The second team in the organization to reach twenty wins was the South Bend Cubs (the first one, of course, was Chicago). As we expected they would prior to the start of the season, South Bend appears to be the best team in the farm system, at least for the first half of this season.
Interestingly, even though we were concentrating the most on that talent rich outfield in the preseason, it is catchers that are leading the Cubs in offense. Going into yesterday’s game, the top performers on the team by OPS were Ian Rice (C), Jesse Hodges (3B, 1B), Donnie Dewees (CF), Daniel Spingola (OF), and P.J. Higgins (C). Another catcher, Tyler Alamo, shows up at number seven.
That isn’t to say the outfielders are performing poorly. Dewees is outperforming most expectations, Eloy Jimenez is showing signs of heating up, and I suspect Eddy Martinez is going to take off once the weather warms up a bit more. And then we have the surprisingly strong start from Spingola, one of the early stories of this season.
All in all, things are going about as well as we could realistically hope for the SB-Cubs, and there is a lot more talent still lurking in Mesa who could yet join this roster as we move into the middle part of the year. It should be a great summer to check out some minor league games in the Midwest.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 3, Nashville 2
Strong pitching and a walk-off double by your favorite gold glove caliber center fielder result in an Iowa win.
- Ryan Williams: 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K
- Gerardo Concepcion: 2 IP, 3 K. New level, same old 0.00 ERA.
- Carl Edwards Jr.: 1 IP, 1 K. His ERA is down to 2.19.
- Willson Contreras: 1 for 4, HR
- Albert Almora: 2 for 4, 2B, 3B
- Brad Markey: 4 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Starling Peralta: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 5, 3B
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 4, 2B, 2 BB. Good game for a guy who has been in a bit of a slump.
- Billy McKinney: 2 for 4, 2B, BB. McKinney has also started slowly. He could break out at any time as well.
- David Freitas: 3 for 5, 2 2B, BB
- Carlos Penalver: 2 for 4, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB
- Erick Leal: 7.2 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 6 H, 3 K
- Charcer Burks: 2 for 5, 2B, HR
- Gleyber Torres: 1 for 4, HR
- Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 4, HR
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB
- Gioskar Amaya: 2 for 3, BB
- Trey Martin: 2 for 4
Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 15, Lansing 2
The Cubs scored fourteen times in the final three innings, including eight times in the eighth, to run away with a blow out win against a good team on the road.
- Adbert Alzolay: 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 BB. No strikeouts in his six innings.
- Casey Bloomquist: 3 IP, 7 K. Really starting to regret leaving this guy off the Top 40.
- Donnie Dewees: 4 for 6, 2B, 3B, SB
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Eloy Jimenez: 2 for 4, 2B, HR, BB
- Eddy Martinez: 0 for 3, 2 BB
- Tyler Alamo: 3 for 5
- Bryant Flete: 2 for 5
- Not as many ground outs for Iowa’s Ryan Williams in this one; just three, compared to two fly outs. But he struck out seven, and that’s never a bad thing.
- According to the box score, the weather for the Smokies game included the wind blowing in from center at 9 MPH. That’s about the opposite of what I’d expect given the final totals.
- Bloomquist was credited with a save in a game that his team won by thirteen runs (he pitched three innings and finished the game, so he gets the save even though it wasn’t a save situation). Just as soon as we purge Pitching Wins from baseball I think we need to find a replacement for the the Save as well.
- Also fun to note: the Cubs organization was perfect yesterday. Every team in the organization won from the majors down to Low A, and all but Iowa scored a lot of runs and won easily.