Saturday, August 11, 2012
Cubs prospect riding huge power surge
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs prospect Daniel Vogelbach has turned disappointment into production as he appears to be taking his frustrations out on the baseball.
Vogelbach, who was not assigned to a full-season minor-league team out of spring training, has hit seven home runs over his last five games after hitting two homers in each of his last two games with short-season Boise.
The second-round pick from last year’s draft has always been known for his power, but he has taken things to a new level this season. He has a combined 15 home runs between the Arizona Rookie League and the Northwest League in just 40 games.
"I've just been trying to be patient at the plate, get good pitches, not chase any and let the ball come to me," Vogelbach told mlb.com. "Recently, I've been slowing it down and letting the game come to me. It's felt pretty good, but most of all we're starting to win, and that means to the most to me. It's a good streak right now. Hopefully, we keep it going."
It probably wasn’t easy to be so upbeat earlier in the year. He played in just six games in the ARL last season and came into spring training intent on earning a spot on a roster. But when workouts ended in Arizona toward the start of April, Vogelbach was assigned to extended spring training.
“He had a decent spring training but it was more of his at-bat to at-bat consistency,” said Jason McLeod, the senior vice president of scouting/player development. “He probably wasn’t happy he didn’t break with a club out of spring training, but he worked hard in extended spring and it carried over into what he has done.”
As strictly a first baseman, Vogelbach figures to ultimately have his path to the major leagues blocked by Anthony Rizzo. He doesn’t field as well as Rizzo and his big frame (6-foot, 250-pounds) might eventually make him valuable to an American League club that can use him at either first base or designated hitter.
For now, though, the only place the Florida native looks to be going is potentially up another level before the minor-league season ends in less than a month.
“It remains to be seen (if he will get another promotion),” McLeod said. “If he continues on this pace, he might force the issue a little bit. He’s already hit his way out of Mesa and 10 games or so in Boise now he’s doing the same thing there.”