Three More All-Stars


Three Iowa Cubs have been named to the Pacific Coast League All Star team, becoming the latest additions to a very lengthy list of Cub prospects honored by their leagues with All-Star nominations. While some players were not able to participate due to being injured or promoted, I believe a total of twenty seven Cub prospects have been named to All-Star rosters this year across the four full-season leagues. That is a very high number, and an indication that things will get better for the Chicago Cubs.

The Iowa players chosen are left handed reliever John Gaub, first baseman Bryan LaHair, and catcher Welington Castillo.

LaHair is a career minor league player who has played only briefly in the majors. If the Cubs move Carlos Pena at the trade deadline, LeHair stands a good chance of being called up. While he doesn’t seem to fit into the Cubs long term plans, LaHair is enjoying a fantastic season and should get another crack at the majors with somebody one of these days.

Gaub has pitched in 30 games for Iowa, and hitters are batting just .189 off him. He has spent some time with Chicago in the past, and there is no reason to think he won’t be around the Cubs bullpen for several more years.

Castillo is probably the best prospect of the three. He has been hitting very well since he was sent back to Iowa after Soto came of the disabled list, and there is speculation that he could be good enough to make Soto available in trades. At the very least I think there is a very good chance that Castillo will replace Hill as the Cubs backup catcher in 2012.

The All-Star fun isn’t over yet, either. Many leagues name mid-season as well as post-season All-Star teams. There are a few Cubs prospects, like Logan Watkins, who have surged of late and could make it onto a post-season All-Star team for their league. That very impressive total of twenty seven Cub prospects could pass thirty before we close the books on the 2011 season.