Even though he was hitting .213 with a crazy 29/1 K/BB ratio in 89 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa this month, Tyler Colvin was called up by the Cubs following Thursday’s trade of Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians and could take over as the team’s primary right fielder.
Colvin, who hit 20 homers during a surprisingly strong rookie campaign last year, flopped while splitting time with Fukudome at the beginning of this season, hitting just .105 with two homers in 95 at-bats. He had a great June for Iowa, hitting .313/.324/.641, but he was a huge disappointment recently, particularly with his .222 on-base percentage this month. He ended up with a 55/5 K/BB ratio to go along with a .256 average and seven homers in 203 at-bats in the PCL.
Still, Colvin was the pick over the Cubs’ top position prospect, Brett Jackson. The 22-year-old Jackson got off to a scorching start at Double-A Tennessee this season, but he faded even before his promotion to Iowa earlier this month and he’s hit .204/.298/.367 with 21 strikeouts in 13 games for his new team. Overall, he’s at .247/.361/.431 with 11 homers and 17 steals in 295 at-bats for the year.
So, Jackson probably isn’t ready yet. And the Cubs do need to figure out whether Colvin should be a part of their plans for 2012. As encouraging as Colvin’s 2010 was, he’s done little else since being drafted in the first round five years ago to suggest that he has a fuure as a big-league regular. These next two months will determine whether he’ll be the Cubs’ right fielder next year or whether the club will be in the market for a stopgap while awaiting Jackson’s arrival.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.