Winning is in the forefront to end this past week as the Cubs’ organization can boast of four first place teams.
First place Kane County completed a three-game sweep of Beloit and are on a five game win streak thanks to exploits of Kyle Schwarber and Cael Brockmeyer. First place Daytona won three out of four and swept Lakeland with the hot hitting of Albert Almora and Dan Vogelbach. And finally, the AZL Cubs are tied for first place while seeing the professional debuts of many of the 2014 draftees. Meanwhile, a Boise blowout on Friday night gave hope to better days ahead for the Hawks.
Along with the top prospects watch, all of this and much more is inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Editor’s Note: Monday’s covers games from Thursday through Sunday. Thursday’s report covers games Monday through Wednesday
Short Season Class-A – Boise Hawks (6–10)
It was a team loss as Boise failed in all three phases of the game in losing to Hillsboro 10-0 on Thursday. The offense managed only five hits, while the defense committed two errors and a passed ball. Erick Leal was roughed up in his start and allowed seven runs (four earned) while striking out a batter in 2.2 innings. Alberto Diaz didn’t fare much better as he gave up three earned runs with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Greyfer Eregua settled things down as he struck out four in three scoreless innings, but the damage had already been done. David Garner pitched the ninth and struck out two batters. Rashad Crawford was the hitting star as he went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, while Justin Marra was 2-for-3 with a double and Giuseppe Papaccio went 1-for-3.
Boise had a good, old fashioned laugher on Friday as the Hawks beat up on Hillsboro 11-1. Trevor Clifton was the starter and held the Hops to an unearned run with six strikeouts in six innings. Jasvir Rakkar relieved and struck out two in two innings, and Trey Lang struck out a batter in the ninth.
Danny Canela (2-for-4 with a double, home run, and two RBI) broke a scoreless game for the Hawks in the bottom of the second with a solo home run. In the fourth inning, Kevin Brown (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) led off with a walk and scored on a double from Canela. After a single by Mark Malave (1-for-3), Canela scored on a double play. Boise broke the game open in the seventh after Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-3 with an RBI) and Varonex Cuevas (1-for-2 with an RBI) singled and advanced a base on a throwing error. In a bizarre play, both Papaccio and Cuevas scored as Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with two RBI) was thrown out on a dropped third strike. Rashad Crawford (2-for-5) singled, moved all the way to third on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on a sacrifice fly. The Hawks then ground out a run in the eighth after loading the on walks to Malave, Justin Marra (0-for-4), and Alex Tomasovich (1-for-3). Papaccio was hit by a pitch to force in Malave, and Cuevas walked to force in Marra. Baez singled in Tomasovich and Papaccio. Cuevas scored on a double from Brown.
In a Saturday matinee, Hillsboro’s one inning was better the Boise’s as the Hawks lost 3-1. Josh Conway remains on a pitch count but is getting more efficient as he struck out two in three scoreless innings. Ryan McNeil doesn’t appear to be as far along in his recovery as Conway. McNeil gave up three earned runs with a strikeout in 2.1 innings. Josh Davis had one of his better outings of the season. Davis fanned three as he held the Hops without a run for 2.2 innings. Francisco Carrillo notched a strikeout in an inning of work. The only score for Boise came in the third inning when Jesse Hodges (2-for-4) and Zak Blair (1-for-3) led off with singles, and Hodges scored on a double play.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (53–27)
Kane County notched their 50th win Thursday with a sterling pitching performance as the Cougars beat Wisconsin 5-0. Daury Torrez has flirted with no-hitters this season, and while he yielded five hits, Torrez had seven strikeouts in eight innings. James Pugliese had a strikeout in a perfect ninth.
The Cougars put the pressure on in the first inning after Jacob Hannemann (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play. Hannemann stole third base and scored on a ground out. Consecutive two out singles by Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI), Ben Carhart (2-for-3 with a double and an RBI), and Jacob Rogers (2-for-3 with an RBI) in the third inning plated Schwarber. Carhart walked and Rogers singled to start the sixth, with both scoring on a one out double by Trey Martin (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI). Kane County closed out the scoring in the eighth after Schwarber doubled and scored on a double by Carhart.
In a high stakes game of chicken on Friday, Beloit blinked first as Kane County took 10 innings to beat the Snappers 3-2. The Cougars got on the board in the first inning after Jacob Hannemann (2-for-5 with two stolen bases) led off with a single and one out later stole second and third base. Kyle Schwarber (0-for-3) walked, and a single by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-3 with an RBI) plated Hannemann. A base hit by Jacob Rogers (3-for-5 with an RBI) scored Schwarber. It would remain 2-2 until the top of the 10th when Hannemann started the inning with a single. Hannemann was bunted to second, and Schwarber was intentionally walked. Pinch-hitter Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-1 with an RBI) singled in Hannemann.
