Twenty-five games over .500! That’s the record of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans as they went home run happy over the weekend, with Ben Carhart leading the way. Iowa also caught the home run bug as five members left the yard this weekend, with a game-winner by Adron Chambers.
With scores from the rookie league and the conclusion of the Dominican Summer League, today’s Down on the Farm Report has all the promise of a first round draft pick.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (31-32)
Eugene moved into a first place tie on Thursday as they blew away Salem-Keizer 12-5. The Emeralds started things off right after Donnie Dewees (2-for-6 with an RBI and a stolen base) led off the game with a single and scored on a two out double from Andrew Ely (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI). Blake Headley (0-for-4 with a walk) reached on a force play with two out in the second inning, and a base hit by Sutton Whiting (2-for-4 with a stolen base) put runners at the corners. Whiting stole second base and a single from Dewees drove in Headley. Frandy Delarosa (3-for-5 with two RBI) had a base hit that brought in Whiting. Delarosa began the fifth inning with a single and came around on a home run from Eloy Jimenez (2-for-6 with a home run and three RBI). Ely and Alex Bautista (3-for-4 with an RBI) restarted things with a walk and a base hit. A wild pitch advanced Bautista, and sacrifice flies scored both Ely and Bautista. Dewees reached first in the sixth inning on a dropped third strike and stole second base. A single by Delarosa plated Dewees, as another wild pitch moved up Delarosa. A base hit from Jimenez brought in Delarosa. Ely followed with a walk. Another single, this one by Bautista, scored Jimenez. A passed ball and a fielding error allowed Ely to come home. A ground out brought in Bautista.
Oscar De La Cruz did not take advantage of what his offense gave him, as he allow four earned runs but struck out four in six innings. Trey Masek went 1-2-3 with a strikeout in the seventh inning, but Scott Frazier gave up an earned run in the eighth. Tyler Peitzmeier set down the side in order in the ninth.
With 15 games left to play, Eugene moved into sole possession of first place Friday with a 7-6 win over Salem-Keizer. The recent surge coincides with the Emeralds offense striking early over the past few games, and Friday was no exception. Frandy Delarosa (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled with one out in the first and stole second base. A base hit by Eloy Jimenez (2-for-3 with an RBI) put runners at first and third. A base hit from Andrew Ely (4-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Delarosa. Ian Rice (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Jimenez and a sacrifice fly scored Ely. The Emeralds were down a run in the fifth inning when Jimenez singled with two out. Ely had a base hit. Rice was hit by a pitch, and Alberto Mineo (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) reached on an error that scored Jimenez. In the sixth inning, Sutton Whiting (0-for-4) reached on a force play and stole second base. A single by Donnie Dewees (3-for-5 with an RBI and three stolen bases) drove in Whiting. Dewees stole second and third base. A sacrifice fly drove in Dewees. The go-ahead run came in the seventh. After Ely and Rice singled, Ely scored on a ground out.
Ryan Kellogg had trouble from the onset, as he allowed two runs (one earned) with a strikeout in 1.2 innings. Adbert Alzolay was uncharacteristically ineffective, giving up four earned runs while striking out a batter in 4.1 innings. Scott Effross was stretched out, pitching three scoreless innings and recording two strikeouts for his second save.
Eugene needed just three outs for a victory on Saturday, but wound up with a 6-5 loss to Salem-Keizer in 10 innings. The duo of Kyle Twomey and Preston Morrison, who had big parts in a no-hitter a week ago, were once again effective. Twomey was charged with an unearned run and struck out three in 2.2 innings. Morrison also fanned three and gave up an earned run in 2.1 innings. Pedro Araujo was also solid, striking out three in two scoreless innings. However, Craig Brooks got the Emeralds in trouble as he surrendered three runs (two earned) in 1.1 innings. Greyfer Eregua was unable to stem the tide, yielding the winning run in the final inning.
It was a fast start again for Eugene in the top of the first after Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with an RBI) and Frandy Delarosa (2-for-5) singled. Andrew Ely (0-for-3 with two walks) drew a one out walk. Ian Rice (2-for-3 with a double and three RBI) coaxed a free pass to force in Dewees, and a base hit by Alberto Mineo (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Delarosa. Alex Bautista (1-for-4) walked to start the fourth inning. P.J. Higgins (2-for-5) singled with one out. A ground out brought in Bautista. The Emeralds added what they thought was insurance in the ninth inning after Delarosa reached on a force and Eloy Jimenez (1-for-5) singled. A two out double from Rice plated Delarosa and Jimenez.
