Kinda tough when you have a breakout season and not many many people notice. That's what happened to Dustin Geiger in 2013. While the attention in Daytona was on Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and a dominate starting rotation, Geiger quietly went about his business, learned a new position, improved his approach at the plate, and turned in a solid season in the Florida State League.
Dustin Geiger, 1B
Age 22 (12/2/1991)
2013 Team: Daytona Cubs, Florida State League (A+)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 45
How acquired—Drafted in the 24th round in 2010
Prior to Cubs
Geiger earned a scholarship to the University of Central Florida after a standout career at Merritt Island High School in Florida. He hit .543 with seven homers and 33 RBI and was named Florida Today's 2010 Baseball Player of the Year.
Geiger's career got off to a slow start as he hit .244/.312/.358 in 35 games in Mesa in 2010 and returned to the Arizona Rookie League in 2011. After hitting .342/.366/.582 in the first 19 games, he was promoted to Peoria for the final 43 games of the season (.227/.268/.319, 1 HR, 13 RBI).
A broken hamate bone delayed the start of his 2012 season, returning to Peoria on June 7. After only hitting four homers in his first two years, Geiger finally showed his power, blasting 17 homers with 53 RBI in 75 games while hitting .251/.301/.465. Geiger did strikeout 79 times while walking only 20 times in 332 plate appearances. He played a majority of his games at third committing, 17 errors and a .897 fielding percentage. He tied Peoria's single-game record with eight RBI Aug. 1 vs. Quad Cities.
In what finally amounted to his first full pro season, Geiger was a fixture in the middle of the D-Cubs lineup, driving in a team-high 86 runs (3rd in FSL) while hitting .281/.365/.458 for the FSL champs. The 22-year-old showed a new approach at the plate, drawing 52 walks after having 44 base-on-balls his previous three seasons in 732 plate appearances. It didn't faze his power as he smacked 17 homers for the second straight year and added 28 doubles, a career-high. Geiger made the switch across the diamond in 2013 and made six errors for a .994 fielding percentage at first. He earned mid-season all-star honors, was named FSL Player of the Week, (May 13-19), and was the Cubs Player of the Month for May.
Geiger also got some high praise from Jason McLeod, the Cubs head of Minor League Development, at the Cubs Convention in January. "He's a guy who has flown under the radar. He's had two pretty good seasons back-to-back. He's a big physical right-handed power bat who has got lost somewhat because he played on a team with Javier Baez last year. He is certainly not under the radar with us, but I think because of all the other names that people read and want to talk about, he doesn't get the recognition he's earned over the last two years."
Geiger will anchor first base at AA Tennessee as he continues his rise towards the majors. He played his way into the prospect conversation with a solid season at Daytona, including a year where he showed the ability to take quality at-bats. With Justin Bour getting selected by the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft, the Cubs only have newly acquired Lars Anderson between Geiger and the majors.
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