Let's start the day with a couple of scouting reports, one on rumored Cubs interest Suk-Min Yoon. Once again, it doesn't fire up the imagination. The next on one on Trea Turner, however, does...
From an industry source,
Yoon is not Ryu obviously. He was primarily a starter in Korea, but he was always wearing down and having to be moved to the bullpen through his entire KBO career. I really don't know how things end up in the US. Fastball is 90-91. Good slider when he's on, but hasn't been on for a couple years. Also has a change and curveball.
For more info on Yoon, here's a handy Stat sheet from Dan of MyKBO, an excellent website to follow Korean baseball players.
I haven't personally been able to confirm the Cubs interest in Yoon, though the age range makes sense. It's worth noting, however, that Scott Boras represents Yoon and he seems to have a habit of linking the Cubs to his clients. If there is interest, the projection based on information I have is that he'd be a relief pitcher in the U.S.
Speaking of the Boras connection, Jon Heyman links the Cubs to Jacoby Ellsbury. But maybe this isn't necessarily the Boras PR machine at work. It is entirely possible that the Cubs will gauge Ellsbury's interest in coming to Chicago. There are plenty of things that make him a fit. He's lefty, he gets on base, he runs the bases well, and he's a middle of the field defender. That's significant in the NL because as players age they can move to a corner position. In this case Ellsbury can move to LF when Almora is ready. Normally LF is a position you reserve for power hitters but lack of power doesn't figure to be an issue if things go according to plan for the Cubs. What's more, Ellsbury has some pop and can make the adjustment and hit for more power if the situation calls for it down the road. Speed players tend to retain their value longer, largely because they are athletic players who can make these kind of adjustments.
Sahadev Sharma writes a nice article about Mike Borzello's work with Welington Castillo. Castillo became a defensive stalwart behind the plate and Borzello is getting much of the credit. Welly also improved on offense as the year went on. There is some talk he could become one of the Cubs core players as he is just 26, but with the best in-prime free agents being LH hitting catchers, the Cubs may be forced to get a little creative.
Edwards was named MiLB pitcher of the year and there is a great article here on him. Edwards is likely a 3rd starter despite his great stuff because of a slight build that may affect his stamina. Still, if you can get a 6 year cost-controlled mid rotation guy for 2 months of a player you had no plans to re-sign, that is outstanding value.
Looking back at the 2013 MLB Draft
Baseball America gave out the Cubs Draft Report Card (insider only) and as you might expect, Kris Bryant dominates the article. He is the best pure hitter, best power hitter, best pro debut and closest to the majors of all the Cubs draftees. Charcer Burks and Jacob Hanneman were considered the fastest players while C Will Remiliard made the list as one of the best defensive players. Pitchers getting mention include the usual suspects: Rob Zastryzny, Tyler Skulina, Scott Frazier and Trey Masek. Trevor Clifton gets mentioned as a good late round pick.
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