Cubs Instructs Olympics at Riverview Park

The Cubs held their annual Instructs Olympics at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa Monday morning.

Coaches (seated at tables on the field) served as judges in events related to their particular coaching specialty.

As usual, Eugene Hitting Coach Ty Wright (located atop the tower between the four fields) provided the running play-by-play and background color on each contestant over the P. A. during the competition, and there was lots of music, too.  

CONTESTANTS: Carlos Diaz, Michael Cruz, Jhonny Pereda, Gustavo Polanco, and Sam Tidaback 
Each catcher had to block several pitches in the dirt, then field a throw from the outfield and tag a "baserunner" coming into score (the baserunner represented by a stuffed duffel bag pulled across home plate by a coach), then field three bunts in front of home plate and make an accurate throw into a small net stationed at each base, and finally catch a pop-up, all within 90 seconds.  
GOLD MEDAL: Jhonny Pereda (it wasn't even close, so no other medals were awarded)

CONTESTANTS: Luis Ayala, Jose Gutierrez, Fernando Kelli, Kwang-Min Kwon, Connor Myers, Chris Pieters, Jonathan Sierra, and D. J. Wilson 
Each outfielder had to catch six fly balls and attempt to throw the ball into a small net set-up at home plate, then each outfielder had to lie face-down in the outfield and get to his feet when ordered to do so and locate and catch two fly balls launched into the outfield within two seconds of each other, completing all tasks within 90 seconds.   
GOLD MEDAL: Kwang-Min Kwon (a performance so unique no other medals could possibly be awarded)

CONTESTANTS: Aramis Ademan (SS), Luis Diaz (SS), Wladimir Galindo (3B), Rafael Mejia (1B), Andruw Monasterio (SS), Christopher Morel (3B), Rafael Narea (SS), Yeiler Peguero (SS), Yonathan Perlaza (3B), Zack Short (SS), and Delvin Zinn (SS)  
Each infielder had to field four ground balls (one hit directly at the fielder, one hit to the infielder's right, one hit to the infielder's left, and one slow chopper) and make an accurate throw to 1st base (or to 3rd base for the contestant playing 1st base), and then each infielder had to receive two relay throws in short-CF and throw the first ball into a net stationed at 3rd base and the second into a net stationed at home plate, then each infielder had to catch a pop-up, all within 90 seconds. 
GOLD MEDAL: Rafael Narea
SILVER MEDAL: Yonathan Perlaza
CONTESTANTS: Tyson Miller, Chad Hockin, Wyatt Short, Nathan Sweeney, Duncan Robinson, Bryan Hudson, Tyler Peyton, Jed Carter, Holden Cammack, Hector Garcia, Matt Swarmer, Javier Assad, Junior Marte, Dakota Mekkes, Eury Ramos, Carlos Ocampo, Yunior Perez, Fauris Guerrero, Ho-Young Son, Alfredo Colorado, Faustino Carrera, and Brailyn Marquez   
Each pitcher had to make three pick-off throws (each one into a net stationed at each of the three bases), then field a bunt and make an accurate throw to the net stationed at whichever base was called by the coach at the time of the bunt, then cover 1st base on a 3-1 put-out, then catch an infield pop-up, all within 90 seconds.  
GOLD MEDAL: Javier Assad 
SILVER MEDAL: Ho-Young Son (ex-INF) 
BRONZE MEDAL: Fauris Guerrero 

With a coach throwing BP, each contestant had 90 seconds to hit as many balls over the fence as possible, the last three pitches being gold balls that were worth extra points. Each batter was allowed to take one 30-second "time-out" during each round to receive a drink of water and a toweling-off from his designated "second."  
FIRST ROUND: D. J. Wilson, Chris Pieters, Christopher Morel, Jonathan Sierra, Michael Cruz, Wladimir Galindo, Rafael Mejia, and Yonathan Perlaza (switch hitter - took all of his swings batting left-handed); 
SEMI-FINAL ROUND: 1) D. J. Wilson vs Yonathan Perlaza and 2) Rafael Mejia vs Chris Pieters  
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: Rafael Mejia vs Yonathan Perlaza
GOLD MEDAL: Rafael Mejia (won by a very large margin, wasn't even close) 

