Cubs Prospects: Thoughts on Baseball America and MLB.com rankings

Cubs Prospects: Thoughts on Baseball America and MLB.com rankings
Jae-Hoon Ha was a surprising 12th on Mayo's list.

Prospect lists keep rolling in as experts continue to organize the tremendous amount information they've gathered over the past few months.  There isn't really much new information at this stage, but it's a fun time to take inventory on what every team has and how it compares around the league.  It sets the stage for 2013, reminding us where some of the games best prospects and farm systems stand and what to expect in the coming season.

With that in mind, we have stuff from 2 of those top prospect experts: Jim Callis of Baseball America and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.  Some of it is new, some is stuff we haven't had the chance to cover yet -- but there's certainly a lot of food for thought on both lists...

The Baseball America Top 31 Cubs Prospects

I finally got my copy yesterday of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  Nobody has been doing it as long as BA and they still set the standard when it comes to prospect info.  Here is the raw list...

  1. Javier Baez, SS
  2. Albert Almora, OF
  3. Jorge Soler, OF
  4. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
  5. Brett Jackson, OF
  6. Pierce Johnson, RHP
  7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  8. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  9. Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP
  10. Arismendy Alcantara, SS
  11. Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
  12. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  13. Alberto Cabrera, RHP
  14. Matt Szczur, OF
  15. Junior Lake, SS/3B
  16. Paul Blackburn, RHP
  17. Duane Underwood, RHP
  18. Dillon Maples, RHP
  19. Logan Watkins, 2B/SS/OF
  20. Marco Hernandez, SS
  21. Gioskar Amaya, 2B
  22. Tony Zych, RHP
  23. Robert Whitenack, RHP
  24. Trey McNutt, RHP
  25. Josh Vitters, 3B
  26. Barret Loux, RHP
  27. Matt Loosen, RHP
  28. Lendy Castillo, RHP
  29. Marcus Hatley, RHP
  30. Trey Martin, OF
  31. Reggie Golden, OF

Baseball America balances their rankings as much as possible by combining ceiling and floor.  Ceiling is represented by their overall rating on the 20-80 scouting scale while floor is partly represented in terms of risk.  They do the latter with verbal descriptions that rank (from lowest to highest risk): Safe, Low, Medium, High, Extreme.  Much of what constitutes that risk has to do with proximity to the majors and track record and/or prognosis for staying healthy.

If we were to rearrange the list by ceiling only and just use the risk rating as a "tie-breaker", it would look like this...

  1. Javier Baez
  2. Jorge Soler (actually a tie with Baez)
  3. Albert Almora
  4. Arodys Vizcaino
  5. Brett Jackson
  6. Juan Carlos Paniagua

After these 6, it gets muddled as BA tends to be understandably conservative with non-elite (or, perhaps, not yet elite) lower level prospects. Most of the Cubs remaining best prospects are in that category.  The top 4 above are probably no surprise as all rate as potentially well above average starters to all-star players. Brett Jackson may be a surprise to some until you consider he still has a chance to be an above average starter if he can solve the contact issue.  He does, however, come with an unusually "high" risk rating, especially for someone who has already reached AAA and the majors.  Juan Carlos Paniagua also rates as a potentially above average regular but right now he carries the "extreme" risk label, so it knocks down his overall ranking.  That label is partially due to the limited info on Paniagua right now.  Like most, BA prefers to wait on a bigger sample size as Paniagua was limited to just 3.2 IP in AZ and a brief appearance in the NWL playoffs.

MLB.com top 100 and Cubs top 20

I've neglected to mention Jonathan Mayo and his top 100 but it's better late than never.  He rates these Cubs in his top 100*...

  • #16 Javier Baez
  • #39 Albert Almora
  • #42 Jorge Soler

Mayo also came out with the Cubs top 20 (same link as above, but just hit the top 20 by team tab at top of page).  Here is the top 20 per Mayo...

