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Minor League Discussion & Boxes 5-26-2006

Box Scores


Iowa won 3-1 Box Score


RF F. Pie 1/3, BB, K

CF B. Coats 0/3, BB, R, SB (6)

2B M. Fontenot 1/3, BB, 2 R

LF M. Restovich 2/3, BB, RBI, 2B (11), K

1B M. Hoffpauir 3/4, RBI

3B C. McGehee 0/2, BB, RBI

C G. Soto 0/4

SP R. O'Malley 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4/1 K/BB, 9-7 GO-FO

RP D. Aardsma 1 perfect, 0/0, 2-1 GO-FO


West Tenn lost 1-0 Box Score


CF C. Walker 0/4

2B E. Patterson 2/4

3B R. Lewis 0/2, E (1, throw)

PH S. Moore 0/1

LF N. Jackson 0/4, K

1B B. Sing 1/2, BB

C J. Reyes 1/3

RF A. Greenberg 0/1

SP R. Wells 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 9/2 K/BB, 7-4 GO-FO


Daytona won 6-4 Box Score


CF S. Fuld 2/3, R, RBI

C J. Fox 1/4, 2 RBI

1B M. Craig 2/4, 2 K

RF R. Harvey 0/5, 2 K

SS J. Simokaitis 1/2, 2 BB, 2 R, SB (5)

SP M. Holliman 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2/4 K/BB, HR, 7-8 GO-FO

RP M. Phelps 1 scoreless, 1 H, 1/0 K/BB, 0-2 GO-FO


Peoria lost 5-4 in the 9th Box Score


CF D. Gregg 1/5, R, RBI, 2 K, 2 SB (10), Assist (3B)

SS D. Johnston 0/3, 2 BB, K

RF/LF J. Valdez 1/5, R, RBI, K

1B R. Norwood 2/4, RBI, 2B (14), K

PR J. Mota 0/0, R

DH M. Reed 0/4, BB, 2 K, SB (8)

3B K. Reynolds 0/4, 2 K

C J. Muyco 1/4, 3 K

SP D. Veal 6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER (1 inherited), 5/4 K/BB, 4-8 GO-FO

RP M. Avery 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2/1 K/BB, 1-5 GO-FO, E (2, throw)



Edited by Outshined_One
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Probable Starters:


Iowa: TBD* vs. RHP Dennis Sarfate (2-1, 3.09 ERA)

West Tenn: RHP Randy Wells (2-1, 1.57 ERA, 34.1 IP, 27/6) vs. LHP Manu Olivera (1-0, 1.93 ERA)

Daytona: RHP Mark Holliman (2-3, 3.70 ERA, 48.2 IP, 50/23) @ LHP Eric Fowler (4-2, 2.91 ERA)

Peoria: LHP Donnie Veal (4-2, 2.68 ERA, 47 IP, 59/30) @ RHP Juan Jimenez (1-0, 3.86 ERA)


* Probably LHP Ryan O'Malley (2-2, 3.41 ERA, 31.2 IP, 27/2) or RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu (1-3, 3.12 ERA, 43.1 IP, 37/17)

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The LumberKings have the winning runner on third in the 10th. Avery is still in there.


Ugh...Chiefs lose. With the bases loaded and one away, the batter hit a check swing grounder back to Avery. It should have been a 1-2-3 DP to end the inning, but instead, Avery threw the ball away at home.

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Ugh. Veal couldn't escape the 7th and allowed four runs:


6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K, WP, 4 GO/8 FO


One of those 4 was an inherited runner that Matt Avery allowed.


and another was thrown out at the plate but the replacement ump was either

A. blind

B. incompetent

C. watching another game

D. All of the above


Veal pitched really well...again tonight. Having him and Atkins back to back in the rotation is a lot of fun to watch.

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Fuld is having a very good year, any chance of him moving up to AA some time soon?


