The Chicago Cubs are doing well in the major league All Star Game balloting. Now it is the Iowa Cubs’ turn.
The Triple A ballot is out, and there are quality Iowa candidates on the ballot definitely deserving of a vote. Willson Contreras and his eight home runs and crazy line would look good as the starting catcher for the Pacific Coast League team, and fellow slugger Dan Vogelbach (also with eight home runs) would look equally good at first. In fact, I would argue they are the best Pacific Coast League candidates at those positions hands down.
Arismendy Alcantara is a pretty good candidate for your second base vote. His five homers ranks third at that position, and his fifteen steals rank second. I suspect second base is going to be a close vote this year, but I would not be surprised to see Alcantara poll pretty well.
If you like your All Star games with a strong dose of defense, then Albert Almora should get one of your outfield votes. There are better offensive numbers on the list, but his hitting resume is good enough to keep him in consideration.
I have a tougher time making a case for any of the Cubs’ starting pitchers. Ryan Williams (3.30 ERA) might be the most deserving of that bunch, but there is a lot of pitching talent in the Pacific Coast League to pick from right now; Williams will have a tough time cracking the roster. As for relievers (yes, Triple A lets you vote for both starters and relievers), Carl Edwards Jr., Spencer Patton, and Felix Pena are all three worthy candidates. Again, though, there is plenty of talent in the PCL that would also be worthy of consideration.
There is one more name I think should get some votes, but you will need to write him in (the Write In section is at the bottom of the ballot): Gerardo Concepcion. I say that in part based on his work in Double A to open the year, but Concepcion has been about as good as we could realistically ask a reliever to be this year. I think he deserves All Star consideration about as much as anyone else on this list.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa was rained out.
- Paul Blackburn: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 7 K
- Juan Paniagua: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 4, BB, SB
- Chesny Young: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, SB
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
- Victor Caratini: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
- Stephen Bruno: 2 for 4, SB
- Jeremy Null: 5 IP, 3 R (0 ER), 5 H, 3 K. Null’s ERA is down to 1.99.
- Charcer Burks: 2 for 4, 2B, SB
- Gleyber Torres: 1 for 2, BB, SB
- Trey Martin: 1 for 2, BB
- Jake Stinnett: 5.1 IP, 9 R (8 ER), 12 H, 1 BB, 4 K.
- Ryan Kellogg: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Kellogg has fifteen strikeouts over his last two starts.
- Scott Effross: 1.1 IP, 3 K
- Ian Rice: 2 for 2, 2B, 2 BB
- Eddy Martinez: 2 for 4, 2B, HR
- Bryant Flete: 2 for 4
- Not only did the Fresno Grizzlies manage to get their mascot (not the person in the costume, but the actual mascot itself) ordained as a minister and licensed to perform weddings, they had three couples show up to be married by Parker T. Bear. Minor league baseball is known for weird promotions, but this one is going to be tough to beat.