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Cubs Minors Recap: Candelario HRs; Concepcion takes the mound again

Cubs Minors Recap: Candelario HRs; Concepcion takes the mound again
Jeimer Candelario

I had a fun Twitter conversation with @smokiesonradio (smokiesonradio.com).  You should check out their website and follow them if you're on Twitter.  They do an excellent job of covering their team -- especially the players, which is what most of us are really interested to know.

Anyway, we talked about Javier Baez and how he's been going the opposite way a lot lately and I've noted he's done that in the past when he's going well -- even when he was playing in Peoria.  We also talked about what a show he puts on in BP, to which they said they pull up a lawn chair to watch -- and listen -- Javy hit.  They also noted that it seems more and more players from opposing teams seem to linger around the cage when it's Javy's turn to swing.

Not a big night of action with Daytona raining out for the 18th time this season (there were 16 last year).  But it's been an unusual amount of rain the past two years.  2010 and 2011 had 15 rainouts combined.

The recap, fortunately, never rains out.

Tacoma 6 - Iowa 5

  • Justin Grimm got knocked around early but fell victim to the BABIP bug as he allowed a few soft grounders up the middle, one of which he got his glove on but couldn't make the play.  He allowed 7 singles and all 5 runs in the first 2 innings.  After that he pitched 4 innings of one hit ball.  He also had a great walk to K ratio today, walking one batter and striking out 8.  It was one of those games that was great for the FIP, not so much for the ERA but there did seem to be a change in Grimm's approach as he got more aggressive as the game went on and often had Tacoma hitters back on their heels.  A better outing than the numbers indicated.
  • Casey Coleman came on and pitched 2 scoreless innings, got the first out in the 9th, and then gave up a walk-off HR to send the Tacoma fans happy.  Coleman is now 2-3 with a 3.32 ERA on the season.
  • Veteran Darnell McDonald had himself a huge day with 4 hits, including a double, and his 3rd HR.  It's been a tough year for McDonald, who likely would have had an opportunity with the big club had he not struggled at AAA.  He's hitting .233.
  • Another veteran, 1B Brad Nelson, also HR'd.  His 16th of the year.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha doubled and then came around to score when he took 3rd on a sac fly and the outfielder's short-hop throw got away from the 3B,  He also walked.  Ha has worked his way back up to a .252 average, though the OBP and slugging still need some work.
  • It's a temporary move but Daniel Lockhart has made a nice impression over at Iowa with his second straight 2-hit day.  Doesn't have any power right now but he has a nice approach, is a aggressive in the zone, and makes solid contact.  Would like to see him go to Kane County but it's tough to get playing time in that prospect-laden infield, so he may just head back to Boise again.

