AAA: Iowa Cubs (3-4 record on the week)
Arismendy Alcantara hit 2 home runs last Monday on his way to a solid overall week. For the week, Alcantara went a modest 6-28 at the dish, but of his 6 hits, 4 went for extra bases. Despite his small stature, he sure does carry a lot of pop in that bat. On the season, he leads the I-Cubs in home runs, triples, and total bases.
Outfielder John Andreoli went 9-26 with 3 walks at the plate over the last week. Andreoli drove in 4 runs while also scoring 6. On the season, he quietly holds a slash line of .301/.403/.417 as of Sunday evening.
Junior Lake, who is back at Iowa again, had a nice week at the dish going 6-16 with his 1st minor league home run. Lake also stole 2 bases. The outfielder is hitting .273 on the season at Iowa.
Christian Villanueva hit 7-27 on the week with 2 doubles and 4 RBI.
Right-hander Donn Roach racked up 16 ground ball outs on his way to his 7th victory of the season last Friday. Roach was masterful again, throwing 7 innings of 3-run ball. For the season, he holds a record of 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA.
Carlos Pimentel continued his resurgence, picking up another win last Thursday. Pimentel threw 6.1 innings while allowing only 1 run; he also struck out 4. For arbitrary end-point purposes, if you take away his May 22nd start in which he allowed 7 runs, Pimentel has a 2.61 ERA.
Hitter of the week: John Andreoli – 9-26, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 6 R
Pitcher of the week: Donn Roach – 1 GS, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 16 GB/3 FB (1W)
AA: Tennessee Smokies (5-1 record on the week)
The Smokies ended the first half on a high note winning 5 of 6 games.
Outfielder Billy McKinney was some kind of hot to end the week. He reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances stretching over 3 games and went 10-16 with a home run and 7 RBI overall. He also walked 3 times and scored 5 runs. #FireEmoji
Jacob Hannemann followed up last week’s solid performance with another nice week. Hannemann batted 10-28 with 2 doubles along with 2 runs driven in. The speedster has raised his batting average from .179 to .220 over his last 13 games.
University of Virgina product Stephen Bruno continued his nice play, going 9-22 while also driving in 7 runs. Bruno is hitting .333 over the last 30 days.
Ryan Williams picked up W’s in both of his starts last week, throwing 12 innings of 2-run ball in his 2 starts; he struck out 9 and walked only 3. Since the promotion from South Bend, Williams is undefeated in his 4 starts and now sits at 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA with Tennessee. Overall, he is 7-1 with a ridiculous 1.56 ERA between the two affiliates.
Ivan Pineyro was stellar Saturday versus Mississippi, picking up the win as he threw 6 innings of shutout baseball. He allowed only 3 base-runners all game. After a few shaky starts, it’s great to see him get back on this side of it. His numbers on the season are still very solid at 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA.
As we mentioned in last week’s recap, Pierce Johnson made his season debut throwing 3 shutout innings in his 1st start back from injury. Johnson had a longer leash in his 2nd start, reaching the 65 pitch limit versus his 1st start in which he was limited to 54 pitches. He threw 5 innings and did not allow a run and it’s great to have the Flowbro back.
Hitter of the week: Billy McKinney – 10-16, HR, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 5 R
Pitcher of the week: Ryan Williams – 2 GS, 12 IP, 7H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K (2W)
High-A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans (5-2 record on the week)
Like the Smokies, the Pelicans ended the 1st half on a high note, winning 5 of 7 games. They also secured a playoff spot finishing atop the Southern division.
Mark Zagunis is ready for the next level and has been for quite some time now. He went 11-23 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI. Zagunis filled the box score quite well as he also had a triple, a double, 4 walks, 2 stolen bases, and 5 runs scored. He now has an OPS of .923 on the season.
Chesny Young followed up his 10-27 last week with a 10-27 this week. Young had a double and 3 RBI to go along with 4 runs scored. Since his freshman year of college, he has never hit under .315 at any level (h/t to my guy @Richdanna for the stat).
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario returned back to the lineup going 8-24 with a home run and 4 RBI. The home run was Candelario’s 5th on the season.
Outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen went 9-27 on the week with 7 runs scored. The speedster also walked 4 times and stole 2 bases.
Duane Underwood Jr. picked up his 6th win of the season by throwing 7 shutout innings last Tuesday versus Winston-Salem. Underwood struck out 4 and walked only 1. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA on the season. If there is one knock on Underwood’s performance, it’s his lack of strikeouts. He only has 41 K’s in 63.1 innings. With the type of stuff he has, we should see the strikeout rate rise as the season goes on.
Juan Paniagua picked up 2 wins in relief in his 2 appearances last week. He racked up 3.2 innings and did not allow any hits or walk while striking out 3. The prospect nerd in all of us still holds out a little hope for Paniagua to become a big leaguer even if he is relegated to the bullpen.
Hitter of the week: Mark Zagunis – 11-23, 2 HR, 3B, 2B, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SB, 5 R
Pitcher of the week: Duane Underwood Jr. – 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (W)
Low-A: South Bend Cubs (2-4 record on the week)
Charcer Burks had a nice bounce-back week going 8-21 with 2 runs driven in. Burks ended the 1st half on a 6-game hitting streak.
Rashad Crawford is not often talked about, but he is worth keeping an eye on. For the week, Crawford went 6-15 with a double and 2 runs driven in. He also drew 2 walks and stole 2 bases.
Gleyber Torres, everyone’s favorite 18-year-old, went 5-21 on the week, driving in 3 runs to take his season total to 38. Torres ended the 1st half with a .312 batting average.
Tommy Thorpe made his 1st start of the season and fared very well, going 5 innings and allowing no runs on 4 hits. He also struck out 5 hitters. The left-hander, who has primarily been used in relief, showed he deserves a few more starts at the very least.
Jake Stinnett had his best start of the season last Thursday, throwing 6 innings and allowed no runs on only 1 hit, though he did walk 3. Walks have been a concern all season for the Maryland alum; he has 32 walks in 49.1 innings.
Don’t look now, but that is now back to back wins for Erick Leal. The 20-year-old went 6 innings allowing 2 runs versus the Whitecaps on Saturday. Leal has lowered his season ERA to 4.96.
Hitter of the week: Rashad Crawford – 6-15, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB, 4 R
Pitcher of the week: Tommy Thorpe – 1 GS, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (W)
Short Season-A: Eugene Emeralds (1-3 record on the week)
Eugene kicked off it’s season with a 1-3 record.
Now that some of the more popular names in the Cubs system are either in the big leagues or in the higher minor leagues, it’s time for Eloy Jimenez to take the spotlight for all the low-level prospects. Jimenez went 4-18 with 5 RBI in the 4 games last week.
One of the other exciting bats on the current roster is recent 1st-round draft pick Ian Happ. The Cincinnati alum made his impact felt almost immediately, hitting a home run in his 2nd professional game. Happ went 4-13 with 2 home runs and 2 RBI in the 3 games he played in last week. We all can assume that Happ won’t be in Eugene long based on the way the Cubs have handled their other recent 1st round picks. Enjoy him while you can!
A few names to watch on the mound include the likes of Carson Sands and Justin Steele. Sands, a 4th-round pick from last season, made his debut in the opener, throwing 5 innings of 2 run ball. Steele followed him in game 2 throwing 5 shutout innings. More impressively, he struck out 9.
Hitter of the week: Ian Happ – 4-13, 2 HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R
Pitcher of the week: Justin Steele – 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K (ND)