Since this is my first in an attempt to sustain a weekly series based on the weekly doing of all 4 Cubs minor league affiliates, I’ll be doing a what have they been doing in the beginning of the season thus far recap for this one. I’ll also be doing the same for the Kane County wrap I’ll hopefully get to by tomorrow.
Arodys Vizcaino keeps inching his way for a call up with the big club this season. He still has work to do however as he only has 6 innings of work, and needs to work on his command. He is pitching with velocity and missing bats with 6 K’s, but 2 BB’s. He has not been easy to square up early with a .190 average against him thus far. Cubs could use him in the back end of their pen. He may be the developing closer of the future for the parent club. We’ll see where they eventually decide he pitches. In the pen or in the rotation. So far he’s exclusively reliever as they continue to be very cautious with him after his two year layoff.
Jake Arrieta actually pitched his likely final rehab start in Daytona despite being in Tennessee up to this point, and fared well. Should be up for his next start. Felix Pena has had a real good season thus far. He’s been hard to hit (.161 avg.) and his ERA is extremely good (1.38), but I’d like to see more K’s. only 17 in 26 innings. He’s kind of making a name for himself as someone who can either be in the Cubs rotation/bullpen or even as a piece in a trade.
Zach Cates is starting to inch closer to being a part of the Cubs bullpen equation as well. He’s been just lights out so far. He has a 0.75 WHIP with a sub 1.00 ERA, and a sub .200 avg. against. Andrew McKirahan also is making a case for himself as a possible bullpen arm for the big league club. Nice K rate, but way too many hits/9 with 9 in 7.1 Innings. Ben Wells who has been mentioned as a possible future Chicago Cubs bullpen arm, but really has struggled with control leading to an absurd WHIP of 2.44 with 6 walks in 5.1 innings. Still early and he has too much talent to give up on this early.
Gioskar Amaya is off to a torrid start so far. He was hot before he went to the 7 day DL, and than comes back, and goes 6-9, a double, a walk, a Stolen Base, 6 runs scored, 2 RBI’s in his first two games back. Picking up where he left off, and looks poised for a big year. He’s another piece of the ridiculous depth the organization has with their middle infielder prospects. Slashing .536/.542/1.077 in his first 17 AB’s. One area of improvement that could be made is with extra base hits.
This team has proven one thing so far, and that it’s going to hit, and hit prolifically. Well at least at the top of the roster anyway. As a team they’re middle of the pact offensively in the Florida Southern league And that’s not including some of their better prospects in Jamier Candelario, Rock Shoulders, and Dan Vogelbach starting out poorly, although Shoulders is starting to break out of it as he hit a 3 run HR yesterday, and is now hitting .250 and OPS-ing .750. The defending FSL champions figure to really be tough to play once those three wake up for good.
Daytona currently has 3 players with an above .900 OPS. Aside from the aforementioned Amaya, Bijan Rademacher and Pin-Chieh Chen have made a mockery out of FSL pitching thus far. Rademacher’s slashing .450/.519/.969, and Chen at .403/.536/.939 is likely unsustainable, but they’ve creeped their way into the discussion when this team is talked about in the way of prospects.
Tim Saunders, and Marco Hernandez two more middle infielders who are off to great starts as the Cubs continue to stock pile middle infielders like doomsday paranoids stock pile canned foods. And of course the top prospect of the team Albert Almora who started off slowly is now starting to make some noise. A tad too slowly perhaps, but given his pedigree it’s expected to pickup soon.