Tennessee Smokies

College bats in the draft, walk-off wins, doubleheader sweep and a shutout highlight today’s recap.

Tennessee and Myrtle Beach both won via the walk-off on Wednesday night while Iowa blanked Reno.

2017 Draft—College Bats

The Cubs have two first round picks and it seems almost unimaginable that they won’t use one of those picks on a college bat. I mean why break a streak that’s netted you Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ with your last first round picks. And even though the Cubs don’t get to the podium until the 27th pick, there may be a few interesting college players still on the board but many of the tops bats could be gone in what’s considered a weak college class for position players.

Based on the a variety of mock drafts and player rankings, Brendan McKay (Louisville), Pavin Smith (Virginia), Adam Haseley (Virginia) and Jason Kendall (Vanderbilt) will all be gone long before the Cubs pick. Power-hitting third baseman Jake Burger (Missouri State) and utility player Keston Hiura (UC-Irvine) are both goo fits for what the Cubs look for in a college bat but they will also be likely gone when the Cubs pick. SS Logan Warmoth (North Carolina) has shot up the ranking this spring and is a possibility, however, most “mockers’ have him gone before the Cubs pick.

Evan White, a first baseman and also an outfielder from Kentucky, is an interesting prospect and a former Team USA player, something the Cubs are fond of. White is hitting .385/.460/.661 with eight homers, 22 doubles, and 34 RBI in 43 games for the Wildcats in the SEC.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 5, Reno (D-Backs) 0

Five Iowa pitchers combined to blank Reno.

Hitting Recap: Iowa faced former Cubs pitcher Erik Jokisch, Chicago’s 11th round pick in 2010 out of Northwestern. C Ali Solis hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Mark Zagunis went 1-for-3 with two RBI as the Cubs scored four times off Jokisch in his six innings. RF Stephen Bruno went 3-for-4 with a RBI while Elliot Soto, Solis and John Andreoli all had two hits in the win.

Pitching Chart: Juan Paniagua made his second start and went three innings, fanning five while allowing a hit and two walks. Miguel Mejia (2-0, 6.62 ERA) got the win in relief, firing a pair of scoreless frames. Conor Mullee made his Cubs debut, allowing two hits over 1.2 innings. Dylan Floro worked 1.2 frames and Justin Grimm got the final three outs to preserve the shutout.

I-Cubs Notes: No starter has been named for Thursday night’s game against Reno at Principal Park…….RH Seth Frankoff is tearing up the PCL. He leads the league with a 0.98 WHIP and is first among starters with a .175 BAA and a 8.92 base runners per nine innings. He’s fourth with 9.86 K/9 and sixth with a 3.16 ERA among starters….Cubs have activated RHP Conor Mullee from the DL. The Cubs claimed Mullee off waivers from the Yankees back in November and then resigned him to a minor league deal during the off-season. Mullee, 29, was the Yankees 24th round pick back in 2010.

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 5, Biloxi (Brewers) 4—10 innings

Jason Vosler drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th to give Tennessee the walk-off win over Biloxi in the series opener.

Hitting Recap: With the scored tied at 4-4, RF Jeffrey Baez (.243) led off the 10th with a walk and took second on a wild pitch. After an intentional walk to SS Andrew Ely (.292), 2B David Bote (.282) singled to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Roberto Caro (.143) struckout swinging and 3B Jason Vosler (.297) drew another walk to give the Smokies the win. C Ian Rice (.257) smoked a three-run homer (6) in the fourth to put the Smokies up 4-2. LF Carlos Penalver (.261) and Bote both finished with two hits.

Pitching Chart: Zach Hedges got the start and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. He fanned five and threw 83 pitches, 55 for strikes. Brad Markey gave up a run in the sixth and another in the seventh, recording his third blown save. Ryan McNeil tossed a scoreless eighth. Andury Acevedo (1-0, 0.00 ERA) got the win, fanning two in a pair of shutout frames. Acevedo hasn’t allowed a run in 13 innings, 10 games.

Smokies News: Preston Morrison (0-4, 4.10 ERA) gets the ball on Thursday night against Biloxi.……OF Roberto Caro has been assigned to Tennessee from extended spring training.

Carolina League—High A—Game 1—Myrtle Beach 4, Winston-Salem (White Sox) 3—8 innings; Game 2—Myrtle Beach 3, Winston Salem 2

Myrtle Beach used a walk-off single by Andruw Monasterio to take the opener and competed then completed the sweep.

Hitting Recap: Game 1—In the bottom of the eighth, Eddy Martinez led off with a walk and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Rose. After a fly out and an intentional walk, Monasterio laced a single to left to score Martinez with the game-winner. Monasterio finished 2-for-3 while Bryant Flete, Trent Giambrone and Rose all knocked in runs.

Game 2—Trailing 2-0, Myrtle Beach scored twice in the second on RBI singles from Giambrone and Adonis Paula. The Pelicans scored the deciding run in the third when Flete led off with a walk and eventually scored on a RBI single from  Martinez. Only four hits for the Pelicans in the win.

Pitching Chart: Game 1Justin Steele (2-3, 2.84 ERA) tossed a season-high seven innings and threw 93-pitches, 67 for strikes. Steele surrendered three runs over the first two innings but settled down to blank the Dash over the next five frames. Pedro Araujo (1-0, 2.33 ERA) worked around a hit and two walks in the eight and got credit for the win.

Game 2Kyle Miller (2-1, 5.52 ERA) made his second start for Myrtle Beach and went four innings, surrendering two runs (one eared) on four hits and two walks. He threw 66 pitches, 38 for strikes. Casey Bloomquist (3-4, 5.88 ERA) picked up the win in relief, fanning two in two scoreless frames. Dillon Maples (2.45 ERA) worked around a walk in the seventh to record his first save. 

Pelicans News: Oscar De La Cruz (3-2, 3.24 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday night against Winston-Salem……The Pelicans have placed LHP Tommy Thorpe on the DL and activated OF Connor Myers from the disabled list.

Midwest League—Low A—Bowling Green (Rays) 13, South Bend 3

Bowling Green hammered South Bend pitching for 20 hits and whipped the Cubs for the second time in the series.

Hitting Recap: 3B Wladimir Galindo (.300) smacked a two-run homer in the fourth and Luis Ayala added as solo bast the seventh but that would be all the offense as the Cubs were held to four hits. Galindo finished 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching Chart: Tyson Miller (2-4, 5.02 ERA) got the start and didn’t make it out of the fourth, surrendering five runs on eight hits and three walks in the 71-pitch outing. Matt Swarmer didn’t fare any better, giving up 10 hits and eight runs in 2.2 frames. Jared Cheek tossed two scoreless innings. 

SB-Cubs News: No starter has been named for Thursday night.

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