cubs azl spring training logoAs sample sizes accumulate, minor league statistics are growing in significance by the day. Before you know it we’ll be diving into all the number we could want and will be tossing them around every which way as we look for stories, surprises, and other forms of baseball numerical fun-ness.

In the meantime, let’s see how well you’ve been paying attention.

At the start of the day yesterday there were four players in the farm system who had an OPS over 1.000 (minimum twenty plate appearances – I see your line of 1.000/1.000/1.000 in one plate appearance Corey Black). Can you name them?

This is a tougher one than asking you who leads the organization in home runs, so I’m going to help you out a bit.

  • One of them leads the organization in home runs.
  • One of them played for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League in 2009, but even though he played alongside Cubs prospects on that team, he was not himself a Cubs’ prospect at the time.
  • One of them shares a first name with one of the best prospects in the organization and a last name with a Hall of Fame Boston outfielder.
  • One of them leads the organization in triples.


Rashad Crawford (.999) and Ian Happ (.990) draw honorable mention here, but they are not on the list of four.

And remember that these are based on the numbers at beginning of the day on Sunday, not this morning’s numbers.

Answers are at the bottom of the column.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Oklahoma City 13, Iowa 5
Some of the hitters had pretty good days, but it was a forgettable occasion for the pitching staff.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 9, Mobile 4
With this win, the Smokies are back to .500.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 4, Carolina 2
The Pelicans were out hit seven to three, but they won the game anyway. Seven walks can do that.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 7, Fort Wayne 6, ten innings.
The Cubs got close with a huge fifth inning, then tied it up in the ninth and won it in the bottom of the tenth. Fun game.

Other Notes

  • The Iowa starting pitcher yesterday was Jake Buchanan; we’ve not talked about him before, outside of when the Cubs picked him up. Buchanan is a 26-year-old right hander who last pitched in the Astros organization. He pitched in the majors a bit in 2014 and 2015, almost entirely as a reliever, and without great results. He does not strike out many, walks quite a few, and gives up too many long balls. The Astros invited him to spring training, but then released him at the end of March. The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal on April 3, and yesterday he made his organizational debut. The reports on his stuff (based on PitchFX data) are… well… not great. For now, we can probably view Buchanan as a low cost lottery ticket signing who might evolve into a depth piece if things break right.


  • Did you follow that link to the PitchFX data at Brooks Baseball? Did you see how awesome it was? One day I hope we will have that quality of data on every pitcher at every level of the minors. That alone will probably revolutionize prospect analysis more than anything since the invention of sabermetrics, and it cannot arrive soon enough for my tastes. Unfortunately, I am aware of no plans to ever get there. I made myself sad.
  • Ready for your answers? Tennessee outfielder Bijan Rademacher tops the system at 1.251, and no one else is all that close to him. 1.099 is the next highest, and that belongs to South Bend catcher Ian Rice. Iowa outfielder Ryan Kalish weighs in with a 1.057, good for third, and South Bend outfielder Donnie Dewees rounds out the foursome with a 1.028.

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