marquee young cubs

YOUNG CUBS: The Joy of Eloy

Hello, readers. Welcome to another edition of “Young Cubs.” This news came down on Thursday:

With that, the Cubs have now signed all of their picks from the first ten rounds of the draft, and a number are already playing at short-season Eugene, including first- and second-round picks Ian Happ and Donnie Dewees. It’s great to see an influx of new talent into the system, especially with so much of the “first wave” of talent having graduated to the majors. It will likely be several years before we’ll know how much of an impact any of these players will have on the future of the organization, but hope springs eternal with prospects. It’s an exciting time to be following the minors, as we’ll be getting our first glimpses of many of these players and evaluations will start to be made about them. Anyways, with all that being said, away we go!

BP Top 10 Update (Stats for 6/29-7/2)

  1. OF Albert Almora, Double-A Tennessee: 2-for-8, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
  2. C Kyle Schwarber, Triple-A Iowa: 5-for-14, 2 2B, 0 BB, 5 K
  3. OF Billy McKinney, Double-A Tennessee: 2-for-8, 0 BB, 1 K
  4. RHP Pierce Johnson, Double-A Tennessee: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
  5. SS Gleyber Torres, Low-A South Bend: 6-for-17, 1 2B, 2 BB, 4 K
  6. 1B Dan Vogelbach, Double-A Tennessee: 1-for-5, 2 BB, 1 K
  7. LHP Carson Sands, Short Season-A Eugene: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  8. RHP Jen-Ho Tseng, High-A Myrtle Beach: Did not pitch.
  9. RHP Carl Edwards, Jr., Triple-A Iowa: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  10. RHP Duane Underwood, Jr., High-A Myrtle Beach: 7-Day DL; So, he’s going to be out for a bit, but the news was good from his MRI, as no structural damage was shown.

The Non-Prospects

Javier Baez: He’s still hurt. I am sad. That is all.

Arismendy Alcantara: Mendy went 2-for-12 this week with a walk and four strikeouts. At least he was named to the PCL team in the Triple-A All-Star Game. I remain cautiously optimistic about his potential as a player, but I’m beginning to lose hope that he’ll contribute to the Cubs in any meaningful way in 2015. Not every prospect gets it right away, though, and I’m happy to see the organization being patient and doing right by their players developmentally, even as the major-league team is competitive.

Team Updates/Standings

Eugene Emeralds, Short Season-A, Northwest League: 9-6, first place in the South Division

South Bend Cubs, Low-A, Midwest League: 4-4, 1 GB of first place, fourth place in the Eastern Division (three-way tie)

Myrtle Beach Pelicans, High-A, Carolina League: 2-5, 2.5 GB of first place, third place in the Southern Division (tied w/Salem Red Sox)

Tennessee Smokies, Double-A, Southern League: 4-2, first place in the North Division (tie w/Montgomery Biscuits)

Iowa Cubs, Triple-A, Pacific Coast League: 42-37, 10 GB of first place, second place in the American Northern Division

Player of the Week: Eloy Jimenez, 18, OF, Eugene Emeralds

Jimenez is playing above rookie ball for the first time and is already turning heads with his unique power for his age. Jimenez was the top prize of the 2013 IFA class, but due to Gleyber Torres tearing up full-season ball already, he’s been overshadowed a bit. That’s likely to change, as he’s already put up his first two home runs this season this week. The young Dominican is an imposing figure, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 205 pounds. He simply looks like a man among boys on the field, despite being only 18. He obviously has a long way to go, but he’s off to a great start and is one of the most exciting prospects of the “next wave” Theo has often referred to.

Stats (6/29-7/2): 5-for-18, 2 HR, 2 SB, 3 BB, 4 K


Player to Watch: Mike Olt, 26, 3B, Iowa Cubs

You may well be aware of the struggles of the Cubs’ bench this season, and you may also know that this has had a lot to do with injuries. Olt was primed to be a valuable bench contributor at the major-league level this season, covering third and even first base and possibly left field on certain days to give regulars a day off, as well as bringing some power as a pinch-hitter. Unfortunately, he got injured early on and has been working his way back ever since. He is currently on rehab in Triple-A, where he’s looked healthy and has unsurprisingly had very little trouble with the pitching at the level. A lot of attention is being heaped on the rehab of Jorge Soler, and rightfully so, but it’s important to point out just how much better Olt could potentially make the major-league bench.

Tweet(s) of the Week

There were quite a few great tweets from the minors this week, so to celebrate the increasing excellence of Cubs prospects’ tweeting, here is a sampling of this week’s best.

Best Promotion of the Upcoming Weekend

If you’ve ever been to a minor-league baseball game, you’re likely aware that the teams have some great promotions. They are sometimes fun, sometimes silly, sometimes downright bonkers, and they ultimately are a large part of what make the minor league experience so much fun. Here, I will highlight an upcoming promotion that stands out to me.

Eugene Emeralds vs. Vancouver Canadians, Saturday, July 4, Red, White, and BACH: It’s Independence Day! That means you can count on lots of American flags and a fair amount of fireworks all throughout the minor leagues. What sets the Emeralds apart? Well, musicians from the Oregon Bach Festival will be playing during the fireworks for the Emeralds. This is spectacularly cool. I admit, as a former music major myself, to having a bit of a soft spot for classical musicians, even if not my favorite style of music. I do think it’s a pretty cool feature, though, that will add an element of great theatricality to the fireworks.

Game(s) To Look Forward To

Eugene Emeralds @ Hillsboro Hops, Friday, July 3, 10:05 PM ET: The Emeralds are on the road to play the final game of their series with the Hops, which are one of the rare teams at the short-season level who are set up to broadcast through MiLB.TV. This gives you a unique opportunity to see the Emeralds play live. The team is enormously exciting, as it features 2015 first-round pick Ian Happ, second-round pick Donnie Dewees, and 2013 top IFA signing Eloy Jimenez, among others. This game should be a good game with an interesting wrinkle, as former Cubs farmhand Jeferson Mejia will be throwing for the Hops. I wholeheartedly endorse tuning in for this game, if you have the chance to.

Odds and Ends

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