Cubs Minor League Daily: Northwest League All Stars Announced

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Northwest League All Stars Announced

Chicago Cubs

eugene emeralds logoThe mid-season All Stars for the Northwest League have been announced, and the Eugene Emeralds are sending four players to the festivities. The Northwest League plays their All Star game against the All Stars of the Pioneer League on August 2 in Ogden, Utah.

Chris Pieters, the first baseman and DH with two homers and fifteen steals, is one of the Emeralds’ All Stars. Pieters is a little on the old side for the league (21), but until last season he was a pitcher. He spent three years working on his pitching in the Caribbean Leagues before converting to a non-mound career, but since then his offense has blossomed. His glove work at first has looked pretty good at times as well.

Outfield Robert Garcia is also a little old for the league (22), but he did not sign with the Cubs until his age 19 season. Two years in the Domincan Summer League and a year in Arizona set him up for this year with Eugene, but his bat could make up for lost time. At the time of his selection he was hitting .292/.367/.487.

Jared Cheek, a 23 year old right handed reliever, will work out of the All Star bullpen. The Cubs drafted him last year in the 21st round. This year, through 18 innings, he has a strikeout rate of 8.35 K/9 and a walk rate of 0.98 BB/9. He has yet to allow a home run, and indeed has allowed just twelve total hits.

Starting pitcher Jesus Castillo is the final Eugene All Star. This 20-year-old right hander has struck out hitters at a 10.31 K/9 pace through 29.2 innings while compiling an ERA of just 2.43 in the process.  His strikeout to walk ratio is a robust 3.78, and he has further limited the damage by giving up on two home runs.  The Cubs acquired Castillo from the Diamondbacks in 2013 in exchange for … well … let’s see if you remember. The answer is near the bottom of the column. [Brett: I remember!]

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 8, New Orleans 2
There were some good results on the pitching side in this one.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Chattanooga 8, Tennessee 4
Based on his bat, Coghlan might be about ready.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 10, Carolina 7
At one point the Pelicans led by six, but the game was tied entering the bottom of the eighth.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Lake County 5, South Bend 4
The Cubs led by four early, but gradually that lead trickled away.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 4, Salem-Keizer 1
The Emeralds are about to reach win number thirty.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs

Mesa had the day off.

Other Notes

  • Balaguert continues to be as hot as any hitter in the organization right now. I’m starting to wonder if he might not be a dark horse candidate for an Arizona Fall League nomination.
  • If an early September trip to scenic Oregon sounds like a good idea, then you may want to go ahead and order your Emeralds playoff tickets.
  • Jesus Castillo, along with fellow pitcher Erick Leal (who has been pitching quite well for Myrtle Beach), was acquired from the Diamonbacks for Tony Campana. Campana has since been traded to the Angels, signed by the White Sox, signed by the Nationals, and signed by the White Sox again. He hasn’t been in the majors since 2014.
  • It sounds like Dylan Cease will be back in action, if limited action, for Eugene Friday.
  • And finally, how about a look at the Balaguert long balls. And a pretty impressive Dewees bomb as well:

Author: Luke Blaize

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