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2014 MLB Draft: UA Game Roster and Preview - Plus more Tickets and Meet-Up Information

2014 MLB Draft: UA Game Roster and Preview - Plus more Tickets and Meet-Up Information

Too soon?

As many of you know, the Under Armour All-Star Game, presented by The Baseball Factory is coming to Wrigley Field on August 24th at 1:30 p.m.  It was a great time last year as I learned a lot about the game from some of the most knowledgeable, experienced from the baseball industry and media in the game today.  I hope I get that opportunity again.

For those still interested in going, I have picked up more tickets to give away.  We're also going to have a very early meet-up at 10:00 a.m at Bernie's, so come and join us and grab a beer (breakfast stout?) -- or at least a cup of coffee.  Tom will also likely be there, as will Big League Futures draft expert/Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo, and  the very knowledgeable Harry Pavlidis, who among other things, is the guru behind Pitch F/X  and has written for such fine publications as the Washington Post and Baseball Prospectus.  There will probably be more there, including a few more bloggers and some Cubs Den readers, so if anyone else confirms, I'll be sure to note that at a later date.  We will not be there that long, however, as gates open at 11:30, just in time to catch the HR derby.

If you are interested in attending the game, please e-mail me your mailing address and the number of tickets you need, leave a comment, or send me a DM on Twitter.  The pre-game gathering is open to all but I do have a limited amount of  tickets to the game.

I'll also be on Chicagoland Sports Radio on Monday at 2:20 pm with Jason Thomas.  I'll be talking about the game and some of the prospects to watch.  Don't forget to tune in.

Here is a quick cheat sheet for those going -- or even if you're just interested in the 2014 MLB Draft, where it now looks like the Cubs will have another top 5 pick and certainly a top 10.

The Top 6 Prospects

Considering the Cubs will have a top 5 pick, you may not have to look any further than these players if you're looking for a guy the Cubs might draft.  The top 3 on this list have the best chance of going top 5 but the bottom 3 all have tremendous upside and could move up with a big year.

  • Alex Jackson, C/OF:  The best catching prospect in the draft and it's a position of great need for the Cubs, something they've admitted themselves.   Jackson has a tremendous arm behind the plate and Professor Parks called his pop times "near elite".  At the plate he shows the potential for plus power from the right side.  Jackson has the great makeup and leadership ability to go with his physical skills, of which Parks says, "When physical talent and makeup join forces, the end result can change the fortunes of an organization, and Jackson looks like a player well on his way to that reality."  Jackson sounds like he was tailor made for the Cubs and will undoubtedly become a fan favorite as we approach the draft, if he isn't already.  The one question, and it's a big one for Cubs fans, is that not everyone thinks he can stick behind the plate.
  • Jacob Gatewood, SS:  Gatewood is one of the top hitters in this draft and a top 5 pick candidate.  He has great size at 6'5", 190 with tremendous bat speed and the ability to hit for average and big-time power.  His claim to fame right now is winning the HR derby for the high school players at the All-Star Game this past season.  He's not extremely quick and is not expected to stay at SS but his bat will play at 3B or a corner OF spot.
  • Touki Toussaint, RHP:  Toussaint has perhaps the best prep arm in this draft and is considered a top 10 pick at this point with a chance to move up if he can improve his command.  He can touch 97 mph and complements that with a plus curve that already gives him a second swing and miss offering.  He's not quite as tall at 6'2" but has room to grow. As mentioned,  his command needs a lot of work, but his stuff is potentially top of the rotation.
  • Grant Holmes, RHP:  Another pitcher who can hit 96 mph, Holmes is about the same size as Toussaint but perhaps a smaller frame and he may not project quite as well.  The alternative is that his change-up and his command are more advanced.  He adds a good curve to the mix but the limits on physical projection may also limit his ceiling.
  • Dylan Cease, RHP:  Per Baseball America, Cease is the 3rd pitcher on this list capable of hitting 96 mph, though he sits 92-93.  He has the type of athleticism the Cubs prefer in a pitcher.  He's loose and projectable with a clean, low effort delivery.  Like Touissant, he's a bit raw -- perhaps even more so as Cease has similar issues with command but his breaking stuff isn't quite as advanced.  His change, like that of most high schoolers, is still developing.  What you get with Cease is a a great starter kit for a pitcher.  All the parts you need are there for him to become a front line pitcher.
  • Michael Gettys, RHP/OF:  Perhaps the best two-way player in the draft, Gettys has 1st round potential as a pitcher and outfielder but most seem to like him as an OF'er where he has the potential for all 5 tools including, of course, a rocket arm.  He's a high energy player, a style that remind some of Clint Frazier, who was also a Georgia prep product.  Gettys  is faster than Frazier with a better chance to stick in CF.  He's an explosive player but all of this is leading to his one weakness -- his approach is every bit as aggressive as the rest of his game.  He goes up there swinging.

