] C.J. Edwards (also known as Carl Edwards Jr.) struck out 4 and allowed a run on 2 hits his in 2 innings on the mound.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras and Ryan Dent both doubled for the Smokies.
- [Myrtle Beach] The ten inning game required just three pitchers. Tyler Skulina (6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 K) started things off, Juan Paniagua (2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K) took the game into extra innings, and Jasvir Rakkar (2 IP, 1 H, 1 K) finished things off.
- [Myrtle Beach] Billy McKinney was held to just a sacrifice fly in the first game, but went 2 for 3 in the second.
- [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis doubled and walked in Game One, then added 2 more hits in Game Two.
- [Myrtle Beach] Trey Martin singled twice and stole 2 bases in the first game. He added another hit in the second one.
- [South Bend] Ryan Williams struck out 6 over 6 innings while allowing 4 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits. It was arguably his worst start of the season (which is saying something – see below). David Garner struck out 3 and allowed nothing in his 2 innings of relief.
- [South Bend] The Cubs only mounted 3 hits in this game, and none of them went for extra bases. Thanks to a walk, however, Charcer Burks did reach base twice.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The Cubs offense roared to life in a big way, totaling sixteen hits and blowing out Colorado Springs 14-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies had the day off.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans took the lead in the seventh and held on for a 4-3 win.
South Bend – South Bend also had the day off.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Carlos Pimentel had some long breaks between taking the hill thanks to the prolific Cubs’ offense, but he still managed to strike out 5 over 5 innings while allowing 5 hits and 3 walks. He had some fun at the plat as well, finishing 2 for 3 with a double and a pair of runs batted in.
- [Iowa] Armando Rivero struck out 2 and gave up nothing in a scoreless ninth.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli walked and finished 3 for 4 for the Cubs. Jonathan Mota, who finished 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and a walk, also had a very nice day.
- [Iowa] Javier Baez finished 2 for 3 with a walk.
- [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara hit his 3rd triple of the minor league season.
- [Myrtle Beach] Tayler Scott, working in relief, pitched 4 innings of one hit ball while striking out 5. His season ERA now sits at 1.62.
- [Myrtle Beach] Billy McKinney’s excellent weekend kept going on Sunday. This time he finished 2 for 4 with a triple (his 2nd) and a walk. I suspect the Cubs are starting to look a little harder for some way to get him into Double A.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jacob Rogers and Jeimer Candelario each finished with 2 hits.
- [Myrtle Beach] The Pelicans as a team managed 3 triples in this game. The other two came from Mark Zagunis (his 2nd) and Daniel Lockhart (also his 2nd).
- Even after his rough (by his standards) outing on Saturday, Ryan Williams still has an ERA of 0.85. And, to be honest, he did not have that bad of a game. But when a guy has been allowing virtually nothing all season long, even two earned runs over six innings looks like a slump. Perspective is a funny thing.
- In that same Saturday loss in which South Bend had just three hits, they also walked six times against three strikeouts. Even in a loss, a ratio like that makes me feel pretty good.
- Tayler Scott has been somewhat overshadowed by the rest of the army of arms in Myrtle Beach, but this 22 year old is not someone to forget about. Over 16.2 innings this year he has allowed just 14 hits and 5 walks while striking out 21. The Cubs thought highly of him when they drafted him out of South Africa in the 5th round in 2011, and it is still possible he fulfills that promise as a reliever one day.