Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario has gotten off to an excellent start in the Arizona Fall League. And the 21-year old switch hitting third baseman was named Co-Player of the Week on Tuesday, splitting the recognition with the Tigers’ JaCoby Jones.
Jeimer Candelario went 5-for-5 with three doubles, two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored last Friday. In three games during the first week of the AFL, Candelario went 8-for-10 with four doubles, two home runs and a walk (.800/.818/1.800) for a 2.618 OPS.
Candelario collected two more hits Tuesday in Mesa’s 5-4 win over Scottsdale. Candelario hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Candelario currently has a .667/.688/1.533 slash line with a 2.221 OPS in four AFL games. Candelario is 10-for-15 with four doubles, three home runs and a walk.
Baseball America posted the Cubs draft report card. And BA’s quick take on the Cubs’ draft, “Chicago’s class could shine if prep millionaire [Bryan] Hudson and [Darryl] Wilson hit, and both sound exciting.”
According to Baseball America, 3B/1B Matt Rose was the best power hitter the Cubs selected in the draft. Ian Happ “has a chance to develop 20-homer power at his peak.” Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson is the fastest runner and best defensive player. 2B/3B P.J. Higgins “is a steady, sure-handed infielder with body control.”
RHP Craig Brooks has the best fastball (94-96 mph) and LHP Bryan Hudson has the best secondary pitch. RHP Preston Morrison had the best pro debut. Darryl Wilson is the best athlete and RHP David Berg has the most intriguing background.
Baseball America thinks David Berg and Preston Morrison are the closest to the majors. And Ian Rice is the best late round pick.
Cubs Minor League Free Agents
Brian Schlitter appeared in 10 games for the Cubs this season and was 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. At Triple-A Iowa, Schlitter was 2-3 in 45 games with 23 saves, 1.61 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. The Cubs acquired Schlitter from the Phillies as the player to be named later in the Scott Eyre trade in 2008.
Mike Baxter signed a minor league contract with the Cubs last winter and spent Spring Training in big league camp on a non-roster invite. Baxter appeared in 34 games with the Cubs this season and batted .246/.348/.263 with one double and a .612 OPS. Baxter hit .279/.390/.360 in 74 games with Iowa that included nine doubles, three triples and a home run for a .751 OPS.
Minor News and Notes
RHP Pierce Johnson made his second start Tuesday in the AFL, and he had another rough game. Johnson allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in four innings. Johnson surrendered a three run homer to Clint Frazier in the third inning. In two starts this fall, Johnson has given up six runs on six hits, two home runs, four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings (7.71 ERA, 1.80 WHIP).
Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber all graduated to the big leagues this season and made the grade according to Baseball America.
Albert Almora Jr. received a pep-talk from Miguel Montero during the season and is a potential centerpiece for the Cubs according to Gordon Wittenmyer.
RHP Donn Roach spent the first half of the season in the Cubs’ organization. Roach was claimed off waivers by the Reds when the Cubs designated him for assignment. And the Blue Jays picked him up off waivers in August from the Reds. Roach has elected free agency according to Baseball America. Roach was 7-2 in 15 starts with the Iowa Cubs prior to making one appearance with the Cubs in St. Louis. Roach allowed 26 runs, 23 earned, on 83 hits with 16 walks and 33 strikeouts in 89 innings for the I-Cubs (2.33 ERA, 1.11 WHIP).