CHICAGO -- Led by rising infield/outfield prospect Arismendy Alcantara, four members of the Iowa Cubs made the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played the day after the major league All-Star contest, July 16. Missing from the team is the Cubs' No. 1 prospect heading into the season, shortstop Javier Baez.
Alcantara, 22, will be joined by pitchers Kyle Hendricks (10-5, 3.58 ERA), Tsuyoshi Wada (9-4, 2.55) and closer Blake Parker (18 saves, 1.44). Alcantara is on a 12-game hitting streak heading into action on Thursday while playing second base and some outfield as he prepares for a possible promotion to the major leagues.
"I feel like he’s the underappreciated guy in our system," general manager Jed Hoyer said on Wednesday. "He has a chance to put up a pretty special year at Triple-A. When you look at his doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases, guys don’t normally do that at his age. We’re excited for him. Obviously, he’s on the [40-man] roster, which is nice for us. I’m not going to answer yes or no if he’s coming up [to the majors], but he’s certainly opened our eyes with the year he’s had."
Alcantara is hitting .310 with 10 home runs, 11 triples, 22 doubles and 20 stolen bases to go along with a .350 on-base percentage.
Hendricks, 24, was the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year last season and has slowly adjusted to Triple-A baseball. He’s given up three or fewer runs in his past five starts, winning four of them.
The left-hander Wada, 33, pitched in the Baltimore organization before signing with the Cubs. He’s been Iowa’s most consistent starter, and Hoyer said he could potentially make his major league debut on Tuesday as part of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.
Parker is the career saves leader for Iowa and has been up and down with the Cubs over the past couple of seasons.
Baez, 21, had a rough start to the season after making headlines in spring training with several mammoth home runs. His batting average is up to .240, but he’s struck out 100 times and walked just 26. He has 11 home runs and 47 RBIs after hitting 37 long balls with 111 RBIs in 2013. The addition of slugger Kris Bryant to the Triple-A team has seemingly helped Baez, as he’s hit safely in eight of 11 games while drawing 10 walks in that time frame. If Baez stays hot he could be a possible September call-up for the Cubs when rosters expand.
The Iowa Cubs (47-38) have won five in a row going into Thursday night’s game against Omaha, moving into first place in the PCL American Northern Division.