Former Chiefs Tearing Up the Minors
This week, we will take a look at some former Chiefs who are still playing in the minor leagues, but making a push to not stay where they are for too much longer.
RHP Zach Petrick began the year with Double-A Springfield, going 2-0 with a 0.48 ERA in three starts. As a result of his domination, he was promoted to Triple-A Memphis, making his first start with the Redbirds on April 21. He took a no decision, but allowed only three runs in six innings. He was the losing pitcher in his next start, but the Cardinals 17th-ranked prospect is one step away from the majors.
RHP Kurt Heyer has been with Springfield all season and after a very rough season debut, he has allowed one run in each of his four other starts. He went seven innings twice and six innings two more times, earning two wins. He currently sports a 2.93 ERA, which is skewed high from the six runs in 4 2/3 innings game he pitched on Opening Day.
RHP Joe Donofrio has a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings over 10 games for Springfield. He also picked up his first save of the season on April 27.
There are three players for Advanced-A Palm Beach who are shining. LHP Kyle Helisek is 0-1 but owns a 1.59 ERA. He gave up three runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings in his loss and only three earned runs total in his three no decisions. SS Alex Mejia leads the team with a .310 batting average and 2B Jacob Wilson has a team-best 19 RBI to go with a .292 average.
Many former Chiefs still in the Cubs organization are thriving in 2014. Triple-A Iowa has gotten to first place in the standings mainly due to their pitching. LHP Eric Jokisch is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA and has three quality starts in five games. RHP Marcus Hatley has allowed one run on three hits in 10 innings, spanning nine games. He has 17 strikeouts and two walks as opponents are batting just .091. RHP Alberto Cabrera is 2-0 in seven games out of the bullpen. He has given up just two runs on eight hits in 12 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts. Offensively, 2B Arismendy Alcantara is second on the team with a .299 average while playing in all 23 games. The Cubs sixth-ranked prospect also leads the team with 26 hits, 15 RBI, four triples, seven stolen bases, and 47 total bases.
Pitching has also helped Double-A Tennessee, especially the bullpen. RHP PJ Francescon is 2-1 in seven games out of the bullpen with a 1.35 ERA, while LHP Hunter Cervenka owns a 2-0 record and 1.59 ERA in eight relief outings. The hitting stars include C Rafael Lopez, who is tied for the team-lead with a .298 average and 1B Dustin Geiger who is tied with Cubs number-two prospect Kris Bryant for the team-lead with five homeruns.
At the Single-A level, OF Bijan Rademacher owns a .375 average for Advanced-A Daytona and SS Marco Hernandez is second at .320. RHP Zach Cates has a 1.46 ERA in six relief appearances. At Kane County, OF Yasiel Balaguert has a .320 average and team-best 18 RBI.
Other players outside of those two organizations who are doing well through the season’s first month include Blake Lalli, who is being converted to full-time catching duties for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate Reno. He’s batting .280 through his first 18 games this season.
LHP Jeff Beliveau hasn’t allowed a run over 12 1/3 innings this year, which includes two perfect innings with the Rays in early April. With Triple-A Durham he has allowed three hits and struck out 19.
RHP Josh Kinney has allowed one earned run in 10 innings with Indianapolis, the Triple-A affiliate of Pittsburgh.
1B Justin Bour is with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate New Orleans and is batting .352 with eight doubles and only seven strikeouts in 88 at bats. He also has a .412 OBP and .545 slugging percentage.