There have been several stories of interest in the Cubs farm system over the past week, including roster moves, accolades, and a couple of league All-Star games that prominently featured several Cub players. The Arizona Rookie League has gotten underway as well, so we’ll take a quick glance at the Cubs roster for that league. I will not be including the Arizona Rookie League in my weekly Minor League Reports or Line of the Week columns, but I will keep an eye on that roster and let you know if anything exceptional happens.
First of all, Congratulation to Matt Szczur for being selected to the Futures Game. In his first full season dedicated to baseball, Szczur has more than justified the Cubs extra investment in him. I think he’s on the Brett Jackson Express now, and we could be speculating about his arrival in Wrigley this time next season.
Staying in the Midwest League (Low A), the Chiefs helped the West Division win that leagues All-Star Game. Chiefs got in the game at DH, short, second, the outfield, catcher, and on the mound. Richard Jones probably had the best night for the Chiefs’ players, going 2-3 with a run scored.
Jumping up to the Double A Southern League, several Cubs played a part in their division’s win in the All-Star Game. The North Division went through a lot of players in this one game, and many of them were Smokies. Tennessee provided every inning at catcher, short, and designated hitter, and contributed players to the outfield, second base, and the pitching staff.
Trey McNutt is off the DL for Tennessee and should be back in the starting rotation. He was placed on the DL as a result of some bruised ribs suffered during a collision. He pitched with the injury briefly, but the Cubs opted to take no chances with their potential ace. In a corresponding move, Robert Coello head back to Iowa. He pitched well in the starting rotation for Tennessee, but has struggled in Triple A this year. His stuff still gives him major league potential, so he is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
And finally lets take a look at the roster for the AZL Cubs in the Rookie League. As we’ve seen with Boise, this roster has a significant international flavor to it, and I would be very surprised if you recognize more than two or three names on that list. The AZL roster is likely to change quickly. As soon as a player shows he is ready to move to Boise, he’ll move to Boise if Boise has room. Kenny Socorro has already made that jump, and more will follow. James Pugliese looks like a candidate to jump quickly so far, but it is very early yet.
As more 2011 draft picks sign, some will be assigned to AZL or to Boise, and some won’t be assigned anywhere if they sign too late. If you would like to keep track of who the Cubs have signed so far, Baseball America maintains a pretty good list. Don’t panic when you see that the Cubs have signed barely any of their draft choices, and no one drafted higher than the 16th round. The deadline is not until mid-August. There is plenty of time yet.