Jacksonville 6 - Tennesseee 4 

  • Matt Loosen got his second start since his most recent promotion to AA.   There's a nice article here on it by SmokiesonRadio about how Loosen's improved command resulted in his return to Tennessee. He had his good velo (in the 92 mph range) but the command left him.  He had some trouble locating, once again leaving some pitches up and allowing a couple of long balls.   He has allowed a whopping 14 HRs in 43.1 AA innings.  He's also walked 33.  There's no doubt Loosen's stuff is good enough to pitch at this level, but he needs to command it as well as he did at Daytona to have success.  In all, he allowed 5 runs in his 3 innings of work with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.
  • LHP Hunter Cervenka continues to pitch well at the AA level, going 2 scoreless innings.  He has a 3.86 ERA in 31.1 innings but he has walked 16 (4.59/ 9 IP) and struck out 24 (6.89/9 IP).  That ratio isn't really ideal and it's something Cervenka will have to work on if he wants to make the bigs.  His stuff (91-93 mph with good movement, slider) is MLB quality.  One thing Cervenka has done well in his career is keep the ball in the park with that heavy fastball, allowing just one HR all year, which helped him come into the game with a very solid 3.60 FIP.
  • 5'10" RHP Dayan Diaz was at about 94 mph today and also showed a big breaking curve.  He gave up a solo HR while walking one and striking out 2 in 1.2 innings.
  • It was 4 up and 4 down for hard-throwing Tony Zych, who lowered his ERA to 2.74 on the year.  Like Cervenka, the results are pretty close with the peripherals (6.65 Ks/9IP and 3.38 walks/9IP). He has also a very good FIP of 3.57.
  • John Andreoli just keeps hitting and a double and two singles put him at .301/.374/.439.  It's early but the most impressive step Andreoli has taken at Tennessee is with his extra base power.   The slugging percentage is a career high, as is the .138 ISO.  He also drove in 2 runs and stole his 9th base.
  • In case you're wondering, Arismendy Alcantara got the day off (though he did get an AB in the 9th).  He's just 2 for his last 20 and may well need a break.  Alcantara, who has been injury prone and has not played a full season, already has a career high in games at 110.  It's the first time he's played more than 100 games, so perhaps some fatigue is setting in and he just needs a day off.
  • Javier Baez had a nice start at the plate, taking a pitch on the outside corner and ripping it into the RF-CF in his first AB, then had a nice AB with a man on 3rd and one out.  Marlins prospect Justin Nicolino tried to get him to chase with some borderline pitches but instead of getting himself out in an eager attempt to drive in the run, Baez took the walk.  It's yet another reason to be encouraged by Baez's growing maturity at the plate.  Baez also singled and stole his 4th base.  Baez is hitting .252/.317/.591 and has an 8.7% walk rate in his 126 AA plate appearances.  That would be above average at the MLB level.  His walk rate for the season is 7%, which is still a solid number, slightly below average but acceptable given the rest of his game.  If Baez still has an issue, its that contact rate, which is nearly one K for every 3 PAs, but he doesn't have an issue with his swing, so the hope is that better pitch selection can help him improve on that.
  • Rubi Silva entered the game late and went 2 for 2 to raise his line to .284/.303/.487.

Clinton 12 - Kane County 4

  • It seems that the pitching is beginning to wear down late in the Kane County season, perhaps understandable because it is the first full season league.  Felix Pena was an all-star but he got hit hard again to the tune of 10 hits and 8 runs in 6 innings.  Pena was 2-1 with a 2.89 at the break and 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA since.  The walks/strikeouts are similar, but Pena has just been hit much harder.
  • LHP Nathan Dorris, who has been steady in relief all year, didn't fare much better.  In 2 innings he walked 3 and allowed 3 hits, resulting in 4 more runs.  Dorris has a 3.42 ERA, but like Pena, he has struggled since being named to the all-start team (2.79  ERA before break, 4.29 since).
  • The Cougars managed just 4 hits, though they did manage to squeeze out 4 runs.  The big hit was the 8th HR of the year from 19 year old 3B Jeimer Candelario.  Really would like to see the kid finish strong as it seems he's beginning to settle in a little.  His line is now at .253/.338/.388.  The average may be down this year but Candelario has set career highs in walks, doubles, HRs, and has improved his ISO% over last season.

