Andrew Cashner - See previous entry. Cashner has dominated AA hitters in his first two starts.
Starlin Castro - Castro continues to hit. He's at .342 and slugging at an even .500 with 2 doubles and 2 triples. He has only walked once, leaving his OBP at .350...good, but we can't expect Castro to keep hitting .342 forever, can we? He's going to have to find other ways to get on base to increase his offensive value. He also has 4 steals in 4 attempts.
Josh Vitters - Vitters is beginning to heat up and is up to .273 after a miserable start. He has 5 doubles but no homeruns yet. Not surprisingly he was only walked twice. He's still nowhere close to where he needs to be, but he looks like he's starting to turn things around.
Brett Jackson - Jackson has an outstanding .429 OBP on the strength of a .300 average and 9 walks (among the most in the minors). Most impressively, he continues to keep his strikeout rate relatively low. He has struck out just 6 times in 40 ABs or roughly once every 6 to 7 ABs. You have to wonder if working on his contact skills has affected his power, however, as he only has 2 doubles on the year with no triples or homeruns.
Keep your eye on...
Robinson Chirinos - He's one of my favorite under the radar prospects on the Cubs. He started as an infielder and has since been switched to catcher. In less than 2 years he has become the Cubs best defensive catcher in the minors. Not only that, he can also hit a little. He's currently at .400 in AA with 3 Hrs giving him a slugging pct. of .840. He's also patient at the plate, though he only has two walks so far this year. He's not going to be a star, and maybe not even a starter, but considering he can still play all 4 infield positions, he's going to make a great 25th man on the roster when the Cubs let Koyie Hill go. The Cubs are lucky to still have him as they left him off the 40 man roster to protect the overrated Welington Castillo instead. If he keeps playing like this, he'll not only get added to the 40 man roster, but may be the Cubs backup catcher as soon as next year.
Thomas Diamond - A former first round pick of the Texas Rangers. Diamond was initially a disappointment but has continued to get better since the Cubs snatched him up. He impressed in spring training and continues to pitch well at Iowa. He's given up just 6 hits in 10 innings, walked 4, and struck out 10. A 9.0 K/9 ratio is good, but the 3.6 walks/9 innings needs some improvement. The Cubs like him and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a shot to help shore up the bullpen at some point.
Jeff Stevens - A 2.70 ERA out of the bullpen with a 14.54 K/9 ratio is impressive, but the bugaboo with Stevens has been the walks. He is sitting at over 10 W/9 innings right now. Stevens has decent stuff that should play well at Wrigley but he's not going to make it if he continues to walk people. If he can harness his control, he could be an internal option for the Cubs out of the major league bullpen or could serve as trade bait to use in acquiring a veteran reliever.