C.J. Edwards has gone from a 48th round draft pick in 2011 to one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, and his development will continue in Mesa this fall. The String Bean Slinger headlines twenty-three pitchers at instructs after going 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA with 155K in 116 innings between Hickory and Daytona.
One pitcher needing something positive in 2013 is Juan Paniagua, who couldn't come to the states due to a visa problem, and after finally arriving, couldn't find the strike zone. In 21.2 innings between Kane County and Boise, the 23-year-old right-hander walked 24 and allowed 32 runs.
Cub fans will also get their first look at Jen-Ho Tseng and Jefferson Mejia, both acquired this summer during the International signing period. Tseng inked a $1.625 million bonus and the 18-year-old Taiwanese right-hander throw five pitches including a 90-plus mph fastball. Mejia, 18, stands 6-foot-7 and made his pro debut pitching in three games in the Dominican Summer League (9IP, 6H, 3ER, 3BB, 6K).
The Johermyn Chavez transformation continues in Mesa as the outfielder turned pitcher reports to instructs. Chavez got hit by pitch and broke his left hand on May 8. The right-hander was sent to Mesa for rehab but instead of spending time in the cage, he went to work on the mound after 702 minor league games as an outfielder. He pitched in five games in Mesa with a line of 6IP, 6H, 6ER, 4BB 0K.
There's plenty of pitching prospects taking the mound at Fitch Park this fall including right-handers Dillon Maples, Paul Blackburn, Duane Underwood, and Erick Leal. 2013 draft picks include Trevor Clifton, Scott Frazier, David Garner, Zack Godley, Trevor Graham, Tyler Ihrig, Brad Renner, Tyler Skulina, Michael Wagner and Sam Wilson. Others on the IL roster are Jose Arias, Trey Lang, Jose Rosario, and Daury Torrez.
According to the roster, Daytona third baseman Ben Carhart and Mesa infielder Mark Malave will get work behind the plate. 19th-round pick Will Remillard will see his first action in a Cubs uniform as well as 16th rounder Cael Brockmeyer and Tyler Alamo (24th round). Other catchers on the roster are Erick Castillo, Alberto Mineo, and Wilfredo Petit.
While second baseman Gioskar Amaya and third baseman Jeimer Candelario are the top prospects on the infield all eyes will be on 16-year-old Gleyber Torres, the Venezuelan who signed on July 2 for $1.7 million. Another July 2 prospect, Frandy Delarosa, a 17-year-old who signed last year for $700,000, will be at short along with Carlos Penalver, who spent the year at Boise and could be the best defensive player in the system. Other infielders on the roster are Kelvin Freeman, 1B; Jordan Hankins, IF; Jesse Hodges, 3B; Daniel Lockhart, 2B; and Giuseppe Papaccio, IF.
Northwest League batting champ Kevin Encarnacion and Yasiel Balaguert, the NWL RBI king, highlight the outfield at instructs. Shawon Dunston looks to build on a solid season at Boise despite missing three weeks with a quad injury. Trey Martin will see his first action since undergoing surgery on his left shoulder for a labrum problem in May. Ninth-round pick Charcer Burks finishes up his first pro season while Jeffrey Baez, Rashard Crawford and Jose Dore round out the outfield roster.
Staff members for the Fall Instructional League for Chicago are Tim Cousins, field/catching coordinator; Derek Johnson, pitching coordinator; Anthony Impose, hitting coordinator; Carmelo Martinez, assistant hitting coordinator; Jose Flores, infield coordinator; Lee Tinselly, outfield/baserunning coordinator; Doug Jarrow, strength coordinator; Chuck Baughman, assistant training coordinator.
Jimmy Gonzalez (Mesa-Hitting) and Gary Van Tol (Boise-Manager) are the managers while Juan Cabreja, Dave Keller (Daytona-Manager), Bobby Mitchell (Mesa-Manger) and Osmium Melendez (Venezuela-Manager) are coaches. Pitching coaches for IL are Storm Davis (Daytona), David Rosario (Boise), Anderson Tavarez (Mesa) and Ron Vilone (Kane County). Oscar Bernard (Dominican), Tom Beyers (Kane County) Mariano Duncan (Daytona) and Ricardo Medina (Mesa) are the hitting coaches.