Cubs hire Brandon Hyde as new Farm Director

One bit of news we did not report yesterday on a busy day was the promotion of Brando Hyde to Farm Director.

Hyde already is on the same page with the Cubs front office, emphasizing the need for impact players regardless of position.  According to Patrick Mooney of CSN, Hyde connected with VP of Scouting Jason McLeod and was viewed as the favorite from the start.  He has experience as a scout, minor league coordinator, and as a coach.  He has learned the game from a variety of perspectives.

Per Carrie Muskat,

Hyde, 38, joined the Cubs last offseason after spending the previous nine seasons in the Marlins organization, most recently as the club’s Major League bench coach from June 23, 2010, through the end of the 2011 season. Before working at the big league level, Hyde was the Marlins’ Minor League infield coordinator to begin 2010 and spent the previous seven seasons as a Minor League manager and coach in the Marlins system.

As we talked about earlier, the Cubs seemed disappointed that their players were reaching the major leagues with still so much to learn.  Starlin Castro was brought up too early.  Plus Brett Jackson, and especially Josh Vitters, have had to take a lot of instruction at the MLB level.  They were not finished products by any means.

“We want to build this minor-league system to where we have complete players when (they) get here,” Sveum said. “We’ve already talked about a few, but going forward we’ll talk about a lot of things that you want to see done in the minor leagues on a daily basis. (It’s) a philosophy-type thing.

“Organizations have to have to have that kind of stuff etched in stone: This is the way we want things (done) and you’re not moving up the different levels until these things are done.”

That last part is exactly what we want to hear.  For too long it seems Cubs players have been promoted just to get them to the majors quickly.  There were no goals to meet.  If a player was on a fast track, it seemed he would be promoted to the next level regardless of performance and what, if any, skills he had developed.

Hyde put it even more simply,

“We’re all working together to make the product out here at Wrigley Field a winner. My job is to produce players.”

Interesting concept: Produce some players from within to make a winning ballclub.  Sounds good to me.



Filed under: Front Office

Tags: Brandon Hyde


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  • Sounds like a good hire. We can sign all the young talent around, but we MUST develop our prospects, or they will remain just prospects-turned-busts.
    He had a championship team in AA, among other things, so he knows what goes on in the minors. Here's hoping we see polished kids coming to the big team in the near future.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Exactly. The Cubs really drafted some good talent in the early part of the decade and were a top 5 system for a few years, but as we know, few of them amounted to anything. The Cubs drafted a lot of great arms back then but couldn't change them from throwers to pitchers.

  • Time will tell if it's a good hire. For now let's trust it is. Drafting smart, or lucky, comes first. Proper player development is next and should be effective and efficient with effectiveness having the priority over efficiency. In otherwords, if it takes longer than expected to effectively polish the player then take the extra time to polish that player. Don't do it with a set timetable.
    Additionally, it's difficult, maybe impossible, to judge a drafted player fairly if the player development is subpar. We owe our drafted players the best development program we can provide. Go Cubs!!
    And another thing, I ready like hearing Sveum's comments in an area outside of managing the team. It indicates to me the FO is truely a team effort.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Agreed. We won't know for at least a couple of years whether Hyde is a good hire, simply because it takes time to develop players. And you won't really know until 2-3 years after they're drafted as to whether they can be players. Hopefully we'll see some signs, most notably more plate discipline as we have with guys like Szczur, Ha, Vogelbach, etc. this year.

    I do like Sveum's comments as well. And frankly, I'm a little surprised it was never mentioned before. Quade probably understood the rookies weren't ready, but his reactions was just not to play them

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hmmm, remember when everyone ripped Lou Pinella for not playing his rookies like Colvin? Maybe Lou actually knew what he was doing? These guys weren't ready.

  • In reply to svelocity:

    I'm sure he knew. It wasn't communicated all that well.

  • In reply to svelocity:

    Lou was ripped for a lot of things that now most agree with him on. Even his "what do you want me to do?" was, in hindsight, a valid point of being hamstrung with players that you weren't going to win with (sori, rami, z, milton), and others that weren't ready to play,(patterson). What could he do? Wait for the tribune suits, led by Crane Kenny, to make the organisational changes needed to win? How'd that work out for Dallas Green? What was he supposed to do? Wait and see if the new owners hired Theo? Lou deserves a lot of credit for not being even more obviously critical of the tribune and cubs management. He made a lot of references to how bad things were which usually were misinterpreted by the media, but what are you going to do, the media was the team owners... The ricketts and the cubs still need to exorcise the last vestiges of the tribune corp from the team to really rebuild it. I would even like to see all the broadcast rights taken back, once the sweetheart broadcast deals are ended, and assigned to other outlets at fair market prices. Look at the Dodgers and angels deals, that is the future for the franchise to have sustained success and be able to compete with the big boy teams.

  • It should be a given that any player drafted has the ability to become a Major Leaguer. Developing that talent is the key.

  • We've been following the Cubs a long time Ray and there's no doubt to me that this has been the biggest sore spot with the organization. It's not so much finding talented players, the Cubs have had good scouting, especially recently, but turning those talents into ballplayers has been a problem.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I could not agree more, John. It looks like the Cubs will draft 2nd or so. No matter who they draft will have talent. Hopefully the new front office and player development people can turn that talent into a productive Major Leaguer.

  • Especially if it turns out to be a pitcher like Stanek or Manea, who are not close to being finished products yet. If they get Appel, he's pretty developed already and it will take less work.

    The other big tests will be the next few rounds. Just like last year, I expect the Cubs to take some raw high ceiling players such as Duane Underwood and Ryan McNeil again.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd love to see Appel not get selected until the second round because nobody can afford a one player draft. I really hope he ends up pitching to the Ham Fighters or someone else. That would send a message to BS. In fact, a year of Japan drafting from latin America would also perhaps end this BS driven CBA.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Right now, Appel is the consensus top talent in the draft. He may not be a guy I'd like to have a beer with, but I'd be thrilled if we got him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Even if it turned out that selecting him meant you couldn't sign many others?

  • In reply to SFToby:

    He's the guy most likely to be a front line pitcher in this draft and if it meant less money to sign a guy later in the draft, then yeah, I think I'd still do it.

    If you get one impact player in an MLB Draft, then that's pretty good.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Plus this is a pretty weak draft, even weaker than last years. The HS talent just isn't very good except for the catching position or the two OF'ers at top of the draft.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree completely. I've never understood how the Cubs minor league players could reach the majors without having the basic skills to make them solid big leaguers. Like pitchers being unable to bunt, and players with speed not being able to steal a base, or even to lead off properly. I don't think Pie ever learned how to lead off against a major league pitcher and catcher. Patterson didn't even try to use his speed on the bases or to bunt to get on base. Somehow players were able to pass throught the cubs minor league system with out ever being told that they would need to know these things to fully use their talents. It was a shame. I just hope we don't find the pattern repeating with Castro, he doesn't seem to care to hit for average, get on base, steal bases or do the other things you'd expect from a team leader on a winning team. I hope he still can come around.

  • In reply to eddie35:

    No doubt. We need to have players better prepared in terms of their approach and fundamentals. I think (or hope) that will change now!

  • I wonder how Patterson and Pie would have developed under
    him. We have all these prospects with great raw ability, let
    see how they develop during the next 1-3 years. I wonder if will
    have some imput in the draft.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I guess we'll never know. The Cubs were content to let those guys succeed in the minors with habits that just wouldn't work in the majors.

    As far as input in the draft, I'm sure he'll have some say, but that job will mainly fall to McLeod, Madison, and Wilken.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    You and eddie35 have hit on the thing that bothers me. I've been a Cub fan since 1957 and I wonder how much potential has ended up on the garbage pile of "could-of-been-should-of-been" because of inferior player development. Guys like Mike Harkey, Lance Dickson and Earl Cunningham. Have we been denied World Series appearances because of poor player development?

  • It would be interesting to see how they define the developmental hurdles that must be achieved before a player is promoted through various levels. It's gotta be tough to set a script that applies to every kind of player. Maybe they plan on addressing each prospect's goals uniquely.

    Anyway, the talk track sounds good. We'll see how it produces in a few years I suppose.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I have to think OBP is one of them. That is a stat that can apply to someone like Baez, who should hit .300 in the minors, making it a small step to the 340, 350 range in terms of how many more walks he needs -- or it can apply to someone like DeVoss, who has hit .250 but an incredible number of walks puts his OBP well above average, in the .380s.

    The players we've seen promoted this year have for the most part had high OBPs and the pitchers we've seen promoted have had limited walks. In both cases, though, age was a mitigating factor. The Cubs were more likely to promote guys who were getting to be too old for their league.

    I know it's more complicated than that, but that's the basic pattern I've seen so far.

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    Lots of great comments. I only found this site a few weeks ago and have been really impressed by the knowledge and mindset shown in the articles and comments.

    As to this particular article - I really like the new approach to developing players that the current regime has been putting into place. It is a process and results won't come overnight, but I think that a focus on helping players prepare for the majors (rather than just dominating their current level) is going to pay dividends down the road. You expect players who reach the majors to have a firm grasp on the fundamentals and that just hasn't always been the case with the Cubs for quite some time. There is no question that there will always be a learning curve that occurs at the major league level, but if the foundation is put in place (plate discipline, defensive positioning, decision making, etc.) that curve goes much more quickly than if guys clearly are still learning the basics because they were allowed to get by on natural ability alone through the minors.

  • In reply to Tom Wozniak:

    Thanks Tom! Glad you found us!

    Agree totally. It's about the process. I always say that is the only part you can truly control. Results are dependent on too many outside factors, but if if you have a good process in place you'll have more "luck" with your results than most teams.

  • FINALLY! A system in place that doesn't setup the players to FAIL. Castro could've used another year in AAA. I could just imagine the beast he would've been with another instructional year. Oh well! Glad to see they are finally on track. Let's hope this system will produce at least a few back to back to back winning seasons with a potential WS ring.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Agreed! Can't fix the old mistakes but I'm really glad that at least we won't be repeating them!

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