Chicago Cubs minors recap: Cubs draftees eager to begin
The summer is getting into full swing and the Chicago Cubs are enjoying the success both in the majors and the minor ranks. Less than a week removed from the draft, the Cubs are looking to get key prospects signed and playing as soon as possible. We will highlight the draft strategy and introduce you to another member of the weekly round-up on this week’s The Call-up.
Cubs hope to surprise in the draft
The Cubs have been focused the last six years bolstering the offensive side of their team. Enter the 2016 draft, the Cubs made it known that their need was pitching. Overall, the Cubs made 38 selections, 27 of whom are pitchers.
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- Cubs: Hayden Wesneski already among team’s top prospects
The goal is to infuse the farm system with as much pitching talent as it can handle and see what sticks. Among the players drafted, a few carry with them a major league pedigree. Most notably, 6th round pick Chad Hockin who is the grandson of hall of famer Harmon Killebrew.
The loss of their first two picks and the bonus money associated with those draft slots, the Cubs not only had to focus on pitching but had to make sure the players they targeted were good candidates to sign with the team. Targeting college-aged players help given their age and eagerness to begin a professional career. High School players tend to have college offers and are looking to improve their draft stock by waiting a year or two.
Many of these players will spend their career in the minors, but for a lucky few, their dream will come true someday. The Cubs are hoping to develop the talent and use it to help keep the team on the north side on top.
We have been following the triumphs and defeats of the Cubs’ minor league affiliates for a couple of months now, but they will soon be joined by another in the coming days.
Many of the draftees who have signed with the Cubs will find their way to Eugene, Oregon to join the Emeralds in their quest for another Northwest League title. The short season Class-A affiliate for Chicago, the Emeralds mark the beginning of the road for the prospects looking to make a splash.
Originally founded in 1955, the Emeralds were the short season affiliate for the San Diego Padres from 2001-2014 before joining the Cubs organization. The roster is still being finalized, but the season is set to begin this Friday and will run through September. We will be following them for the duration of the season.
To put the league into perspective, Kyle Schwarber, who was drafted in 2014, was a member of the Boise Hawks the last season they played for the Cubs. In just five games, Schwarber batted .600 with four home runs, ten RBI, and an OPS of 1.975 before being assigned to the Kane County Cougars.
Next: How long will we see Almora?
Minor League Round-up
Iowa Cubs (29-31) 2nd place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division
Last Week: (2-4), This Week: vs. Round Rock Express June 12th, @Colorado Springs Sky Sox June 14*-16th, @Memphis Redbirds June 17th-18th
Tennessee Smokies (27-36) 4th place in the Southern League North Division
Last Week: (2-5), This Week: vs. Chattanooga Lookouts June 12th-14th, @Jackson Generals June 15th-18th
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (33-29) 2nd place in the Carolina League Southern Division
Last Week: (4-2), This Week: @Lynchburg Hillcats June 12th, vs, Frederick Keys June 13th-15th, @Potomac Nationals June 16th-18th*
South Bend Cubs (37-25) 1st place in the Midwest League Eastern Division
Last Week: (4-2), This Week: @Bowling Green Hot Rods June 12th, @Dayton Dragons June 13th-15th, vs. Lake County Captains June 16th-18th
Eugene Emeralds (0-0) Northwest League
This Week: vs. Boise Hawks June 17th-18th