Pierce Johnson had only one lapse in concentration and gave up a first inning two-run homer as he struck out six in seven innings. Juan Carlos Paniagua relieved and also fanned six as he tossed three scoreless innings.
The Cougars were all over Beloit pitching Saturday and beat the Snappers 10-2. In the first inning, Kyle Schwarber (4-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and five RBI) reached with a two out single and scored on a home run by Yasiel Balaguert (3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBI). It was Schwarber who went deep in the third as he cranked a two out solo shot. Balaguert followed with a single and Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) left the park with his eighth home run of the season. Jacob Hannemann (3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) led off the fifth with a double and scored on a two out double from Balaguert. David Bote (0-for-3) walked to begin the seventh inning, and Hannemann followed with a base hit. Ben Carhart (0-for-5) reached on an error to load the bases. Schwarber then blasted a Grand Slam home run.
Duane Underwood was free-and-easy as he struck out five and allowed an earned run in five innings. Michael Heesch gave up an earned run, but had two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Zak Hermans pitched a perfect 1.1 innings with a strikeout to close out the game.
Kane County closed out their series with Beloit Sunday with a five-game winning streak as the Cougars swept the Snappers 9-7. It is a new hero every day for the Cougars as catcher Cael Brockmeyer (4-for-5 with a double, triple, home run, and four RBI) hit for the cycle. Kane County got on the board first in the second inning after Jacob Rogers (1-for-3) led off with a walk and Brockmeyer doubled. David Bote (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Brockmeyer. A single by Trey Martin (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) plated Rogers, and Bote scored on a groundout. Rogers had a two out single in the third inning and scored on a home run by Brockmeyer. In the fourth inning, Jacob Hannemann (2-for-5 with a home run, and RBI, and a stolen base) added to the lead with a solo home run. Brockmeyer started the eighth with a single, followed by a base hit from Carlos Penalver (1-for-5). Bote was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Brockmeyer scored on a groundout. The ninth inning saw Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-5) reach on a one out single and Rogers walked. Brockmeyer then completed the cycle with a triple that plated Balaguert and Rogers.
Jen-Ho Tseng had his worst start of the season. Tseng allowed six earned runs while striking out three in 4.1 innings. Michael Wagner stemmed the tide as he struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings. Corbin Hoffner allowed the Snappers right back in the game by giving up an earned run while recording a strikeout in an inning of work. Tyler Bremer took over in the ninth and notched his 10th save.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (34-45)
Pitching and defense were the undoing of Daytona Thursday as they lost 5-3 to Dunedin. Justin Amlung had a somewhat pedestrian effort and allowed three earned runs while striking out four in five innings. Yao-Lin Wang continues to work back from an injury and had a strikeout in three scoreless innings. Michael Jensen was undone by an error as he gave up two unearned runs with two strikeouts in the ninth. The D-Cubs took the lead in the third inning after Jordan Hankins (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a double by Marco Hernandez (2-for-4 with a double). A one out base hit from Albert Almora (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Hankins and Hernandez. Daytona tied the game in the eighth after Almora drew a one out walk and scored on a double from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
It was a pitcher’s duel Friday with Daytona coming out on top 1-0 over Lakeland. Nathan Dorris set a career high with eight strikeouts in seven innings. Andrew McKirahan had a strikeout in two innings as he picked up his eighth save. The lone score of the game came in the seventh inning after Dan Vogelbach (1-for-2) drew a one out walk and moved to third on a single from Willson Contreras (1-for-3). Wes Darvill (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled in Vogelbach.
On Saturday, Daytona had to keep fending off Lakeland and hung on to win 8-7. The D-Cubs tied the score at one in the first inning after Marco Hernandez (3-for-4 with a double, triple, and an RBI) led off the game with a triple and scored on a single from Albert Almora (3-for-5 with an RBI). Hernandez led off the third inning with a single and Almora followed with a base hit. Dan Vogelbach (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) smashed a one out home run. Daytona manufactured a run in the fourth after Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4 with an RBI) began the inning with a single, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Almora singled and stole second to start the fifth inning. Almora scored on a base hit from Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3 with an RBI). Vogelbach walked and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. A one out single by Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with an RBI) plated Rademacher, and a single from Amaya allowed Vogelbach to score.
