Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber Went Yard Down on the Farm

Sunday was yet another big day in the system for several of the Cubs top prospects.

Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer for Iowa and finished the extra inning game 1-for-6 with a two-run homer and a walk. Jorge Soler collected three more hits and hit his seventh Triple-A home run. Soler went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two walks and actually gave Iowa a lead in the 14th inning that the bullpen could not hold.

Addison Russell hit his 12th longball, a two-run shot in the ninth inning. Russell went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in a game the Smokies’ offense could not score more runs than the pitching staff gave up.

The Daytona Cubs beat Lakeland with Kyle Schwarber driving in three of the D-Cubs seven runs on a pair of home runs.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant hit his second home run in as many games Sunday and has 21 longballs at the Triple-A level. And he just missed a three-run shot to center later in the game after his two-run homer in the first inning gave him 43 home runs on the year between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.


PrintEven with another solid game at the plate Sunday, his slash line dipped to .307/.426/.661 in 63 games with Iowa. Bryant has 14 doubles, 21 home runs, 50 RBI and a 1.087 OPS. For the year, Kris Bryant has a .333/.443/.682 slash line with 34 doubles, 43 home runs, 108 RBI and a 1.125 OPS.

Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler went 3-for-5 with a home run, two walks and two RBI on Sunday night. Soler is 8-for-10 in his last two games with a double, a triple, a home run and three walks with seven RBI. Soler has hit safely in four straight games after what was perceived as a slump.


Jorge Soler is hitting .278/.376/.593 in 31 games for Iowa with 11 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and a .969 OPS. 19 of Soler’s 30 hits have gone for extra bases and he has almost as many walks (17) as strikeouts (25).

In 61 games this year between two stops with Double-A Tennessee, the AZL Cubs and Iowa Cubs, Jorge Soler is hitting .338/.432/.687 with 23 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs and a 1.118 OPS. Soler has 67 hits in 61 games, and 39 of those hit have been extra base knocks.

Addison Russell

After going hitless for two games, Addison Russell responded with a 2-for-5 performance Sunday that included a two-run homer in the ninth inning, his 12th homer with the Smokies.


In 44 games in the Cubs system, Addison Russell has hit .297/.339/.560 with 10 doubles and 12 home runs for a .899 OPS. Russell has collected 52 hits and drive in 35 runs for the Smokies.

Kyle Schwarber

The Cubs first round pick in June’s draft said he found what was wrong with his swing and the results have produced a 12-game hitting streak with six home runs in his last five games. Schwarber is 19-for-39 in his last 10 games with seven home runs, 12 runs scored and 13 RBI.

With Daytona, Schwarber has hit .314/.417/.613 in 39 games with nine doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and a 1.030 OPS. Schwarber has almost as many walks (26) as strikeouts (33) for High-A Daytona.

Kyle Schwarber has made quite the impression in his first 67 games in pro ball. Schwarber has hit .354/.444/.671 with 18 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 39 walks, 52 strikeouts and a 1.115 OPS.

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  • AaronOR

    Kalish should have been able to make that throw at the end of the game, the sacrifice fly was to shallow center.

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  • Larry Schwimmer

    Neil (or Tony or any of the mavens on this site): Do you think it’s safe to assume that Kyle Schwarber will start the 2015 season in Double AA?

    • Theboardrider

      I read that opined by Tony and Tom over the weekend or late last week. I woul have I think he would.

      Also, I think that him being held back go lead to okay catcher looks less and less likely. His bat is just too good to wait on. Unless we just really don’t need him, I can’t imagine that he’s not with the club in 2016 as an outfielder. Assuming he continues to mash at next levels. But so far he has adapted well and flat out dominated.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        Thanks BR. Please re-read your post. Some of what you said, wasn’t clear?

        • Theboardrider

          LOL, I see what you mean. Basically I said I remember Tony and Tom saying that he would start at AA. And that makes sense to me. But if he is a LF, and starts at AA. I would say he’s on fast track.

          To me he either goes to LF and is on the fastest track possible. Start at AA, if after 60 games he’s doing what he’s done everywhere else, then he goes to AAA. Then depending on what the Cubs are doing he stays there and is in Arizona spring ball with a shot at opening day roster in Chicago for 2016. But if we’re in a race next year and we could use his bat in LF, then I wouldn’t be surprised by a September call up if he rakes Iowa as he does everywhere else. I think his bat would look really attractive to a pennant race late next year.

          Or if he goes behind the plate, then yes, he starts at High A, then probably finishes next season at AA. Starts at AAA in 2016 and plays until the MLB team is comfortable with him behind the plate in Chicago. As I expect that by 2016, his bat will be more than ready for Chicago.

          Given his recent success at Daytona I have doubts if the catching experiment will occur. When he was struggling and looking like most hitter type prospects at Daytona, I was thinking “he imortal, needs more time for his bat, might as well put him at catchder and think about him in Chicago in 2017. But with his recent success, I think the mindset could have switched back to “we gotta get this guy to Chicago ASAP.”

