If the eleven All-Stars combined from the Cubs Low-A team in Peoria and their High-A team in Daytona are not enough to convince you that the Cubs’ minor leagues are loaded, maybe this will turn the trick.
Twelve Tennessee Smokies were named to the Southern League All-Star team. Twelve! I’ve been talking about how good this team is all season, but I don’t think I would have expected more than nine. Right now they have twenty four players on the active roster, and twelve of them are Double-A All Stars.
Let’s break this down.
First of all, there are the two guys who aren’t with Tennessee right now.
Then, let’s take the pitchers
Rafael Dolis has had great success this year both as a starter and a closer.
Trey McNutt is the best pitching prospect in the system, and has pitched like it.
Robert Whitenack started the season in Daytona before getting promoted and excelling in Tennessee. Unfortunately he had season ending elbow surgery.
And now the position players.
Steve Clevenger is a slugging lefty catcher who performed very well in Iowa while Castilo was up with the Cubs.
Ryan Flaherty is a slugging lefty… well, he’s just about everything. He’s appeared at second, third, short, first, left, and right this season.
Marwin Gonzalez is the Smokies’ switch hitting short stop. He’s hitting over .300 from both sides of the plate.
Brett Jackson,the Cubs best prospect, mainly plays in center. This lefty has power and speed, and could finish the year in Chicago.
Blake Lalli is a Double A veteran. This lefty catcher is on his third Southern League All-Star team.
Rebel Ridling has enjoyed a break out season at first base, and just in time too. He is the third first baseman in the system to be named an All-Star.
Matthew Spencer is a powerful lefty outfielder who is second only to Flaherty in home runs and RBIs for Tennessee.
And there you are. Twelve Double-A All-Stars for the Tennessee Smokies.
Say it with me again Cub fans: Help is on the way.