Results tagged ‘ Jorge Soler ’
Jorge Soler has been battling injury issues for the better part of a calendar year, those kind of issues makes it easy to forget what kind of talent he is. Well, Soler is doing his best to remind everyone that he will crush anything in his way, especially a baseball.
On Sunday afternoon Soler blasted two home runs, you know, just a typical day for Soler. In just fourteen games with Tennessee, Soler is hitting .426 with nine doubles, five home runs, and seventeen RBI’s. Yeah, those are video game numbers, like really good video game numbers. If Soler can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, he might be ticketed for Chicago come September. The contract that was given to Soler gives the Cubs control for the better part of the next decade, so he can come up as soon as he earns it.
Video’s from today —
This is the kind of power that Jorge Soler has, and it’s scary. Look how far this one goes, just, wow. Soler seems like he is back to 100%, and he is mashing the ball right now, hopefully that continues.
Welcome to “Riding the Bus” — How about that graphic, eh?? We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.
At The Plate:
The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits. Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored. Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s. The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.
On The Mound:
All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight. 2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss. Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three. The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances. Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.
At The Plate:
The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees. The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers. Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss. Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single. Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.
On The Mound:
Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three. Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
At The Plate:
Grumble, grumble, grumble. A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late. Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI. Kris Bryant! Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat? Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.
On The Mound:
Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him. Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four. Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five. Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.
At The Plate:
Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring. Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error. A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.
On The Mound:
Not so good. Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled. Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two. Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar. Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one. Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.
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The Cubs go for their third straight win this afternoon as they take on the Rockies at Cubs Park in Mesa. Jeff Samardzija will make his second start of the spring looking to build on his strong debut from last week, expect three to four innings for Shark.
1. Kalish – LF
2. Valbuena – 3B
3. Lake – CF
4. Roberts – 1B
5. Baez – SS
6. Kottaras – C
7. Jackson – RF
8. Valaika – 2B
9. McDonald – DH
SP – Samardzija
The Cubs bench looks a little more exciting than the lineup:
No TV today, but there it MLB.com radio.
Jim Callis, formerly of Baseball America, and currently of MLB.com appeared on the David Kaplan Show on Tuesday night (Listen to the whole interview here) and couldn’t say more good things about the Cubs system, specifically their bats. During the interview, Callis said that he can’t remember a minor league system having four high level position players all at once. Callis has been around a long time, and is an expert when it comes to minor league baseball, and Major League baseball prospects, so hearing that should get a lot of people excited.
Many Cubs fans have this notion that Javier Baez is the best all around player in the history of ever, while I like that enthusiasm, he is just as bad defensively as Castro. Fans thinking Baez will supplant Castro at short could be mistaken and Callis touched on that as well. He thinks Baez can be an okay short-stop but a great third baseman. The same thought was shared in regards to Bryant he can be an okay third baseman, or a great right fielder. Bottom line, guys are going switch positions and most likely play wherever allows their bat to get in the lineup.
When asked which Cubs prospect would be the one that Callis trades for pitching he responded with Jorge Soler. Some scouts feel that Soler has not given 100% effort during his time in the minor leagues. I think I can agree, but I can also see why they could be saying tha. Soler is being paid like a major league ballplayer, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s becoming disinterested with the Minor League lifestyle, competition, etc. I don’t think that Soler is lazy but I understand what Callis is saying, the effort supposedly isn’t there and could translate to different levels so the Cubs could trade him for arms.
Finally, Kaplan asked Callis about when the Cubs will contend, and when will we stop hearing about the Cubs prospects and hear more about winning at the Major League level? Callis agreed that this upcoming season could be pretty ugly, but you never know when you have a young team. The middle to end of 2014 is when we will start seeing some of these prized prospects hit the North Side and by 2016 he feels the Cubs can become legit contenders. He doesn’t rule out 2015 necessarily and he thinks the 2015 team is when the Cubs start becoming an “interesting” ball club, that’s usually a good thing. Spring training can’t get here soon enough.
Last night MLB Network aired a special to unveil the MLB.com top 100 prospects for 2014, and the Cubs were all over that list. It was fun listening to the likes of Jim Callis, and Jonathan Mayo gush about how many good, young players the Cubs have waiting in the wings. A total of seven players graced the list, here is a breakdown of each player, and some analysis.
** Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average (MLB.com/Prospects rating scale)
#100 – Right handed pitcher, Pierce Johnson (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55
Johnson was drafted in the supplemental round of the 2012 MLB Draft, 43rd overall by the Cubs. 2013 was Johnson’s first full professional season, and it was impressive. Johnson pitched over two levels and actually found more success with Daytona which was the higher level. Overall for 2013 Johnson went 11-6 with a 2.74 ERA while starting 21 games and appearing in 23. In 118.1 innings Johnson only allowed 109 hits, 5 home runs (5!), while walking 43 and striking out 124. I mentioned more success at Daytona, with the D-Cubs, Johnson worked 48.2 innings allowing only one home run with a sparkling 2.22 ERA.
#89 – 2B/SS, Arismendy Alcantara (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Alcantara seemingly came out of nowhere in 2013 but in reality the talent has always been there it was just a matter of everything coming together at once. With a brilliant 2013 season Alcantara cemented his status as the Cubs second baseman of the future, and will probably be seen on the North Side this upcoming season. Alcantara played all of 2013 with the Smokies at the double A level and really showcased his all around game. In just under 500 at bats Alcantara hit .271 with a .352 on base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage which was good for an .804 OPS. Couple those on base numbers with the 31 stolen bases he had and he becomes a legitimate threat at the top of the order. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says that Alcantara reminds him of Jose Reyes-lite, well, that works.