  1. Javier Baez
  2. Albert Almora
  3. Jorge Soler
  4. Brett Jackson
  5. Arodys Vizcaino
  6. Dillon Maples
  7. Pierce Johnson
  8. Christian Villanueva
  9. Junior Lake
  10. Matt Szczur
  11. Dan Vogelbach
  12. Jae-Hoon Ha
  13. Jeimer Candelario
  14. Josh Vitters
  15. Robert Whitenack
  16. Duane Underwood
  17. Paul Blackburn
  18. Gioskar Amaya
  19. Alberto Cabrera
  20. Darien "Trey" Martin
  21. Arismendy Alcantara**

It's another solid list with the biggest surprise being Jae-Hoon Ha, whom some consider a 4th or 5th outfielder, at #12.  On the other hand, many also consider Matt Szczur a 4th or 5th outfielder as well, so perhaps their proximity to each other in the rankings shouldn't be a big surprise.  They are players who are taking different paths to the big leagues with Szczur having great athleticism and Ha making up for some of that gap with excellent instincts.

Another ranking of note is Dan Vogelbach in the 11th spot, right smack in between Szczur and Ha.  Vogelbach draws a lot of excitement from Cubs fans because of his power and overall hitting ability, but as has been stated many times here, there are always going to be questions about Vogelbach.  Like most, Mayo mentions his weight as a concern, though he also praises his work so far in getting it under control.

You also have to consider positional value and proximity to the majors as key factors.  There is well-established long-term value in the ability to play above average MLB CF defense.  Many scouts feel that both Szczur and Ha have that ability and it greatly lowers the offensive threshold for them to become viable big league players, if not as starters, then at least as extra outfielders.  Vogelbach, on the other hand, has to hit and hit a great deal to have value.  There is enormous burden on his bat.

So far Vogelbach looks fully capable of carrying that load, but it's early in his career.  He's not yet done it at the full season level.  If he doesn't continue to hit as he moves up the ladder, the concern is that he doesn't really have any other tools that he can fall back on.  It's a harsh reality and a valid concern, not just with Vogelbach but with any slugging 1B at the lower levels of the minors.

And that's the last point we should consider here, both Ha and Szczur have reached the AA level already and figure to start at least that high again in 2013.  That proximity alone increases their odds of becoming MLB'ers.  Of course, it has to be balanced with a player's ceiling and of the the trio we're talking about here, Vogelbach's offense alone gives him the highest ceiling in the group -- and that is the most compelling argument for ranking him much higher on the list.

In the end, we don't have to agree with Mayo's rankings -- particularly the Szczur, Vogelbach, and Ha subset of those rankings, but we can certainly respect it.  Really, that's kind of what these prospect lists are for in the first place.  At their best, they generate thoughtful discussion on prospect philosophies such as floors, ceilings, risk, and positional value.

Edit/Update (4:39 PM):

* Correction made to Mayo's top 100.  It is now updated to reflect his most current rankings.

**Mayo came out with his 21st best prospects in the NL Central and for the Cubs that player is Arismendy Alcantara.  The athletic SS has picked up a lot of momentum this offseason and has become a key prospect to watch in 2013.  BA believes he may eventually have to move to 2B, but there is no question that he at least has the physical skills to stay at SS.  If he can stay there and hit AA pitching, he is going to become a huge asset for the Cubs.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    I am glad some people aren't as hot on Vogelbach as many Cubs fans are (I cannot wait to see where Law puts him, because he is not a fan). All he has proven to me so far is he can crush bad pitching and cannot play average defense. Is there potential there? Sure, but he is definitely not a can't miss prospect like Almora.

    The thing I loved about Mayo's list was how high he had Maples. We all know Maples COULD be a stud pitcher, but just hasn't been able to throw it all together. Having him about Johnson really puts a smile to my face.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Maples is defintely a guy who can benefit from working with Johnson. I'm really excited to see what kind of impact he has on the last two draft classes.

  • I haven't seen Vogelbach play - live or on tape - as I am a resident of the DC/Baltimore area and generally don't get too deep into what's going on in the particularly beloww AAA-level minors. Am starting to get an appreciation of that level via you-all though.

    We probably have (or at least the front office has) a couple of years to figure out what to do with Vogelbach before he pushs on Rizzo in a significant way unless he just becomes a monster hitting machine that cannot be stopped.

    But - assuming he does pan out into some second coming of a young Todd Helton, or a Paul Konerko, or even a Billy Butler part-time 1B/DH,...

