Jeimer Candelario became the first Cubs minor leaguer to homer in a spring training game as the switch-hitting Dominican took Josh Tomlin over the right-center field wall batting left-handed. Candelario slugged eight of his 10 homers off righties last season between Myrtle Beach and Tennessee, and was added to the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 draft. Likely to return to AA for the start of 2016, the 22-year-old finished the day 2-for-3, his first two hits of the spring in 10 at-bats.
Attending his first spring training, first-round pick made his debut in the top of the sixth, replacing Ben Zobrist at second base. Happ grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then drew a walk in the eighth. The ninth overall selection last June, Happ hit .283/.408/.491 in 29 games at Eugene, and then batted .241/.315/.448 with 5 HR in 38 games in South Bend. While the switch-hitting Happ spent his first pro season in the outfield, he was moved to second during fall instructs and will play the new position during the 2016 season.
John Andreoli made his first hit of the spring count, launching a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in the 5-3 loss. The 25-year-old hit .277/.372/.401 in 106 games last year at AAA Iowa, his fifth season with the Cubs.......RF Mark Zagunis (0-2, K) is starting to see more action, but is still looking for his first hit—what’s more alarming, he hasn’t walked. Zagunis added an assist, helping throw out a runner at home that ended in a lengthy rundown.....LF Bijan Rademacher made his spring debut and walked in his only plate appearance. The 24-year-old hit .261/.379/.370 in 113 AA games last season. .....DH Taylor Davis (0-for-11) reached on an error and scored on Andreoli’s homer.
Where are they now
Cubs had several minor leaguers reach free agency at the end of last season. Here’s some of those and where they ended up for the 2016 season.
Jeffry Antigua, LHP—Resigned with Cubs
Daniel Bard, RHP—Signed with Pirates
Ryan Buchter, LHP—Signed with Padres
Fernando Cruz, RHP—Resigned with Cubs
Jae-Hoon Ha, RHP/OF—Unsigned
Trey McNutt, RHP—Signed with Padres
Blake Parker, RHP—Signed with Mariners with spring invite
Felipe Paulino, RHP—Signed with Indians
Carlos Pimentel, RHP—Signed with Padres
Andres Santiago, RHP—Unsigned
Daniel Schlereth, LHP—Signed by Blue Jays
Emilio Bonifacio, OF—Signed with Braves
Luke Carlin, C—Signed with Tigers
Aaron Chambers, OF—Unsigned
Wes Darvill, IF—Unsigned
Jonathan Mota, IF—Resigned with Cubs
Rubi Silva, OF—Signed by Blue Jays