#49 – OF, Jorge Soler (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60
Now we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the Cubs prospects, first up Jorge Soler. I’ve seen Soler play in person a number of times, and he is an impressive specimen. He looks more like a football player than a baseball player, but he makes it work. Injuries derailed his 2013 season as he was only able to get 210 at bats with the Daytona Cubs. Soler produced for the Minor League team of the year as he cracked 8 home runs, and had 35 RBI’s. Those numbers are down a bit, again he is still adjusting to the professional game, and is only 21. Jason Parks chimed in on Soler as well saying that his is slow to adjust, is the most likely of Cubs prospects to “miss” which I think makes sense given his raw ability, still a high ceiling though.
#42 – RHP, C.J. Edwards (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 60
Oh, hello CJ Edwards. That’s right, after an amazing 2013 season, Edwards has vaulted past Jorge Soler on this list. Baseball Prospectus also had Edwards ranked as the #3 player in the Cubs organization, ahead of Soler, and Albert Almora. Edwards wasn’t even with the Cubs at this time last year, he was one of four, yes four players acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza deal. The 2013 season saw Edwards give up one home run, one, just one…. take that Pierce Johnson. For 2013 Edwards tossed 116.1 innings combined at the high A level for Texas and Chicago, he only gave up 76 hits. He finished with a 8-2 record and a 1.86 ERA while walking 41 and striking out 155, goodnight! Jason Parks doesn’t see Edwards with a huge ceiling but Jim Callis said that Edwards could be the top of the rotation guy the Cubs need.
#18 – OF, Albert Almora (19 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 65 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 75 | Overall: 60
When it’s all said and done Albert Almora might the favorite player of a lot of fans. While Almora doesn’t have any tools that jump off the page at you (except for his glove I guess) he plays well above them, that’s exactly what Jim Callis said last night. Almora is a baseball player, run through the wall, do whatever it takes to win, baseball player. Because of his 100% all the time playing style he suffered a number of injuries in 2013 which kind of disjointed his season. Almora spent all of 2013 at Kane County but only got 249 at bats due to said injuries, but he made the most of them. He hit .329 with 17 doubles, four triples, three homers, and 23 RBI’s. His slash numbers were even more impressive, he had a .379 on base percentage, and a .466 slugging percentage which was good for an .842 OPS. I think Almora will become more patient at the plate as he gets older but right now he’s fine, he walked 17 times last year and only struck out 30 times, expect to see Almora on the North Side in 2016.
#9 – 3B, Kris Bryant (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 70 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65
Kris Bryant seems to be on the fast track, one reason is that he is far more advanced than the other Cubs prospects on this list, the other is he mashes the baseball. Bryant made it to three different levels in just 36 games, that’s ridiculous, he also hit at every level. Then he went on to the Arizona Fall League and destroyed the ball in earning accolades such as the MVP award. Bryant had 128 at bats in 2013 not counting the Arizona Fall League and his a combined .336 with 9 home runs, and 32 RBI’s, extrapolate that, good Lord. Walking is something that Bryant hasn’t done a lot of right now, but it’s hard to argue with the .390 on base percentage, .719 slugging percentage and 1.106 OPS. The numbers are eye-popping, and the Cubs aren’t shy about moving Bryant wherever he deserves to go, and many believe that could be as early as 2015. Given Bryant’s defensive ability and bat it’s not out of the question that he moves to right field to keep 3B open for Baez, either way the Cubs will find a spot for that bat.
#7 – SS, Javier Baez (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65
If you’re not excited about Javier Baez, first off, where have you been, secondly, it’s about time you are. Baez destroy minor league baseball last year at both high A and double A. There wasn’t a more feared hitter in baseball, in 517 at bats Baez crushed 37 home runs, and had 111 RBI’s with a total of 75 extra-base hits. He has been burdened with high expectations and all he has done is create new ones which are even higher. Surveying the top prospect lists for 2014 the number seven ranking is going to be the “worst” for Baez. Jason Parks slots him at number four but said there really isn’t a good reason why he shouldn’t be number one, that’s in all of baseball. Many people are expecting Baez to make his Cubs debut this upcoming season, the plan right now is for him to start in triple A as Iowa’s shortstop. Moving forward, given Baez’s defensive issues he might move to 3B but again, that really has a lot to do with how other players develop as well.
Prospects are just that, a young player that has expectation or is projected to have some sort of impact at the Major League level. There really is no such thing as a sure thing in this game, and that goes for Cubs prospects as well. As good as these players are there is no guarantee that any or all of them will make it to the Cubs, and be an impact player like they are projected. That said, Cubs fans have had little to get excited about recently and this is definitely a list that you can not only get excited about but truly believe that there is some hope in the near future.
The Cubs minor league system had a tremendous year in 2013, it was so good that Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) of Baseball Prospectus has vaulted them to the second best system in all of baseball. Parks continued the Cubs prospect love fest on Twitter saying that Javier Baez could easily land the #1 overall prospect spot, those are big words.
Tonight there should be even more light shined on the Cubs system as MLB Network is airing their top 100 prospects announcement at 9:00 PM CST. Not only that, but some of the prospects that are on the list will be live tweeting during the broadcast, including Cubs prospects Albert Almora (@Albertalmora), and Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23). As these list’s come out I will be back with a full rundown of who said what, and where the Cubs prospects rank in baseball. Make sure you tune in tonight and follow Albert and Kris on Twitter tonight, and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear Javier Baez’s name until the top 5.
Here’s a link to the mlb.com story about tonight’s broadcast.