Archive for the ‘ Prospects ’ Category

Chris Rusin to Debut Tuesday Night!

There are very few things to get excited about when the team you obsess over is bad.  One of the few things to get excited about are prospects making their Major League debut late in the season, and that is exactly what will happen tomorrow night in Milwaukee.  The Cubs have announced that 25-year-old southpaw Chris Rusin will pitch tomorrow night.  Rusin was drafted by the Cubs in the 2009 amateur draft in the fourth round, and he has made steady progress in the system since then.  Here is a pretty stellar scouting report from John Arguello at Cubs Den

“I’ve watched Rusin often in the minor leagues and most recently in the Dominican League and, if you like the art of pitching, he is a pleasure to watch. He works in the 88-90 mph range with his fastball and, according to Baseball America, has the best change-up and command in the system.  Those two factors make his otherwise average stuff play up quite a bit.  Rusin attacks the lower part of the strike zone, often jumping ahead of hitters early in the count.  He keeps hitters off balance by constantly changing speeds and locations so that when he does “fire” a 90 mph fastball, it probably looks more like 95 mph.  Despite a fringe average fastball, hitters often fail to get a good swing on it.

Rusin numbers in the Dominican Winter league are solid.  He has a 2.84 ERA and a solid  2.8/7.5 walk to strikeout ratio.  That ratio is pretty much in line with his minor league career rates of 1.93/7.05.

Rusin also has had excellent groundball to flyball ratios.  This winter his G/F ratio is 3.45 and it was 3.61 at Iowa this past season.  The solid strikeout and ground ball numbers bode well for a pitcher in Wrigley Field, especially when the wind is blowing out, as it often does in the summer.

He’s not a top end starter but he can certainly give you some solid innings at the back of the rotation, perhaps as soon as April of next season.  He isn’t going to beat himself out there.  His FIP numbers throughout his minor league career seem to indicate that if you put a good defense around him, he’ll keep you in the game consistently.”

Here’s a look at Rusin’s numbers this year with Iowa.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Albert Almora Promoted to Boise

2012 first round draft pick Albert Almora has been promoted to Boise and will join the team tomorrow.  The center fielder has been really hot of late going 10 for his last 14 with five RBIs over his last three games.  In 75 at bats with the AZL Cubs he is hitting .347/.363/.480 with one home run and 13 RBIs.  There are about three weeks left in the Hawks season and they currently in first place in the second half.  We will see how the 18-year-old handles the promtion and see if he can help Boise to a playoff birth.  Here is the first stepping stone of many for Almora and we look forward to seeing him progress in the future.

Thanks for Reading,

Jorge Soler is real, and spectacular: Our night with the Peoria Chiefs (PICS)

The news of Jorge Soler being promoted from the AZL Cubs to the Peoria Chiefs was exciting news for us, not only were the Cubs moving Soler quickly through the system by skipping Boise, they were moving him to a team that is much closer to us!  So we took the opportunity to make the two-hour drive to Beloit, WI to check out the new look Chiefs take on the Snappers on Saturday night.  As we always do when we go to games we take a lot of pictures, here are some of the better ones below.  We hope that you guys like these as we strive to give you the opportunity to actually see the players that we write about every day, enjoy!

We weren’t the only ones that were excited to see Jorge Soler, as 2,400 people showed up to Pohlman Field in Beloit for this one.  Of course it was fireworks night, and a Saturday so I guess that played into it as well.  Here are some fans waiting outside the Chiefs locker room.

*** Reminder *** Click on the picture for a full size (better quality)

Soler emerged and quickly made his way through the crowd, escorted by a member of the Chiefs staff.  He wasn’t allowed to stop, even if he wanted to, and you can see in the pictures that he commands attention as he is bigger than everyone.

Anticipation was at a fevered pitch before Soler’s first at bat, here is a sequence of pictures leading up to it.

