Family Feud at Camelback Ranch

Trayce Thompson crushed a towering home run and the White Sox scored five runs in the 6th to overcome a 3-1 deficit, as the Cubs dropped a 7-4 decision to their crosstown rivals in AZ Instructional League action at Camelback Ranch this afternoon.


In Chicago, “Crosstown Classic” means North-side versus South-side, but in Arizona it’s East-side (Cubs) versus West-side (Sox) when the two Windy City adversaries clash.


18-year old Reggie Golden (Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick out of Wetumpka HS - Wetumpka, AL) had an eventful day, dropping a fly ball in RF for a two-base error in the bottom of the 1st inning (his third dropped fly ball in a week), striking out on three pitches (swinging) leading-off the top of the second, and doubling-up a baserunner at 1st base 9-3 to help Austin Reed escape a third inning jam, before launching an opposite-field solo HR--against the wind--in the 5th.


In addition to Golden’s HR, Evan Crawford tripled, scored two runs, and stole a base (the speedy Crawford was acquired by the Cubs from SF this past August in the Mike Fontenot deal), and 18-year old Venezuelan bonus baby Willson Contreras mashed a solo HR off the scoreboard beyond the LF fence. But it just wasn't enough.


Cubs 2010 9th round draft pick RHP Kevin Rhoderick (Oregon State) had another fine outing, striking out the side in his one inning of work, as he just blew the Sox hitters away.


Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1a. Evan Crawford, CF: 1-3 (E5, 4-3, 3B, 2 R, SB)
1b. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-1 (K)
2. Gioskar Amaya, SS: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, K, RBI)
3a. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-3 (4-3, 1-3, F-8)
3b. Max Kwan, C: 0-1 (K)
4. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 2-4 (1B, F-9, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-2 (K, F-9)
5b. Willson Contreras, 3B: 1-2 (P-5, HR, RBI, R)
6. Reggie Golden, RF-CF: 1-4 (K, HR, P-6, 6-3, RBI, R)
7. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
8. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, K, BB)
9. Delbis Arcila, DH #2: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3, K)
10. Oliver Zapata, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 4-3, 1B)


PITCHERS:
1. Austin Reed: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 46 pitches (29 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Ben Wells: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 13 pitches (6 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Starling Peralta: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 25 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 22 pitches (11 strikes)


ERRORS: (3)
1. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped fly ball - two base error allowed batter to reach base)
2. P Hunter Ackerman E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base - allowed runner to advance to 3rd base)
3. C Max Kwan E-2 (errant throw to 1st base after fielding swinging bunt in front of home plate - allowed batter to reach base - eventually scored unearned run)


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Micah Gibbs: 1-2 CS
Max Kwan: 1 E (see above)


OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
Reggie Golden doubled runner off 1st base 9-3 after L-9 out
Oliver Zapata doubled runner off 2nd base 7-4 after L-7 out


=================================================


ATTENDANCE: 19 (mostly scouts)


WEATHER: Cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Micah Gibbs hasn't done anything statistically since signing that would indicate he can hit a lick. Please tell me he looks better than his record indicates. Also, I probably missed this but who is Max Kwan and where did ne come from?

Submitted by chuck on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:12pm.
Micah Gibbs hasn't done anything statistically since signing that would indicate he can hit a lick. Please tell me he looks better than his record indicates. Also, I probably missed this but who is Max Kwan and where did ne come from?

====================================

CHUCK: Micah Gibbs improved his hitting enough from 2009 to 2010 to where he was the leading hitter among starting position players at LSU in 2010 (388/438/592), but there was a red flag in his folder because he hit only .212 with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League in 2009.

So far in pro ball Gibbs has hit more like he did in the Cape Cod League in 2009 than LSU in 2010. In 169 PA combined between AZL Cubs and Boise in 2010, Gibbs hit just 197/268/243 (and 13/33 BB/K), with seven doubles and no HR.

He is showing more patience and hitting with more power so far at Instructs (211/400/422 with 5/5 BB/K in 25 PA, with a double and a HR). He has also thrown out four of six base stealers (67%), which is better than was advertised (21% combined at AZL Cubs and Boise). He definitely has some XBH power when he gets the bat on the ball, and he has improved his hitting some in Instructs, but he still has a ways to go. I do think he will be the #1 catcher at Peoria in 2011.