It all came down to a decision as Eugene blew another lead in the ninth and lost 4-3 in 11 innings to Spokane. Casey Bloomquist had an excellent start. Bloomquist gave up only one hit and struck out four in three scoreless innings. Kyle Miller was charged with an unearned run, as he fanned two in three innings. Luis Hernandez maintained Eugene’s advantage as he shut down the Indians for two innings and struck out three batters. Needing only three out in the ninth, manager Gary Van Tol turned to Scott Frazier. Frazier gave up three hits, including a two-run homer that tied the game, and failed to record an out. Tyler Peitzmeier had his longest outing of his professional career as he tossed three innings and had three strikeouts while yielding the winning run.
The Emeralds’ offense could have used a few of the runs they scored in previous games. Donnie Dewees (2-for-4 with a triple) tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Eugene seemed to have the game in hand in the eighth after pinch-hitter P.J. Higgins (0-for-1 with a walk) led off the inning with a walk. A two out double from Eloy Jimenez (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) brought in Higgins, and a single by Andrew Ely (1-for-5 with an RBI) plated Jimenez.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (57-85)
South Bend opened a series against Fort Wayne on Friday with a 6-2 loss. James Norwood was roughed up a bit, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and a walk. Norwood struck out two in five innings. Dillon Maples remains stuck in reverse as he gave up two earned runs while striking out two in two innings. Daniel Lewis worked around two walks with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
The game was out of hand when the Cubs struck in the seventh. Ian Happ (0-for-3 with a walk) walked with one out and David Bote (1-for-4) singled. A two out base hit by Charcer Burks (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Happ. South Bend added a consolation run in the ninth after Gleyber Torres (1-for-3) walked, took second on a error, and scored on another error.
Pitching was in the forefront Saturday as South Bend came out on the short end of a 2-0 game against Fort Wayne. Jake Stinnett showed flashes of dominance along with stretches of being hit hard as he struck out six and allowed two earned runs in 5.2 innings. Jordan Minch was nearly perfect, walking a batter in 1.1 innings. Alex Santana was simply electric as he struck out the side in the eighth inning and added another strikeout in the ninth. The Cubs’ offense could not get in sync. Jeffery Baez (2-for-4), David Bote (1-for-4), Erick Castillo (1-for-3) and Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with a double) collected the SB Cubs only hits.
South Bend bounced back from form a tough loss and beat Fort Wayne 7-4 on Sunday. The Cubs scored four in the first inning after Jeffrey Baez (2-for-5 with a double, and RBI, and a stolen base) led off with a double and came in on a home run by Charcer Burks (3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and a stolen base). David Bote (1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) followed with a one out solo blast. Kevin Encarnacion (3-for-4) had a two out single, advanced to second on an error and scored on another error. Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI) began the fourth inning with a double and came home on a one out single from Baez. Burks had a base hit and pulled off a double steal with Baez. Burks took second and Baez stole home. In the fifth, Encarnacion singled with one out and a double by Hodges drove him in.
Zach Hedges had to deal with some poor defense as he allowed four runs in 4.2 innings, but only one of them was an earned run. Hedges also struck out three batters. Ryan McNeil had three strikeouts as he tossed 2.1 scoreless innings. Corbin Hoffner earned his ninth save as he pitched two innings.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (75-50)
Myrtle Beach seemed to lose their focus on Friday in a 4-3 loss to Fredrick. Jeremy Null was given a new lease when the Pelicans tied the score in the top of fifth, but he gave up the eventual winning run in the bottom of the inning. Null allowed four earned runs and struck out three in five innings. Tyler Ihrig had a strikeout in two innings. James Farris fanned two in the eighth.
The Pelicans scored all of their runs in the fifth inning after Trey Martin (2-for-2) led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Pin-Chieh Chen (0-for-1 with a stolen base). Carlos Penalver (0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base) walked with one out. Chen and Penalver pulled off a double steal. Chesny Young (1-for-3) walked, and Chen scored on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly brought in Penalver, and a single from Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with an RBI) plated Young.
It was bombs away for Myrtle Beach on Saturday, as they launched four home runs in a 10-5 victory over Fredrick. Nobody scored until the third inning. Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) and Kevin Brown (1-for-4) led off with singles. Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBI) smashed a three-run homer with one out. In the sixth, Mark Zagunis (2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and a stolen base) started things with a base hit and a stole second. Jason Vosler (0-for-3 with two walks) walked and both runners came home on a shot from Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI). Chesny Young (2-for-5) kept on base streak going in the seventh with a single and scored on a two-run blast from Zagunis. Jacob Rogers (3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) joined in the fun in the eighth as he hit a two run homer with Carhart on board.
