Cubs Minor League Daily: Early Season Position Prospect Surprises

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Early Season Position Prospect Surprises

Chicago Cubs

This is the week when we should see a lot of players cross of the 100 Plate Appearance threshhold that I use as a rule of thumb before taking new season stats seriously, and that means we’re close enough that we can start talking about some the best emerging offensive stories of 2018.

In Iowa, it is all about Mark Zagunis and David Bote. Bote has been hitting everything since he got back from Chicago (more on him in a bit), while Zagunis has just been hitting everything. And walking. Right now Zagunis has more walks (17) than strikeouts (14), and owns a line of .306/.423/.447.

Tennessee’s Jeffrey Baez is arguably the biggest surprise of the spring. His strikeout rate is on the high side (28.8%), but the rest of his numbers are excellent, including his 199 wRC+.

In Myrtle Beach, middle infielder Andruw Monasterio is starting to steal the show. He is now hitting .301/.393/.411 with almost as many walks (10) as strikeouts (12). At 142, his wRC+ leads the team. Keep a close eye on catcher Jhonny Pereda. His 11.6% strikeout rate is one of the lowest of his career, and he is walking almost that often. With just a touch more power his .303/.367/.371 line would really stand out.

South Bend’s Jared Young is carrying a 176 wRC+, and his lowish strikeout rate (15.8%) bodes well for his ability to keep that up. Meanwhile, teenage catcher Miguel Amaya is hitting .259/.330/.457 with pretty good peripheral numbers of his own. Not bad for a guy tasting full season ball for the first time.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 4, Round Rock 1
For the first time this year, Iowa has won two games in a row. A win today and they win the series.

  • Duane Underwood: 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Mike Freeman: 1 for 5, 2B
  • David Bote: 5 for 5, HR, SB

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 6, Birmingham 2
The bullpen delivered four innings of one hit ball.

  • Michael Rucker: 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Tommy Nance: 1 IP, 1 K
  • Dakota Mekkes: 1 IP, 1 K
  • Jeffrey Baez: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Zack Short: 1 for 2, HR, 2 BB
  • Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 4
  • Charcer Burks: 1 for 4, HR

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Lynchburg 4, Myrtle Beach 0
The Pelicans managed just two hits.

  • Jose Paulino: 6 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Ryan Kellogg: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 K
  • Wladimir Galindo: 1 for 3
  • Daniel Spingola: 1 for 3, 2B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 5, Peoria 4
One big inning gave the Cubs all the runs they would need.

  • Rollie Lacy: 4 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB
  • Jesus Camargo: 3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Enrique De Los Rios: 2 IP, 2 K
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4, 3B
  • Jared Young: 1 for 3, 3B, BB
  • Michael Cruz: 1 for 4, HR

Other Notes

  • The last time Duane Underwood pitched seven scoreless innings was August 11 of last year, his only such start in 2017. He pitched five scoreless against Oklahoma City last month, though and so far this year has an ERA of 3.25 and a WHIP of just 1.01.
  • David Bote has now hit safely in eight straight games, and has more than one hit in five straight. When he came back to Iowa seven games ago, his slash line read .234/.265/.511. He is now hitting .342/.405/.618. Stay tuned.
  • Jose Paulino had an encouraging start for Myrtle Beach. He gave up four runs, but did so while allowing just three hits in six innings. Yesterday matched his longest outing of the season, set a new low for hits allowed, and tied his season high in strikeouts.

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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.