In response to a recent request from a reader, I present to you the weekly look at how things are going down on the farm. We’ll do this every weekend.

Iowa Cubs 10-10 (2.5 GB)
Jacob Fox is an interesting case this year. I can’t decide if he’s hot or cold. I guess it depends on how you evaluate a player. He leads the team in RBI and HR, but is hitting just .176. Of his 14 hits, nine of them have been for extra bases. Unfortunately what jumps out at me is the K/BB ratio of 24 to 1. Fox is an interesting cat. He’s 25, so his clock is ticking. Usually it doesn’t take the college guys this long. He got a taste of AAA last year for about 100 at bats and did well with them. I’d really like to see him do something because of his power and versatility on the diamond. He’s capable of playing on the corners both in the outfield and the infield.

On the pitching side of things, Jose Ascanio, who came over from the Braves in the Will Ohman trade, has pitched well so far out of the bullpen. In nine appearances he’s sporting an ERA of 2.25 with a 9.49 K/9 ratio. He’s overpowering guys down there right now and could be in line for a call up if someone like Michael Wuertz continues to struggle and agrees to a demotion (doubtful). Sean Gallagher is also doing quite well, which means we have even more ML ready arms and not enough slots for all of them.

Tennessee Smokies 9-13 (7 GB)
For the Smokies, no one seems to be overly impressing with the bat. The team as a whole is below the Southern League averages in BA, OBP, SLG and OPS. That could be a good reason why they’re not doing so well in the record department. One of the players I follow, Tyler Colvin, is off to a slow start at the plate and has struck out too much. He says he’s working on it, and the strike outs are going to come for a young hitter that’s still learning. The most important for us to do is not freak out and remember that’s he a kid, he’s shown he can be successful so far in the past, and he’s a work in progress. At this point, there is nowhere for him to play anyway. I like his makeup and his interview presence. I know the latter doesn’t help on the field, but it comes in handy when the success comes at the ML level.

I’m slowly loosing hope in Donnie Veal. He can’t seem to shake the control issues that plagued him so badly last year. He’s walked 11 guys in just 17 innings of work. He’s got good stuff if he can just learn to throw strikes and trust his stuff. I’m anxious to find out if the walks have been a result of nibbling around the plate or if he’s just been wild. I’ll have to check into that. He’s still getting his strikeouts, averaging just a shade under nine per 9 IP. I wonder if a move to AAA would lift him up a little, similar to what it did for Jeff Samardzija last year. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Next week we’ll take a look at the Peoria Chiefs and Daytona Cubs.

For the full breakdown on how every player in the system is doing so far, make sure you check out the organizational depth chart provided by Baseball Reference. They break it down by team and position throughout the organization. Here are the links: (Hitters / Pitchers)


Tracked Player Results

  • Josh Donaldson was 3-for-5
  • Ryan Acosta struck out 5 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 6.0 innings pitched yesterday
  • Russell Canzler was 3-for-4
  • Jose Ceda struck out 6 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 5.0 innings pitched yesterday

Got a player you’d like to see added to the player tracker? Drop us a line in the comments

Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Won vs. Memphis (16-3)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Lost vs. West Tenn (2-12)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – Won vs. St. Lucie (8-7)

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs. Fort Wayne (4-3)

(SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

(RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.


Minor League Webtopia
  • Mike Muyco is moving from behind the plate to the mound – (Inside the Ivy)
  • Steven Clevenger was promoted to AA
  • John Donaldson was mentioned on Baseball America’s prospect hot sheet in the “not hot” section – “Donaldson (.105/.105/.158 this week) was named the No. 2 prospect in the Northwest League in 2007 after hitting .346/.470/.605 with nine home runs in 49 games for short-season Boise. That success hasn’t carried over into 2008, as Donaldson is hitting only .157/.213/.257 for low Class A Peoria and has only one home run in 18 games. After showing outstanding patience in the NWL in 2007 to the tune of a 37-34 BB-K rate, Donaldson has walked only four times and has struck out 15 times in 2008.” (Baseball America)
  • Arizona Phil dropped some knowledge on us about what’s going on in extended spring training and broke down where the free agent situation stands for the future. Don’t forget to donate to their cause. (The Cub Reporter)
  • The Peoria Chiefs have made some roster moves (Inside the Ivy)
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail