Cubs land 7 prospects in BP Top 101

UPDATE:  Parks chat excerpts added at the bottom

The much-anticipated Baseball Prospectus top 101 prospects was released today and the Cubs landed 7 players.  There are really no surprises as to the names but here they are in order with their national ranking in parenthesis.  The article is free and here is the link.

The List

  1. Javier Baez (4)
  2. Kris Bryant (17)
  3. Albert Almora (25)
  4. Jorge Soler (45)
  5. CJ Edwards (81)
  6. Arismendy Alcantara (83)
  7. Pierce Johnson (91)
  • The 7 prospects is tied for 2nd most with the Pirates and Royals.  The Twins have the most with 8.   Take heart Cubs fans, that the Cardinals only have 4 and 2 of them are on the bottom 1/3 of the list.  Maybe we'll catch them yet?
  • There is a chat with Professor Parks at 12 p.m CT. and it'll be interesting to hear his opinion on Baez and Almora, whom I believe Parks would have ranked even higher had it been his choice alone.  Parks has said in the past that you can make an argument for Baez at #1 and I believe he would have had Almora much closer to the top 10, but the latter is speculation based on some things he's said/tweeted in the past.  Perhaps things have changed on that front.

Some Cubs related Tweets from Parks

Both could be all-stars; Baez could be a religion. RT @birenball @ProfessorParks Better big-league career: Baez or Correa?

Probably. RT @paul_wiberg @ProfessorParks #10 Cubs prospect > #1 Brewer prospect?

.@ProfessorParks say it's an "extreme" comp but Baez has "offensive attack that some scouts project to achieve Miguel Cabrera-level heights"

I'm not down on Edwards. I just don't think he's a frontline arm like some people. Edwards is going to offer some impact, with a respectable ceiling and a very high floor. I couldn't ignore that.

Maybe one of the best signs for fans regarding @baseballpro's Cubs top 10 is that the top 9 all project to arrive in 2014 or 2015

What if? #Cubs all-prospect lineup for 2015: 3B Villanueva, SS Baez, 2B Alcantara, 1B Vogelbach, LF Soler, CF Almora, RF Bryant.

Paul Blackburn is a good candidate to step forward in 2014.

Of all the prospects on the upcoming #Cubs top ten list, I bet Arismendy Alcantara exceeds his projections. 5 tools and feel for the game.

Tools Graphic

Our own Mauricio Rubio along with Craig Goldstein, constructed a very cool graphic up on players tools as graded by BP.  You can check it out here (also free).  I'll give you the goods on the Cubs prospects, but click the link for a more visual representation and tools information on all prospects.

