Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 09/09/10

The Iowa Cubs lose a heartbreaker to Memphis and see their playoff hopes vanish. The Tennessee Smokies get set to begin their postseason slate. Jason Dubois hits two home runs in the final game of the year at Iowa. One Cubs prospect is named the Topps Player of the Month, and the other is the PCL Player of the Week. Plus, team leaders and final standings from every Cub affiliate as the regular season reaches its conclusion.

All that and more in today’s Down on the Farm Report! AAA-Iowa Cubs – (82-62)
The I-Cubs lost 7-6 to Memphis on Monday, eliminating themselves from playoff contention on the season’s final day. The host Cubs had reduced their magic number to one on Saturday, but back-to-back losses allowed the Redbirds to match their final record. The two teams had an even overall record and also split the season series, but Memphis went to the postseason because of the number two tie-breaker, their record within the PCL American North.

Jay Jackson allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. When he left the game, Iowa was in position to clinch the division, leading 6-3. In the top of the seventh inning, the Redbirds rallied against Justin Berg to tie it. With two outs in the top of the ninth the game was still knotted at six, but then Mark Hamilton launched a solo homer against Hung-Wen Chen, who took the loss and finished the year 3-4.

Robinson Chirinos, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, knocked his second double of the day to lead-off the bottom of the ninth. After Matt Camp bunted Robinson over to third, the tying run was only 90 feet away with one out. Pinch hitter Ty Wright struck out for the second out, and then Sam Fuld walked. Marquez Smith hit a routine grounder to the short that retired the side and start the Redbird celebration. Jason Dubois put his team on his back early in the game, delivering homers in the fourth and fifth innings. Dubois finished the year with 20 total big flies. There was a lot of intensity on both sides, leading to the ejection of Mitch Atkins from the Cubs dugout early in the game. Click for full box score.

For the majority of the Iowa Cubs players, the season ended with the loss. However, five were selected to join the big league team as September call-ups. Here is the list of call-ups with their Triple-A stats.

Jeff Samardzija, RHP: 11-3, 4.37 ERA, 35 games, 15 starts
Justin Berg, RHP: 4-1, 3.64 ERA, 21 games
Bobby Scales, INF: .268 AVG, .397 OBP, 10 HR, 53 RBIs, 119 games
Sam Fuld, OF: .272 AVG, 4 HR, 27 RBIs, 112 games
Brad Snyder, OF: .308 AVG, 25 HR, 106 RBIs, 132 Games

Jason Dubois went out with a bang, hitting .529 during the final week with six homers and 18 runs batted in! Dubois’ hot finish earned him the Pacific Coast League Batter of the Week award for the week of August 30-September 6. His batting average for the season was .300 on the nose.

Marquez Smith received his own honor as the Topps Player of the Month for August. He played in 27 games and hit .363 during the dog days with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs. His batting average ranked 10th-best in the PCL.

Final Team Leaders – Iowa Cubs
Batting Average: Brad Snyder/Bryan LaHair, 3.08
Home Runs: LaHair/Snyder, 25
RBI: Brad Snyder, 106
OBP: Bobby Scales, .397
ERA: Casey Coleman, 4.07
WHIP: Coleman, 1.20
Wins: Jay Jackson/Jeff Samardijza: 11
Strikeouts: Jackson, 119
Saves: Brian Schlitter, 13

Final PCL American North Standings
Memphis – 82-62
Iowa – 82-62, – GB
Omaha – 81-63, 1 GB
Nashville – 77-67, 5 GB

Iowa Cubs Player of the Year: Brad Snyder
The Cleveland Indians 2003 first round draft pick had a breakout season at Triple-A to earn his September call-up. Snyder, a left-handed hitting outfielder, proved himself to Ryne Sandberg as a five-tool player. Brad had amazing power numbers (25 HR, 106 RBI), a high average (.308) and good speed (19 steals). His defense is average with a decent arm. The 28-year old Ball State alumni made his big league debut for the Cubs on Tuesday.