AZ Cubs

  • LHP Gerardo Concepcion mostly pitched at 86-87 but did reach 91 (h/t @ericlpauly).  His control was off, however.  He walked 4 batters in 1.2 innings and allowed one unearned run.  I think he'll improve his command as he gets work, but the question for is whether Concepcion can improve his stuff.  It's been fringe average so far but the hope is it will improve as he gains strength and regains that feel for pitching that was one of his strengths when the Cubs signed him.
  • LHP Carlos A. Rodriguez bounced back with his second straight strong outing after allowing 15 runs over his previous 3.1 innings.  That's not a typo.  Take those two outings away and the 18 year old has a 2.93 ERA away. With them the ERA is 8.71.  Rodriguez has great command and feel for a pitcher so young, so it was good to see him walk one and strike out 5 in his last 4 innings.
  • The AZ Cubs aren't a great offensive team.  For once, most of the Cubs top prospects are at the upper levels but there are some interesting, sleeper type players.  Numbers aren't overly important at this level, so it's hard to evaluate these players without getting the chance to see them night in and night out.  One interesting guy is 18 year old Charcer Burks, who wasn't really on anyone's radar until late in the draft evaluation process, then managed to not just sneak into the top 10 rounds, but get an overslot bonus to boot.  Burks is beginning to hit the ball better after a slow start and a 2 for 5 day  left him at .273 for the season, though it hasn't come with any power (1 double).  Burks has a decent approach, however, having walked 5 times in 60 PAs.
  • 19 year old CF Jeffrey Baez is another athletic player with some speed (15 SBs in 18 attempts) and a very good approach at the plate (10% walk rate).  He singled and walked today and scored a run.
  • 3B Jesse Hodges doesn't have the athletic ability or build that Burks or Baez have.  He's not going to steal bases or win a gold glove, but he was brought in to hit.  So far the undrafted FA has struggled to do that (.221/.274/.308 coming into the game) but he singled and walked twice today.
  • 1B Kelvin Freeman has been the team's most consistent hitter for average but his size (6'4", 245 lbs) and position (1B) suggest he needs to hit for more power to have value.  Again, this is early on in the process so we're not gong to worry about stats at the complex level.  Right now, Freeman has proven to be a productive hitter and perhaps that power will come later.  He was 1 for 3 with a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored.
  • 2B Mark Malave may be the most interesting prospect as the last bonus baby signed by the Hendry administration.  But before you roll your eyes, you should know that Malave was the 7th rated prospect that year and was pursued by a couple of teams with a strong track record for scouting.  Malave is an advanced hitter who was often the youngest player in the various leagues he played in as an amateur in Venezuela.  Malave is a naturally strong kid and the teams who like him think that can translate to some power down the road.  Right now, Malave is just holding his own as an 18 year old in AZ, hitting .261 after a 1 for 3 day.  He has a good approach -- 11 walks in 77 PAs (14.3% walk rate, .364 OBP entering the game).  The biggest questions are his ultimate defensive position and whether he can use his natural strength and translate that to game power.
  • Like Burks, Garrett Schlecht is an athletic OF'er with a solid approach who was selected in the 9th round and given an overslot bonus.  Schlecht has yet to put up the kind of numbers he wants but he's still just 20 years old, so there's time.  He went 1 for 4 with an RBI and is hitting .200 on the year.
  • SS Francisco Sanchez was signed in the same IFA class as Jeffrey Baez and was given a similar bonus in the 350K range.   Sanchez hasn't had nearly the same kind of success that Baez has so far, but Sanchez has some intriguing pop for a  SS.  He singled and doubled and drove in a run.  He's slugging .404 despite a .221 average.  His approach is overly aggressive and he's very raw, but there appears to be some bat speed there.

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  • Scouting was never an issue with the Hendry regime, IMO. Falling victim to targeting players and development was. Vitters was highly rated before the '07 draft, and in '03, Hendry did draft (but failed to sign) Tim Lincecum in something like the 48th round.

    People can complain about Hayden Simpson, and everyone knew it was a reach at the time, but that's because the Cubs were targeting Chris Sale hard. That pick has worked out pretty well on the wrong side of town.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    The thing I don't like about that is that Sale didn't really have much of a chance of making it to them. Should have had a better plan B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I dislike the concept of targeting players, too. Still, he came within three picks. There should have been a better second option, but that was the Hendry plan.

    Of course, it'd have been interesting to see where the farm would be had Trader Jim been given the draft budget he had in 2011.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I'm sure they had better info on Sale's stock then I did. I was actually surprised at the time that he lasted as long as he did. But totally agree it would have been nice to see what they would have done with a real draft budget. Hendry, Wilken, etc. are good scouts but their hands were tied.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Not having a backup plan is pretty inexcusable at that level.

    Especially in a draft that brought Taijuan Walker, Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Anthony Ranaudo, Biddle, Zach Lee, and our very own Mike Olt.