Starter Paul Blackburn had only one bad inning, when he surrendered five runs (four earned) in the seventh to chase him from the game. Blackburn went 6.1 innings and struck out two batters. David Garner went the rest of the way, striking out two in 2.2 scoreless innings.
The Pelicans needed nearly every run they could get Sunday, as Myrtle Beach held on for a 9-7 win against Frederick. It was the long ball again after Myrtle Beach spotted the Keys two runs, the Pelicans got on the board with a solo blast from Ben Carhart (3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI). Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) followed with a double and came around on a one out, two-run homer from Victor Caratini (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI). Carhart and Brockmeyer combined again in the sixth inning. Brockmeyer went deep after Carhart singled. The Pelicans weren’t done. Kevin Brown (0-for-3 with a walk) walked and Chesny Young (1-for-5) reached on an error with two outs in the ninth. A single by Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with an RBI) scored Brown, and Young came in on Carhart’s second homer of the game.
Starter Brad Markey had his worst appearance in a Myrtle Beach uniform, but it wasn’t all that bad. Due to incredibly high standards, Markey allowing three earned runs and striking out six in 5.2 innings, it seems unduly harsh to criticize. Michael Heesch was spotless in relief as he struck out two in 1.1 innings. Josh Conway gave up an earned run, but had two strikeouts as he pitched an inning. Jasvir Rakkar was unable to work around a defensive lapse as he surrendered three runs (one earned) in the ninth.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (66-58)
What was intended to be game one of a doubleheader was scrapped when it went 12 innings, with Tennessee topping Montgomery 7-6. The Smokes cut the lead in half in the second inning after Jeimer Candelario (2-for-6 with a double) led off with a double and came home on a one out double from Ryan Dent (2-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI). A two out single by Anthony Giansanti (3-for-5 with an RBI) brought in Dent. It was a 6-2 deficit in the sixth when Candelario began things again. Candelario singled and took second on an error. A double by Taylor Davis (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) brought in Candelario. Davis scored on a sacrifice fly. Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-7 with a double and an RBI) doubled and came around after a ground out and a wild pitch. A two out home run from Willson Contreras (2-for-5 with a home run and an RBI) tied the game. It stayed that way until the 12th inning when Giansanti singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A bunt single by Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3) put runners at the corners. Almora provided the walk-off.
It was a rare rough night for Ryan Williams as he allowed six earned runs and struck out four in 5.2 innings. Matt Brazis had three strikeouts as he pitched 2.1 innings. Starling Peralta did some heavy lifting, as he held the Biscuits without a run for four innings and had two strikeouts.
The Smokies finally got their doubleheader in on Saturday as they rallied in game one to defeat Montgomery 6-5 in eight innings. Tennessee started off right as Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3) singled and scored following a two out base hit from Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with an RBI). The Smokies regained the lead in the fifth inning when Taylor Davis (1-for-4) reached on an error and Bijan Rademacher (0-for-2 with two walks) walked. A sacrifice moved up the runners, and a base hit by Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with three RBI) brought in Davis. Rademacher scored on a wild pitch. Tennessee tied the game in the sixth on a solo home run by Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI). Behind 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Davis singled and was replaced by Anthony Giansanti. Rademacher walked and a two out base hit by Mota drove in Giansanti and Rademacher.
Tennessee appeared out of gas in game two as they lost to Montgomery 5-2. Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3 with an RBI) led off the game with a walk, and Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4) singled. A sacrifice bunt and a ground out scored Hannemann. The Smokies added a run in the bottom of the seventh after Jonathan Mota (2-for-3) singled and came home on a base hit from Hannemann. Fernando Cruz was, well, Fernando Cruz as he allowed three earned runs and had five strikeouts in four innings. Corey Black was similarly ineffective as he gave up two earned runs but struck out four in two innings. Gerardo Concepcion fanned two in a scoreless frame.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (70-56)
It was all Iowa from the onset Thursday as they buried Salt Lake 13-2. The onslaught began with two outs in the first when Javier Baez (2-for-6 with a double and two RBI) doubled and came around on a home run from Christian Villanueva (3-for-6 with a home run and two RBI). Villanueva led off the fourth with a single and Mike Olt (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) reached on catcher’s interference. A fielding error allowed Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with an RBI) to reach and Villanueva to score. A two out single by Chris Valaika (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI) drove in Olt. Alcantara scored on a base hit from John Andreoli (1-for-6 with an RBI). Matt Szczur (1-for-3) walked, and a single from Baez brought in Valaika and Andreoli. Szczur scored one a fielding error. Tommy La Stella (3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI) tripled to start the fifth inning, and touched home after Taylor Teagarden (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) homered to right field. In the sixth, Olt doubled with two out and scored on a single by La Stella. The I-Cubs closed out the scoring in the eighth when Villanueva singled and came around on a home run from Olt.
