The Chicago Cubs’ Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Daytona Cubs not only won the Florida State League, but did it with a high number of top prospects and were named Baseball America’s Minor League Team of the Year.
Daytona hosted top prospects Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Dan Vogelbach, C.J. Edwards, and Pierce Johnson. It was also home to upcoming guys like Dustin Geiger, John Andreoli, Zeke DeVoss, Ivan Pineyro, Corey Black, Ben Wells, Zach Cates, Matt Loosen, and other intriguing players.
It was that kind of season for the Daytona Cubs, who had two no-hitters, a four-homer game, the most prospects in the franchise’s 20 years as a Cubs affiliate, and oh by the way, a run to the high Class A Florida State League championship. So it should be no surprise that they’re Baseball America’s Minor League Team of the Year.
In the end, though, this Daytona team will be remembered for storming through a 40-20 second half and the playoffs behind incredible starting pitching. “I don’t care what level you’re at, when you get to the playoffs it’s all about pitching and defense,” Keller said. “And you can’t say enough about our pitching.”
The D-Cubs swept Dunedin in two games and took the best-of-five championship series against Charlotte in four games, closing it out on the second combined shutout of the postseason for C.J. Edwards and Ryan Searle. Edwards, acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, didn’t miss a beat moving up from the low Class A South Atlantic League and finished a combined 8-2, 1.86 with 155 strikeouts in 116 innings.
Daytona had not only some of the Cubs’ best prospects but the best in baseball. The major players who won a championship this year will be making their way through the Cubs farm system this summer before calling Wrigley Field home after 2014.