Starter Tayler Scott once again had a mediocre performance. Scott struck out four and gave up three earned runs in four innings. Starling Peralta allowed the offense to gain some breathing room as he held the Flying Tigers to an unearned run with five strikeouts in three innings. However, Stephen Perakslis nearly gave the game away as he surrendered three earned runs in an inning of work. Zack Godley earned his first save as he worked a scoreless ninth.
Pitching nearly did Daytona in on Sunday as the offense bailed them out for a 9-8 win over Lakeland in 11 innings … and a series sweep. The D-Cubs thought they had the game in control after Felix Pena gave them 5.2 innings with two earned runs and six strikeouts. But the Flying Tigers began to chip away after Austin Kirk allowed two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings, while Michael Jensen let Lakeland tie the game at five by giving up an earned run in an inning of work. Andrew McKirahan kept things in check with two scoreless innings, but Yao-Lin Wang became the unlikely winner after surrendering three earned runs in the 11th inning.
Daytona tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth after Marco Hernandez (2-for-6 with two RBI and two stolen bases) and Albert Almora (2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a stolen base) reached with two out singles and pulled off a double steal. A base hit by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-5 with three RBI) plated Hernandez and Almora. In the seventh, Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with a stolen base) reached on an error and stole second. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) walked. A single from Hernandez scored Chen, and Hernandez stole second. A double by Almora plated both Amaya and Hernandez. Looking at an 8-5 deficit in the bottom of the 11th, Chadd Krist (2-for-4 with a double) and Chen singled and moved up a base on a groundout. A wild pitch scored Krist and advanced Chen to third as Amaya drew a walk. A throwing error allowed Hernandez to reach and Chen to score. Almora was intentionally walked to bring up Rademacher, whose sacrifice fly plated Amaya to tie the game. A single by Dan Vogelbach (2-for-5 with an RBI) allowed Hernandez to come home and Daytona to walk off a winner.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (4–3)
The A-Cubs put on a late push Thursday and beat the Athletics 7-4. Rehabbing outfielder Jorge Soler was 1-for-2 with a two-run home run while outfielder Charcer Burks (1-for-3) hit his first professional home run. Third round pick, catcher Mark Zagunis, played in his first professional game and was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Lefty Andin Diaz came on in relief and tossed three scoreless innings while striking out two for the victory.
It was debut night for the AZL Cubs on Friday as they lost 6-5 to the Giants in a game that saw five lead changes. Third baseman Joe Martarano was 1-for-2 and second baseman Andrew Ely went 1-for-3, while catcher Calvin Graves was used as a pinch-runner and stole a base, in their first professional games. An errant pick-off throw by Carlos Llano led to the winning run.
A late rally came up short Saturday as the A-Cubs bowed to the Athletics 7-5. Outfielder Ricardo Marcano was 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Infielder Chesny Young made his professional debut and was 1-for-2 while shortstop Ho-Young Son went 1-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. Hector Perez was the victim of some the young players’ “yips” as he allowed six runs (two earned) and struck out three in three innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Dallas Beeler from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Dallas Beeler to the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Kevin Brown to the Tennessee Smokies from the Boise Hawks; assigned C Mark Zagunis and LHP Sam Wilson to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs; assigned C Mark Zagunis and INF’s Andrew Ely, Joe Martarano, and Chesny Young to the AZL Cubs; assigned LHP Gerardo Concepcion to the AZL Cubs from the Kane County Cougars; assigned RHP Trey Masek to the AZL Cubs from the Boise Hawks; assigned RHP Moises Ramirez to the DSL Cubs from the VSL Cubs; assigned RHP Mauro Vides to the VSL Cubs from the DSL Cubs; assigned RHP Juan Rengifo and LHP Alex Pacheco to the VSL Cubs.
Top Prospect Watch
- Note: RHP Pierce Johnson returns to the Top Prospect List, replacing RHP Tyler Skulina
Arismendy Alcantara (INF) – Iowa Cubs
Albert Almora (OF) – Daytona Cubs
Corey Black (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Paul Blackburn (RHP) – Kane County Cougars
Willson Contreras (C) – Daytona Cubs
Jacob Hannemann (OF) – Kane County Cougars
Kyle Hendricks (RHP) – Iowa Cubs
Pierce Johnson (RHP) – Kane County Cougars
Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Daytona Cubs
Rob Zastryzny (LHP) – Daytona Cubs