Other early round candidates

  • Chase Vallot, C:  If the Cubs can't land Jackson or feel like he can't stick at catcher, Vallot is the next best prep option.  There's a lot to like about Vallot, starting with a strong arm and great pop times (1.92 seconds) though like most H.S. catchers, he still needs work on his receiving skills.  Vallot has a strong build and should hit for power and as a bonus, is a pretty good athlete.  He's someone the Cubs could certainly be interested in if he lasts to their second pick -- but Vallot also has a chance to shoot up higher into the first round with a good season.
  • Nicholas Gordon: SS/RHP:  The son of former pitcher Tom Gordon, Nick also has a very good arm and can bring it at up to 92 mph but he's also a SS, where he may stand out more as a speedy top of the order hitter with great range, arm, and instincts in the field.
  • Michael Kopesch, RHP: 6'4", 190 lbs with a lot of athleticism and projection.  Some mechanical issues that a team should be able to fix, but the raw talent is there.  Throws a low 90s FB that can reach 94, a curve, and a developing change.  Some deception there too so a team that's going to take him will need to make sure they don't overhaul that part out of his delivery.
  • Cobi Johnson, RHP:  Johnson is also the son of a former MLB pitcher, Dane Johnson, and while he doesn't yet throw as hard as some of the top players on this list (tops out at 93), he's 6'4", 180 lbs. so there is plenty of room for growth and to add strength.  As you might expect from a son of a former MLB pitcher, Johnson has the feel and pitchability you want along with advanced command for a high school arm.
  • Grant Hockin, RHP:  Projectable arm with a loose body that sits low 90s but can hit 95 mph.   Throws curve and change with solid command for his age.
  • Greg Dieschman, SS: Another power bat from the SS position, Dieschman does his thing fromt the left side.  He has good power, which he generates with very good bat speed.  He's not as prodiguous a power hitter as Gatewood, but he is faster, more athletic, and has a better shot of sticking at SS.
  • Joseph Gatto, RHP: A chance to be a complete pitcher with a good arm that right now generates low 90s fastball while occasionally reaching the mid 90s.  He has  advanced feel and command for his age while also having enough room on his 6'5", 210 lbs frame to add some muscle and perhaps the velo increase that sometimes goes with it.  The height also gives him the advantage of being able to throw with some downward plane.
  • Foster Griffin, LHP:  Another 6'5" pitcher, Griffin is still gangly with room to grow but the height also gives him some natural plane,  He doesn't throw all that hard now 88-92, but there's obviously some projection left in that 195 lbs. build and could easily develop well above average velo for a southpaw.  He also has glove side run on his FB.  In addition, Griffin throws a curve and an advanced change for his age.
  • Carson Sands, LHP: Similar in build and stuff to Griffin, the projectable Sands needs a bit more consistency on his secondaries but both his change and breaking ball.
  • Cameron Varga, RHP: Varga already has a good pitchers build at 6'3", 205 lbs. and sits in the low 90s and can touch 95 mph.  His secondaries are developing.

You can see the whole roster at the link above, or  here at Baseball America.

 

Comments

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  • With so many good teams having bad years they could draft
    4-14. Lets hope some of them get hot or beat each other.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Rooting for Milwaukee and the White Sox will be new for a lot of us! Draft is a bit deeper so they're going to get a pretty good player.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It's crazy how bunched up it is, a 4 game win streak will move a team 10 spots!

    Houston has 39 wins

    Miami & W. Sox have 46 wins

    The Cubs are in the mix of 10 teams that have 52-55 Wins :
    Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Twins, Phillies, Padres, Angels, Mets, B.Jays, Mariners

  • C.J Edwards on the bump for Daytona -

    1B - Geiger
    DH - Vogelbach
    3B - Bryant

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Should be a fun game. Daytona and Tennessee are now the teams to watch.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Skulina goes for KC and Maples for Boise as well. Should be a fun night down on the farm.

