The Chicago Cubs today selected the contracts of infielder Jeimer Candelario, catcher Willson Contreras, right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson and infielder Dan Vogelbach from Double-A Tennessee. Chicago's 40-man roster now stands at 37 players.
Candelario, who turns 22 on Tuesday, last season combined to bat .277 (132-for-476) with 35 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 64 RBI in 128 games between Single-A Myrtle Beach and Tennessee, as he reached Double-A for the first time at the age of 21. He batted .270 (86-for-318) with 25 doubles, five homers, 39 RBI and a .733 OPS in 82 games to earn Carolina League All-Star honors and a promotion to Double-A on July 21.
With Tennessee, Candelario improved upon his Single-A numbers by batting .291 (46-for-158) with a .379 on-base percentage and .462 slugging percentage, good for an .841 OPS in 46 games with the Smokies. The switch-hitter was named a 2015 Arizona Fall League Rising Star after batting .329 (27-for-82) with eight doubles, five homers, 15 RBI, a .371 on-base percentage, .610 slugging percentage and .981 OPS in 21 games.
Candelario originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2010. The 6-foot-1, 210 pounder is a career .267 hitter (525-for-1,965) with 129 doubles, 43 homers and 284 RBI in 526 minor league games covering five years.
Contreras, 23, was named the Cubs' Minor League Player of the Year after batting .333 (151-for-454) with 34 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 75 RBI in 126 games with Tennessee, his first stop at the Double-A level. Contreras turned in a .413 on-base percentage and a .478 slugging percentage, good for an .891 OPS. He led the Southern League in batting average, and ranked second in the league in doubles, RBI and on-base percentage. His .478 slugging percentage ranked third and his 217 total bases were fifth.
The right-handed hitter earned 2015 mid-season and post-season All-Star honors, was a Baseball America Double-A All-Star and was named a 2015 Arizona Fall League Rising Star after hitting .283 (15-for-53) with three homers, eight RBI, a .361 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage and a .908 OPS in 14 games.
Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2009, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Contreras has hit .275 (465-for-1,692) with 81 doubles, 19 triples, 30 homers and 239 RBI in 462 career minor league games.
Johnson, 24, is 22-13 with a 2.50 ERA (91 ER/327.0 IP) in 65 minor league appearances, all but three as a starter, in four minor league seasons since being selected by the Cubs in the compensation round (43rd overall) of the 2012 Draft out of Missouri State University. He has struck out 309 batters in 327.0 innings pitched while limiting opponents to a .226 batting average against.
The 6-foot-3, 210 pounder went 6-2 with a 2.08 ERA (22 ER/95.0 IP) in 16 starts with Tennessee this season, his first full season at the Double-A level. Johnson finished his season with seven starts in the Arizona Fall League, going 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA (15 ER/24.2 IP).
Johnson is a native of Denver, CO.
Vogelbach, 22, batted .272 (69-for-254) with 16 doubles, seven homers and 39 RBI in 76 games with Tennessee last year, his first stop at the Double-A level. The left-handed batter walked 57 times to contribute to his .403 on-base percentage and his .425 slugging percentage helped give him an .828 OPS.
The 6-foot, 250-pound Vogelbach has batted .284 (426-for-1,499) with 93 doubles, 60 home runs and 259 RBI in 411 minor league games since being drafted by the Cubs in the second round of the 2011 Draft. He has posted a .382 on-base percentage and a .473 slugging percentage, good for an .855 OPS. He earned mid-season All-Star honors in 2013 while in the Midwest League and in 2015 while in the Southern League.
Vogelbach is a native of Orlando, Fla. and was drafted by the Cubs out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers.