Theo Epstein’s minor league vision taking effect for Cubs


In Theo We Trust.  That should be the motto of Chicago Cubs’ fans after released its Top 100 minor league prospect list last week.  When Theo Epstein assumed the position of President of Baseball Operations prior to the 2012 season, he promised to build the Cubs’ minor league system into the premier one in baseball.

The results have been astounding.

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Arizona Diamondbacks promote Northwestern grad Bo Schultz

bo schultz

Thanksgiving dinner is likely to seem especially tasty for onetime American Association hurler Bo Schultz since news arrived Wednesday that he had been added to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster after a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. The 28-year-old righty and Northwestern journalism grad, who was mostly a bullpen contributor (4-3, 4.13 in 37 appearances) while helping Grand Prairie, TX win the Association title in 2011, went 3-0 with a 3.09 earned run average in seven starts in the AFL after both starting and relieving for the D-Backs’ top two farm clubs this summer.

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Kris Bryant wins Arizona Fall League MVP; Cubs AFL report


Even during the frost of Winter, getting significant Cubs’ news past their fans is like trying to sneak a fastball by the quick hands of Cubs’ legend Ernie Banks.  Despite the frost, most Cubs’ fans are dancing in the snow over 3B Kris Bryant, the team’s 2013 first round selection, being crowned MVP of the Arizona Fall League.  Bryant, 21, and seven other Cubs’ prospects helped comprise the Mesa Solar Sox, who won the AFL’s East division with a 19-11 record before losing the championship game.    

Kris Bryant’s MVP credentials included a .364 batting average in 77 at-bats, the league’s fifth highest average; 22 runs (tied-first); 28 hits (tied-fourth); eight doubles (tied-second); six homers (first); seventeen RBI (seventh); fourteen walks (tied-eight); .457 on-base-percentage (OBP)(fourth); and .727 slugging percentage (first).  

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Former Kane County Cougar Miguel Cabrera wins MVP

miguel cabrera

Kane County Cougar and current Detroit Tigers infielder Miguel Cabrera has won the 2013 American League Most Valuable Player award. Miguel Cabrera, who played at Kane County as part of the 2001 Midwest League Championship team, has won back-to-back MVP awards, becoming the first American Leaguer to be named MVP in consecutive years since Frank Thomas in 1993 and 1994.

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Chicago Cubs prospects Kris Bryant and Albert Almora dominate AFL

With only four major league teams still participating in the postseason and most major and minor league ballparks shuttered until Spring Training, it would be easy to overlook offseason minor league baseball leagues commencing around the globe, starting last week with the Arizona Fall League (AFL), which is considered between AA and AAA caliber.  Eight prospects in the Cubs organization have been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox, one of six teams in the two-division league whose regular season concludes on November 14 followed by a brief playoff round. 

Chicago Cubs minor league All-Stars Part Three: Boom Boom Baez


In the first installment of our Chicago Cubs 2013 minor league All-Star team, we selected four pitchers, two starters and two relievers.  As starters, we selected right-handers Kyle Hendricks, the presumptive pitcher of the year in the Cubs’ organization, and Pierce Johnson.  For our bullpen, we chose left-handers Zach Rosscup and Hunter Cervenka. 
In our second installment, we selected catcher Rafael Lopez, first baseman Dustin Geiger and second baseman Arismendy Alcantara.  Today, we select our All-Star shortstop and third baseman and those who deserve honorable mention at those positions.  

Cubs Minor League All-Star Team Part Two: Catcher, 1B and 2B

dustin geiger

Yesterday, we selected four pitchers, two starters and two relievers, to our 2013 Chicago Cubs’ minor league All-Star squad.  Today, we will reveal our All-Star catcher, first-baseman and second-baseman and also pay homage to players who deserve honorable mention at those positions. 

Cubs Minor League All-Star Team Part One: Pitchers

It is time for the first installment of our Chicago Cubs minor league All-Star team.  Today, we reveal the pitchers, two starters and two relievers, who made our squad.  In subsequent installments, we will give All-Star bids to two or more positions until we have fielded a full squad.  So let’s get to work revealing our award-winning pitchers. 

Cubs prospect watch: A Josh Vitters’ resurgence in 2014?


Today, we finish our 2013 features of Chicago Cubs prospects with two apiece from the AA Tennessee Smokies and the AAA Iowa Cubs.  Tennessee finished its regular season with a 76-62 record and claimed the second half North Division title of the Southern League.  Iowa missed the postseason after finishing with a mark of 66-78. 
Let’s get to our player profiles.

Chicago Cubs prospects: Candy Man sweetens fans’ hopes


We continue with our final batch of 2013 profiles of Chicago Cubs’ prospects with two apiece from the Kane County Cougars and the Daytona Cubs.  Despite a league worst regular season record of 54-80 with one game remaining in the regular season, the Cougars still have some intriguing prospects.  Daytona produced a regular season record of 75-51 and a second half mark of 49-20, good for the second-half North Division title and a playoff berth.   
Let’s get to our player profiles.  

Cubs prospects: Leal, Rogers, others thriving at lower levels


With the minor league regular season ending on Labor Day, over the next few days, we will complete our season-long profiles of Chicago Cubs’ prospects from each of their six minor league affiliates, starting with two apiece from the Arizona Rookie League and the Boise Hawks of the short-season Northwest League.  Next week, we will release our first annual Sportsbank Cubs minor league All-Star team. 
Let’s get started with our player profiles.  

Chicago Cubs 2011 draft review: under the radar players


We finish our retrospective on the Chicago Cubs’ 2011 draft by profiling the final seven members of the classs whose performance, we believe, merits Cubs’ fans making room for them on their radar heading into the 2014 season.