Focus Remains on the Cubs Minor League System

While the big league team continued its struggles Saturday at Wrigley Field, several of the top prospects in the system put together good performances down on the farm.

Kris Bryant and Javier Baez did their jobs in Colorado while Kyle Schwarber smacked two home runs, including a Grand Slam, for Kane County. Arismendy Alcantara extended his hitting streak to seven games with another multi-hit performance. Albert Almora collected three hits and Dan Vogelbach went yard for Daytona.

With the Major League team being difficult to watch on a daily basis, the focus for the Chicago Cubs is on the minor leagues. And it is a narrative that will not change until the prospects are added to the big league roster and the Major League team starts performing better and winning ballgames on a consistent basis. There was a buzz Saturday around the Cubs that has been missing for quite some time with Dallas Beeler on the hill. And he delivered a very good outing while putting the team in position to win the game.

Dallas Beeler recorded a quality start, but more importantly, he looked like he belonged on the field.

When asked after the game about Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, Dallas Beeler was very complimentary of his Iowa Cubs teammates. Beeler told the beat writers, “They’re good and it’s fun to pitch behind them. Knowing they’re backing you up on the field and then at the plate. You never know when that magic will happen.”

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to seven games Saturday night with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Bryant collected three singles and in 10 games with Iowa he is batting .351/.429/.838. Bryant has hit three doubles, five home runs and has a 1.266 OPS.

For the season, Kris Bryant is hitting .354/.454/.719 in 78 games (Tennessee and Iowa) with 23 doubles, 27 home runs, 205 total bases and a 1.174 OPS. Entering play Saturday, Bryant was averaging a home run every 11 at bats this season.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez put together very good at bats Saturday night and he could be on his way to figuring things out at the Triple-A level. Baez has more walks (3) than strikeouts (2) in his last two games and has six free passes in his last 10 games with 11 strikeouts. Baez is 13-for-38 with three doubles in his last 10 games and is batting .342/.432/.421/.853.

Arismendy Alcantara

Arismendy Alcantara is making a case to be promoted to the big leagues. Alcantara extended his hitting streak to seven games Saturday night with a 2-for-4 night at the plate.

Arismendy Alcantara has eight multi-hit games in his last 10 and is up to .343/.391/.552 over his last 27 games with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs and a .944 OPS.

Albert Almora

Albert Almora went 3-for-5 with a RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base Saturday night. Almora’s eight game hitting streak ended Friday but he has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. Almora appears to be figuring things out at the plate after a rough start.

Almora is 15-for-44 over his last 10 games (.341/.370/.432/.801) with a double, a home run, two walks and five strikeouts.

Dan Vogelbach

Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, a walk and two runs scored Saturday night. Vogelbach is hitting .385/.455/.744 (15-for-39) with five doubles, three home runs and a 1.198 OPS over his last 10 games.

Dan Vogelbach, like Josh Vitters, has quietly put together a very good month. Over his last 25 games, Vogelbach hit .315/.425/.562 with 10 doubles, four home runs, 16 walks, 15 strikeouts and a .986 OPS.

Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber had another impressive game Saturday night in Kane County’s 10-2 thumping of Beloit. Duane Underwood was the beneficiary of the offense while he allowed one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

Kyle Schwarber went 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored and five RBI. And his second home run of the game was a Grand Slam in the seventh inning. Schwarber hit third and caught for the Cougars.

In nine games for the Cougars, Schwarber is 14-for-30 with four doubles, four home runs, five walks and five strikeouts … .467/.556/1.000/1.556.

Kyle Schwarber has played 14 games in the Cubs system and is 26-for-50 with five doubles, one triple, eight home runs, seven walks, seven strikeouts and a .520/.583/1.140 slash line with a 1.723 OPS.

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  • John_CC

    Curious if Gordon or any of the other consensus top 5 hitters in the draft have signed yet and if so how they are fairing. Its ridiculously early, but Schwarber appears to be the hidden gem of the draft. None of the experts had him going top 10 even, and then nearly unanimously panned the pick. Its going to really hurt when we lose McLeod, whether lsoon or later.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Have to agree. I think a lot of us(including me) thought Schwarber was a head scratcher. I look forward to his continued success in Daytona – hopefully soon

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Can’t wait for Ruggiano, who has been hot of late to be traded, several teams are in need of OF help hopefully someone is desperate and takes a chance on him or he is a throw in. I’m beginning to wonder if Samardzija stays he’s pitched poorly this month and I don’t know if the Cubs will get what they want out of him.

    If Vitters keeps on the upward Trend he may get another look or be traded with another player to sweeten the deal. He’s been here forever but is still only 24.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I think he can hit at big league level. If not traded I’d let him stay in Iowa all year and consider a promotion next year. He’s shown in past to really benefit from the type of call up Theo says is the plan. After dominating. Vitters needs to finish strong and dominant. Then do well in ST and play in Iowa until June. Then come up and hopefully be up for good. Or earn a trade.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Let me add that this is just what makes sense to me given Vitters history and my limited experience and knowledge of such things. The FO, and any FO for that matter is much more qualified than myself, and if they decide another route makes more sense I would defer to tem. Especially our FO given the two rings on Theo’s fingers from Boston.