Grades are on a 2-8 scale.  Only 4 top tools are listed

Javier Baez

  • Power - 8
  • Arm - 7
  • Hit - 6
  • Glove - 6

Kris Bryant

  • Power - 7
  • Arm - 6
  • Hit - 5.5
  • Glove - 5

Albert Almora

  • Glove - 6
  • Hit - 6
  • Power - 6
  • Arm - 5.5

Jorge Soler

  • Power 7
  • Glove - 7
  • Hit - 5.5
  • Arm -5

CJ Edwards

  • Fastball - 7
  • Curveball - 6
  • Change-up -6

Arismendy Alcantara

  • Speed - 6
  • Arm- 6
  • Hit - 5.5
  • Arm - 5.5
  • Glove - 5.5

Pierce Johnson

  • Fastball - 6
  • Curve - 6
  • Change-up -5.5

Thoughts on Grades

  • I'm surprised that BP would rank Almora's power as high as his glove  here.  There is apparently some concern about Almora's speed in CF as he fills out.  I disagree.  The instincts more than make up for the lack of elite speed.  He consistently gets good reads and takes excellent routes.  I have seen enough players with similar speed, from Cesar Geronimo to Jim Edmonds become top notch CF'ers long term.  I would put Almora in that class as far as instincts.  I would have put the glove higher and the power lower.  Almora makes hard contact consistently but his swing path is more conducive for line drives.  I think he'll hit for average power by accident, but above average power is optimisic.  But hey, I hope they're right, especially because I believe he'd do it as an excellent defensive CFer.
  • Similarly, I think Jorge Soler's defense is actually rated too highly.  He has athleticism and a strong arm, but the instincts aren't nearly as good as Almora's and he has already filled out and lost what was slightly above average speed to begin with.  I think Soler will be closer to an average glove with a well above average arm, as we've already seen in spring training last year.
  • An 8 grade for power is simply rare.  On the top 101, only Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo project that high, but neither is the all-around talent that Baez is.
  • The fact that both Edwards and Pierce Johnson have 3 above average pitches across the board makes them mid-rotation starters or better depending on their command, though both project to be at least average in that area.  The stuff on Edwards indicates he could be more than a #3 but obviously there is concern as to whether he can hold up with that kind of workload with his slight build.
  • You have to like Arismendy Alcantara's above-average tools across the board and he's the only Cubs on this list who rates as having above average speed.  I'm thinking the Cubs are going to have to work him into their lineup.  They could use a switch-hitting middle infielder with his kind of speed and all around offensive game.
  • Note that all of these grades are projections.  Most consider Kris Bryant and Albert Almora the most polished and the most likely to reach their particular ceilings.

 Chat on top 101 Prospects

Kevin O'B (Chicago): You have C.J. Edwards much lower than other evaluators. Would success at AA this year change your opinion of him or is improving the frame the only thing he can do to make you rethink?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Fastball command and durability are the concerns. I'm not scouting his stats, so I care about the why/how than the what. If he can log a full-season's worth of innings without losing his stuff, I';; definitely change my current stance. I'm never married to any prognostication. You have to be willing to change your mind if the scouting changes it for you.


chopper (indy): What is the realistic ETA for Soler in Wrigley as well as his offensive ceiling?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: 2015. 30 bombs is possible, but I don't see him hitting for a high average. He has a lot of work to do to reach his ceiling.


Ryan (Chicago): You tweeted last week that "based on recent conversations w/industry sources...Baez has a case to be ranked #1". Can you elaborate?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: It was put to me this way, which helped tun the light on a bit (even though we've been high on him and I've seen him play before): Baez could end a 40 HR shortstop. That's his ceiling. That's actually a possibility. Likely? Not sure. But its possible. How many prospects in baseball can make such a claim? That's a truly elite ceiling. That's a generational talent. That's why he has a case for #1.


Danny (Wisconsin): You think Kris Bryant makes the bigs this year?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: I do.


rangerfans2 (Fort Worth): Three Years from now who is considered the best SS? Baez, Xander or Russell?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Baez


Mike (Nashville): Your ranking of Almora's defense as a 6 seems lower than some of the others. What holds him back from a 7 defensively for you?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: He is barely an average runner and could settle in below-average as he continues to fill out. The instincts are top of the scale, which allows his fringe speed to play up with excellent reads and routes to the ball. But you can't discount his lack of recovery speed and how that limits his overall profile at the position, despite the instincts. He's still projected to be plus, which isn't exactly a bad grade.


Joe (Washington): Which five players have the highest ceilings on this list?

Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Buxton, Baez, Bogaerts, Giolito, Gray (no order)

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Leave a comment
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    I thought Javy was 4th or did I imagine that?

  • In reply to James Knott:

    No, you're right. I still must have had the #7 on the brain because of the total number of Cubs. Either that or a type since the 4 and 7 are adjacent on the number pad.

    Either way it's fixed. Thanks.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Baez was #7 on the MLB list a few days ago..that's probably what it was.

  • How about the fact that zips has Alcantara as the 3rd highest war of Cubs batters and projects him as an above average regular already. I hope this guy's playing by July.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    He could surprise and be the first guy up. It may be a race between him and Baez, with Bryant probably 3rd.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am guessing Olt makes it up first, then Baez. I give Alcantara a full year at AAA before he comes up but I would not be upset if he forces the issue to come up sooner.

