MLB Pipeline recognized the tremendous season Kris Bryant put together by naming the top prospect in the game to its 2014 All-Prospect Team. MLB Pipeline chose Kris Bryant as its top hitting prospect for the year two weeks ago.
Kris Bryant (3B) is joined in the infield on MLB Pipeline’s All-Prospect Team by Matt Olson (A’s, 1B), Mookie Betts (Red Sox, 2B) and Corey Seager (Dodgers, SS). The Rangers’ Joey Gallo was named as the team’s DH. Behind the plate is the Red Sox’s Blake Swihart with Joc Pederson (Dodgers), Michael Taylor (Nationals) and Steven Souza Jr. (Nationals). Souza made the tremendous catch Sunday to preserve Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter.
On the pitching side, RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates), LHP Daniel Norris (Blue Jays) and R.J. Alvarez (Padres) made MLB Pipeline’s All-Prospect Team.
The awards are piling up for Kris Bryant. Since the minor league season ended, Bryant has received the six different player of the year awards … Cubs Minor League Player of the Year, Baseball America, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, MLB Pipeline and ESPN’s Keith Law.
In 138 games between Tennessee and Iowa, Kris Bryant finished the year with a .325/.438/.661 slash line that included 34 doubles, one triple and 43 home runs with 110 RBI for a 1.098 OPS.
Baseball America is in the process of posting top 20 prospect lists of each league in every level of the minor leagues. Three Cubs prospects landed on Baseball America’s Top 20 List for the Arizona League … LHP Carson Sands, OF Eloy Jimenez and SS Gleyber Torres.
Baseball America covers all of the bases when it comes to prospects and the minor leagues, pardon the pun, and released a report on the players that did not make the top 20 lists for each league due to not reaching minimum requirements, either because of injury or recent draftees … included in its report, League Top 20 Lists Leave Out Some Notable Names, was Jorge Soler.
The Cubs changed Jorge Soler’s “workout regimen, stretching program and swing during his two stints on the DL.” Baseball America was the first to report a change was made to Soler’s swing while he was on the disabled list this past season. Manny Ramirez spent a lot of time with Soler while the two were at the Cubs facility in Mesa and then again when Soler was promoted to Iowa. The adjustments Ramirez worked with Soler may be the changes Baseball America referred to him making this year. The new workout regimen also improved Soler’s bat speed.
Baseball America spoke with Iowa’s manager, Marty Pevey about Soler. Pevey feels Soler “needs to get more at bats under his belt.” By Pevey’s estimation, Soler could use 300 to 400 more plate appearances due to the time he’s missed due to injury, but Pevey does not think it matters if Soler gets those at bats in the minors or majors.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend announced last Thursday the franchise changed its nickname from the ‘Silver Hawks’ to the ‘Cubs’ and held a press conference to officially announce the four-year player development contract with the Cubs.
Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod were included in the press conference. Among the many topics covered were the reasons the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend. Here is the full video of the presser.
WSBT Sports Director Pete Byrne talked to Andrew Berlin, South Bend’s owner, Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod after the press conference. Click here for links to video of his exclusive interview.
The SB Cubs released its schedule for the 2015 season Monday and South Bend opens the season April 9 at Four Winds Field against Bowling Green.
Minor News and Notes
Rawlings and Minor League Baseball announced the Gold Gloves for the 2014 season.
The Cubs reinstated 23 minor league players from the disabled list according to a report from Baseball America. These are end of the season procedural moves and among those activated from the DL were P.J. Francescon, Barret Loux, Trey Masek, Trey McNutt, Will Remillard, John Andreoli, Kevin Encarnacion and Josh Vitters. Activating a player from the DL does not mean the player would be healthy enough to play.