          • Theboardrider

            You just don’t see guys rake like he has so far. Kris Bryant is only comp I see in Chicago. Before that, who was last prospect that simply dominated every level from day one as he ahs?

          • Larry Schwimmer

            Thanks. That’s clearer. Personally, I think Castillo is a bit of a disappointment. So, I would think the real question about SCHWARBER is not about the CUBS needing his offensive skills. They’re going to have plenty of offense, especially in the outfield.

            I think the big question is: Does Schwarber have great skills to be a really good catcher in the MLB!!! If he does, it’s worth waiting a longer period of time to see if he can further develop those skills to be the CUBS catcher. What do you think?

          • Theboardrider

            It’s a good point and a real question. I would say have the coaches work all offseason and assess him behind the plate. Then make a decision.

            But man, I know some will see this as hyperbole, but I just think he’s got a special bat. I could easily see he and Bryant being the two best NL hitters by 2018. And a year in minors will waste some of that. Plus, again, I think he’s a game changer bat. Don’t know his WAR, but I’ll bet it would be really, really high.

            I could see, by his second MLB season, stat line like this.

            .340/.405/HR With K/BB like 2/1.6

            Bryant’s estimate I’ll give to in case someone asks.


          • Theboardrider

            I’m sure someone will say “you think he’ll be better than Bryant?” Not necessarily. But it wouldn’t surprise me either. I think they’ll both be just about equal. Bryant a littel more power, Schwarber a bit more OBP.

          • Larry Schwimmer

            I agree with much of what you said. But I still hold the view that if the assessment is positive — that he can be a very talented catcher — I hope they give him extra time to develop so that he can be one. He still would have some great offensive talent — even as a catcher. A great catcher is an amazing part of a team.

            Look at the way Yadier MOLINA (of the Cards) catches and hits!!! Wouldn’t it be great if Schwarber had that mix of talent.

    • Neil

      Short answer, yes sir, but …

      Schwarber should receive a NRI to big league camp and then be assigned to Double-A Tennessee when the season starts if the front office does not move him behind the plate on a permanent basis.

      He is supposed to see time in fall instructs behind the plate. His development as a catcher could slow him down through the system and could lead to starting at High-A next season.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        Thanks so much Neil. When you said:

        Schwarber will “be assigned to Double-A Tennessee when the season starts if the front office does not move him behind the plate on a permanent basis.”

        Are you saying that if he performed well in ST that he could be put behind the plate on the CUBS (like as a back up to Castillo)? Please clear that up for me.

        Do you get the idea that the CUBS will show Castillo more patience or do you believe they’d trade for an upgrade in that position?

        Please tell me that BAKER will not be back! I don’t care how nice of a guy he is, we do not need a week defensive catcher who hits .200 IMHO.

        • Theboardrider

          I got from Niel’s post that if he switches to C, he will then be sent to High-A. But if he’s a LF, then he’ll go to AA.

        • Neil

          Larry, I meant he would require more development time if they decide to have him catch, That could mean starting the season at High-A.

          If Schwarber is moved to the outfield permanently, he should being the year at Double-A.

          I do not see a way he would begin the season in the majors next year.

          From the way I understand they like Castillo. With that said he has not progresses as much as they were hoping this year. Catcher may be an area the front office looks to upgrade this off-season.

          It should be a wait and see on Baker for next season. Baker will become a free agent which will create a spot on the 40-man roster. Would not come as a surprise if he is re-signed to a minor league deal with a NRI to camp.

          • Larry Schwimmer

            Neil: As you understand it — aren’t I correct in that the CUBS decision on whether “SCHWARBER remains a catcher” — will be based on whether they think he has the special skills — to be a really good MLB catcher — not because his bat is their 1st priority.

            After all, it’s a lot tougher to find a great defensive catcher (especially one with some offensive skill).

          • Neil

            Schwarber was drafted for his bat as you know.

            If the minor league coaches and coordinators see something in him this fall that they feel can be developed into an everyday catcher in the big leagues, yes I think they will explore it further.

        • J Daniel

          Personally, I would like to see them put him in LF and let him RAKE! Never have enough guys that can hit like that, especially a lefty which is needed. One of the prospects isn’t going to make it.

          Actually, I would like to see Bryant remain at third, Soler in right, and Schwarber in left. Need a big lefty stick. Obviously that is if they can field the position.

          If Bryant can’t field 3b then he will have to go to RF.

          • triple

            I’d love to see a 3-4-5-6 of Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, and Baez someday. It would be a nice L-R-L-R combo for the heart of the order withe the high OBP guys up front. Castro would probably bay 7th behind them. If a lineup like this can materialize, I don’t think a good defensive catcher who bats .220 would even slow down the run production that much.

          • J Daniel

            Agreed. Would like a little more offense from the catcher but defense and game management is more important. I think a good vet, someone like Russell Martin, would be perfect.

            Just a hunch but I still think Castro will be moved if Russell is as good as advertised.

            In that type of lineup your catcher would bat 8th, your CF probably leadoff, and you have Soler as well.

          • GaryLeeT

            I’ve always liked Martin and he had a great year. I would love to see the Cubs sign him.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree with both GaryLeeT and JDaniel about R.Martin and I was thinking the same thing about him. But the problem is R. Martin will be looking for an everyday job and I am not so sure the FO is ready to hand that over to him as they like W. Castillo. Also they have nice prospects coming thru the minors currently at catcher.
            I am thinking they will leave R. Martin alone as he has helped Pittsburgh a lot the last few years and will demand a big contract, for a catcher a big contract = sunk $$$(think EJAX). I am happy with W. Castillo currently.

          • GaryLeeT

            Not sure why you would tie Jackson to Martin, but every player contract has its inherent risks.

          • Neil

            It appears Soler has been called up.

          • GaryLeeT

            Soler has to be in there somewhere too, because I just watched Tiajuan Walker pitch around Bryant to get to Soler. Guess what happened next?

          • AaronOR

            Are you at the game or watching on TV/Internet?

          • GaryLeeT

            Internet. I see the next batter, Lopez was HBP. That should have brought the benches out, or at least prompted a warning from the ump, right?

          • AaronOR

            Yeah a warning was issued. They pulled Jokisch not sure if he was injured.

          • Neil

            He has a blister and could not continue

          • triple

            Good catch, I got too giddy thinking an extra year into the future in hopes that Schwarber pans out as the other lefty power bat in the middle of the order. With Soler’s all around tools, he could probably bat anywhere in the lineup. Maybe the 2 hole would be good for him just because he makes lots of contact and gets all those extra base hits. Just think how many times he would be in scoring position after a hit for all the other power guys behind him? There would just be no way to pitch around Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, and Baez, not to mention by then Addison Russell would probably be somewhere in the mix too.

    • Tony_H

      Agree that it depends on what position they put him at moving forward. Catching will slow him down a bit and I would think would make him start in Daytona, where if they are thinking LF, then he would go to Tennessee.

  • Theboardrider

    Two great stats I’m that article that stood out amongst the rest. Soler and Schwarber both have almost as many walks as strikeouts! Once those guys make it to Chicago, along with the rest, them and Rizzo will give us 3 guys who should have a high OBP. 3 guys like that, to me, make having Baez and Bryant and any other swing and miss guys not that big of a deal. Good mix of bats.

  • John G

    I find it very interesting that the Cubs are 45-45 in their last 90 games. There are only 7 teams in the NL that are .500 or better for the whole season so far and the least of them, Pitts, is only 1.5 games out of the Wild Card. So with the Cubs bringing up all this talent next year, and maybe a FA or 2 picked up in the offseason, who’s to say that they Cubs don’t have a chance of being a .500 or better team next year? In fact, a slight improvement over the last 90 games, say 10% would make them a .550 team next year. That’s competing. Milwaukee is at .554 right now. So why is everyone saying 2016? What’s wrong with thinking 2015? After all, there was a lot of other predictions in Back to Future II that came to be. Except for the hoverboard, or course.

  • AaronOR

    When did Jae Hoon Ha get called up to Iowa? Today? He is playing center field as I speak.

    • Neil

      Ha was promoted before today’s game. Ramirez and Mateo were placed on the DL

      • AaronOR

        Thanks, they had his name wrong on the video board so I was a little confused if it was actually Ha.

        • Neil

          You’re more than welcome. Please let us know if Soler leaves the dugout. He’s out of the game but still in the dugout. Reports have indicated he is not hurt.

          • AaronOR

            Will do, I am sitting next to a cubs fan his buddy claims Soler may have been called up via Twitter. Interesting?!?

          • Neil

            Man, I appreciate it. I was hearing he was getting called up and was hoping you would see hugs or him leave the dugout.

            I hope you enjoy the rest of the game.

          • AaronOR

            Thanks, I was watching for the hugs but missed it, must have been when Lake hit the double. Iowa is just killing tacoma pitching tonight. Fun game!

  • Denver Mike

    Third source I’ve found, including Neil!

  • Tom U

    Multiple reports on Twitter that Jorge Soler has been promoted to the parent club.

  • Joe Beck

    Soler got called up!!!! I can’t wait to see the length this adds to the offense. One more to go c’mon FO get Bryant some at bats!!!

    • AaronOR

      Haha I was just about ready to say he left the dugout. Awesome!

      • AaronOR

        On a side note Lake is having a good night!

    • Greg R

      LOVE to see Bryant get ML ABs but he won’t this year! ONE reason only…Scott Boras! If Bryant comes up next April we have control of him entire extra year…if he comes up now, 1 year closer to free agency. And Boras wants nothing better than to see a client get to FA sooner!! What a shame his bat cant be seen at Wrigley this year!