2017 Draft—High School Pitchers
One of the strengths of the June draft is high school pitching and with two picks in the first round, the Cubs could land one of the top prep arms of the 2017 class. RH Hunter Greene (Notre Dame HS, California), LH Mackenzie Gore (Whiteville HS, North Carolina), RH Shane Baz (Concordia Lutheran HS, Texas), RH Sam Carlson (Burnsville HS, Minnesota), and LH D.J. Hall (Valdosta HS, Georgia) are all expected to be gone by the time the Cubs pick at 27 but if any of those arms fall they would be a nice addition.
Two arms the Cubs could tab are left-hander Trevor Rogers (Carlsbad HS, New Mexico) and right-hander Blayne Enlow (St. Amant HS, Louisiana). The 6-foot-6 Rogers commands a fastball in the low 90s with a curve, slider and change-up. Enloe is committed to LSU and his 6-foot-4 frame spins a good breaking ball and a fastball in the low 90s. Two other intriguing arms are left-hander Jacob Heatherly (Cullman HS, Alabama) and righty Steven Jenning (DeKalb County HS, Tennessee). Heatherly’s seen his stock drop during the spring but was considered one of the top high school arms after the summer circuit. Jennings has been on the rise as the two-sport star has a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s and a plus slider. Other high school arms that should be available for the Cubs include RH Matt Sauer (Righetti HS, California), RH Hans Crouse (Dana Hill HS, California), and Tanner Burns (Decatur HS, Alabama).
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Tacoma (Mariners) 8, Iowa 7
Iowa smacked three homers but Tacoma had three long balls off their own and outlasted the Cubs.
Hitting Recap: Iowa grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first on a solo home from Jeimer Candelario (6) and a two-run single from Bijan Rademacher Iowa made it 6-3 in the third on a leadoff homer from Mark Zagunis (7) and a two run blast from Victor Caratini (4). Zagunis (.252) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and Caratini (.358) finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI.
Pitching Chart: Aaron Brooks (3-4, 7.74 ERA) and his woes continued on Sunday at Principal Park. In 6.2 innings, the right-hander was charged with eight earned runs on 11 hits, three leaving the yard. He fanned seven in the 102-pitch outing. Stephen Perakslis struckout five in 2.1 scoreless relief innings.
I-Cubs Notes: Casey Kelly (1-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start on Monday morning against Tacoma and is a pitcher to keep an eye on. If Eddie Butler struggles and Brett Anderson isn’t able to return, the Cubs may give Kelly a shot at the five spot in the rotation……The Chicago Cubs optioned IF Tommy La Stella and RHP Pierce Johnson to Iowa. RHP Dylan Floro was promoted to Chicago. Johnson made his MLB debut on May 19 at Wrigley Field against Milwaukee, getting charged with two unearned runs in an inning of work. The I-Cubs have six players on the roster who have seen time in Chicago…..RHP David Berg has been promoted from Tennessee to Iowa. The side-winding right-hander made his AAA debut May 11……Cubs have placed 2B Chesny Young on the 7-day disabled list. The 24-year-old is hitting. 297/.329/.342 in 37 games and hasn’t played since May 18.
Southern League—AA—Game 1—Tennessee 7, Birmingham (White Sox) 1; Game 2—Birmingham 4, Tennessee 2
Jeffrey Baez homered in both games but the Barons earned the split in the night cap.
Hitting Recap: Game 1—C Ian Rice (.257) went 2-for-3 and knocked in four runs with a double and a homer (5) to lead the offense. 3B Jason Vosler (.295) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Baez added a solo homer in the four-run third.
Game 2—Baez gave Tennessee a 1-0 lead in the first with his second homer of the day. 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.213) added a RBI single in the third for a 2-1 lead and SS Andrew Ely (.294) went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Pitching Chart: Game 1—RH James Pugliese made his third start, working four innings while yielding one run on four hits with no walks. Pugliese fanned three and threw 50 pitches, 37 for strikes. Daury Torrez got the win with two scoreless frames. David Garner tossed a scoreless inning.
Game 2—RH Duane Underwood got the start and went five innings, allowing four runs, three of them coming in the fourth. Underwood surrendered five hits, walked three and gave up a homer in the 71-pitch outing. Justin Hancock (0.00 ERA) worked around a pair of hits in a scoreless sixth in his third outing since joining the Cubs organization.
Smokies News: Tennessee hasn’t announced a starter for Monday’s series finale but Preston Morrison is up next in the rotation.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 5, Salem (Red Sox) 1
Hitting Recap: Myrtle Beach scored all their runs in the seventh. RF Eddy Martinez (.216) tied the game at 1-1 with a solo homer deep over the left field wall and 1B Matt Rose (.252) gave the Pelicans the lead for good with another long drive to left. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and CF Robert Garcia (.236) followed with a two-run single. 2B Bryant Flete (.285) added a RBI ground out.
Pitching Chart: Adbert Alzolay (4-1, 2.68 ERA) only surrendered a solo homer in the third, fanning eight over six innings on just one hit. He walked one and recorded six ground ball outs in the 86-pitch outing, 56 for strikes. Michael Rucker (2.45 ERA) worked around a walk and hit in a scoreless seventh. Pedro Araujo (2.45 ERA) retired all six hitters he faced, one on strikes.
Pelicans News: RH Thomas Hatch (0-4, 6.27 ERA) gets the start on Monday morning in the series finale in Salem. Hatch has allowed 35 hits and 22 walks in 33 innings over eight starts. …..Pelicans have lost five of their last seven games and have fallen four games behind first place Buies Creek.
Midwest League—Low A—Lansing (Blue Jays) 5, South Bend 3
Lansing (21-18) scored four times in the top of the eighth and left town taking three of four from South Bend (26-15).
Hitting Recap: RF Luis Ayala (.254) got the Cubs on the board in the third with a leadoff double. He took third on a sacrifice bunt by CF Brandon Cummins (.280) and scored on C Alberto Mineo’s ground out. South Bend grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fifth as Cummins reached on a bunt single and raced home on a RBI double to right field by 3B Wladimir Galindo (.290). Cubs scored their final run in the eighth when 2B Zack Short (.277) doubled, took third on a fly ball and scored on an error. Only six hits for South Bend
Pitching Chart: Bryan Hudson (3.60 ERA) continues to find success in the MWL as the lefty tossed six solid innings, surrendering just one run on six hits and two walks. Hudson coaxed 10 ground ball outs and fanned two in the 75-pitch outing. Game score 59….. Chad Hockin (0-1, 3.93 ERA) tossed a scoreless seventh but was removed after the first two hitters of the eighth reached. Wyatt Short (3.00 ERA) allowed both inherited runners to score and by the time Short got three outs, they added two more runs for a 5-2 lead.
SB-Cubs News: South Bend heads to Bowling Green on Monday night and send Manuel Rondon (5-1, 4.72 ERA) to the mound.