Minor League Stat Gazing

A quick look at how some of our minor leaguers are doing with less than a month to go on the minor-league season. My apologies in advance for any typos in the stats.

Iowa - AAA (70-52 1st place by 6 games)
(note: assuming they hang on, it's likely that most of the September call-ups will wait until the Iowa Cubs playoff run is over, although I think Koyie Hill will get called up immediately to give the Cubs a 3rd catcher.)

Micah Hoffpauir 28 .362 .384 .751 1.135 237 19 0
Jason Dubois 29 .323 .417 .715 1.132 218 22 1
Josh Kroeger 25 .305 .374 .520 .894 412 13 9
Felix Pie 23 .289 .332 .478 .810 276 8 7
Koyie Hill 29 .281 .355 .492 .847 355 14 3


Justin Berg 24 83 43 45 10 5.75
Randy Wells 25 97.2 82 29 13 4.74
Michael Wuertz 29 12.2 20 6 2 4.97

Notes: Hoffpauir was just named PCL player of the week. Felix Pie was out with another injury to his hand for about a week but has recently returned. He has hit .359 over his last 10 games played. Justin Berg was acquired in the Matt Lawton trade to the Yankees in 2005.

Tennessee - AA (25-25 in the 2nd half, 7 GB in 2nd place; 52-68 overall)

Nate Spears 23 .303 .398 .437 .835 406 6 5
Blake Lalli 25 .286 .324 .486 .810 74 3 0
Welington Castillo 21 .291 .353 .430 .783 175 4 0
Tyler Colvin 22 .247 .307 .410 .717 516 12 7
Sam Fuld 26 .244 .343 .360 .703 304 4 2


Greg Reinhard 25 59 58 24 5 3.51
Donald Veal 23 126.1 100 72 14 4.27
Jose Ceda 21 24 30 12 2 2.63
Casey Lambert 22 21.1 16 6 0 2.95

Notes: Reinhard was acquired in the Jae-kuk Ryu deal last year from Tampa Bay. Spears was acquired from Baltimore with pitcher Carlos Perez for Corey Patterson. Lalli had a .913 OPS in 261 PA's for Daytona before being promoted and has played split duties between catching and first base. (UPDATE:) He was demoted back to Daytona yesterday. I have no idea what's wrong with Sam Fuld's legs. While never a burner, he'd steal 10 to 20 bases and keep it above 75%. He's been caught five times in AA with just 2 successful swipes.

Daytona - Hi-A (27-20 in 2nd half and tied for first; 62-55 overall)

Marquez Smith 23 .250 .336 .400 .736 113 2 0
Tony Thomas 22 .265 .317 .408 .712 426 7 20
Ryan Harvey 23 .231 .309 .394 .703 182 6 1
Russ Canzler 22 .278 .332 .458 .790 316 9 6


Jeremy Papelbon 25 64.2 49 24 2 2.92
Marco Carillo 21 115.2 71 33 9 2.88
James Russell 22 30.2 17 9 3 3.82
Jordon Latham 21 7 5 2 1 5.14
Blake Parker 23 14.1 15 6 0 5.02
Jay Jackson 20 4 9 1 0 0.00

Notes: Carillo is now up in AA and has had one start where he threw five innings and gave up four runs. Russell got sent back to Daytona after putting up a 6.36 ERA in AA. Marquez Smith had an .838 OPS in Peoria in 241 PA's before being promoted with 14 HR's. Latham threw up a 1.93 ERA in Peoria before getting a promotion with 59 K's in 60.2 IP. Parker had a 1.33 ERA in Peoria with 51 K's in 47.1 IP and just 2 HR's allowed. He also had a brief emergency call-up to Iowa earlier in the season. Jay Jackson (full name is Randy Jackson) was the Cubs 9th round pick in the 2008 draft out of Furman University and struck out 37 in 24 IP in Peoria before being promoted. The righty now has 60 K's in his minor league career, against just 7 BB's and 4 HR's in 37 IP.

