Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

The Aaron Heilman deal: Prospects

Aaron Heilman may have been the known quantity that changed teams today, but the Diamondbacks did send two Minor League players to the Cubs for the right-hander. Here’s some more information on the pair:

maine.jpgScott Maine, LHP: Taken in sixth round of the 2007 Draft of the University of Miami, Maine projects as a lefty reliever or specialist. He pitched at two levels in 2009, finishing with a 2.90 ERA and 61 K’s in 62 IP. For his career, he’s got a 3.29 ERA with a 134 K’s in 120 1/3 IP.

In some ways, the 24-year-old hasn’t lived up to the potential he once flashed in high school. He had Tommy John surgery early in his amateur career and never turned into the lefty ace some thought he’d be. That being said, he could have a future role. His fastball can run up to 93-94 mph and he comes from a pretty tough angle for left-handed hitters. He’s got a lower arm slot that creates some deception. His secondary stuff is is a work in progress, but the arm strength from the left side has some value.

Ryne White, 1B: White just completed his first full season of pro ball after being selected bywhite.jpg Arizona in the fourth round of the 2008 Draft. An accomplished and advanced college hitter out of Purdue, White spent the season with Visalia in the Class Advanced California League, finishing the year at .266/.371/.356. He’s always shown an ability to control the strike zone and draw some walks, but he hasn’t hit for much power thus far in his pro career (career .389 SLG). There are those who feel the 23-year-old will hit for power going forward, at least as a left-handed platoon type. He’s kind of stocky, at 5-11, 205 lbs. At the very least, the Cubs are getting a decent organizational guy who has the chance to be a Matt Stairs type of hitter.

And One More Thing … Cubs

You can check out my review of the Cubs organization here.

It’s hard to imagine a guy who leads the organization in homers and RBIs gets forgotten completely. And yet, such is the case with Jake Fox, who topped the Cubs system with 31 homers and 105 runs batted in. He slugged .556 for the season as well. Granted, most of it came at the Double-A level after he got demoted from Triple-A. He turned 26 this year and it was his third stint at the Double-A level. The 2003 third-rounder was a catcher once upon a time and now kind of moves all over the place defensively. He’s not on the 40-man roster, meaning anyone can take him in the Rule 5 draft, though he was eligible in previous years and had no takers.

Find the Minor Leaguer: J.J. Johnson

A while back, someone posted a comment asking about a pair of former Cubs farmhands. One was Adam Greenberg and my colleague Lisa Winston was kind enough to point out he’s back in organized ball playing for Arkansas (Double-A, Angels) in the Texas League.

johnson_jj.jpg

The other was J.J. Johnson and as the commenter said, “Last I heard J.J. was with the Phillies and then released,” asking where he might be now. Johnson, for the uninformed, is an outfielder taken by the Cubs out of a Georgia high school in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. He made it as high as Daytona (Class A Advanced) in 2004. He didn’t play in 2005, but then signed on with the Phillies in 2006, starting in Clearwater and making it up to Double-A Reading for nine games. But then he was out of affiliated baseball.

He signed with the Reno Silver Sox in the independent Golden League (managed now, by the way, by former big leaguer Jeffrey Leonard). But he played in just seven games, suffering an eye injury when a foul ball he hit struck him in the face. The Silver Sox site had the following description of the incident:

Johnson was batting on a 0-1 count and swung on a high fastball.
The ball caught the end of Johnson’s bat and redirected the ball
hitting Johnson in the face. Johnson was escorted off the field by
paramedics, but walked off under his own power. Johnson received a
broken nose and a broken sinus bone in his face.

He had surgery on the bone under his eye (the injury occurred on June 15, 2007) and he never returned to the lineup. He’s no longer on Reno’s roster and he doesn’t appear to be playing anywhere at the moment. If I find more information, I will pass it along.

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