Cubs Minor League Daily: Nico Hoerner Crushes One for South Bend

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Nico Hoerner Crushes One for South Bend

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

Nico Hoerner hit his first Midwest League homer yesterday, a shot to left center. It was not a cheap one by any means. But don’t take my word for it:

Hoerner is hitting .400/.471/.667 with South Bend, but since that sample size is just four games, those numbers are almost worthless. It is enccouring to see that the (relatively) high walk, low strikeout trends from his seven games in Eugene are continuing in South Bend, though. Between the two stops he has seven walks and just four strikeouts. And now he has two home runs.

So how long does he stay in South Bend? Probably until the Cubs see which teams (if any) in the organization are headed to the postseason. Myrtle Beach is a long-ish shot this year, but South Bend could still make a run at the second half division title. Tennessee is in first place in the Southern League. Eugene is toast in the first half, and we don’t know yet how they’ll fair in the second half.

The guess here is that he’ll stay with South Bend until roughly the last week of August. At that point, if South Bend is out of contention, the Cubs will shift him to a team that is headed for the postseason so as to get him some extra at bats and some playoff experience. Right now the most likely candidate would be Tennessee, and I do think the Cubs would jump him up to Double A (assuming he is playing well) for a playoff run. He’d probably head right back down to Myrtle Beach next spring, though.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 2, Nashville 0
We haven’t seen Iowa on the winning side of a shutout too many times this season.

  • Trevor Clifton: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Brad Markey: 2.2 IP, 3 H
  • Craig Brooks: 1 IP, 3 BB, 1 K
  • Dillon Maples: 0.1 IP and a line of zeroes
  • Bijan Rademacher: 2 for 3, 2B
  • Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 3, 2 SB

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 7, Birmingham 6
Despite some recent rough games, the Smokies bullpen was on track in this one.

  • Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Preston Morrison: 1.2 IP, 1 K
  • Daury Torrez: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 K
  • Charcer Burks: 2 for 5
  • Trent Giambrone: 2 for 5
  • Zack Short: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Ian Rice: 3 for 3, BB

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 9, Down East 2
The offense erupted with three homers in the late innings for the Pelicans.

  • Tyson Miller: 5 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Ryan Kellogg: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Erick Leal: 2.1 IP, 2 K
  • Andruw Monasterio: 2 for 5
  • Aramis Ademan: 2 for 3, 2 BB
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 5, HR
  • Jared Young: 1 for 4, HR
  • Wladimir Galindo: 1 for 4, HR, BB

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Wisconsin 11, South Bend 7
There were twenty nine total hits in this one, but all three errors were committed by South Bend.

  • Tyler Thomas: 2 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Brendan King: 3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 K
  • Christian Donahue (INF): 1 IP, 1 H
  • Zach Davis: 2 for 5
  • Christian Donahue: 3 for 5
  • Nico Hoerner: 2 for 4, 2B, HR, BB
  • Michael Cruz: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
  • Delvin Zinn: 2 for 5, 2B

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Spokane 7, Eugene 2
A rough rehab start from Williams left the Emeralds in an early hole.

  • Ryan Williams: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 10 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Eugenio Palma: 1.1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Ethan Roberts: 1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 2 H, 1 K
  • Luis Vazquez: 2 for 4, HR
  • Nelson Velazquez: 2 for 4, 2 2B

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1
Padres 2, Cubs One 0
The Cubs were held to a single hit.

  • Jesus Tejada: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Maikel Aguiar: 3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Andy Weber: 1 for 4, SB

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2

Cubs Two had the day off.

Other Notes

  • Keep an eye on Trevor Clifton. He’s shown flashes of breaking out this season (allowing no earned runs in three straight starts for Tennessee before being promoted, for example), and he’s on another of those good streaks now. After yesterday’s shutout he has allowed just oen earned run in his past two games (9 total innings). Clifton emerging as a late season starting pitching option for Chicago would be a pretty big deal. At this point in the season, any depth is good depth.
  • I had hoped that Wladimir Galindo would be one of the breakout stories of this season, but so far that hasn’t been the case. Galindo has some of the best power in the system, particularly among the infielders, but so far he’s hitting just .218/.274/.324. The big problem has been his strikeout rate of nearly 30%, but on top of that, half his struck balls are turning into grounders. That’s not a good formula. It is a fixable formula, though, and Galindo is just 21. He has time to make some adjustments.
  • The Futures Game was yesterday… why it was played yesterday afternoon while all the other games were happening and not in the evening or today when it would part of the All-Star break spotlight to itself I will never understand … and catcher Miguel Amaya represented the Cubs. He caught the majority of the game, and he looked good doing it. He handled the high velocity and excellent breaking stuff from the various pitchers with relative ease.
    That bodes very well for how fast his abilities behind the plate might allow himto move as a prospect.
  • At the plate, he didn’t do much of anything. He finished 0 for 3, and none of his at bats were really memorable in good or bad ways.
  • For everything you ever wanted to know about the Futures Game, Baseball America has you covered.

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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.