I began writing this post on Sunday, but was not able to finish until this morning. I’ve been busy with work and family.
The Cubs minor league teams are beginning to take shape under Theo & Co’s regime. Javier Baez has played well this year and earned a promotion to AA Tennessee. He even hit a home run in his first game with the Smokies. Baez has the power of a corner infielder but is still playing shortstop for the time being. Centerfielder, Albert Almora, who got off to a bad start this year in spring training with a broken hamate bone in his left hand is in single A Kane County. Since recovering from his injury, Almora has hit .351 in 168 at bats. I look for him to get promoted to high A Daytona in the near future if he continues to play this way.
Cuban outfielder, Jorge Soler, was playing well in Daytona until injuring hi left tibia. The injury is a stress fracture and it’s uncertain when he will return. Hopefully, he will be back by August.
21 year old middle infielder Arismendy Alcantara was playing shortstop until Baez’s arrival in Tennessee. Since then, Alcantara has shifted over to second base. He’s stolen 22 out of 25 bases so far this year and has decent power even homering in the Future Games on Sunday. For the record, Arismendy was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 by former GM Jim Hendry.
Two more Jim Hendry players are Centerfielder, Matt Szczur and shortstop Junior Lake. Szczur is going to turn 24 next week. The speedy outfielder is playing well for the AA Smokies and could see a promotion to Iowa by the end of the summer. Junior Lake is a 23 year old playing well for the triple A Iowa Cubs. After starting the season on the DL, Lake has put up decent numbers and a September call-up is possible.
There are two more players I want to mention. Both are in Kane County right now. Daniel Vogelbach at firstbase and lefty relief pitcher Nathan Dorris. Both players made the Midwest League All-Stars this year. Vogelbach is a big man with a powerful bat and the ability to draw walks. Dorris is a lefty reliever who continues to get guys out. Both players may be considered for promotion to Daytona this year if they continue to produce.
These are just a few of the players I have book marked on the Minor League Baseball website. There are more players that I will probably write about soon. Until then, I recommend keeping an eye on this short list.