It’s no secret that I’ve got an irrational affection for Albert Almora, the future Gold Glove centerfielder who’s proving that he can hit a little bit too. But Almora isn’t the only prospect Cubs fans are swooning over in Des Moines, as Todd Johnson explained in a recent post.
Dan Vogelbach has been a popular name in the system for quite some time, but John Andreoli made some waves down in Mesa and is no longer flying under the radar. Both men helped key an offensive outburst for the Iowa Cubs Monday night, going a combined 5-for-8 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI in a 13-6 romp over the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Vogelbach opened the scoring in the 1st inning with his second homer of the season, an absolute bomb to right center that knocked in Ryan Kalish and Willson Contreras and knocked out the lights in the “A” of the Principal Park sign atop the video board in right center. I don’t care if it is kind of a short porch, that shot would’ve been impressive had he been playing on a Little League diamond.
It’s hard to tell from the live video, but the highlight in the slo-mo replay is pretty clear. And as night falls and the lights come up, the damage becomes even more evident.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) April 26, 2016
Confirmed by video closeup slomo post game — I-Cubs win 13-6 https://t.co/CoWDEJurhq
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) April 26, 2016
Not to be outdone, Andreoli went oppo for a two-run jack to right in the 2nd inning that scored Drew Rucinski and put his team up 5-0. OKC went deep a couple times and eventually closed the gap to 5-4 before Andreoli purchased a little insurance with lined solo shot, again to right, in the 6th. The home runs were Andreoli’s first of the season and he would later add an RBI single to center to pad his stellar performance.
Vogelbach came into the game hitting .333 but saw his average rise to .352 after going 2-for-3 with two walks on Monday. Despite the impressive showing at spring training, Andreoli had been having a bit of a rough go of it to begin the regular season. A performance like this, however, might signal a breakout. A .210 batting average isn’t too sexy, but it looks a heck of a lot better than the .175 Andreoli was sporting when the game started.
If this were three or four years ago, we might be clamoring for these guys and teammates Almora and Contreras to get the call to Chicago. As it sits, though, the Cubs currently boast the greatest collection of talent ever assembled in the history of great collections of talent and there’s just no room for more.
That’s a really good thing for the Cubs and it’s a great thing for fans in Iowa who will get to watch this wave of prospects for significantly longer than they had Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber. Not that I’m making direct comparisons between the two groups, mind you, just that I’m saying that the I-Cubs are no longer acting as a revolving door between Tennessee and Chicago.
Should be fun watching them take target practice with the remaining 12 letters of that sign over the next few months.