Then Mejia took a victory lap around the bases and received a Gatorade shower from his teammates as he arrived at home plate, and 2015 Home Run Derby Champion Kwang-Min Kwon came onto the field carrying a golden bat and wearing a crown and flowing robe (which he had been required to wear throughout the Olympics, except when he was participating in the Outfielders Competition), all of which was ceremoniously transferred to the newly-crowned 2016 Home Run Derby Champ at home plate.

Kwon wasn't allowed to participate in this year's Home Run Derby because he won last year, and Eloy Jimenez wasn't allowed to participate in last year's Home Run Derby not because he won the year before (he didn't), but because he was clearly so much better than everybody else that it wouldn't have been fair to the other contestants to let him compete.

NOTE: Jake Hannemann defeated Yasiel Balaguert in the Championship Round of the Home Run Derby in 2013, and Billy McKinney bested Scott Frazier (the RHRP who was a two-way player in college) in the Championship Round for the crown in 2014. There also was a Home Run Derby at Instructs in 2012, but it was Dan Vogelbach versus Jorge Soler (no other participants), and Soler won. 


That sounds like a lot of fun to watch!

That is fantastic! Love the robes and crown part too.

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  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 58 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 25-year old 6'5 260 RHP Adam Heidenfelder from Gary (American Association) and he has been assigned to the ACL Cubs.  


  • Hagsag 13 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Does anyone know what type of injury Amaya has?


  • Hagsag 13 hours 9 min ago (view)

    I can not believe what a good 3b he has been playing.


  • Wrigley Rat 18 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Robert Stock was claimed off waivers by the Mets.


  • crunch 20 hours 59 min ago (view)

    HR in the 8th.  dope.


  • crunch 23 hours 9 min ago (view)

    he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy.  *shrug*  off-day tomorrow...


  • crunch 23 hours 20 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom seems to have injured his right leg/knee swinging a bat...


  • crunch 23 hours 42 min ago (view)

    “It did not feel good to take Javy out of the game,” Ross said. “I never feel comfortable doing that at all. That's a pit in my stomach and it was in my stomach the entire game.”


    “I blame it on myself. I lost the count of the outs,” Báez said. “We talked about it. We're on the same page. I'll be there tomorrow to help the team.”


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    The thing that gets me is that she cheated with the guy providing religous-based pre-marital counseling. Hmmm... this guy is abusing his (quasi-)professional couseling position to pursue an intimate relationship; forgot the parts of the Bible about lying, cheating, & doing dirty by the 2016 WS MVP; and clearly has very conflicted feelings on the marriage construct... yep, I'm blowing up multiple people's lives to ride-or-die with THAT guy. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    I am with my hero Zo.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed C Harrison Wenson (ex-LAA) to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to Hi-A South Bend. Wenson spent five seasons in the Angels organization, and he got an NRI to MLB Spring Training as an extra catcher with the Halos this past spring. 


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    69 (nice) pitches...goes 4.2ip and leaves with a man on 1st

    4.2ip 3h 1bb 5k, 3r/er (2hr)

    alzolay continues to have the HR screw him over.  12 given up in 62.1ip


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    d.ross pulls baez for alcantara for what was either a mental mistake forgetting the outs or totally not hustling by baez in the bottom 4th running the bases.

    cubs are down by 1.

    hell of manager power play.  hope this plays out well...expect it will.


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    nico expected back in early july...duffy had a "setback" and is in limbo...bote has started baseball activities, but nowhere near a return time.


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    haha.  ump checked alzolay's hat and glove between innings and declared it all clear.

    stuff so nasty they wanna make sure you're not on that "sticky fingers" bandwagon.