    What do they do with him? Seems like he just isn't atheletic enough from your collective descriptions to play anywhere but 1B.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    That's the question and to be honest, there is no easy answer. If Vogelbach continues to mash at the AA level, then the Cubs will have themselves a bona fide asset. It gives them the flexibility to make a trade and acquire a similarly talented prospect at a greater position of need.

    We have to look at developing prospects in a broader sense. We get used to thinking along the lines of developing for specific uses.

    If you woudn't mind indulging me in an analogy here, it reminds me of the difference between corporate based scientific research and the research of pure science. The former seeks a specific end or product while the latter seeks to create/develop without consideration of the ultimate application.

    We should think of good player development in this second way. Create and develop first. In the case of baseball, that means accumulating talent. Once you have that, you'll have plenty of options as to how to use it.

    Or the Cubs can just lobby for the DH :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not personally a fan of the DH,... but that's another arguement,...

    :D

    Worst case scenario,.... they end up with 2x1B who can mash the rock,.... and they end up having to trade one of them for a stud pitcher,.... or a couple of promising propects,... or they figure out if Rizzo can play in LF/RF,.... or,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Agreed. Realistically if everything turns out well, the trade scenario is the most likely outcome. We saw the Padres do it just last year and they picked up one of the strongest arms in baseball in Andrew Cashner. Of course, it hasn't worked out as well as they'd hoped so far, but if Alonso and Cashner both reach expectations then it will be a good trade for them even if Rizzo winds up being the best player of the 3.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Both Vogelbach and Candelario (a possible 1B candidate depending on how he fills out) are so far away that if and when they were to be big-league ready, Rizzo will likely be in his Arb years which depending on a TON of factors, could make him the better trade candidate....

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    It's always possible they take that road too but I think that would be a bad sign for the rebuilding process. A lot is going to depend on where the Cubs are in 2-3 years.

    If the Cubs become a contender and Rizzo is a big part of their success, then they'll keep him.

    First, because he'll be the known quantity. They'll deal the prospect who won't take away from a successful core.

    Secondly, if the Cubs are winning they are more likely to look for help for their MLB club when it comes to trades. The teams willing to deal the kinds of immediate help the Cubs would want would very likely be non-contenders. Non-contenders in turn are more likely to want prospects and cost-control.

    In other words, if the Cubs are contemplating trading Rizzo in 2 years, then it probably means that things aren't going nearly as well as planned.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    In the above scenario, I hope they wouldn't keep Rizzo just because he is part of the "core"

    In my opinion, the best run baseball organization in the last 30 years was the Atlanta Braves. After the 1996 season, the Braves had to decide what to do with David Justice, who had just OPSed well into the 900s, because Andruw Jones was ready to come up. Their answer was quite simple. Trade the expensive guy and replace him with the cheap guy that is expected to be as good or better.\

    A great move.

    4 years from now, I have no idea what the relative merits will be between Rizzo and vogelbach. But I hope that if the situation is similar to what the Braves faced in 1996, they go with the cheap guy. That leaves them a lot of money left over to purchase a free agent, if they wish to do so.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Have to respectfully disagree here. For one it's anecdotal. More importantly, the situations aren't similar.

    1) Justice was 30 and coming off 2 down years... one off season and one injury plagued one. He appeared to be past his peak. Unlike Justice at that point in time, the assumption in the example says that Rizzo will be a big part of their success. And he won't he even be in his peak years yet.
    2) Andrew Jones and David Justice didn't even play the same position. They could have kept both if they wanted to. This was about parting ways with Justice, it wasn't about making room for Jones.
    3) They traded for one year of Kenny Lofton, a win now player. As much as anything else, they wanted to increase their chances of winning that year.

    It should also be mentioned that the team that traded for him, the Indians, were also a well-run organization at the time. In fact, they went to the World Series in the year of that trade.

    Frankly, I think the idea of a contending team trading a player who will 25-26 years old and presumably an established star to make room for a prospect, an unknown quantity, would go very much against what an organization that values statistics and probability values to begin with. This front office seems to me that they would be one of the last that would fall in love with a prospect to the point where they choose future speculation and saving a relatively small amount of short term money over a greater probability of winning.

  • john great write up, The two guys I am excited about is pierce johnson and maples. If those guys can take that next step then the outlook on the pitching in the minors is much better. I tell you a real sleeper is paul blackburn, He may not have those guys I just mentioned ability right now but his feel for pitching a huge boost.Sometimes we forget this kid was in high school a year ago so maybe he has a higher ceiling than we think.

