State of the System: Updates After Two Months of the Season

May 2017 is now in the books and that means it is a good time to update you on the state of the system! The basis of the State of the System is to provide content for both the avid Minor League Baseball follower as well as those of you out there that are just now starting to get into Chicago Cubs prospects and would like to know more.

In the Monthly Update you will find up-to-date statistics on the best prospects in the Cubs system which will include the top ten pitchers and hitters according to MLB.com. While that will cover the basics of what will be included, each month will contain a little extra for you to enjoy and this month that is going to be the leaders in the entire system in a handful of stats.

I’ve kept you reading long enough and now it is time for the stats for the best pitching prospects in the system according to MLB.com.

Dylan Cease – RHP – South Bend (A)
#3 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 34 innings pitched, Cease has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 2.65/2.75/1.26. Opponents are hitting .207 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .296. He is striking hitters out at a 38.6% rate and allowing a walk 12.9% of the time. Cease is currently on the DL.

Oscar De La Cruz – RHP – Myrtle Beach (A+)
#5 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 47.1 innings pitched, de la Cruz has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 3.42/4.35/1.25. Opponents are hitting .261 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .314. He is striking hitters out at a 20.8% rate and allowing a walk 5.5% of the time. De la Cruz was scratched from his start on Wednesday.

Trevor Clifton – RHP – Tennessee (AA)
#7 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 49.2 innings pitched, Clifton has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 2.36/3.46/1.19. Opponents are hitting .214 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .266. He is striking hitters out at a 19.8% rate and allowing a walk 9.7% of the time.

Jose Albertos – RHP – Arizona (Extended Spring Training)
#8 overall prospect according to MLB.com
Albertos is polishing up his skills in extended spring training in Arizona for the time being. Reports are that he has look very good with his high 90s fastball and sharp curve. Albertos and his exceptional command and makeup might get a shot in Eugene once their season starts up later this month.

Thomas Hatch – RHP – Myrtle Beach (A+)
#11 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 43.1 innings pitched, Hatch has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 5.19/3.05/1.59. Opponents are hitting .257 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .367. He is striking hitters out at a 25.9% rate and allowing a walk 12.7% of the time.

Jose Paulino – LHP – South Bend (A)
#14 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 38.1 innings pitched, Paulino has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 4.46/4.21/1.46. Opponents are hitting .250 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .299. He is striking hitters out at a 15.7% rate and allowing a walk 12.1% of the time.

Duane Underwood Jr – RHP – Tennessee (AA)
#15 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 47 innings pitched, Underwood has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 4.21/4.27/1.32. Opponents are hitting .246 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .288. He is striking hitters out at a 19.3% rate and allowing a walk 9.6% of the time.

Jose Rosario – RHP – Iowa (AAA)
#19 overall prospect according to MLB.com
Rosario has only seen four innings on the mound so far this season. After missing all of 2015 due to injury, the hope is that he does not have to spend much more time on the DL this season. Rosario made significant strides last year and was placed on the 40-man roster this past offseason so he could be protected from the Rule 5 Draft.

Felix Pena – RHP – Iowa (AAA)
#20 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 13.1 innings pitched in Iowa, Pena has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 5.40/5.73/1.80. Opponents are hitting .291 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .350. He is striking hitters out at a 20.3% rate and allowing a walk 12.5% of the time. Pena has obviously seen time in Chicago as well, pitching only 8 innings in 4 games out of the bullpen.

Alec Mills – RHP – Iowa (AAA)
#21 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 14 innings pitched, Cease has an ERA/FIP/WHIP slash line of 3.21/3.34/1.07. Opponents are hitting .222 off of him with a BABIP sitting at .255. He is striking hitters out at a 12.3% rate and allowing a walk 5.3% of the time. Mills is currently on the DL.

The current statistical leaders in the system are based off of players with at least 26 innings pitched and half of all appearances have been starts.

ERA
Eddie Butler (Iowa) – 1.17
Trevor Clifton (Tennessee) – 2.36
Justin Steele (Myrtle Beach) – 2.55
Duncan Robinson (South Bend) – 1.35

WHIP
Seth Frankoff (Iowa) – 0.93
Jen-Ho Tseng (Tennessee) – 1.04
Adbert Alozolay (Myrtle Beach) – 0.98
Duncan Robinson (South Bend) – 0.86

Strikeouts
Seth Frankoff (Iowa) – 52
Jen-Ho Tseng (Tennessee) – 47
Thomas Hatch (Myrtle Beach) – 51
Dylan Cease (South Bend) – 54

Now that you have seen what the pitchers have been up to, it is time to check out the top hitters is the system.

