Tag Archives: Chicago Cubs

2012 Chicago Cubs Top 15 Prospect Rankings

By: J.P. Schwartz
@Jaypers413 on Twitter
JP’s FreedomCardboard Blog

2012 Chicago Cubs Top 15 Prospect Rankings

Every year at this time I like to rank each team’s top prospects. My criteria is based upon both past performance and future potential to his parent team. This is my ranking of the 2012 Chicago Cubs Top Prospects.

To qualify, a prospect must have fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings in MLB

#1 Anthony Rizzo 1B
Born: 8/8/1989
Highest Level Reached: MLB San Diego Padres (Traded From Padres January 2012)
2011 Combined Stats: MINORS: .331, 34(2B), 1(3B), 26HR, 101RBI
MAJORS: .141 (18 hits in 128 at-bats), 8(2B), 1(3B), 1HR, 9RBI

#2 Javier Baez SS
Born: 12/1/1992
Highest Level Reached: Short-A Boise Hawks
2011 Combined Stats: .278, 2(2B), 1RBI (5-18 in 5 pro games; 2011 1st Round Pick)

#3 Brett Jackson OF
Born: 8/2/1988
Highest Level Reached: Triple-A Iowa Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: .274, 23(2B), 5(3B), 20HR, 58RBI, 21SB

#4 Matt Szczur OF
Born: 7/20/1989
Highest Level Reached: High-A Daytona Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: .293, 22(2B), 3(3B), 10HR, 46RBI

#5 Dillon Maples RHP
Born: 5/9/1992
Highest Level Reached: 14th Round Pick 2011 MLB Draft
2011 Combined Stats: Did Not Play In 2011

#6 Jeimer Candelario 3B
Born: 11/24/1993
Highest Level Reached: Rookie League Dominican Summer League Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: .337, 16(2B), 2(3B), 5HR, 53RBI

#7 Josh Vitters 3B
Born: 8/27/1989
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Tennessee Smokies
2011 Combined Stats: .283, 28(2B), 2(3B), 14HR, 81RBI

#8 Dan Vogelbach 1B
Born: 12/17/1992
Highest Level Reached: Rookie League AZL Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: .292, 3(2B), 1HR, 6RBI (7-24 in 6 pro games; 2011 2nd Round Pick)

#9 Pin-Chieh Chen 2B
Born: 7/23/1991
Highest Level Reached: Short-A Boise Hawks
2011 Combined Stats: .301, 14(2B), 4(3B), 2HR, 30RBI

#10 Tony Zych RHP
Born: 8/7/1990
Highest Level Reached: Short-A Boise Hawks
2011 Combined Stats: 0-0, 2.25ERA, 4IP, 2BB, 5K (2011 4th Round Pick)

#11 Ben Wells RHP
Born: 9/10/1992
Highest Level Reached: Short-A Boise Hawks
2011 Combined Stats: 4-4, 4.66ERA, 77.1IP, 19BB, 53K, .265BAA

#12 Trey McNutt RHP
Born: 8/2/1989
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Tennessee Smokies
2011 Combined Stats: 5-6, 4.55ERA, 95IP, 39BB, 65K, .319BAA

#13 Ronald Torreyes 2B
Born: 9/2/1992
Highest Level Reached: Low-A Dayton Dragons (Traded From Reds December 2011)
2011 Combined Stats: .356, 9(2B), 5(3B), 3HR, 41RBI, 12SB

#14 Marco Hernandez SS
Born: 9/6/1992
Highest Level Reached: Rookie League AZL Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: .333, 16(2B), 5(3B), 2HR, 42RBI

#15 Chris Carpenter RHP
Born: 12/26/1985
Highest Level Reached: MLB Chicago Cubs
2011 Combined Stats: MINORS: 3-4, 5.91ERA, 42.2IP, 27BB, 34K, .269BAA
MAJORS: 0-0, 2.79ERA, 9.2IP, 7BB, 8K, .316BAA

Disclaimer – I did not attend any minor league games this year, nor do I claim to have any scouting experience. These lists are the product of my own research of statistics and online scouting reports.

Coffee Based Dip Alternative Called Grinds Developed By A Former Cubs Farmhand Takes Off Throughout Pro Baseball

Chicago Cubs farmhand Matt Canepa’s professional baseball career lasted one and a half seasons and ended in 2007 after he batted .168 in 42 games at for the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. His impact throughout baseball however has never been stronger. Canepa and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo teammate Pat Pezet are the co-founders of Grinds, a coffee based dip alternative that is finding it’s place in clubhouses throughout minor league and major league baseball. In the story link below, Canepa and Pezet talk about how the business stemmed from a college economics project, the products placement in clubhouses throughout baseball and the future of the company. You can get Grinds via their website GetGrinds.com and can follow them on twitter @GetGrinds.

