The farm system is now very thin on impact talent in the full season leagues, but the short season leagues are a different story. And that goes for the Dominican Summer League teams as well. Now that the Cubs two lowest-level teams have been playing for some time, it is worth checking in on how the lowest level Cubs affiliates are doing.
And right off the bat, we find 18-year-old outfielder Fernando Kelli ranking fourth in the league in OPS (min 100 PA) with a .968. Kelli, a switch hitter, has two home runs and 28 steals to go with his line of .353/.461/.507. I think we can look for Kelli to come to Arizona for the instructional leagues this fall, and to start 2018 with Eugene or Mesa.
Fellow 18-year-old Carlos Pacheco doesn’t have an overall line as impressive as Kelli (although his .254/.414/.456 with 5 HR and 5 SB certainly isn’t bad), but his 20.3% walk rate really stands out. His strikeout is just a little higher, and that isn’t so good, but a 20%+ walk rate with an ISO over .200 is a really interesting combination for a teenager in any league.
At the opposite end of the scale, 18-year-old Orian Nunez has a strikeout of just 6.1% to go with his line of .308/.374/.369. Nunez is a right handed hitting second baseman who also has a 9.5% walk rate and 15 steals.
On the pitching side, 17-year-old Yovanny Cruz is the big standout. Cruz, a righty, has 8.29 K/9 and a 52.1% ground ball rate in 33.2 innings of work to go with his 2.94 ERA and 2.73 xFIP.
Right hander Elias Herrera (19) ranks fifth with a K/9 of 11.19 (min 20 IP), although his 4.24 BB/9 and 5.40 ERA are less noteworthy (2.87 xFIP is nice, though).
It will be several years before we really know what the Cubs have in any of these guys, but I very much suspect this group… along with a few other of their DSL comrades… will be showing up on the Daily as part of Mesa or Eugene (or maybe even South Bend) a year from now.
- Aaron Brooks: 4.1 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Dylan Floro: 2.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 K
- Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 2 K
- John Andreoli: 4 for 6, 2B, 3B
- Jemile Weeks: 4 for 6, 2 2B
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Bijan Rademacher: 2 for 5
- Taylor Davis: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Chesny Young: 3 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
- Ali Solis: 4 for 5, 2 2B
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
The Smokies had the day off.
- Duncan Robinson: 5 IP, 1 H, 5 K
- Pedro Araujo: 1 IP, 1 K
- Zack Short: 1 for 5, 2B
- Vimael Machin: 2 for 5
- Tyler Alamo: 2 for 4, 2B
- Jesse Hodges: 1 for 4, HR of the grand variety
- Roberto Caro: 1 for 4, 3B
Low A: South Bend Cubs
The Cubs had the day off.
- Bailey Clark: 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K
- Ricky Tyler Thomas: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Miguel Amaya: 3 for 4
- Rafael Narea: 1 for 2, BB
Rookie: AZL Cubs
The AZL Cubs had the day off.
- The Iowa debut of Dillon Maples went exactly as you probably expected: 1 IP, 2 K. He threw 12 pitches, and in a bit of a surprise, the non-strikeout came in the air instead of on the ground. A few more appearances like this, and we may have to consider the possibility that the Cubs could pick up a solid reliever at the trade deadline for the low, low cost of a 25-man roster slot by just promoting Maples.
- Bailey Clark’s eight strikeouts fell one short of his season high; he struck out nine on July 5.
- With yesterday’s loss, Eugene dropped into a three way tie for first place with Boise and Hillsboro. The first half ends on Sunday.