Season Recap: Peoria Chiefs

Ryne Sandberg's Peoria Chiefs will mostly be remembered for the July brawl that occurred while Ryno was attending HOF ceremonies in New York. Ryno may have been one of the best offensive and defensive 2-sacks in MLB history, but his team didn't have many good sticks and had some terrible defensive players.

Record:
30-38, 7th place (of 8) in the First Half
30-40, 7th place (of 8) in the Second Half

The only thing that the Chiefs really have to hand their hat on is the fact that some of their better players were promoted to Daytona, and that organizationally, this was by far the weakest team in terms of talent.

All Stars:

None

Top Ten Prospect Players:

None

Offensive POY: Luis Bautista

Essentially, this was a three-horse race, between Luis Bautista, Jovan Rosa, and Marquez Smith. But Smith was promoted to Daytona in early July and Rosa's K numbers (127) were too overwhelming to ignore. Bautista, a 32nd round pick of the Cubs in 2007, was the only Chief to hit over .300 for the year, coming in at .313. He hit 13 HR's, racked up 25 doubles and drove in 50 in 326 AB's. Exploration time: that's 24 HR's, 46 doubles, and 92 RBI's over a 600 AB season. Despite being a 6-4, 230 lber, Bautista also managed to steal 5 bags in 7 attempts.

Pitcher of the Year: Jordan Latham

Picking this was one difficult, because the Chiefs had a number of good relievers roll through the organization. But in the end, it was Latham who had spent the most time with the Chiefs while posting the best numbers. Latham, a 29th round pick in the '06 draft, spent the year with the Chiefs until a late July callup to Daytona. He pitched 31 games in relief for Peoria. He went 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA and 3 saves. He struck out 59 batters in 60 and 2/3 innings. More impressively, he had a 3.47 K/W ratio, so he was striking people out while maintaining control. He allowed 23 runs to score, but only 13 of them were earned. While that is a lot of unearned runs, the Chiefs had two players with 29 errors a piece.

Other Notables:

Josh Harrison (6th round, 2008): .262, 6 stolen bases in 31 games after call-up

Luis Flores (7th round, 2008): .189, but .290 OBP in 33 games after call-up

Jay Jackson (9th round, 2008): 2-2, 3.00 ERA in 24 innings after call-up

Brandon Guyer (5th round, 2007): 269, 14 HR's, 22 SB's

Dylan Johnston (4th round, 2005): .288, 15 HR's, but 4 of 12 in stolen base department

Notable Players Promoted, Numbers at Peoria

Todd Blackford (acquired in Todd Hollandsworth trade): 1-1, 2.60 ERA in 9 appearances

Welcome to the Bigs, Part III (of probably III)

The Cubs called up two more yesterday. I guess Jim Hendry thought I was getting a little too full of myself with the prediction that Casey McGehee may be called up. So, he reviewed the players I had listed and made sure he picked one that wasn't on my list, just to make me look stupid.

Felix Pie-It surprised me a little that Pie wasn't called up when the rosters expanded, only because the Cubs seemed to have a need for an extra OF, given the rest that old man Edmonds needs, the way Fukudome has been playing, the defense (or lack thereof) of Sori, etc. But he's up now. I assume the Cubs are still "bringing him along slowly" by allowing him to get some more PT, including some playoff experience, and letting him get some regular AB's at AAA instead of sitting on the bench in the Bigs. Pie finished his Iowa campaign with a .287 batting average and 10 HR's in 335 AB's. He was able to cut down his K total some with 54, although that still amount to roughly 100 K's over a full season. He had a hit in each of Iowa's 5 playoff games, hitting .300 overall. Pie will be used primarily as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.

Randy Wells-Randy Wells wasn't on the radar, at least not my radar. Why? Well, quite simply, he didn't do a lot lot to impress, outside his record. He managed to win an Iowa team-high 10 games against only 4 losses. But his ERA was over 4. He had a WHIP for the year of 1.36, which isn't terrible, but isn't great. He started the year as a reliever (the role he'll play for the Cubs) and made some spot relief appearances throughout the year, giving up 10 earned runs in 8 relief appearances (a 5.87 ERA). So, he just didn't seem like the kind of guy the Cubs would add to their 40 man roster. I guess the Cubs decided that there was the concern that he would be plucked in the Rule V draft this December (he was picked by the Blue Jays last year and made one relief appearance before being returned to the Cubs).

The Cubs "Other" Magic Number

As I'm sure all of you TD fans out there have noticed, we have added a magic number counter on the top left of the page, which currently stands at 15. For the sake of full disclosure, a magic number is the number of a combination of Cubs wins and/or Brewers losses that it would take to secure the division championship. But, in all actuality, the Cubs have a magic number of 12 to make the playoffs. If the Cubs win and/or the Phillies lose 12 games before the season ends, the Cubs will be in the playoffs. I think I speak for all Cubs fans when I say that this would be a huge disappointment to not take the division, but I wanted everyone to know that the Cubs are only 12 games away and can start rooting against the Phils.

Season Recap: Boise Hawks

Some of you may have been wondering what happened to the TD staff, as we have made few posts of late. Well, my mom is kicking me out of the basement, Jumbo is too big to reach the keyboard or leave his house to buy a wireless keyboard, and no one has heard or seen Arthur in weeks. But, I have returned to provide you loyal TD readers with a season recap of all the Cubs minor league affiliates. Today, the Boise Hawks.

Record: 43-33, 2nd place

The Hawks finished 10 games above .500, but ended up 8 games out of first place, thanks to a 51-25 season for Spokane. If the Hawks would've been in the other division, they would've won the division.

All Stars:

2B Josh Harrison
SS Ryan Flaherty
3B Josh Vitters (only unanimous selection)
DH Ryan Keedy

Top Ten Prospect Players: Josh Vitters

Josh Vitters, the Cubs #1 prospect according to Baseball America, hit .328 for Boise in 61 games with a .498 slugging percentage. He amassed 129 total bases to lead the team, thanks to a league-leading 25 doubles. But overall, I would have to say his season was just slightly above average, at least for a #3 overall pick (he was the highest draft pick playing the league). His .328 BA was second on the team and fourth in the league, but he was 4th on the team in HR's, Runs, and RBI's. As for his defense, he committed 14 errors, the second most on the team. I would expect the Cubs to move him up a level next year, but given that he just turned 19 a few days ago, I'm sure the Cubs will move him along slowly.

Offensive POY: Ryan Keedy

This was a difficult choice, because there were a number of guys whose numbers were pretty close, including Vitters and Josh Harrison, who was named an All Star despite playing in only half the games before being promoted to Peoria. But Keedy hit .333, 5 points higher than Vitters and good for 3rd best in the league. He was 3rd on the team in RBI's and total bases, but those number are slightly skewed, as he played in more games than anyone else. But it was his walk numbers that stuck out with me and was the determining factor for me. In 70 games, he walked 35 times. That gave him an OBP for the year of .419, good for 5th in the league. So he gets the nod, although I will admit that I am usually partial to the non-big time prospects when I determine these things.

Pitcher of the Year: Dan McDaniel

Dan McDaniel, the Cubs 14th round pick of this year, was the Hawks closer. Essentially, he had the award locked up by the time the calender turned to August. In 10 games in July, he didn't allow an earned run to cross the plate, allowing only 5 hits and 5 walks in 16 and 1/3 innings pitched. Opposing batters hit .094 off him. He came back to earth in August, giving up 6 earned runs in 16 innings pitched (3.38 ERA), but finished the season with 7 saves and a 1.67 ERA. His WHIP for the year was under 1, at 0.94. He pitched roughly every three days, but usually pitched more than an innings, even going as high as 2 and 2/3. The only two numbers that are of any concern with McDaniel were his wild pitches (5) and that he allowed 36.4% of the runners he inherited to score. To put some context in the inherited runners scoring, 36% is a little above MLB average...Carlos Marmol allowed only 12.2% to score last year (which was 3rd in all of baseball).

Other Notables:

Ryan Flaherty (1st round supplemental, 2008): .297, 8 HR's, .511 slugging, 16 errors

Aaron Shafer (2nd round, 2008): 2-2, 3.09 ERA

Chris Carpenter (3rd round, 2008): 4-2, 4.22 ERA, 1.69 WHIP

Justin Bristow (5th round, 2008): 2-1, 9.00 ERA

James Leverton (8th round, 2008): 1-3, 4.61 ERA, 1 HR in 54 innings pitched

Michael Brenly (Bob's son): .325 BA

Kyler Burke (Acquired in the Michael Barrett trade, 1st round pick, 2006): .261 BA, 7 HR's

Notable Promoted Players Numbers at Boise:

Andrew Cashner (1st round, 2008): 1-1, 4.96 ERA

Josh Harrison (6th round, 2008): .351, 27 Runs, 25 RBIs, 23 walks, 12 SB's in 33 games

Luis Flores (7th round, 2008): .167 in 9 games

Jay Jackson (9th round, 2008): 0-0, 5.00 ERA in 3 games