iowa cubs logoThe Iowa Cubs have released a new video that includes interviews with John Andreoli and Jake Buchanan.

Andreoli is introduced as Iowa’s leadoff hitter, and there is no arguing that he has been effective in that role this year. His .359 OBP is certainly what we look for in a lead off guy, his 24 steals look very nice in the top slot of the order, and his 13.8% walk rate indicates that he is likely to see a lot of pitches. That is also a nice attribute for a leadoff guy.

The catch, of course, is that this season his strikeout rate has ballooned to 29.1% while his slugging percentage has only increased to .413. His eleven homers are a career high, but eleven homers are probably not going to be enough to outweigh a 29.1% strike out rate.



On the other hand, it isn’t hard to see Andreoli maintaining a decentĀ On Base Percentage in the majors. His walk rate will likely remain in the 10% to 13% range once he adjusts to major league pitching. Factor in a strikeout rate of at least 30% and assume he maintains a BABIP of at least .340 and we could be looking at a major leauge OBP in the range of .335 with 25+ steals and 10+ homers.

That OBP would not be enough to keep Andreoli in the leadoff slot in Chicago, but it might work out if Andreoli were to come off the bench as a fifth outfielder. And if the Cubs have success in improving his two strike approach, similar to what we have already seen with some other young hitters in the lineup this year, then it gets even easier to see Androli keeping a major league job as his OBP could again near the .350 mark.

It isn’t often we see an extreme strike out rate and a very high walk rate paired up on a non-slugger, and that makes Andreoli a little hard to project. That also makes him interesting to follow as rosters expand in September and we head into spring training next February.



Triple A: Iowa Cubs
New Orleans 7, Iowa 1
Cahill threw seventy one pitches in his rehab start, but the results could have been better.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3
A walk-off loss for the Smokies.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Salem 8, Myrtle Beach 2
The game was ended after eight innings due to rain.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 3, Lake County 0
The pitchers dominated this one.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Salem-Keizer 5, Eugene 4
The Emeralds rallied in the eighth, but came up a run short.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs
Diamondbacks 2, Cubs 1
The Cubs carried a one run lead from the top of the first into the bottom of the ninth.

Other Notes

  • A few years ago the Tennessee Smokies partnered with a local barbeque place to build a pavilion just above the left field wall called Calhoun’s At The Yard. Imagine a barbeque buffet crossed with a miniature version of the Green Monster and you pretty much get get the idea. Until now seats in that area have been reserved for large groups only, but for a few nights in August (the 5th, 7th, 27th, 28th, and 29th to be exact) you can purchase individual game tickets in that part of the stadium. I do not recall the Smokies doing this in the past; hopefully we see more of this in the future.
  • In conjunction with Esurance, Minor League Baseball has instituted a new award that will go to the team in each of the various minor leagues that has the largest crowds (based on percentage of home park capacity) in the season. I strongly suspect South Bend and Myrtle Beach are going to be among the favorites in their respective leagues.


  • The Eugene Emeralds have also released a couple of new videos. One of them includes Sluggo dropping various objects from a high part of the stadium onto the concrete floor below and watching what happens. Pineapples, it turns out, fail to bounce in a rather impressive fashion. The other video focuses on Sluggo’s relententless efforts to stalk and topple a guy in a tree suit. If you need a little weirdness in your Friday, the Emeralds have you covered.
  • MLB Pipeline has updated their Top 30 prospects for each team, including the Cubs. There are some oddities (Contreras is still on the list, but Almora isn’t despite Contreras having more major league at bats than Almora. Maybe they dropped Almora based on his rank? But that doesn’t make sense either.), but in general the prospects you expect are where you expect them. Except when they aren’t (hello, Jose Albertos at number ten). I’ll get more into that when I re-rank the Top 40 in a few days.



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