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
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!