Your 2011 AZIL Cubs!
Here is the 2011 Cubs Arizona Instructional League roster.
The first AZIL league game for the Cubs will be this Friday at Fitch Park versus the Brewers.
The 47-man AZIL Cubs roster features eight players who will be making their professional debut, including 2011 11th round draft pick ($1.275M bonus) OF Shawon Dunston, Jr (Valley Christian HS - San Jose CA), 14th round draft pick ($2.5M bonus) RHP Dillon Maples (Pinecrest HS - Southern Pines, NC), 15th round draft pick catcher Justin Marra (Canadian Junior National Team), and 35th round draft pick RHP Ian Dickson (Lafayette College), recently-signed NDFA RHP David Henrie (Trinidad State JC), 16-year old switch-hitting $1.6M Venezuelan bonus baby catcher Mark Malave, 16-year old $1.1M Dominican bonus baby SS Luis Acosta, and 16-year old Curacao LHP Christopher Pieters ($350K bonus).
Another seven players will be making their U. S. debut, including DSL Cubs RHPs Jose Arias and Alexander Santana, 3B Jeimer Candelario, SS Carlos Penalver, and outfielders Jeffrey Baez and Eliecer Bonne (a 24-year old Cuban defector who signed with the Cubs this past spring), and 17-year old Italian catcher Alberto Mineo (who hit 270/333/338 in 31 games played at the MLB Australian Academy Program this past summer).
Besides Dunston, Jr, Maples, Marra, and Dickson, 13 other 2011 Cubs draft picks at Instructs include SS Javier Baez (1st round), 1B Dan Vogelbach (2nd round), 2B-OF Zeke DeVoss (3rd round), RHP Tony Zych (4th round), RHP Tayler Scott (5th round), C Neftali Rosario (6th round), OF Garrett Schlecht (9th round), INF Danny Lockhart (10th round), C Rafael Lopez (16th round), LHP Andrew McKirahan (21st round), 1B Rock Shoulders (25th round), RHP Michael Jensen (26th round), and OF Taiwan Easterling (27th round).
In addition, 25-year old 6’4 245# OF Matt Spencer is being converted to a LHP. Spencer was a two-way player (LHP-OF) in HS and in his first two years at the University of North Carolina (before transferring to Arizona State), so he is not a stranger to the mound.
Spencer was one of three players acquired from the Oakland A’s in the Jake Fox deal a couple of years ago, and he played 1B and all three OF spots for Tennessee and Iowa in 2011, hitting a combined 246/319/419 with 14 HR & 70 RBI between AA and AAA (but only 188/260/246 in 27 games at AAA). He also got into two blow-outs as a pitcher (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R 3 BB, 1 K).
2011 CUBS ARIZONA INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:
ACTIVE LIST (47):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Kyler Burke (ex-OF)
* Frank Del Valle
* Andrew McKirahan
* Christopher Pieters
* Zac Rosscup
* Matt Spencer (ex-OF)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
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!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!