More Than One High Point for Cubs Today
Jose Guevara bounced a two-run single back through the box past a drawn-in infield, driving-in what proved to be the winning run, as the EXST Cubs scored six runs in the last two innings to blow open a close game and defeat the EXST A’s 7-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Jesus Morelli extended his hitting streak to 19 games when he beat-out an 8th inning infield single (a dribbler to 3rd base), and RHP Chris Huseby showed no evidence of wildness, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three (all swinging).
Cubs Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita, Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller, and about a dozen Cub scouts were at Fitch Park today (and have been there for most of the week), working out high school and college players in preparation for next week’s Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”). One of the players who was at Fitch Park showing his wares was invited to play in today’s game, and he made the most of his opportunity.
High Point U. OF Nate Roberts hit lead-off and played CF for six innings, slashing an RBI single to left to put the Cubs on the board in the 3rd, then stealing two bases, before making a two-out over-the-shoulder running catch in deep right-center with his back to the infield to save a run in the 5th.
After graduating from Richmond Burton HS, the Spring Grove, IL native spent his freshman year at Northwestern University, before transferring to Parkland JC. He was selected by the Tampa Rays Rays in last June’s draft but did not sign, instead opting to transfer to High Point University in High Point, NC, where he was named 2010 Big South Conference Player of the Year after hitting 416/573/746 with 19 HR and 69 RBI and 36 SB (3 CS) in just 59 games. With all that on his resume, Baseball America ranked Roberts as just the 28th best draft prospect in the State of North Carolina.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Nate Roberts, CF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, RBI, 2 SB)
1b. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-1 (6-3)
2. Alvaro Ramirez, DH #1: 1-4 (K, F-8, 1-U, 1B, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (K, 4-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
4. Richard Jones, 1B: 2-4 (4-3, F-7, 1B, 2B, RBI, 2 R)
5a. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-2 (2B, 6-3)
5b. Wes Darvill, PH-DH: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
6a. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
6b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
7. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (L-9 DP, 1-3 SH, BB, BB)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (1-3, 4-2 FC, 4-6 FC, BB, RBI, SB)
9. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, F-9, P-4, R)
10. Runey Davis, LF: 0-0 (2-U SH, BB, BB, R)
1. Chris Huseby – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/1 GO/FO, 52 pitches (38 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 22 pitches (17 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Alvaro Sosa - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 25 strikes (14 strikes)
1. 3B George Matheus – E5 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 3B George Matheus - E5 (two-base overthrow error at 1st base allowed batter to reach 2nd base – did not score)
3. SS Arismendy Alcantara - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - did not score)
CF Kyung-Min Na threw out runner 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double to CF
WEATHER: Sunny and hot, with temperatures in the 90’s
The Cubs had a Camp Day yesterday, spending several hours taking BP, fielding practice, baserunning drills, PFP, and pick-off drills, before playing a nine-inning intrasquad game. The game was even more informal than the typical Cactus League Extended Spring Training game so it would be futile to try and make a box score out of it, but I can tell you that RHP (ex-SS & ex-LF) Dylan Johnston (2009 TJS rehab) got into his first game action of 2010, allowing two runs on three hits (two doubles and a triple) and a HBP in 1.1 IP, RHP Juan Yasser Serrano was extended to four innings, allowing four runs—but only one earned—on four hits, while retiring the last ten men he faced, and George Matheus had the big blow on offense, a bases-loaded triple off Serrano after a costly two-out error by 2nd baseman Arismendy Alcantara loaded the bases. In addition to Johnston and Serrano getting work, Austin Kirk threw four innings, Tzu-An Wang and Alvido Jimenez threw two innings a piece, and Danny Keefe, Andres Quezada, Jesse Ginley, and Jadel Mendez threw one inning each.
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!