I never expect very much out of a player appearing in his first game for a new team. The stress of travel, the extra pressure to perform in a new situation, the change of established routines, and all those other mental and physical factors that are just part of the process of changing teams come into play and often make the stats from that first game fairly meaningless.
Christian Villanueva, the Cubs newest infield prospect and Daytona’s new third baseman, wants no part of that theory. He began his Cubs career not with one bang, but with two. Batting third in the High-A Cubs’ line up, the right handed hitter finished the game 2 for 3 with two home runs and a walk. He now has a Cubs’ farm system OPS of 3.417.
Do not be fooled by this start. He is not a significant power threat, although he could develop average power before it is all said and done. His game is likely to rely on hitting for average and playing good defense. Long term, thanks in no small part to guys like Baez and Candelario, I think Villanueva will be playing second base for the Cubs, but we can expect to see him continue to earn plenty of starts at third as we he works his way up the system.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa’s record slumped still further with a 7-4 loss at home.
Tennessee – The Smokies’ offense was completely shut down in this 6-1 loss.
Daytona – Daytona was just dominant in this 8-2 win.
Peoria – Peoria had more hits, but not more runs. They lost 6-4.
Boise – This is a game Boise needs to forget about in a hurry. Nothing went right for the Hawks as they lost 15-1.
Arizona – The Cubs held off a late surge by the Angels and walked away with a 6-5 win.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Give Marcus Hatley credit for two hitless innings of relief. He also struck out three.
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters and Dave Sappelt, the two best candidates to be promoted to Chicago, both finished this game with three hits. Vitters added his fifth steal.
- [Iowa] Brett Jackson, who is also a candidate for promotion, reached twice on a single and a walk. He also stole his 26th base.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Brigham made his Cubs’ system debut in this game. He lasted three innings, allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out two. It will take a few games before we have an accurate read on just what the Cubs now have in Bringham.
- [Tennessee] Zach Rosscup pitched five innings of relief and he did pretty well. He allowed one run on two hits while striking out five.
- [Tennessee] Both of the Smokies’ hits came from Logan Watkins. That includes his fifth home run that provided Tennessee with their only run.
- [Daytona] Robert Whitenack had a good, if slightly brief, start in this game. He pitched 3.2 innings, gave up a run on two hits while walking four and striking out three. Since he is still reestablishing his feel for pitching as he recovers from elbow surgery, I am not worried about the walks. I am, however, encouraged by his 9:1 GO/AO ratio.
- [Daytona] Ronald Torreyes hit his sixth home run as part of a 2 for 3 game. This was the second baseman’s sixth consecutive multi-hit game.
- [Daytona] Once again, the Daytona Base Thieves were up to their usual tricks. Timothy Saunders stole his fourth, Eliser Bonne his 22nd, and catcher Robinson Lopez swiped his first.
- [Peoria] The power surge continued as again Dustin Geiger led the Chiefs at the plate. He finished 3 for 4 with a double and his 14th home run.
- [Peoria] Outfielders Pin-Chieh Chen and Bijan Radamacher each had two hits. Chen is now hitting .389 in his last ten games.
- [Boise] Daniel Vogelbach drove home Marco Hernandez in the first inning for the team’s only run. Both players finished the game with two hits; those were the only four hits Boise had.
- [Arizona] With a double apiece Jorge Soler and Albert Almora provided all the extra base hits for the Cubs.
- [Arizona] Anthony Prieto started the game, pitched two innings, and allowed nothing but two walks.
- [Arizona] Shawon Dunston and Jacob Rogers each had two hits for the Cubs. Dunston has largely shaken off his slow start and now has an OPS of .813 in his last ten games. Rogers has been hitting since the Cubs drafted him in June.
Other Minor League Notes
- Tennessee remains four games back in their division. To make the playoffs, they need to win the division out right or finish second to Jackson. Currently Chattanooga is on top.
- Why do Daytona’s catchers keep stealing bases? I don’t remember any team that runs their catchers as much as these Cubs do. Combined, Daytona’s backstops have stolen 7 bases in 10 attempts. That is an impressively high success rate for the position typically played by some of the slowest players in the game.
- Arizona and Boise both remain in first place in their respective divisions.