All of the Cubs’ full season minor league clubs have started their seasons in the last week, and only the Kane County Cougars have gotten out of the gate with a winning mark. While it is still so incredibly early and there is not a lot of substance to discuss, there have been some ups and downs worth noting.
Kane County Cougars
Record This Week: 5-3; Record This season: 5-3
Kane County has gotten off to a good start this year, splitting four in the season opening series at Quad Cities, and winning two of three against Fort Wayne in the home opening series at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The Cougars are an interesting team, prospect-wise, with last year’s third round pick, Jacob Hannemann (.269/.321/.462 in six games) and a number of pitching prospects. 2012 sandwich round pick, Paul Blackburn, 2013 IFA signing Jen-Ho Tseng, and Juan Paniagua are all on the Cougars’ roster. The pitching staff as a whole hasn’t gotten off to the best start, with a team ERA of 4.26. It is early, however, and there is a lot to like about the staff the Cougars have.
Record This Week: 1-7, Record This Season: 1-7
It’s been a rough start for the defending Florida State League Champion, Daytona Cubs. The opened the season by losing three of four to Brevard County and being swept in the first home series against Dunedin. The roster this season features Albert Almora, who has gotten off to a nice start in High A ball, with a .313/.333/.406 line, highlighted by a five hit, three RBI day on April 5. For the time being, Arodys Vizcaino is with the D-Cubs and has made three relief appearances, allowing one hit and one walk in three innings of work. Last year’s second round pick, LHP Rob Zastryzny made one start, and allowed four earned in four innings on April 7th.
Record This Week: 3-5; Record This Season: 3-5
The biggest news out of Tennessee in the early going has been Kris Bryant, who in his first AA at-bat, took Reds pitcher Mat Latos out of the yard. Bryant has gone deep a second time in the early going, but hasn’t gotten a many hits, as his line of .227/.393/.500 would suggest. It is nice to see that he is taking his walks, and at some point, the hits will come. RF Jorge Soler is also on the roster, but he was limited to one at-bat (a double off Latos in the first game) before finding his way to the disabled list with a hamstring injury. The pitching staff features C.J Edwards, who has made two starts and allowed one run in 9.2 innings thus far. Corey Black, acquired in the Alfonso Soriano trade last summer, worked five hitless innings on April 11th, in his first start of the season. Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta made two rehab starts with the Smokies, allowing three hits, three walks, and an unearned run in 6.2 innings of work.
Record This Week: 4-5; Record This Season: 4-5
Top prospect Javier Baez headlines a roster full of prospects at AAA, Iowa. He hasn’t gotten off to the best start, though, with a .154/.214/.423 line in the first week. He did hit the ball hard much more than the line would show, with some very deep, very loud outs, and has cracked two home runs in the early going. The best hitter at Iowa has been Josh Vitters, who has started with a .346/.414/.654 line. Kyle Hendricks has made two starts, allowing seven earned in 11.2 innings of work, and Chris Rusin was called back to the big league club in St. Louis today after making two starts for the I-Cubs. Marcos Mateo, who was returned by the Diamondback after being selected in the Rule 5 draft and released, has made four appearances, allowing a run on three hits in 4.2 innings of work thus far, and has not walked a batter to this point.