  • I had my fingers and toes crossed for Bryant the night of the draft, so my opinion may be a little skewed towards him. That said, then and now I envisioned him as the Cubs Mike Schmidt. Lofty goals I admit, but I have seen nothing so far to change my mind.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    Egads. That's what happens when I don't drink coffee first.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You funny guy...

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    That response was actually meant for Iowa Cubbie. It's been quite a morning for me.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    An important point about Bryant thou...look who is right above him on the BP list (the guy who I wanted the cubs to draft, Gray) that the cubs crapped out on Tanaka and the Shark trade rumors are in full force....maybe we should start second guessing that pick, especially with the flux of right handed infielders we have and lack of top pitching prospects

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    Top picks you pick BPA not need. Bryant was BPA.

  • In reply to John57:

    If Gray is ranked ahead of Bryant on the BP can you say Bryant was the BPA????

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    The chances Gray suffers a career altering injury are about 100x higher than they are for Bryant. I'll take the position player that is one spot lower in a random prospect list over a pitcher any day of the week.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That is a pretty random statement based on no evidence or facts....The fact is, we have a glut of RH infield prospects and the cupboard is bare with top notch pitching prospect....the other thing you have to consider is that now that Yankees with Tanaka have established a "crazy price" for what good 25 year old pitchers cost, trading for one we can actually build on for the future is going to next to impossible

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    Here is why they picked Bryant over Gray. Gray had no track record he came out of no way last draft. He wasn't even considered a top 25 pick at the beginning of the season. Grey could have just as easily been a bust. Bryant had a track record from HS into College and he steadily improved during that time frame. That is why he was picked over Gray.

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    You're are tryig to tell me that pitchers don't get injured way more frequently than position players? The 100x was just hyperbole, but all things being equal (and one spot in a prospect list is essentially equal), the position player is a way safer bet to provide value.

    The Tanaka contract doesn't change the trade market for pitchers the way you think. Driving up the open market price for top line FA starters may make trading for one easier because teams may not be willing to pay the price for both players and dollars for a player in a trade. Teams are protecting their prospects more and more and are showing a willingness to trade their proven assets more and more because of the huge advantage young cost controlled players give a team. If the Cubs were willing to part with Kris Bryant the Rays would making plane reservations for David Price to O'Hare before they hung up the phone with Jed.

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    Bryant is 9th and Grey is 14th on MLB prospect list. That list says Bryant is better. Also there is a good chance Bryant is moved to a corner outfield position where he would be exceptional defensively so he won't be a problem with IF glut. Again you don't draft according to need, but a good argument can be made that Bryant is a better prospect right now than Grey.

  • In reply to NIKOMAN:

    And Bryant is ahead of Gray on the MLB 100 list so the list are not fact they are opinion.

  • John, another great article but you forgot to put Soler in the list where you were showing their rankings. It stuck out because I was curious to why they had his arm rated as low as they did? I thought that was one of his brightest marks, him having a rocket arm that was accurate as well.

  • I'm always surprised people have Bryant as a lock to reach his ceiling and not Baez. I know its a small sample size, but Bryant has just as much swing and miss in his swing as Baez. I think its much more likely Baez sticks at short than Bryant sticks at third as well.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    It has more to do with Bryant's approach at the plate. It's very mature. Baez is improving but with Bryant it's been there since high school.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I know its possible that he just wasn't challenged, but a 4.8% walk rate and 27.4% K rate at high A ball doesn't scream great approach to me. Baez had better walk and K rates in both high A and double A.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I think 62 PAs is too small of a sample size to draw any long reaching conclusions about patience. He held a 10 BB% in low A but with a similar sample. Scouting says he has a refined approach.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    You have to watch Bryant play to appreciate his approach. And I wouldn't make too much of short sample numbers in a player's first partial season. The strikeouts are probably legit and he'll have some swing and miss, but you'll see the walks go up this year. You'll also see that happen with Almora.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    At lower levels one has to be careful at walk rates when a guy dominates like Bryant or Almora for that matter. They are not getting challenged and can barrel a lot more balls than they will be able to in the future. Most indications is Bryant works a count and will take walks and I think we will see more of that as he faces better pitching.

