Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/12/13

The Cubs’ farm system went streaking at the end of the week. Kris Bryant ran his hitting streak to 15 games while the Boise Hawks won three games in a row. Iowa posted five consecutive victories and enjoyed a 13 game hit streak from Jae-Hoon Ha. Daytona broke their streak of being rained out as they got enough of a break in the weather to win two in a row. Kane County notched a couple of wins while Tennessee also won two out of three games.

And Kyle Hendricks did not disappoint in his Triple-A debut while Dillon Maples kept throwing strikes with the Hawks.

Note: Monday’s report covers games from Wednesday to Saturday and Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.

Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (9-7) (30-24)  

(W) It was a wild finish on Thursday as Boise returned from All-Star break and defeated Vancouver 7-5. The Hawks tied the score 1-1 in the first inning when Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home run) belted his fourth home run of the season. Boise took the lead in the second after Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) led off with a double. Rony Rodriguez (2-for-4 with a RBI) followed with a single and Balaguert scored on a sacrifice fly. Jacob Rogers (1-for-3) reached on a one out single in the fourth and went to second on a wild pitch. A base hit by Rodriguez scored Rogers. In the fifth, David Bote (1-for-4) started things with a single and Carlos Penalver (1-for-2) walked. A double play wiped out Penalver but moved Bote to third and he scored on a wild pitch. After the Canadians moved to within one run in the top of the eighth, Bryant and Rogers walked to start the bottom of the eighth. Yasiel Balaguert then socked a three run homer to provide the winning margin.

The Hawks are receiving good production out of their deep pitching staff. Paul Blackburn started the game and allowed an earned run while striking out a batter in three innings. Duane Underwood followed and provided three scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Boise welcomed back 2012 star Jose Arias as he also tossed a scoreless inning on the rehab trail. Trey Masek had a little trouble and gave up two earned runs in an inning, and Eddie Orozco raised Vancouver’s hopes as he surrendered two runs (one earned) in 0.1 innings. Tyler Bremer got the last two batters on strikeouts to nail down the victory.

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(W) Boise saved the best for last on Friday as they scored all five runs in the final two innings to beat Vancouver 5-4. The Hawks were down 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth when Kevin Encarnacion (3-for-5) led things off with a single. Danny Lockhart (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch and Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a RBI) walked to load the bases. A single by Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with two RBI) plated both Encarnacion and Lockhart. Bryant scored on a wild pitch. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4) reached on a fielder’s choice, and Rogers scored on a single by Rony Rodriguez (1-for-3 with a RBI) to tie the game. Carlos Penalver (2-for-4) doubled to start the ninth and moved to third on a single by Encarnacion. Lockhart was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Bryant delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home the winning run.

Manager Gary Van Tol utilized his 18-man deep pitching staff well again. Starter James Pugliese allowed only an unearned run in four innings while striking out three batters. Zack Godley had a rough time and gave up three earned runs in two innings. Control seemed to escape Scott Frazier as he walked three to go along with a strikeout in 0.2 innings. Jasvir Rakkar settled things down as he struck out two in 2.1 scoreless innings to earn the victory.

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(W) An offensive explosion from an unlikely source aided Boise in a 9-2 romp over Vancouver on Saturday. Defensive standout Carlos Penalver (3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) was the star of the game as he helped pace a 15-hit attack. The scoring started in the second inning after Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4) led off with a double, and singles by Rony Rodriguez (2-for-4 with a RBI) and Lance Rymel (2-for-4 with a RBI) brought him home. Trevor Gretzky (2-for-4 with a RBI) reached on a base hit to load the bases for Penalver. The 19-year old Venezuelan then deposited his first home run over the right field wall … a Grand Slam. Kris Bryant (1-for-4) and Jacob Rogers started the fifth inning with walks and Bryant scored on a single by Rodriguez. It was Penalver again in the sixth inning after he laced a one out double and scored on a double from Kevin Encarnacion (2-for-5 with a RBI). Consecutive wild pitches moved Encarnacion to third and around to score. Balaguert doubled to begin the seventh inning and moved to third on a single by Rymel. A force play by Gretzky wiped out Rymel but scored Balaguert. Penalver then singled but Gretzky was thrown out trying to go to third.

