Saturday Morning Roundup – Some Surprise Splits So Far

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While the major league team is destroying the Reds this weekend, the minor league prospects are getting to the point where early streaks start to fade. A two week split turns into a month of statistics. With sixteen games into the season, there a few Cubs prospects who are off to a surprise start. Some I predicted a month ago (pitchers, hitters), and then there are some I did not see coming at all.

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Bijan Rademacher
Coming into the season, he looked like he was going to be the odd man out in a crowded outfield with Billy McKinney, Jake Hannemann, and Mark Zagunis. Instead, Rademacher has outshown them all…combined. He is hitting .425 with a .549 OBP with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs. Add in that he has a 13 game hitting streak, and you have yourself a 24 year outfielder coming into his own at AA.

Paul Blackburn
In three starts, the young 21 year old righty has a 0.50 ERA. He has only struck out ten in three starts, but he has a 0.83 WHIP. He is getting it done by pitching to contact. He gets the ball tonight against Mobile. It should be interesting to see how he does. He’s been pitching very well since the middle of July. In those 8 starts, he has allowed only 7 ERs.

Spencer Patton
The man who the Cubs traded Frandy Delarosa for has had a spectacular April. In 6 appearaences he has yet to allow a run, he has struck out nine, has allowed only three hits while only giving up two walks. It’s been an impressive beginning to his Cubs career. If the Cubs need a reliever at any point, this kid is now at the front of the line.

Rashad Crawford
Right now he is on the DL, but he was on fire beforehand. He was hitting .333 with a .404 OBP while patrolling CF for the Pelicans. He should be off the DL soon where he will return to the top of the Pelicans’ lineup.

Ian Happ
I knew he could be good, but this past week saw him get his groove going. In the last seven days, he is hitting .444 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. His OBP for that frame is close to .600. It’s been a good week for him in a pitcher’s league. What I like most about his start is his approach. He never swings at just any pitch.

Zach Hedges
I wondered early if he was going to be a starter or a reliever. He started. In fact, he’s started three games with a 2.37 ERA. On Wednesday, he went seven innings allowing 1 run and striking out four. Every start has been better than the one before. Last summer I saw a nice run like this by him in June. When I saw him pitch in Burlington, the humidity wore him down, but he gets some nice movement on all his pitches, but he does have a really good slider that can get him a lot of weak groundball outs. And that is what he is doing this year.

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Jason Vosler
The young 3B from Northeastern is having an outstanding start for Myrtle Beach. He is hitting .333 yet he has not hit a HR. With his .429 OBP, he is really a force in the middle of the Pelicans’ lineup. I liked what he did when he went to Myrtle Beach late last summer when he had 6 HRs in just 38 games as a Pelican. I think this year, his approach will pay off later this summer in some more power.

Donnie Dewees
The young outfielder has been outstanding this season. He’s hitting .364 with 11 RBIs. He leads  the team in runs with 14 and 6 SBs. He is an extremely exciting player to watch hit, run, and play the field.

Daniel Spingola
I thought for sure he would not see the light of day much. Instead, he’s been an on-base machine hitting .378. Like Rademacher, he was an afterthought on the roster to me. I was wrong and good for him. In fact, he might be the biggest surprise of all on this list. The 2015 (and 2014) draftee out of Georgia Tech has shown good speed and good patience at the plate.

Tyler Alamo
While he still needs to work on his defense, the young 2013 draftee’s bat has been a pleasant surprise at South Bend. In fact, he leads the team in hitting while playing a little C, 1B, and DH. He is hitting .400 in 7 games, he shows the potential for more power. That will come. He spent most of this winter bulking up while trimming down.

Tomorrow, I will be back with the weekly news and notes on how each minor league team did this past week and I will have the players of the week as usual.

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