Results tagged ‘ Pierce Johnson ’
The 15 prospects taking part in the Cubs’ Rookie Development Program took a break from their baseball studies to attend a Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday. For many of them, it was their first NHL game, and also a chance to see how rabid Chicago fans are about their team.
“Being at the stadium and watching all the people go crazy during the national anthem, that was awesome,” pitcher Pierce Johnson said Wednesday of the rousing performance before every home Blackhawks game. “I can just imagine what it’ll be like when we turn it around and actually win a World Series. I’m excited. It gives me chills.”
The Cubs are counting on the talent participating in this week’s program to get them that championship.
Joining Johnson were pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino; outfielders Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Rubi Silva; and infielders Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and Arismendy Alcantara. Eleven of the players rank among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Hendricks, who completed his economics degree at Dartmouth, was the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
The week-long program includes drills, a hospital visit, and seminars, and will end with the Cubs Convention this weekend. The guest speakers included Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, manager Rick Renteria and former player Rick Sutcliffe.
“It prepares us for what’s coming,” Almora said. “They’re teaching us about what to get ready for, what to expect, what they expect from us. We’re taking it to heart, we’re taking notes. We’re in this for the long run.”
* Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development, said Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa along with Villanueva and Alcantara. Bryant could be at Double-A Tennessee, and it was still to be determined where Almora and Soler will start the year.
* Two of the five Cubs prospects injured in a car accident Jan. 6 in the Dominican Republic remained hospitalized. Kevin Encarnacion and Jose Zapata were both doing well but still receiving treatment. Encarnacion played at Class A Boise last year.
* Jorge Soler is 100 percent healthy after a leg injury shortened his season. Soler played in the Arizona Fall League but was told to take it easy, McLeod said. The outfielder has been impressive in his approach at the plate. On Wednesday, Soler said he missed too many games last year, and was eager to get back to playing.
* C.J. Edwards is trying to gain weight. At the Blackhawks game, the skinny pitcher ate an Italian sausage, cheese fries, and a hot dog with cheese on it. Said Edwards: “Anything I see, I eat.”
* Javy Baez knows fans are clamoring for him to get to the big leagues. He’s doing everything he can but everyone wants to know when.
“As soon as possible,” he said.
– Carrie Muskat
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.
Guillermo Moscoso gave up one hit over five innings in Iowa’s 1-0 walkoff win over New Orleans. Edwin Maysonet hit a RBI single with two outs in the ninth for the game winner. Logan Watkins had two hits.
Eric Jokisch gave up six runs on seven hits over six innings in Tennessee’s 6-4 loss to Huntsville. Javier Baez hit his fifth home run, and was batting .203 with the Double-A team.
Wes Darvill was 3-for-3 but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost 5-3 to St. Lucie in the first game of a doubleheader. Austin Reed gave up two hits over 4 1/3 innings in relief. In the second game, Pierce Johnson threw five shutout innings in a 7-0 victory. Pin-Chieh Chen hit a home run and Darvill added two more hits, including a double and a triple. Darvill finished the day 5-for-6 with five RBIs.
Kane County had the day off and will open a series at Beloit on Wednesday.
Dillon Maples threw five scoreless innings in Boise’s 6-0 win over Eugene. Jacob Rogers hit his fifth home run, and Jacob Hannemann had two hits and two stolen bases. No. 1 Draft pick Kris Bryant made his Boise debut, and was 0-for-5.
David DeJesus was 1-for-3 and scored a run in Mesa’s 7-2 win over the Indians. DeJesus, who could be activated Wednesday, was batting .364.
* Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, eligible to come off the disabled list Friday after being sidelined with a sore left shin, was still experiencing some discomfort and not expected to return to the Class A Daytona lineup for a few more days.
“He was sore there and that’s why he didn’t play in the [Florida State League] All-Star Game, and we thought it would be best to rest him for a few days, and hopefully, it’ll be another day or two,” said Jason McLeod, vice president, scouting and player development for the Cubs.
Soler, ranked No. 3 among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles and one triple in 55 games with Daytona.
Some other updates:
* Josh Vitters, who was rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., at the Cubs’ complex, apparently had a setback and there’s no timetable for the third baseman’s return, McLeod said. Vitters, 23, on Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list, was batting .270 in 19 games.
“He’s battling some nicks and bruises,” McLeod said of Vitters, the Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2007. “It’s been a tough year for him. He’s a kid who, because of where he was picked in the Draft, you tend to think this guy is 25 years old or something, but he’s still fairly young. Hopefully, he can salvage the second half and get out on the field.”
* Speaking of the Draft, McLeod said most of the college kids will go to Class A Boise, rather than play in the Arizona Rookie League, which gets underway Friday.
* Pierce Johnson, a first-round pick in the 2012 Draft, was recently promoted from Class A Kane County to Daytona, but McLeod said they’ll give the right-hander a little break.
“He certainly earned [the promotion],” McLeod said of Johnson. “He’s at about 70 innings right now, and looking at what we have planned for him for the year, we thought it would be a good challenge for him. We’ll use the All-Star break and where we’re slotting him to give him a little breather. He probably won’t start another five, six days, which will give him, in essence, a skipped start.”
Johnson was 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts for Kane County, striking out 74 over 69 2/3 innings.
* McLeod also said Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion is not likely to pitch this summer because of back problems. The target date, McLeod said, was instructional league in the fall.
– Carrie Muskat
Top prospect Pierce Johnson has been promoted from Class A Kane County to high A Daytona, and the Cougars have added Cuban pitcher Armando Rivero, who had been working out at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Ariz. Johnson, the 43rd overall selection in the 2012 Draft, was Kane County’s Opening Night starter. He was 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 games, striking out 74 over 69 2/3 innings. On Sunday, he gave up four hits over seven scoreless innings. He’s the fourth Kane County player to be promoted to Daytona this season, joining Chadd Krist, Wes Darvill and Yaniel Cabezas. Johnson ranks seventh on MLB.com’s list of top 20 Cubs prospects.
