Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario is staying on track with his development after promotion to Triple-A Iowa
Jeimer Candelario has excelled at the plate since his promotion to Triple-A Iowa.
Candelario went 0-for-3 on Saturday night in Iowa’s 4-1 victory over Round Rock at Dell Diamond. Candelario’s 0-for marked just the second time in 10 games that he did not reach base with either a hit or a walk.
Entering play Saturday, Candelario was 8-for-26 in 10 games with five walks and seven strikeouts.
After 25 games for Triple-A Iowa, Jeimer Candelario has a .333/.452/.600 line with seven doubles, two triples and three home runs for a 1.052 OPS. Candelario is 25-for-75 with 14 walks and 18 strikeouts. And almost half of his 25 hits have gone for extra bases.
Mark Gonzales recently talked to Joe Maddon about Candelario. Maddon really liked what he saw from Candelario during Spring Training. Candelario hit extremely well in the spring with power from both sides of the plate. And defensively at third base, he showed range with a strong, accurate arm.
Toward the end of the exhibition season after Candelario had already been optioned to minor league camp, Joe Maddon called him up for the day to play Cactus League games. Candelario started several games at third which allowed Maddon to give Kris Bryant time in the outfield. On those days, Candelario was often in the same infield as Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell.
According to the Tribune, Candelario could “be a fit for several teams, including the Yankees, should the Cubs elect to add an impact reliever by the Aug. 1 trade deadline.”
The Cubs almost traded Candelario to the Phillies last summer. Mark Gonzales reported Candelario was part of conversations with the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz. Candelario’s stock has gone way up over the last calendar year.
This time last year, the Cubs were unsure if they would use a valuable 40-man roster spot on him. Candelario was on the bubble but a strong performance with Double-A Tennessee removed any questions the Cubs still had about where he was in his development. And his performance in the Arizona Fall League just reinforced the right decision was being made to add him to the Major League reserve roster.
Jeimer Candelario is being exposed to first base this season, a position he has not played in the Cubs’ system since 2011. Candelario played two games across the diamond for Double-A Tennessee before his promotion. In his short time with the I-Cubs, Candelario has played four games at first base, starting two of the four.
Candelario was a mid-season Southern League All-Star but could not participate in the game due to the promotion to Triple-A Iowa. Candelario will have a chance to play on the big stage next week.
Jeimer Candelario, along with Eloy Jimenez, will represent the Cubs in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which takes place on July 10 at PETCO Park in San Diego.
Jeimer Candelario’s stock has gone up this season. Will the Cubs keep the 22-year old switch-hitting third baseman in the organization? Or, will the front office use him to acquire players to fill holes on the big league roster? Those questions will likely be answered over the next three-plus weeks.