  • Wish I didn't have a prior engagement. Sounds like a lot of fun.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Too bad. I think you would have enjoyed it. It was fun last year and I expect the same this year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I just realized my prior arrangments are actually for Sunday the 25th. So I am free to go to the game on the 24th if you still have a ticket left.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I do. Glad you could make it! Email me your mailing address (it's in the About section at the main page menu) and I'll get that out to you this weekend.

  • Touki Toussaint has the added advantage of instantly having a top ten pro baseball name.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Some think that has just as much value as TWTW.

  • John, what is the timetable for Baez and Bryant to become
    regulars on the Cubs and at what positions?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Both tough questions. Both will be there by 2015 but Baez could get to Wrigley by midseason next year. He'll play winter ball to keep the development going and hit the ground running next year.

    As for position, that's tougher. If I had to bet, I'd say Bryant in the OF and Baez at 3B.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    One factor figures to be service time. For players with no service time, IIRC, waiting until Late April sets FA back a year, and waiting until June or July sets "super-2" eligibility back a year, thus saving a year of arb eligibility and a few million $ for a good player. Cubs watch these dates like every other club.

    If Baez and Bryant produce, they will get very expensive into FA years, so it behooves us to not rush them and allow the service clock to move back

  • John, it sounds like a terrific day on the 24th. Too bad I'm not there to enjoy it and meet up with the cast of Denizens. Maybe a road trip back home next year.

    BTW, I do appreciate the respectful and (mostly) informed postings on Cubs Den. I occasionally slum over at ESPN and MLB sites, and come back here grateful that we don't call the Cubs prez "Teo Eckstien", lament the tragic loss of Campana, and wish for guys like Burnitz to reincarnate, like some bozos do on those sites. Not to mention the slander and vitriol that they sling. It makes me want to take a shower after reading for five minutes.
    Onward and upward, Cubs Den, keep raising the standard high.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Haha! Thanks for the kind words Hubbs.

    There's always next year. Or maybe will try another kind of gathering at some point. I'm open to suggestions!

  • Hey, John, AWESOME article. I was glancing at the cubs schedule the rest of the way & noticed it'll be fairly difficult- especially considering the NL Central will have 3 teams battling for the division & wild card spots- while also seeing the dodgers, braves, nats -- we could conceivably drop a huge majority of our remaining games. I was curious what teams below us, record wise, you see improving enough to leap-frog us- thus giving us a better draft pick. I can see the brewers finishing with a better record & Houston being way too bad for us to "catch up". Any thoughts on this? It would be wonderful to get that #2 pick. What is so amazing about this rebuild is i still find myself truly enjoying watching the cubs- even when they can't score a run in 4 of 5 games. Overpaying for aged veterans who seemed somewhat lazy & didn't play fundamental ball was so aggravating to watch. These kids may be overmatched often and make rookie mistakes, but watching max effort & people hitting the cutoff man is quite refreshing. I digress... But thanks for all your hard work!

  • In reply to MikeyB:

    Thanks. I think there's a shot at #2 overall but I think #4 is realistic. It's a lot of games to make up vs. 2 teams who have little interest in winning -- even if they do win by accident. And unlikely two teams get hot as well. I'd say #1 is nearly impossible, #2 improbable, #3 some hope if one of the teams gets hot but #4 realistic and no worse than 10. That's a quick glance and I haven't analyzed remaining schedules or anything.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    If the Astros plan works here, there is going to be hell to pay.

    You slash payroll on the downside and make your money via revenue sharing, and then on the way up a plethora of #1 overall picks drives you to competitiveness and more revenue.

    It's really disgusting. Nice CBA, Jerry.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It is an unfortunate side effect. You never want to see teams tank that badly or not even put in an effort to be competitive. Part of me realizes they're just gaming a flawed system, yet part of me is hoping it doesn't work out for them. Houston is a big market with the resources to compete, but they game the system, don't make an effort and probably bring down the home attendance of anyone they play when they go on the road (unless it's Texas and Yu Darvish goes for another no-hitter). Some like what they're doing, but I'm not a huge fan of their strategy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    From an organizational building standpoint, I like what they're doing. Morally, it's kinda reprehensible. It would be nice if this crap wasn't implicitly rewarded with competitive balance picks and revenue sharing in excess of their payroll.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. How can you blame them for doing what they're doing given the constraints of the system that's in place? At the same time, it just doesn't doesn't sit well with me -- but it is the system that's the real issue here.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    To a certain extent, I respect what they're doing. I am okay with not trying to field a good team to get good picks. I mean, they didn't create this system.