The offense provided great run support for Dillon Maples, who was on top of his game once again. Maples allowed an earned run and struck out five in five innings. Corbin Hoffner went the rest of the way. Hoffner gave up his first earned run in 19 innings while striking out two to collect his first save.

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (17-30) (47–66)

(W) Kane County was able to pull ahead of Burlington in the late innings and secure a 7-4 win on Wednesday. The offense started well after Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2 with a RBI) led off the game with a walk and swiped second base, his 13th stolen base of the season. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a RBI) walked and a single by Rock Shoulders scored Amaya. After ceding two runs to the Bees in the third, the Cougars struck back after Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4) singled and scored on a triple from Jeimer Candelario. Candelario scored on a wild pitch. Kane County nudged back ahead in the sixth after Carlos Escobar (2-for-3) doubled with one out. A single by Jose Dore (2-for-3) moved Escobar to third, and Escobar scored on a base hit by Amaya. The Cougars put the game out of reach in the eighth inning. Marco Hernandez reached on a dropped third strike and was sacrificed to second. A triple by Willson Contreras (1-for-1 with a RBI) plated Hernandez and Contreras scored on a wild pitch. A single by Oliver Zapata sandwiched by walks to Amaya and Vogelbach loaded the bases, and another wild pitch scored Amaya.

Michael Heesch once again labored through 5.1 innings. Heesch allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Sheldon McDonald struck out four in 2.2 innings, but also gave up an earned run. Steve Perakslis picked up his fifth save by striking out two batters in a scoreless ninth.

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(W) It has been a long time since the fans in Kane County were able to enjoy a game like Thursday’s as the Cougars shut out Burlington 7-0. Starter Starling Peralta was absolutely dealing as he struck out five and allowed only one hit in 5.2 scoreless innings. Justin Amlung kept the Bees off the board for 2.1 innings, while Nathan Dorris struck out two in the ninth inning.

The scoring started for the Cougars in the second inning after Rock Shoulders (1-for-3) drew a one out walk and scored on a double from Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-3 with a RBI). A Reggie Golden walk began the third inning. Golden stole second and Gioskar Amaya drew a walk. Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) then smacked his 17th home run of the season and his three-run shot cleared the bases. Oliver Zapata (1-for-4) led off the fifth with a single and Vogelbach was hit by a pitch. Two outs later, Papaccio was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A single by Carlos Escobar (1-for-3 with a RBI) drove in Zapata, and a base hit by Jose Dore (1-for-3 with two RBI) scored both Vogelbach and Papaccio.

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(L) Kane County did their best to keep themselves in the ballgame on Friday but wound up losing 6-5 to Burlington in ten innings. The offense provided a cushion after Oliver Zapata walked to start the game, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a RBI). But the Cougars found themselves down 5-1 as they came to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning when Marco Hernandez (3-for-5) reached with a one out triple. A home run by Carlos Escobar (2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) moved Kane County to within two runs. The Cougars tied the game in the fifth after Candelario worked a one out walk and Hernandez doubled. A single by Escobar drove in both runners. Tyler Skulina was roughed up in his second start with the Cougars. Skulina allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three in 2.1 innings. Al Yevoli also had a tough time and gave up two earned runs in 1.2 innings. Second round pick Rob Zastryzny made his first appearance in a Cougars uniform and tossed three scoreless innings. Andrew McKirahan replaced Zastryzny and struck out four batters over two perfect innings. Closer Michael Hamann gave up his first earned run in 2013 as he surrendered the winning run in the tenth.

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(L) Kane County did not record their first hit until the sixth inning of Saturday’s game and they were blanked 6-0 by Cedar Rapids. Starter Felix Pena was the victim of poor defense as he allowed six runs, two earned, in 5.1 innings. Sheldon McDonald and Steve Perakslis picked up the slack. McDonalds tossed 2.2 scoreless innings while Perakslis threw a shutout inning. The Cougars managed only two hits … Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3) and Jose Dore 1-for-3).

