RHP Pierce Johnson is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Cubs’ system. Johnson is spending the fall in Arizona making up innings he missed during the regular season. And it had been a rough go in the Arizona Fall League for Johnson prior to last Thursday.
Pierce Johnson completed five shutout innings in a 1-0 loss to the Peoria Javelinas. Johnson allowed five hits, all singles, issued one walk and struck out four. Johnson made 64 pitches, 46 for strikes, in what was by far the best outing for him in the AFL.
A report from 2080 Baseball’s Tucker Blair indicated Johnson threw his fastball in the 91-93 mph range with a 89 mph cutter, a 83 mph change and an above average 83 mph curveball with tight spin.
Johnson is 0-2 in six starts with a 6.10 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. In 20 2/3 innings, Johnson has allowed 15 runs, 14 earned, on 24 hits (four home runs) with 12 walks and 15 strikeouts. Prior to his start Thursday, Johnson was 0-2 with an 8.04 ERA and 1.91 WHIP.
Jeimer Candelario just keeps on hitting. Candelario has reached base safely with either a hit or a walk in the last 10 games he’s played in. Candelario is riding an eight-game AFL regular season hitting streak.
Candelario’s homer run lasted two games earlier in the week but he has a pair of doubles in his last two games (eight at bats).
In 18 games, Candelario is batting .352/.382/.676 with eight doubles and five home runs for a 1.058 OPS. Candelario has walked four times with eight strikeouts in 71 at bats. Candelario is hitting .370/.414/.630 with a 1.043 OPS versus left-handed pitching in 27 at bats and .341/.362/.705 with a 1.066 OPS against right-handed pitching in 44 at bats.
Mark Zagunis dipped a little this week but is still getting on-base nearly half the time. Zagunis is hitting .250/.476/.364 in 15 games with a .840 OPS. Zagunis has walked 19 times with 11 strikeouts and he has two doubles with a home run in 44 at bats.
Cael Brockmeyer is 5-for-25 in seven games with a pair of doubles and two walks (.200/.286/.280) for a .566 OPS.
Rob Zastryzny is 2-1 in six games, five starts, with a 4.70 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Zastryzny has given up 12 runs on 22 hits (four home runs) with five walks and 25 strikeouts in 23 innings.
Corey Black has appeared in eight games out of Mark Johnson’s bullpen. Black is 1-0 with an 11.42 ERA and 2.19 WHIP. Black has allowed 13 runs, 11 earned, on 12 hits (one home run) with seven walks and six strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.
Another one of the young arms in the system that has been rather impressive this year, RHP David Garner has picked up in the Arizona Fall League where he left off with High-A Myrtle Beach. Garner is 1-0 in nine relief appearances with a 3.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. In 10 1/3 innings, Garner has surrendered four runs on 10 hits with five walks and 10 strikeouts … three of the runs and five of the hits he’s allowed this fall came in a single outing on Oct. 30.