I am going to start taking a weekly look at the Minor League System as a whole. What you can expect to find here is a couple players that had a strong week (Doing Work) and also a player that had a week in which he struggled (Work To Do) for each level in the Minor League System. I will also award a top overall Hitter of the Week and a top overall Pitcher of the Week. So without further adieu, here we go:
Hitter of the Week
Daniel Vogelbach—(5 G, .391/.517/.913) The 22-year -old Vogelbach, takes top honors in my first Organizational Hitter of the Week installments by absolutely crushing Double A pitching. Vogelbach showed off his power potential by hitting 3 home runs and 3 doubles. He also drove in 10 runs, scored 8, and walked 6 times. On the season has walked 13 times to only 5 strikeouts! The Cubs second round pick in 2011 is making a strong case to be promoted to Iowa, and an even stronger case as a trade candidate in July. On the season the Florida native has a .444/.552/.741 slash line.
Pitcher of the Week
Ryan Williams- (2 G, 11.2 IP, 6 K, 2 BB) Williams has been impressive all season and this week was no different. The 23-year-old recorded his first 2 wins of the season while not giving up a run in his 2 starts. He has a very impressive 0.46 ERA on the season and hitters are hitting only .147 on the RHP. In 19.2 innings he has 14 strikeouts, 2 walks, and has only given up 10 hits. Because of his age, I’d expect to see him promoted to Myrtle Beach before too long.
South Bend (Week Record: 5-2 Season Record: 9-9; 5th Midwest League Eastern; 3 GB
Chesny Young- ( 6 G, .318/.444/.409) Young had a very strong week for South Bend not only at the plate but on the basepaths. He was able to steal 4 bases and scored 8 times. The 2B collected 2 doubles in his 7 hits for the week and walked 4 times while only striking out 3 times. On the season the 2014, 14th round pick has a .302/.397/.365 slash line with 8 stolen bases.
Work To Do
Gioskar Amaya-(5 G, .167/.318/.167) It was a tough week for Amaya, but on the positive side he was able to reach base at a .318 clip. In 18 ABs he struck out 7 times and only managed 3 hits. On the season he owns a .200/.308/.236 slash line. I’m not too concerned with Amaya because all his focus has been on making the transition to catcher. I’d expect his offense to start to pick up here in the next couple weeks.
Myrtle Beach (Week Record: 3-4 Season Record: 9-7; 1st Carolina League South
Billy McKinney- (7 G, .333/.387/.444) McKinney has come out of an early season funk and has been lights out for the past week. In 27 ABs the 20 year old pounded out 9 hits. He also hit a home run, drove in 4 runs, and scored twice. McKinnney owns a .306/.407/.388 slash line for the season.
Jacob Hannemann- (7 G, .429/.484/.500) It is nice to see Hannemann get off to a strong start for Myrtle Beach. After playing baseball for the first time in 3 years last year this is a big season for Hannemann to prove that he can be an everyday centerfielder in the future. The speedster stole 6 bases during the week and also scored 7 runs. His 15 strikeouts in 61 ABs is still a concern, but he has a .328/.388/.393 slash line on the season.
Tayler Scott- (2 G, 5 IP, 6 K, 1 BB) Scott, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa made two strong appearances out of the Pelican bullpen this week. The 2011, 5th round pick only gave up 2 hits and didn’t allow a run in his 5 IP. Scott has shown great control all season, only issuing 2 walks and striking out 11 batters in 8 innings.
Work To Do
Victor Caratini- (6 G, .174/.174/.174) Not only was it a tough week for the 21 year old catcher but it has been a tough season early on as a whole. Caratini only managed 4 hits during the week, while drawing zero walks and striking out 3 times. The switch-hitter is hitting .214/.283/.238 on the season.
Tennessee Smokies (Week Record: 4-2 Season Record: 10-5; 1st Southern League North)
Kyle Schwarber- (5 G, .440/.423/.640) If not for his teammates great week, Schwarber would have taken home the honor as the Organizational Hitter of the Week. The 22 year old catcher smashed a Home Run and collected 7 RBI for the week. It’s great to see Kyle Schwarber continue to hit in his first stint at Double A, but the focus will continue to be on his defense.
Frank Batista- (1 G, 7 IP, 8 K, 2 BB) Batista has really come out of nowhere as a starter this season. The former closer for the Smokies hasn’t made a start since 2010 prior to this season. Not only did he have a strong start this week but he has been fantastic as a starter this season. In 17.2 innings he has a 1.02 ERA, with 16 Ks, 4 BBs, and giving up only 8 hits. It will be very interesting to see if the 26 year old can keep up this torrid pace and perhaps carve a niche as a starter.
Work To Do
Stephen Perakslis- (2 G, 3 IP, 1 K, 3 BB) Perakslis is looking to rebound from a bad week in which he made two appearances and gave up 8 earned runs in 3 innings. The 24 year old gave up 2 HRs and a total of 7 hits and posted a 24.00 ERA for the week. Perakslis started the season strong, giving up only 1 hit, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts in 3 innings prior to this past week.
Iowa Cubs (Week Record: 3-4 Season Record: 7-9; 3rd PCL Am. North; 2 GB)
Mike Baxter- (7 G, .278/.435/.333) Baxter cooled off a little this week but he still put up strong numbers especially his .435 OBP. The minor league free agent picked walked 4 times and was also hit by a pitch this week. One of his 5 hits was a double and he collected 2 RBI while scoring 2 runs for the week. On the season the 30 year old has a .342/.457/.421 slash line.
Taylor Teagarden- (5 G, .400/.471/.800) Teagarden was activated from the DL on 4/20 and has been on fire ever since. In 15 ABs he has 6 hits including a double, triple and a homerun. The 31 year old catcher has also added 4 RBI on the week while walking once and striking out 5 times.
James Russell- (2 G, 4 IP, 7 K, 0 BB) Russell is starting to put together a good case to return to the Chicago bullpen. After a strong week where he made two appearances in which he only gave up two hits while striking out 7 batters. For the season the lefty has not walked a batter, while only allowing two hits and striking out 9 batters in 6.1 IP.
Work To Do
John Andreoli- (5 G, .133/.278/.200) It has been a tough season so far for Andreoli. His game is predicated by getting on base and using his speed to make things happen on the basepaths. For the week and much of the season he has been unable to get on base. In 15 ABs he struck out 6 times while collecting 2 hits. Of the 5 times he reached base he had two stolen bases and scored twice.