As you probably saw yesterday, the rosters for the Arizona Fall League have been announced and the Cubs are sending a pretty good group. In brief, that group looks like this.
Eloy Jimenez: Dominated the Midwest League and is the best prospect in the system. The Cubs are challenging him here; this is probably a sign they think he can be fast tracked next season (at least to some degree).
Ian Happ: The bat should do well, but there are serious questions about his glove that the AFL will not answer. I think this is as much about getting reps on defense as it is challenging his bat against some consistently tough pitching.
Victor Caratini: Underrated at the plate as well as behind it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts up the best offensive numbers of the Cubs’ three hitters in the AFL.
Duane Underwood: He lost so much time to injuries that he just needs innings. I suspect he will start, but honestly that could go either way. I also would not be surprised if he struggles early. The AFL is not always kind to pitchers who are a little rusty when play begins (Rob Zastryzny posted a 5.19 ERA last season, for example).
Stephen Perakslis: Probably the biggest surprise on the list. He’s a minor league reliever who has posted good, not great, numbers in Tennessee and Iowa this year. This may a chance for him to show whether or not he should be protected from the Rule 5 Draft in December.
James Farris: Farris has been quietly impressive this season, and probably overlooked way too often. He should be a mid-2017 bullpen candidate for the Cubs. Extra innings here might help make that outcome more likely. A strong showing here will probably move him onto some organizational top prospect lists this winter.
Ryan McNeil: I think you’re going to like what you see from this guy. He throws in the mid-90s, consistently throws trikes, and looks like a guy who could be in the Cubs bullpen late next year. I think this assignment is to get him an extra dozen or so innings, and a look before the Rule 5 Draft, for which he’s eligible.
Speaking of pitching, be sure to take a look at the starting pitching lines for the games in the Cubs’ system yesterday. The farm system had a very nice game from nearly all the starters.
- Jordan Pries: 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 7 K
- John Andreoli: 2 for 5, SB
- Bijan Rademacher: 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
- Albert Almora: 4 for 5
- Jeimer Candelario: 3 for 5
- Matt Murton: 2 for 4, BB
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 5, 2B
- Kristopher Negron: 2 for 5, HR
- Jonathan Martinez: 5 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K. Not bad for his Double A debut.
- James Farris: 2 IP, 2 K
- Chesny Young: 3 for 5, 2B
- David Freitas: 2 for 5
- Ian Happ: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
- Carlos Penalver: 2 for 3, 2B
- Trey Martin: 0 for 3, 3 SB
- Oscar De La Cruz: 5 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Pedro Araujo: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Carlos Sepulveda: 1 for 2, 2 BB
- Andruw Monasterio: 2 for 4
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4
- Manuel Rondon: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 K
- Marc Huberman: 2 IP, 3 BB, 3 K
- Chad Hockin: 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K
- Darryl Wilson: 1 for 5, SB. He has twenty steals now.
- Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 4
- Chris Pieters: 1 for 4, BB, SB. He also has twenty steals.
- Jose Gonzalez: 2 for 5
- The Arizona Cubs are gone from the Daily. With their playoff loss on Tuesday, their season is completely complete. The Arizona Rookie League goes one and done in the playoffs, and that means we have nothing else to track. As the season ends (for Iowa and Tennessee) or the playoffs end (for the other four teams), they too will vanish from the Daily.
- Eugene’s overall record of 52-19 translates into a winning percentage of .732 and is a full ten games better than anyone else in that league. Barring something very unlikely, they will finish with a second half division title and fewer than ten total road losses. They are definitely good.