Third baseman Jeimer Candelario, Outfielder Mark Zagunis Promoted to Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs made several moves down on the farm on Wednesday afternoon that included well-deserved promotions for two of the top prospects in the organization.
3B Jeimer Candelario and OF Mark Zagunis were promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa. Albert Almora Jr.’s call up to the majors opened a spot in Iowa’s outfield for Zagunis. INF/OF David Bote was sent from Triple-A Iowa to High-A Myrtle Beach to open a spot in Iowa’s infield for Candelario.
INF Daniel Lockhart and OF Trey Martin were promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Tennessee.
INF Andrew Ely was promoted from Low-A South Bend to High-A Myrtle Beach and South Bend activated INF Sutton Whiting from the disabled list.
Earlier this week, RHP James Farris was promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Tennessee.
Jeimer Candelario is on an optional assignment this season. Candelario is on the Cubs’ 40-man roster and has performed at the plate much better than his batting average indicates.
In 56 games for Double-A Tennessee, the switch-hitting Candelario batted .219/.324/.367 with 17 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .690 OPS. Candelario walked 32 times with 46 strikeouts in 210 at bats. Candelario hit .264/.339/.406 with 12 doubles and a home run with a .745 OPS last month.
Mark Zagunis is an on-base machine. The converted catcher had a rough start to the 2016 season and made the right adjustments to earn the promotion. Zagunis hit .239/.354/.284 with three doubles and 11 walks for a .638 OPS in his first 19 games.
Zagunis batted .333/.444/.522 with a .967 OPS last month and was 8-for-22 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the six games before the promotion.
In 51 games for Double-A Tennessee, Zagunis hit .302/.408/.453 with 13 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .860 OPS. Zagunis had 30 walks and 36 strikeouts in 179 innings.
Daniel Lockhart hit .244/.290/.370 in 37 games for High-A Myrtle Beach with six doubles, three triples and a home run for a .660 OPS. Lockhart was not able to put up numbers at the High-A level similar to the ones he had in A-ball. Lockhart played his way on to the backend of several prospect lists a couple of years ago. Lockhart is only 23 years old and could benefit from being at a higher level.
Trey Martin played in 29 games for High-A Myrtle Beach and hit .233/.308/.267 with three doubles and a .574 OPS. Martin has shown a lot of improvement since starting the year 1-for-16 in six games.
Andrew Ely was named a starter on the Eastern Division team for the Midwest League All-Star team. Ely has had a good season hitting .295/.368/.398 in 44 games with 11 doubles and two home runs for a .766 OPS.
David Bote was with the Iowa Cubs and has already spent time at two levels of the Cubs system this season (Triple-A Iowa, High-A Myrtle Beach). Bote is hitting .302/.362/.488 in 18 games this season with two doubles and two home runs for a .850 OPS.
RHP James Farris, 24, made his Double-A Tennessee debut on Wednesday. Farris gave up two hits and struck out one in an inning of work. Farris was 1-2 in 17 games for High-A Myrtle Beach with eight saves in nine opportunities. Farris allowed eight runs on 21 hits with seven walks and 36 strikeouts in 30 innings for the Pelicans.