Bryan Hudson Makes Pro Debut at Sloan Park

Tyler Brown singled, doubled, tripled, and scored a run, and Byron Murray belted a solo home run with one-out in the top of the 8th inning to break a 2-2 tie, as the AZL Giants edged the AZL Cubs 3-2 in Arizona League action Thursday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

P. J. Higgins (who collected two singles, a double, and a triple Wednesday night) clubbed a two-run HR in his first AB Thursday night to account for both AZL Cubs runs.

The Cubs 2015 12th round draft pick out of Old Dominion University, Higgins is a versatile player with all the earmarks of a first-class "super-sub," having played 2B-3B-SS so far for the AZL Cubs. Although he has yet to work behind-the-plate in pro ball, Higgins was a catcher in college, and so he will likely be assigned fo the Catcher Development Program next month at Instructs, where he can learn the finer points of the catching trade.    

18-year old 6'8 220 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) made his pro debut in the game, throwing 20 pitches (11 strikes) in the top of the 4th inning, before being relieved with two outs, two runs in, and a runner at 1st.

Hudson allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits (a rope-double lined off the LF fence and an infield single) and a walk. He also committed a balk and a throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 1st base, and failed to touch 1st base while attempting to retire the batter 3-1 on the infield single (should have been scored an E-1). He was working his fastball at 89-01 MPH, with a promising proto-curve. Hudson is all about "projectability," so don't expect him to rocket through the system. He is a long-term project.

20-year old left-handed hitting OF-1B Chris Pieters has finally arrived in Mesa from the DSL Cubs, after initially being assigned to the AZL Cubs at the start of the Arizona League season in June, only to remain in the DSL for the next two months (apparently due to a visa problem). He was the DH in Thursday night's game, going 1-4. He struck out in his first two AB (one swinging and one looking), before laying down what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt with no outs and runners at 1st & 2nd in the bottom of the 7th (when the AZL Cubs loaded the bases with no outs, only to come-up empty-handed thanks to a 5-2 FC and a F-9 DP). The bunt was so well-placed (down the 3rd base line) that Pieters reached base easily on a bunt single. He was retired on a game-ending 2-3 top-out in the bottom of the 9th in his fourth AB, however, leaving the potential tying run stranded on 2nd base.

The 6'3 Pieters (signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old out of Curacao in 2011 - $350K bonus) is a lanky "long-strider" with plus-speed and athleticism (similar to Rashad Crawford), and he is making the unusual conversion of LHP to outfielder in 2015, after posting an ugly 9.31 ERA and issuing 119 walks in 77.1 IP over three seasons 2012-14. And Pieters was having a fine debut season as a position player for the DSL Cubs, too, hitting 311/437/428 in 53 games (230 PA), and leading the DSL Cubs in OBP, walks, SB, and RBI. He was also 3rd in the DSL in OBP and 5th in SB.

Although Pieters made his "official" U. S. game debut in Thursday night's AZL game, he did attend AZ Instructs post-2011 as a 16-year old LHP, and made his AZ Instructs game debut on October 1st of that year, throwing a 1-2-3 inning.

Latin American Field Coordinator Dave Keller and the manager and coaches from the VSL Cubs are at Sloan Park this week (the VSL regular season ended last Saturday, and the VSL Cubs did not qualify for the playoffs), working with the AZL Cubs (half of the players assigned to the AZL Cubs are from Latin America).

Here is the abridged box score from Thursday night's game (AZL Cubs players only):

1.Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, K, F-9 DP, SB)
2. D. J. Wilson, CF: 1-4 (K, P-6, 1B, F-8, SB)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-2 (BB, F-7, 5-3 SH, 4-3, R)
4. P. J. Higgins, 3B: 1-3 (HR, F-8, BB, K, R, 2 RBI)  
5. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 1-4 (F-9, K, 6-3 DP, 1B) 
6a. Daniel Spignola, LF: 1-2 (F-9, 2B, BB) 
6b. Roberto Caro, PR-LF: 0-0 (5-4 SH) 
7. Yohan Matos, C: 1-3 (1B, K, SH-FC, F-8)
8. Chris Pieters, DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 2-3)
9. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-3 (3-U, 6-3, 5-2 FC)

1. Heath Dwyer: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 2/5 GO/FO, 41 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Bryan Hudson: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 BALK, 2/0 GO/FO, 20 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Carlos Rodriguez: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/0 GO/FO, 47 pitches (35 strikes) 
4. Santiago Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 0/3 GO/FO, 26 pitches (17 strikes) 
5. Ariel Ovando: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes) 

P Bryan Hudson: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)

Yohan Matos: 1-1 CS 

Yohan Matos - thrown out 9-2 trying to score from 3rd base on fly ball to RF


Can someone clue me in here on "proto-curve"?

Proto-anything (prototype) is the first experimental version of something that is promising, but needs to develop further over time. I think.

Makes sense, thanks. Just wanted to be sure it wasn't some specific way of throwing it like a spike or knuckle curve.

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  • Charlie 3 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Honestly, Urias guessed wrong on that one. But he stilled managed to make contact despite being way out in front, so that breaker must have rolled.


  • Charlie 3 hours 49 min ago (view)

    KB having a perfectly adequate KB stretch and it's a highlight. Sigh.

    Chafin may be reconsidering that jalopie after being the man on the mound when the wheels fell off in this one.


  • crunch 4 hours 47 min ago (view)

    i know we're only 10 games in and you can't get good numbers on that, but this is a full-team hitting slump aside from marisnick and his 12 PA.

    no one on this team is this bad, but all of them doing it at once is crazy.  bad ABs, tons of swings and misses, crap contact...

    upon reflection (and another hit in the 9th) i need to give props to k.bryant...he's a 1-man show right now for the regulars.


  • Eric S 5 hours 35 min ago (view)

    I can pause it for pinch hitting - otherwise I'm locked in as there's nothing else to see here


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Me too, Eric Sogard


  • Eric S 5 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Well, Chafin ... not your night I guess ... looks like its time to catch up on the latest installment of Falcon and the Winter Soldier


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 49 min ago (view)

    It's kinda starting to feel like this team sucks? But yes this game definitely sucks.


  • crunch 5 hours 52 min ago (view)

    justin steele warming...seems like his debut is on tap.

    also, this game sucks.


  • Eric S 5 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Luis Urias is not impressed ūüė©


  • crunch 8 hours 30 min ago (view)

    steele, wieck, and strop called up.

    btw, strop is a "replacement player" in this move and isn't subject to 40-man roster waiver rules


  • crunch 8 hours 57 min ago (view)

    cubs covid...chris young tested positive.  j.adam, d.winkler, and b.workman are now on the "injured list"


  • Charlie 9 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Sorry that I couldn't access things for opening day and then got busy for the next couple series. Glad to have a baseball routine to share with you all again!


  • Sonicwind75 9 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Guessing I'm a little late to the game on this; but just read Chafin's twitter about wanting to buy a cheap car to drive around Chicago. He seems like a good dude. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    RHSP Duncan Robinson (June 2019 TJS) has retired. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Rex Brothers and Tony Wolters reached five years of MLB Service Time this weekend, so Brothers now cannot be sent outright to the minors without his consent (he is out of minor league options) and Wolters (who has a minor league option left) now cannot be optioned or outrighted to the minors without his consent. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    It's not good to play bad teams early because they have the confidence and energy they won't have later in the season after they realize they suck and all is lost.