Tomorrow night, July 7th is the Annual Road to Wrigley Game when the Peoria Chiefs take on the Kane County Cougars. Anyone going to the game, wanting to go to the game or wondering about going to the game should use this post to talk about it. Reports on the game can go here too.
For those wanting to go and wondering what to look for, clearly the biggest name on the Chiefs is shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who the readers of this blog named the #5 prospect in the Cubs organization. Lee is becoming well-known for his amazing defensive plays, although sometimes he plays out of control too, and that leads to a lot of errors. That's because he's 19 and in the Midwest League. As a hitter, he's a leadoff man without much power but the speed to turn any single cut off in the gap into a double. He's got 21 steals so far this year and has only been caught four times.
Lee isn't the only Korean to watch, as outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha is holding his own in the Midwest League despite also being only 19 years old. He's also supposedly got a good arm and good range, so I'd be interested in hearing others report on his defense. (I saw him play in Boise last year, but I only saw him make one routine chance.)
Another player to watch is Matt Cerda, who's a little guy with good bat control, making him an ideal #2 hitter. I know it's cliche to compare any short, white infielder without power to David Eckstein, but Cerda's got that whole Eckstein "little pest" routine down pat.
First baseman Justin Bour was a 25th round pick last year, but the lefthander has shown excellent power this year and it would be great to see him launch one onto Sheffield. Bour is starting to make some noise this season with a .370 OBP and nine home runs so far. Justin's brother is in the Reds organization.
Utility guy Greg Rohan plays every day at one of the four corner positions. (1B, 3B, LF, RF) He's also the only Chief hitting over .300 right now. He can also draw a walk and he has some power--five homers so far this year. His versatility make him potentially valuable down the road.
Middle infielder Logan Watkins was a Baseball America top ten Cub prospect before the season, but he's had a poor, injury-filled season. He's still young and athletic enough to get his career back on track. I'd like a eyewitness report on how he's doing, but I'm not sure he'll play tomorrow night.
I haven't seen who is officially going to stat the game, but it's Robert Whitenack's turn in the rotation. Whitenack's best known for throwing a knuckle-curve, although his fastball usually sits around 90-91, so he's not a soft-tosser. He's also the only player to ever be drafted out of SUNY-Old Westbury as well as the only player from that school to have his number retired.
Again, use this thread to discuss the game, these players or any other player or aspect of the game.