  • tools graphic, not rankings.

  • Every time I read reports of these guys rankings, and with multiple rankers picking several of these guys around the same levels - it makes me look forward to seeing some of these guys head up to Wrigley over the next few years.

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    Personally I think JP's rankings are pretty spot on. I think he's right in saying that if Javy could somhow stick at short he could well be No 1. Buxton might be the modern reincarnation of mickey mantle and willie mayes and still wouldn't be as valuable as a SS who can hit 40 Bombs.

  • Exciting stuff. The anticipation grows and grows. Can hardly wait!

    But my other take away from this are: Billy Hamilton (from 14 to 49) and Travis d'Arnaud (15 to 48). They will likely be fine MLB'ers, but they show we can't count on our guys to maintain their current trajectory. The harsh reality of prospects.

  • In reply to Teddy P:

    There is always prospect attrition, that's why you need to keep stockpiling impact talent. Not everyone is going to be a star or reach his potential, but if you get just a couple of impact guys, 2-3 solid regulars, and mix in 2-3 SPS, some bullpen arms and some good role players, then you can fill in the missing pieces much more easily from the outside by either trading depth or filling a hole or two through free agency. That kind of plan is sustainable but it starts with producing your own instead of importing from the outside. That's how the Cards have done it for so long.

  • fb_avatar

    It's a good list for us, but also goes to show the work we have to do in pitching. BP's list has 47 pitchers on it, and we have 2 of them, with the first appearing very low. While BA's rankings will have Edwards higher (more optimism probably about him as a starter), we really have very average pitching prospects in our system right now.

    I hope some emerge from the young arms we drafted recently, we really have work to do there

    Position players though, we have more depth than anybody; only Twins (Buxton/Sano) can rival our ceiling

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree that we need to go a lot further with pitching prospects but 47 total is like 1.5 per team so having 2 is more average than bad. It would help a lot more if we had an Archie Bradly type.

  • Cool piece. As always, the coolest part will be patiently which players -- over time -- meet their mythical ceilings and which do not, and which will be traded to fill other need areas. Also, to keep perspective, this was the Baseball America thumbnail on Starlin Castro who rated #16 on the 2010 list: "Castro burst on the scene in 2009, jumping from Rookie ball to Double- A in a year. He has intriguing power potential and defensive chops for the middle infield."

    But its nice for once to have more than 2 or 3 in the top 100. I remember the days when Cubs fans thought the FO was crazy to include in the Garza trade players like Hak-Ju Lee, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld -- players who were never Top 100. That said, who wouldn't like a mulligan and go back and trade former Top 100 prospects like Vitters, Brett Jackson and Jay Jackson?

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    After we ransack the Rangers farm system against this July, we'll have both Gallo and Baez in our system... (I kid, I kid. Kinda.)

    So if Alcantara makes it at second, and one of Olt or Villanueva makes it at third, the Cubs have the classic "nice problem to have" with more infielders than spots. I don't think it makes sense to move Baez to outfield -- losing way too much glove that way -- and assuming Castro stays, perhaps deal on of the third basemen? As the Marlins have a good number of young pitchers and need a third baseman, perhaps Olt/Villanueva to Miami for a pitcher? If Olt's medicals are finally good and he plays up to his ranking last season, it could even be Olt for Heaney.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:


    There is no way Miami gives up Heaney for Olt, even if he does bounce back. I think it will take more than that to pry him away from the Fish.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    Maybe, but worth nothing that Olt was a consensus top 30 guy, which is right where Heaney finds himself now.

