Weekly News, Notes, and Awards: Sign of Life for Some Top Prospects

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Torres 85 2016 mbThe Cubs top prospect finally hit .300 in a week for the first time. He’s still at .191 for the year, but for the first time, Gleyber Torres of 2016 is starting to look like Gleyber Torres of 2015…finally! One statistic that I find unique about Torres is that he is hitting .300 with men on. With the return of Rashad Crawford to the lead off spot after concussion issues, Torres’ average has gone up a lot this week and he he hit another HR. In fact, in his last ten games, Torres is hitting .263. Hopefully, by next weekend, Torres will be over the Mendoza line (.200). He did not get Hitter of the Week, but it’s a start.

Record: 13 – 14; 3.5 GB
Weekly: 4 – 3
It looks like the starting pitching is starting to stabilize. Jake Buchanan, who was rocked in his first start, looked good in his last two with 12 IP, 1 ER, and 11 Ks. Ryan Williams looked good too. His last start saw him go 6 innings and strikeout 4 while lowering his ERA down to a season low of 4.38 from a high of 18.00. Reliever Stephen Perakslis made his second start going 4 innings, striking out three, and not allowing an earned run. His ERA as a starter stands at 2.08. While the pitching improved, the hitting slipped a little but not too much. Willson Contreras had a good week going 7 for 22 (.318) including 2 HRs, 4 RBIs and 5 walks. Dan Vogelbach had a grand slam, but that was it for him.

jake 71 2015Tennessee
Record: 14 – 15; 4 GB
Weekly: 2 – 4
Last week, at 4-1, they were the team of the week. This week was not kind. Injuries, blown leads, errors, and other maladies attacked this team. However, three players, Jake Hannemann, Victor Caratini, and Mark Zagunis improved greatly. Zagunis hit 7 for 18 (.389) on the week with 1 HR, 3 RBIs and 3 walks. Victor Caratini was not far behind going 6 for 13 (.462). Hannemann hit .271 for the week but is at .293 in his last ten games.

Myrtle Beach
Record: 15 – 13; 4 GB
Weekly: 4 – 2
This team has the best pitching staff in the Cubs system this year with a team ERA of 2.95. The problem is the hitting is not raking it at .233. As a result, the Pelicans have to scrap it out every night. Torres’ mini-resurgence along with the return of Crawford is good as Ian Happ has seen his average drop from .329 to .265 in one week. Jake Stinnett, Johnathan Martinez, Erick Leal,and Zach Hedges all had great starts this week. Even Trevor Clifton was good in defeat as he only allowed 2 ERs and K’d 8.

South Bend
Record: 17 – 11; 1 GB Lake County
Weekly: 4 – 2
This team was firing on all cylinders except for two innings this week and it cost them two games. Greyfer Eregua and Justin Steele both gave up 4 runs in an inning this week. Otherwise, the Cubs could have won all six games. Eddy Julio Martinez looks to be improving on his approach. He went 6 for 16 (.375) with 1 HR and 4 RBIs and 2 walks (more than he had in all of April). Even Eloy is improving on his average hitting .333 on the week raising his average to .295. The South Bend starters put together some great starts this week lead by Carson Sands’ 6 IP with no runs and 4 Ks.

Extended Spring Training
The big news came early in the week when Dylan Cease went three scoreless with 4 Ks on 53 pitches. Bryan Hudson (5 Ks), Erling Moreno (3 Ks), and Pedro Silverio also had excellent starts against the Diamondbacks, Angels, and A’s this week. Jesus Castillo even flashed some good pitching this week going three scoreless. Wladimir Galindo put together some great at bats this going 2/5 or 3/5 in most games this week.

Players of the Week

Hitter of the Week – Eddy Julio Martinez – South Bend
I had a hard time picking just one player as Zagunis, Victor Caratini, and Willson Contreras made it awfully hard to select. Martinez was pretty steady and quiet but earned his way in hitting almost .400 with a HR and 4 RBIs.

Starting Pitcher of the Week – Zach Hedges
The only pitcher in the system to go 7 innings with 5 Ks and no runs. This gives Hedges back to back wins for the award.

Reliever of the Week – Felix Pena
When Spencer Patton went to Chicago, Felix stepped right in and did some serious damage in 4 innings with 7 Ks.

Team of the Week – South Bend
This was very close. Myrtle Beach also went 4-2. For me, the tie-breaker was that South Bend could have easily have been 6-0. South Bend is also getting great production in all 3 phases of the game, while Myrtle Beach is still in need of some hitting. Next week, the Pelicans will be right back in the hunt for the award as their starting pitching has just been outstanding.


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