Peoria - A (25-25 in the 2nd half, 5.5 GB tied for 5th place; 55-63 overall)

Luis Bautista 23 .325 .373 .545 .918 279 11 3
Brandon Guyer 22 .278 .345 .533 .878 291 12 18
Jovan Rosa 20 .290 .349 .438 .787 459 7 1
Rebel Ridling 22 .183 .235 .349 .584 119 4 1
Josh Harrison 21 .241 .279 .259 .538 61 0 4


Jake Muyco 23 24.1 14 2 3 2.22

Notes: Ridling was drafted in the 25th round out of Oklahoma State in the 2008 draft and had a 1.061 OPS in 80 PA with 4 HR's for Boise before being promoted. Harrison, the Cubs 6th round pick this year, had a .971 OPS in Boise before being promoted and stole 12 bases along with 11 doubles in 144 PA's.

Boise - Short-Season A (31-23, 7 GB in 2nd place)

Drew Rundle 20 .300 .387 .567 .954 141 5 2
Ryan Keedy 22 .366 .455 .488 .943 203 2 0
Ryan Flaherty 22 .316 .396 .537 .933 154 5 2
Josh Vitters 18 .337 .373 .512 .847 185 4 0


Dan McDaniel 20 22.1 34 11 1 0.40
Andrew Cashner 21 5.2 5 12 1 12.71
Mark Pawelek 21 24.2 21 19 0 6.20

Notes: Cashner has had three appearances for Boise; 1.2 IP with 4 BB/3 K, 1.0 IP with 5 BB/0 K, and 3.0 IP with 3 BB/2 K.

AZL Cubs - Rookie League (7-6 in the 2nd half, 3 GB in 4th place; 25-16 overall)


not to nitpick too much, but one important set of stats missing from hoffpower's numbers are the so/bb which raises a bit of a warning...

32k, 11bb, 221ab.

he's a swinger. not in that scarey 70s way either...at least i hope...

quality of contact is going to be pretty important to his game.

then again i dunno if anyone expects him to do much more than pinch hit, spot start, and put the ball in play with a touch of power anyway.

yeah, it was already getting too time consuming, but BB/SO ratio for hitters is always worth looking at.

yeah, not critiquing the piece you wrote, really...just adding to it.

he's an exciting player who's had some interesting pro ABs.

32K's in 237 PA's isn't much to worry about when you're slugging .700+.

it's the 11bb i'm more woried about.

that along with the low K totals points to a guy who's entire hitting game is gonna rely on quality of contact.

that said...usually what people are looking for in bench riding late inning power hitter is a person who can put a ball in play and/or put it in the OF deep enough to move runners. he seems to be that.

have to imagine he'll show up on most top 10 lists with those peripheral numbers.

Also, Freddy Garcia signs with the Tigers.

Couple of notes: according to Daytona's web site, Blake Lalli was demoted to Daytona yesterday.

Brandon Guyer is only 22, not 29.

Ryan Flaherty only has 136 at bats at Boise.

Thanks for the write up. It's great to see all those stats at one place. Nice and easy to compare.

thanks...typos as I said, just kept cut and pasting the previous table and modifying.

It's 154 PA's for Flaherty fwiw and thanks for the Lalli note. 

Very small sample size, but Cashner's BB totals are disappointing, given that my impression was that he was a fairly polished college pitcher. Hopefully, it's just nerves and/or an adjustment to being on his own after college life.

Did I miss Guzman's numbers in there?

sorry, Guzman has only pitched 5 innings in Daytona so I didn't think it was worth mentioning, but 5 IP, 6 K, 1 BB, 3.60 ERA, 0 HR.

Just got promoted to AA and will start tonight, certainly on a limited pitch count. 

Great writeup....thanks!

It seems to me the cupboard looks pretty bare compared to other teams top prospects. At least we have a few young players on the team (Soto, Theriot, Cedeno, Fontenot, Smardzija) that we can control for a while. Seeing the stats, do you have a top 10 list in mind when accounting for this years performances? It seems like we still are hoping for Vitters to come up big but the rest have serious flaws (Colvin, Ceda, Pie, Cashner) at this point....very interested in a top 10 projection.