  • fb_avatar

    John, you mentioned the Cards......they have 3 more talented young players that should emerge this year, in Taveras, Wong, and Carlos Martinez. That will give them a solid 3-year window to terrorize the NL Central. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot past this crop which this list illustrates.

    Pirates really have their stuff together; they graduated Cole and Marte, and still at the top of rankings

    Cincy looks thin; I'm not sold on Hamilton. Robert Stephenson is the kind of TOR pitcher we lack, but beyond these two not alot.

    Brewers.......have nobody on this list. They had 1 on's list. If Braun's performance declines from PED disuse, Brewers will become the new Pirates, doormats for years.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Long term they aren't looking as formidable as far as their farm system, but those young players will give them time to reload.

    Brewers future definitely looks bleak.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    But aren't they signing Matt Garza. That will fix everything.

  • In reply to John57:

    Ha! Good point...what was I thinking? :)

  • fb_avatar

    Madre de Dios, Taveras with an 8 hit tool and a 7 power tool? It's just not fair...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    And he might stick in CF.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    I think Tavares could fake CF for a couple of years as they try to get Adams and Craig in the lineup at the same time, but heis going to slow down as he fills out and he'll end up in a corner. The hit tool is absolutely legit though and he is going to be a stud no matter where he plays.

  • John, thanks for the info. Can't wait to see yours:)

  • In reply to MyersTech:

    Thanks. Next Monday will start with #31-#35 prospects.

  • And Davenport has us as a stone lock for 2015 #1 pick:

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to h vaughn:

    Rodon would be great but another 100 loss season might destroy whats left of my soul.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to h vaughn:

    That would fit: there isn't a dominant pitcher headlining that draft at the moment.

  • In reply to h vaughn:

    Tangotiger asked him to show his math.

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    Actually Rodon's this year isn't he?

  • In reply to James Knott:

    Rodon will be the first pick in this year barring a major change. Astros have that pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb here: Tyler Beede surpasses him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That is what K. Gallo said too. Sounds good to me.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    Interesting. I hadn't heard Kevin say that. He must be hearing something, too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He said that in one of the threads a couple months ago before he went off to Cleveland.

  • I think a full season at AAA (and maybe a Sept call up) will give everyone a better idea what Alcantara is really about. I wouldn't rush this kid one bit. Even if you want to push out the hitting wonder that Barney is, I think rushing him through would be a mistake.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Ideally Olt wins 3rd out of spring training and Valbuena/Murphy push Barney to the bench. I can't take another year of him so help me God.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    I think it is asking a lot for Olt to make it out of ST. I see him coming up in June time frame. That will probably push Murphy out and make for a Valbuena/Barney platoon.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'd be fine with a Valbuena/Barney platoon but would be pretty disappointed if Olt didn't win out in ST. How much time does this guy need? At some point it's get it done or get off the pot if you know what I mean.

  • fb_avatar

    Probably Kaprielian.

  • Thanks again for the information John. Parks prediction that all the top Cubs prospects will be in the majors in 2014/2015 is hyperbole at best. The predictions that some of them will be in the majors in 2015/2016 seems more reasonable, but not all of them.

  • fb_avatar

    Strange, I'm no scout, but of three I've seen at Daytona (Soler, Baez, and Bryant), I would rank the arms exactly the opposite of what they have here (though they're all very good). Soler's arm stands out, in my opinion, while Bryant and Baez would be a notch below, giving Bryant a slight edge.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I didn't get to see Soler last year, but from 2012 I would say he and Baez had similar arms and I would grade both as 60. Neither one of them have a cannon. They are just above average. Haven't seen Bryant in person.

  • fb_avatar

    This will seem familiar to everyone:

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We's stinks

  • fb_avatar

    Did anyone else see that graded Almora's defense in center (75) higher than Lindor's at short (70)?

