The Cubs selected RHP Dylan Cease in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. And he didn’t throw a pitch in the system until last week. Cease was considered first round talent but due to an elbow injury he slipped down to the sixth round. The Cubs used pool money saved by inking Kyle Schwarber, Jake Stinnett and Mark Zagunis to under slot deals to sign Cease, LHP Carson Sands (fourth round) and LHP Justin Steele (fifth round).
Dylan Cease pitched in his first extended spring game a week ago Tuesday (May 12) less than 10 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. According to the Tribune, Cease threw 16 pitches that consisted of fastballs and changeups in his first outing.
According to Bill Mitchell, Dylan Cease sat in the 94-96 mph range in his second extended Spring Training game on Tuesday. And Cease touched 98-99 mph. Cease did struggle with throwing strikes. Of the four batters Cease faced, he walked three and struck out one. It is encouraging the progress he has made less than a year after Tommy John surgery.
Dylan Cease told the Tribune he is grateful the Cubs selected him and he knows it wasn’t an easy decision for the organization at the time to take the risk. Cease is glad to be back on a mound and pitching in games. And he wants to show the Cubs “they made a great selection.”
Torres and McKinney – Early Season Breakouts
Baseball America posted a list of early season breakout prospects in all 10 minor leagues. And the system still at the top of the organizational rankings landed two players in the report … SS Gleyber Torres and OF Billy McKinney.
Gleyber Torres has been very impressive this season. Torres is succeeding in a league, as an 18-year old, that as Baseball America pointed out, high school draft picks from a year ago in Nick Gordon (Twins), Alex Jackson (Mariners) and Derek Hill (Tigers) have struggled in.
Torres has “an elite walk-to-strikeout ratio (0.72)” and he sits among the league leaders in batting average (.333, sixth), hits (40, fourth) and on-base percentage (.424, fourth).
In 37 games, Gleyber Torres is batting .324/.409/.410 with eight doubles, two triples, 19 walks and 31 strikeouts for a .819 OPS.
Billy McKinney dominated the Carolina League and earned a promotion to Double-A Tennessee. McKinney led the Carolina League in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.432) and slugging percentage (.544).
McKinney ended his stay with High-A Myrtle Beach with a .340/.432/.544 slash line. McKinney hit five doubles, two triples and four home runs for a .976 OPS. McKinney walked 17 times with 13 strikeouts in 29 games.
Since his promotion to Double-A Tennessee, McKinney is 6-for-22 with four doubles (.273/.360/.455) in seven games for a .815 OPS. McKinney has walked three times with two strikeouts.
Minor News and Notes
• RHP Duane Underwood is 4-0 in six starts for High-A Myrtle Beach. Underwood has given up 20 hits with 10 walks and 25 strikeouts in 33 innings (1.09 ERA, 0.91 WHIP).
• RHP Jake Stinnett is using his experience as an infielder on the mound according to a report from MiLB.com.
• Chesny Young has not slowed down since his promotion to High-A Myrtle Beach. In 28 games with Low-A South Bend, Young batted .315/.385/.380 with five doubles, a triple, 12 walks and seven strikeouts for a .765 OPS. Young is 9-for-21 in five games with the Pelicans. Young has four walks and two strikeouts in 21 at bats.
• RHP Jonathan Martinez is 2-1 in seven games, six starts, for High-A Myrtle Beach. Martinez has allowed 12 runs, 10 earned, on 24 hits with six walks and 14 strikeouts (2.65 ERA, 0.88 WHIP).
• Carl Edwards Jr. has three saves in 11 appearances out of the Smokies’ bullpen. Edwards Jr. is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP for Double-A Tennessee. In 19 2/3 innings, Edwards has walked 15 batters with 30 strikeouts. Over his last six appearances, Edwards Jr. is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP (three hits, five walks and 19 strikeouts in 10 innings).