Remember the Alamo!
Tyler Alamo blasted a two-run home run over the LF fence and onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead, and Kelvin Freeman, Shawon Dunston Jr, Jacob Hannemann, Jeimer Candelario, Yasiel Balaguert, and Jordan Hankins drilled six consecutive two-out hits to highlight a five-run 6th, as the Cubs hammered out 17 hits and drubbed the Angels 10-3 in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
The 6'4 Alamo was the Cubs 2013 24th round pick out of Cypress HS in Cypress, CA, and the Cubs gave him an "overslot" $100K bonus to convince him to give up his opportunity to play college ball at D-1 powerhouse Cal State - Fullerton.
Eric Aguilera belted a two-run triple and then scored himself on an Andrew Ray SF to account for all three Angel runs.
Cubs 2013 3rd round draft pick Jacob Hannemann (right elbow ligament sprain) saw his first game action today in nearly two months, serving as a DH and hitting second in the lineup. He reached base three times in five PA on two singles and an HBP. He also stole a base.
After achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and serving two years on an LDS mission after graduating from high school, the Hawaiian-born Hannemann enrolled at BYU, where he joined his younger brother Micah on the Cougar football team (Jacob played cornerback) while also playing CF on the baseball team (WCC Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger first-team Freshman All-American). Because he was 21 years old when he started college, Hannemann was the rare "draft-eligible freshman." He is a hyper-aggressive player, running the bases and playing outfield defense with a "crash & burn" style that you often see when a football player (especially one who plays defensive back) plays baseball.
I would say as things stand right now, the Kane County Cougars 2014 Opening Day outfield looks to be Dunston-Hannemann-Balaguert in LF-CF-RF, and if so, that could be a very good outfield.
The top pitching performance of the day was delivered by Cubs starting pitcher Jose Arias, who tossed three dominating innings of no-run/no-hit ball with four strikeouts. The 22-year old 6'6 right-hander features a 94 MPH fastball, a plus-slider, and an improving change-up, and he will very likely be a member of the Kane County starting rotation in 2014 (could even be the ace of the staff), although if he throws in Minor League Camp next March like he has so far at Instructs, it is not inconceivable that he could make the Daytona rotation out of Spring Training.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 2-3 (K, BB, BB, 1B, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
2. Jacob Hannemann, DH #1: 2-4 (HBP, K, 1B, 1B, K, R, SB)
3. Jeimer Candelario, DH #2: 2-4 (BB, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, F-9, 2 R, RBI)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 3-5 (K, 1B, 5-3, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
5. Jordan Hankins, 3B: 2-4 (P-4, HBP, 1B, 1B, F-9, RBI)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (BB, 6-4-3 DP, 4-3 DP, 6-3, R)
7a. Tyler Alamo, C: 1-2 (HR, K, R, 2 RBI)
7b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (F-7, K)
8. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 6-3, R, SB)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-3 (K, 1B, BB, 1B, R)
10. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 2-4 (K, 1B, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI)
1. Jose Arias: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/FO, 34 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Dillon Maples: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (16 strikes)
3. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 0/3 GO/FO, 32 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Zack Godley: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 3
1. P Dillon Maples - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base)
2. 3B Jordan Hankins - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Tyler Alamo: 1-1 CS
2. Alberto Mineo: 1-2 CS
ATTENDANCE: 22 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80's
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.