    However, one could argue that their first wave is ready and they've been holding them back in AAA most of the year to avoid unnecessary wins.
    And at this point, there's certainly no point.

    But really, it's going to really start looking ugly if they do this next year.
    Springer, Singleton, Woj, and probably Appel will be ready next year. Maybe a few other guys as well, like Domingo Santana and Foltynewicz.

    They figured out how to game the system and built a monster. Good for them, I guess. But to keep holding back guys who are clearly ready is kinda detestable.

    I may WANT to the Cubs to lose for now, but only because the players on the field clearly aren't taking us anywhere..
    I honestly CAN'T WAIT to see a Wrigley with Baez at second, Olt at third, Almora at Center. Soler, Bryant, Alcantara, etc etc.

    I mean, I'm a proponent of not rushing guys, and a month ago I'd say NO WAY would Baz start next year at anywhere but Tennesse. But his stats seem to climb every single day. If it continues, how do you say he's not ready for Iowa? (and hey, maybe he'll level off or slump a bit to end the season).

    When this season started, we were so bottom heavy it seemed like it would be decades before we started seeing prospects graduate. But suddenly Baez and Soler should be in AA with an early reservation for triple-A. Bryant is in Daytona and could very well be on a fast-track (at least relative to our high school draftees).

    Alcantara and Szczur will certainly be in Iowa and have done everything that we've hoped for.

    And Theo&Jed certainly look forward to that as well.

    Houston, though seems like they're applying the E-brake to every prospect they have to keep tanking.

    The tanking to acquire elite prospects makes sense.
    But what's the sense in leaving said prospects stranded in leagues they're clearly far superior than.

    Hell even Correa! I realize he's SUPER-young but there's no reason for his to have spent the whole year in the same league. He's crushed from the word go and never really slumped.
    I realize we didn't promote Almora, but with the injuries, Correa has almost twice the games under his belt.

    I hope this comes back to bite them in the ass, when everyone is promoted at once and doesn't know what to do with themselves.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Spot on post. Pretty much agree with all your thoughts here.

  • fb_avatar

    This must be an exciting time for you, John. I mean, ever since Theo arrived on the scene and announced he was rebuilding the Cubs through the minor league system, right? Perfect for a guy who writes a blog on the Cubs minor league system. Kind of like you hit the lotto because I think this is all going to work out. I think the Cubs are going to be the talk of baseball come 2015. The insiders and people in the know will jump on the bandwagon after it is announced this winter that the Cubs have a top 3 minor league system. Then comes the call-ups of major talent followed by winning seasons followed by perennial playoffs, and then...wait for it...the Cubs first World Series Win in over a hundred years. If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been doing this? I'm hoping you are a long suffering Cubs fan who has been writing this excellent blog since way before Theo. I think soon your blog snippets will be appearing all over the web. Then your superb coverage will be copied by bloggers whose clubs also copy the Theo formula. Not that this is an original formula - but to get it to work this well...that's really something. I know I'm getting ahead of myself here, but this is all going to happen. I'm sure of it.

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    Thanks for these kind words. Much appreciated. It is right in my wheelhouse. I think it has already become a little more fashionable to follow prospects and the draft now, but we plan on continuing it taking it to the next level when it comes to quality analysis and first hand info.

    I started writing this blog in Hendry's last year but I've been following the minor leagues and prospects since the days of Karl Pagel and the draft since I was a kid -- in the days of Joe Carter and Shawon Dunston when they got drafted #2 and #1, respectively. I've always been both a writer and a baseball guy -- it just finally occurred to me to put the two together 3 years ago. In that short time we have built a nice following of knowledgeable fans, media, and baseball insiders. I'm both humbled and honored by it.

  • O/T but when will Jen-Ho Tseng and Jefferson Mejia report stateside? Since they're both 18yo, they can play professionally here, correct? Any chance we see them in Fall Instructs?

    The more I read up on Tseng, the more I like his repertoire. Seems advanced for his age and plus having played in the WBC, can't hurt.

  • O/T but when will Jen-Ho Tseng and Jefferson Mejia report stateside? Since they're both 18yo, they can play professionally here, correct? Any chance we see them in Fall Instructs?