Ex-Ballplayers Offer Coffee’s Answer to Chew — Entrepreneur.com

Wrigley Field Concession Stands Nailed By Game Day Health Inspection

Apparently the city of Chicago used to do inspections of Wrigley Field concession stands on Cubs off days. They recently decided to throw a curveball and did it on a recent game day. What they found was 20 critical violations across nine stands, three of which were shut down. Check out the CBS Chicago 2 Investigators report via the story link below.

2 Investigators: City Toughening Food Inspections At Stadiums — CBSLocal.com

2011 Chicago Cubs Top 15 Prospects Post Season Report Card

With the 2011 minor league season complete we check in on the progress of each of the Chicago Cubs preseason Top 15 prospects as ranked by our prospect ranker J.P. Schwartz The post season grading report was done by the publisher of Top Prospect Alert, not Mr. Schwartz, and reflects only the 2011 season and not future upside or downside of the individual prospect. Our 2012 preseason rankings will be published in the coming months.

#1 Brett Jackson GRADE A-
Jackson batted a combined .274 with 23 Doubles, 5 Triples, 20 Home Runs and 58RBI’s between the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He also added 21 stolen bases. Jackson walked 73 times and struck out 138 times in 115 games.

#2 Trey McNutt GRADE D+
McNutt went 5-6 with a 4.55ERA in 95 innings for Double-A Tennessee. He walked 39 and struck out 65. Opposing batters hit .319 against McNutt on the season. His ERA was over two runs higher than in 2010 and opponents batted 102 points better off him compared with a year ago.

#3 Josh Vitters GRADE B
Vitters batted .283 with 28 Doubles, 2 Triples, 14 Home Runs and 81 RBI’s for Double-A Tennessee. He struck out just 54 times in 129 games.

#4 Chris Carpenter GRADE C
Carpenter went 2-4 with 5.91ERA in 42.2 innings at Triple-A Iowa. He walked 27 and struck out 34 batters. Opponents hit .269 against Carpenter this season. In 10 big league appearances with the Cubs through September 7th, Carpenter went 0-0 with a 2.79ERA in 9.2 innings. He walked 7, struck out 8, and big league hitters batted .316 against him.

#5 Hayden Simpson GRADE D
Simpson went a combined 1-10 with a 6.27ERA between the Rookie League AZL Cubs and the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. He walked 38 and struck out 57 in 79 innings. Opposing hitters batted .317 off Simpson. He was demoted to the AZL Cubs after struggling in Low-A in the first half, and actually put up worse numbers in the Arizona League, going 0-4 with a 8.15ERA and allowing opposing batters to hit at a .356 clip.

#6 Matt Szczur GRADE B+
Szczur batted a combined .293 with 22 Doubles, 3 Triples, 10 Home Runs, and 46 RBI’s between Low-A Peoria and the High-A Daytona Cubs. He struck out just 48 times while drawing 24 walks in 109 games. He also stole 24 bases on the season.

#7 Rafael Dolis GRADE B
Dolis converted to a reliever this year and went 8-5 with 17 saves and a 3.32ERA for Double-A Tennessee. He walked 35 and struck out 48 in 72.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit just .227 off Dolis this season.

#8 Michael Burgess GRADE C-
Burgess batted .225 with 24 Doubles, 1 Triple, 20 Home Runs and 68 RBI’s for High-A Daytona. The .225 batting average was the lowest of Burgess’ three full seasons in High-A.

#9 Reggie Golden GRADE C+
Golden batted .242 with 10 Doubles, 5 Triples, 7 Home Runs, and 39RBI’s for the Short-A Boise Hawks. He walked 28 times and struck out 68 times in 64 games.

#10 A.J. Morris DID NOT PLAY
Morris did not make an appearance in 2011 as he recovers from off season shoulder surgery.

#11 D.J. LeMahieu GRADE A-
LeMahieu batted a combined .319 with 22 Doubles, 3 Triples, 5 Home Runs, and 50 RBI’s between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Through September 7th LeMahieu batted .275 with a Double and 2 RBI’s in 40 big league at bats with the Cubs.

#12 Ryan Flaherty GRADE B-
Flaherty batted a combined .280 with 31 Doubles, 3 Triples, 19 Home Runs and 88 RBI’s between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. After batting .305 with Tennessee in 83 games, Flaherty was promoted to Iowa where he hit just .237 in the final 49 games of the 2011 season.

#13 Jay Jackson GRADE C-
Jackson went 8-14 with a 5.35ERA at Triple-A Iowa. He walked 46 batters and struck out 97 in 146.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .305 off Jackson on the year.

#14 Ben Wells GRADE C+
Wells went 4-4 with a 4.66ERA in 77.1 innings at Short-A Boise. He walked 19 and struck out 53. Opposing hitters batted .265 off Wells on the season.