        • RynoTiger

          whoa there boardrider..speak for yourself..I post to a fanblog…I’m alot wiser than McThoyer. Sure my two degrees aren’t in sports management, business, organization development and sure I don’t have any experience in sports management other than coaching babe ruth baseball league teams, but I know my every move that should happen. Theo just won’t take my phone calls, unblock my email address, get rid of the restraining orders, and undo my trespass from Wrigley Field for me to tell him how wrong he is and how right I am.

  • Steve Baier

    And Alcantara is already 2-for-2 today, with a double and a single!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Wow! Just wow all around…

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Schierholtz should have been traded over the winter when he had value.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      Then all the haters would complain that theo traded 20 home runs and 80 RBI for prospects and Rickets sucks and the White Sox are even more awesomer than ever.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        No. We would have said “thank you”.

      • John_CC

        Glad you brought up the White Sox…man look at them go with that far superior rebuild at the ML level plan they have under taken!

        • cubtex

          I’m glad you brought that up. The White Sox are currently 39-44(5 games under .500) They finished behind the Cubs last year. The Cubs are 34-46(12 games under .500) with the fewest wins in all of baseball. The White Sox added….repeat added 2 core players over the offseason in Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton. The Cubs added zero core players. If the path continues in the second half….The White Sox would finish with a 14 game improvement over the Cubs and treading upwards. Jose Abreu has been an absolute stud and they didn’t even have to give up a player to get him.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I cant totally disagree but, as such with all FA signings, you never know what your gonna get. Abreu has been a beast but he easily could have been Soler as well.

          • cubtex

            Here is a good question. Who was the last long term FA signing that Theo hit on?

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    The bad thing is Bonifacio won’t be traded until he is healthy and plays a little. So even if Barney/Ruggiano are traded that only opens up one spot unless they send Coghlan down.
    Unless they Trade Valbuena as well trouble is he is he has been the best this year other than Rizzo and Castro. He could be a solid bench guy in the Future as well. Especially if he could learn to play 1B and LF as well.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Agree. I would only trade Valbuena if a deal blows me away. But to a team with a ton of offense that could put him low in the lineup and let him be the on base machine he’s always been he could be a very valuable player. Especially with his versatility.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        Logan Watkins has been an obp machine in Iowa and although he only has a .219 batting average against lhp in 32 AB he still has a .324 OBP. I think if Valbuena/Bonifacio are traded he would be a definite call up especially considering he is already on the 40 man roster.

      • BigJonLilJon

        I agree, I’m starting to change my tune on Valbuena a bit. Maybe keep him as a super utility guy, especially for when we are contending

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Logan Watkins could take Valbuena’s spot though he has been flying under the Radar but is having a very solid season .284/.366/.385
      With 11 stolen bases. He has played every spot on the infield and outfield.

  • Tom U

    BREAKING: Cael Brockmeyer of the Kane County Cougars has hit for the cycle, going 4-5 with 4 RBI as the Cougars lead 9-7 T9

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    The Cubs are not trading away half the line up. The two pitchers and maybe a bullpen arm is all I expect to be traded. Maybe a position player after the waiver deadline.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      They aren’t going to resign Schierholtz he will be a Waiver guy. Ruggiano won’t be back Bonifacio won’t be back. Barney isn’t part of the Future. Baker.They aren’t going to keep all these guys. They plan to compete next year. Valbuena might stay, Sweeney is signed through next season, Coghlan roster filler.
      I fully expect to see Alcantara and probably Watkins,

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I think Coghlan could have a chance to stick. He’s been inconsistent but had flashes. If he can get hot he may prove some worth. Might also make him tradeable.

        Wonder what the plan is at this point for Kalish?

        • Steve Baier

          Don’t know but Kalish has been pretty average for the I-Cubs thus far. Hitting .240 through 100 ABs.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Well he must be turning it around cause a week or so I looked and he was hitting .217

          • Steve Baier

            Yeah he’s had a couple multi-hit games in the past week that bumped the average up a little.

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Last I looked Kalish was really struggling at AAA. I think Coghlan will stay for the time being. I like him he has tools and speed just needs to be more consistent.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think a little slump after a demotion is to be expected. Especially the MLB to AAA demotion. Gotta be kind of deflating.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I bet Baez and Bryant do not get called up this year. Alcantara and a couple of starting pitchers.

        Buster Olney on ESPN just said, as I am typing this, that Jeff S will not be traded unless someone absolutely blow than away. Said they were working hard to resign him. He gave the chances if him being traded at 30%.

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          I read that too but I’ve also read every other report saying the opposite. I don’t think Baez or Bryant will be up but the guys on the 40 man roster will be, Bryant has made and continues to make his case to be up and if he continues to dominate there is a chance he will be here. Alcantara Watkins, Vitters, etc… who are on the 40 man roster will be here come September maybe earlier depending on trades.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            Agree with all if that I just don’t think there are going to a lot of Cubs traded. When rosters expand we will some more of the Vitters / Watkins type guys will be in Chicago though.

            Either way we are getting closer. No need to deviate from the Plan now. Bring up guys when they have earned it.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Sign Shark or get a Bundy or Sanchez type. I really don’t care which. He is inconsistent and I don’t ever see him as a TOR. And I can’t stand his attitude. I can sympathize with him wanting to win now among other things. But he’s a liar and a poseur. The whole “big salary for the sake of others,” is just such BS. When he opens his mouth 75% of the time I end up liking him less.

    • BigJonLilJon

      we can hope though can’t we??

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