Wednesday, July 07, 2004

posted by James - 8:38 PM

As I'm watching the Cubs on the verge of being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, I'm reading a couple minor-league notes from last week that the Cubs Blogosphere might find interesting.

* 1B Brandon Sing (Daytona-Class A Florida State League) hit his 25th homerun to break the club's single-season home run record. If he doesn't get the call to Double-A West Tennessee soon, he could break the league record of 33, which has stood for 44 years.

The Cubs drafted Sing (23 yo, 6'5", 215) in the 20th round in 1999 out of Joliet West High School. Not only does he have more than four times the home runs of any other player on the Cubs roster, he also leads the league with 74 RBIs, 63 runs, 44 extra-base hits, a .640 SLG % (by 76 points!) and his .429 OBP ranks second (63 walks).

Daytona also features two-time, Futures Game nominee Felix Pie, who currently sits in third in the league in batting average at .319.

Too bad neither of these two can play middle-infield.

* ...but Richard Lewis can and has brilliantly throughout the first-half for Double-A West Tennessee. Not only does he lead the team in batting average at .328 (third in the league) and trail only OF Micah Hoffpauir, currently out with a wrist injury, in RBIs with 42, but he has only TWO errors in 75 games.

I dare say he's ready for a promotion, unless the Cubs consider Damian Jackson, Ricky Gutierrez and Gookie Dawkins as blocking his path.

As much as the Cubs need to improve their bullpen and left-handed power situations, I don't advocate breaking up the impressive, future keystone combination of Lewis and Brendan Harris. They could start at those positions for the Cubs next year

* And finally... the Cubs were getting their organizational pitching depth back with the returns of Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Angel Guzman and Mike Remlinger, but that came to a halt last week when Chadd Blasko went on the DL after leaving Sunday's game with shoulder tightness after four innings.

Blasko hasn't had the best season for the Diamond Jaxx (he has the third highest ERA on the team), but hopefully he only misses the one or two starts his diagnosis calls for.

Organizational Standings:
AAA-Iowa (49-35; +4.5)
AA-West Tennessee (7-6, second half; -2.0)
Advanced A-Daytona (9-4, second half; -1.0)
A-Lansing (6-7, second half; -2.5)

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