Rivero, signed by the Cubs this past spring, turned 25 in February. In his final season in Cuba in 2010-11, Rivero had a 3.06 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 21 walks over 47 innings.
Edwin Maysonet hit his sixth home run but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 3-1, to Omaha. Junior Lake extended his hitting streak to nine games, and was batting .383 overall. On Monday, Maysonet went on the DL after he re-aggravated his right hamstring strain.
Rubi Silva had three hits, including a double, in Tennessee’s 4-1 loss to Mississippi. A.J. Morris gave up one hit over four scoreless innings, striking out five.
Daytona had Sunday off as part of the All-Star break, and opens the second half Monday night at Clearwater.
Pierce Johnson threw seven shutout innings in Kane County’s 4-2 win over Wisconsin. Rock Shoulders and Reggie Golden both homered. Shoulders extended his hitting streak to five games. Golden had two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs.
Yasiel Balaguert had two hits and four RBIs in Boise’s 8-2 win over Eugene. Kevin Encarnacion had two hits and stole a base.
Mesa opens its season Thursday against the Angels.
Nick Struck gave up four runs on eight hits over five innings in Iowa’s 4-3 loss to Nashville. Iowa had the go-ahead run on in the ninth but couldn’t score. Brooks Raley starts Thursday.
Arismendy Alcantara had three hits in Tennessee’s 6-3 loss to Birmingham. Yeiper Castillo took the loss, giving up five runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Zach Cates threw six shutout innings as Daytona beat Tampa, 3-0. Cates struck out five. John Andreoli and Zeke DeVoss each had two hits.
Pierce Johnson gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings in Kane County’s 2-1 loss to Quad Cities. Johnson struck out seven. Marco Hernandez had two hits.
Josh Vitters hit a solo home run and Nick Struck gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings in Iowa’s 5-4 win over Oklahoma City. J.C. Boscan drove in two runs. Zach Putnam picked up his third save.
Rubi Silva hit his eighth home run but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost, 6-2, to Huntsville. Yeiper Castillo struck out seven over six innings in his Smokies debut.
Ben Wells gave up one earned run over five innings in Daytona’s 7-3 loss to Lakeland. John Andreoli had his third straight three-hit game, and Jorge Soler extended his hitting streak to five games and stole a base. Soler is batting .333 during his streak, and .301 overall. Javier Baez had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Pierce Johnson gave up one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings in Kane County’s 8-1 win over Peoria. Alberto Almora got a hit and walked twice. David Bote drove in two runs.
Ian Stewart had two hits and scored a run in Iowa’s 4-2 loss to Tucson on Saturday. Chris Rusin took the loss, giving up three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. On Friday, Logan Watkins hit his third hom erun and Brett Jackson was 4-for-5 in Iowa’s 9-8 loss to Tucson. Josh Vitters had two hits.
Dallas Beeler gave up two earned runs over six innings in Tennessee’s 7-5 win over Chattanooga on Saturday. Arismendy Alcantara hit his fifth home run. On Friday, Kyle Hendricks gave up three runs over seven innings in Tennessee’s 4-3 win over Chattanooga. Matt Szczur had two hits and Christian Villanueva had three hits, including two doubles, and one RBIs. It was Hendricks’ fifth quality start.
Zach Cates gave up three runs over 5 2/3 innings and Ben Carhart hit his first home run in Daytona’s 6-5 victory over Lakeland. On Friday, Jorge Soler and Dustin Geiger were a combined 8-for-8 and Yeiper Castillo gave up one run over seven innings in Daytona’s 5-1 victory over Lakeland in the first game of a doubleheader. Soler hit his sixth home run and posted his first four-hit game of the season. Geiger hit three doubles among his four hits and had four RBIs.
In the second game, Daytona won, 7-4, for the sweep. Soler was 3-for-6 with a double, and batting .297 for the season. Geiger went 3-for-4 with a double and RBIs. Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with a triple and scored three runs.
Pierce Johnson threw six shutout innings and struck out nine in Kane County’s 4-0 win over Cedar Rapids. Rock Shoulders and Oliver Zapata both homered, with Zapata finishing with three hits. On Friday, Dillon Maples gave up two runs over five hits in Kane County’s 4-3, 12-inning loss to Cedar Rapids.
The Cubs’ have officially signed right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson, who was the team’s second-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft, for the recommended slot of $1.196 million. The team announced the signing on Wednesday. Johnson of Arvada, Colo., got a head start on the signing, announcing it on June 11 on Twitter: “Just signed with the Chicago Cubs! Thanks to God, family, teammates, coaches, and friends. If it wasn’t for you guys I wouldn’t be here!” He was the 43rd overall pick in the Draft, selected in the supplemental round as compensation for the departure of free agent Aramis Ramirez. Johnson was selected out of high school by the Rays in the 15th round of the 2009 Draft, but opted to go to college and attended Missouri State. Johnson, 21, had a 2.53 ERA in 14 starts for Missouri State, recording a single-season school record 119 strikeouts to lead the Missouri Valley Conference. He helped lead the Bears to their first NCAA Regional appearance in nine years.
The Cubs also have signed four more pitchers and an outfielder who were selected in the Draft. The list includes left-hander Anthony Prieto (fifth round) for $200,000; right-hander Chad Martin (10th round) for $10,000; outfielder Bijan Rademacher (13th); right-hander Michael Hamann (16th) signed for $100,000; and right-hander Eduardo Orozco (22nd) signed for $1,000. The Cubs now have signed 21 of the players selected in the Draft.
– Carrie Muskat