Not only is it All-Star week for Major League Baseball, but many minor league festivities and games took place this week that allowed top prospects from each club to take the field together. With the Futures Game history, Hak-Ju Lee and Brett Jackson have rejoined their respective clubs. A handful of Smokies helped the North to a win in the Southern League Midsummer Classic. Also, two more Cubs prospects competed in a nationally televised game, the Triple-A version of the All-Star battle on the MLB Network. Finally, we’ll look at the team leaders in each statistical category just over half way through the year.
All that and more in today’s Down on the Farm Report! AAA-Iowa Cubs – (49-41)
Most of the I-Cubs have enjoyed three straight off days to recoup for a long second half. At the break, they are in first place by the slimmest of margins in the PCL American North. The Omaha Royals and Memphis Redbirds are tied for second, just a half of a game out. The Nashville Sounds are looming around, just a game behind. To have all four teams in a division all within one game of each other at the All-Star Break is unthinkable!
Two of the Cubs brightest prospects competed in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night as the Pacific Coast League did battle with the International League. Shortstop Darwin Barney and right-handed pitcher Thomas Diamond were both on the roster. The Pacific Coast League fell in the game to their rivals from the International League by a score of 2-1. Barney got the start at short and went 1-for-2 with a two-out run scoring single. Diamond was the starting pitcher and did not allow a hit in two shutout innings. He did surrender a pair of walks. Former Cub farm hand Doug Deeds, now playing with Reno, got the start in centerfield for the PCL. Click for full box score.
Iowa Statistical Leaders at the Break
Batting Average: Bryan LaHair, .311
Home Runs: Brad Snyder, 12
RBI: Micah Hoffpauir, 56
OBP: Bobby Scales, .401
ERA: Thomas Diamond, 2.86
WHIP: Jay Jackson, 1.09
Wins: Casey Coleman, 8
Strikeouts: Thomas Diamond, 92
Saves: Brian Schlitter, 12 (not on the team’s active roster)
Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Oklahoma City 7:05 (Casey Coleman)
Friday @Oklahoma City 7:05
Saturday @Oklahoma City 7:05
Sunday @Oklahoma City 4:05
Monday VS Oklahoma City 7:05
AA-Tennessee Smokies – (52-37,10-10)
After enjoying some R&R, the Smokies got back in action last night. They hosted Chattanooga to kick off a weeklong homestand. Tennessee won their division in the first half to clinch a playoff spot, but they have not been as sharp since the standings reset.
Tennessee players had a huge impact in the North’s 3-2 All-Star Game victory over the South on Monday night. The reason they were crowned first half champions became apparent to the rest of the league. Tony Campana went 1-for-3 and scored in the bottom of the fifth. Tony, who was the leadoff hitter and starting centerfielder, scored the run that turned out to be the difference in the game. Robinson Chirinos (starting catcher) and Blake Lalli (starting DH) both made contributions as well. They each delivered run scoring singles in their first at bat to account for the two runs scored by the North in the bottom of the second. Steve Clevenger, who took over for Chirinos behind the plate, also had a single in two tries. Smokies hurlers Luke Sommer and Ryan Butcher both tossed scoreless frames. Click for full box score.
The Smokies shut down the Lookouts 5-0 on Wednesday in the first game after the All-Star Break. Russ Canzler doubled twice while Tony Thomas went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI. Chris Archer went five strong innings to cruise to his second win since being promoted from Double-A. Click for full box score.
Tennessee Team Statistical Leaders
Batting Average: Tony Campana, .316
Home Runs: Canzler/Chirinos/Wright*, 10
RBI: Ty Wright*, 51
OBP: Tony Campana, .379
ERA: Hung-Wen Chen*, 3.96
WHIP: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, 1.01
Wins: Hung-Wen Chen*, 8
Strikeouts: Craig Muschko, 70
Saves: David Cales*, 10
*= Not on Active Roster, called up to Triple-A
Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Chattanooga 6:15 (Rafael Dolis)
Friday VS Chattanooga 6:15 (Chris Carpenter)
Saturday VS Montgomery 5:15
Sunday VS Montgomery 4:00
Monday VS Montgomery 6:15
Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs
With one of the earliest All-Star Breaks of any minor league, the Florida State League has a long, hot summer of baseball without too much time off. After dropping two of three to Clearwater, the D-Cubs enjoyed a needed off day on Tuesday.