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (24-15-1) (59-46-1)

(L) The long layoff due to weather and an in-game delay hampered Daytona’s efforts on Wednesday as they lost 6-5 to Clearwater in ten innings. C.J. Edwards was the scheduled starter, but after a scoreless inning a lengthy rain delay saw Yao-Lin Wang take the mound when play resumed. Wang performed well and allowed an earned run while striking out two in three innings before handing things over to Lendy Castillo. Castillo kept the D-Cubs in the game by giving up an earned run in two innings of work. The game got out of control when Jeffrey Lorick surrendered three earned runs in three innings that allowed the Threshers to tie the game. Austin Reed gave up the winning run in the tenth inning. Daytona struck first after the rain delay. Zeke DeVoss (3-for-4) and Elliot Soto (1-for-4 with two RBI) worked two out walks. Wes Darvill (1-for-6 with a home run and three RBI) then smashed a three run home run to put the D-Cubs ahead. Daytona expanded their lead in the seventh when Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4) led off with a walk and DeVoss singled. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, and a single by Soto brought in both Chen and DeVoss.

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(W) It isn’t very often fans get a fun one like Thursday as Daytona thoroughly walked all over Clearwater 11-0. Things started off modestly enough as Dustin Geiger (3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI) opened the scoring in the second inning with a solo home run. Anthony Giansanti (1-for-1 with a RBI) began the fourth inning with a walk. A single by Bijan Rademacher (2-for-5 and two RBI) and a walk to Geiger loaded the bases. Everyone moved up a base as a sacrifice fly scored Giansanti. A wild pitch allowed Rademacher to score and Geiger scored on a groundout. A one out single by Wes Darvill (1-for-4) set up Giansanti to drive him in with a triple in the fifth inning. Giansanti then scored on a single by Geiger. The D-Cubs weren’t done though as Brad Zapenas and Zeke DeVoss led off the ninth with walks. A two out walk to Giansanti loaded the bases, and a single by Rademacher scored Zapenas and DeVoss. Geiger then slammed his second homer of the night to close out the scoring.

While the offense romped, Pierce Johnson was firing bullets and he allowed only two hits with six strikeouts in five innings. Kyler Burke came off the disabled list and pitched three scoreless frames. Armando Rivero finished up with two strikeouts as he preserved the shut out.

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(W) Saturday saw a total team win for Daytona as they beat Tampa 6-3. Starter C.J. Edwards allowed three earned runs, but struck out eight batters in 3.2 innings. Zach Cates was the long man for the day as struck out two in two scoreless innings. Daytona stretched out Frank Del Valle. Del Valle pitched 3.1 shutout innings while striking out four and earning his eighth save.

The D-Cubs got on the board in the first inning after Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-5) reached on an error and moved to third on a single by Wes Darvill (2-for-5). A base hit from Bijan Rademacher (3-for-3 with a RBI) drove in Chen with the first run. The fourth started with walks to Ben Carhart and Chadd Krist. Elliot Soto (1-for-1 with a RBI) sacrificed both runners up a base. Zeke DeVoss (1-for-5 with two RBI) then doubled in both runners. It was walks again the hurt the Yankees, as Anthony Giansanti and Rademacher drew free passes in the fifth inning. A wild pitch advanced Giansanti a base and he scored on a sacrifice fly. Singles by Rademacher and Dustin Geiger (1-for-3) and a walk by Krist loaded the bases to start the seventh. Rademacher scored on a double play, while a single from Soto plated Geiger.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (27-20) (61-55)

(W) It was a roller-coaster ride on Thursday with Tennessee winding up on top in a 9-8 game against Montgomery. Matt Szczur (4-for-5 with a home run) led off the game by crushing his third homer of the season. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4) followed a single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. A groundout off the bat of Justin Bour plated Alcantara with the Smokies’ second run. Tennessee was down 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth when a single from Szczur was sandwiched around walks by Rafael Lopez and Alcantara. A fielding error allowed Alcantara to score. It was 6-4 in the seventh when the Smokies finally grabbed the lead. Szczur singled and stole second. Back-to-back doubles by Justin Bour (1-for-5 with two RBI) and Rubi Silva plated two runs. Silva stole third and both Christian Villanueva and Brett Jackson walked. A single by John Andreoli (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Silva and Villanueva. An insurance run in the eighth would come in handy as Szczur doubled and scored on a single from Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a RBI).

Eduardo Figueroa had a rough time in his second start. Figueroa allowed five earned runs in six innings. Zac Rosscup gave up an earned run in only 0.1 innings. Tony Zych righted things by tossing 1.2 scoreless innings and striking out a batter. Frank Batista survived a rocky ninth as surrendered two earned runs but hung on to pick up his 15th save.