    The more I read up on Tseng, the more I like his repertoire. Seems advanced for his age and plus having played in the WBC, can't hurt.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    They can both play. Mejia has already pitched 2 innings in the DSL and not sure there are plans to bring him here this season. I don't think so. Imagine Tseng won't see acton until instructs and then report to AZ or Boise next year.

  • Can't Jackson change his name to 'Desist.' Then we could have a battery of Cease and Desist! I'm sowwy!

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I just groaned :)

  • fb_avatar

    Another bad day for Olt. Ugh.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    He was a wait-and-see acquisition for me. So far, I'm still waiting and I don't like what I see...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Ironically, for a player like Olt with an eye disorder, it is literally "wait and see".

  • Baez with a double off of Zach Lee....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    We're you watching? Did Lee try to get a fastball by him?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, I'm watching it on MiLB. IDK for sure, I think was a 2-2 change-up. He turned on it and smoked a grounder between the 3B and the bag. 3B got his glove on it, but it was hit so hard, it still rolled to the fence.

    Unfortunately, his next AB 3-1 he swung at ball 4. ended up with a K. walked his next AB.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Saw the strikeout. It was a momentary re-appearance of the old Javy, but that's probably going to happen with him. So long as it's at a minimum, I'm cool with it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Baez just led off the 8th and took a 1-0 FB just over the CF fence...

    2-3 with 6 total bases and 1BB, 1K. Not a bad day....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    And his 4th PA is going into orbit around Jupiter. I do wonder what will happen when pitchers figure out he can hit any fastball they might throw. Adjustment time -- and force them to throw fastballs.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If he keeps taking pitches, they're going to have to throw fastballs -- that's why it's so important for him to wait for his pitch, more so than the walks themselves.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. It's way premature, but already looking forward to the Baez-Gray battles at Coors.

  • John, any chance that Carlos Rodon slips to the Cubs at 4 or 5? Alex Jackson seems intriguing if he can stay at catcher. Theo has always said that pitchers are the highest risk at the top of the draft.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    I would be shocked. It would have to take a bad year or an injury concern. Something similar to Manaea, though Rodon would not drop as far.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He wasn't as dominate this past season as his freshman season. I didn't know how much that would affect his draft status. Also there is always that player, such as Gray, that just shoots up the draft. So maybe the Cubs will get lucky and get the ace they really need.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    You never know what can happen but his stuff is so good I can't imagine him dropping too far.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Potentially a Mark Appel (2012) situation, but that doesn't help us. If the Astros pass on him to save money (yeah, I know, completely unlike them) and a Byron Buxton grabs #2 money, he may free-fall back to his Senior year.

    And then the Astros pick him up in 2015 for a song. Have I mentioned I'm a little bitter about this strategy?

  • fb_avatar

    Depressing article from Mooney, saying the Cubs are out on Abreu because of financial constraints.

    Really hate that the team has this little money. I blame Zell and the Trib for it -- definitely less on the Ricketts -- but it's still insane.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    3+
    333333333333333333

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My rottweiler just wrote this. Came over and plopped her head on my laptop keyboard so I would pet her head.

    Maybe she's trying to tell us something....any numerologists out there?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to +:

    Also changed your name to +. Bad dog!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Ha! Those gigantic Rottweiler heads can wreak all kinds of havoc. Looks like I fixed it, though.

  • In reply to +:

    3 years at $333,333,333,333,333,333 = Dodgers' budgets thru 2016?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Hmmm. She might be on to something. Who knew she was so good with numbers? I thought her brain function was divided into equal parts: food, sleep, toys, and her grand plans to invent a perpetual petting machine.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Don't forget barking randomly barking at a wall late at night and making you momentarily believe in ghosts....At least that's what every dog i've ever seen does lol

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Ha! I think in our case, the ghost is the mailman. She's usually a big old teddy bear but she has it out for him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Extension for Puig maybe?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Sounds about right, Marcel. Or John's dog is summoning Babe Ruth (#3).
    At any rate, now I know what number to pick for Powerball this Saturday.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Haha!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to +:

    Seems appropriate

    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/250x250/38336160.jpg

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    LOL!!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sam Zell continues to screw over this team 5+ years after he's gone. If that ain't leaving a legacy I don't know what is.

  • fb_avatar

    Hi John ,I really am enjoying your site,especially the minor league updates and analysis.I have heard nothing about 3 guys who intrigue me. Bruno,Henneman,and Vizcaino. I am sure I heard something about Bruno needing surgery but do not know the details.Also when do we get the other player(s) from Texas in the garza deal? PS Sign Abreu and trade Rizzo and his ratty 230 average.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Yes trade Rizzo along with Castro so that the Cubs never start winning. You can't just keep trading players to trade players.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joshnk24:

    Josh, Do you really believe that Rizzo is the answer at first? His defense from recent reports has not been very good either . Castro has proven to be a good hitter when left alone. As far as never winning? Please ...I have been a fan since 68 and I want to win in my lifetime but getting rid of an average First baseman is not going to make a huge difference unless he is replaced by ABREU.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Defensive metrics suggest he's been about the same at 1B. In fact, offensive production isn't that far off either. Walks and increased double power have made up for low batting average. Cubs aren't going to change anything at 1B.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Not all reports on Abreu are great and there are some who believe he won't succeed in the majors. Thus you are giving up a promising, though not yet dominating, 23 year old at a good price for a 26 year old who might be good but we don't really know at an exorbitant price. Meanwhile you trade Rizzo at his lowest point, so get less value in return.

    All this extra spending will, possibly, get us into 4th place next year. Doesn't seem wise to me.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Bruno had TJ surgery, out for a year.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Thanks IronMan! All 3 guys are injured. Vizcaino will play in the fall league. Bruno had Tommy John surgery and Hanneman tweaked a hammy, I believe.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Ironman, the Abreu/Rizzo switcheroo was a bad idea yesterday when you first posted it. It hasn't changed.
    No one has seen enough of Abreu against real competition to throw tens of millions at him.... no one with more sense than money anyways. He is reportedly going to have tryouts and workouts if/when he gets his visa.
    Just because a guy had some success in Cuba doesn't mean he's automatically a HOFer here.
    P.s. Rizzo is more valuable anyway and will be a cornerstone for years in Chicago.

  • Dunston is back in the lineup for Boise.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Woohoo! He actually tweeted something about it this morning. I wish he could have stayed healthy, maybe could have been at Kane by now.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Eldrad:

    Dillon Maples dominating yet another Northwest League team. Where has this guy been for the last 2 years?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Injured unfortunately. Always had great stuff. Amazed me how he could pretty much short-arm the ball with bad mechanics and still hit high 90's consistently. His delivery used to make my arm hurt but I think it's been toned down since he was drafted. More traditional.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Was told they had him scrap the change-up and told him not to worry about hitting spots and trying to set up hitters, just be aggressive and go right after them. He's been lights out since then.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Money or not, it's so nice to have faith in the development process.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. He has plenty of time to master a change. Right now his top two pitches are so good they should get hitters out until about AA ball. Let him throw and let him develop -- wouldn't surprise me to see him continue to improve that command. And if he doesn't every master a change or develop pinpoint command, he can still make a heck of a late inning reliever doing what he does now.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    9 strikeouts, 1 hit, 2 walks, and a hit batter through 5 innings.

    We drafted Nuke LaLoosh.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He's making a mockery of this league right now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    any insight about the lingerie he's wearing?...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Maples is seeing out of his 3rd eye and breathing through his eyelids.

  • I heard Trey McNutt injured again... Anyone know how serious it is?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    No. Just that they "found something" in his latest exam. I'm sure he's shut down for the season but I don't know after that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This sucks. I guess this was a wasted year for him anyways. I remember thinking if he could put together a decent year, maybe trying to stretch him out again for a SP role in 2014... lol Now I just wonder if they'll even bother protecting him on the rule 5 draft.

  • John, how many points would you add to Rizzo and Castro's BA if there were better protection?

  • In reply to cubsdude74:

    The jury is still out on whether lineup protection makes a difference. Most new school statisticians don't believe it makes a difference. I think Rizzo really needs to stop hitting so many flyballs and Castro just needs to get back into his more comfortable, instinctual approach. I think, or maybe hope, both will be fine next year.

  • Javier's progression through the minor league system is something special. Really fun to follow here.

  • Another absolutely fabulous article, John. In my 50+ years of being a diehard Cubs fan, never have I been so informed on the prospects and the drafts. If there's another blog out there that is anywhere near as good as this one, I'd have to see it. Thanks for all you do.

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