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LotW: New Talent

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Minor league shuffles continue this week as Greg Rohan and Dustin Geiger are promoted to Daytona and Peoria respectively. Also promoted to Peoria is this week’s winner of the Cubbies Crib Minor League Line of the Week. This player was just drafted by the Cubs in July and would definitely have a spot alongside Matthew Szczur, Logan Watkins, and Jeff Smarazdija on an All-Cub Football Team.

Drafted in the 27th round out of Florida State and now playing for the Peoria Chiefs, this week’s winner is…

Taiwan Easterling.

Easterling is having the kind of professional debut most players only dream about. He signed with the Cubs fairly quickly after the draft, leaving behind the Florida State football team to do so. He stayed just seven games in the Arizona Rookie League, hitting .500 and compiling an OPS of 1.232. In his first game after being promoted to Peoria, he hit his first professional home run.

It is much too early to tell from the stats what sort of a player Easterling will turn into should he make it to the majors, but he is already showing a mix of power and speed that should keep our attention as he works his way up the ranks. College hitters are typically more advanced when they enter the minors than high school hitters, so we shouldn’t get too excited over his fast start in Arizona or Peoria. I doubt he’ll finish this season any higher than Low-A, but before 2012 is out we should see him in High-A Daytona, and possibly Tennessee as well.

Easterling is the first of the Cubs 2011 Draft class to pick up a Line of the Week, but hopefully he won’t be the last. Already this season we have seen good performances out of fellow 2011 draftees Kenny Socorro, James Pugilese, Sheldon McDonald, Paul Hoilman, Rafael Lopez, and others. Zeke DeVoss is just starting his professional career after being selected in the third round, and second round pick Dan Vogelbach might be signing soon. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see these players and more in the Cubs farm system this year, and possibly in future Line of the Week columns as well.