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(W) Tennessee defeated Montgomery 11-10 on Friday. Pitching placed the Smokies in a precarious position all night. Starter Dae-Eun Rhee allowed five earned runs and struck out four in five innings. Jeffry Antigua added to the misery as he gave up an earned run while striking out two in two innings. Dayan Diaz went only 0.2 innings and surrendered two more earned runs, while Yeiper Castillo allowed an earned run in 0.1 innings. Frank Batista surrendered the tying run in his 0.2 innings of work. Hunter Cervenka picked up the final out in the ninth with a strikeout and was credited with the victory.

The offense responded with being placed behind the eight-ball all night, especially in the middle innings. The fun started in the third inning after John Andreoli (2-for-5 with a RBI) reached on a one out single and stole second base. A base hit from Matt Szczur (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored Andreoli. Javier Baez (2-for-5 with two RBI) led off the fourth with a walk and scored on a home run from Justin Bour (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Rubi Silva (3-for-5) restarted the inning with a single and scored on a home run by Christian Villanueva (3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI). Brett Jackson (2-for-3) followed Villanueva with a single and advanced to second on a base hit by Rafael Lopez (2-for-5). Szczur walked to load the bases. A single by Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-6 with two RBI) plated Jackson. Silva started the fifth inning with a single and scored on a double by Villanueva. Jackson singled and put runners on first and third. Andreoli singled in Villanueva. Andreoli stole second, Szczur walked, and a force play off the bat of Alcantara scored Jackson. Baez then delivered a base hit to drive in Andreoli. A dramatic ninth inning started with a single by Lopez, who was replaced by pinch-runner Nate Samson. A walk to Szczur and a single by Alcantara loaded the bases. Javier Baez then drove in the winning run with a broken bat single.

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(L) Control was illusive for the Smokies’ pitching staff on Saturday and Tennessee lost 10-2 to Montgomery. Nick Struck got the start after being sent down from Triple-A and allowed four earned runs while striking out two batters and walking four in four innings. A.J. Morris followed and issued three free passes. Morris struck out four and gave up five runs (two earned) in three innings. P.J. Francescon was the only pitcher not to walk anyone, but he still surrendered an earned run with a strikeout in two innings. The Smokies didn’t get on the board until the fifth inning when Christian Villanueva (1-for-3) singled and Brett Jackson walked. A single from Matt Szczur (1-for-5 with a RBI) scored Villanueva. Tennessee got a consolation run in the ninth as pinch-hitter Nate Samson walked and scored on triple from pinch-hitter Jonathan Mota.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (56-65)

(W) It was a sparkling Triple-A debut for Kyle Hendricks on Thursday as Iowa defeated Fresno 2-1. Recently promoted from Tennessee, Hendricks was hung with an unearned run as he struck out five in seven innings. Alberto Cabrera and Brian Schlitter pitched in a scoreless inning. Schlitter struck out two batters and earned his 14th save.

Kyle Hendricks even helped his own cause on offense as he walked with two outs the third inning. Tim Torres (1-for-4) and Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4 with a RBI) followed with singles that plated Hendricks with the first run. Brad Nelson (1-for-3 with a home run) hit a solo homer in the fourth inning that ended up as the difference in the game.

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(W) Iowa was able to stave off a rally from Fresno and hung onto a 5-4 victory on Friday. The I-Cubs jumped ahead in the second inning after Brad Nelson (3-for-3) singled and scored on a home run by Ty Wright (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Iowa regained the lead in the fourth inning after a double by Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Nelson. Iowa opened up the lead in the sixth after Edwin Maysonet (2-for-3 with a RBI) and Chad Noble (2-for-4) reached with one singles and Julio Borbon (2-for-4) walked after a sacrifice bunt. A single by Jae-Hoon Ha (3-for-5 with a RBI) scored Maysonet, and Noble scored on a wild pitch.

Jake Arrieta labored through three innings. Arrieta allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three batters. Arietta had words with home plate umpire Alex Ortiz as he was leaving the field and was ejected from the game. Casey Coleman tried to bridge the gap and gave up two earned runs while striking out four in four innings. Chang-Yong Lim tossed a perfect inning, while Brian Schlitter earned his 15th save by striking out two in the ninth.

