Kubs Korean Konnection Keeps Klickin'
Hak-Ju Lee stroked RBI singles in the 6th and the 8th to help carry the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the A’s Split Squad #1 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs, making his professional debut. The 18-year old right-hander showed no evidence of nervousness or inexperience, as he displayed pinpoint control while mixing a 91 MPH two-seam sinking fastball with a curve and a change-up, keeping the A’s hitters off-balance through the first two innings (K-s, K-s, 1-3 in the 1st, then K-s, 2B, 3-1, 4-3 in the 2nd). Kim received a reported $1.2M signing bonus earlier this year, believed to be the second-largest bonus ever given to an international player to date by the Cubs. (Only RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu got more)
Cubs 2010 9th round pick RHP Kevin Rhoderick also made his professional debut this morning, pumping mid-90’s gas and a killer slider at the A’s while striking out the first four men he faced, the first two after he entered the game with runners at 2nd & 3rd and one out in the 6th. Rhoderick was the closer at Oregon State the past three seasons, and was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2008. He suffered from inconsistency this past season, but If he can continue to throw the ball in subsequent outings as he did today, he will be racing fellow fireballin’ 2010 draft pick RHP Aaron Kurcz (10th round selection out of the College of Southern Nevada) to see who can move up the pipeline the fastest.
In addition to the fine debut outings by Kim and Rhoderick, RHPs Austin Reed (Cubs 2010 12th round pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) and Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round pick out of Jacksonville U.) threw two shutout innings a piece. Reed was recently named one of the Top 20 Prospects (#11) in the Arizona League (AZL) by Baseball America, the only AZL Cub to make the list.
The Cub defensive play of the day was a run-saving running catch on the warning track in the right-centerfield alley by CF Evan Crawford to close out the top of the 4th. (Possibly the fastest player currently in the Cubs system, Crawford was the gazelle the Cubs got back from the Giants in exchange for Mike Fontenot this past August).
17-year old 3B Dustin Geiger (2010 24th round pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) was hit on the hand by a pitch in the bottom of the 5th and had to leave the game. Hopefully nothing is broken.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Evan Crawford, CF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, K, 1-5 FC, R)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS-DH: 2-4 (L-5, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
3. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (K, K, 1B, 1B, RBI)
4. Max Kwan, C-DH: 0-3 (K, HBP, L-4, K, CS)
5a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (K, HBP)
5b. Willson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-2 (4-3, E4, R)
6. Micah Gibbs, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, BB, K)
7a. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, 6-4 FC, RBI, SB)
7b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
8. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, K, K, CS)
9a. Chris Huseby, LF: 1-3 (6-3, K, 1B)
9b. Pin-Chieh Chen, PH: 0-1 (5-3)
10. Marco Hernandez, DH-SS: 1-3 (K, E4, 1B, 2 R)
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (20 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 31 pitches (19 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
Max Kwan: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s
2010 CUBS INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:
ACTIVE LIST (47):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
* Jeff Lorick
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
# Engel Santana
* Justin Bour
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
* Logan Watkins
* Delbis Arcila
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata
I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.
Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.
I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.