Chicago Cubs prospect Junior Lake will be promoted to Chicago from AAA Iowa and the Cubs will place OF Brian Bogusevic on the disabled list. Lake will join the team on Friday in Colorado. It will be Lake’s MLB debut.
Lake’s season was delayed after he suffered a stress fracture of his upper right rib cage in spring training. Lake made his season debut on June 6 and has played 40 games for the I-Cubs, 36 at third base. Most of Lake’s seven-year minor league career has been spent at shortstop (418 games) but has played 93 games at third and only six in the outfield, all this season at AAA Iowa.
The 23-year-old is hitting .295 against right-handed and left-handed pitching in a rare identical split but all four homers have come off RHP. His OBP is .341 and is slugging .462. He has 18 RBI, 10 doubles, 2 triples, with 10 walks and 33 strikeouts.
Lake has been criticized for his defense at third in Iowa but after six errors in his first seven games, has only committed three in his last 33 games at the hot corner. He has a career .926 fielding percentage in 1,889 chances at short and .887 in 275 chances at third. He also becomes one of the Cubs top base stealing threats, putting those skills on display at Iowa swiping 14 in 19 attempts.
Lake was a July 2 signing back in 2007 and after spending that season in the DSL, made his stateside debut in 2008. Lake had full-season stops in Mesa, Peoria and Daytona and split 2011 between High A Daytona and AA Tennessee. He missed a month last year at Tennessee with a back strain but finished the year hitting . 279/.341/.432 with 10 HR, 50 RBI and 21 SB. Lake was added to the Cubs 40-man roster in Nov. of 2011.
With Cody Ransom and Luis Valbuena anchoring third base, its likely Lake will see his playing time in the outfield, probably in right. However, with the Cubs in the middle of a trading frenzy, don’t be surprised if Ransom is dealt, opening up more time for Lake in the infield.