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?

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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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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 4 hours 52 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 5 hours 39 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 10 hours 10 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 10 hours 51 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 10 hours 55 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 12 hours 50 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 14 hours 37 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 15 hours 12 min ago view
  • 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 15 hours 25 min ago view