Down on the Farm Report – 6/08/07

With the first day of the MLB draft in the books, it is time for a look Down on the Farm and at the next crop of Cubs players that were drafted on Thursday. Yesterday the Cubs drafted five players with their first pick coming at the third spot of the first round. They also had the 48th selection as compensation for losing Juan Pierre, the 97th selection in the 3rd round, the 127th pick in the 4th round and the 157th pick in the 5th round.

In the first round, the Cubs selected Josh Vitters, third basemen from Cypress High School in Anaheim, California. When you read his scouting report you see language used that reminds you of Aramis Ramirez. Phrases I have heard used to describe him in the past are “potential to hit for average and power” and “defensive skills that are below average”. He may not stay at third base and could instead play first or a corner outfield spot because of his great arm strength. This is a solid choice for the Cubs.

I apologize for the long week since the last update but I was in Milwaukee to see the Cubs win 7-2 on Monday night. I have a full week of updates, the rest of the first day of the MLB draft plus the best hitters and pitchers for each farm team for the first two months of the season….

2007 MLB Draft

  • In the supplemental round with the 48th pick the Cubs selected Josh Donaldson, catcher from Auburn University. Based on his scouting report he could be better at an infield spot and his bat is said to have a loop that causes him problems. His scouting report doesn’t paint a good picture of him but he is said to have good baseball instincts. The Cubs saw something to make them pick him #48. This pick seems questionable in my opinion.
  • 3rd Round Pick – 97th overall – Anthony Thomas, right handed, 2nd baseman from Florida State.
  • 4th Round Pick – 127th overall – Darwin Barney, right handed, shortstop from Oregon State University. Average offensive skills and his scouting report reflects that of a utility player and not an everyday shortstop. Barney’s game appears to be more in the field and not at the plate.
  • 5th Round Pick – 157th overall – Brandon Guyer, right handed, right fielder from University of Virginia.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 35-23

Iowa continues to play well and currently has the best record in the Pacific Coast League. They are 5-1 over their last six games and 8-2 over their last 10. The loss of Pie to the big club hasn’t seemed to slow them down at all.

Those providing the biggest help on offense include Ronny Cedeno, who was 6-of-19 with two home runs and four RBI’s over the last six games. Micah Hoffpauir was 8-of-25 with two home runs and seven RBI’s. Mike Kinkade was 5-of-11 with two home runs, three RBI’s and he also scored four runs. Scott Moore was 6-of-19 with two home runs and four RBI’s.

From the mound, the best outing over the last week was put in by J.R. Mathes. He pitched 6.0 innings on May 31 to pick-up his fifth win on the season. He gave up one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Mathes has been very inconsistent though as can be seen in his outing a few nights ago where he gave up four earned runs over 6.0 innings. His ERA on the season sits at a hefty 5.46.

After two months of the season, the best hitter for Iowa that is still with the team is Mike Fontenot. He is batting .342 on the year and his early success got him a short call-up to Chicago where he collected his first major league hit. Micah Hoffpauir is leading the team with 11 home runes and 51 RBI’s on the season. Eric Patterson is leading the team with eight stolen bases.

As for the best pitcher, I will have to go with Carmen Pignatiello. He isn’t a starter but he has been the most consistent this year. He has appeared in 17 games and has a 0.92 ERA with a 0.86 WHIP. Les Walrond has a good record at 5-2 but he has a high ERA of 4.34.

Latest News: This isn’t really new news but Koyie Hill and Felix Pie were both called up to Chicago since last week. Pie hit his 2nd homer of the year on Wednesday and looked like he belonged in the big leagues. Pie is starting to show his worth and I think he is in Chicago to stay. Hill hasn’t looked good but he has shown some promise at Iowa. He will be sent back down once Henry Blanco is off the DL but it is nice to know we have some solid players in the minors ready to fill in.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 32-26

The Smokies have also been playing well over the last week and have a 5-2 record in their last seven games. They got help on offense from Casey McGehee who was 8-of-28 with eight RBI’s and a stolen base. Sam Fuld was 11-of-27 with home run and five RBI’s while Josh Kroeger was 11-of-17 with a home run, five RBI’s and three stolen bases.

After the first two months of the season the best hitter for the Smokies is Josh Kroeger. He is hitting .378 with nine home runs, 42 RBI’s and six stolen bases. If he isn’t considered one of the Cubs best prospects with the season he is putting together, he should be. Jake Fox is leading the team with 11 home runs and Gary Cates leads the team with 10 stolen bases.

I have to mention a couple pitchers for the top spot this month. Mark Holliman has been solid and is currently 6-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Sean Gallagher also pitched well before being called up to the big league club earlier this week. Gallagher was 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 28-30

Daytona continues to have trouble winning consistently. They are 3-4 over their last seven games and 6-4 over their last 10 games.

Leading the offense was Jeff Culpepper who was 10-of-25 with five runs scored and three RBI’s. Matt Matulia was 9-of-22 with four runs scored and an RBI while Robinson Chirinos was 7-of-14 with three runs scored.

Jeff Samardzija struggled again and picked up his fifth loss and has yet to pickup a win. He pitched 5.0 innings giving up eight earned runs on 10 hits and one walk while he struck out one. Samardzija has been sent to the bullpen to try to work things out and threw two scoreless innings on Thursday in relief.

Rocky Roquet continues to pitch well even after being promoted to Daytona. He appeared in two games in the last week pitching 4.0 innings. He gave up only two hits and a walk while striking out six batters.

As of June 5, the best hitter for the D-Cubs is Tyler Colvin with a .298 average. He also leads the team with 40 RBI’s. Chris Amador leads the team with six home runs and also 13 stolen bases.

The best pitcher has been Mitch Atkins with a 4-3 record but a low 2.31 ERA. He also has a 1.04 WHIP and owns a 45-15 K-BB ratio.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 29-29

Peoria has gotten back to .500 and they have done it against the best team in their division. They took 3-of-4 games from Beloit to pull back to even in the standings.

Providing the support on offense has been someone that hasn’t gotten a mention in the updates before. Over the last week, Ryne Malone was 8-of-16 with a home run, two RBI’s and six runs scored. He joined Peoria on May 18 and I saw him play in Cedar Rapids a couple of weeks ago but didn’t think much of him then. He was batting .154 at the time but he is batting .357 in his last 10 games so I obviously saw him before he got hot. If you are wondering, yes he is actually named after his Hall of Fame coach, Ryne Sandberg.

Yusuf Carter has also been playing well of late and was 9-of-26 over the last week. He also added five RBI’s and four stolen bases. James Adduci was 6-of-17 with four RBI’s and a stolen base.

From the mound, Jeremy Papelbon has been pitching well of late and appeared in two games over the last week. He pitched 6.0 scoreless innings of relief giving up three hits and a walk plus he struck out seven. He picked up the win in both games. Over his last 10 games he has a 2-1 record, a 0.95 ERA and his K-BB ratio is 25-4.

Marco Carillo started one of the games Papelbon won and pitched well. He kept his opponent close so the Chiefs could wage a comeback. He pitched 5.0 innings giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out two.

Joshua Lansford is the team’s best hitter after two months with a .289 average, Yusuf Carter leads the team with five home runs and 31 RBI’s. Matt Camp leads the team with 31 stolen bases.

Jake Renshaw is the best Chiefs pitcher with a 5-2 record and a 3.83 ERA.

Latest News: Al Albuquerque was sent to extended spring training in Mesa. He was 1-3 with a 7.59 ERA in eight appearances including three starts.

This should have everyone caught up with the updates on the farm teams. I will have the regular updates again next Tuesday. Have a great weekend and GO CUBS!!

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein