Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking in on Jeimer Candelario

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking in on Jeimer Candelario

Chicago Cubs

Jeimer Candelario CubsIn a few more days, possibly by the end of the weekend, Jeimer Candelario is going to collect his one hundredth plate appearance at Triple A. One hundred trips to the plate is my rule of thumb indicator for considering minor league stats, but in this case I’m going to jump the gun a bit. Let’s take a hard look at how Candelario is doing in Iowa.

He’s doing very, very well.

In fact, his numbers are probably unsustainably high right now. Over the course of his career Candelario has typically had a Batting Average on Balls In Play in the .270 to .300 range, but his Iowa BABIP as of yesterday was all the way up at .417. If you want to believe that .417 is for real you could maybe point at his .266 ISO (second highest in his career) and argue that the BABIP is up because he is hitting the ball really hard (which also results in a lot of extra base hits), and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Hitting the ball hard does raise the ISO and the BABIP, but .417 is still unsustainable. He’s going to cool off.

Given that he is currently hitting .344/.469/.609, he can do a lot of cooling off and still have a very good slash line. His 16% walk rate and 18.5% strikeout rate are right in line with what he did in Double A (although the walk rate is higher than I would have expected), so there likely is a fairly high floor to his production even when the BABIP turns against him.

All of that is a complicated way of saying that Candelario is performing very well in Iowa, better than I really hoped, and even when his good luck fades he should continue to perform very well. There really are no red flags on his stat sheet.

That’s right. The Cubs have a 22-year-old slugging, switch-hitting corner infielder in Triple A with a stat line that should inspire confidence. And this comes on the heels of a calendar year in which he crushed AA, crushed the Arizona Fall League, and crushed Spring Training.

Candelario hasn’t played the outfield in the minors, but his arm should easily be strong enough for left and I think he wouldn’t be any worse than Kyle Schwarber out there should Maddon decide to try it. More likely, though, he stays in Iowa and is a very frequent topic of conversation with other GMs throughout the month of July.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Round Rock 4, Iowa 2
Round Rock 5, Iowa 4 in eight innings.
The Cubs hit three homers across the two games, but came away winless on the day.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 2, Jacksonville 1 in ten innings.
They rallied in the ninth to tie, then won it in extras.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Potomac 3, Myrtle Beach 2 in ten innings.
The Pelicans had just three extra base hits in this one.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 1, Lake County 0
The Cubs were out hit seven to three, but thanks to the pitching they won anyway.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 5, Boise 1
Hudson couldn’t find the strike zone, but still had a successful outing.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs
Cubs 8, Mariners 7 in ten innings.
This game was a back and forth affair to the very end. With seven total errors, it wasn’t the mostly cleanly played, either.

Other Notes

  • Jonathan Mayo had some nice things to say about Eloy Jimenez in his latest round of answering fan questions. In short, he now sees Jimenez as a Top 100 caliber prospect and thinks he’ll move up the Cubs list when they re-rank those lists later this summer. I agree with Mayo. Jimenez is certainly in the conversation for a Top 100 billing now, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be moving up the Bleacher Nation Top 40 when I re-rank it in a few weeks.
  • The Ian Rice homer was not a cheap shot:

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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.