Frank Del Valle, P
Age 24 (9/16/1989)
2013 Team: Daytona Cubs, Florida State League (A+)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired:—Signed as a free agent on June 11, 2011
Prior to Cubs
As a teenager in Cuba, he set the national season strikeout record and threw a no-hitter. Del Valle pitched in the 2006 "AAA" World Junior Baseball Championship and in the PanAmerican and pre-World Cup (IBAF AAA) competitions for 18-and-under players in 2007. He we also a member of the Cuban National team. Del Valle reportedly left Cuba in 2008 and signed with the Cubs for $800,000.
Two weeks after signing, Del Valle was on the mound in Mesa making his pro debut with two innings of shutout ball. He made two more starts (6 IP, 1H, 10K) and was promoted to Peoria. In the MWL, he went 3-2 with a 2.95 in 42.2 IP in seven starts. He allowed 36 hits and fanned 31. Del Valle made his way to Daytona and made two more starts, giving up nine earned runs in his FLS debut.
Del Valle was back in Daytona in 2012 and appeared in 22 games, 15 as a starter. He threw 99.1 innings with 84 strikeouts but allowed 14 homers with a BAA of .194. He ended the year at 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA. Del Valle had his best game of the season against Clearwater on June 22, fanning 11 in six no-hit innings, and earned FSL pitcher of the week honors.
2013 Season After spending most of his pro career as a starter, the Cubs moved Del Valle to the bullpen in 2013 and he responded with a 2.29 ERA in 31 games with nine saves. The lefty threw 51 innings, and only allowed one homer while fanning 64. Del Valle did have some problems with the strike zone as he his BB/9 went from 2.7 in 2012 to 5.3 in 2013. He also helped the D-Cubs to the FSL title, earning a hold and a save in his two playoff games, throwing four shutout innings. Del Valle was named to the FSL all-star game. The Cuban took his game to the Venezuelan Winter League and made nine appearances, six starts for Margarita. He tossed 29 innings with a 2.29 ERA but walked 23 with 24 strikeouts.
After three straight years in Daytona, Del Valle should be headed to Tennessee and work out of the bullpen. He gets a lot of swing and miss with a good fastball but needs to cut down on the free passes.
Nathan Dorris, P
Age 23 (12/9/1990)
2013 Team: Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, (A)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired—Drafted in the 17th round in 2012, # 524 overall
Prior to Cubs
An all-state baseball player his senior year at Marion High School in Marion, IL, Dorris was a two-time conference player of the year and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 45th round in 2009. Instead of turning pro, he accepted a scholarship to Vanderbilt but transferred to Rend Lake Junior College after one semester. He played two years for the Warriors and was named to Great Rivers Athletic All-Conference squad his sophomore season. In his only season at Southern Illinois University, he went 7-4 for the Salukis, pitching 82 innings with 80 strikeouts, including a career-high 11 against Illinois.
One of three lefties signed by the Cubs in the 2012 draft, Dorris pitched well in the Arizona Rookie League and earned a promotion to short-season Boise in the Northwest League. He made his pro debut on June 28, working a scoreless inning against the Diamondback in the AZL. In his seven AZL games, Dorris pitched 10 innings allowing two runs, facing 41 hitters, retiring 16 on groundouts.
At the end of July, he was moved to Boise and didn't miss a beat, as he pitched shutout baseball in his first five games, including two scoreless innings for a win in his NWL debut Aug. 1. He earned four saves with the Hawks and appeared in two playoff games. Dorris finished his first pro season working 24 innings in 16 games, with a BAA of .230 and a WHIP of 1.29. He had some control problems walking 11, but had 21 strikeouts.
In his first full season and back in his home state, Dorris appeared in 36 games in the Midwest League, all in relief except two starts to end the season. If the Cubs organization learned anything about the left-hander, it was he could get left-hander hitters out as they went 6-61 (.098) against him. The SIU product finished 7-3 with a 2.87 ERA and three saves in 69 innings. Dorris averaged 3.9 BB/9 and 7.2 K/9, and was named to the NWL all-star game.
The left-hander should earn a spot in the Daytona bullpen to open 2014. Dorris has a big frame and has proven he can get left-handoff hitters out (11-87) in two years. At 23, Dorris has a few years to develop and has an advantage as one of the few lefty relievers in the system. He has a smooth delivery and the ball gets on the hitters quickly, throwing a fastball in the low 90s with a slider and curve.
Rest of the "D"s
Taylor Davis, C—Signed as a free agent in 2011 after attending Morehead State, Davis has played three season in the Cubs organization, splitting time between Daytona and Tennessee in 2013. He hit .206/.20/.304 in 33 games between the two levels in 2013.
Josh Davis, RHP—Singed as a free agent out of Belmont College, Davis made his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League in 2013, appearing in 12 games for Mesa. He tossed 20 innings and went 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA.
Jose Dore, OF—An 8th round pick by the Padres in 2010, the Cubs acquired the left-handed hitting outfielder for cash in March after spending three years in the Padres organization. Dore started 2013 at extended spring training and then went to Boise in June, playing in 29 games (.200/.284/.356, 2 HR, 9 RBI). He was promoted to Kane County for the final month of the year, hitting .212/.274/.318 in 26 games.
Oscar De La Cruz, RHP—Signed in October of 2012, De La Cruz made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League with 12 strikeouts in 11 innings. The 18-year-old, 6-foot-4, right-hander went 1-0 with a 6.55 ERA in four games.
Enrique De Los Rio, RHP-The 18-year-old Venezuelan made his pro debut for the VSL Cubs, appearing in 11 games. He went 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA with 26 K in 43.1 innings.
Alberto Diaz, LHP-The 23-year-old left-hander went 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 19 games, compiling 44 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Diaz was singed in 2010 and spent the last three years in the DSL.
Andin Diaz, LHP—The Dominican native went 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 23 innings in the DSL. Diaz was signed in 2012 and pitched 22.2 innings (1-4 5.16 ERA) in his debut in the season DSL.
Wagner Disla, RHP—After signing for a reported $100,000 as part of the Cubs 2012 International class, Disla only pitched five innings in his debut season as the 17-year-old walked six and allowed two homers in four games.