MiLB.com posted its organizational All-Stars for the Cubs which is always an interesting read. MiLB.com honors players not based on age or prospect status but the players that had the best season at each position.
The Cubs system has a lot of depth, and at each level. The years of waiting, and in most cases hoping, for one or two players to reach their potential are long gone. The Cubs have a stocked organization that is set-up to keep the big league team competitive for the foreseeable future.
Josh Jackson pointed out it would be “a logical assumption” that the Cubs minor league system had been exhausted this past season with the promotions of Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber but that logic would be wrong. “Name a position, and the Cubs have a strong bat there at some level of the minor leagues.”
This year’s organizational All-Stars does not include INF Christian Villanueva, who led the Cubs’ system in home runs (20) and RBI (95), or OF Jeffrey Baez, who led the organization in stolen bases (36), or Dan Vogelbach or Ian Happ.
The Cubs’ affiliates “combined for the third-best record in baseball, going 444-385 for a .536 winning percentage, of the six U.S. based clubs, four had winning records and Class-A Short-Season Eugen was 38-38.”
The Cubs’ High-A team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans won the Carolina League Championship.
Cubs 2015 MiLB Organization All-Stars
- C – Willson Contreras
- 1B – Jacob Rogers
- 2B – Arismendy Alcantara
- 3B – Jeimer Candelario
- SS – Javier Baez
- OF – Robert Garcia
- OF – Mark Zagunis
- OF – Billy McKinney
- Utility – Chesny Young
- RHP – Ryan Williams
- LHP – Justin Steele
- Reliever – P.J. Francescon
- C – Kyle Schwarber
- SS – Gleyber Torres
Jaron Madison, the Cubs’ farm director, provided very good information on each player … click on the link and take the time to read Madison’s comments.
Based on what Jaron Madison and Jason McLeod have said recently, the Cubs are still rather high on Arismendy Alcantara despite his down year. Madison explained that Alcantara has to understand “the type of dynamic player he needs to be offensively, using his speed and getting on base, being able to play small ball.” Madison pointed to Alcantara looking for a home run more than a double in the gap.
P.J. Francescon might have a chance in big league camp to show Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio what he is capable of out of the pen. Francescon had a very good season and if he’s not selected in the Rule 5 Draft what Madison said about the reliever could lead to a non-roster invite.
“He could have moved up to Triple-A sooner than he did, but we had a lot of guys at the Triple-A level doing well, so he got the opportunity a little later on and he continued to have success. He’ll come into Spring Training and we’ll try to get in as much work for him as we can, and we’ll make sure the big league guys see him, too, just to get him that exposure.”
P.J. Francescon was 4-2 in 42 relief appearances for Double-A Tennessee with a 1.69 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Francescon pitched in three games and made one start for Triple-A Iowa after he was bumped up at the end of the year. Francescon went a combined 4-2 with a 1.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. In 61 1/3 innings, the 26-year old right hander allowed 11 runs, 10 earned, on 42 hits with 21 walks and 57 strikeouts.