Cubs Minor Leaguers

In his first start since throwing three perfect innings with eight strikeouts against the Cubs at Fitch Park on Monday, RHP Archie Bradley (7th overall pick in 1st round of 2011 draft) threw three innings of no run/no hit ball, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 3-1 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.


Micah Gibbs ripped a solo home run and an RBI single, Danny Lockhart had three hits including an RBI double, and six pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs whitewashed the Athletics 6-0 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.  


Six pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout with ten strikeouts, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 4-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.


Pinch-hitter Matt Jensen clubbed a two-run home run with one out in the top of the 9th to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead, and the Diamondbacks held-on to edge the Cubs 5-4 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.


19-year old 6’4 225 RHP Archie Bradley (Broken Arrow HS - Broken Arrow, OK) got the start for the D’backs, and threw three perfect innings with eight strikeouts. The only non-strikeout was a feeble broken bat 5-3 ground out.


I can certainly see why Bradley was the 7th overall pick in the 2011 June draft.


He is a beast.

Sean Jamieson and Max Stassi rapped RBI triples to highlight a three-run 1st inning and RBI singles to key a four-run 2nd, and Jordan Tripp and A. J. Kirby-Jones slugged solo home runs to provide the eventual margin of victory, as the Athletics withstood a late rally to edge the Cubs 10-9 in AZ Instructional League action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.

Here is the 2011 Cubs Arizona Instructional League roster.


The Cubs named outfielder Brandon Guyer their 2010 Minor League Player of the Year and Chris Archer was named the pitcher of the year.

Guyer and Archer are still competing for the Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League champioship that begins tomorrow against the Jackson Suns.

In 410 PA's during the regular season, Guyer hit 13 over the fence with a slash line of 344/398/588. He topped the Southern League in slugging percentage and finished 2nd in batting average. He was a 5th round pick by the Cubs in 2007.

Archer was one-third of the package received for dealing Mark DeRosa to the Indians before the 2009 season. The 21-year old put up a 2.34 ERA between AA and Hi-A in 28 games (27 of them starts). That includes an 8-2 record and 1.80 ERA at AA in 70 IP with 67 K's and 39 BB's. Overall, he ended up 15-3 with that 2.34 ERA in 142.1 IP with 149 K's, 65 BB's and just 6 HR's allowed and a 1.173 WHIP.

For as full of a list as I have been able to compile at this point of minor league players of the year, check out Wiklifield. Guyer and Archer have joined the esteemed ranks of Brian Dopirak, Kevin Hart, Eric Patterson, Micah Hoffpauir, Kyler Burke, Sean Gallagher, Rich Hill and so on (Geovany Soto at least earned one in 2007). If you can assist in filling out any missing info on that page or any other, feel free to drop me a line or throw it in the comments.

The St. Louis Cardinals magic number sits at 11 before game play started today. That means there is a slim shot they could be clinching against the Cubs this weekend. And whether they do it this weekend or next week or the last day of the season isn't really a big deal, but I'd rather avoid watching the spectacle and the future highlights. So here's a rundown of what would need to happen this week with the Cubs at Milwaukee for four and Cardinals at Marlins for three.

Former Peoria Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo pleaded not guily to two charges of felonious assault Wednesday morning in an Ohio courtroom. Castillo was part of that huge on-field brawl between the Chiefs and the Dayton Dragons this past July 24th, at one point firing a ball toward the Dayton dugout, only to have it sail over his target and hit a fan in the head. Castillo's apparent defense is that he never intended to hit the fan, who got a free concussion just for attending the game. Castillo faces up to 16 years in prison and a $30,000 fine if convicted.

Disgusting and idiotic...but feel free to enjoy it all over again.

Here on election day, I'm voting for none other than Arizona Phil. Anyone armed with so much information can't lead our country wrong. I can't wait for Chris Berman to get his post-election interview with Phil.

Strong commentary by Az Phil from the "Cubs make the First Trade of the Offseason" post. 

On newly acquired Ryan Buchter:

Ryan Buchter was drafted by the Nationals in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft, but he didn't sign, and instead went to a JC in New Jersey.

The Nats signed Buchter as a "Draft & Follow" in May 2006 (prior to the new CBA, clubs retained rights to their Rule 4 Draft picks until one week before the next year's draft), an indication that his draft stock had gone up after his year playing JC ball.

What probably happened is, the Cubs area scout in New Jersey "turned in" Buchter off his performance in JC in '06 ("turned in" being the term used by scouts when they recommend a player), but the Cubs never got a chance to draft him in 2006 because the Nats had already signed him as a DNF in May, although the Cubs probably kept his name on file for future reference should a trade be made with the Nationals at some future date.

For the second year in a row, Bill James has ranked the Cubs in the lower third in his top young talent inventory. Last year, the Cubs were 29th, this year they jumped all the way to 26th. He didn't even have the decency to rank Geovany Soto in the top 25 players under 30.

Bastard.

Here's the top 25:
1. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, age 24
2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins shortstop, age 24
3. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher, age 24
4. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman, age 25
5. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, age 24
6. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman, age 24
7. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, age 23
8. Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, age 26
9. Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop, age 25
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles right fielder, age 24
11. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals pitcher, age 24
12. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals third baseman, age 23
13. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, age 24
14. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop, age 23
15. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners pitcher, age 22
16. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox pitcher, age 24
17. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, age 22
18. John Danks, Chicago White Sox pitcher, age 23
19. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres first baseman, age 26
20. James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, age 24
21. Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop, age 25
22. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher, age 24
23. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers first baseman, age 25
24. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians center fielder, age 25
25. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman, age 24
My understanding, like all things James, is that he uses some statistical formula that incorporates age along with minor league and major league numbers and it doesn't seem like there's any room for defense in there (he uses Runs Created). Soto is probably still being penalized for just having one good minor league season, while some of the others on that list had more distinguished minor league careers. McCann would finish ahead of him just on the strength of already having a couple of plus major league seasons under his belt.
As for the Cubs 26th ranking, well don't fret, James has a ready-made excuse for the Cubs.

As James has noted often, “Competitive teams don’t have as much room to let young players thrash around, and consequently most of the top teams don’t show as having a lot of young talent. They may have the young talent; it just isn’t in the lineup yet.”

I believe James gives the players letter grades but I think you need to get the Bill James 2009 Handbook for that. So I'll give you my own...
Geovany Soto - A
Carlos Marmol - A
Rich Harden - A-
Carlos Zambrano - B+
Jeff Samardzija - B+
Felix Pie - B
Rich Hill - B-
Sean Marshall - B-
Micah Hoffpauir - B-
Angel Guzman - B-
Chad Gaudin - C+
Ryan Theriot - C
Casey McGehee - C-
Kevin Hart - C-
Ronny Cedeno - D+
I used the tried and true tested, "off-the-top-of-my-head" algorithm made famous by anyone who has ever gotten in an argument at a sports bar.

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