The D-Cubs dropped Monday’s game 5-1 at the hands of the Clearwater Threshers. Jose Valdez, who looped a couple of singles, was the only Cub with a multi-hit contest. Dae-Eun Rhee went five innings and allowed only one run, but he was the hard-luck loser to drop to 2-9. Chris Siegfried allowed the Threshers to tack on four earned runs in the sixth. Click for full box score.
The Ft. Myers Miracle routed Daytona 10-2 on Wednesday. Jose Valdez, Junior Lake and Michael Brenly had two hits each. Alberto Cabrera allowed 7 runs (4 ER) in 3.2 innings. David Patton was also hit hard for three runs in 1.1 innings. Click for full box score.
Daytona Statistical Leaders
Batting Average: Brett Jackson*, .316
Home Runs: Rebel Ridling, 8
RBI: D.J. LeMahieu, 52
OBP: Brett Jackson*, .420
ERA: Chris Archer*, 2.86
WHIP: Chris Rusin, 1.01
Wins: Chris Archer*, 7
Strikeouts: Chris Archer*, 82
Saves: Luke Sommer*, 6
*= No longer with the D-Cubs, moved up to Double-A
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Ft. Myers 6:05
Friday VS Ft. Myers 6:05
Saturday VS Ft. Myers 6:05
Sunday @Charlotte 4:35
Monday @Charlotte 6:05
Class-A Peoria Chiefs
The Chiefs have not been playing up to par since the start of the second half. Daniel Keefe, a right-handed pitcher, was called up from Boise to help boost the Peoria staff. Jeffry Antigua went down with an injury to make the call-up necessary. Despite a bad record, there are still several Chiefs having stellar years so far.
Monday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels were scheduled to meet the Chiefs in a double header. However, rain hit Perfect Game Field (the home of the Kernels) after only six innings of game one. There was no perfect game as the name of the field would suggest, but there was a no-hitter tossed by Cedar Rapids’ Stephen Locke in the shortened contest. The Chiefs pitching staff was just as dreadful as their hitting allowing 10 earned tallies in just five innings. D.J. Fitzgerald walked, stole second, and then was caught when he tried to swipe third. He was one of only two Chiefs to reach base, the other via an error. The second game of the scheduled twin bill was washed out. Click for full box score.
The Dayton Dragons staged a huge comeback in the top of the ninth in Peoria on Wednesday. They scored five times against Jonathan Latham and Corey Martin to tie the game at nine before the Chiefs won it with a run in the bottom of the ninth. Hak-Ju Lee had three singles and a double with a run scored in his four hit game. Frank Batista and Ronny Morla pitched three innings each. Click for full box score.
Peoria Team Statistics
Batting Average: Greg Rohan, .298
Home Runs: Justin Bour, 9
RBI: Greg Rohan, 53
OBP: Justin Bour, .365
ERA: Su-Min Jung, 3.86
WHIP: Nick Struck, 1.28
Wins: Rob Whitenack, 7
Strikeouts: Trey McNutt, 70
Saves: Jordan Latham, 11
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Dayton 7:00
Friday VS Dayton 7:00
Saturday VS Bowling Green 6:30
Sunday VS Bowling Green 1:00
Monday VS Bowling Green 11:30am
Updates from Boise/Mesa
Cameron Greathouse is the most recent call-up to Boise. Greathouse is a left-handed pitcher who did not allow a run in three appearances with the Mesa Cubs. The Hawks were 14-11, 1.5 games ahead of Spokane going into play late last night. The Mesa Cubs are at .500 at 9-9, tied for second in the AZL East. The AZL Giants are in first place.
You can send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cubsfarmupdates for more minor league news and reports. Also, please check out my Cubs blog at www.everythingcubs.blogspot.com.