Max Kwan was signed as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) college senior by the Cubs in August to add catching depth in the low minors. He started his college career at Tulane before transferring to the University of Washington, but he missed two full seasons and large parts of two others due to injuries. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners out of HS in June 2005, however, and was considered a pretty good catching prospect at that time (before he got hurt). The Cubs probably had an old scouting report on him from when he was in HS and decided they would give him a chance to play pro ball. He's a big kid (6'3 225) and he has some power, but he also isn't a very good hitter, and his defense needs work, too.

Kwan is 23 years old and will turn 24 in December, so he doesn't have much time to prove himself.

Very informative, as always

5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
---
Casey looks real good on paper, how about in person?

Submitted by Cubster on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 7:54pm.
5. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
---
Casey looks real good on paper, how about in person?

==================================================

CUBSTER: Casey Harman is a soft-tossing lefty whose two-seam fastball tops out at 88. He also throws a nice change-up and a little slider. He occasionally drops down sidearm, and I wouldn't be surprised if he can throw a ball while standing on his head, too. He is the epitome of the "crafty lefty." Guys like that often will do well in the low minors because they can toy with young hitters, but their stuff usually catches up with them at AA and AAA.

Still, there are pitchers like Harman in the big leagues, his stuff was good enough to beat #1 ranked Arizona State in the College World Series last June, and he was the #1 starter ("Friday Night Starter") at Clemson this past season.

The Cubs liked him enough that they gave him 5th round money ($150K) to sign, even though he fell to the 29th round due to signability issues (he made it known in advance that he would go back to Clemson for his senior season if he didn't get Top 5 round money, even though most scouts had him rated as just a 10th round talent at best).

PHIL: I believe you had addressed this before, but are there "stoppages of play" in the AZL for "teaching moments"? Or are things status quo?

Submitted by The E-Man on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 9:36pm.
PHIL: I believe you had addressed this before, but are there "stoppages of play" in the AZL for "teaching moments"? Or are things status quo?

=====================================

E-MAN: They don't stop play during an inning, but a lot of times the instructors meet with the players coming off the field to discuss what just happened. But they don't do anything during an inning while play is in progress.

One exception was last year, when Rickey Henderson was an outfield instructor for the A's, and he actually stood in the outfield with the LF, CF, or RF DURING THE INNING and provided the player with real time instruction. (Or maybe he was regaling the players with old war stories, I don't know). But it was sort of like "Angels in the Outfield," except in this case it was Rickey in the Outfield.

Last week Reggie Golden was on deck and he failed to go to home plate and "coach" a runner coming into score whether to stand-up or slide (the runner scored standing up but just barely beat the throw), and Golden and all the other Cubs players were apparently provided with a "teaching moment" about it prior to the next game, because the next time it happened the batter on deck (Jae-Hoon Ha) came running up to home plate like a crazy person and made sure to tell the runner to slide.

not surprisingly, Rangers DFA Rich Harden

the bigger they are the...

he didn't make their ALDS roster, then whammo.

I see towel drills in his future.

As always, great stuff AZ Phil. I have a quick question about Ben Wells. Has he maintained his improved stuff from his senior year? If I recall correctly, he was a 89-90 mph guy with a decent secondary offering the summer before his senior year. However, reports were that he added about 4-5 mph on his fastball his senior year, to where his was sitting 92-93, while routinely touching 95. Is Wells still enjoying that type of fastball velocity? Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:06am.
As always, great stuff AZ Phil. I have a quick question about Ben Wells. Has he maintained his improved stuff from his senior year? If I recall correctly, he was a 89-90 mph guy with a decent secondary offering the summer before his senior year. However, reports were that he added about 4-5 mph on his fastball his senior year, to where his was sitting 92-93, while routinely touching 95. Is Wells still enjoying that type of fastball velocity? Thanks in advance.

====================================

HRUBES20: Ben Wells hadn't pitched since May, so he has been brought along very slowly at Instructs, with a low pitch count (about 15 per game). So his stuff (and velocity) is where it would be in maybe the second week of Spring Training.

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  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 8 min 24 sec ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 4 hours 23 min ago view