Early game today (11:35 CT), so let's get a few links in for now and we'll get to the Cubs OF depth chart later tonight.
News and Notes
- Patrick Mooney writes that ex-Cub Sean Marshall thinks the Cubs are headed in the right direction and he believes the front office will build a winner someday. He was impressed with some of the skills of the new Cubs players.
- Mooney also talked to Jed Hoyer about Javier Baez and as we already know, the plan is for Baez to go to AAA. “Listen, he’s really talented,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I still think he has development left. We’re going to go into spring training with that mindset... It’s as good a minor-league season as I’ve seen. He’s got some things he needs to work on (and) there’s going to be guys that miss and maturity is a big part of it. But there’s no reason to believe (it’s a fluke). Guys that do that at his age normally go on to have really good careers. He’s not ready yet either. But what he did was pretty special.” Hoyer was referring to Baez's slugging numbers at that age (20) and level (AA). It's rare and the list of players who have done that is pretty impressive. Their are also cost-control reasons to wait on Baez but I honestly believe they do think Baez needs some more development. I'd like to see him gets some ABs in AAA where there are more veteran pitchers who know how to set up hitters.
- Speaking of Baez, Professor Parks was waxing poetic about him and other prospects going to the AFL this October. He writes about all 4 Cubs top prospects (Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant) headed to AZ and though it's just for fun, it's pretty easy to see he's excited about all 4 of them.
- Gordon Wittenmeyer has a nice article on C.J. Edwards and how the Cubs brass has been very impressed. Jed Hoyer and Kerry Wood, who went to see an Edwards start, described his velocity as "easy". Cubs scouting executive opines that Edwards would have had a chance to go in the first round had he not had such a late start and had been seen more by scouts. As far as Edwards goes, he was shocked he went in the 48th round but says, “I just wanted an opportunity, man. If I can get the opportunity, I can make things happen.” He's very driven according to his manager Dave Keller, "“He is extremely driven. You can tell he doesn’t just want to be a pitcher in the big leagues. He wants to be somebody who makes a difference.”
- The Cubs will go with a 6 man rotation in order to get Scott Baker a couple of more starts. Baker looked promising and even hit 90 mph several times, so concerns about his velocity were abated a bit and it appears the Cubs are going to give themselves a long look. It's just temporary, however, and Baker will get 2 more starts, the last one being on September 20th, before the Cubs return to their regular rotation.
- Our friends at Big League Futures have an early look at their top 50 players for next years draft. 4 of their top 5 are pitchers including consensus top pick LHP Carlos Rodon at the top, followed fast rising RHP Jeff Hoffman, prep flame-thrower Tyler Kokek, and FSU righty Luke Weaver. NC State SS Trea Turner is the only non pitcher in the top 5.
- Castro SS
- Valbuena 3B
- Rizzo 1B
- Schierholtz RF
- Bogusevic LF
- Lake CF
- Castillo C
- Barney 2B
- Samardzija P
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