Chadd Krist, C
Age 24 (1/28/1990)
2013 Teams: Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, (A); Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, (A+)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 48
How acquired—Drafted in the ninth round in 2012, #284 overall
Prior to Cubs
A baseball star at Petaluma High School in California, Krist was a three-time All-Sonoma County League performer and ended his career with a .359 average, 31 doubles and 30 stolen bases. Krist walked-on at the University of California and was 12 for 61 in his first year with the Bears. He moved into a starting role as a sophomore and helped the Bears advanced to the NCAA Regional. Krist earned All-PAC 10 honors, hitting .344 with 10 homers and was 8th in PAC-10 with 115 total bases. He repeated his PAC-10 first-team honors as a junior, helping lead California to the NCAA World Series. He earned NCAA Regional All-Tournament honors and led the PAC-10 with 27 doubles, hitting .297. Krist was drafted by the White Sox in the 13th round of the 2011 draft. After turning down a chance to play professional, Krist was finally give a scholarship his senior year and promptly broke the school record for career doubles with 64, capping off a 180-degree turn as a player. Krist hit .294 with four homers and 36 RBI. He finished his career with 213 hits, 18 homers, 133 RBI and hit .300 in 195 games. The Cubs used their ninth-round pick in 2012 as Krist was the first catcher drafted and the third position player selected in 2012.
After signing his deal, Krist made his pro debut on June 20 with Boise, going 1-4 with in his start at catcher. He only played 16 games for the Hawks (.328/.365/.397) before a promotion landed him in the Midwest League with Peoria. He finished his first pro season with 40 games in the full-season league, hitting .253/.324/.447 with four homers and 23 RBI.
Krist was back in the MWL with Kane County to start the year but wasn't getting much playing time, catching 10 games during the first month. He hit .281 with a .410 OBP and in mid-May was promoted to Daytona. Krist saw plenty of action in the Florida State League as he became the D-Cubs starting catcher and was behind the plate when they captured the FSL championship. Krist was constantly drawing post-game accolades from Daytona's pitching staff for his ability to call a game and "make things easy" for the likes of Pierce Johnson, C.J. Edwards, Corey Black, Ivan Pineyro and Ben Wells. Krist threw out 25% of base runners, was charged with eight errors and three passed balls in 54 games. Krist has a solid approach at the plate and that showed at Daytona as he finished the year with a slash line .253/.351/.382 with 31 BB and 50 K. Krist also showed some power hitting five homers to go along with 14 doubles.
The Cubs have drafted and signed six catchers in the past two drafts but no one is father along in the system than Krist. With the Cubs signing three free agent catchers to fill the MLB and AAA levels, Krist still has a chance to join most of the Daytona starting rotation in Tennessee. However, with less than 500 minor league at-bats, they may want to get him more playing time in Daytona before a promotion. He has solid skills behind the plate with a quick release. He shows good discipline at the plate, does a nice job hitting the ball where its pitched, and has shown the ability to drive the ball.
Erick Leal, P
Age 18 (3/17/1995)
2013 Team: Mesa Cubs, Arizona Rookie League (R)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 43
How acquired—Traded with RHP Jesus Castillo from Arizona for OF Tony Campana on Feb. 18, 2013.
Prior to Cubs
Leal signed for $75,000 as a 16-year-old with Arizona on Sept. 14, 2011, and made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2012. He posted gaudy numbers in the DSL, going 6-2 with a 2.44 ERA logging 70 innings. He fanned 70 and walked 11, with a 0.99 WHIP. The scouting reports on Leal before the trade raved about his curveball, a high-80s fastball with late movement, and a developing change-up.
Leal came stateside and after spring camp, continued his development at extended spring training, and was part of the rotation for the Mesa Cubs in the Arizona Rookie League. Leal proved he belonged appearing in 13 games, allowing 50 hits in 48.2 innings but fanned 52 with only 8 walks. Leal went five innings five times and fanned a season-high eight in an Aug. 2 win against the Giants.
The Cubs have been in no hurry top rush any of their young arms and as Leal builds strength and velocity to his fastball, he will likely stay in Mesa for extended spring training when the teams break camp in early April. Leal should get his innings in the Northwest League, and if he succeeds, could earn a promotion to Kane County by season's end.
Rest of the K's
Austin Kirk, LHP—A third-round pick in 2009 out of Owasso High School in Oklahoma, Kirk was a mid-season all-star in the Midwest League (2011) and Florida State League (2012) but spilt 2013 between Daytona (6-2 4.50 ERA, 11 G, 54 IP, 28 BB 42K) and Tennessee (2-3, 7.02 ERA, 9 G, 42.1 IP, 23 BB, 30 K).