Cubs' Vogelbach taking his game to the next level

Cubs' Vogelbach taking his game to the next level
August 13, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

Two of the Cubs' elite power prospects are taking their talents to Daytona.

Twitter exploded Monday evening as news broke that 2013 No. 2 pick Kris Bryant was bypassing a level and heading to High-A Daytona from short-season Boise. Hours later, Kane County Cougars first baseman Dan Vogelbach got word he was also promoted and will join Bryant with the D-Cubs.

[RELATED: Cubs sending Kris Bryant to Daytona]

"It's the perfect time," Cougars manager Mark Johnson said. "He's had some growing pains here and he's done a lot of good things."

Vogelbach, one of the stars of CSNChicago.com's "The Foundation" web series documenting the Cougars' 2013 season, has had a solid season overall, but has really turned things on lately.

[The Foundation: Vogelbach ready for ascent]

The 20-year-old first baseman was named Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for July after hitting .330 with a .917 OPS. He ended his Cougars career on a seven-game hitting streak and with Kane County falling out of the playoff race, Vogelbach will get a chance to get some postseason experience with Daytona.

"It's good anytime you get to go up," he said. "But, it's even better when you get to go up to a team that's competing for a playoff spot and get a chance to win a ring and do whatever I can to help them out."

The Daytona Cubs are getting an ultra competitive player who can generate big-time power with his 6-foot, 250-pound frame. He hit 17 homers in 245 at-bats last season at rookie ball and short-season Boise.

This year, the power has still been there with the Cougars -- 17 homers in 433 at-bats -- but not to the same level, with just a .450 slugging percentage. But Vogelbach has shown an ability to work the count -- .364 on-base percentage -- and stepped up as a leader in the Cougars clubhouse along with 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora.

[RELATED: Almora's on the fast track, but Cubs want to look at Lake in center]

"It hasn't hit me yet," Vogelbach said after his last game with the Cougars Monday night. "It's going to be hard, because I became close to a bunch of the boys on this team.

"Anytime you leave your boys, it's tough, but I'm excited. I'm ready to get rolling tomorrow and get after it."

The Cubs selected Vogelbach out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla., in the second round of the 2011 draft, the same year they made a splash with Javier Baez ninth overall.

Baez started his 2013 campaign at Daytona and put on a show with a four-homer performance on June 11. He has since moved on to Double-A Tennessee and has Cubs fans excited about the next wave of talent coming through the minor-league system.

[MORE: Patience doesn't last forever, but Cubs see big picture coming into focus]

But big-name prospects are nothing if their development stalls or they can't adapt after each promotion. Vogelbach is an emotional player, but as he matures and ages, he feels he's getting a grasp on channeling those emotions in the right way.

"From the time I stepped foot in Kane County until now, I'm so much better of a player," Vogelbach said. "And quite frankly, I think I'm a better person."