Family Feud at Camelback Ranch

Trayce Thompson crushed a towering home run and the White Sox scored five runs in the 6th to overcome a 3-1 deficit, as the Cubs dropped a 7-4 decision to their crosstown rivals in AZ Instructional League action at Camelback Ranch this afternoon.


In Chicago, “Crosstown Classic” means North-side versus South-side, but in Arizona it’s East-side (Cubs) versus West-side (Sox) when the two Windy City adversaries clash.


18-year old Reggie Golden (Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick out of Wetumpka HS - Wetumpka, AL) had an eventful day, dropping a fly ball in RF for a two-base error in the bottom of the 1st inning (his third dropped fly ball in a week), striking out on three pitches (swinging) leading-off the top of the second, and doubling-up a baserunner at 1st base 9-3 to help Austin Reed escape a third inning jam, before launching an opposite-field solo HR--against the wind--in the 5th.


In addition to Golden’s HR, Evan Crawford tripled, scored two runs, and stole a base (the speedy Crawford was acquired by the Cubs from SF this past August in the Mike Fontenot deal), and 18-year old Venezuelan bonus baby Willson Contreras mashed a solo HR off the scoreboard beyond the LF fence. But it just wasn't enough.


Cubs 2010 9th round draft pick RHP Kevin Rhoderick (Oregon State) had another fine outing, striking out the side in his one inning of work, as he just blew the Sox hitters away.


Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1a. Evan Crawford, CF: 1-3 (E5, 4-3, 3B, 2 R, SB)
1b. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-1 (K)
2. Gioskar Amaya, SS: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, K, RBI)
3a. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-3 (4-3, 1-3, F-8)
3b. Max Kwan, C: 0-1 (K)
4. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 2-4 (1B, F-9, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-2 (K, F-9)
5b. Willson Contreras, 3B: 1-2 (P-5, HR, RBI, R)
6. Reggie Golden, RF-CF: 1-4 (K, HR, P-6, 6-3, RBI, R)
7. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
8. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, K, BB)
9. Delbis Arcila, DH #2: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3, K)
10. Oliver Zapata, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 4-3, 1B)


PITCHERS:
1. Austin Reed: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 46 pitches (29 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Ben Wells: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 13 pitches (6 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Starling Peralta: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 25 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 22 pitches (11 strikes)


ERRORS: (3)
1. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped fly ball - two base error allowed batter to reach base)
2. P Hunter Ackerman E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base - allowed runner to advance to 3rd base)
3. C Max Kwan E-2 (errant throw to 1st base after fielding swinging bunt in front of home plate - allowed batter to reach base - eventually scored unearned run)


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Micah Gibbs: 1-2 CS
Max Kwan: 1 E (see above)


OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
Reggie Golden doubled runner off 1st base 9-3 after L-9 out
Oliver Zapata doubled runner off 2nd base 7-4 after L-7 out


=================================================


ATTENDANCE: 19 (mostly scouts)


WEATHER: Cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Micah Gibbs hasn't done anything statistically since signing that would indicate he can hit a lick. Please tell me he looks better than his record indicates. Also, I probably missed this but who is Max Kwan and where did ne come from?

Submitted by chuck on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:12pm.
Micah Gibbs hasn't done anything statistically since signing that would indicate he can hit a lick. Please tell me he looks better than his record indicates. Also, I probably missed this but who is Max Kwan and where did ne come from?

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CHUCK: Micah Gibbs improved his hitting enough from 2009 to 2010 to where he was the leading hitter among starting position players at LSU in 2010 (388/438/592), but there was a red flag in his folder because he hit only .212 with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League in 2009.

So far in pro ball Gibbs has hit more like he did in the Cape Cod League in 2009 than LSU in 2010. In 169 PA combined between AZL Cubs and Boise in 2010, Gibbs hit just 197/268/243 (and 13/33 BB/K), with seven doubles and no HR.

He is showing more patience and hitting with more power so far at Instructs (211/400/422 with 5/5 BB/K in 25 PA, with a double and a HR). He has also thrown out four of six base stealers (67%), which is better than was advertised (21% combined at AZL Cubs and Boise). He definitely has some XBH power when he gets the bat on the ball, and he has improved his hitting some in Instructs, but he still has a ways to go. I do think he will be the #1 catcher at Peoria in 2011.

Max Kwan was signed as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) college senior by the Cubs in August to add catching depth in the low minors. He started his college career at Tulane before transferring to the University of Washington, but he missed two full seasons and large parts of two others due to injuries. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners out of HS in June 2005, however, and was considered a pretty good catching prospect at that time (before he got hurt). The Cubs probably had an old scouting report on him from when he was in HS and decided they would give him a chance to play pro ball. He's a big kid (6'3 225) and he has some power, but he also isn't a very good hitter, and his defense needs work, too.

Kwan is 23 years old and will turn 24 in December, so he doesn't have much time to prove himself.

Very informative, as always

5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
---
Casey looks real good on paper, how about in person?

Submitted by Cubster on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:54pm.
5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
---
Casey looks real good on paper, how about in person?

==================================================

CUBSTER: Casey Harman is a soft-tossing lefty whose two-seam fastball tops out at 88. He also throws a nice change-up and a little slider. He occasionally drops down sidearm, and I wouldn't be surprised if he can throw a ball while standing on his head, too. He is the epitome of the "crafty lefty." Guys like that often will do well in the low minors because they can toy with young hitters, but their stuff usually catches up with them at AA and AAA.

Still, there are pitchers like Harman in the big leagues, his stuff was good enough to beat #1 ranked Arizona State in the College World Series last June, and he was the #1 starter ("Friday Night Starter") at Clemson this past season.

The Cubs liked him enough that they gave him 5th round money ($150K) to sign, even though he fell to the 29th round due to signability issues (he made it known in advance that he would go back to Clemson for his senior season if he didn't get Top 5 round money, even though most scouts had him rated as just a 10th round talent at best).

PHIL: I believe you had addressed this before, but are there "stoppages of play" in the AZL for "teaching moments"? Or are things status quo?

Submitted by The E-Man on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:36pm.
PHIL: I believe you had addressed this before, but are there "stoppages of play" in the AZL for "teaching moments"? Or are things status quo?

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E-MAN: They don't stop play during an inning, but a lot of times the instructors meet with the players coming off the field to discuss what just happened. But they don't do anything during an inning while play is in progress.

One exception was last year, when Rickey Henderson was an outfield instructor for the A's, and he actually stood in the outfield with the LF, CF, or RF DURING THE INNING and provided the player with real time instruction. (Or maybe he was regaling the players with old war stories, I don't know). But it was sort of like "Angels in the Outfield," except in this case it was Rickey in the Outfield.

Last week Reggie Golden was on deck and he failed to go to home plate and "coach" a runner coming into score whether to stand-up or slide (the runner scored standing up but just barely beat the throw), and Golden and all the other Cubs players were apparently provided with a "teaching moment" about it prior to the next game, because the next time it happened the batter on deck (Jae-Hoon Ha) came running up to home plate like a crazy person and made sure to tell the runner to slide.

not surprisingly, Rangers DFA Rich Harden

the bigger they are the...

he didn't make their ALDS roster, then whammo.

I see towel drills in his future.

As always, great stuff AZ Phil. I have a quick question about Ben Wells. Has he maintained his improved stuff from his senior year? If I recall correctly, he was a 89-90 mph guy with a decent secondary offering the summer before his senior year. However, reports were that he added about 4-5 mph on his fastball his senior year, to where his was sitting 92-93, while routinely touching 95. Is Wells still enjoying that type of fastball velocity? Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:06am.
As always, great stuff AZ Phil. I have a quick question about Ben Wells. Has he maintained his improved stuff from his senior year? If I recall correctly, he was a 89-90 mph guy with a decent secondary offering the summer before his senior year. However, reports were that he added about 4-5 mph on his fastball his senior year, to where his was sitting 92-93, while routinely touching 95. Is Wells still enjoying that type of fastball velocity? Thanks in advance.

====================================

HRUBES20: Ben Wells hadn't pitched since May, so he has been brought along very slowly at Instructs, with a low pitch count (about 15 per game). So his stuff (and velocity) is where it would be in maybe the second week of Spring Training.

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 25 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 6 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 47 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 45 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 58 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 20 hours 6 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 20 hours 12 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 30 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 21 hours 6 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 24 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 26 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 44 min ago view