Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’
Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill combined to go 8-for-14 with 11 RBIs in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 13-3 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs in Arizona Fall League play Wednesday. Almora homered on the first pitch he saw leading off the first at HoHoKam Stadium, and finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. He needed a triple to complete the cycle. Soler hit a three-run double and Bryant hit a three-run homer. Darvill, who is on the taxi squad, hit a two-run homer in his only at-bat.
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs prospects Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant both had good days Tuesday in the Arizona Fall League opener. Soler hit a tie-breaking RBI double with two outs in the eighth and Bryant had three hits and two RBIs for the Mesa Solar Sox. Soler was 0-for-4 before delivering a RBI double down the left field line. Bryant had a RBI single in the second and a RBI double in the seventh.
As for the Cubs pitching prospects, Matt Loosen gave up two unearned runs in two innings of relief and Lendy Castillo served up three unearned runs in one inning. Armando Rivera, 25, the Cuban right-hander who the Cubs signed in March to a $3.1 million contract, struck out three of the four batters he faced in the eighth, throwing 15 pitches, 12 for strikes.
Bryant’s third hit came in the ninth, and nearly injured third baseman Colin Moran. Bryant broke his bat when he made contact, and part of it nearly impaled Moran, who fortunately ducked in time.
Infielder Mat Gamel, who missed the 2013 season because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. Gamel, 28, ended the season on the Brewers’ 60-day disabled list, and was transferred to the Cubs’ 60-day DL. A left-handed hitter, he played parts of the previous five seasons with the Brewers (2008-12), posting a .229 batting average with 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 29 RBIs in 106 games. He’s played first base, third base, and three games in left.
In his most recent full pro season in 2011, Gamel spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville where he batted .310 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in 128 games. He made the Brewers’ Opening Day roser in 2012 but suffered a torn right ACL 21 games into the season on May 1 in San Diego. This year, he was expected to fulfill the void created by Corey Hart but reinjured the ligament in Spring Training.
Originally selected by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft, Gamel earned Topps Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2008 after hitting .329 with 35 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers and 96 RBIs in 127 games with Double-A Huntsville. Gamel made his big league debut with Milwaukee near the end of the 2008 season. The Cubs are set at first with Anthony Rizzo but Gamel could see action at third base.
* Dale Sveum wasn’t out of work long. Sveum, who was dismissed as the Cubs manager on Monday, was hired by the Royals to be part of manager Ned Yost’s coaching staff. Sveum will work with the infielders and in-game responsibilities will be announced later. Sveum was a coach on Yost’s staff for three seasons with the Brewers, and replaced him in 2008 for the final 12 games of the season. Milwaukee reached the National League Division Series that year. In two seasons with the Cubs, Sveum compiled a 127-197 record, finishing 66-96 this year and last in the National League Central. The Royals announced the contracts of third base coach Eddie Rodriguez and bench coach Chino Cadahia will not be renewed, and Sveum could fill one of those openings.
* Third baseman Luis Valbuena was recovering this week from a stomach ailment that forced him to miss the Cubs’ last series of the regular season. Valbuena did not travel with the team to St. Louis because of the problem, and was receiving treatment in Chicago.
* The Arizona Fall League gets underway next Tuesday. Among the Cubs prospects playing for the Mesa Solar Sox are outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler, infielders Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill, and right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivero.
– Carrie Muskat
Javier Baez may not be playing in the Arizona Fall League but he will make at least two trips to Mesa, Ariz., to work with Cubs hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce and others. Baez, the top prospect on MLB.com’s list of Cubs’ 20 prospects, also will play some second and some third base, but do so “at the right time,” Theo Epstein said Friday.
Baez, who be honored on Saturday as the Minor League Player of the Year, was on the Mesa Solar Sox roster for the AFL but the Cubs decided the shortstop needed a break from a long season at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. He hit 37 home runs and totaled 111 RBIs in 130 games combined.
“What I really like about him is his insincts of the game,” Epstein said. “[It's impressive] for a high school kid to show up in pro ball … to show a feel for the game, a feel to be a winning player. On defense, he’s got a great internal clock, and he knows how fast the runner is at first, he knows what he needs to do, how quick his release has to be on his throw. He was born with it. He showed that in high school and has carried that over into pro ball.”
Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development, said if Baez did have to move from shortstop, that he felt second would be an easier transition.
“I don’t think any of us envisioned he’d hit 37 home runs,” McLeod said of Baez. “There are very few 20 year olds who did what he did.”
Kyle Hendricks will be honored as the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Saturday as well in pre-game ceremonies. McLeod said the right-hander showed a strong ability to “dissect the plate” with his pitches. McLeod also was excited to see how C.J. Edwards, Corey Black and Pierce Johnson developed after strong seasons in the Minors.