  • In reply to seankl:

    Thanks Sean.

    I like your sleeper pick there with Blackburn and I was surprised he didn't get mentioned more in the prospect piece. He may well have a higher ceiling than some think, as the Cubs think he may have some projection left. He already is polished for a HS guy, if he projects as hoped and improves his stuff, Blackburn could surprise and move quickly through the system.

  • Mayo's list is honestly one of the worst I've seen. It's one thing to boost a player's rank because on their high floor, but ultimately 4/5th outfielders are replaceable. In the case of a difference maker like Almora, it makes sense to rank him higher because of his floor. I could care less if guys in the lower levels fizzle out, at least they have potential. Not to mention his future ranking grades make very little sense. He gives a 5 overall grade to a majority of the guys. Does he really believe Ha has the same potential future tools as Vogelbach, Candelario, etc.?

  • In reply to gocubsgo:

    Personally I tend to lean more toward upside as well, which is why Vogelbach and Paniagua made my top 10 (top 6, in fact).

    I don't think Mayo necessarily thiks Ha has the same potential or tools as Vogelbach or Candelario It just says to me that his philosophy toward ranking prospects is different than ours.

    One thing, I wouldn't just call them 4/5 OFers. The key here is that both can be true, above-average defensive CFs. If you don't think that in itself is a commodity, consider the Cubs roster right now. In fact, it'd be interesting to look down the entire MLB roster and count how many plus defensive CF'ers there are in all of baseball.

  • The new Cubs Vineline top prospects issue list top prospects by
    how the were acquired draft, international signings and trades

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks E, sounds like a good read.

  • I think Scuzer could turn the corner pretty quickly if he can make the mechanical adjustments. He may be more than just a 4th or 5th outfielder if he can put it together. Everything else seems to be there for the kid.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I think he does have a chance to be more than a reserve. It's going to depend on his hit tool. Because he can potentially play an above MLB CF, he can be a solid starter if he can put up a line close to .280/.350/.400.

  • Except for the top 3 on the list do any of the others have the
    potential to be part of our foundation for the future. Should what
    we have influence who we draft .

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Absolutely. There's just a lot more uncertainty once you get past those top 3. More risk, more room for things to go wrong. Vizcaino is certainly a candidate, as are the young SPs...lots of breakout possibilities.

  • fb_avatar

    Kind of off-topic, but Levine held a chat this week where he said the Cubs attempted to trade for Olt or Chisenhall this offseason, but were rebuffed. I don't think that's a huge surprise, but I would be interested how serious the talks were, who was involved, and how the health of Garza figured into them (if at all).

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hard to say. Could have just been due diligence. I imagine the Cubs brought up Chisenhall around the time the Indians were considering a complete rebuild and making players such as Asdrubal Cabrera available. They have since changed direction and seem to be trying to rebuild on the fly a little. If that's the case, then I think they'll hang on to Chisenhall for 2013.

    As for Olt, they did seem to get serious around the deadline last year. My thought on that is that the Cubs and Texas keep a pretty open dialogue in general, so it wouldn't surprise me if Olt's name has come up again recently.

  • Of the 31 top players listed for the Cubs.....I look at 6 players as being long term players (more than 10 years) in MLB with the skills they have shown already........

    they are....

    Baez
    Almora
    Soler
    Villanueva
    Underwood
    Vogelbach

  • I'd take that. If the Cubs can get 6 players from this list with that kind of long term impact, then they'll have done pretty well.

    In fact if the top 3 alone reach their potential and give the Cubs 10 good years, then I really like the team's chances to win a lot of games over the next decade.

  • Hey John, allow me to correct you and I apologize in advance, since I do not intend to make you look bad or anything, but the rankings of Baez, Soler and Almora that you posted were the rankings from 2012, in the 2013 list of his top 100, Mayo actually has them higher with Baez coming in at 16, Almora at 39 and Soler at 42, they all made his top 50 list.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/

  • In reply to Caps:

    Thanks Caps. I had all sorts of trouble with that site today!