He's best suited to CF, which is currently held by Walker in AA. Miguel Negron, Nic Jackson, and Adam Greenberg are the other OFs on West Tenn and I don't see the Cubs adding Fuld to that shuffle, especially considering they put Negron on the 40 and Jackson needs as many ABs as he can get. Walker's been doing pretty well, to boot.


In Daytona, he plays every day, which he wouldn't in West Tenn unless some roster shuffling went down. I could see that happening if Pie gets the call at some point.

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I'd like to see Fuld promoted, and let him play. But, I'm not watching, and don't know what the cubs talent evals think. It may well be that Fuld is just a minor-leaguer non-prospect, and his numbers regardless, he's got no big-league potential. If so, then I don't think it matters much.


But if he is actually a major-league prospect, I'd like to see him promoted.


Walker will turn 26 in a few weeks, and while his numbers are decent, he K's too much and walks too little to be more than a fringe prospect. A guy with a .678-OPS in AA who's almost 26, I don't think he's ever going to be more than a 24th/25th man on a winning big-leaguer roster, if that.


I don't know if the cubs think Fuld has any big-league potential, but I think they must or should. He's hit over .300 since being drafted, his BB/K is great, and he's currently got a .900+ OPS, 14/3 SB/CS, and is hitting .340 or whatever. If he's performing so well, but they still don't think that's enough to be a prospect, then they shouldn't have drafted him in the 10th round. You shouldn't spend even a 10th round pick on a guy you don't think has the tools to be a major league starter if he develops well.


Fuld has done as well or better than they could have hoped for when they drafted him. So again, if they thought he was worth a 10th round pick, then given how well he's produced since then, they ought to think he qualifies as a big-league prospect.


As such, his progress should be given preference over that of roster-filler non-prospect walker.


Pierre does not appear to be the long-term solution at leadoff. There is reason to think that while Pie might do a decent job there, that he might be better utilized further down in the order. So I'd like to see how Fuld handled AA, and get him into view as a possible solution to the leadoff hole down the road.


It's also my view that development-wise, getting promoted is a much smaller problem for contact hitters with plate discipline and a good eye, which Fuld seems to be, than is true for hackaway Harveys. When a guy with swing and eye full of holes like Dopirak gets promoted, I expect promotion to give him lots of trouble. But when a good eye/contact guy like Fuld gets promoted, I don't think it provides nearly as large a challenge. Plus, at age 24, and having faced a lot of high-level pitchers in the Pac-10, where a lot of pitchers throw a lot of breaking balls rather than relying on fastball-fastball-fastball to aluminum bat hitters, I think that Fuld has a pretty good experience fctor for handling breaking pitches. So, I don't think it's that likely that he'll get buried by AA-caliber pitching.


In either case, I'd like to see him try. We know that Chris Walker is never going to be a lineup-changing leadoff man who is an asset starter for a championship-caliber cub team. Fuld probably not either, but at least it's possible. I'd like to get some AA info one way or the other.

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Here's the Peoria Game Report. Thanks, Nathan!


Chiefs Blow Three Run 7th Inning Lead, Lose 5-4

Valdez hit streak at 17


Clinton, IA – For the second night in a row the Peoria Chiefs blew a 3-0 lead and lost by one run, 5-4 to the Clinton Lumberkings at Alliant Energy Field.


In the 10th inning, KC Herren led off with a double and went to third on a single by John Whittleman. After a strikeout and an intentional walk, Jose Vallejo hit a comebacker to Matt Avery for an apparent force out or double play. But Avery’s throw home was wide and went to the backstop as Herren scored the winning run.


The Chiefs jumped on top in the 5th inning with three unearned runs. Robinson Chirinos was hit by a pitch and then went to third on an errant pickoff throw by starter Kyle Rogers. Chirinos scored on a fielders’ choice off the bat of Davy Gregg. Gregg stole second and scored on a basehit by Jesus Valdez to make it 2-0. Ryan Norwood doubled to the wall in center to scored Valdez for a 3-0 lead before Rogers got out of the inning.


Chiefs starter Donnie Veal took a no-hitter into the 6th inning before John Whittleman doubled into right-center. Whittleman was thrown out at third on the play so Veal still faced just the minimum through the first 6 1/3 innings.


