If you have a Baseball America subscription (recommended), then make time to read through their report on the Cubs’ International Free Agent signings from the 2017/2018 class. Once again, the Cubs aggressively used the Mexican League loophole to avoid the $300K limit on individual player signings. Players signed from the Mexican Leagues receive only about 25% of the bonus (their team gets the rest), and only the part the player gets counts against the $300K limit. As they have in the past, the Cubs signed a bunch of players from Mexico for total bonuses up to $1.2 million, including a couple fairly high profile prospects that we will talk more about when they get to the states.
They also signed some solid talent in the $300K and less range, including some players that make me suspect the Cubs have stepped up their scouting operation in Colombia and Panama in recent years. It will be a couple of years before we start to see these players in stateside leagues, and a year or so beyond that before we really know what the Cubs have in them.
Except for the players signed from Mexico. It sounds like they may be headed to the Arizona Rookie League in June, thanks in part to the extra roster space from the second ARL team the Cubs will be adding. If that is how it works out, we’ll start talking about that group in about two months.
- Luke Farrell: 5 IP, 7 R, 10 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Mike Freeman: 2 for 3, BB
- Wynton Bernard: 1 for 3, 2B, BB, SB
- Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- James Norwood: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
- Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Zack Short: 1 for 5, BB
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 5, 2B
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, BB
- Jesse Hodges: 2 for 4, BB
- Erick Castillo: 1 for 4, BB
- Thomas Hatch: 1 for 2
- Tyson Miller: 3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K
- Ryan Kellogg: 3.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Andruw Monasterio: 0 for 4, BB, SB
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Kevonte Mitchell: 1 for 4, SB
- Javier Assad: 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K
- Bailey Clark: 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 4 for 5, 2B
- Jared Young: 3 for 5, 3B
- Tyler Payne: 1 for 4 BB
- Michael Cruz: 2 for 4, 2B
- Brandon Hughes: 2 for 4, SB
- Zach Davis: 1 for 2, BB, SB
- Farrell got hit hard for Iowa, but he did fairly well his first time through the lineup against a tough Memphis team. Even if he doesn’t work out as a starter, he could yet be effective in the bullpen.
- Chris Gimenez was in the lineup for Iowa playing first base last night. He has also spent some time at third this year. After playing not much other than catcher the past two seasons, I wonder if the Cubs sent Gimenez to Iowa in part to let him get familiar with the corner infield slots again so as to maximize how Maddon can use him when he comes back up.
- Bailey Clark had another low walk outing, and had a ground out / air out ratio of 5 to 1 in the process. Given his stuff, good control from Clark is a very good thing to see this season.
- After he appeared as a pinch runner and then in relief, I did not expect to see Duane Underwood starting this year. He is the scheduled starter for Iowa today.
- Elsewhere in the system, three big pitching prospects who did not fare so well their first time out take the mound again. Tennessee starts Oscar De La Cruz, Myrtle Beach sends up Bryan Hudson, and South Bend lines up behind Erich Uelmen.