    That's a REALLY loaded draft to be lowing a pick on Simpson.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I remember seeing Taijuan Walker at Kane County and being absolutely blown away. Knew right then and there the kid was a stud.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    They had a backup plan. It just wasn't a very good one, in my opinion. At the time, the draft was considered a weak one and in hindsight it looks like the Cubs passed up some can't miss guys, but the reality is that nobody on that list was considered as good back then as they are right now except for maybe Ranaudo and Lee, who were signability issues -- and we know now the Cubs hands were tied by ownership in those situations. Spending $33M on Milton Bradley was okay, spending an extra million to sign Ranaudo or Lee was a no-no. Makes no sense, but that's what happens when ownership gets too involved in baseball operations.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I think you nailed JH tenure, I believe Oneri Fieita (who was highly regarded) really failed JH and the Cubs when it came to development and JH stuck with him too long.
    As far as Simpson, If I remember correctly he was the plan B and Tim Wilkin was very high on him and pushed hard to draft him.
    Fortunately OF and TW are long gone, Oh wait....

  • In reply to Rock:

    Hate to disappoint you but Tim Wilken is still with the FO. He is a special assistant to both Theo and Jed.

    Not one person here can make a qualified opinion on whether Hayden Simpson was a good pick, unless that is you like to hang around small colleges in Arkansas. None of us ever got to see the Simpson that Wilken and the scouting staff saw prior to the draft. Simpson never got a chance to show that as a professional. He got really sick, then got hurt, and was never the same. Think of it as him getting hit by a bus, and then by a car just for good measure. It was shitty luck for him and the Cubs.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    True. He was never really healthy with the Cubs and never came really close to regaining his arm strength or his command.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    True. He was never really healthy with the Cubs and never came really close to regaining his arm strength or his command.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I am well aware that TW is still with the Cubs, I just don't think he should be.
    When the Cubs did draft him experts consensus was that he was not first round talent, quite a reach.

  • In reply to Rock:

    Wilken is a heck of a scout who turned out numerous pro players. In fact, he spearheaded drafts in which he had some crazy number of consecutive 1st rounders make the MLB -- back to the days of Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells up until Hayden Simpson ended his streak.

    I've had the chance to talk to Wilken and he can still drop the knowledge. I think I learned more from him in 15 minutes than anyone else I've ever spoken with. He knows the game -- and I'm glad he's back in a role where he can scout and not worry about how much money ownership will give him to get the guys he wants. We saw what Wilken could do in 2011 when he drafted Baez, Vogelbach, Dunston, Maples, Zeke DeVoss, Tony Zych, Trey Martin, Tayler Scott, Rock Shoulders, etc. All of those guys are prospects, 2 are top 10 and at least 4 of them are top 30 guys.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    2011 is what we should have been doing for a decade. No has mentioned what, to me, is the most egregiously bad pass in 2010, based entirely on money: Nick Castellanos.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's a good one too. He was another signability guy that the Cubs passed on. Ohhh...if only Ricketts were here sooner. No matter what people think of him, he does value the draft and IFA market.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    IIRC, he was in charge in 2010, but was still getting his bearings. By the time he'd made up his mind to give Tim Wilken a blank check, there was only one draft left to take advantage of it. (I don't really blame Ricketts here -- his dad is a very smart businessman, and he didn't come in and change everything for the sake of changing things. He took his time, learned the organization, and figured out how he wanted to proceed -- but that cost us a draft in the process.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Exactly. Ricketts was still taking more time on the business end and didn't want to make any changes to the plan until things were settled and he had a chance to sit down and assess. In retrospect he'd probably change that if he could.

  • In reply to Rock:

    These so-called "experts" also questioned some of this regimes picks. In fact, they called Rob Zastryzny a reach and described him as a soft tossing lefty.... But we had scouts who had actually scouted him and had him at 94mph on the gun... These draft "experts" don't know everything like they would like us to believe. They're opinions mean very little to me.

    Wilken & Hendry both were great talent evaluators. But not everyone (including this Regime) will be right 100% of the time.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    To be fair to the experts, the reports I've seen on Zastryzny so far have him in the upper-80s, low 90s. Not exactly a 2nd round pick.

