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July 2011



Mid-season Minor League All-Stars

Written by , Posted in General

As a follow-up to last week’s Cubs mid-season top 10 prospect list, this week I decided to choose my mid-season minor league all-star team.  As opposed to last week’s list, which looks at performance and upside, this all-star team is decided purely on who has the best stats this year at their respective position.

So, without further ado, here are your 2011 All-Stars:

CATCHERWelington Castillo, Iowa(.304/.370/.557)

Castillo has hit 16 homers between class A Daytona and Iowa.  Could he be the Cubs catcher of the future?

Honorable Mention:  Steve Clevenger, Iowa/Tennessee (.309/.368/.481)

FIRST BASEBryan LaHair, Iowa (.338/.415/.671)

In addition to his ridiculous slash line, LaHair has posted 28 homers in just 331 AB’s at Iowa.  At 28, he’s a little old to be a prospect, but a Carlos Pena trade could give him a shot to prove he’s not a 4-A guy.

Honorable Mention:  Richard Jones, Peoria (.304/.353/.541)

SECOND BASED.J. LeMahieu, Iowa/Tennessee (.348/.378/.462)

LeMahieu has split his time this year between third (41 games) and second (38 games), but he played mostly at second during his brief stint in the majors, which is why I put him here.  However, he would be an all-star at either position.

Honorable Mention:  Logan Watkins, Daytona (.288/.375/.405)

THIRD BASEGreg Rohan, Daytona/Peoria (.317/.370/.436)

Third is a pretty weak position for the Cubs, so Rohan takes the prize.  He hasn’t shown much power this year (just 5 HR’s), but has hit for a good average and gets on base at a good clip.

Honorable Mention:  Marquez Smith, Iowa (.283/.353/.448)

SHORT STOPMarwin Gonzalez, Iowa/Tennessee (.314/.365/.446)

With Starlin Castro in the majors and Hak-Ju Lee now with Tampa, Gonzalez may be the Cubs top short stop prospect.  But that’s not saying much.

Honorable Mention:  Junior Lake, Tennessee/Daytona (.276/.307/.433)

OUTFIELDEvan Crawford, Daytona (.333/.393/.436); Matt Szczur, Daytona/Peoria (.300/.348/.415); Brad Snyder, Iowa (.306/.349/.506)

While Crawford’s season stats looks nice, he’s old for class A (23).  Snyder has been at AAA for the last 5 years, so he should have it mastered by now.  Szczur is the one to watch here.

Honorable Mention:  Jae-Hoon Ha (.270/.308/.425)

STARTING PITCHERSRobert Whitenack, Tennessee/Daytona (7-0, 1.93 ERA); Nicholas Struck, Iowa/Tennessee/Daytona (8-6, 3.25 ERA); Austin Kirk, Peoria (5-7, 3.63 ERA); Zach Rosscup, Daytona (4-2, 2.54 ERA); and Aaron Kurcz, Daytona (4-4, 3.53 ERA).

Whitenack is lost for the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery.  Struck has advanced quickly and has held his own in the notoriously hitter friendly PCL.  Kirk and Rosscup may not wow you with their stuff, but they get outs.  Kurcz has split his time between starting (12 games) and relieving (10 games) and has a 3.72 ERA as a starter.

Honorable Mention:  Chris Rusin, Iowa/Tennessee (4-2, 3.96 ERA)

RELIEVERSFrank Batista, Daytona (2.05 ERA, 19 saves); Jeff Beliveau, Tennessee/Daytona (1.29 ERA, 3 saves)

Right hander Batista leads all Cubs minor leaguers with 19 saves.

Lefty Beliveau has been dominant, striking out 70 in 55.2 IP (11.3 K/9).

Honorable Mention:  Scott Maine, Iowa (3.67 ERA, 9 saves)

  • Buddy

    Good timing on this post! John Sickels reviewed his Cubs preseason prospect list today, adding comments about their current performances. I know it’s long, but here you go…

    NOTE: This is a review of the 2011 Pre-Season Top 20 list. IT IS NOT A NEW LIST.

    1) Brett Jackson, OF, Grade B+: .256/.373/.443 with 15 steals, 10 homers, 45 walks in 246 at-bats for Double-A Tennessee, .175/.298/.374 since promotion to Triple-A Iowa. Broad skills base.

    2) Trey McNutt, RHP, Grade B+: 4.33 ERA with 32/20 K/BB in 52 innings for Tennessee, 63 hits. Huge decline in strikeout rate is worrisome.

    3) Chris Carpenter, RHP, Grade B: 5.11 ERA combined between Tennessee and Iowa, 30/24 K/BB in 38 innings, 35 hits. 9.2 major league innings with 12 hits, three runs. I felt he was capable of better.

    4) Jay Jackson, RHP, Grade B: 6.18 ERA with 59/30 K/BB in 95 innings for Iowa, 122 hits. Ugly numbers, reports on declining stuff quality are disturbing. I have liked him a lot in the past but his stock has taken a big hit.

    5) Hayden Simpson, RHP, Grade B-: 5.72 ERA, 46/27 K/BB in 61 innings for Low-A Peoria, 76 hits. Unimpressive performance, was sent back to Arizona Rookie League and has been hit hard in four starts. Right now the gamble doesn’t look too good.

    6) Reggie Golden, OF, Grade B-: .254/.370/.377 with 20 walks, five steals in 114 at-bats for Boise in the Northwest League. Decent on-base skills with speed so far, strikeout rate is high.

    7) Josh Vitters, 3B, Grade B-. .272/.307/.429 with 13 walks, nine homers in 312 at-bats for Tennessee. It was controversial to rank him this low. He’s done better than some of the guys ahead of him on this list, but this is still very mediocre production.

    8) Robinson Lopez, RHP, Grade C+: 5.89 ERA with 27/25 K/BB in 55 innings for Peoria, 66 hits. Nothing very good here, though he’s quite young at 20.

    9) Austin Reed, RHP, Grade C+: 7.06 ERA with 17/14 K/BB in 29 innings for Boise, 36 hits. More ugly numbers, though at least he’s getting grounders with a 2.25 GO/AO. Just 19.

    10) Alberto Cabrera, RHP, Grade C+: 5.36 ERA with 34/21 K/BB in 49 innings for Tennessee, 60 hits. 6.47 ERA with 41/37 K/BB in 57 innings for Iowa, 77 hits. More ugly numbers with few signs of progress.

    11) Marquez Smith, 3B, Grade C+: Hitting .283/.353/.448 for Iowa before going on the DL in late June. Older guy at age 26, could still be useful.

    12) D.J. LeMahieu, INF, Grade C+: Hitting .348/.378/.462 combined between Tennessee and Iowa, went 9-for-39 (.243) with one double in the majors. Pre-season, I wrote “I think people are a bit too down on him; he could surprise this year” and he’s been pretty solid.

    13) Rafael Dolis, RHP, Grade C+: 3.86 ERA with 41/27 K/BB, 2.07 GO/AO in 56 innings for Tennessee, 53 hits.

    14) Brett Wallach, RHP, Grade C+: 5.82 ERA, 65/31 K/BB in 82 innings, 97 hits. Would he even be considered a prospect if he wasn’t Tim’s son?

    15) Brooks Raley, LHP, Grade C+: 4.23 ERA with 52/36 K/BB in 100 innings, 118 hits for Tennessee. He hasn’t been awful but the components aren’t impressive.

    16) Su-Min Jung, RHP, Grade C+: 5.36 ERA with 19/24 K/BB in 44 innings for Peoria, sent down to Boise and has walked seven in six innings. Command issues apparent.

    17) Austin Kirk, LHP, Grade C+: Rated as a breakthrough candidate, 3.63 ERA with 92/25 K/BB in 107 innings for Peoria, 88 hits. Looks good, will have to see if stuff holds up at higher levels.

    18) Jin-Young Kim, RHP, Grade C+: 6.97 ERA with 12/13 K/BB in 21 innings for Boise, 30 hits. Poor numbers, but just 19.

    19) Ben Wells, RHP, Grade C: 4.46 ERA with 24/13 K/BB in 36 innings for Boise, 39 hits, 2.40 GO/AO. Just 18 years old.

    20) Welington Castillo, C, Grade C: Hitting .318/.380/.595 in 52 games for Iowa, has caught 27% of runners.

  • MClancy

    how was ryan flaherty not on ur list, I know he doesnt have a primary position but isnt 3B where he has mostly played?

  • Buddy

    It’s not my list. It’s John Sickels’ pre-season prospect list (I think he created it in March). I don’t want to speak for John, but he might have left him off due to his 2010 performance in A/AA. Not sure though.