AA-Tennessee Smokies – (86-53,44-26)
The Smokies put one more in the win column on Monday by beating Carolina 3-2. They finished the year with an overall record of 86-53, the best mark in team history. Craig Muschko went five terrific innings in his tune-up for the postseason, allowing only one run on five hits. He ended up getting the win to finish the year 9-3. Alberto Cabrera and Marcos Carrillo were solid in the middle innings, and then Esmailin Caridad slammed the door for his first save. Caridad, who’s trying to recover from an injury, could be back on the big league scene next year. Brandon Guyer hit his 13th homer in the fifth inning and finished the day with two hits. Fellow outfielder Brett Jackson doubled twice, but second baseman Tony Thomas suffered an 0-for-5 game. Click for full box score.

Tennessee’s postseason starts tonight as they host the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx in game one of the best-of-five Southern League division series.

Here is the full schedule for the Smokies vs West Tennessee Series:
*All Times CDT
Thursday @Smokies Park 6:15 (Chris Archer)
Friday @Smokies Park 6:15
Saturday @West Tenn 5:05
Sunday @Smokies Park 6:15 (if nec)
Monday @Smokies Park 6:15 (if nec)

Final Team Leaders – Tennessee Smokies
Batting Average: Brandon Guyer, .344
Home Runs: Russ Canzler, 21
RBI: Tony Thomas, 73
OBP: Blake Lalli, .403
ERA: Chris Carpenter: 3.16
WHIP: Craig Muschko: 1.17
Wins: Craig Muschko: 9
Strikeouts: Craig Muschko, 103
Saves: David Cales, 10

Southern League North Final Second Half Standings
Tennessee – 44-26, – GB
Huntsville – 34-36, 10 GB
West Tenn – 34-36, 10 GB
Chattanooga – 32-38, 12 GB
Carolina – 28-40, 15 GB

Tennessee Smokies Player of the Year: Brandon Guyer
Brandon Guyer’s ridiculously high average helped pace the Smokies to their first place finish. The right-handed hitting outfielder hit .344 in 102 games at Double-A this season to lead the team. He also showed off his good base running ability by successfully swiping 30 of the 33 bags he attempted to steal. Guyer was named a post-season Southern League All-Star. He will look to lead the Smokies to their second straight appearances in the Championship Series. Guyer accounts for one third of the talented Tennessee outfield that also includes Brett Jackson and Tony Campana.

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs – (75-64, 41-28)
The Daytona Cubs season concluded with a win on Sunday afternoon. They were the first of the Cubs full season affiliates to wrap-up their 2010 campaign. The year was highlighted by a 14-game winning streak during the month of July. That streak included a thrilling 20-inning victory over the Charlotte Stone Crabs in a game that took well over five hours to complete. Pitchers like Chris Archer, Trey McNutt, and Rafael Dolis found success at Daytona this year and then worked their way up to higher levels. Junior Lake, D.J. LeMahieu, Michael Brenly, and Rebel Ridling all had great offensive years in the Florida State League.

Final Team Leaders – Daytona Cubs
Batting Average: D.J. LeMahieu, .314
Home Runs: Rebel Ridling: 13
RBI: Ridling, 76
OBP: Ryan Flaherty, .348
ERA: Brooks Raley, 3.50
WHIP: Brooks Raley: 1.42
Wins: Raley, 8
Strikeouts: Mike Perconte, 97
Saves: Perconte, 7

Final FSL North Standings
Tampa – 42-25, – GB
Daytona – 41-28, 2 GB
Brevard County – 37-33, 6.5 GB
Lakeland – 34-34, 8.5 GB
Dunedin – 31-38, 12 GB
Clearwater – 30-39, 13 GB

Daytona Cubs Player of the Year: D.J. LeMahieu
D.J. LeMahieu finished the year strong to win the team batting title with a prolific average of .314. The young shortstop was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft. For much of the first half, he was overshadowed by the amazing numbers that fellow 2009 draftee Brett Jackson was putting up. However, when Jackson was called up to Tennessee, LeMahieu emerged as the team leader. He does not have much power (just two homers) but did manage 73 RBI and 15 steals. D.J. could be a nice fit for the No. 2 spot in the lineup at some point in his career.

