Chicago Cubs Prospects

Chicago Cubs: Minor League affiliates off to a slow start to begin new campaign

mniederman
Mar 7, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Addison Russell (27) slaps hands with first baseman Dan Vogelbach (74) in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) after hitting a home run in the fifth inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Addison Russell (27) slaps hands with first baseman Dan Vogelbach (74) in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) after hitting a home run in the fifth inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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A string of subpar outings so far has spelled doom early on for the Chicago Cubs minor league affiliates. Despite the slow starts, the outlook seems bright as the usual suspects are leading the way early in this week’s The Call-up.

Iowa Cubs haven’t found their stride yet

The Iowa Cubs (0-3) through Saturday’s action have stumbled out of the gates. The roster is lined with guys that will make their home in a major league lineup someday, but must navigate the final hurdle to get there. Even in the losing affairs, the Cubs are being led statistically by the leaders of the ballclub.

Dan Vogelbach, who remains in the minors mostly because his position is taken by an all-star, has provided a majority of the fireworks so far for the I-Cubs. Known for his capable power, Vogelbach is leading the team early on with a .364 batting average and has driven in two RBI in three games. These numbers don’t jump out at you and they shouldn’t. Although the average is a good start, the power hasn’t made its way to Des Moines yet.

The players on this roster charged with providing a bright future for this franchise have got to be ready at a moment’s notice, given what has occurred in the Majors injury wise. As the season grows older, keep an eye on the strikeout totals as it relates to power. If they don’t stay within a reasonable rate, the Iowa Cubs will be in for a long year.

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Up Next: The Iowa Cubs host the New Orleans Zephyrs (1-2) in a four-game set before heading to Round Rock Friday and Saturday.

Tennessee Smokies go cold over the weekend

Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies (2-1) came out strong opening night last Thursday. After dispatching the Mobile BayBears (1-2) 7-3, the offense dipped over the next two games.

Much of my attention was focused on third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who was tearing the cover off the ball in spring training. It’s possible that the Cubs may have found another quality piece down the depth chart, but a slow start could be a sign of the young slugger coming back to Earth.

Candelario has gone to plate nine times in his first three games and has returned to the bench via strikeout a third of those trips. The hot bat that left Mesa has been stiffled, leaving the prospect to wonder what happened.

Candelario and the Smokies must charge ahead and have a short memory. The season has barely started and brighter days are ahead.

Up Next: The Smokies finish up their homestand on Monday before squaring off with the Birmingham Barons (1-2).

Myrtle Beach and South Bend holding court in their 2016 debuts

Myrtle Beach, repesenting the Advanced single-A and the South Bend Cubs as the low Single-A affiliates, both have left the gates slow to start 2016. Following the lead of the teams above them, the Pelicans (1-2) and the SB Cubs (1-2) haven’t been able to put each component together yet.

Both ballclubs have shown signs of offense and pitching. The main issue has been that the positives coming from both haven’t occurred at the same time. The success of our Single-A teams will ride on the quality development of guys like Ian Happ and Gleyber Torres. Keep an eye on these prospects moving forward and we will begin to find out how they will fit into the future plans of the Chicago Cubs. 

Next: Hendricks solid in debut

Up Next: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans host the Winston-Salem Dash (1-2) before hitting the road for three against the Carolina Mudcats (1-1). The South Bend Cubs host the Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-1) before playing three on the road in Fort Wayne.

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