Okay, I promise there are more pictures from the game that are not featuring Soler, we will get to those.  The Snappers jumped out in front early against Zach Cates taking a 1-0 lead, that was before Jorge Soler came to the plate with the bases loaded and two-outs in the third inning.  He wasted no time blasting the first pitch he saw over the left-center field wall for a grand slam!  Here are some pictures leading up to the grand slam.

Just after the grand slam!

Not going to lie, that was totally worth the price of admission, and then some.  The blast gave the Chiefs a 4-1 lead and they never looked back, as they ended up winning this one 5-3.  Here are some of the better pictures from the rest of the night.

Pin-Chieh Chen walking to the dugout before the first pitch

Paul Hoilman making his way to the field

Dustin Geiger in the box

Twins super prospect Miguel Sano, very good

Jorge Soler is a big dude

My man Zeke DeVoss, got to talk to him a bit, really cool guy

Another one of Zeke

Dustin Geiger ripping a double

Geiger pulling into second

Beloit had seen enough of Soler, so they walked him

Luis Liria was outstanding in relief for the Chiefs, he got the win

Pin-Chieh Chen taking a rip

Another shot of Miguel Sano

Chiefs win!

It really was a great night all around, we got to talk to some of the Chiefs players we cover, we not only got to see Soler play in a game but we got to see him hit his first professional grand slam, and the Chiefs won.  We really hope you enjoy all the pictures and the first hand account of the game.  Please feel free to use these pictures for your own personal use, if you do I ask that you please link back to our blog and give us credit for the pictures, thanks so much.  If you want to see the full set of pictures head over to our facebook page, and while you are there give us a like!

- George

Soler hits first HR with Peoria, a Grand Slam!

We are at the game tonight and he just launched one.  We have a lot of pics already, check back tonight for a full recap.

Here is the video.

Thanks for reading!
– George

Pierce Johnson Heading to Boise!

There has been a lot of movement in the Cubs minor league system today, and I’m sure it will stay busy until the end of the year.  The latest news is Pierce Johnson being promoted to Boise!  Solid move here as Johnson, who was drafted in the 2012 draft (supplemental pick) has been solid in Arizona and probably belongs in Boise.  Congrats to Pierce, give him a follow on Twitter!


Thanks for reading,
– George

Jorge Soler Promoted to Peoria!

Some very exciting news today as the Cubs have announced that Jorge Soler is being promoted from the AZL Cubs to Peoria!  To be honest I’m surprised that the Cubs have moved him straight to Peoria and skipped Boise altogether.  That should give you a good idea of what the Cubs think of Soler after seeing him play in just 14 games in Arizona.  Soler only hit .241 in 54 at bats, but made his presence felt all over the field.  He had two doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBI’s, as well as 13 strikeouts, but walked 6 times and had 8 stolen bases.  He has shown enough to make the jump to Peoria, the fact that he did so in such a short time is a very good sign.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Brooks Raley called up to Cubs

Brooks Raley has been called up to the Cubs to replace Matt Garza in the rotation.  Raley, a 24 year old lefty will make his major league debut tomorrow night in San Diego.  Raley pitched for both double a Tennessee and triple a Iowa this season.  He was 4-8 with a 3.62 ERA at Iowa before getting the call.

Thanks for reading,
– George

CONFIRMED: Vitters and Jackson Called Up

Although nothing has been confirmed by the Cubs, a reliable source miCubs has reported that both Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson are getting called up for the series finale in LA today.  We will keep you updated once more is known.

UPDATE 1: Carrie Muskat confirms that both Vitters and Jackson have been called up.  Patrick Mooney has also confirmed both promoted.

UPDATE 2: Jeff Baker has been traded to the Detroit Tigers and Tony Campana has been sent to Iowa to make room for Vitters and Jackson.

CONFIRMED:  Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson are in Los Angeles for the Cubs, they have been called up!  We will have more throughout the day.

