Bote Debut a Thing of Beauty at HoHoKam Park
In just his second AB in his first professional game, 19-year old SS David Bote (Cubs 2012 18th round draft pick out of Neosho CC) blasted a three-run home run off the LF scoreboard, carrying the AZL Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the AZL Angels in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Bote also walked and stole a base, and he made a nice defensive stop & gun from shortstop.
In addition to Bote's heroics, Trey Martin singled twice, tripled, scored a run, and stole a base, and Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, helping the Cubs to a hard-fought victory.
With his hitting, baserunning, and Gold Glove defense in CF, Martin is making a strong case to get a ticket punched to Boise (he actually should have been there from the gitgo), and Rademacher is definitely a cut above your average JC player in all phases of the game, and so he could get moved up to Boise sooner rather than later.
LHP Brian Smith started the game for the Cubs and threw four strong innings (47 pitches - 30 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, with one strikeout and one GIDP. Smith struggled to throw strikes at Extended Spring Training and was relegated mostly to low-pressure "sim" games on Fitch Park Field #2, but he has shown improved command in his first two AZL outings.
6'5 245+ LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 8th round draft pick out of USC - Beaufort by way of UIC) threw a 1-2-3 9th with two strikeouts to record the save. Although he didn't need to use all of his pitches to record his three outs, Heesch has a plus breaking ball and change-up, and is especially effective when he can spot his fastball for strikes. He led NAIA in IP in 2012, so he could be a rotation workhorse down-the-road once he gets settled in pro ball.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.