Two of the top prospects in the Cubs system took home minor league player of the week awards. Jorge Soler was named the Southern League Hitter of the Week and Jeimer Candelario was named Midwest League Player of the Week.
Jorge Soler has hit the cover off the baseball since returning from the disabled list. During the six games, Soler was 10-for-18 with two double, four home runs and eight RBI. In his seven games since returning from Arizona, Jorge Soler is 12-for-23 with two doubles, five home runs, three walks, six strikeouts and 10 RBI.
When Soler has been in the Smokies lineup this season he has produced at the plate. Jorge Soler is 20-for-47 with nine doubles, five home runs, six walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 games (.426/.491/.936/1.427).
Jorge Soler is the fifth Smokies player to earn a player of the week award this season. Kris Bryant, Rubi Silva, Dae-Eun Rhee and Corey Black have taken home player or pitcher of the week awards.
Jeimer Candelario was 12-for-24 with five doubles, three home runs, nine RBI, six runs scored, three walks and three strikeouts. Candelario is 14-for-35 in his last 10 games with five doubles, two home runs, five walks and four strikeouts (.400/.475/.800/1.275).
Jeimer Candelario has not let his demotion to Kane County earlier in the year affect his performance. Candelario struggled mightily at High-A Daytona and only managed a .193/.275/.326 line in 62 games. In 24 games since returning to the Cougars, Candelario hit .267/.329/.493 with eight doubles, two home runs and a .823 OPS. Candelario is only 20 years old and is still considered young for the level.
Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked Jeimer Candelario as the eighth best prospect in the Cubs system.
MLB Pipeline Prospect of the Week
Jorge Soler also caught the attention of MLB Pipeline. Soler turned in an excellent week, as noted above, and was named MLB Pipeline’s Hitting Prospect of the Week. And Jeimer Candelario received an honorable mention.
Jim Callis pointed out that Jorge Soler “has all the tools to profile well in right field, including massive power and a strong arm” and while he has shown “considerable promise” he has a hard time staying on the field.
The Cubs second round draft pick from a year ago has pitched twice since he was skipped over in the rotation two times last month. Sean Kernan caught up with Zastryzny and found out he was dealing with reoccurring tightness in his left forearm.
The Cubs did not place him on the disabled list but he did spend time at the Cubs facility in Mesa to see what was going on. Zastryzny had an MRI and treatment while he was in Arizona.
According to the report, the tightness Zastryzny has been dealing with could be as a result of taking a liner off his left arm earlier this year. Zastryzny called the trip to Arizona “more precautionary” than anything.
Other Minor League News
David Kaplan took a look at the prospects in the Cubs system and detailed as to why Kris Bryant will not make his big league debut until late April 2015 at the earliest. Kaplan also spoke with a scout that thinks Bryant will be a right fielder, and not a third baseman, due to his size. Javier Baez will move to either second or third base. And with Baez taking grounders at second base in pre-game practice, Kaplan thinks the Cubs will move him to second base at Triple-A Iowa soon. As for Addison Russell, he could end up outgrowing shortstop but his bat is good enough that it will play anywhere.
Javier Baez has shown improvement with his approach at the plate according to a report from the Tribune and the addition of Kris Bryant to Iowa’s roster could be helping Baez both on and off the field. Baez told the Tribune that once he is called up to the big leagues he doesn’t want to be sent back down.
Phil Rogers spoke with Javier Baez and Kris Bryant after the Futures Game. And Baez thinks he will be called up soon.
Peter Gammons reported Javier Baez has become a different player since he started working with Manny Ramirez.
Billy McKinney hit his first home run for the D-Cubs on Sunday, a two-run shot in the eighth inning.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold took a look at all of the high-end prospects in the NL Central and he pointed out many times that the Cubs have a lot of impact talent in their system and it is getting close to the Majors.