As for third base, Kris Bryant, the team’s No. 1 pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, will play in the AFL. He will open next year in either Daytona or Tennessee. The Cubs have two other talented third baseman in Christian Villanueva and Jeimer Candelario. McLeod said Villanueva may be the best defensive third baseman in the organization. The Cubs also are eager to see what Mike Olt can do. He was acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, and will spend some time working out in Mesa.
– Carrie Muskat
* C.J. Edwards and Ryan Searle combined on a two-hitter and Kris Bryant drove in two runs to lead Class A Daytona to 4-0 win over Dunedin Wednesday and clinch the Florida State League best-of-three North Championship Series, two games to none. Daytona now faces Charlotte in the best of five FSL Championship Series, starting Thursday.
Edwards, acquired in July from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade, struck out eight and walked one over five innings, while Searle struck out five over four innings in relief in the game, which was interrupted by rain. Bryant was 3-for-3, hitting a two-run double in the third. Wes Darvill hit a RBI double in the second, and Elliot Soto added another RBI double in the fourth.
* Class A Boise also reached the Northwest League Championship with a win Wednesday. Justin Marra hit a pair of two-run doubles to help Boise beat Salem-Keizer, 11-7, and clinch the South Division Series, two games to none. Boise will now play Vancouver. Marra hit his first double in the first inning, and put Boise ahead for good with another in the third. Kevin Encarnacion and Danny Lockhart each had three hits. Loiger Padron picked up the win in relief, giving up three hits over 2 2/3 innings. This is the 13th trip in franchise history to the championship series for the Hawks, and they are vying for their seventh title.
* On Thursday, the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate, Tennessee, begins Southern League North Division series play against Birmingham in a best of five series at Regions Field. Games 3-5 will be played at Smokies Park.
Tennessee begins the playoffs on Thursday, facing Birmingham in the best of five Southern League North Division Championship.
Corey Black threw five shutout innings and Kris Bryant delivered a two-run single to help Daytona beat Dunedin 6-1 in the first game of the best of three North Division playoff series. C.J. Edwards is scheduled to start Game 2 on Wednesday at Dunedin. Black, acquired from the Yankees in the Alfonso Soriano deal, struck out seven and walked one. Bryant had two hits, including his big single in a five-run sixth. Pin-Chieh Chen doubled in the first and scored on a wild pitch. Dan Vogelbach also had an RBI.
Paul Blackburn threw seven shutout innings in Boise’s 3-0 win over Salem-Keizer in the first game of the Northwest League playoffs. Game 2 of the best of three series is Wednesday. Kevin Encarnacion had three hits and scored two runs, and Yasiel Balaguert had three hits and two RBIs.
The Cubs named Class A Daytona teammates, third baseman Kris Bryant and right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson, the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for August, respectively. Bryant, 21, batted .381 (32-for-84) with 16 runs scored, nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 21 RBI in 24 August games between Single-A Boise and Daytona. He recorded a .438 on-base percentage and a .762 slugging percentage, good for a 1.199 OPS that was second-highest in all of minor league baseball (Single-A Hickory’s Joey Gallo had a 1.292 OPS).
The second pick overall in the June Draft, Bryant combined to bat .336 (43-for-128) with 14 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 32 RBI in 36 games between Rookie League Mesa, Boise and Daytona. He recorded a 1.078 OPS, thanks to a .390 on-base percentage and a .688 slugging mark. Bryant committed just three errors in 34 games at third base between Boise and Daytona.
Johnson, 22, went 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA (2 ER/17.2 IP) in four August games (three starts) for Daytona, walking nine and striking out 22 while limiting the opponent to a .186 batting average. He began the month with 5.0-shutout innings at Clearwater, August 8, then spun 5.2-shutout frames vs. Clearwater five days later.
In his first full professional season, Johnson has combined to go 11-6 with a 2.74 ERA (36 ER/118.1 IP) in 23 games (21 starts) between Single-A Kane County and Daytona. He has walked 43 and struck out 124 in 118.1 innings, good for an average of 9.43 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. Johnson’s 11 victories are tied for second-most amongst Cubs minor league pitchers, trailing only Triple-A Iowa’s Kyle Hendricks (13).
Johnson was selected by Chicago in the sandwich round (43rd overall) of the 2012 draft and was named the sixth-best Cubs prospect heading into the season by Baseball America. All told, Johnson is 11-6 with a 2.78 ERA (40 ER/129.1 IP) in 29 minor league games (27 starts), allowing just five home runs in his 537 batters faced. He has struck out 138 batters in 129.1 innings, good for an average of 9.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.
Brooks Raley gave up one run on one hit and two walks over five innings in Iowa’s 3-2 loss to Nashville. The I-Cubs were eliminated from the playoffs with the loss. Brad Nelson hit his 20th home run, a solo shot. Mike Olt had three hits.
