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