As soon as the draft is over, player movement within the organization is pretty rapid. The Arizona and Eugene teams get filled up and depending on how advanced some of the college players who sign are, they can go anywhere from Eugene to South Bend. And like dominoes, promotions go right on up into the high levels of the minors. In fact, it may have already started before the draft this year.
Yesterday, C Taylor Davis of Iowa was overheard by Tommy Birch:
Davis walks out of the locker room with a bunch of baseballs. “Time to learn a new position boys!” Taking fly balls in the OF now. #Cubs
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 6, 2015
And here was Birch’s reaction to an actual play in the game
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 7, 2015
If you put two and two together, guess who is coming to Iowa?
It got me thinking – who else could be promoted in the next two to four weeks?
Iowa to the Chicago Cubs
Javy Baez – You hold that bat back. I dare you! Let’s see how his new stance, swing, and approach play in the big leagues at the end of this next week.
Arismendy Alcantara – Great May and June has talk of him coming back. Odds are he gets traded instead even though Joe Maddon loves him. Really no place to play him.
Armando Rivero – He has been outstanding his last 10 appearances with an ERA under 1.50. Let’s see what he’s got.
Carl Edward’s Jr. – His second outing at Iowa was better than the first, still gave up a run though. Needs a lot more seasoning at Iowa. Maybe he goes to the show in mid-August.
Tennessee to Iowa
Kyle Schwarber – By the end of next week, I would expect to see him in Des Moines.
Wilson Contreras – This opens up Contreras to catch full time. It also opens up the chance for him to be traded this summer.
Billy McKinney – Still only 20. He’s in no rush, but it will be hard to hold that bat back. He is hitting over .300 in one month in Tennessee. I see him at AA the rest of the year. He starts at Iowa in 2016.
PJ Francescon ERA under 0.80 – yeah, move him on up.
Corey Black – Like Schwarber – expect to see Black in Des Moines after a couple more relief appearances.
Albert Almora, Jr. – Glove is ready, bat lags far behind. I don’t think he makes it to Iowa to start 2016 unless his bat and approach improve greatly.
Myrtle Beach to Tennessee
Duane Underwood, Jr. – Two weeks ago I would have said yes. After watching him pitch his last two starts, he is still in need of a third pitch. He might get by with two pitches at high A or one time through the order, but he will not at AA. Still he’s very young, even for high A.
Mark Zagunis – He hits and gets on base. He’s ready.
Chesny Young – Only been at high A one month and is hitting almost 400. I think by the end of June he could be ready – End of July, for sure.
Tyler Skulina – Meet Mr. Jekyll, or is it Mr. Hyde? Since the beginning of May, he has been the best starter at the beach putting together three starts with good K totals and an ERA in that time under 2.40. Problem is this: He could revert back to Mr. Hyde at any moment when he can’t find his release point. Out of all the starters, he has been the most impressive. That doesn’t mean he should get a promotion though. But if one does, it is likely to be Skulina.
Pugliese and Paniagua – Both have sub 2.00 ERAs out of the bullpen. They are ready to go up a level/
Victor Caratini – He’s getting pretty warm with the bat, but I think he stays for now. Maybe late July, he could go to Tennessee if his bat continues to stay warm.
South Bend to Myrtle Beach
Cael Brockmeyer – nowhere for the Midwest League All-Star to go at the Beach. Would he skip high A like Ryan Williams and go to Tennessee? He could, I wouldn’t be surprised. However, he is such a force for good at South Bend, I don’t see him going anywhere, except to Myrtle Beach if Caratini goes to Tennessee. Positive for him is he caught all the pitchers at Myrtle Beach last year at Kane County.
Gleyber Torres – Still only 18. Likely he spends most of the summer at South Bend. He might get a taste of high A playoff baseball if the young low A Cubs are out of it in August.
Jeremy Null and James Farris – They are ready in my opinion. By the end of June, they will be at high A
To South Bend
Even though they haven’t played an official inning of baseball, Carson Sands and Eloy Jimenez could swivel some heads if they were promoted to Indiana.
These are the most likely promotions. There could be more. The linchpins that start everything going are Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber. Once they go, expect a chain reaction as they open up holes across the system.