  • Here's my top 30 I put together do it every year put first time I share it.
    1. Baez
    2.almora
    3. Soler
    4. Bryant
    5. Olt
    6. Alcantara
    7. Edwards
    8. Johnson
    9. Vogelbosh
    10. Blackburn
    11. Vizcaino
    12. Candelario
    13. Zastryzny
    14. Paniagua
    15. Cabrera
    16. Masek
    17. Underwood
    18. Amaya
    19. Skulina
    20. Villanueva
    21. Hernandez
    22. Frazier
    23. Pineyro
    24. Hendricks
    25. Dunston
    26. Puglise
    27. Szczur
    28. Wagner
    29. Rademacher
    30. Hannemann
    There is so many prospects too put on the bottom half hope you like it but those are mine and by the end of the year it'll change have fun with it

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    I think you are low on Amaya and a little high on the arms from this year's draft. Most of those arms project as relievers and the Cubs have other relievers like Rivero, Zych, Rosscup that have just as good of upside and are a lot closer to the majors. Also, Rademacher while not a non zero prospect is basically a corner OF without power so his upside is very limited, and shouldn't sniff a top 30.

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    The interesting note is that basically half or probably even over half that list as come from the new front office. The great news is that we will definitely see some of those guys make the majors and stick. We all dream about the all homegrown team of all stars that will never happen, but to have a deep farm will help in so many ways. Just want to keep seeing everyone progress in one way or another.

  • In reply to dakota cubs fan:

    Does your list have room for J. Lake since he still is a prospect?

  • Living in Orlando, Florida I know how impossible it is for Daytona to get a game in during late July/August. You can pretty much count on it raining in the afternoon for 4-5 days a week. If they could start games earlier, say around 11 in the morning, they could probably dodge the afternoon storms. The storms usually stop around 5, but lots of times (like yesterday) the field is just too soggy, resulting in yet another rainout

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    Domes! The Marlins bilked the city of Miami into building them one. Maybe the Cubs and the all of the teams that hold their spring training in Florida should threaten to move to Arizona unless this little cities build half a billion dollar stadiums for them :)

  • In reply to mjvz:

    haha definitely!

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    The problem is the drainage at the Jack. I live in Jax most of the year and we get pretty much the same weather as Daytona. Heck the other 11 teams in the FSL have to deal with the afternoon thunderstorm in FL.. yest TEN/JAX was able to play and most of the FSL was too.

    It rained yesterday afternoon hours before the game. Either the field wasn't covered or it doesn't drain properly...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yeah, Daytona needs to get that fixed

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Seriously. My parents live a couple hours away from Daytona and most of the "storms" are more like liquid sunshine. They are quick, and with the heat things dry up rapidly. They just need to upgrade the Daytona Cubs' facility.

    The Cubs say they are looking for new revenue streams. They should by a minority stake in the Daytona organization, or even a majority stake (51%+) if they want to fully run things, but either way they could setup a long lasting relationship with a minor league club, and the money could be used to upgrade the facilities, marketing, training complex, etc, etc.

    If the organization is really focusing on building from within. They should seriously consider this. It would also probably cost a lot less than the $300+ million they are spending in AZ.

  • Good for Lockhart. Gioskar Amaya received a similar opportunity last season when he jumped to Iowa on an emergency basis. He got 1 PH appearance and hit a double.

  • Any more news about Almora?

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    No, sounds like he's day to day.

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    In reply to jorel1114:

    Looks like he'll be out for a few games with a hip flexor injury.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Thanks for the update.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Hoping to see him at Kane County one last time this upcoming Sunday.

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    I really like Baez, but I don't know if "patience" is much of a virtue or not in our always changing game.

    Many of the guys who draw high walks are pitched around. Or, many suffer a low batting average, or slugging percentage, because they are giving up so many pitches to the pitcher. (Is that why strikeouts are up?)

    Walks are nice, but I think they have to be player dependent. Darwin Barney, for instance, is a guy I would probably not have swing until he has a strike or two, depending on the situation. He is a guy you would like to work the count maybe.

    Javier Baez? I'm not so sure. I want his "pitch recognition" to be good. If it leads to walks, so be it. But, if it's in the middle of the zone...........

