We wrote about how quickly 2014 fourth-overall pick Kyle Schwarber has been adapting to professional baseball and his performance didn’t go unnoticed by the Midwest League as they awarded Schwarber the Player of the Week Award. The catcher for the Kane County Cougars went 9/22 this week for a .409 batting average, took five walks which pushed his on-base percentage to .536 and slugged three doubles and three home runs, giving him a .955 slugging percentage for the six games he played. He’s already got eight home runs this season in just 79 professional plate appearances leading one to believe that the Cubs have added yet another promising bat to an already stocked system.
The Kane County Cougars swept the league awards with 21-year-old righty Daury Torrez taking home the Pitcher of the Week award as well. The Dominican threw eight innings of shutout ball against Wisconsin, allowing five hits and not walking anyone while striking out seven. Torrez is in his first year of full-season ball after having come to North America last year to play in the Arizona League after two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Torrez has a 2.89 ERA to go with a 9-3 record and 1.04 WHIP in 87 1/3 innings. His K/BB ratio is solid at 3.36 but his strikeout-per-nine inning rate is pretty low at 4.8 K/9.
Teams are now about 13 or 14 games into the second half and things are looking a little different in the Eastern Division. First-half winner West Michigan is in a tie for third place with the Lansing Lugnuts who have a solid 8-6 record. First-half second-place finishers South Bend Silver Hawks are tied for first, they’re tied with the Lake County Captains who were at the bottom of the division in the first half. Lake County and South Bend are both 9-5 in the second half so far but South Bend seems to be hotter at the moment.
In the Western Division, little has changed with first-half champion Kane County Cougars on top with a 10-3 record. The Peoria Chiefs are in second, 1.5 games back with Burlington, Quad Cities and Wisconsin all in a three-way tie for third with an 8-6 record.
Sunday was a huge day for another Cubs prospect, Cael Brockmeyer. The 2013 16th-round pick is already hammering opposing pitching to the tune of a .318/.378/.473 line but finally completed a cycle, the first for Kane County in nine years in a 9-7 win against Beloit. Overall, Brockmeyer went 4/5 with a single, double, triple and home run, driving in four runs.
On Saturday, Bryan Haar of the Cedar Rapids Kernels hit two home runs and drove home seven RBI in only six innings (thanks to the game being called due to heavy rain). So far this year, Haar is hitting .264/.304/.445 for the Kernels.
On Monday, St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky threw seven scoreless innings against Quad Cities. The 2013 first-rounder has been very strong this season despite the Cardinals limiting his innings. In 50 innings for the Peoria Chiefs, Kaminsky has a 1.26 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 47 strikeouts and just 12 walks. Only 19 years old, the 5-foot-11 lefty had his longest start of the year, earning a Game Score of 78 in his seven innings, allowing only three hits and striking out seven. In his last three starts, Kaminsky hasn’t walked a batter and has struck out 20 over 18 2/3 innings.