Cubs Minor Leagues

The minor league season ended over the weekend and here's how the lil' Cubbies fared.

(WHOOPS! - I guess Boise still has 2 games left. Close enough... )

A quick look at how some of our minor leaguers are doing with less than a month to go on the minor-league season. My apologies in advance for any typos in the stats.

Iowa - AAA (70-52 1st place by 6 games)
(note: assuming they hang on, it's likely that most of the September call-ups will wait until the Iowa Cubs playoff run is over, although I think Koyie Hill will get called up immediately to give the Cubs a 3rd catcher.)

Name Age BA OBP SLG OPS PA HR SB
Micah Hoffpauir 28 .362 .384 .751 1.135 237 19 0
Jason Dubois 29 .323 .417 .715 1.132 218 22 1
Josh Kroeger 25 .305 .374 .520 .894 412 13 9
Felix Pie 23 .289 .332 .478 .810 276 8 7
Koyie Hill 29 .281 .355 .492 .847 355 14 3

Pitchers

Name Age IP K BB HR ERA
Justin Berg 24 83 43 45 10 5.75
Randy Wells 25 97.2 82 29 13 4.74
Michael Wuertz 29 12.2 20 6 2 4.97

Notes: Hoffpauir was just named PCL player of the week. Felix Pie was out with another injury to his hand for about a week but has recently returned. He has hit .359 over his last 10 games played. Justin Berg was acquired in the Matt Lawton trade to the Yankees in 2005.

There isn't a whole lot going down today. The last-ever Hall of Fame game was to feature the Cubs versus the Padres this afternoon...and was poetically rained out. That'll save the Cubs from a freak injury at least.

To hold us over until the big Cubs vs Rays series tomorrow (imagine that, an IMPORTANT Cubs vs Rays series), reader Carlos sent me a link to a Len Kasper chat wrap on Baseball Prospectus from last week. He touches on his love of sabermetrics along with a bit of inside info on the personalities on the team. It's certainly worth a read.

I also would like to mention that the Cubs reached 20 games over .500 with the win yesterday. This is the soonest they've reached that mark since...1906, which is still the record for highest team winnng percentage in a season. Lou's 2001 Mariners did tie the 116 win mark, but had ten more games to do it (162 versus 152).

Some minor league info and run differential update after the jump...

When judging the performance of a prospect or minor league position player at the plate, player development people usually look most-closely at what the player has done over his last ten games rather than over the entire season, since the whole point of playing in the minor leagues is for a player to improve as the season progresses. (For starting pitchers, it's the last three starts, and for relievers, it's the last six outings).   

Here are the 20 hottest Cubs minor league position players at the plate over their last ten games (BA/OBP/SLG):

Four games into their season-opening eight game homestand the Iowa Cubs are off to a sputtering 1-3 start.

THE GOOD NEWS: Both Seans [Marshall and Gallagher], Neal Cotts, Eric Patterson and Matt Murton.

THE BAD NEWS: Micah Hoffpauir, Sam Fuld and Matt Murton.

Marshall started the opener and retired all nine batters he faced, six of them on strikes, as he pitch-counts his way back from an ill-advised audition for a spot in the Chicago bullpen.

The next night Gallagher tossed five economical innings, allowing only two hits and a run with one walk and five strikeouts.

Cotts went two perfect innings and fanned three in his only appearance so far.

In Saturday's day-night doubleheader you might say that Patterson rode a tandem cycle. After notching a single and a double in the matinee, he spanked a triple down the left-field line and pulled a homer over the scoreboard in right in the nightcap. He's been playing at second base.

Murton makes both lists because he's hit safely in every game and drawn a couple of walks to open at a .357/.471 clip, but all five hits are singles. He's scored once without driving in a run.

Hoffpauir tweaked an oblique in an exhibition tilt versus the University of Iowa and headed straight back to Arizona. He's expected back in another week or so.

Fuld is on the active roster but has played in only one of the first four games, going 1-4 when he patrolled CF in the opener of Saturday's DH. Probably not coincidentally, the weather Saturday afternoon offered easily the best playing conditions of the week.

Mark Holliman starts tonight in the opener of a four-game set with Albuquerque.

With Cubs Minor League Camp at Fitch Park ending on Sunday, the rosters for the Cubs four "full-season" minor league clubs (AAA Iowa, AA Tennessee, Hi-A Daytona, and Lo-A Peoria) are just about set.

Several players have been released or demoted over the past couple of days, including former Cubs top prospect Brian Dopirak.

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