Finally Healthy, Cubs' Wright Shows Potential





CHICAGO—The Cubs were already impressed with outfielder Ty Wright's toughness.

Now they can be impressed with the other phases of his game as well.

The 25-year-old has moved slowly up the organizational charts because he has been moving a little slower than the Cubs would like in recent years. He needed offseason hernia surgery before the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

He didn't miss much time the previous two seasons but still hit .300/.370/.411 in 426 at-bats for high Class A Daytona in 2008 and .290/.349/.412 in 442 at-bats for Double-A Tennessee in 2009.

"He played in some pain and played through it," Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita said. "He showed he's a tough guy."

The 6-foot, 200-pound Wright, a 2007 seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State, opened the season back in Tennessee in 2010 and hit .298/.339/.474 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs in 289 at-bats before earning a promotion to Triple-A Iowa.

"Ty has always had good plate judgment and he's gotten stronger," Fleita said. "He's had back-to-back years where he's come off of the hernia surgeries. He's healthy. That's what we're seeing now. He's been running better, obviously. He's a quality hitter. He hits to all fields.

"He's flashed some power in the past. Now he's showing he has a little more pop. He's an under-the-radar type of guy."

Wright's numbers went down at Iowa (.240/.284/.309 in 175 at-bats), but overall he hasn't been cheated on making contact. He struck out just 24 times and walked seven times in 191 at-bats for the I-Cubs. He had some all-over-the-board numbers in Iowa.

The righthanded hitting Wright hit .270 against righthanded pitchers and .170 against lefthanders. He hit just .176 at home and .280 on the road. He hit .133 in day games and .262 in night games.

Cubbyhole

• Jeff Samardzija, who opened the season on the Cubs roster as a reliever and had an 18.90 ERA in four appearances,  spent most of the season starting for Iowa and picked up a surprise start for the parent club Sept. 13 in St. Louis. Filling in for the injured Carlos Silva, Samardzija fired 5 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball. The 25-year-old righthander had gone 11-3, 4.37 in 111 innings for Iowa.

• Tennessee was nominated for the Larry MacPhail award for outstanding promotional work during the season. Smokies general manager Brian Cox won the Southern League's Jimmy Bragan executive of the year award and Mick Gillispie was named the SL's radio broadcaster of the year.