With the acquisition of Budget Storage complete, StorageMart is now the largest provider of self storage in Des Moines, and we’re celebrating by giving away two pair of tickets to Opening Day for the Iowa Cubs.
The AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs kicks off the 2014 campaign at Principal Park in Des Moines on Thursday, April 3rd against their rival the Memphis Redbirds (AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals), and we want to send some lucky friends of ours to see all the action.
It’s been 10 years since the Iowa Cubs played for the Pacific Coast League title, but the 2014 season should be an exciting one for fans as Chicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein has rebuilt the minor league system into the second best in all of baseball, according to the Baseball Prospectus. Many of those prospects could be spending at least part of their summer in Des Moines with manager Marty Pevey, hitting coach Brian Harper and new pitching coach Bruce Walton on their way to the big leagues. Some of the guys fans will want to keep their eye on include:
• 3B Mike Olt – He was the key piece of last season’s Matt Garza trade, and there is no doubt he has big league caliber power right now. The key for Olt will be getting past an injury-plagued 2013 season. If he can show an ability to stay healthy, you’d do well to see as much of him as you can early in the season because he won’t be staying in Des Moines for long.
• RHP Kyle Hendricks – He doesn’t blow scouts away with his velocity, but you can’t argue with the success he had between AA and AAA in 2013. If he can start out 2014 just as effectively, he’ll definitely get a trial in the big leagues at some point this summer.
• LHP Rob Zastryzny – Rob was only drafted last season, so he may not reach AAA this year, but we’re already big fans of his as he’s a proud alumnus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, where StorageMart was founded and is still headquartered. He’s a soft-tossing lefty who doesn’t walk many guys who could end up as a solid bullpen/spot starter one day.
• 3B Kris Bryant – Kris is one of the best prospects in all of baseball. He has tremendous power and is a solid glove man at third base, but may move to the outfield to make room for Javier Baez. He’s probably starting the season at AA, but you could definitely see him manning the hot corner in Iowa by the end of the season.
• SS Javier Baez – As high as the ceiling is for Kris Bryant as a prospect, Javier Baez has even more upside. He’s another power-hitting prospect who, if he can cut down on his errors and remain at shortstop, form with Kris Bryant the left side of the Chicago Cubs infield for the next decade. He’ll almost certainly see time in Iowa this season, but catch him while you can because he’ll probably be in Chicago by the end of the season.
• OF Jorge Soler – The stories of Soler’s greatness have circulated around baseball since his teens, when he played for the Cuban National Team. After defecting in 2011, he signed a 9-year contract with the Cubs and has been dazzling from the word go. When scouts refer to the five-tool player, it is guys like Soler they have in mind. He destroyed pitching at the A-ball level last season, and it was only injuries which hampered his progression. This is another guy you’ll want to see while you can if he lands on the Iowa roster at any point this season, because once he hits Chicago he’s probably not coming back.
The Opening Day roster will be set soon, and speculation as to who you can and can’t see take the field in Des Moines will be over, but one thing we do know for certain is if you are in the crowd for Opening Day you’ll receive a free magnet featuring the 2014 Iowa Cubs schedule. The promotion is courtesy of Pittsburgh Paints and Hicklin Garage Doors. Win our ticket giveaway and that magnet won’t be the only thing you’ll get for free, your night of baseball action will be free too.
Starting Thursday, March 20th all you have to do to enter is visit the official StorageMart Facebook page and share the post we’ve made about the giveaway. At 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 27th we’ll take the names of everyone who shared the post and select two winners. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to what is sure to be a great night of baseball.
“A lot of us at StorageMart are big baseball fans,” Sarah Little, StorageMart Director of Marketing said. “We’ve done ticket giveaways in the past in Miami and Kansas City, but have always had great response in Chicago when we gave tickets to see the White Sox and Cubs. Giving away tickets to see the Cubs in Iowa who will hopefully one day be promoted to being Cubs in Chicago seemed like the natural way for StorageMart to introduce itself to the people of Des Moines.”