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(W) The I-Cubs got a gem from Brooks Raley on Saturday as they shut out Fresno 3-0. Raley was in control from the beginning and gave up only two hits with three strikeouts in eight innings. Chang-Yong Lim and Marcos Mateo split up the ninth. Lim recorded the first out and Mateo closed it out for Raley.

The Game was scoreless for five innings before Iowa broke things open in the sixth. Brooks Raley (1-for-3) helped his own cause. Raley singled and scored on a double from Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-3 with a RBI). Ha increased his hitting streak to 12 games with the double. A single by Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-4 with a RBI) scored in Ha. The I-Cubs added some insurance in the eighth when Dave Sappelt (1-for-3) singled and Ha walked to start the inning. Sappelt scored on a base hit from Ty Wright (2-for-4 with a RBI).

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Rookie League – AZL Cubs (6-6) (19-21)

(W) The Cubs broke open a close game in the fifth inning with seven runs and they defeated the Brewers 11-4 on Wednesday. Catcher Albert Mineo (2-for-5) drove in three runs. Eighteen-year old 2013 draftee Tyler Alamo recorded his first professional hit. Rehabbing Trey McNutt tossed an inning. Johermyn Chavez has made the conversion from an outfielder to a pitcher and gave up an earned run in 0.2 innings. Erick Leal earned his second victory by striking out five in 4.1 scoreless innings.

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(L) More players were rehabbing for the Cubs on Friday and they lost 4-3 to the Angels in 12 innings. Brian Bogusevic led off and went 1-for-4, while pitcher Ryan Searle started and allowed two runs while striking out two in two innings. The Cubs’ young pitching was on display as David Garner notched five strikeouts and gave up an earned run in 2.1 innings. Brad Renner struck out the side in an inning, and Daury Torrez recorded three strikeouts in four scoreless innings.

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(L) Once again on Saturday, players on rehab assignments were part of the story as the Cubs lost 5-4 to the Rangers. Pitchers Trey McNutt and Johermyn Chavez, along with outfielder Brian Bogusevic all saw action. But it was young pitcher Carlos Rodriguez who stole the show as he struck out five in 2.1 scoreless innings. Kevin Brown and Trevor Stevens were each 2-for-4 with a triple while Alberto Mineo went 2-for-4.

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News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs sent OF Julio Borbon outright to the Iowa Cubs; selected the contract of OF Darnell McDonald from the Iowa Cubs; recalled RHP Eduardo Sanchez and selected the contract of C J.C. Boscan from the Iowa Cubs; optioned C J.C. Boscan to the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Chad Noble, LHP Zac Rosscup and RHP Kyle Hendricks to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Nick Struck to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Taylor Davis to the Tennessee Smokies from the Daytona Cubs; assigned LHP Rob Zastryzny to the Kane County Cougars from the Boise Hawks; assigned IF Danny Lockhart to the Boise Hawks from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Jose Rosario to the Boise Hawks from the Kane County Cougars; assigned RHP Luis Guillen to the DSL Cubs from the AZL Cubs.

The Iowa Cubs placed C Luis Flores on the 7-Day disabled list retroactive to August 6.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (SS) – .267/.327/.570/.897 with eight doubles, 11 home runs, 30 RBI, five stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Paul Blackburn (RHP) – 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, 32.0 innings pitched, 12 earned runs, 29 strikeouts, 16 walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Reggie Golden (OF) – .230/.285/.393/.676 with six doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 18 RBI, a stolen base (Kane County Cougars)
  • Trevor Gretzky (OF) – .232/.259/.268/.527 with three doubles, five RBI (Boise Hawks)
  • Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, 36.0 innings pitched, 10 earned runs, 34 strikeouts, 15 walks (Daytona Cubs)
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, 23.0 innings pitched, three earned runs, 21 strikeouts, seven walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Juan Carlos Paniagua (RHP) – 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP, 2.1 innings pitched, no earned runs, two strikeouts, one walk (Boise Hawks)
  • Duane Underwood (RHP) – 2-3 with a 5.54 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP, 39.0 innings pitched, 24 earned runs, 28 strikeouts, 19 walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Christian Villanueva (3B) – .262/.313/.454/.767 with 31 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 57 RBI, four stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – .281/.358/.450/.808 with 21 doubles, 17 home runs, 71 RBI, four stolen bases (Kane County Cougars)

Note: Reggie Golden replaces the injured Albert Almora on this week’s Top Prospect watch.

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