    I'll make the proper edits.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No problem, I thought you'd be kind of excited to see Mayo has them in the top 50 with Baez all the way up to 16, closing in on Lindor... I think 20 and up is a pretty especial place for prospects, I think 16 is as high as Castro ranked in the BA rankings.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I was actually! That's more in line to how they're being viewed right now.

  • Lets hope the new instructors/coachs can help they develop their
    full potential. Can't let this talent not reach its potential no matter how
    long it take.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Better coaching and development will help, but it's inevitable that most of them will not reach their ceiling. Just the nature of the prospect business.

  • Mayo released his #21 prospect for each team and for the Cubs it was Alcantara...who I like more than Amaya, Martin, Vitters, or Ha...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I'll have to add that as well!

  • I hope next year at this time we are talking about the incredible year Reggie Golden put together. If this kid can stay healthy, watch out.

  • In reply to kevie:

    Mad tools when healthy. He can hurt the baseball in the same way that Baez and Soler can when he connects. Needs to show something this year, though.

  • KLaw coming out with his piece tomorrow so there may be even more discrepancy amongst the rankings.

    Ha at 12 was pretty big surprise, I'm guessing it had something to do with Ha being only 21. Last season i know he was working on plate discipline (.352 is pretty solid), so maybe he puts it all together this time around, especially being in AAA. Seems like he can be a 10hr guy as well coupled with the defense I guess you got an average 2nd division regular CF. Given Trey Martin's ranking as well seems like Mayo puts a premium on CF play.

    Felt like the Maples ranking was a bit aggressive, but if he puts it together he'll be garnering top 100 prospect status. Depends on the health, though. It'll be interesting too see how much Derek Johnson can help these young guys.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Interested to see his list because it's always unique and he isn't afraid to go against convention. Last year, for example, I believe he had Zach Cates at #5. That may not have worked out well, but have to appreciate his willingness to think outside the lines.

    Agreed on Maples. There's no doubt about his stuff but for me, I'm a little concerned about the delivery, command, and health. He's still high risk/high reward to me.

  • A guy who got short shrift in these rankings, and will prove them wrong, IMHO, is Ronald Torreyes. He really had a nice 2nd half at Daytona, a well-known pitchers league, and at his young age that bodes very well.

    I have a theory about prospects, and that is that the ones that can demonstrate consistent excellence at their current level will tend to carry that through when they advance. The ones that seem more "toolsy" than their abilities show at that level tend to be overrated by scouts.

    As an example of what I mean, here are some Cubs prospects that look very legit to me:

    - Baez: jumped two levels, crushing it at Peoria.
    - Almora: going from HS to playing well at Boise is an enormous jump/
    - Candelario: Hit pretty well for just a teenager in Boise
    - Vogelbach: enough has been said about him already.
    - P. Johnson & Blackburn: again looking good while playing their first year professionally.

    Overrated:
    - Soler: Maybe he just needs more time, but he didn't exactly tear up any league he played in last year. Glenallen Hill could hit long home runs, too.
    - Szczur: Looks overmatched already, at AA, with the bat.
    - Jae-Hoon Ha: See Szczur..
    - Trey McNutt: took a big step backwards, IMHO, although I think this year could be make-or-break for him.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Torreyes youth relative to his league is certainly something that works in his favor but I don't think it's enough to outweigh a lot of the concerns. His lack of size is one. He's listed as 5'9", 140 lbs and while I haven't met him, I've talked to people that have. I've heard anywhere from 5'5" to 5'7" at most. Not that he can't succeed because of that, we've seen Jose Altuve have some success recently, but those type of stories are exceptions more than rules.

    He's a middle infielder with one skill that stands out -- his ability to make consistent contact. It's admittedly an uncanny skill, but much like Vogelbach, he has to hit and hit a lot to have any value at all. In Torreyes case, he has to hit .300 and probably more because it's unlikely hes going to walk a lot or hit for significant power at the MLB level. He's an average defender with average speed and he really can't play any other position other than 2B, so if he doesn't hit enough to start, then his value as a utility player is somewhat limited as well.

  • Way off topic, but wanted to let you all know that the whole celebrity thing doesn't phase me... until tonight. I walked up to the hostess and aske, "was that Tom Ricketts?" She looked as if I'd just asked her to name a planet other than Earth. "The owner of the Cubs." This made more sense to her. "Oh yeah. I think he owns a hockey team or something." The point is, I knew it was Ricketts, right in front of me, casually jogging up the steps to eat dinner. And yet I said nothing, feet rooted to the floor, starstruck. All I could think was, what if Epstein is with him next time? Would I faint?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Haha! I've been there. I actually met Theo last year and was pretty starstruck myself. I can definitely relate.

