The final Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet of the year features, as did so many before this one, a Cubs’ prospect. This time the honors go to Iowa (and likely soon to be Chicago) third baseman Jeimer Candelario. The switch-hitter put up a line of .385/.467/.692 for the week, including just three strikeouts against four walks.
For his season in Iowa this year he has a strikeout rate of just 16.8% against an impressive walk rate of 12.4%. His line for the season reads .325/.412/.538. Add in his Iowa ISO of .213 and pretty good defense at third, and Candelario makes for some interesting questions for the Cubs this winter. On the one hand, his switch-hitting bat would be a very nice fit in the Cubs’ lineup, and his approach of patience with power fits in perfectly with the Cubs’ hitting philosophy. On the other hand, he doesn’t offer a lot of defensive flexibility, and the Cubs have some good options at third already.
I don’t think there is any doubt that the Major League roster is flexible enough that the Cubs could keep Candelario if they were so inclined; the question is whether or not they will be so inclined. We’ll have plenty of time to hash out those possibilities once the season is over.
- Miguel Mejia: 2 IP, 3 K
- Pierce Johnson: 3 IP, 1 BB, 3 K
- John Andreoli: 2 for 5, 2B, SB. He’s up to 38 steals.
- Albert Almora: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 2, 2 BB
- Juan Perez: 2 for 3, HR, BB
- Kristopher Negron: 2 for 3, BB
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 5 IP, 7 R, 11 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Chesny Young: 0 for 5
- Ian Happ: 3 for 4, 2 HR. Those were homers number seven and eight in Tennessee. He played center in this one.
- Ben Carhart: 1 for 4, HR
- Gioskar Amaya: 2 for 3, BB
- Duane Underwood: 4.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 K
- James Norwood: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Ryan McNeil: 1 IP, 2 K. I don’t often talk about saves, but McNeil has twenty two of them.
- Donnie Dewees: 1 for 5
- Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 3, 3B, BB
- Ian Rice: 1 for 3, 2B
- Bryan Hudson: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K. The potential is showing.
- Alex Santana: 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 K
- Darryl Wilson: 3 for 5, SB
- Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 5
- Robert Garcia: 2 for 4
- The minor league season wraps up on Monday, and then we are into the playoffs. Arizona has already been eliminated, but that still leaves Myrtle Beach, South Bend, and Eugene. South Bend and Eugene may well be the favorites in their respective playoffs, and Myrtle Beach will enter the postseason playing some of their best baseball of the season. Three championships is unlikely, but it isn’t out of the question.
- Another conversation we can have this winter: what should the Cubs do with Pierce Johnson? He has very good stuff, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Most of his injuries have been fluke-ish, though, and none of the professional ones have been in the arm, elbow, or shoulder (that I recall). He has the pitches to be a starter, but is getting very good results as a reliever. I’m starting to lean towards letting him stay in the bullpen for a few seasons, then look to stretch him back into a starter if he proves he can handle major league batters on a regular basis. But that is far from the only option. The Cubs could also send him back to Iowa to start next season, or keep him in the bullpen full time, or turn him into the new long man, or wait until he has a full healthy season to move him up, or include him in a trade.
- Chesny Young now has a batting average of .301. Second place Zach Granite is at .300. This race is going down to the wire (and don’t count out Victor Caratini who is lurking with a .294).
- With one more win the Pelicans will clinch the second half division title in the Carolina League Southern division. A Salem loss would have the same effect, but clinching on a win would be more fun.
- How about Happ’s two homers – I especially enjoyed the center fielder simply running out of room and into the wall in the second one: