The AZL Cubs’ season got underway last week and the team is 3-2 on the young season. Here’s a look at some of the players to watch on this year’s roster:
Rafael Lopez, C - the Cubs’ highest (16th round) draft pick to sign so far, Lopez hit .325/.436/.514 in his Senior season for Florida State. He was converted to catcher by Florida State and fared well, throwing out 42% of basestealers.
James Pugilese, RHP – the Cubs’ 18th round pick, the Mercer County (N.J.) CC pitcher has fared well in his first two appearances, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 6 in 4 IP.
Pete Levitt, RHP – the Cubs 32nd round pick out of Mount Olive College (N.C.), he went 10-3 with a 2.93 ERA in his last year, with 99 K’s in 101.1 IP.
Scott Weisman, RHP - a 46th round pick out of Clemson, Weisman led the Tigers with 9 wins in 2010, before struggling in 2011 and eventually moving to the pen. He was effective as a reliever for Clemson and that could be his eventual role with the Cubs.
In addition to the Cubs 2011 draft picks, there are several players who have graduated from the Cubs Domincan Summer League this year, including pitchers Rafael Diplan, Ramon Garcia, Alvido Jimenez, Felix Pena, Starling Peralta and Jean Sandoval; catchers Johan DeJesus and Carlos Romero; infielders Gioskar Amaya, Gregori Gonzalez, Marco Hernandez and Brian Inoa; and outfielders Bieneme Vismeldy, Eduardo Gonzalez and Oliver Zapata.
Finally, the Cubs continue to show the ability to scout Korea and bring in talented players, with Dong-Yub Kim the latest Korean to join the Cubs organization, following in the footsteps of Hak-Ju Lee, Dae-Eun Rhee and Jae-Hoon Ha (among others). With the international signing period set to begin on July 2nd, it will be interesting to see who else the Cubs bring in.
For more from Mark Sherrard, visit the Cubs Billy Goat Blog