  • In reply to Johnny Ringo:

    I agree. I don't think we want Baez to get passive out there but I can't ever see that happening. What he did yesterday, however, is exactly what you want to see. The pitcher was trying to make him chase pitches and get himself out in an RBI situation. I think they anticipted him to be eager and ready to swing at anything close, but Baez was disciplined and took the walk rather than swing at a bad pitch, get himself out, and stunt the rally.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He was like that the entire series @ JAX....

  • As you pointed out, Baez's K rate is a problem. His success in the major has the potential to be really stunted if he continues having contact problems. A strikeout machine like Mark Reynolds peaked with a K rate of 29% at AA. 32.5% for Baez is astronomical but luckily he's only 20 and has time to fix that. Hopefully as his pitch recognition gets better that rate will go down. Is their precedent for a player drastically lowering his K rate as he advances through the system?

  • In reply to Ike03:

    It depends on why you are having a high strikeout rate. If you are Mark Reynolds or Brett Jackson and you have a flaw in your swing, then it's not likely very fixable. If you are Baez and you've compiled strikeouts because a) you swing way too hard at times b) you swing at too many pitches outside of the zone and c) you are about 3-4 years younger than your competition, 4) have never really hada strikeout issue in your career before a small current sample size,. then you have a much better shot.

    You're talking about his performance in AA only. Baez was never a big strikeout guy before this stint. Reynolds and Jackson always had that issue.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, do you have any data that tells you how many pitches Javier is seeing per AB? I talked with his old HS coach at the game the other night and he indicated that was one big change with him... "He's seeing lots of pitches"...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Baez is seeing nearly 4 pitches per PA at Tennessee (3.93). Valbuena is at 4.20 as tops in the organization. Schierholtz is at 3.98, David DeJesus is at 3.86 for reference. Interestingly Starlin Castro is at 3.91 -- apparently he's seeing a lot more pitches too.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, any batter can see 3 pitches per at-bat...

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Haha! Very true. We can all do that here, but most of use will probably hit .000 with a 100% K rate doing it ;) Anything around 4 is generally pretty good.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    The other thing to keep in mind, if they throw him a grapefruit down the heart of the plate, do you want him taking it or do you want him to launch into the next county and drop his avg pitches per PA?

    John, do you know how many he was averaging earlier in his career? i.e., is he seeing more pitches?

    If his BB's, OBP, HR's, SLG%, etc are up to match the increase in pitches per PA, then I'd say he's successful - even if his K's are also up.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I want him to launch grapefruits.

    Unfortunately, I don't have his P/PA from last year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Mark Reynolds went 22.4% (A+), 29.1%/20.6% (AA) and then went to the Diamondbacks. Javy has gone 20.4% (A), 24.4%/23.1% (A+), 32.5% (AA). Its a little alarming that he keeps striking out more the higher he moves in level. I understand that its a smallish sample size so far this year in AA, but its starting to look like a trend.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    The context here is that Reynolds struck out 22.4% in A ball as a 22 year old was in AA as a 23/24 year old and struck out about 25% of the time. We were talking about a polished college player at the time with a flawed swing who got away with it against lesser competition. This is not an equal comparison. Reynolds is closer to Bryant in terms of the level he came in coming into pro ball.

    At Baez's age, Reynolds was playing college ball. At an age about 4 months older than Baez, Reynolds was striking out 23.4% of the time in short-season ball. How do you think Baez would be doing at Boise right now?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Baez also struggled at first, and has been improving quickly at Tenn:

    First 76 PA's:
    5% Walk Rate (4 BB's)
    35% K Rate (27 K's)

    Next 50 PA's:
    14% Walk Rate (7 BB's)
    28% K Rate (14 K's)

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Good point. I think those Ks will continue to go down as his approach improves. Can live with 25% with him. Easy. And can probably live with more than that if he produces.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It still bears monitoring, but it does look good, considering he's only 20

    If his approach improves, the conversation will shift from "will he hit", to "where is he going to play?" Thankfullly, Cubs don't have a logjam of young hitters at ML level yet, so plenty of options, but if he can handle it, we need to maximize his position value by playing him at SS, 2B, or 3B.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yes...That will be the next step. Okay, we've got something pretty special on our hands, so when, where, and how do we get him into the lineup. Baez is such a tremendous asset if he does develop because he's athletic, instinctual so he can move to just about any position if necessary and the bat will play anywhere.

  • Since Jim Weihofen brought up the name, I am beginning to think that Concepcion is going to be the Cuban Hayden Simpson. Really hope I'm wrong, but the Cubs paid quite a bit of money for somebody who struggles with control and throws 86-87.....

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Only difference is, the Cubs spent a 1st round pick on Hayden, purchasing Concepcion didn't cost them anything other than a little bit of cash. No different then signing a free agent that didn't work out

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Ike03 - $6M / yr for 5 years is more than a bit of cash, but do agree about the importance of a 1st round pick. Don't think the signing is fatal, but it is quite a bit of money for someone struggling to hit 91 on the gun......

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    It was $6 mil total. $3 mil signing bonus then $3 mil over the last 5 years. Thats nothing to a MLB team.

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    Speaking of Hayden Simpson and the 2010 draft, though generally they say you can't fully assess a draft until 6 years out, I think it's safe to call 2010 a complete Cubs bust. The only ranked prospect left from that draft for us is 5th rounder Matt Szczur. There's nobody else who has even a remote chance of sniffing the majors, unless you really like Dustin Geiger.

    Bad!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yeah...Szczur is the one spot where the Cubs were allowed to spend a little -- or at least that's how they worked with what was then a very small budget.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Haven't completely given up on Golden, but your point is solid.

    It's another sign of just how much work Theo had to do -- when you essentially sit out a draft, that's going to have a terrible impact on the talent coming through the system.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    2005 is probably the all-time Cubs worst. Not a single ML game played for Cubs by any player. Only players to make majors are Donnie Veal, and some guy who got 10 ABs. Mark Pawelek was our first-rounder in that stinker.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    The same Mark Pawelek who was paid a dollar for each strike he threw and then tripped over an X-Box and hurt his shoulder. I believe that was the year I was pining for Ellsbury, if I'm not mistaken.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for picking at that scab on Pawelek again! Let's not speak of him again

    Picking Ellsbury would probably have been a little better

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Hard to do worse than the Cubs 1967 draft.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?team_ID=CHC&year_ID=1967&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

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    In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Good one, but I think 2005 wins. 1967 draft had at least 3 ML players, even though they were'nt good. 2005 had only 2, and Donnie Veal was the "best" one......

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Wilken was brought in January 2006 -- probably coincidence, but nice to imagine when they saw the crap they'd picked hit Arizona, fixing the amateur scouting became urgent.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Dustin Geiger is a legitimate prospect.

  • If he doesn't work out as a SP, how about moving Concepcion to a different position?

  • In reply to Buzz:

    I don't know if he's able to play anywhere else -- or more importantly, hit.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope he saved most of that 6mil. Looking like he's gonna need to make it last awhile.

  • Was at the game in Clinton last night, Candelerio has a fluid swing, smooth at 3rd and just missed a 2nd homer by a few ft.

    Amaya had a bad error and didn't do much at the plate, Pena just didn't have it and Dorris couldn't find the plate for his first inning.

    Great time for the boys and I, and only 80 minutes away, on the bright side bought a couple game used broken bats for $15 as a souvenir

  • In reply to Jilogethan4:

    Thanks for the update and observations!

  • What are the chances that Tennessee uses a Daytona pitcher to fill Hendrick's slot tonight, instead of letting SPs sit around and get no work in during the monsoon season?

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Hmmm.. interesting, but not sure who'd be ready. The Cubs are probably okay that it naturally is cutting down the innings of Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards (both of whom haven't been to Daytona long), and maybe even Ben Wells, who is coming off an injury shortened season. Ivan Pineyro may be polished enough to handle it. He's kind of like Hendricks light.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's a good point on Daytona.....we don't really have top hitting prospects there, and the top pitchers, most of them are probably on "watch" for innings limits anyway, like Pierce Johnson. So all the rain I don't think is hurting us that much in development time.

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