Cubs Minor League Daily: More All Stars and a Lot of Promotions

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Cubs Minor League Daily: More All Stars and a Lot of Promotions

Chicago Cubs

myrtle beach pelicans logoThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed three players on the High A Carolina League All-Star team, and all three are pitchers. Heading the list is Trevor Clifton, the right hander with the 2.08 ERA and 9.87 K/9 who is building a case as one of the best power starting pitchers in the organization.

Joining him will be Jake Stinnett (4.15 ERA, 3.68 FIP). Stinnett has been a little inconsistent this year, but when his mechanics are in sync, hitters struggle to make hard contact against him. We are starting to see glimpses of what he could become, and that is a very good thing.

Rounding off the trio is a lesser known prospect, Zach Hedges. A 26th round pick in 2014, Hedges has posted an ERA of just 2.39 in ten starts for the Pelicans, walking just thirteen in that span while hitter manage an average of only .225 off of him.

Joining the three starters in the All Star Game will be their pitching coach Anderson Tavarez. Remember that name; Tavarez has helped develop some very nice groups of pitchers in the low minors in the past few seasons.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs

Iowa had the day off.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 4, Mississippi 1
The Tennessee pitchers did not pile up as many strikeouts, but they were the more dominant staff in this one.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Myrtle Beach had the day off.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Dayton 6, South Bend 4
Half the runs the Cubs scored were unearned.

Other Notes

  • The hope is that Willson Contreras would return to the lineup for Iowa tonight when they take on Round Rock at home. He left Monday’s game with a minor foot injury, and with a hitting streak up to fourteen games.
  • No need to be concerned that only three Pelicans made the All Star team while six made the squad for both South Bend and Tennessee. The All Star game in the Midwest and Southern leagues is played between two divisions in the league; two teams of All Stars are pulled from the various rosters. The Carolina League plays their All Star Game against the High A California League. That means, effectively, there are half as many All Star slots to fill. And the Pelicans are still sending three pitchers. That’s awesome.
  • There were a lot of promotions in the minor leagues yesterday. Here, in brief, is what you need to know.
  • South Bend activated infielder Sutton Whiting from the disabled list. To make room for Whiting,…
  • … infielder Andrew Ely was promoted from South Bend to Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans also received infielder David Bote, back from a short stint in Triple A where he posted an OPS of .917 in 24 plate appearances. To make room for those two, the Pelicans…
  • … sent infielder Daniel Lockhart and center fielder Trey Martin to Tennessee. Lockhart projects best as a left handed hitting utility infielder, but he is a favorite sleeper pick (if there is such a thing) for a lot of prospect analysts. Martin is a fantastic defensive outfielder, almost Almora-esque (higher praise I cannot give), who still has some work to do with his bat. He’s looked good lately, though, and I’m interested to see how he responds to the challenge of Double A. The Smokies needed an infielder and an outfielder because…
  • they sent third baseman Jeimer Candelario and outfielder Mark Zagunis to Iowa. Candelario got off to a slow start to the season, but that isn’t anything to worry about. He’s a switch hitter with patience and power who projects as a middle of the order sort of bat in most major league lineups. His defense at third is pretty good, possibly very good, and if he stays in the organization it isn’t impossible that he makes it easier for Maddon slip Bryant into the outfield on a more regular basis. Zagunis is a left handed hitting on base machine with more power than he gets credit for. He has mostly played in the outfield corners, but I think that has more to do with who he has played beside (Martin and Hannemann in particular) and less to do with limitations that would keep him out of center. Don’t be surprised to see him get some starts in center with Iowa. He projects as a solid starting outfielder who brings value by getting on base at a high rate.
  • Iowa, of course, needed an outfielder after sending Albert Almora to the major leagues. And, as previously mentioned, they sent David Bote back to Myrtle Beach.
  • I don’t think the roster shuffles are entirely finished, but I don’t expect any more promotion cascades like this for a little while.
  • And now, finally, let’s talk draft. As Brett mentioned last night, draft coverage will be a little lighter around here this year than in years past. We won’t be doing the live-on-Twitter pick by pick coverage for three straight days as we’ve done in the past, but I’ll still have a (brief) write up on every player the Cubs draft just as soon as I have time to get to my computer, frantically google the name, hunt down several obscure sources, watch less than helpful videos, and assemble all of that into something semi-coherent.  It should be fun.  And we will have on going coverage as more data comes available in the days and weeks after the draft.

Author: Luke Blaize

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