This year’s draft class is now all suited up. 29 new Cubs have signed their contracts and 27 have seen action in the system from Arizona on up to Iowa. Now that 1-6 weeks of playing ball has transpired, let’s take a look at how things are going for each player.
|Ian Happ||OF||South Bend||On Friday, he took BP at Wrigley. At Eugene, he was hitting .283 with 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, a .408 OBP, and 9 stolen bases. Over the weekend, Happ went 3 for 6 with two walks at South Bend.|
|Donnie Dewees||OF||Eugene||Donnie has been up and down since he started playing at Eugene. In the last two games, he has hit 2 HRs and seems to playing a little looser. For the short season, he is hitting .229 and before the breakout, he hit .146 in his last ten games.|
|Bryan Hudson||P||Arizona||He has suited up but hasn’t pitched. He’s more like Bigfoot. He’s been shagging balls, warming up outfielders, and fulfilling his contract as the bat boy.|
|Darryl Wilson||OF||Arizona||He’s appeared in only 4 games and not since the 13th of July. Was at .231 for just 4 games.|
|Ryan Kellogg||P||Eugene||I was surprised they let him start two innings at a time. He was doing very well (ERA under 3) until last night when he got rocked by giving up 5 runs in 2 innings. His ERA went up to 6.00|
|Dave Berg||P||Myrtle Beach||After a rough start at high-A Myrtle Beach, he has settled down and in 8+ innings of work, he has an ERA of 2.16 with 7 Ks. He will likely go Tennessee next year.|
|Craig Brooks||P||Arizona||Got a rough start but has redeemed himself of late. Only pitched in 3 games. Gave up 4 runs in 1/3 of an inning in his first appearance and shut down in his last two. He is still a work in progress.|
|Preston Morrison||P||Eugene||3 appearances – 5.2 innings, 1.59 ERA and 7 Ks. Pretty good start. I wonder more about seeing him next year stretched out as a starter.|
|Tyler Peitzmeier||P||Eugene||Been used often since he signed. Yet to allow an earned run in his ten days.|
|Vimael Machin||IF||South Bend||He has shown a good glove and the bat is a little behind at .186.|
|Matt Rose||1B/3B||Eugene||Got off to a great start and then went in a funk. He hit a HR last night and has some pop in his bat. Currently at .239 but leads the team in RBIs with 23.|
|PJ Higgins||2b/3B||Arizona||Just started playing this week. 3 for 9 in two games.|
|Kyle Twomey||P||Eugene||He’s pitched seven innings and allowed 3 ERs. They won’t let him go more than 2 innings per start. Love to see him next year as a starter.|
|Scott Effross||P||Arizona||Just started playing this week. Might be too dominant for this level. Nice pick – he will likely start next year. My surprise pick to click in 2016.|
|Michael Foster||OF||Arizona||In 11 games, he is hitting .405. Hearing nothing but good things. I think he will do just fine when he moves up.|
|Casey Bloomquist||P||Eugene||Got into games this weeks, no runs allowed. He might be much better than his draft slot. Started on Sunday night and was dynamite with 3 Ks in 2 innings.|
|Kyle Miller||P||Eugene||Only 2 appearances, no runs allowed.|
|Blake Headley||3B/SS||Eugene||Versatile fielder but hitting only .203|
|Jared Cheek||P||Eugene||Gotten into 6 games, saved two, has a 3.86 ERA so far.|
|Alex Bautista||OF||Eugene||Shows up to Eugene and hits a HR as a pinch hitter in his first game. He has some pop and he likely will hit for average once things settle down. At Arizona, he hit around .250-.260 most of the time.|
|John Williamson||P||Eugene||Things have not gone well. Let’s leave it at that.|
|Marco Mastrobuoni||C||Arizona||Hitting .200 in 6 games|
|Angelo Amendolare||2B||Eugene||Was a bench player for Iowa for a few weeks and now is down at Eugene.|
|Sutton Whiting||IF||Myrtle Beach||Spent most of his time at Tennessee as a utility player during Pan-Am games. he hit .438 in 8 games at AA. Now assigned to Myrtle Beach.|
|Ian Rice||C||Eugene||Came out on fire at Eugene and has since cooled off. He is hitting .254 in 17 games.|
|Tayler Payne||C||Arizona||5 games and is hitting .231|
|Daniel Spingola||OF||He hasn’t been assigned a team yet. I think he is injured and that is the reason for his absence.|
|MT Minacci||P||Arizona||3 innings in relief and he’s given up two runs. A little early for him.|
|Donnie Cimino||OF||Arizona||Played ten games and is hitting .233|
Every draft class is judged based on the performance of its first pick. Ian Happ was just promoted to South Bend, where he made his debut Saturday night. I see him sticking there for a month or so before moving on to Myrtle Beach if South Bend falls out of the playoff picture.
Dave Berg, who is at Myrtle Beach already, gets better with every relief appearance. The submariner might be the first one in this class to reach AA and AAA in the next year. The majors, however, is another story.
It’s really hard to judge the performances of some of these players, as it is such a whirlwind becoming a professional baseball player. For the pitchers, many of the college draftees have already played a full season. To add extra innings on those arms is risky, which is why many will only throw 1 or 2 innings per game. They will be better judged next year.
As I look at these performances and players, they have a lot going on. When the season ends in September, they will all go to instructs in Arizona. Some will learn new positions, new stances, new pitches, but they will all learn what they have to do to get ready for next season. That is when we will truly begin to see what they can do as they settle into routines.
Most of them will be at Eugene or in South Bend in 2016. A few will be in Myrtle Beach, and maybe even one in Tennessee. Even though there are a lot of college arms here, the Cubs are going to take their time developing them. The same can be said for the hitters, too. Happ and Berg, for now, might be the only exceptions for both.