Hitter of the Week
Chesny Young- (7 G, .370/.433/.407) Young is riding a 7 game hit streak after this week that also included a SB and 5 runs scored. The 14th round pick out of Mercer in 2014 has done nothing but rake this season for both South Bend and Myrtle Beach. The 6’0, 170 lb second baseman has quick hands which allows him to turn on fastballs and get the barrel out in a good hitting position. For the year the 22 year old is hitting a combined .339/.410/.394 between both South Bend and Myrtle Beach in 251 PAs.
Pitcher of the week
Dallas Beeler- (2 G, 11 IP, 14 K, 0 BB) This was really an easy decision, Beeler may have found his groove after dealing with an injury to begin the season. His 2 starts this week were by far his best of the season. It was really nice to see him get his command back after early struggles and not issue a walk. In the 33 IP prior to these starts he issued 23 walks while striking out 24. With more starts like his last 2 he could possibly get back to what was envisioned during the offseason, a guy who could help out the big league team with a few spot starts.
Iowa Cubs—Week Record: 4-2 Season Record: 34-29; 2nd Pacific Coast Am. North; 8.5 GB
Rubi Silva- (6 G, .308/.400/.385) After a slow start to the season Silva has really picked up the pace as of late and this week was no different. The most surprising events that took place this week, were not only did he walk once, but he walked twice!! Prior to this week Silva didn’t take a base via the walk all season. The 25 year old out of Cuba has quite the bat wrap from the left side and profiles as a 4th outfielder.
Work To Do
Matt Szczur- (6 G, .105/.227/.158) I’m going to give Matt the benefit of the doubt this week because one week he’s in Chicago and the next he’s in Iowa. He probably forgot where he was even playing this week. On the season in Iowa he is hitting .290/.350/.477 with 4 HR and 10 SB. Meanwhile in Chicago he is hitting .167/.225/.222 with 2 doubles and 2 SB.
Tennessee Smokies—Week Record: 3-3 Season Record: 35-29; 2nd Southern League North; 4.5 GB
Jacob Hannemann- (5 G, .316/.350/.684) Hannemann has had a rough go with the Smokies since his promotion on 4/28 but he was able to put together a nice week and one of the best games of his career. On Saturday the 2013, 3rd round pick went 4-6 with two doubles, a triple, and a homerun while collecting 6 RBI. In 20 PAs he only struck out 3 times which has been one of his main problems since being called up. In 145 ABs with Tennessee he has struck out 42 times. He has a .200/.250/.310 slash line with Tennessee this season.
Bijan Rademacher- (5 G, .308/.471/.308) Bijan has had a pretty interesting season so far. The 24 year old is only hitting .232 on the season but he owns a .348 OBP while only slugging .325. In 151 ABs he has only struck out 28 times while walking 27. It’s really interesting that he only has 4 doubles so far this season after hitting 22 a year ago for Daytona. Rademacher remains as a sleeper prospect with a chance to be a quality 4th outfielder in the future.
Work To Do
Billy McKinney- (6 G, .067/.118/.267) Billy only managed 1 hit for the week, but that 1 hit was a 2-run HR. McKinney has had a pretty tough time since his call up to Tennessee but the 20 year old is 4 years younger than the average Southern League player. With the Smokies he is hitting .250/.295/.385. It can’t be understated how big of a jump it is from A+ ball to AA and I’d suspect to see McKinney start to make some adjustments which will help his numbers improve.
Myrtle Beach-Week Record: 3-4 Season Record: 36-27; 1st Carolina League Southern; 3 gm lead
Mark Zagunis- (7 G, .310/.394/.414) Zagunis has been an on base machine this year to the tune of a .430 OBP. This is a skill that is going to have to carry him to the Big Leagues since it looks like he has given up on catching and is solely an outfielder. He doesn’t profile as a prototypical corner outfielder with not much more than gap power. I see a guy who can hit about 10 HRs a year. On the season the 2014 3rd round pick has more walks (43) than strikeouts (38) and with some of the shuffling going on in the organization could find himself in Tennessee pretty soon.
Tyler Skulina- (1 G, 7 IP, 4 BB, 7 K) The 4th round pick in 2013 out of Kent St. is coming off his best start of the season in which he went 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. Skulina is a 6’5 230 lb righty who has really been putting together a good season. He has a 3.27 ERA and in 55 IP he has given up 39 hits while striking out 54 batters and only walking 21. Skulina had a couple minor injuries that he had to deal with last year which really cut into his velocity. But reports from his last game had him topping out at 94 while sitting 91-93. Skulina is definitely a guy I’m going to be watching from here on out.
Work To Do
Paul Blackburn- (1 G, 5 IP, 1 BB, 2 K) Blackburn was roughed up a little bit in his one start of the week. In 5 IP he gave up 6 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. The 56th overall pick out of Heritage High School in 2012, Blackburn has given up quite a bit of contact this year. In 48.1 IP he has given up 57 hits while only striking out 34 batters. Blackburn looks to be a back of the rotation type arm, who may be destined for the bullpen.
South Bend-Week Record: 1-4 Season Record: 27-34; 8th Midwest League Eastern; 8.5 GB
Gleyber Torres- (4 G, .412/.444.647) I really don’t know what else can be said about this young shortstop, the kid has been phenomenal for South Bend. He had his first 5 hit game of his career on Sunday. On the day he went 5-5, 2 runs scored, a double, his first homerun of the season, and 3 RBI. Torres has a high baseball I.Q. and is able to put together quality ABs. For the season Torres is hitting .319/.391/.405 which is just unheard of from an 18 year old in his first stint in full season ball. He has been a breakout star for the the Cubs organization and should shoot up many postseason prospect rankings.
Yasiel Balaguert- (5 G, .409/.435/.591) Signed out of Cuba in 2011 the 22 year old is quietly putting together a good season for South Bend. In 166 ABs he has a slash line of .295/.330/.464. He added to his numbers with a solid week in which he had two 3-hit games, pounded out 4 doubles and scored 5 times. Balaguert might not have the athleticism to play the outfield as he continues to mature. He has been getting some time at 1B this season playing 12 games there this season.
Work To Do
Charcer Burks- (3 G, .000/.125/.000) It was a tough week for Charcer Burks who went hitless in 16 plate appearances. Burks has slowed down from a hot start where he hit .309/.382/.361 in April. The surprised 9th round pick in 2013 just turned 20 in March and is 1.4 years younger than the average MWL player. On the season Burks is hitting .258/.328/.324 with 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts.