Jeremy Harris returns to give us a Cubs prospects report.
The Cubs have an 8-16 record through Sunday, which includes three losses in which they were tied or winning entering the eighth inning. Four more losses came in games where they squandered leads. However, we’re not going to focus on gloom and doom, we’re going to talk Cubs prospects. There are some nice stories taking root in the Cubs farm system. Several Cubs prospects, including some of baseball’s top blue chips, are continuing to excel as they’re promoted to higher levels in the system.
We feature some of those Cubs prospects today.
LHP Andrew McKirahan, 24, was a 21st round selection in the 2010 draft. Despite his 2012 season being interrupted by reconstructive elbow surgery, he has dominated in the bullpen at every level where he has been assigned, this year Daytona. In six appearances covering 8.1 innings, the tall lefty has yielded nine hits without a home run and just one walk while striking out nine. His ERA is 1.08 and WHIP 1.200.
He split last season recovering from injury between the Arizona Rookie League, Boise and Class A Kane County of the Midwest League. In 21 appearances covering 29 innings, McKirahan allowed 21 hits (no home runs) and nine walks while fanning 37. His ERA was 2.79 and WHIP 1.034. In 64 career innings, he has allowed only one home run.
McKirahan throws a fastball between 94 and 96 MPH with a curveball and cutter.
Not all of the Cubs’ top prospects have excelled following promotions this season.
SS Javier Baez, 21, ranked the fourth best prospect by Baseball Prospectus, is hitting .164 for AAA Iowa with two homers and seven RBI, He also has 21 strikeouts and two walks in 58 plate appearances.
Last year, between Daytona and Tennessee, Baez hit .282 with 37 home runs, 32 doubles and 111 RBI. The #1 overall on the Cubs prospects list, we may not seem with the parent club till next year. But he could be a September call-up if he gets it going.
RF Jorge Soler, 22, who spent a majority of last season on the disabled list last season for Daytona, was promoted to Tennessee. The 45th ranked prospect by Baseball Prospectus played one game for Tennessee before landing on the disabled list with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since. One of the biggest names among the Cubs prospects list, is still a long ways away from Wrigley.
RHP Pierce Johnson, 22 and the 91st ranked prospect by Baseball Prospectus, started the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. He has since made two starts for Tennessee and struggled with his control, walking 12 in his first two starts covering eight innings.
Splitting last season between Kane County and Daytona, Johnson appeared in 23 games (21 starts) and compiled an 11-6 record. In 118.1 innings, he allowed 109 hits and 43 walks while inducing 129 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.74 and WHIP 1.285.
The Cubs need their highly-ranked struggling prospects to settle into their more challenging environments and those who are excelling to keep forcing the hands of Cubs’ management.
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