Rockies Roll But Little Shows Off Big Arm at Talking Stick
Colorado Rockies 2021 15th round draft pick Benjamin Sems doubled, singled, walked, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Rockies 2021 6th round draft pick Braxton Fulford drilled an RBI single, walked, reached base twice on an HBP, and scored a run, Rockies 2021 10th round pick Zach Kokoska singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, and RHSP Case Williams (Rockies 2020 4th round pick) fired five innings of one-hit shutout ball, leading the Rockies to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League game action Saturday morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale, AZ.
All told, the Rockies collected nine hits (eight singles and a double) and stole four bases, but they also took advantage of nine walks, six HBP, amd nine WP to claim the victory.
Felix Stevens tripled to lead-off the top of the eighth inning and scored on a 6-3 GO to account for the lone Cub run.
SP Case Williams has had an unusual ride since being drafted by the Rockies out of a Colorado HS in 2020. He was one of two pitchers sent to the Reds last November in the deal that sent RHRP Robert Stephenson from Cincinnati to Colorado, and then he was reacquired by the Rockies from the Reds in exchange for RHRP Mychal Givens in a 2021 MLB Trade Deadline deal. Obviously the Rockies like Williams, and were probably thrilled to be given a chance to get him back. I can see why.
LHP Luke Little (2020 4th round draft pick out of San Jacinto JC in Texas) got the start for the Cubs and was virtually unhittable, hurling 2.2 IP with eight strikeouts (all eight outs he recorded were by punch-out), as the Rockies were able to put only one ball into play (a ground single through the 5.5 hole by the second batter he faced). But the 21-year old 6'8 230+ lefty also struggled to throw strikes, issuing three walks, hitting two batters, and uncorking three WP during the course of his outing.
Despite the command issues, Little's stuff was electric, as he mixed a 95-98 MPH FB, a 90-92 CH, an 88-91 SL/CT, and a slow CV, all thrown with a release point closer to home than is the case with the average pitcher because of his long arms. Count him as another success story from the Cubs Mesa Pitch Lab, where he has spent most of the past 16 months since signing in June 2020.
Given his pitch mix, velo, and size, I would think Luke Little -- not be confused with another Cubs minor league LHP, 2018 1st round pick Brendon Little -- is probably among the Cubs' Top 10 pitching prospects right now, with a 2022 Opening Day starting pitcher assignment at Myrtle Beach (if not at South Bend) a distinct possibility.
The 2021 AZIL Cubs finished their schedule with a 5-11-1 record. 19 games were originally scheduled, but one game was rained-out when a severe thunderstorm hit Mesa just as the game was about to start, and another was canceled because the opponent (the Rockies) didn't have enough pitchers available to play the game.
Of course the final AZIL W-L record isn't important, but it is what it is. Fact is, the 2021 AZIL Cubs were not exactly the 1927 Yankees in terms of game performance. They were shut out four times. That said, individual player development and team building is why the players were down here, and in that respect, Instructs was a definite success.
Many of the players who were at Instructs will return on November 1st for a four-month long conditioning & development program (with time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas) that will lead-up to the start of Minor League Camp in March.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1. James Triandos Jr, 2B: 0-4 (L-9, L-7,5-3, 4-3)
2. Christian Olivo, SS: 0-4 (K, F-9, K, 5-3)
3. Christian Franklin, CF: 1-3 (1-3, K, 1B)
4. Bryce Ball, DH: 0-3 (K, 4-3, P-6)
5. Felix Stevens, RF: 1-3 (F-9, K, 3B, R)
6. Ronnier Quintero, C: 0-3 (4-3, 5-3, 6-3, RBI)
7. Liam Spence, 3B: 2-3 (1B, 1-3, 1B, PO)
8. Peter Matt, 1B: 0-2 (5-4-3 DP, HBP, K)
9. Frank Hernandez, LF: 0-3 (L-5, 6-4-3 DP, K)
1. Luke Little: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, 2 HBP, 3 WP, 60 pitches (33 strikes)
2. Luis Angel Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP, 3 WP, 0/3 GO/AO, 56 pitches (32 strikes)
3. Eduarniel Nunez: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 21 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Yovanny Cabrera: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 26 pitches (11 strikes)
5. Nicholas Padilla: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 19 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
P Yovanny Cabrera: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ronnier Quintero: 1-5 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 90's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"
crunch 2 hours 35 min ago (view)
yanks and wsox fans are both hyped up over this signing by the cubs.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 13 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: I would be very surprised if the Cubs sign anyone with a QO attached, so that rules out Story and Correa. I could see the Cubs maybe acquiring Didi Gregorius from the Phillies as a Phillie salary dump if the Phils sign Correa or Story. Then the Cubs could flip Gregorius at the trade deadline. Gregorius is signed thru 2022 at about $14M. Gregorius could end up back with the Yankees for a year under a similar scenario.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 21 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: Willson Contreras to the Yankees just makes too much sense.
crunch 4 hours 39 min ago (view)
yow...okay, maybe trade watch is very underway.
crunch 4 hours 43 min ago (view)
yan gomes 2/13m cubs.
contreras trade watch underway...maybe...dunno if you can actually count on gomes to catch 120+ games a year. he may be high-end backup/rest with powerful bench option between him and contreras.
crunch 4 hours 48 min ago (view)
j.baez to DET....6/140m
cubs are obviously in the market for a SS, especially since hoerner has been put on notice he could be a ultility player in 2022. it's looking a lot like trevor story time unless he gets priced out.
not too stoked on his bat, but his glove is solid.
Sonicwind75 5 hours 29 min ago (view)
Have to admit that as someone that now lives in Texas and enjoys baseball in general (not just Cubs), will likely head to DFW instead of Houston this summer to get my baseball fix. New stadium, some exciting new players. Guess that covers $100 of those millions they just spent.
I figured the Rangers would make a Jason Werth type of signing this offseason. Overpay to bring in a big time free agent that signals that the organization is transitioning from rebuilding to trying to be competive. Didn't expect them to double down on it.
crunch 21 hours 54 min ago (view)
corey seager signed a deal for 32.5m a year and that means carlos correa is having a really great day.
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 29 min ago (view)
Texas has a wildly expensive middle infield. They've also set the market really high for the remaining SS. And they did it single handedly.
crunch 23 hours 56 min ago (view)
c.seager goes to TEX for 10/325.
they've committed to spend 1/2 billion this week (marcus semien added, too).
meanwhile, the cubs complained to the local paper about how their new multi-million dollar sports betting lounge isn't a casino and they sent out a "cyber monday" ad to offer the great deal of it costing nothing to get on the season tickets waiting list.
it already is and will continue to be a hell of a 24 hours. maybe the cubs will *shrug* i dunno...do something worth talking about.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
BA released their top-10 cubs prospects list...
1. Brennen Davis
2. Cristian Hernandez
3. Brailyn Marquez
4. Pete Crow-Armstrong
5. Jordan Wicks
6. Kevin Alcantara
7. Caleb Kilian
8. Owen Caissie
9. DJ Herz
10. Yohendrick Pinango
reggie preciado got robbed.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
m.scherzer mets 3/130m (wow)
that's more than the entire payroll for PIT last season per year and only a bit less than what BAL, CLE, and MIA paid out.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
both are equally useful to a baseball team.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
The violinist or the camera staring afficionado?
Hagsag 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
Taylor Davis might be next.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
STOP THE PRESSES! They signed someone. Some random lefty RP named Locke St.John.
Sounds like a Bond villain.