Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Leeper extends no-hit streak to 15.2 innings; Roberts extends shutout streak; Howard homers
today at 10:29 am
The first draft signing news is drifting in. Early indications are the Cubs will sign their top ten selections in the draft. Several are already on their way to Chicago.
However, it appears the Cubs may have swung and missed on a couple of their high upside prep selections from Day 3. It was highly unlikely they could squeeze both guys under their draft bonus allotment, and even one would be a challenge, but I was kind of hoping they could pull off getting either 11th rounder Gage Ziehl or 12th rounder Teo Banks to sign on the dotted line. Both players have issued statements they intend to honor their college commitments. Now, minds can change, but at this point there is no reason to doubt their word.
It was a calculated gamble. The Cubs likely figured that they could sign some undrafted college seniors of roughly equivalent talent to those taken on Day 3, so they aimed high and instead chose to take a few extra high upside prep players in the hopes they could change their mind. Indications are 17th rounder Christian Olivo intends to sign.
The remaining big challenge appears to be British Columbia native Dominic Hambley. The 18th round RHP has big stuff, but needs work some work refining his mechanics and command. He’s an Oregon State commit. If Hambley signs, it will likely be for well over $125K so there will need to be significant savings among the Cubs picks in the top ten rounds.
It isn’t a guarantee, but the fact the Cubs appear to have signed C David Avitia out of Grand Canyon University as an undrafted free agent is a pretty good indicator that 19th round pick RHP Daniel Avitia is going to sign. As you may have guessed, Daniel is David’s younger brother. The other UDFA signing the Cubs have made which has come out is RHP Tyler Santana of Jacksonville University.
Word on their first signing has come out, as 13th rounder Erian Rodriguez has signed for $125K. He is a projectable 6’3″ 190 pound righty who has hit 94 in game action, but reports are he is up to 97 in side sessions.
‘21 Erian Rodriguez (GA) was sharp here today with 4Ks in 2 IP. Showed 91-93/94 with great command and got excellent bite to the upper-70s breaker; here’s an extended look at the stuff. #PGShowdown #PGDraft pic.twitter.com/b5Dmucumij— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting)
For those unfamiliar with the draft rules, the Cubs have been allotted $7.118M bonus money based on the slot value of the position of their 1-10 round choices. Players picked in the 11-20th rounds can sign for up to $125K without it counting towards the bonus pool, but any amount over $125K is considered overage that would be counted towards the pool.
Cory Abbott (2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 BB, HBP, 3 K, L, 1-4, 6.75) couldn’t find the plate, and the Mud Hens took advantage during a five run 3rd inning. Iowa tried chipping away in the middle frames, but they couldn’t manage a big hit when they opportunities arose, going 1-for-13 with RiSP.
- Ian Miller: 3-4, RBI (.275)
- Abiatal Avelino: 2-4, 2B, R (.269)
- Andrew Romine: 2-5, R (.288)
- Michael Hermosillo: 1-4, 2B, R, HBP, SB (7) (.325)
- Alfonso Rivas: 1-3, 2 BB (.270)
- Tony Wolters: 1-3, HBP (.283)
- Dillon Maples: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, HBP, K (4.15)
- Ben Leeper: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0.68)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Add one more to Ben Leeper‘s no-hit streak. He’s yet to allow a hit in 13.1 innings with Iowa and if you extend back to his final appearance with Tennessee he has gone 15.2 consecutive innings (0 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 27 K) without allowing a hit. Unbelievable.
- Jared Young: 2-4, 2B, HR (2), R, 3 RBI (.382)
- Brennen Davis: 1-2, 2B, R, 2 BB (.274)
- Edwin Figuera: 1-3, R (.429)
- Brandon Hughes: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (2.70)
- Ethan Roberts: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, HBP, K (1.69)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Ethan Roberts entered with a no-hit streak of his own (7 IP), as well as a shutout streak of 11.2 innings. The no-hit streak ended up getting snapped against the first batter he faced last night, but Roberts pitched around it, to extend his shutout streak (6 G, 13.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, HBP, 18 K). Get him to Iowa already, please.
