Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On Ian Rice, Pelicans Charity Auction

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On Ian Rice, Pelicans Charity Auction

Chicago Cubs

Ian Rice did not make the Top 40, nor did he make most other prospect lists. Baseball America, for example doesn’t mention him in the Prospect Handbook at all. I think that is likely to change by midseason.

Through his first 38 games (126 PA), the right handed hitting catcher was hitting .250/.381/.413 before he hit his fifth homer yesterday. The walk rate is very impressive for Double A (16.7%), and the BABIP isn’t far from his norms. He doesn’t appear to be benefiting from any outlandish luckiness; he’s just having a good year.

The knock, as has been the case throughout his career, are his strikeouts. His 23.8% strikeout rate isn’t awful, but it is on the high side. If he can bring that down a bit while maintaining his hard contact rate, we could be looking at a solid Major League bench bat/backup catcher, with fringe starter potential in a year or so.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Tacoma 8, Iowa 7
Twice the Cubs blew a three-run lead.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 7, Birmingham 1
This was basically a bullpen game for the Smokies. Turns out they have a good bullpen.

Birmingham 4, Tennessee 2
The other J. Baez homered in both games.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 5, Salem 1
A seven run fifth propelled the Pelicans to a win.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Lansing 5, South Bend 3
Struggles in the eighth cost the Cubs the lead.

Other Notes

  • The weather in Iowa was not friendly for pitchers, and the two teams combined to hit six homers. That makes the seven outs recorded by Perakslis all that much more impressive; five of them were strikeouts.
  • Alzolay’s eight strikeouts for the Pelicans set a new season high for the right hander.
  • Eloy Jimenez started the Pelicans’ game in right field and had a hit in two at bats. He left the game for Eddy Martinez before the bottom of the sixth, and I’m not entirely sure why.
  • If you want to take a look at former high end prospect and new Cubs’ pitching project Carson Kelly, he will be on the mound for Iowa this afternoon. If you have, you have the perfect opportunity to slack off work and watch a pitcher who might just have a future with the Cubs.
  • Myrtle Beach Pelicans hitting coach Ty Wright is from the east Texas region that was hit so hard by tornadoes last month, and, together with the team, he’s organized a series of auctions to benefit the region since he cannot physically go back there to help during the season. You can see the details here on the live auctions, which kick off at the end of this month, here. It’s gonna include some great gear: “As part of the auctions, fans will have the opportunity to bid on signed baseball, bats, photos and other memorabilia from both current and former Chicago Cubs like Anthony Rizzo , Kris Bryant and Ryne Sandberg. Former Myrtle Beach Pelicans like Jason Heyward , Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo will also be featured amongst the items, as well as other signed items from current and former major leaguers.”

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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.