Eloy Jimenez – OF – Myrtle Beach (A+)
#1 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 47 plate appearances, Jimenez is slashing .324/.468/.568/1.036 with 3 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .321 BABIP. He has a 12.8% strikeout rate and a 19.1% walk rate. His wRC+ (weighted runs created plus, with 100 being average) is at 182.

Ian Happ – 2B/OF – Chicago (MLB)
#2 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 60 plate appearances, Happ is slashing .324/.333/.397/.730 with 2 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .357 BABIP. He has a 36.7% strikeout rate and an 11.7% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 110.

Jeimer Candelario – 3B/1B – Iowa (AAA)
#4 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 165 plate appearances, Candelario is slashing .287/.382/.594/.976 with 7 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .343 BABIP. He has a 22.4% strikeout rate and a 12.1% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 150.

Mark Zagunis – OF – Iowa (AAA)
#6 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 190 plate appearances, Zagunis is slashing .253/.405/.473/.878 with 8 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .306 BABIP. He has a 23.7% strikeout rate and a 17.9% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 136.

DJ Wilson – OF – South Bend (A)
#9 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 140 plate appearances, Wilson is slashing .206/.286/.357/.643 with 3 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and a .307 BABIP. He has a 34.3% strikeout rate and a 9.3% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 85.

Eddy Martinez – OF – Myrtle Beach (A+)
#10 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 188 plate appearances, Martinez is slashing .218/.271/.316/.587 with 5 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and a .229 BABIP. He has a 13.8% strikeout rate and a 6.9% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 63.

Victor Caratini – Catcher – Iowa (AAA)
#12 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 173 plate appearances, Caratini is slashing .340/.382/.509/.891 with 4 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .376 BABIP. He has a 13.9% strikeout rate and a 6.9% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 131.

Chesny Young – IF/OF – Iowa (AAA)
#13 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 177 plate appearances, Young is slashing .293/.324/.335/.659 with 0 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and a .338 BABIP. He has a 14.1% strikeout rate and a 4.5% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 74.

Aramis Ademan – SS – Arizona (Extended Spring Training)
#16 overall prospect according to MLB.com
Ademan is just starting to make waves this season. The kid (still only 18 years old) spent last year in the Dominican Summer League slashing .254/.366/.316/.682 with more walks than strikeouts. Expect to see him in Eugene by the end of the month.

Carlos Sepulveda – 2B – Myrtle Beach (A+)
#17 overall prospect according to MLB.com
In 125 plate appearances, Sepulveda is slashing .196/.272/.214/.486 with 0 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and a .234 BABIP. He has a 15.2% strikeout rate and an 8.8% walk rate. His wRC+ is at 41.

Obviously there have been some studs and some duds so far this year from Iowa to South Bend. So who are the leaders in each statistic throughout the system?

Batting Average
Victor Caratini (Iowa) – .340
Andrew Ely (Tennessee) – .298
Bryant Flete (Myrtle Beach) – .295
Wladimir Galindo (South Bend) – .307

On-Base Percentage
Mark Zagunis (Iowa) – .405
Charcer Burks (Tennessee) – .403
Daniel Spingola (Myrtle Beach) – .374
Zack Short (South Bend) – .429

Slugging Percentage
Ian Happ (Iowa) – .615
Jason Vosler (Tennessee) – .513
Daniel Spingola (Myrtle Beach) – .487
Wladimir Galindo (South Bend) – .465

Home Runs
Ian Happ (Iowa) – 9
Jeffrey Baez/Jason Vosler (Tennessee) – 8
Matt Rose (Myrtle Beach) – 8
Kevonte Mitchell/Zack Short – 5

Stolen Bases
John Andreoli (Iowa) – 6
Charcer Burks (Tennessee) – 6
Robert Garcia (Myrtle Beach) – 7
Zack Short (South Bend) – 12

We’ll have to see who continues to perform admirably the rest of the year, and who from the players that need to step their game up actually come through at some point.

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