As the Minor League Season Comes to a Close, Here Are Some Thank You’s for the Year

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As the minor league season comes to a close this Labor Day weekend, I wanted to send out some thank you’s to some people who have given information that we use for this blog on an everyday basis. Most of our coverage this summer has been focused on the three class A teams at Myrtle Beach, South Bend, and Eugene. Today, we recognize people that have helped us either get pictures, information, or access all summer long.

Willson 82 2016 IowaIowa Cubs

While we did have a few stories about the Iowa Cubs this year, most of them faded after Willson Contreras and Albert Almora were promoted to the big league squad. Tommy Birch provided a lot of information and insight into the mindset of those two players along with Carl Edwards, Jeimer Candelario, Mark Zagunis, and a Cubs Central favorite, Pierce Johnson. Tommy is always a good follow on Twitter. The Iowa Cubs also did a great job with their Flickr account this year providing photographs by Dylan Heuer. Dylan’s photographs are always top notch and were the basis for many excellent cards in the first half of the year.

Tennessee Smokies

Out of all the teams in the minor-league system this year, I fell I did not give enough coverage to the Tennessee Smokies. I was so used to Andrew Green providing a lot of information the past two years that my attention faded early in the year along with the team’s record. Still, Justin Rocke, Mick Gillespie, and the “Smokies On Radio” twitter account provided information when I did need it. So thank you to them and next year, with Trevor Clifton at Tennessee, I am sure I will pay much, much more attention to the Smokies.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Scott Kornberg and John Vittas made a nice transition in providing information this year about the prospects in Myrtle Beach. Every day, I always looked forwards to their daily game notes and updates. In addition, Larry Kave’s photographs and the coverage by local writers Max McKinnon and Joe Wedra provided excellent information. Stephanie Lynn also provided us some pictures for a few cards and her interviews with Pelican players over at Cubs Den were quite excellent. 

eloy 85 2016 sbSouth Bend Cubs

I feel like I spent most of my summer covering South Bend. And that’s OK.  I have an affinity for the team. They were easy to watch on TV and there’s always a plethora of information. I want to thank Darrin Pritchett, Ryne Blaising, and the Twitter accounts of the South Bend Cubs and South Bend Cubs Radio. Also, I’d like to thank the Kane County Cougars and Clinton Lumber Kings who were wonderful in giving press access to games in their stadiums. In addition, my friend, Rikk Carlson, provided a myriad of pictures all season long. They capture the essence and the excitement of the South Bend Cubs this season. Thank you all!.

Eugene

The Eugene Emeralds were outstanding this year! They often provided pictures through messages and uploaded dozens more on their Facebook account of their team in action. Also, they provided information, as best they could, about injuries, call-ups, and certain prospects. They also linked my preview of the team preview post on their web page that was one of the biggest reads on this blog this summer. The Emeralds also pointed me in the direction of some of the photographers that they used to capture the images on their Facebook account.

Mesa

polanco 71 2016 arizThanks to John Arguello, Kim Contreras, Arizona Phil, and Bill Mitchell for providing information and analysis on the Cubs rookie league team. In addition, they also provided photographs of the rookie league players and extended spring training in action. This year, over 100 photographs of EST were made and I am sure that more will be made during fall instructs next month.

With all the affiliates staying in place for the next 2 to 4 years, I’m pretty excited for next season to see the prospects in their new uniforms as they try to advance to the major leagues. I am hoping I can get out to see Iowa for a homestand next summer as well as make it down to Tennessee. I intend to get to South Bend for a weekend or two. In addition, 3 40-minute trips to Beloit will happen next year along with a trip to Burlington, Iowa and day drives to Peoria. I don’t know if I’ll make it all the way up to see South Bend play the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.

The Draft

Wes Saver provided a ton of information on the signings while Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and a Fangraphs had a lot of information to disseminate.

A special thank you goes out to Evan Altman at Cubs Insider. Evan is a great editor who always makes my writing look better than it is. I also need to thank Teddy Eley who was very cool to co-write with on several articles last winter.

And as always, Clark, who is always such a great sounding board, photographer, and video god on the Facebook account, gets a big thank you!

Thanks again to all those mentioned above who helped us cull information and pictures on a daily basis!

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