  • John
    You've mentioned several times before that part of our 40 man roster problem is that both Solar and Szczur signed contracts that required them to be on that roster. Can you explain what advantage that brings to a new signee and why they would insist on being put on the 40 man roster right off the bat?
    Thanks

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    It's an advantage to their agent more than anything because it forces them to the big leagues faster - and agents get the additional profit of an MLB salary and the longer term benefit of speeding up their service clock.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If I'm not mistaken, under the latest labor agreement newly drafted players cannot be signed to major league anymore. Not sure about international free agents though.

  • In reply to kevie:

    That is correct. Thanks for reminding me of that. As far as international free agents go, anyone over 23 isn't bound by the CBA so they can still sign an MLB contract.

  • John are there any LHP in the lower levels that project higher then back of the rotation guys? I know power lefties are hard to come by but most of the upper level guys are more finesse-types.

  • In reply to JeremyR:

    Unfortunately there really isn't Jeremy. Even most of their lower level guys are more about pitchability than raw stuff.

    Here are a few sleepers though:

    *Brian Smith, who can throw 93-94, who pitched at Boise last year but he's strictly a relief pitcher.
    *Nathan Dorris - Good pitchers build at 6'3, 195. Can reach low 90s and has a pretty nice curve at times. Put up some nice numbers at Boise (1.93 ERA and 13 Ks in 14 IP)
    *Michael Heesch - Big, big kid who can throw 90 with good command but secondaries need work.
    *Ariel Prieto - Reportedly hit mid 90s in high school but got hurt and hasn't reached that velo since. May be able to throw 3 pitches, which gives him a good shot at starting. Not ideal size at 5'11" and I think he ends up being a finesse guy :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Good point on LHP.....we have none.

    Theo couldn't be clearer on the fact that the next draft for us will be pitching-heavy, so maybe I would look for it to be LHP heavy to get some guys in the system

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Sean Manaea could fix that in a hurry. At some point we'll do another draft piece and look at some other LHPs as well.

  • Hey John,
    Here's perhaps a random question, but one I've been thinking about as I've read these lists. In your expert opinion, out of a normal team's top 30 prospects, how many would you guess actually make it to the big leagues in some capacity? Is it realistic or optimistic to say half?

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    I don't have numbers but if I had to estimate I'd say that's probably optimistic. Just quickly looking at a couple of good farm systems from 2009, Texas and Tampa Bay, I'd say it's more like about 1/3 with about 1/5 to 1/6 of them having more than just a passing impact. So if you get 10 big leaguers, 5 to 6 that stick around awhile, and 3 big impact guys, I'd say you're doing well

  • Wow, thanks John. That really puts things into perspective for me.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    You're welcome. Thanks for the question. It might be one to look into more deeply at some point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This has been studied. It's been a year or two since I've googled it, but there is a statistical study available on the interwebs. I remember that I was surprised by the low %. Don't quote me before looking it up yourself, but something like 5% of pitchers and 10% of position players ever have more that a cup of coffee.

  • fb_avatar

    Watched some video of Maples from back in high school today. The ball explodes out of his hand but the way he does it my made my arm hurt...... That delivery is painful to watch and I hope the coaches can overhaul it without decreasing his effectiveness.

    If he does that, I easily see him volting to the top of our list. Maybe even the overall list. His stuff is just that good.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agreed Marcel. According to BA, they're small tweaks. Seems like more of a smoothing out than an overhaul. The Cubs are probably thinking along the same lines that they don't want to mess with that nasty stuff.

  • fb_avatar

    When looking at Jonathon Mayo's top 21 cubs prospects list. I was kind of shocked by the omission of Juan Carlos Paniagua. Any idea on why he was left off Mayo's list, while ranking nicely on the other lists? With the lack of pitching in the Cubs organization, how do you leave that arm off? I would guess, it has to do with the perceived risks.

  • In reply to chicagojay23:

    That would be my guess too. I'd say it was the small sample size and that he's more of an unknown quantity.

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