Jul 22, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Junior Lake (21) celebrates with pitcher Chris Rusin after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

A Look at Chicago Cubs Junior Lake

The Chicago Cubs have a lot of talented position players in their farm system, some who are in the Top 100 when it comes to baseball prospects.

They aren’t considered winners, but if you were to know about players they have in their system, with the right coaches and players decisions, they very well could be within 5-8 years.

Now being a Chicago Cubs fan myself, I’m used to seeing players get brought in as Free Agents, only to have them put up good numbers then get traded before the deadline.

It’s frustrating for fans who want to win now and want to win bad. So we are blinded by that frustration and over look the talent we get back for these players who have a great 1st half.

Junior Lake was born March 27th, 1990 in the Dominican Republic where he was signed by the Chicago Cubs as a Free Agent in 2007. He hasn’t received much notice as fellow minor league teammates such as Jorge Soler, Javier Baez or Albert Almora, but has turned a few heads towards him.

He batted .274/.341/.404 in the 2007 Dominican Summer League, later getting sent to the Arizona League in 2008. Lake ended up batting .286/.335/.417 before moving to Low-A Peoria where he started to take off. He split time between short stop, 2nd and 3rd base having 42 total errors. While in Peoria, Lake struck out 138 times, walked 18 in 491 plate appearances after batting .248/.277/.365

Junior somewhat improved in 2010, hitting .264/.333/.398 with 35 walks, 99 strike outs in 447 plate appearances. He split the 2011 season between Dayton and Double-A Tennessee. His numbers in Dayton were greater than Tennessee’s, only having a 18 game difference the both of them.

In 49 games in Dayton, Junior batted .315/.336/.498 then .248/.300/.380 in 67 games for Double-A Tennessee. The young Chicago Cubs prospect show cased his skills during he Arizona League with 18 stolen bases while hitting .296.

In 2012 he ended up back at Double-A Tennessee with averages of .279/.341/.432 with 10 home runs, 21 steals, 35 walks, 105 strike outs in 448 plate appearances. He was later called up to Triple-A Iowa where he hit 4 home runs, having 15 steals and batting averages of .295/.341/462 before being called up to the majors.

The Cubs rookie took the place of outfielder Brian Bogusevic who was placed on the disabled list. In his first 4 games of his major league career, he is batting an excellent .529 with his first major league home run and RBI’s against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 4-2 win yesterday.

Chris Rusin replaced newly acquired Matt Garza as the starter for the Chicago Cubs in Monday’s series opener and 4-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lake went 4-5 in the win, where his RBI’s obviously came from a home run, adding more with an RBI single.

I’m excited about this kid, as the home run he hit yesterday is still looking for a landing spot somewhere in the desert. A minor league career hitting .271/.322/.411 in 619 minor league games, 117 steals in 2468 plate appearances. The Chicago Cubs #15 ranked prospect after the 2012 season, could be an All-Star within the next few seasons.

Knowing Anthony Rizzo isn’t the only rising star on this team or in this farm system is pretty exciting as a Chicago Cubs fan.

Junior Lake, you sir are wearing Sammy Sosa’s #21, another great Chicago Cubs player from the Dominican Republic. Let’s hope he can make a legacy of his own with that number, with this Chicago Cubs organization, just not the same fall out as Sosa.

Excited to see what this kid does the rest of the season. It will tell us where he will or should be opening day next season.


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