It was “swing from the heels” night in Salt Lake on Friday, as the I-Cubs and the Bees combined for 31 hits and six home runs as Iowa lost 12-8. It was not a great night for the Iowa pitching staff. Starter Tsuyoshi Wada gave up five earned runs and had three strikeouts in three innings. Armando Rivero did not fare much better, allowing five runs (one earned) while striking out a batter in two innings. Yoervis Medina was also hit hard, surrendering two earned runs as he struck out four in two innings. Brian Schlitter set down the side in order in the eighth.
Iowa started fast after John Andreoli (2-for-5) and Matt Szczur (1-for-5) led off the game with singled. A ground out brought in Andreoli, and a two-run homer from Christian Villanueva (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) scored Szczur. Mike Olt (2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) followed with a solo blast. It was more of the same in the second inning, as base hit by Taylor Teagarden (3-for-4) and Chris Valaika (1-for-4) set up Javier Baez (2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) for a three-run home run. The I-Cubs added a run in the seventh after singles by Baez and Villanueva, along with a walk to Olt, loaded the bases. A force play scored Baez.
It was only one inning, but it would be all Iowa would need as they beat Salt Lake 3-1 on Saturday. Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a double) doubled with two out in the sixth and Mike Baxter (0-for-4) reached on an error to score Olt. Adron Chambers (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) delivered a two-run home run. Dallas Beeler was once again at the top of his game, as he struck out seven and was nicked for an unearned run in 6.2 innings. Blake Cooper finished the seventh, and Zac Rosscup fanned two in the eighth. Brian Schlitter picked up his 20th save with a strikeout in the ninth.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (28-21)
Five pitchers combined for a four hit shutout as the AZL Cubs beat the AZL Diamondbacks 11-0 on Thursday. Starter Austyn Willis had two strikeouts in four innings, while Jesus Castillo chipped in a “K” in two innings. Carlos Jimenez came up big, going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, and Andruw Monasterio went 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base.
A bullpen collapse was responsible for a 6-4 loss by the AZL Cubs to the AZL Athletics on Saturday. Gabriel Lima gave up three earned runs as he pitched two innings of relief. Carlos Jimenez went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Andrew Monasterio also was 2-for-4.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (43-29)
The playoff hopes of the DSL Cubs were on life support as they lost 5-3 to Yankees-2 in 11 innings. Starter Andri Rondon pitched well, as he was charged with an unearned run and struck out five in five innings. Erick Gonzalez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Jose Jules went 2-for-5 with a double.
The DSL Cubs closed their season on Saturday just missing the playoffs, as they lost 7-6 to Yankees-2. Deibi Torres was not able to keep the Yanks off the board, as he allowed three earned runs and struck out four in three innings. Third baseman Miguel Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, and shortstop Fidel Mejia went 3-for-5 with a double.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned RHP Frank Batista to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies placed C Tyler Pearson on the 7-day disabled list; activated 1B Dan Vogelbach from the 7-day disabled list.
Top Prospect Watch
- Albert Almora Jr. (OF) – .265/.318/.390/.708, 24 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 39 RBI, seven stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Dylan Cease (RHP) – 1-2, 21.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 9 ER, 20 K, 1.238 WHIP (AZL Cubs)
- Trevor Clifton (RHP) – 6-9, 91.1 IP, 4.34 ERA, 44 ER, 90 K, 1.323 WHIP (South Bend Cubs)
- Jacob Hannemann (OF) – .247/.306/.378/.683, 18 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, 37 RBI, 17 stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Eloy Jimenez (OF) – .282/.332/.390/.721, seven doubles, four home runs, 24 RBI, three SB (Eugene Emeralds)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 6-1, 75 IP, 1.92 ERA, 16 ER, 56 K, 1.120 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Justin Steele (LHP) – 3-1, 34 IP, 2.65 ERA, 10 ER, 34 K, 1.382 WHIP (Eugene Emeralds)
- Gleyber Torres (INF) – .296/.357/.390/.747, 22 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 61 RBI, 22 stolen bases (South Bend Cubs)
- Jen-Ho Tseng (RHP) – 5-7, 107 IP, 3.62 ERA, 43 ER, 72 K, 1.262 WHIP (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
- Mark Zagunis (OF) – .276/.406/.422/.828, 28 doubles, four triple, eight home runs, 52 RBI, 12 stolen bases (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)