Cubs Minor League Daily: Candelario Honored, Two Homers for Happ (VIDEOS)

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Candelario Honored, Two Homers for Happ (VIDEOS)

Chicago Cubs

jeimer candelario cubsThe final Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet of the year features, as did so many before this one, a Cubs’ prospect. This time the honors go to Iowa (and likely soon to be Chicago) third baseman Jeimer Candelario. The switch-hitter put up a line of .385/.467/.692 for the week, including just three strikeouts against four walks.

For his season in Iowa this year he has a strikeout rate of just 16.8% against an impressive walk rate of 12.4%. His line for the season reads .325/.412/.538. Add in his Iowa ISO of .213 and pretty good defense at third, and Candelario makes for some interesting questions for the Cubs this winter. On the one hand, his switch-hitting bat would be a very nice fit in the Cubs’ lineup, and his approach of patience with power fits in perfectly with the Cubs’ hitting philosophy. On the other hand, he doesn’t offer a lot of defensive flexibility, and the Cubs have some good options at third already.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the Major League roster is flexible enough that the Cubs could keep Candelario if they were so inclined; the question is whether or not they will be so inclined. We’ll have plenty of time to hash out those possibilities once the season is over.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 3, Colorado Springs 2
The Cubs’ pitching opened this game with eight shutout innings.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Montgomery 10, Tennessee 5
Young lost some ground in the batting title chase with this game.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 2, Potomac 1
The Pelicans have eighty wins.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
West Michigan 3, South Bend 0
The offense went back into hibernation.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 9, Tri-City 3
The Emeralds have an overall record of 54-19. The next best record in the league is 43-30. They’ve also won eight straight.

Other Notes

  • The minor league season wraps up on Monday, and then we are into the playoffs. Arizona has already been eliminated, but that still leaves Myrtle Beach, South Bend, and Eugene. South Bend and Eugene may well be the favorites in their respective playoffs, and Myrtle Beach will enter the postseason playing some of their best baseball of the season. Three championships is unlikely, but it isn’t out of the question.
  • Another conversation we can have this winter: what should the Cubs do with Pierce Johnson? He has very good stuff, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Most of his injuries have been fluke-ish, though, and none of the professional ones have been in the arm, elbow, or shoulder (that I recall). He has the pitches to be a starter, but is getting very good results as a reliever. I’m starting to lean towards letting him stay in the bullpen for a few seasons, then look to stretch him back into a starter if he proves he can handle major league batters on a regular basis. But that is far from the only option. The Cubs could also send him back to Iowa to start next season, or keep him in the bullpen full time, or turn him into the new long man, or wait until he has a full healthy season to move him up, or include him in a trade.
  • Chesny Young now has a batting average of .301. Second place Zach Granite is at .300. This race is going down to the wire (and don’t count out Victor Caratini who is lurking with a .294).
  • With one more win the Pelicans will clinch the second half division title in the Carolina League Southern division. A Salem loss would have the same effect, but clinching on a win would be more fun.
  • How about Happ’s two homers – I especially enjoyed the center fielder simply running out of room and into the wall in the second one:

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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.