Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

jeimer candelario smokiesSo, AA looks really good on Jeimer Candelario.

Just a year after the 21-year-old third base prospect had a rough go at his first chance at High-A, Candelario is tearing it up in his first shot at AA. After hitting a solid .270/.318/.415 at High-A, Candelario’s gone .292/.359/.460 in 39 games with Tennessee.

More impressively, his ISO’s gone up, his BABIP has actually gone down, his strikeout rate has gone WAY down, and his walk rate has gone WAY up. On those latter two, the dude is walking 9.2% of the time and striking out just 11.1% of the time (158 plate appearances). He flashed that kind of absurd discipline and contact early in his career, but to be doing it at his age in his first exposure to AA? I’m tingly.

Also making me tingly? This monster bomb he hit yesterday, which proved to be the game-winner for the Smokies:

Not only did that ball go into the upper deck, it was so high and deep that – as you saw – the cameraman couldn’t find it.

Candelario, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2010, is Rule 5 eligible after this season. The switch hitter presents an interesting case, as it remains difficult to see him contributing meaningfully in the big leagues next year, but he’s looked so impressive in his time at AA – and the upside remains very good – some rebuilding team might want to take a chance.

The Cubs will undoubtedly be working their scouts and sources in the coming weeks and months before having to make a 40-man roster decision on Candelario before December.

Candelario rose all the way to 7th on the midseason BN prospect rankings.

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