Cubs Minor League Daily: Top Pick Hoerner Already Promoted, Lacy Dominates

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Top Pick Hoerner Already Promoted, Lacy Dominates

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

The rapid rise of Rollie Lacy up the farm system and up the prospect rankings continued yesterday. Lacy, a right-handed starter who dominated the Midwest League to the tune of a 2.02 ERA after being drafted in the eleventh round in 2017, made his High A debut for Myrtle Beach. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowed just one run on four hits, and struck out seven. In many ways, it was exactly the kind of game we have learned to expect from him.

Lacy does a lot of things very right. He gets plenty of strikeouts (10.60 K/9 with South Bend), he gets a huge number of grounders (62.1% with South Bend, and yes that is about as elite as elite gets for starting pitchers), and he doesn’t allow many long balls (3 in 71.1 innings for South Bend). That basic formula will produce a Major League starter. How good that starter is depends on where exactly the number wind up as he moves up the system.

If Lacy continues his extremely good groundball rate and relatively high strikeout rate in the high minors, then get excited. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. For now the fact that he is off to a solid start in High A after having a very good year in Low A is reason enough for optimism.

Don’t be surprised if Lacy sneaks onto a lot of mid-season rankings of the Cubs’ farm system.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Pacific Coast League 12, International League 7
There were twenty nine total hits in this one, including eight extra base hits.

  • Alberto Baldonado: 0.2 IP, 1 K

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 4, Montgomery 2
The Smokies opened the game with back to back homers.

  • Michael Rucker: 6 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 3 H, 3 K
  • Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 2 H
  • Charcer Burks: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Trent Giambrone: 2 for 3, HR
  • Zack Short: 1 for 4, HR
  • Connor Myers: 1 for 2, BB, SB

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 6, Carolina 3
Lacy’s very good season continues.

  • Rollie Lacy: 5.1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K
  • Erick Leal: 2 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 2 H, 3 K
  • Jose Paulino: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K
  • D.J. Wilson: 1 for 5, 2B
  • Jared Young: 2 for 3, BB
  • Wladimir Galindo: 2 for 4, BB
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 2 for 4

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Beloit 10, South Bend 3
The Cubs allowed two four run innings, and never made up that gap.

  • Ryan Lawlor: 5 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Garrett Kelly: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Zach Davis: 2 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB
  • Miguel Amaya: 2 for 4, HR
  • Christian Donahue: 2 for 4

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Spokane 8, Eugene 7
The Emeralds haven’t been eliminated from first half contention yet, but their elimination number is down to four.

  • Derek Casey: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
  • Casey Ryan: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K
  • Fernando Kelli: 1 for 4, BB, 3 SB
  • Clayton Daniel: 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB, SB
  • Luis Diaz: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Brennon Kaleiwahea: 2 for 4
  • Luis Vazquez: 1 for 4, HR

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1
Giants Black 12, Cubs One 5
The Cubs made a game of this one in the late innings, but another big inning for the Giants pushed it out of reach.

  • Peyton Remy: 2.2 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Corey Black: 0.1 IP, 1 K
  • Alonso Garcia: 2 IP, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K
  • Josue Huma: 1 for 2, 2B, 3 BB
  • Orian Nunez: 3 for 4, 2 2B
  • Erick Gonzalez: 2 for 4

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2
Indians 8, Cubs Two 1
Thanks to four errors, half the runs the Cubs allowed were unearned.

  • Blake Whitney: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Fernando Calderon: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
  • Cole Roederer: 1 for 2, BB, SB
  • Reivaj Garcia: 2 for 3
  • Grant Fennell: 1 for 4, 2B

Other Notes

  • D.J. Wilson missed part of June with a DL trip and only posted an OPS of .595 in the eleven games he did play. In July, though, he is producing pretty well indeed. Through 11 games (sample size alert) he is hitting .318/.388/.364 with three steals. We were hoping to see Wilson take a significant step forward with the bat this year (there are no questions about the glove in center). This start to July is a good sign, though you’d like to see the power coming along, too. Hopefully he can keep it up and turn the rest of 2018 into his breakout campaign.
  • Strikeouts were a big problem for Nelson Velazquez last year and at the start of this season, but he has looked better in that regard of late. He has appeared in eleven games in July, and only once in that span has he struck out twice in the same game. In total, he has just seven strikeouts in those eleven games. His overall line has gone from .182/.211/.291 to .217/.273/.370 in that same span.
  • Catcher Will Remillard has been on and off the disabled list both this season and in his career, but has played well when healthy. Now he heads to Iowa. Replacing him behind the plate in Tennessee will be P.J. Higgins. Higgins was hitting .289/.381/.401 in Myrtle Beach and looked pretty good behind the plate.
  • The Cubs’ top pick this year, Nico Hoerner, has already earned his promotion to full-season ball, as he heads to join Low-A South Bend. And, per reports out of South Bend, Hoerner will be starting at shortstop tonight. Hoerner, 21, hit .318/.464/.545 in his short time with the Eugene Emeralds while basically never striking out, so I’d say, yeah, he needed that next test.
  • Eighteen-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Josue Huma is now hitting .268/.359/.393 with eight walks and nine strikeouts in fifteen games for AZL Cubs 1. Sample sizes are still on the small side, but this is looking like a player we should take a closer look at down the road.

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Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.