A Week in the Minors – Eugene and Arizona Get It Started

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All-Star Game News
Despite three teams having breaks this week for All-Star games, it was a busy week in the minors. Kyle Schwarber was sent down to Iowa and made his debut in AAA. Jeremy Null of South Bend was named the MVP of the Midwest League All-Star Games and his teammate Gleyber Torres drew praise for his fielding. Dan Vogelbach smacked a HR in the Southern League All-Star game and Mark Zagunis went 2 for 5 and Jeimer Candelario went 2 for 4 for the Carolina League All-Stars.

MVP - Jeremy Null
MVP – Jeremy Null

Draft News
The Cubs announced more signings from their draft class bring the total to 25. Bryan Hudson, Preston Morrison, Jake Kezler, Scott Effross, Michael Foster, and John Cresto have yet to sign. Most of the Cubs Top 31 picks, minus Jared Padgett and Delvin Zinn will sign. Usually a good haul would be 25 signings, but it looks like the Cubs could do 31, which would be amazing!!!

Expect Donnie Dewees and others to be begin playing within a week including one of my surprise draftees to breakout, Matt Rose from Georgia State.

New Teams Begin Play
This year, I didn’t quite know what to expect from the lowest teams in the Cubs organization. There were some big names to see (Sands, Steele, Eloy Jimenez, and Happ) and a whole lot of “I don’t know what to think” at Eugene. The same could be said of the Cubs rookie league team in Arizona. Now that both teams have a week of games in, the picture is getting a little clearer for the prospects there, and yet, many of the 2015 draftees have yet to make an appearance.

Eugene – Weird Games in Play Happ 68
To say this team is young and inexperienced is an understatement. Their first two games were a comedy of errors – dropped balls, bad throws, and passed balls. But out of those games you could see a few flashes of brilliance. One is this year’s number one pick. In just five games, Ian Happ has two homers to go along with a .304 average and .407 OBP. What is perplexing is that Eloy Jimenez has 5 RBIs but is hitting under .200 and Kevonte Mitchell is in a big slump. Mitchell is 1 for 24. He hit leadoff for four games and then was moved to the ninth spot the last two games.

In two starts, Carson Sands seems to run out of gas about the fifth inning and has 4.09 ERA. However, Justin Steele threw darts in his first start striking out nine in five innings. He goes again tonight. Fellow starter Oscar de la Cruz struck out six in five, Jose Paulino, seven, and Andin Diaz, eight. In addition relievers Jordan Brink and Sam Wilson both had good outings.

SS Ho-Young Son is off to a sizzling start hitting .308 and now is in the leadoff spot. Ricardo Marcano is also doing well at .308. This week should see the debut of Donnie Dewees and Matt Rose in Emeralds’ uniforms.

Arizona – Just Getting Going in the Heat
When its game time the past week, it has been 110 in the shade for the Cubs. However, play has not stopped. Pitcher Austyn Willis had a mighty good first start going five innings and striking out five. He did not allow an earned run either. Rob Zastryzny, doing a rehab start, pitched well in 4 innings allowing 1 earned run. Tanner Griggs, Mark Malave (the former catcher), Scott Frazier, and Carlos Rodriguez all had nice outings in relief. Dylan Cease did not allow an earned run in one inning of relief, but he gave up three runs due to errors. Erling Moreno pitched two innings, gave up a run, and took a loss in one of the games.

Joe Martarano and Wladimir Galindo look like they both could have some serious pop in their bats.  After a rough first night, both are hitting .250 after 4 games. Catcher Yohan Matos has the only homer for the team. After just four games, most hitters are just finding their way in actual game play.

Players of the Week
Hitter of the Week – I am going with Ian Happ for the honor for his 2 HRs in five games.

Pitcher of the Week – Justin Steele’s nine Ks will do the trick.

Next weekend will see the June Organizational All-Star Teams and Players of the Month.
We might even see a player from the Cubs Dominican League squad on the All-Star team!


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