Cubs Minor League Update (5-23-2016)

In Minor Leagues by dmick898 Comments

We used to do these before and I always enjoyed doing them so I figured I’d start them again.

Iowa Cubs 1, Tacoma Rainiers 8

Albert Almora continues to rake. He was 3-4 with a double and RBI. Willson Contreras was 1-3 with a walk and Dan Vogelbach was 2-3 with a walk.

In 39 AAA games and 165 plate appearances, Almora is hitting .331/.351/.481. He has a .357 wOBA and a 115 wRC+. He’s hit 3 home runs and stole 5 bases. Almora has never struckout much so he’ll fit in with the 2016 Cubs if he gets called up. His strikeout rate is only 12.7%, but his walk rate is only 3.6%

Contreras is hitting .328/.419/.481 with a .405 wOBA and 147 wRC+. In 155 plate appearances, he’s walked in 12.3% of his plate appearances and struckout in 11% of them. He’s also hit 3 home runs. +. He’s hit 7 home runs, which matched his 2015 total (313 PA).

Drew Rucinski got the start for Iowa and lasted only 3 innings. He allowed 5 hits and 5 runs while walking 1 and striking nobody out. He allowed 2 home runs.

Biloxi Shuckers 5, Tennessee Smokies 0

Chesny Young had a great April (Cubs player of the month). He hit .402/.505/.524 in April and so far in May he’s hit .189/.282/.189. He was 0-4 last night in the first game and had 2 strikeouts. On the season he’s still hitting .301/.402/.365 with a .370 wOBA and a 130 wRC+. He’s walked in 13.6% of his PA and struckout in only 8.2%. That 8.2% is no fluke. The walk rate may come down, but he’s also a very patient hitter.

Paul Blackburn threw 6 innings, allowed 4 hits and struckout 4. His ERA on the season 0.96. Blackburn has great control, but he doesn’t strike many batters out. He’s struckout only 14.2% and walked only 5.2%. He’s found ways to be productive despite the low strikeout rate.

Corey Black threw 2 innings, allowed no hits and runs and struckout 5.

Biloxi Shuckers 6, Tennessee Smokies 5

Jaimer Candelario was 2-3 with a walk. Thanks to a 15.3% walk rate, Candelario has had a productive season so far. He’s hit only .222 thanks in part to a .265 BABIP, but his OBP is .344 and his slugging is .379. That’s good enough for a .345 wOBA and 113 wRC+ in the Southern League this season.

Billy McKinney was 0-2 with 2 walks and a strikeout. McKinney hasn’t quite put it together so far this season in 155 PA. He’s maintained a high walk rate (13.5%). He’s struckout in 18.1% of his PA, but his ISO has dropped to a career low .046. He’s hitting only .229/.342/.275 with a .303 wOBA and 85 wRC+.

Tyler Skulina threw 5 innings, allowed 7 hits and 4 runs. He walked 4 and struckout 2.

Juan Paniagua is quietly putting together a solid season. He threw a perfect inning last night and in nearly 20 innings this season, he’s struckout about a batter per inning, although he’s still walking too many batters. His ERA is 1.40 and his FIP is 2.80.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4

Gleyber T0rres was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Ian Happ was 0-2 with a walk sacrifice fly. One time top prospect and 2nd baseman Gioskar Amaya is now a catcher and was 1-3 with a double and a walk.

Torres was off to a terrible start, but has started to hit the ball fairly well. In 173 PA he’s hit .248/.324/.418 with a .344 wOBA and 110 wRC+. His walk rate is 9.2% and he’s struckout 23.1% of the time. He’s hit 4 home runs, which is only 1 shy of his career total prior to this season. His .170 ISO is higher than any season with the exception of the 2014 cup of coffee he got with Low A in 2014 (32 PA).

It was no surprise that a college player like Happ would dominate in Low A. He walked in almost 20% of his plate appearances and had a 156 wRC+ in Low A. He didn’t do so well in A ball, but still posted a 118 wRC+. At High A so far, he’s had 181 PA and he’s hit .272/.381/.437 with a .379 wOBA and 133 wRC+. He’s walked in 14.9% of his plate appearances and struckout in a rather high 25.4% of them.

Jonathan Martinez got the start and threw 6.1 innings and allowed 5 hits and a run. He walked 1 and struckout 6.

South Bend Cubs 6, Lake County Captains 4

Donnie Dewees was 2-5 with a HR and strikeout. Eloy Jimenez was 1-2 with 2 walks, 2RBI and a HR. P.J. Higgins was 2-4 with a walks and strikeout.

Jimenez is still just 19. Seems like so long ago the Cubs signed him as part of this rebuild, but he was only 16 then. He’s been red hot this season. He’s hit .327/.363/.526 in 168 PA. He’s hit 6 home runs (he hit 7 in 250 PA last season). His wOBA is .413 and his wRC+ is 164. He’s also added 4 stolen bases. If there’s one area that appears to need a little improvement, it’s patience, but when you’re hitting as well as he has, it’s hard to argue that he needs to swing the bat less. He’s walked in only 6% of his PA and has struckout in 25% (also a little too high). His ISO is an impressive .199. He’s been helped by a .409 BABIP so expect some regression, but right now he’s not looking like he’ll spend more than half a season at South Bend.

Dewees was a 2nd round pick last season (47th overall). He had an OK debut in short-season league, but the 22 year old has really started to hit at South Bend this season. He’s had 176 PA and he’s hit .293/.345/.490 with a .385 wOBA and 145 wRC+. He’s walked in 8% of his PA and struckout in only 12.5% of them. His ISO is .197.

Higgins was a 12th round pick last year and he’s had an impressive season, though he is 23 years old. He’s walked in 16.3% of his PA and struckout in only 13.3%. He’s hit .282/.411/.359 with a .377 wOBA and 140 wRC+.

Right fielder Eddy Martinez hit his 5th home run of the season.

Preston Morrison threw 5 innings, allowed 6 hits and a  run. He walked 1 and struckout 5. Morrison was the Cubs 8th round pick last season and his debut was crazy good, but only 22.1 innings. His strikeouts have regressed quite a bit and so have his walks. He’s still posted a 2.88 FIP so he’s worth watching.

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