Out of all the posts, I write on a weekly basis, the Dominican Summer League Recap is the one I have the most fun doing. Why? It’s because I’m learning right along with you about the Cubs’ youngest prospects. It is not the most viewed or clicked on article, but I am having a blast this year learning about who could be coming stateside next year.

On Monday, I was able to talk to Cubs roving pitching instructor Carlos Chantres who was in Beloit with South Bend for a week. We talked about a number of topics, including a wave of international pitching prospects now flooding the system. But the other thing we talked about was just exactly how some of the pitchers in the Dominican are doing.

In talking about any of the pitchers, Chantres said that the main focus has been on eating well, getting them in the weight room, and keeping them healthy above all else in their first year. Chantres did not mention any particular pitch with any particular pitcher. We talked about Adrian Santana and how well he is doing in hitting his spots. We talked about Zhiorman Imbriano and how he is staying healthy this year above all else. I brought up Emannoel Madeira and he said that he is holding his own as a 16-year-old. One thing he focused on with Madeira is that the Cubs will begin a throwing program with him this winter. Chantres also brought up the success of Alfredo Romero and Juan Archbold, as well as Francis Reynoso.

Because of the nature of international free agency, Chantres said, “That we basically have to build them from the ground up.“ What he meant by that was that when the Cubs signed the young, athletic arms, they were only trained to be signed by throwing hard. He said, “It’s all about velocity. “ And once they get them signed, the Cubs have to physically take care of them, and then they have to, strangely enough, teach them how to pitch and how the game works. All the pitchers know is throwing hard.

I also asked him for a couple of names of guys who might surprise later this year as they grow and develop. He threw out a few names. The first one caught me by surprise and that was Saul Siri. I remember seeing the name but I don’t remember being wowed too much by the stats. I guess that’s why the stat line isn’t as important as some may think. Ronny Lopez was also a guy Chantres was impressed by his development and velocity.

This week’s action…

Blue Team
1-3 for the week; 10-14 on the season

Monday – The bats showed up in force as they pounded out 12 hits and capitalized on three Red Sox errors as they won 8 to 7. Alexey Lumpy had two hits as did Carlos Altuve who went 2-for-5 and seems to be improving every week. Derniche Valdez scored 3 times and his batting average is starting to climb week by week by week. Juan Archbold had one of his best starts as he pitched four scoreless innings, and struck out three. 

Tuesday – This game was rained out and will be made up July 10.

Thursday – There was not much going on for the Blue team today as they only managed four hits, and Edward Vargas had two of them. They lost to the Tigers 6-3.

Friday – They struggled against their Boca Chica brothers, otherwise known as the Red team, losing 10 to 2. Derniche Valdes went 2-for-3 and Derik Alcântara and Brailin Pascual also went 2-for-3 and those were all of the Blue teams hits as the Red team capitalized on four Blue errors

Saturday – Ramon Eriandys went 2-for-5 as he continues to rake but he was the only offense in a 7-1 loss. Irving Vazquez pitched two scoreless and struck out 5 in relief.

Red Team
1-3 on the week; 9-15 on the season

Monday – Angel Cepeda had himself day going 4-for-5 with two RBI and Joan Delgado hit his second home run of the year as he drove in 2. But that was not enough to overcome 11 runs by the Red Sox.

Tuesday – This game is rained out and will be made up July 17.

Thursday –  The Cubs lost 2 to 1 in seven innings. They did not string together enough hits at one time to put more than a run on the board. Zhiorman Imbriano pitched extremely well. He went four scoreless today, allowed just two hits, and struck out two.

Friday – Joan Delgado had himself a day on Friday as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Angel Cepeda also scored twice and Andrws Cruz drove in two runs. Luis R. Reyes shut down the Blue team for the final two innings as he struck out three on the day.

Saturday – They had a one run lead heading into the bottom of the tenth and lost 3-2. Starter David Bracho pitched 3 scoreless with 4 Ks.

Awards for the Week

Hitter of the Week – Joan Delgado had a homer and 5 RBI on the week as he hit .294 with an .823 OPS.

Starting Pitcher of the Week – This one goes out to Juan Archbold whose Monday start gets him the plaudits this week,

Reliever of the Week – Irving Vazquez’s 5 K performance on Saturday got it done.