#15 Austin Reed GRADE C-
Reed went 2-7 with a 6.08ERA for Short-A Boise. He walked 25 and struck out 36 in 63.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .320 off Reed in 2011.

Howard Johnson Comes Out Of Retirement To Play For Rockland Boulders Indy League Team

New York Mets great Howard Johnson will come out of retirement at age 50 and play two games this weekend for the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League. Johnson will join his son Glen Johnson on the Boulders when they host the Newark Bears on Sunday and Monday. It will be Johnson’s first games in professional baseball since retiring from baseball as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1995. He had been on the Mets staff from 2007-2010 before being let go as the team’s hitting coach prior to the 2011 season. For more about Johnson’s return to baseball check out the story link below.

Former New York Mets World Series Champion, and son, to join Rockland — RocklandBoulders.com

Cubs Prospect Matt Cerda Recalls His Days As A Little League World Series Star And The Danny Almonte Scandal

Chicago Cubs prospect Matt Cerda has grown a little from the 4’10” 82 pound catcher he was a decade ago for the Oceanside California Little League World Series Team that made a valiant run in the 2001 series before being shut down by Danny Almonte and the Rolando Paulino Little League All Stars in 2001. Now a days Cerda is a third baseman in the Chicago Cubs organization where he is hitting .279 with 22 Doubles, 2 Triples, and 1 Home Run for High-A Daytona. The advancement of this year’s Oceanside Little League team to the finals of the Little League World Series against Japan has brought back memories for Cerda. In the story he talks about his team’s run in the Little League World Series, being on the wrong end of the Danny Almonte scandal, having the opportunity to live out every Little Leaguer’s dream of playing professional baseball. It’s a great read.

Daytona Cubs’ Cerda treasures 2001 Littile League World Series journey — Daytona Beach News Journal

Craig Kimbrel Quietly Becoming The Best Rookie Closer In Major League History

Atlanta Braves rookie closer Craig Kimbrel quietly tied the major league rookie record for saves on Tuesday night recording his 40th save in a win over the Chicago Cubs. His overall numbers on the year are eye popping as well. He is 3-2 with 40 saves and a 1.70ERA in 63.2 innings in which he has walked 25 and struck out 103 batters. The story looks at Kimbrel’s record setting accomplishments, Braves teammates talk about Kimbrel’s dominance this season and Kimbrel himself talks about not paying attention to his individual accomplishments during the season.

Kimbrel’s run has been something to behold — AJC.com

Los Angeles Angels Pitcher Jerome Williams Didn’t Answer The Call He’s Been Waiting For Since 2007

The last time Jerome Williams pitched in the big leagues it was 2007 and he went 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA in six starts for the Washington Nationals. Since then the former 1st round pick of the San Francisco Giants back in 1999 has literally gone around the globe in an effort to return to the majors. Since his stint with the Nationals, Williams has been a member of the Las Vegas 51’s, Sacramento Rivercats, Salt Lake City Bees, Inland Empire 66ers, Long Beach Armada, Lancaster Barnstormers, and even the Uni-President Lions in Taiwan. When Williams phone rang Tuesday night, he didn’t answer it. A text message later, he found out he was headed back to the big leagues for the first time in over four years. He responded with 2/3 of an inning of scoreless ball closing out Anaheim’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday. Williams was promoted after going 7-2 with a 3.91ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Salt Lake covering 73.2 innings in which he struck out 60 while walking just 15. In the story by Angels beat writer Bill Plunkett who is a must follow on twitter @billplunkettocr, Williams talks about his disbelief at being back in the big leagues, the long journey between now and 2007, and overcoming the label of being “lazy” during his first run in the majors with the Giants, Cubs, and Nationals.

Williams back in majors with Angels after long absence — OCRegister.com

Chicago Cubs Sign Wayne Gretzky’s Son & 7th Round Pick Trevor Gretzky

The Chicago Cubs have come to terms with Trevor Gretzky, their seventh round pick in the 2011 draft. Gretzky is the son of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. The younger Gretzky is a 6’4″ first baseman who hit nearly .400 in his senior season at Oaks Christian High School. He was a San Diego State commit.

Round Rock Express Launches Campaign Commercials For Mark Hamburger In Minors Moniker Madness

The Round Rock Express the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers has produced three great campaign commercials in support of reliever Mark Hamburger who is currently in the second round of MILB.com’s Minors Moniker Madness which takes 64 of the best names in the minors and whittles them down to one champion via fan vote. Hamburger entered the competition as a four seed in the Farmer Works bracket and took down Chicago Cubs prospect Matt Szczur in the first round. He is currently matched with Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Shooter Hunt, a five seed. Check out the hysterical commercials that the Round Rock Express marketing team came up with to help support Hamburger’s run through the competition.