A Trip Around the Minors...

With all the prospects still around as the deadline passes, news on Felix Pie's successful stretch at Iowa, Jose Ceda finally gives up some runs, and a former first rounder who may have found his way.


Felix Pie-Pie had a good week, going 9 for 23 (a .391 average), striking out only 4 times. Overall, Pie had a very successful month of July, hitting .373 with a 1.001 OPS. The most remarkable part is that Pie has only K'd 34 times in 237 AB's at Iowa. Hopefully, this means Pie is understanding how to hit a little better; he is hitting .371 with runner's in scoring position. Conversely, when he is batting with no one on base, he knows he can swing for the fences; 5 of his 7 have come with the bases empty.

Kevin Hart-Hart's frequent flyer card continues to rack up the miles, but this trip back to Iowa has landed him in the bullpen. In three appearances since returning to Iowa, Hart has allowed 1 earned over 4 innings pitched, taking the loss in the game he gave up the run. Hart rebounded on Tuesday night, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.

Bonus-Koyie Hill was named the P.C.L. Hitter of the Week for last week. Over the last 10 games, Hill is hitting .485 with 4 HR's and 14 RBI's. Hill also managed to go 1 for 2 in the stolen base department. Hill's batting average by the months: April .158, May .230, June .310, July .432.


Tyler Colvin-Colvin was cold entering last night's game. 3 for 22 cold. He managed to "save" his week with a 2 for 4 performance, giving him a statisically impressive 6 RBI's and 2 HR's for the week. So, he's been able to produce, despite a .192 batting average this week. Colvin has a managed only a .301 OBP and a .678 OPS on the year. His .237 batting average for July is unfortunately right on pace (he's hitting .236 on the year).

Welington Castillo-Castillo has 6 hits in 7 games, including a 5 game hitting streak, but only hit .240 for the week. He managed 3 runs and 2 RBI's for the week, and struck out 7 times. 11 of his 30 K's in AA have come in the last 8 games. His batting average since being promoted is still .311 and .292 for the year.

Donnie Veal-Veal started last Friday and got lit up. Over 2 and 2/3, he gave up 8 hits, 3 walks, and 7 runs. He entered the game with a 3.63 ERA on the year...he left with a 4.11. Surprisingly, he ended up with a no decision. He threw again on Wednesday night, going only 4 innings and giving up 2 earned runs. Control was a problem for him on Wednesday, he walked 4 batters.

Jose Ceda-Ceda gave up a run in each of his two performances for the week, and overall has given up a run in 3 of his last 4 outings. Ceda was responsible for the loss last Friday, after the Smokies clawed their way back from the hole Veal put them in to tie the game. Ceda's ERA remains a stellar 2.11 as the Smokies closer.

Bonus-Blake Lalli has made a smooth transition from Daytona to Tennessee. The 1 sack is hitting .292 with 3 HR's since joining the Smokies earlier this month. He is in the midst of a 6 game hitting streak. The only concerning part is his strike out numbers; he had only 28 in 65 games at Daytona but already has half as many in just 14 games with Tennessee.


Tony Thomas-Only 5 games this week for Tony Thomas, including a doubleheader on Wednesday night, thanks to the weather. Thomas hit a respectable .278 with 3 runs and 4 RBI's. He added two more doubles to his resume, giving him 25 on the year. Overall, Thomas is hitting .267 with 7 HR's and 18 stolen bases, but has struggled against lefties, hitting .198.

Bonus-3 sack Marquez Smith (8th round, 2007) hasn't converted his .295, 14 HR numbers from Peoria to Daytona, but his .258 average is improving thanks to a 5 game hitting streak. Included in that is his first HR for the D-Cubs, hit on Wednesday's night. It was a grand slam, giving him 12 RBI's in 18 games.


No Top Ten Prospects

Bonus-Randy "Jay" Jackson, the Cubs 9th round pick this year, was promoted to Peoria after only three appearances at Boise (in which he had a 5.00 ERA). But since he moved to Peoria, he has shown why he deserved the 9th round selection, holding a 2.33 ERA. While technically starting only one game, he has thrown at least 3 innings in all 5 appearances, totalling 19 and a 1/3 innings, striking out 30 batters and only walking 4.


Josh Vitters-Vitters returned to the lineup for the first time in 12 days last night, going 1 for 7 with a double, an RBI, and a run. Vitters had been missing for the past week plus with an ankle injury. Despite the layoff, Vitters has an 8 game hitting streak and doubles in 5 of 6 games. Vitters has an OPS of .870 at Boise.

Bonus-Mark Pawelek (1st round, 2005) is hopefully starting to find his groove. In his last 4 appearances, he has thrown 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings. He has given up 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. This is in stark contrast to his first 6 appearances (including 2 starts) where he allowed at least one run to cross the plate in each outing. Pawelek's ERA is still at 4.82 for the year.

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