If you’re a baseball purest, you would’ve loved this game. It was a chance to get up close and personal to top young minor league talent from two major league teams, many of whom will be in the majors at one point or another, some sooner than others, some, perhaps, as superstars. To see the Cubs prospects up this close; it was a really cool sight to behold.
The Cubs prospects won the game by the score of 10-7, with the Cubs hitters piling up 11 hits to the Rangers 12 hits. The game saw nine total pitchers used by the Cubs. Carl Edwards Jr. started and went a scoreless first inning before giving up two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Unfortunately, I missed that action as the public address announcer came on and said “anyone parked in the grass lot to the north needs to move their car because there’s going to be an event there tonight.” So, I moved my car, came back and the score was 2-0 Rangers.
The Cubs rotated nine pitchers into the game, including Edwards. Here’s a few notes on each:
- Corey Black – 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H (single, triple), BB, 2 K
- David Berg – 1 IP, 0 H, 1 K
- Josh Conway – 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H (3B, HR, 1B), 2 K
- Dillon Maples – 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 3 K, fastball consistently at 96/97 MPH hitting 98
- Aaron Brooks – 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H (2B, 1B), 1 BB
- Daury Torrez – 1 IP, 0 H, fastball at 94/95 MPH
- Scott Effros – 1/3 IP, 0 H
- Felix Pena – 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H (2B)
The highlight of all the pitchers for me was Dillon Maples. He looked like a big boy playing with kids. His velocity was upper 90s, hitting 98 MPH, he had three strikeouts in the inning, and two of them came off nasty change-ups that were in the upper 70s. If he could resolve his control issues that have plagued him in the minors he could be one heck of a major league pitcher with that type of heat/off speed combination.
On the defensive side, Willson Contreras made a great snap throw to first base in the bottom of the seventh to pick off a runner. He also had two hits in the game, including a double in the top of the fifth inning. I’ve spoken about it a few times, here and here most recently, that this kid has what it takes to be a big league catcher. I really hope he gets up to the big league team this season. I love everything about him that I’ve seen including defense, offense, how he frames pitches, his confidence at the plate, his maturity, and the list goes on. He’s good. Here’s video of his double:
Both Dan Vogelbach and Mark Zagunis had two hits each, to add to Contreras’ two hits. Probably the offensive highlight of the game was when Ian Happ pounded the ball to deep right field in the top of the fourth inning. Here’s video of that beautiful shot:
Adding to the video highlights, Jason Vosler got in on the fun with this 2-run triple in the top of the eighth inning:
Victor Caratini also contributed with a massive two-run home run to center field in the top of the ninth, which got the Cubs up to ten runs.
Overall it was a great treat and I’m hoping they have this game again next year, it was just such a cool way to see these guys in action and to catch up with the top guys in the Cubs minor league system.