The past two nights I have been taking advantage of Eugene being on MiLB.tv to check out a few innings of the newest and youngest Cubs prospects, and while watching online video for a couple innings is not a great basis on which to gauge anything, I figured I may as well share some observations about two players who just stood out.
Ian Happ is fun to watch. In the field he makes the routine play routinely, shows a pretty decent arm, and gives some reason to think he could stay in center (at least part time). At the plate, though, is where he really shows why the Cubs took him in the first round. He shows patience, he shows power, and he consistently squares up the ball and makes clean, solid contact (including an impressive home run that cleared the eighteen feet high batter’s eye in dead center last night). On the base paths he has the speed to take the extra base when he can, or maybe steal a few, but he is smart about it.
The stand out pitcher for me was Dave Berg. The Cubs took this side-arming right hander in the 2015 draft, and he could move quickly. He does not throw exceptionally hard, but he gets good movement that runs into a right handed batter. Combine that with his unorthodox release, and he could be a guy that hitters will have a tough time squaring up. He may yield more ground balls than strikeouts and so be not best suited to a high leverage relief role, but he may be ready for that role in a hurry.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa overcame a big early deficit to win this one 5-4.
Tennessee – The Smokies added a couple late tallies to secure this 4-2 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans started this game, but rain suspended it.
South Bend – Despite eight hits, the Cubs were shutout 5-0.
Eugene – Eugene tied it in the ninth, then won it in the eleventh. The happy final was 2-1.
Arizona – The Cubs had one big inning, but it wasn’t big enough. They lost 9-6.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Drake Britton gave up 4 runs (only one earned) in the second inning, but nothing other than that. He lasted 6 frames, struck out 5, walked one, and allowed 8 hits.
- [Iowa] This time it was Armando Rivero with the 2 IP of relief. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out one.
- [Iowa] Mike Olt doubled and finished 3 for 4 with no strikeouts. Taylor Teagarden doubled twice and also finished 3 for 4.
- [Tennessee] Pierce Johnson struck out 5 over 5 innings of work. He allowed a run on 6 hits and 2 walks.
- [Tennessee] The multi-inning relief appearance in this game went to Tayler Scott. Scott lasted 2.2 innings, struck out one, and allowed a run on 3 hits.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann doubled and finished 2 for 4.
- [Tennessee] Albert Almora hit his 3rd home run of the season in this one. Taylor Davis drilled his 4th as a Smokie.
- [South Bend] Daniel Lewis performed the multi-inning relief role for the Cubs. He pitched 3 innings, struck out 2, and allowed a hit and a walk.
- [South Bend] Yasiel Balaguert, Gioskar Amaya, and Rashad Crawford all finished with 2 hits. Crawford added this 13th steal.
- [South Bend] Charcer Burks finished 1 for 5 and swiped his 16th base.
- [Eugene] Oscar De La Cruz struck out 9 over 6 innings for Eugene. He allowed a run on 4 hits.
- [Eugene] Multi-inning relief outings were provided by Pedro Araujo (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) and Dave Berg (2 IP, 2 K).
- [Eugene] Ian Happ hammered his 4th homer of the season in the eleventh inning as part of his 2 for 3 game. He also walked twice and scored both of the Emeralds’ runs.
- [Eugene] Shortstop Vimael Machin finished 2 for 2 with 2 doubles. Ho-young Son replaced him at short, and he doubled as well.
- [Arizona] Trey McNutt (yes, that Trey McNutt) made his first appearance since 2013. He retired 2 batters and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk to start the game. He is officially in Arizona on a rehab assignment.
- [Arizona] Pedro Silverio pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3.
- [Arizona] Wladimir Galindo (2 for 4, double, triple) and Andruw Monasterio (1 for 4, double) had the only extra base hits for the Cubs.
- [Arizona] Jose Paniagua finished 2 for 3 with a walk.
- Jorge Soler singled and walked for Iowa on his rehab assignment yesterday. It was his third game of the rehab stint, so he may be coming back to Chicago soon.
- If you missed all the excitement yesterday, the Cubs have reportedly signed several notable International Free Agent prospects. They have spent in excess of eight and a half million dollars so far, and they are not done yet. In particular, look for reports to come out today (likely this morning) of signings from Asia that took place overnight. There are at least two prospects in that part of the world who could receive seven figure bonuses (or close to that) who the Cubs have been linked to, and there may be more.