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
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!!!!!!