-Mark & George

Javier Baez Promoted to Daytona

There were whispers last night and today it was confirmed, the Cubs have promoted Javy Baez to Daytona.  Its an aggressive move but he has earned it by hitting. 336 with 12 HR, and 20 stolen bases at low A Peoria.  Congrats Javy!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Get to Know A Guy Named Geiger

It is our goal here at Born on Third to educate Cubs fans on the talent that sits at the minor league level.  With the way that Theo Epstein has molded this franchise it’s clear that the goal is to have as much talent as possible come from the draft and the farm system.  Wouldn’t you hate to be that one person that has no idea who just got called up to the Cubs?  It makes you look stupid, so don’t look stupid, and learn about the future of the Chicago Cubs here.  Today we feature Dustin Geiger.

Dustin Geiger is 20-year-old third baseman from Merritt Island, Florida.  Geiger was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 24th round (730 overall) of the 2010 MLB first year player draft out of Merritt Island High School (Merritt Island, FL).  After getting drafted by the Cubs Geiger signed a deal to start his professional career, in doing so he earned a $150,000 signing bonus.

Geiger jumped right into action making his professional debut on July 10, 2010 with the Cubs Arizona Rookie League team.  Dustin struggled out of the gates hitting only .214 in July, in only 12 games however.  Not a surprise as most young players coming right out of high school need to take a step back and realize that belong at this level.  Geiger started to figure it out the longer he was in Arizona.  During a nine game stretch in August Geiger hit safely in seven of those games with a home run and seven RBI’s.  It was a glimpse into what Geiger could do with the bat, he finished off August hitting .259 with a home run and 11 RBI’s.  It was a solid 2010 for Geiger as he was able to get his feet wet before entering his first off-season as a professional.

2011 began with Geiger in a familiar spot, playing third base for the Cubs AZL team.  The results however were much different and that is a good thing.  Geiger went nuts in Arizona for the Cubs, he played in 19 games, he hit .342 with two home runs and 20 RBI’s.  He also added nine double and two triples for good measure which brought his SLG to .582 and his OPS to .948 on the season.  That was all the Cubs organization needed to see as they promoted Geiger to the Peoria Chiefs and Geiger made his single A debut on July 18, 2011.  Much like 2010, Geiger struggled with the jump in talent level.  Again, not something that is out of the ordinary, especially for a 19-year-old at A ball already.  Dustin played the final 43 games for the Chiefs, hitting .227 with a home run and 13 RBI’s.

Solid progress was stunted at the beginning of 2012 as Geiger was sidelined with an injury to start the season.  Something that drove Dustin crazy as he missed the first two months of the Peoria Chief’s season.  Geiger went through rehab and worked extremely hard to get back into game shape and back to the Chiefs as quickly as possible.  From the looks of it, the extra work he got has paid off.  Geiger made his 2012 debut with the Chiefs on June 7, 2012, and has spent the entire year with the club.  He is starting to make a name for himself, as 2012 featured a 13 game hitting streak in June where he hit .311 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI’s.  Geiger struggled in July, but something clicked, the power.  Geiger only hit .206 in July, but he hit 8 home runs and drove in 16 runs.  All of this led up to Geiger busting out here in August the last couple of days.  Over the last two days Geiger is 6-for-9 with three home runs and nine RBI’s including an 8 RBI GAME on August 1st.  To date, Geiger is hitting .268 with Peoria, he has 14 home runs and 39 RBI’s, not bad in just 47 games.

The reason I’m excited about Geiger is his ability to adjust and grow within the Cubs system.  At every level he has been at he as struggled early, but then adjusted and turned it on.  If he can continue to do those things moving forward eventually the struggles will be less and less and the production could be through the roof, like the last two days.  I would expect Geiger to finish off 2012 in Peoria and then get a chance to start off 2013 in Daytona.  If you want to interact with Dustin follow this link to Dustin’s twitter account.  He is a very active user, and talks with fans on a regular basis, so give him a follow.  Best of luck the rest of the way Dustin!

Thanks for reading,
– George


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