Cubs Minor League Daily: Eddy Martinez Homers Again, Ryan Court Still Red Hot

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Eddy Martinez Homers Again, Ryan Court Still Red Hot

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

Eddy Martinez had a better weekend than you did. No matter what you did this weekend, I’m sure you didn’t homer in three straight games. He did, including his ninth of the year on Sunday.

Ever since the Cubs signed Martinez out of Cuba, we’ve been wondering just how good this guy could be. And, so far anyway, we haven’t had a lot of answers. He has a good arm, is a pretty good baserunner, and plays well in both center and right field. He has shown signs of good power, but so far that power hasn’t consistently carried that into games. And while his strikeout rate is in pretty good shape (19.6% this year), questions remain about his ability to make hard contact consistently.

On the other hand, we know that players who come over from Cuba sometimes simply need more repetitions than we otherwise might expect to get ready. If the tools are there and the progress is being made in batting cage – something we can’t gauge from the video or the stat sheet – then the Cubs have every reason to be patient for quite awhile longer yet. After all, he’s only 23.

Is this homer streak the start of him breaking out? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait several weeks before we can answer that. It might be a sign of something else, though. Looking at his batted ball numbers, I notice that his ground ball rate is down from 47.5% last year to 34.5% this year. His fly ball rate is way up, from 33.3% last year to 51.1% this year. I suspect that Martinez has been adapting his swing based on the findings of the fly ball revolution. If so, as he gets comfortable with those swing changes we could start to see a jump in his overall production.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 3, New Orleans 1
Ryan Court – hit machine.

  • Alec Mills: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Alberto Baldonado: 1.1 IP, 2 H
  • Jacob Hannemann: 3 for 4, SB
  • Mark Zagunis: 2 for 4, BB, SB
  • Ryan Court: 3 for 4
  • Taylor Davis: 1 for 3, BB
  • Ali Solis: 2 for 2

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Biloxi 7, Tennessee 5
This game slipped away when the Smokies gave up six runs in the final two frames.

  • Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K
  • Preston Morrison: 2 IP, 2 K
  • Charcer Burks: 2 for 4, 2B, HR
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, HR
  • Vimael Machin: 4 for 4, 3 2B

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Winston-Salem 7, Myrtle Beach 2
The Pelicans gave up three unearned runs in this one.

  • Bryan Hudson: 6 IP, 5 R (2 ER), 6 H, 4 BB, 4 K
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 4
  • Roberto Caro: 2 for 4
  • Jose Gutierrez: 1 for 4, 3B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Kane County 5, South Bend 4 in ten innings
A homer in the tenth sunk the Cubs’ effort at an extra inning road win.

  • Enrique De Los Rios: 3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB
  • Yapson Gomez: 3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 K
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 3 BB
  • Rafael Narea: 2 for 5, 2B
  • Austin Upshaw: 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB
  • Austin Filiere: 3 for 5
  • Clayton Daniel: 2 for 4, 2B

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Tri-City 5, Eugene 4
Eugene briefly took the lead in the seventh, but they didn’t score after that.

  • Brailyn Marquez: 5 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Luis Aquino: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Tyler Durna: 2 for 3, 3B, 2 BB
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Grant Fennell: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Erick Gonzalez: 1 for 4, 2B

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1
Cubs One 10, Brewers 4
The Cubs have won five straight and are still alone in first place.

  • Yunior Perez: 3 IP, 2 K
  • Riger Fernandez: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 4 K
  • Edmond Americaan: 0 for 2, 4 BB, SB
  • Alexander Guerra: 2 for 3, 2B, 3B, BB
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 2 for 4, SB

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2
Cubs Two 8, Indians 7
The Cubs have won seven of their last eight games. Their only loss in that span came against Cubs One.

  • Yovanny Cruz: 4.2 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 K
  • Andry Rondon: 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K
  • Brennen Davis: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Reivaj Garcia: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
  • Cole Roederer: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
  • Henderson Perez: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Drew Wharton: 2 for 4, BB
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 1 for 3, 2B, BB

Other Notes

  • Ryan Court’s hitting streak is up to seventeen games. What’s more, he has a five game multi-hit streak going (including hitting for the cycle on Friday night). For the month Court is hitting .446/.493/.646 with two homers and a triple.
  • Court also has some signs of trending towards more of a flyball focus this year. His 34.4% flyball rate is higher than it has been since 2014 when he was in High A (in the most hitter friendly league in the minors). His 35.8% ground ball rate is a career low, and his 29.8% line drive rate is not only excellent, it is a career high. He also has his highest HR/FB rate since High A, but given that he’s playing in the Pacific Coast League I’d put an astrisk by that one. Regardles, he’s hitting the ball very hard (.431 BABIP) when he hits it at all (36.7% strikeout rate).
  • If you were really looking signs of a trade, you could maybe read something into the fact that Thomas Hatch was pulled after five innings and just 75 pitches. He was pitching on seven days rest and had only thrown 89 pitches his last time out. He’s thrown back to back games in the high 80s or over 90 many times this season – including every start from May 4 through June 6. On the other hand, he’s also left the game at 75 pitches or less three times since June 16, so there probably isn’t anything to it. Or is there ….
  • AZL Cubs 1 have a half game lead and a magic number of two. Basically, if they just win out they’ll finish the first half in first place and become the first team in the organization to clinch a playoff slot this season.

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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.