With one out in the 7th inning, Jose Vallejo tripled to right-center and then scored on a basehit by John Mayberry to end the shutout. After a wild pitch, Veal walked Freddie Thon and got Truan Mehl to flyout. With two down and two on, Terry Blunt doubled to left tying the game 3-3. Matt Avery relieved Veal with a runner on second and gave up a single to KC Herren. The throw by rightfielder Jesus Valdez was right on the money and catcher Jake Muyco applied the tag but somehow the home plate umpire called Blunt safe at the plate for a 4-3 Clinton lead.


Norwood led off the 8th with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Jonathon Mota who advanced to second on a passed ball. After a groundout sent Mota to third, Alberto Garcia singled to right to tie the game 4-4.


Veal allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings while not giving up a hit until the 6th. He picked a runner off and caught another one stealing. The lefty walked four and struck out five in the no-decision. Avery took the loss with an unearned run in the 10th. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out two in 2 2/3 innings.


Pepsi Player of the Game


Donnie Veal (SP) – Veal is now the strikeout leader for the Cubs minor league organization with 65 strikeouts. He didn’t allow a hit to the 6th and faced the minimum through the first 19 batters.


Playoff Watch


With 23 games remaining in the half the Chiefs are in the Wild Card spot in the Western Division. They are 2 ½ games behind first place Kane County and started the day 3 ½ ahead of Burlington for the Wild Card while the Bees were still playing Beloit Friday night.


Notes… Jesus Valdez singled in the 5th inning and now has a 17 game hit streak, tied for 5th longest in franchise history… Clinton has won three games for the first time this season…RH Scott Taylor (1-2) faces LH Zach Phillips (1-3) Saturday at 6:00 PM…The broadcast begins with the pre-game show on http://www.peoriachiefs.com at 5:45 PM.

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Randy Wells has got it going on! 5 hits in 7 IP with 9 K's and 2 walks (1 intentional). It's great to see him having such a great year. With the night Randy has a 1.31 ERA, giving up 6 ER in 41.1 IP (8 starts).


Go Randy!

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IMO, Fuld is a very, very similar prospect to Greenberg.


Many similarities. Size (both list at 180, G 5'9", Fuld 5'10"). Both hit lefthanded. similar draft spots (G 9th round, Fuld 10th). Similiar ages, Fuld one year younger, so comparable to what Greenberg was a year ago. Both take some pitches and walks. Both seem to play a good CF, although neither has the great speed or great arm to compare with top-level starting CFers in the majors. Both run well, but not blazers. Both come from big-time college conferences (G ACC, Fuld Pac10).


But some differences are significant, and might justify hoping that Fuld ends up being significantly better than Greenberg.

1. Fuld is a good hitter and getting better. He hit .300 last year, .350's thus far this year, and I believe he hit in the .330's or better for last 2-3 months last year also. Greenberg has never posted a .300 season in the minors. .280 and .315 may both look like pretty good averages, but that's a pretty significant difference.

2. This may be in a sense a restatement of point 1, but Greenberg has always been a big whiffer. His career strikeout rate was 21% entering this season, the K-rate you associate with a a power-hitter, almost Corey scale, not what I associate with an ideal OBP-leadoff type. To strike out that often and that consistently, there must obviously be some holes in his swing. Fuld, by contrast, has been a very low-K guy. His K-rate was a shade under 10% last year, and while it's mid-teens this year it's been dropping steadily during May. So it's not obvious that he has any holes, yet. With comparable BABIP, the difference in K-rate might well fit a 30-point difference in batting average. And in terms of projection, guys with K-holes are more likely to get blitzed by promotions than true low-K contact hitters who don't really have any holes.

3. Fuld is hot, Greenberg is not. Greenberg may at one time have looked almost as interesting as Fuld does now, but that's no longer true. Fuld hasn't failed yet. Until he fails or it becomes evident that he's got some holes or is overmatched, I'm interested.

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