South Bend 8, Cedar Rapids 7 (10 Innings)
A back and forth affair appeared to be going in the Cubs favor when they scored three times in the 6th and once in the 7th to put them in front 6-4. But I forgot how inconsistent (talented, but inconsistent) the South Bend bullpen can be. Closer Eury Ramos could not lock it down, surrendering the lead, as he was tagged for three runs in the 8th.
The Cubs managed to scratch out a tying run in the bottom of the 9th though. Edmond Americaan was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, advanced all the way to 3rd on a sac bunt by Delvin Zinn, then came home on a sac fly by Tyler Durna. The Cubs lack power, but they do possess speed, and Americaan is maybe the fastest on the team.
Recent Indy ball signee Dalton Stambaugh pitched a scoreless 9th and then followed up with a pair of strikeouts in the 10th to keep the inherited runner stranded at 2nd base. It took just one batter for the Cubs to end it in the bottom of the frame, on the classic bunt-single-throwing-error-walkoff:
HIGHLIGHTS: South Bend comes back to walk it off and snap the Kernels’ league-best eight-game win streak. You’re going to want to click here…
https://t.co/a6JshYz2Tn#SBCubs | #CubTogether— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs)
- Tyler Durna: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SF (.240)
- Ryan Reynolds: 3-5, R, RBI (.296)
- D.J. Artis: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB (.136)
- Grayson Byrd: 2-5, R, RBI (.227)
- Edmond Americaan: 1-3, R, HBP (.200)
- Tyler Suellentrop: 2.2 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, HBP, 2 K (5.25)
- Dalton Stambaugh: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (W, 1-0, 0.00)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Cole Roederer reportedly underwent TJS on his injured elbow yesterday. He is out for the season, but is expected to be ready for Opening Day 2022.
Ed Howard capped a three-run 2nd inning with a two-run shot, his second career homer. The Pelicans would go on to score three more in the 3rd, and then another three in the 4th, with Matt Mervis providing the two-run blast in that inning. Ethan Hearn contributed a pair of doubles as he continues to show positive signs coming out of his early season funk at the plate.
Fifth-ranked #Cubs prospect Ed Howard lines his second homer for @Pelicanbaseball. pic.twitter.com/GHi0YBbyn0— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline)
Meanwhile, Manuel Espinoza was reliable, as usual. He delivered a quality start and then the bullpen followed with a great showing, punching out four over three shutout innings. The final two were thrown by Danis Correa, who is starting to emerge as a bullpen arm to watch in Myrtle Beach. He’s undersized, but has a strong arm capable of 95+ and his secondaries are starting to come around. He’s a 21 year old we’ve heard some good things about over the years coming out of Mesa, but injuries held him back in 2018 and 2019, limiting him to just 2 IP.
- Ed Howard: 3-5, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI (.220)
- Matt Mervis: 3-5, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI (.218)
- Ethan Hearn: 2-4, 2 2B, R, RBI (.180)
- Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2 R, RBI (.220)
- Jacob Wetzel: 2-5, R, RBI (.235)
- Jordan Nwogu: 1-4, 2 R (.178)
- Matt Warkentin: 1-4, 2 RBI (.167)
- Manuel Espinoza: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, BB, 4 K (W, 4-5, 4.19)
- Danis Correa: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (2.40)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
With top prospects Ed Howard and Kevin Made both healthy and likely to play everyday in the middle infield, taking reps at both SS and 2B, IF Flemin Bautista was returned to Mesa, and OF Ezequiel Pagan promoted back to Myrtle Beach.
Daily Cubs Minors Recap
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1 hour, 10 minutes agoIt’s been a fun and interesting draft. As we follow those that sign and monitor their progress, kudos to Micheil…
2 hours, 56 minutes agoIn reply to Treebeard:That is a really tough fit on a MLB roster. It will be difficult enough for Alfonso Rivas (who actually…
16 hours, 5 minutes agoIt looks like the Cubs picked 4-5 in the 11-20 group who were all possibilities to sign. Not all will…
18 hours, 41 minutes agoIn reply to Michael Ernst:Mike, I’m glad the Cubs got away from the Theo philosophy of finding bargains in the draft.The Cubs are good…
20 hours, 28 minutes agoHey Michael, I know you’ve touched on the subject a couple of times before, including in this article; but what…
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