Cashner has thrown 5 innings. I am pretty sure that we cannot say that he has "serious flaws" after just five innings.

my usual forays into prospect lists turn out ugly, but whatever. If we're going to ignore Samardzija and Pie as prospects, then yeah, it's pretty slim, especially for upper-level talent. And lower-level talent has a way of flaming out.

Here's a top 11 and the order doesn't mean much. Think of it as 11 guys I'm going to keep my eye on...

Josh Vitters
Jose Ceda
Jay Jackson
Andrew Cashner
Ryan Flaherty
Rebel Ridling
Blake Parker
James Russell
Jordon Latham
Welington Castillo
Tyler Colvin 

If I was giving letter grades, I'd say Vitters is an A-, Ceda a B+. If I I was just looking at Jay Jackson's numbers, I'd give him an A- as well, but I don't know a damn thing about the guy. Everyone else is B- to C talent imo, but we'll see, Ridling's power looks impressive.

I'll give honorable mentions to Marquez Smith, Jovan Rosa, Dumas Garcia, Jake Muyco, Alex Maestri, Micah Hoffpauir and Casey Lambert based mostly on what AZ Phil says. 

And while Hoffpauir's numbers sure have been impressive lately, the fact that he's just got nothing going for him defensively, has shown sketchy plate discipline and is 28, makes me skeptical. Maybe he'll be a good bench bat next year, but it's a dicey proposition. I think he could do just as poorly as Ward with 1-2 AB's a week minus the IBB's.

As for the Ryan Ludwick comparison someone made earlier, Ludwick was injured most of his career. Hoffpauir doesn't really have that excuse to lean on. 


I'm selling Cashner short. Guys who can throw mid 90's or higher are better than B- to C talent. Give him a B+. I don't really care about the first five innings of his minor league career.


Hoffpauir's "just got nothing going for him defensively"

In the outfield, true. But I thought he was supposed to be better than average defensively at first base. Maybe AZ Phil can confirm.

Serious may have been a bit overblown....just trying to say we don't have any 5 star prospects that are rated as future stars by any of the publications. I'm guessing Vitters may be top 50 in baseball but the rest will not be in the top 100.

Thanks Rob -

That list looks a bit disturbing as you described....bare at the top and ok at the bottom but that seems to thin out REAL quick when they go to high A or AA ball. My guess for Baseball America next year will go like this (if they exclude Smardzija and Pie).

1. Vitters
2. Ceda
3. Cashner
4. Colvin
5. Veal
6. Flaherty
7. T.Thomas
8. Hoffpauir
9. W.Castillo
10. One of the pitchers we drafted in 08 (Shafer, Carpenter).

BA tends to give "credit" to the most recent draft class when an org doesn't have enough good players in the system to fill out the top 10 w/ strength.

I don't see Samardzija hitting 50 innings, he should make BA's list (and rank #2).

They're also in love with Welington Castillo. I suspect he'll be top 5. I think you could see Dae-Eun Rhee make their top 10 despite the Tommy John.

is Samardzija going to hit the service time limit and does BA consider that?

But if Samardzija and Pie were on that list, they'd be 1 and 2 imo. 

He won't reach the service limit and, either way, BA doesn't consider it (look at Joe Mauer who was the top prospect in baseball according to BA going into...2004 I think...even though he wasn't even considered a rookie).

Sickels would doubtlessly agree with most of your analysis here.

How about some respect for the guys that have worked their buts off in Mesa (baseball hell)? These guys face a different pitcher almost evey at bat and play a 9 inning game in that oven in Arizona (after a 2 hour practice).

AZ Phil has that covered....

But I put almost no stock in the numbers down there. 

You are right....Smardzija won't hit the limit and everyone will turn from skeptics to love-a-thon for the kid. I'd agree w/ the #2 ranking after seeing his fastball/splitter combo. If he can polish up a slider or curve he will be extremely tough!

