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?

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

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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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 13 hours 5 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 13 hours 15 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 13 hours 42 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 13 hours 58 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 16 hours 50 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 19 hours 23 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 19 hours 55 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 19 hours 57 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 21 hours 54 min ago view