The Candy Man Can Do
Jeimer Candelario singled and doubled and knocked-in a run, helping the Cubs defeat the Angels 3-1 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe.
A 17-year old switch-hitting corner infielder who was born in New York City and raised in the Dominican Republic, Candelario has had an impressive Instructs so far, hitting 298/366/459 while playing mostly 3B and occasionally 1B (as he did today).
Signed by the Cubs for a reported $500K bonus during the International Signing Period in 2010, Candelario had a smashing pro debut, hitting 337/443/478 for DSL Cubs #2 during the 2011 regular season (he ended up tied for second in the league in both walks and RBI, and was 4th in OPS, 5th in doubles, 6th in OBP, and 7th in batting average), and while it’s not likely, it’s also not totally out of the realm of possibility that he could open the 2012 season at Peoria.
Candelario is an advanced hitter, especially from the left side. He has a large frame that could eventually translate to plus-HR power as he fills out. He already has plus bat speed from the left-side, with solid gap power. The only question is if he has the glove to play 3B, or if he might have to move to another corner (1B, LF, or RF) somewhere down the line.
With Candelario playing 1B, 16-year old switch-hitting Venezuelan bonus baby Mark Malave saw his first action at 3B.
A 6’3 wide-body who received a reported $1.6M signing bonus at the start of the International Signing Period this past July (and who probably would have been a highly-sought after HS recruit as an offensive tackle had he grown up in the U. S.), Malave will likely get playing time at C-1B-3B over the next few years while the Cubs figure out if he can remain a catcher and/or if he has the bat needed to play corner infield. He has raw power and a good eye at the plate right now (although inability to make consistent contact is an issue), and even if he remains a catcher, having the versatility to play 1B & 3B will come in handy on days he is not catching.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B-DH: 1-4 (1B, 2-U, 3-U, F-7, R, RBI)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS: 1-4 (2B, 3-U, 1-3, K, R)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 1B: 2-4 (4-3, 2B, F-9, 1B, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 1-4 (2B, K, P-5, 3-U, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, DH #2: 0-4 (K, 5-3, 6-3, 5-3)
6. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-3 (K, 4-3, 6-3)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, 4-3)
8. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
9. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, L-5, R)
10. Trey Martin, CF: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, SB)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1ST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Carlos Penalver, 2B: 0-1 (K)
1. Luis Liria: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Tayler Scott: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (24 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
4. Starling Peralta: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (19 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
5. Jose Arias: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (11 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
P Starling Peralta - E-1 (throwing error on sacrifice bunt attempt allowed batter to reach base safely)
Neftali Rosario: 0-3 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 90’s
deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.
Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?
NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.
If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.