It will be very interesting to see what they do with him - it will probably depend on what happens with Dempster......I'm personally hoping to resign Dempster and give Smardzija one more year in the pen. He can replace Marquis after his last contract year next season since we won't be able to trade him without eating a chunk of his contract.

Where is Az Phil these days....I miss his insights on the farm system?


There's a contact form if you hit the writers link up top. He seems to stop by when time allows 

Know anything about recent Dominican, Australian or Pac Rim signees.....it seems as though Searle may be a good prospect too?

I saw Searle in his last start off the Boise web site (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K) and he looked impressive. His fastball has nice movement and sink. His slider looked good too. I'd guess his FB was in the low 90s.

I really recommend the Boise Hawks videos for their home games. Vitters has a sweet swing, so does Flaherty and is brutal on the field, Carpenter throws really hard, etc. Sadly, Cashner hasn't pitched at home yet.

already knows...

Back in March, I asked Peter Chase about the players on this list of AZ PHIL's:

Hung-Wen Chen, P
Rafael Cova, P
Luis Figueroa, INF
Clark Hardman, OF
Yuri Higgins, P
Chris Rivera, P
Marc Sawyer, 1B
Chi-Hsiang Wen, OF

Here's what Peter told me:

Higgins and Rivera were released last week.

Sawyer was released in the off-season.

Cova will be on the field with us soon.

The rest of the guys are here.

Submitted by Timmer on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 4:45pm.

Hoffpauir's "just got nothing going for him defensively" In the outfield, true. But I thought he was supposed to be better than average defensively at first base.

Maybe AZ Phil can confirm


TIMMER: Micah Hoffpauir is at least average at 1B, maybe slightly above-average. I have seen him make some VERY nice plays there. He's lost in the outfield, though.

And I predict that OF Tyler Colvin, 2B Nate Spears, 3B Casey McGehee, RHRP Gregory Reinhard, LHSP J. R. Mathes, LHP Donald Veal, and RHRP Jesse Estrada  are the Cubs most-likely to be assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL this coming October. (Each of the five MLB clubs associated with the Solar Sox provide four pitchers and three position players).

The AFL is used by a lot of teams (including the Cubs) as a "tryout" for position players and pitchers who are "on the bubble" as far as being addded to the 40-man roster is concerned, and Spears, McGehee, Reinhard, Mathes, and Estrada fit that profile to a "T." (Colvin does not yet need to be added to the 40, and Veal will be whether he pitches in the AFL or not)

McGehee can play both 3B and catcher, and could have a future as an MLB back-up C-3B-1B-RHPH.

Spears doesn't really have the versatility to be a uility player, so for him it's probably either everyday 2B or bust. But he has had a very good season at Tennessee in 2008, and should be the everyday 2B at Iowa in 2009. Drafted and signed out of HS by the Orioles, Spears is only 23.

Reinhard has proven to be much more effective as a reliever than as a rotation starter, and he could have a future as an MLB middle-reliever, possibly as early as sometime in 2009.

Like Reinhard, the 6'8 275 Estrada has made it up to Iowa in 2008 as a reliever and the Cubs need to decide whether to add him to the 40-man roster post-2008 or not.

Mathes is the typical high OBA LHSP with a cutter who has to throw strikes to be effective, but the Cubs may want to think about protecting him on the 40 just so they can maybe trade him later.  

Donald Veal has had his ups & downs, but he certainly is one of he Cubs top pitching prospects. Six weeks in the AFL could help prepare him for ST with the big club and for an assignment to Iowa in 2009.

Mitch Atkins could get an AFL slot, too, but the Cubs may want to limit his innings, plus he's already a lock to get added to the 40-man roster post-2009. Atkins could be a minor league 20-game winner in 2008 (he is presently a combined 15-6 between Tennessee and Iowa).  .

And 1B-C Blake Lalli could get a slot in the AFL if the Cubs are asked to provide a catcher. The 25-year old Lalli (who was signed as a 5th year senior 3B-C out of Gardner-Webb in 2006) has been catching a lot more lately, and he has thrown out 50% of opposing base stealers (16-32 CS) in occasional starts behind the plate in 2008. If he can hit at AAA like he has at Daytona and at AA, he could have a future as a back-up C-1B-LHPH in the big leagues.