Class-A Peoria Chiefs – (71-66, 33-35)
The Chiefs were able to end on a high note, enjoying Labor Day with a 9-4 smashing of the Quad Cities River Bandits. They scored four times in the third inning and then continued to tack on to ensure the win. Tony Giansanti, who hit .296 with the Peoria this year, went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, two runs scored, and a walk. George Matheus got the start at the hot corner and went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Matt Cerda had a big double and drove in three. Robinson Lopez did not allow a hit but he did walk three in three shutout innings. Luis Liria was charged with three earned runs in his two-inning stint on the hill. Yohan Gonzalez, who did a nice job of pitching out of the Peoria pen all season, did not allow a base runner in two innings to reduce his final ERA to 2.89. Click for full box score.

The 2011 season will open up on Thursday, April 7 at O’Brien Field as the Chiefs host the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Final Team Leaders – Peoria Chiefs
Batting Average: Justin Bour, .291
Home Runs: Bour, 12
RBI: Bour, 87
OBP: Bour, .375
ERA: Nick Struck, 3.22
WHIP: Struck, 1.16
Wins: Struck/Rob Whitenack, 8
Strikeouts: Ryan Searle, 90

Final Midwest League Western Division Standings
Quad Cities – 43-26, – GB
Kane County – 39-30, 4 GB
Cedar Rapids – 39-31, 4.5 GB
Clinton – 37-33, 6.5 GB
Beloit – 34-33, 8 GB
Peoria – 33-35, 9 GB
Wisconsin – 32-38, 11.5 GB
Burlington – 24-43, 18 GB

Peoria Chiefs Player of the Year: Jae-Hoon Ha
Although Justin Bour is listed as the statistical leader in every offensive category because he spent the whole season with the team, what Ha did in his time with the Chiefs was remarkable. Jae-Hoon Ha, a guy who was unheard of before the start of the season, had the best batting average on the team (not enough at-bats to qualify for team batting title) at .317 in 77 games. He launched seven homers, one of which sailed out of Wrigley Field. Ha added nine steals and 46 RBIs to his numbers for the 2010 season. He was signed out of Korea last June and hit .242 in 65 Northwest League games at the end of last season. When he got off to a hot start in Extended Spring Training this year, he was promoted to Peoria where he latched on as an everyday starter in the outfield.

Class-A Short Season Boise Hawks (21-17 in second half) Final Team Leaders
Batting Average: Alvaro Ramirez, .350
Home Runs: Richard Jones, 5
RBI: Jones, 42
OBP: Ramirez, .377
ERA: Juan Yasser Serrano: 5.58 ERA
WHIP: Serrano: 1.31
Wins: Serrano, 5
Strikeouts: Brent Ebinger/Austin Kirk, 48
Saves: Aaron Kurcz, 9

Top Prospect Watch
Brett Jackson: .276 AVG, .366 OBP, 6 HR, 28 RBIs, 61 games at AA
Josh Vitters: .223 AVG in 63 games at AA, disabled with a broken hand
Jay Jackson: 11-8, 4.63 ERA, 157.1 IP at AAA
Hak-Ju Lee: .282 AVG, .354 OBP, 122 games at Peoria
Logan Watkins: .261 AVG, .351 OBP, 118 games at Peoria
Chris Carpenter: 8-6, 3.16 ERA, 119.2 IP at AA; 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 3 games at AAA
Ryan Flaherty: .286 AVG in 103 games at Daytona
D.J. LeMahieu: .314 AVG, .346 OBP, 135 games at Daytona
*Final Statistics

Down on the Farm Notes
Check out my twitter at www.twitter.com/cubsfarmupdates for updates throughout the postseason. Twice weekly Down on the Farm reports right here on the CCO will continue until the Tennessee Smokies playoff run has concluded! If you have any questions or comments regarding these posts, email me at cubsblogmailbag@aol.com.