Scott Frazier, P
Age 22 (12/3/1991)
2013 Team: Boise Hawks, Northwest League, (SS)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired—Drafted in the sixth round in 2013, # 168 overall
Prior to Cubs
An honor student at Upland High School in CA, he finished his senior year at 6-2 with a 1.16 ERA and helped lead his school to its third consecutive league title. He fanned 87 in 54 innings in a season that included a no-hitter. Frazier earned several honors his senior year including Inland Valley Player of the Year. The Phillies selected the right-hander in the fifth round but he honored his scholarship to Pepperdine.
Despite only making four starts as a freshman, he was named to the WCC All-Freshman team going 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA, and was the first true freshman to get an opening day start under coach Steve Rodriguez. Moved into the role as the Saturday starter as a sophomore, he posted a 7-5 record with a 3.93 ERA in 13 appearances. Frazier was the Waves Friday starter as a junior and he responded with a 5-5 record in 88.2 innings. He was fourth in the WCC with 83 strikeouts in 13 starts and only allowed nine extra base hits all season. He earned All-WCC honorable mention honors for the second time. Frazier was ranked # 87 best draft prospect by Scout.com prior to the draft.
Frazier made his debut eight days after turning pro and was the first pitcher in the draft class to reach Boise. He pitched 14 games in relief for the Hawks, not allowing a run in 11 of them. He earned his first pro save on July 30 with 3.1 shutout innings. The 6-foot-7 California native finished with a line of 1-2, 2.61 ERA, 20.2 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 10 BB, 19 K. His fastball was clocked at 93-94 in one of his early appearances for Boise and he also throws a slider.
Depending on his ability to throw strikes, Frazier could make a quick run through the Cubs minor league system and be the first pitcher drafted in 2013 to reach the majors. At 6-foot-7, Frazier is an imposing figure on the mound and his future in the bullpen could be as a closer. He should start the year at Kane County but it wouldn't surprise me if he finished in AA Tennessee.
Bryant Flete, 2B
Age 21 (1/31/1993)
2013 Team: Venezuelan Cubs, Venezuelan Summer League (SS); Dominican Cubs, Dominican Summer League (SS)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated.
How acquired:Signed as a free agent on Jan. 30, 2012
After turning pro one day before his 19th birthday, Flete made an impression in his first pro season, hitting .296/.419/.419 in 60 games for the DSL Cubs 2. The Venezuelan had more walks than strikeouts (33/26) and also ripped seven triples.
His 2012 season earned Flete a trip to Mesa and a possible spot on the Arizona Rookie League team but was sent to the VSL a week before the season started. The 20-year-old led the V-Cubs with 41 walks and hit .271/.383/.356 in 67 games. He swiped 17 bases and spent most of the year at short, where he committed 29 errors, a .891 fielding percentage. Flete, along with teammate Roney Alcala, were promoted to the DSL for the final two weeks of the season and the playoffs. Flete went 3-22 in seven games but did walk six times.
Flete should get another ticket back to Mesa for spring training and get to stick around for the Arizona Rookie League. His approach at the plate plays above his age level and his speed in another tool worth noting.
Frailin Figueroa, P
Age 18 (6/14/1995)
2013 Team: Dominican Cubs, Dominican Summer League, (SS)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired—Signed as a free agent on Dec. 8 , 2011
Made his pro debut for the DSL Cubs 2 squad on June 26, 2012, with three strikeouts in a relief appearance lasting two innings. He earned his first win four days later and the 17-year-old finished the year appearing in 11 games, allowing 25 hits and nine walks in 18 innings. He finished his first pro season with an ERA of 5.40 and 1.85 WHIP.
Despite working a majority of the games out of the pen, Figueroa was fourth on the team in innings pitched with 49.2. The 18-year-old improved his swing and miss, fanning 9.6 per nine innings, over three strikeouts more than his debut season. Figueroa has the frame of a big league pitcher but needs to display improved command—4.3 BB per nine. Even with the high walk rate, hitters had a hard time making contract with a .161 BAA. He finished the year at 5-1 and a 1.27 ERA.
Its likely Figueroa remains in the DSL in 2014 as he works on his command and ability to repeat his delivery. Figueroa is one of a hand full of international prospects that were signed shortly after the hiring of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. He's definitely a guy to keep an eye on in 2014 and beyond.
Here's the rest:
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP—Figueroa returns for his 8th minor league season with the Cubs after being signed as a free agent in 2007. The 25-year-old started 2013 in Daytona (1-4, 4.10 ERA, 52.2 IP, 1.75 WHIP) and was promoted to Tennessee, making six starts for the Smokies (2-2, 2.38 ERA, 34 IP, 8 BB, 17 K). Figueroa pitched in five games in the Venezuelan Winter League, allowing eight earned runs in six innings.
Luis Flores, C—A six-year veteran of the Cubs minors, Flores hit .204/.295/.325 with five homers and 17 RBI in 61 games at AAA Iowa. He was the Cubs 7th round pick in 2008 and has been invited to spring training to assist at the big league camp.
P.J. Francescon, RHP—A 40th round pick in 2010, Francescon made 13 starts for Daytona (5-4, 4.76 ERA, 70 IP) before a mid-season promotion to AA. He worked 16 games out of the bullpen for the Smokies, going 2-0 with a 4.20 ERA in 30 innings. The 25-year-old made 26 starts in 2012, compiling a 3.01 ERA in 137.1 innings between Peoria and Daytona.
Kelvin Freeman, 1B—A 17th round pick in June, the North Carolina A & T product played 40 games in the Arizona Rookie League. While the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder didn't display the power he showed in college, he did show good patience at the plate with a .357 OBP, hitting .262 with 19 RBI.
Manuel Fuentes, LHP—The 21-year-old from Venezuela appeared in 17 games in the VSL allowing 21 earned runs in 23.1 innings with 13 walks. He signed in Feb. of 2011 and has spent the last two seasons in the DSL.