Colvin (who won't be 23 until next month) has been on fire at AA Tennessee the last couple of weeks (357 BA and 738 SLG with three HR, three doubles, two triples, and 13 RBI in 43 PA so far in the month of August, plus three OF assists) after he stopped trying to go deeper into the count and went back to his aggressive first-ball fastball approach (he has only one walk and 5 K in his last 43 PA), and because the AFL is rated AA+, it is made for a young player like Colvin who is on the move from AA to AAA.

And if the Cubs re-sign 1B-3B Matt Craig to a minor league deal for 2009, he could (if there is room) get a Cubs AFL slot and an NRI to ST 2009 as part of the deal, just like Brandon Sing did a couple of years ago when he (like Craig) was eligible to be a minor league FA.

If Craig were to get a slot in the AFL, he would (at the very least) have an opportunity to show what he can do in front of scouts from every club, and even if the Cubs don't add him to their 40-man roster post-2008 (and it is unlikely that they will), he could get picked in the Rule 5 Draft if he has a strong showing in the AFL. A patient switch-hitting DH-type with power who can play a little 1B and 3B in a pinch, Craig is just the type of player who could be an attractive and cheap option off the bench for a budget-conscious MLB club.

Tennessee 1B-3B Kyle Reynolds is another possibility for the AFL, although he has had a poor season at AA in 2008 and is unlikely to receive much consideration for the 40-man roster after this season.

I didn't mention Micah Hoffpauir as a candidate for the AFL, because I figure he'll be with the Cubs in the post-season, either active, or available to be activated, depending on the series match-ups.

And RHP Randy Wells could pitch in the AFL. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster post-2008 no matter what, or else he can be a six-year minor league FA. So pitching in the AFL isn't going to make it or break it for him. That's why I would list him as less-likely to be assigned to the Solar Sox than Reinhard, Mathes, Veal, or Estrada.  

Angel Guzman line at AA Tenn:

3 IP, 3H, 0 R/ER, 0BB, 2K

solid. left with a 6-0 lead.



"Angel Guzman did his part Tuesday to put the Smokies in position to win. On a 45-50 pitch count as part of a rehab start with the Smokies, Guzman threw three scoreless innings. He allowed three hits while striking out two. The relievers did not fare as well, with Reinhard suffering the loss."

I think Guyer is becoming a serious prospect, as witnessed by the fact that in the past week he has played center, while Jonathan Wyatt has moved to left. The Cubs are looking for someone to play center, not left.

Guyer hits more home runs than Colvin and steals more bases than Pie. And he has hit one into the bleachers at Wrigley!

Guyer hits more home runs than Colvin and steals more bases than Pie. And he has hit one into the bleachers at Wrigley!


Yes he did, and he was impressive (also had a triple, iirc). I was fortunate enough to be there. It was a good preview to the Wrigley tornado game this last Monday -- wind started gusting straight out to center field above 40 mph for a few minutes before the rain came down in sheets to halt the game in the bottom of the ninth. We were hoping one of the Peoria players could just pop one up into the wind and watch how far it flew. Kane County noticed that, too, and stalled to avoid pitching to the Chiefs until the rain came.

One observation about Peoria RF Cliff Andersen -- he has a gun for a throwing arm. A couple of throws into the infield came in on a line and audibly popped into the shortstop's glove. I could clearly hear it in the back section of the upper deck.

Felix Pie was playing in this league called 'The National League' at the same age Guyer is playing in Low A.

Colvin skipped Low A and hit about as well as Guyer has in high A and AA (two poor hitting leagues) at the age of 21, a year younger than Guyer.

Don't get me wrong, I hope Guyer moves up to Daytona next week and becomes the next Mickey Mantle, but try to compare apples to apples.

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  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 3 hours 35 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 4 hours 8 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 7 hours 55 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 56 min ago view
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    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 8 hours 21 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 10 hours 48 min ago view
  • crunch 12 hours 30 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 16 hours 23 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago view