Two Teams for Every Cub (Beisbol City, Here We Come!)
CF Albert Hernandez singled and doubled and drove in two runs, and five Cubs pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter, as the DSL Cubs #1 defeated the DSL Tigers 7-3 yesterday afternoon on Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day at Baseball City, near Boca Chica, DR.
In other DSL Opening Day action, Miguel Gonzalez had three hits and drove in two runs, but the bullpen could not hold a 4-1 8th inning lead, as the DSL Orioles/Brewers co-op team took advantage of five errors to rally and edge DSL Cubs #2 5-4.
20-year old Albert Hernandez hit .324 with 17 extra base hits in 54 DSL games last year, and he will likely be the star of DSL Cubs #1 (managed by ex-Cubs 1B prospect Alberto Garcia) this year, but the three most highly-regarded Cubs prospects playing in the DSL right now are 3B Joel Altagracia and SS Carlos Henry (both signed as 16-year olds by the Cubs during the International Signing Period last Summer), and Venezuelan catcher Ricardo Parra, who also signed last Summer and who turned 18 yesterday. (RHP Jose Tineo was signed to a substantial bonus as a 16-year old in July 2007, but he is not presently on a DSL Cubs Active List).
Altagracia (signed for $140K) and Henry (signed for $110K) are now 17, and both are assigned to DSL Cubs #2, as is Parra. If all goes according to plan, I would expect to see all three of them at Fitch Park this time next year.
NOTE: 11 of the kids who played for Cubs DSL teams last season were invited to Fitch Park for Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training this year, including RHP Rogelio Carmona, Eduardo Figueroa, George Pineda, and Andres Quezada (ex-OF), LHP Marcos Perez and Melvin Vasquez, catcher Juan Medina, infielder Robert Bautista, and outfielders Francisco Guzman (now at Peoria), Jesus Morelli, and Jose Valdez. Although they spent most or all of the 2008 season playing in the DSL, Figueroa, Carmona, and Quezada have been at Fitch Park before, and Medina was invited to the AZ Instructional League last Sepember.
Here are the rosters for DSL Cubs #1 and DSL Cubs #2:
* bats or throws left
# bats both
DSL CUBS #1 (29 players):
* Welington Cruz
* Abner Ruiz
# Arismendy Alcantara
# Vismeldy Bieneme
Ramon Caraballo (hitting coach)
Leo Hernandez (pitching coach)
DSL CUBS #2 (30 players):
* Richard Leyba
Pedro Medina (ex-OF)
# Hector Suarez
# Rafael Disla
* Carlos Henry
# Jose Montecino
* Melido Perez
# Gregorio Robles
DSL CUBS – NOT ASSIGNED
NOTE: The following players were on DSL Cubs Reserve Lists prior to the start of Spring Training. A player on this list could be injured, or could be inactive for some other reason, or may have been released prior to the start of the DSL season.
* Alfredo Belizaire
Arturo Florentino (PED SUSPENSION)
* Carlos Galvez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jesse Lebron (PED SUSPENSION)
Jhon Rodriguez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jose Tineo (PED SUSPENSION)
# Ramon Bonilla
# Alexander Mejia (PED SUSPENSION)