Let me start by saying this is an extremely optimistic forecast of events for not only Mike Olt, but the rest of the Cub prospects. These projections also assume that the “Core 4” develop accordingly. (Baez, Bryant, Almora, Soler) I would also argue that Arismendy Alcantana should be considered a core prospect as well.
Now imagine if Mike Olt recovers from his concussion/vision problems and returns to elite prospect status. This would create a ripple effect throughout the organization.
There are a few things to elaborate on with these particular projections. First thing that stands out is the amount of power among the infielders. Baez adds significant value at 2B, especially if you consider position scarcity.
The second thing is the obvious move of Kris Bryant to the outfield. It is important to note that these projections have nothing to do with weather I think Bryant can handle third or not. This defensive lineup is solely predicated on the success of Mike Olt. To me, there is no question that Bryant has the ability to stick at third.
I intentionally projected Almora starting in center, rather than having Lake or anyone else behind him. This is indicative of how I feel about Almora. He seems to have flown under the radar with other prospects bursting on the scene. In my opinion, he is the most projectable prospect in the system. I get the feeling once Almora gets his shot to man center field, he isn’t going to let anyone take it back. His intangibles are off the chart.
Lastly, you will see I have Junior Lake starting over Jorge Soler. I did this for two reasons, the first being that I don’t see Soler being ready for opening day next year, because injuries have slowed his development a bit. I would expect mid-season 2015 as a reasonable timeframe for him to make his major league debut. Secondly, it speaks to how I feel about Lake. He is excellence athlete who has proven to be versatile and coachable. Unlike many, I see him as a part of future with the organization as a second tier, but valuable asset.
One of the phrases you will hear Theo Epstein mention is “organizational health,” where he is referencing the overall state of the organization. The front office has worked tirelessly to be in a position where the Cubs can be major players in free agency and trades and it is apparent that Theo and Jed have done a remarkable job thus far. In less than three years, they have already created redundancies in the farm system that will soon be used to make impactful trades and acquisitions, all of which was done organically. Epstein hasn’t even used any of the resources that are to come from the mega TV deal the Cubs will soon receive. In Theo We Trust
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