A Trip Around the Minors

Posted by Lionel on July 31, 2009.

A former top ten prospect makes a guest appearance in the bonus section, a top ten player officially waves goodbye (Kevin Hart), and a sneak peak at a potential top ten player next year.


Steve Clevenger-I guess Clevenger is now unofficially a top ten prospect, as he was the #11 prospect pre-season and is now in the top ten with the departure of Hart. He's 3 for 13 in the past week with 3 K's. He's struck out 5 times in his last 5 games, after K'ing only 15 times in 41 games at AAA and 23 times in 67 games overall this year.

Bonus-J.R. Mathes likely just got passed by Tom Gorzelanny in the lefty starter to get called up if needed, but he's trying his best to show the Cubs he's deserving. He had two starts this week, 2 victories, 2 7 inning outings. He gave a total of two runs (a 1.29 ERA), 11 hits and a walk (a 0.86 WHIP). He also recorded his 10th win of the season, the fourth time in the last five years he's accomplished that feat (he had 9 wins in 2008).


Welington Castillo-Has Castillo finally broken out of his 3+ month slump? It's looks like it. He has a solid 9 game hitting streak in which he's hitting .441. He's hit 4 HR's during that time, including a 2 HR game on Wednesday. He's tied for the team lead in HR's. He's also driven in 10 runs, or 36% of his total RBI's for the season.

Tyler Colvin-Covin came up in a pinch role during game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday and singled. That broke an 0 for 18 streak. After K'ing once per 5.3 AB's last year, he's "down" to once every 4.4 AB's this year, and he strikes out almost 30% of the time he faces a leftie. He needs two hits tonight to finish the month of July with a monthly BA above .200.

Andrew Cashner-Cashner made his 17th start of the year and recorded his first W of the year, because he finally pitched at least 5 innings (he's done that only 3 times this year) and the team has finally given him some offensive support. He struggled in his Wednesday start, putting runner's in scoring position in four of his five innings, but the only run to score was unearned. He now has a 1.09 ERA at Tennessee.

Bonus-Tied with Castillo for the team lead in HR's, Tony Thomas is mimicking Castillo's year in a lot of ways. He also his an HR on Wednesday and he also seems to be finding his stick. Before an 0 for 4 in game two of the doubleheader on Wednesday, Thomas was 10 for his last 27 (.370 BA) with 2 HR's, 6 RBI's, 6 runs, and 3 swiped bags. This after starting the month hitting .128 .


Josh Vitters-If you looked at Vitters last ten games as a whole, you'd say it doesn't look bad. 4 two hit games, 4 RBI's, 4 runs, overall pretty solid. Then you'd see his BA in those ten games is .233. How? Well, he's 0 for his last 8 and he has an 0 for 6 stuck in the middle of a streak where he hit safely in 5 of 6.

Starlin Castro-Castro is only hitting .268 in his last 10 games, but he has an OBP of .375. His 7 walks over the last 10 days represent 39% of his walks for the year. He's hitting an even .300 on the season and while his OBP is only at .339 (showing he doesn't walk a lot), he has K'd only 38 times in 343 AB's. For a 19 year old playing in Advanced A ball, that's fantastic.

Jay Jackson-For reasons I have yet to find, the Cubs decided to send Jackson down to Daytona. But Jackson took it in stride and showed that he's past Advanced A Ball, at least in one outing. He started last night, giving up 4 hits and a walk in 5 and 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 9 of the 23 batters he faced.

Bonus-If ATAtM came out on Thursday, this week's Daytona bonus would've been Josh Harrison, who earned player of the week honors. But since he's no longer in the system, we'll focus on D-Cubs closer David Cales. Cales has a 0.92 ERA at Daytona (he struggled in a short stint at Tennessee) and has better than a 3:1 K/W ratio. His WHIP is under 1 for the year at Daytona.


Ryan Flaherty-In the last week, Flaherty has shown some muscle, hitting 3 HR's to bring his season total to 14 (including one on Monday, his 23rd birthday). He's now one behind former teammate Josh Vitters and is 6th in the league in HR's. He's now reached safely in his last 7 games and his hitting .310 over that span with an OBP of nearly .400.

Bonus-The HR party extended to Rebel Ridling, who joined Flaherty in a 3 HR week. He now has 12, putting him in the top ten in the league in HR's. While Ridling is only hitting .283, he is 3rd in the league in hits, with 108. He is also 3rd in the Midwest League in RBI's, with 69, folloing a 9 RBI week.


Hak Ju Lee-Lee's had a slightly above average week, which is a great week for most players.In 6 games, he had 10 hits, 5 RBI's, 4 runs, 3 walks, 2 doubles, and a stolen base. That's a .400 batting average and a .464 OBP. He did get caught stealing once this week, dropping his stolen base success rate 4% to 78%. He leads the league in stolen bases and 6th in batting average.

Bonus-If he continues at this pace, Cubs 1st round pick Brett Jackson will be on this list next year. Jackson has a 9 game hitting streak, including a 4 for 5 performance Wednesday. It has bumped him into the top ten in the league in batting (with 3 Hawk teammates). He's struck out 20 times in 24 games, but has also walked 17 times, giving him an OBP of .443, good enough for 4th best in the league.

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