Candelario and Zagunis Create a Wave of Promotions Across the System

Several promotions and reassignments took place across the Cubs’ system this afternoon, announced by a flurry of tweets. It was a lot to take in so quickly. I was surprised to see so many promotions at this point in the month, but I think in the next two weeks there are going to be plenty of others who get the call to the next level. Here’s a list of the prospects and their new homes.

To Iowa
Jeimer Candelario
Mark Zagunis

To Tennessee
Daniel Lockhart
Trey Martin

To Myrtle Beach
Andrew Ely
David Bote

To South Bend
Sutton Whiting

Seeing that Candelario got the call to AAA took me a back a little at first. He did not have the best April after a scorching spring training, but his May was much better. I think the Cubs might have been asking him to change his approach a little. Candelario’s May stat line is more in line with his career average (.264) and it would not surprise me to see him have a blistering  June and July in Iowa.

Zagunis 73 2016 tenn I thought for sure that Zagunis would be in Tennessee all year, but his ability to command the zone at AA helped him to move a little bit faster. In May, he was very impressive in showing the approach the Cubs covet. He hit .333 with a .444 OBP, 3 HR’s and 11 RBI. Development boxes checked, checked, and checked. If he could make it at AA, he’s not gonna have much of a problem at AAA Iowa. Once he gets his 500-600 AAA at bats, he will be ready for Chicago.

Neither Daniel Lockhart nor Trey Martin have had the best seasons, but they both have made recent offensive adjustments to improve their games over the past month. They are both considered defense-first players. Martin is a two-time Gold Glove winner in the minors and Lockhart has been a key defensive cog on championship teams at Myrtle Beach and Kane County.

Andrew Ely has been the leadoff catalyst for the first-place South Bend Cubs. He has played a mixture of 2B, SS, and 3B this season and is an outstanding defender whose bat played very well as he was named a Midwest League All-Star on Monday. What makes Ely’s promotion easier is the emergence of a healthy Carlos Sepulveda. David Bote, who had been filling in at Iowa, goes back with his cohort to Myrtle Beach. He has the ability to hit for power and play three positions in the infield.

There were a couple surprises, though I don’t want to call them snubs because maybe there is something on their development program they haven’t checked off yet. I thought for sure that when I saw Candelario that Jason Vosler would take his place at Tennessee. That didn’t happen even though Vosler leads the Pelicans in hitting.

Neither Eloy Jimenez nor Donnie Dewees were promoted even though there’s not much either has left to prove at South Bend. I think Jimenez might need to lower his strikeout rate. Dewees hit .223 in May but is hitting .296 in June and seems to have righted the ship. I think he hits much better in the leadoff spot (.353) than he does third (.257), where he is now.

These promotions are very interesting because they are all position players. Pitching promotions, they should come very, very soon. Some names we could hear in the next week include Paul Blackburn, Brad Markey, Trevor Clifton, Zach Hedges, Preston Morrison, and Ryan Kellogg.

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