Eduardo Figueroa threw six shutout innings, giving up one hit and walking one, in Tennessee’s 12-1 win over Chattanooga. Justin Bour was a triple shy of the cycle, finishing with a double, a homer and a season-high six RBIs. Brett Jackson had two hits, including a double and a triple. Christian Villanueva had two hits and two RBIs. He leads the Southern League with 41 doubles.
Kris Bryant, Dustin Geiger, Bijan Rademacher, Pin-Chieh Chen and Zeke DeVoss each homered in Daytona’s 11-6 win over Brevard County. For Bryant, it was his second homer in the last three games. Chen smacked a two-run blast. Ivan Pineyro gave up four runs over five innings.
Starling Peralta gave up eight runs over four innings in Kane County’s 8-2 loss to Cedar Rapids. Carlos Escobar had three hits and Reggie Golden had two hits.
Duane Underwood gave up eight runs — four earned — over three innings in Boise’s 10-6 loss to Salem-Keizer. Dan Lockhart had two hits.
Mesa’s season ended Thursday at 27-28.
Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs over eight innings in Iowa’s 5-2 win over Omaha. Ty Wright had two hits and three RBIs. For Hendricks, the eight innings were a season high, and this was his third straight quality start. Brian Schlitter converted his 20th save.
Tennessee had the day off and returns to action Thursday against Chattanooga.
Kris Bryant and Dustin Geiger each hit home runs to help Daytona beat Dunedin, 6-2, and clinch the Florida State League second-half title in the first game of a doubleheader. Lendy Castillo threw 2 2/3 innings of relief for his second win. In the second game, Wes Darvill was 3-for-3 in Daytona’s 3-0 win. Bijan Rademacher had two RBIs.
Scott Baker had his best rehab outing, giving up one hit over five innings in Kane County’s 9-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Baker retired the first 13 batters he faced. Jeimer Candelario and Carlos Escobar each homered.
Jacob Rogers, Yasiel Balaguert and Justin Marra each homered to power Boise to a 10- win over Salem-Keizer. Marra finished with three RBIs.
Mesa had the day off and returns to action Thursday against the Diamondbacks.
Fans who can’t wait to see Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler play for the Cubs will have their chance in October.
Baez, Almora and Bryant, the Cubs’ first-round picks in the last three First-Year Player Drafts, will join Soler on the Mesa Solar Sox roster and participate in the Arizona Fall League, which begins play Oct. 8. Almora, limited to 61 games with Class A Kane County because of injuries, will be on Mesa’s taxi squad, and play Wednesdays and Sundays.
Other Cubs on the Mesa AFL roster include pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino. Beeler, Loosen and Rivero were pitching for Double-A Tennessee, while Vizcaino, acquired from the Braves in July 2012 in the Paul Maholm deal, has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
It’s been a whirlwind summer for Bryant, the second pick overall in the June Draft. The third baseman, who led the country with 31 home runs at San Diego, began the season at short-season Boise, and batted .354 in 18 games with four home runs, eight doubles and 14 RBIs, and was promoted to Class A Daytona, where he was batting .368 in 10 games with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs.
“I’m very excited,” Bryant said. “I don’t much about [the AFL]. I’m new to this whole process, but I know there are lot of good players who have gone to the Fall League. I’m excited I get to continue playing baseball. The games will only help me in my development against some very good competition.”
The Cubs project Bryant, Almora, Baez and Soler to be key pieces in the team’s future. Now, they’ll be teammates.
“That’s huge,” Bryant said about being with the other prospects. “To get to play 30 plus games with these guys, it’ll only help us in the future. Hopefully, we can develop chemistry so heading into next year, we can make things easier for ourselves.”
* This will be Baez’s second turn in the AFL. Last year ended early because of a thumb injury that limited him to 14 AFL games. This season, the 20-year-old shortstop has been on fire. He batted .274 in 76 games with 17 home runs, 19 doubles and 57 RBIs at Class A Daytona, and was batting .308 with 18 home runs, 14 doubles and 48 RBIs in 48 games with Double-A Tennessee.
* Almora, 19, an outfielder, was batting .329 in 61 games with Kane County before being sidelined with a groin injury. Soler, 21, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal in June 2012, was limited to 55 games because of a stress fracture in his left tibia. He batted .281 with eight home runs and 13 doubles with Daytona before he was hurt.
* Beeler made nine starts at Tennessee before being sidelined in late May when he tore a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand.
* Loosen was 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in nine starts with Daytona, and 2-3 with a 6.53 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) with Tennessee. On Monday, he gave up three hits over seven shutout innings in a win over Mobile.
* Rivero has pitched in relief, appearing in 18 games at Kane County, Daytona and Tennessee combined. The Cuban right-hander has given up 13 earned runs over 27 2/3 innings and struck out 43.
“We’re taking pride in what we’ve done,” said player development and scouting director Jason McLeod. “There’s a lot to be excited about, though it’s in Daytona and in Double-A. But we have the opportunity to get some [impact players] to the big leagues, guys with stuff and tools.”
– Carrie Muskat