  • fb_avatar

    Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has an excellent writeup on Tanaka's contract:

    It's not just the money, it's the opt-out clause; there was no way we were, or should, match that. It turns Tanaka's deal into a 4-year, $108 mil contract, with the risk of spending another $67 mil if the deal goes south due to injury or non-performance.

    It has limited upside, and a whole lot of downside

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Exactly. Yankees are like that fool in a game of Risk that doesn't know what he's doing and just attacks randomly. He's not going to win with his stupidity, but he's going to make things a lot less fun for everyone else.

  • The Pirates have plenty of prospect outfielders to go with McCutchen.
    The Cubs need to make a call about left-handing hitting Austin Meadows (#89).

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    Meadows is pretty far away. Too hard to look at needs that far down the road. I know everyone freaks out about the apparent right handed heavy future lineup, but by the time 2016/17 rolls around the Cubs may have added a left handed hitter via FA.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    Agree! Two future needs, TOR and left hand hitter. Arismendy is a key as he and one more switch/lefty bat to go with the best of Castro, Baez, Bryant, Solor, and Almora/Rizzo/Castillo would be a pretty credible group.

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    Parks' chat is giving some major love to Baez.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good. I'm glad there is one online scout with the eyes and stones to see what Baez is. The people that doubted Baez are going to look stupid in a couple of years. Best Cubs position player prospect I have ever seen (Prior would be the best overall). Guy is an absolute stud.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    After seeing Baez play for Peoria at Kane County (along with Soler), the ball just jumps off their bats. It all looks so effortless in real time. In slo-motion video, they both have violent swings that just turn baseballs into carnage.

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    In reply to historyrat:

    Parks' point on him, which is excellent, is that his ceiling is 40 HR shortstop. That's not a good player, that's a generational talent. All the usual disclaimers here. That's a ceiling, not a certainty, and he has work to do to get there. However, everything he's shown me to this point makes me think he'll at least come close.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    So Baez ceiling is... Ernie Banks.
    That ain't too bad.

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    In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Sahadev had a tweet on this earlier: Banks and ARod are the only shortstops in history with multiple 40-HR seasons. That's pretty elite company Javy is being put in.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I know that sounds like hyperbole, but yes.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    At Fitch park one could be watching at another field and just the sound of Baez hitting would pull an observer.

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    In reply to 44slug:,-86.772004&spn=0.003584,0.005284&t=h&z=18

    On the left is Greer Stadium. On the right are the railroad tracks I suspect Javy will be aiming for.

    I can't wait.

  • Ryan (Chicago): You tweeted last week that "based on recent conversations w/industry sources...Baez has a case to be ranked #1". Can you elaborate?

    Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: It was put to me this way, which helped tun the light on a bit (even though we've been high on him and I've seen him play before): Baez could end a 40 HR shortstop. That's his ceiling. That's actually a possibility. Likely? Not sure. But its possible. How many prospects in baseball can make such a claim? That's a truly elite ceiling. That's a generational talent. That's why he has a case for #1.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Exactly this. I know I am higher on the belief that he reaches that celing than probably anyone else, but I just don't think people truly grasp what Baez's ceiling truly is or at the very least grasp what a 40+ HR ceiling from a SS can really mean for a team. Not just good. Not just an all star. Not even just an MVP. A potential multiple MVP, generational talent.

  • I loved this...

    Dan Vogelbach (Mashville): I'm basically Matt Stairs, right?

    Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: What if you are Prince Fielder with a little less game power?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I think Vogelbach's ceiling is similar to Fielder's current abilities. Fielder at his peak had the better power and glove, but his current abilities are still pretty good.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That's a good comp. Fielder's last 2 years in Detroit his power went down a bit which would still be a great projection for Vogelbomb...

    PF's Stats in DET: .295/.387/.491 with 34 2B, 28 HR per year

    That seems about right for Vogs if things go as planned for him. I'm sure the FO would be ecstatic with those numbers.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I love Vogelbach's approach at the plate and his work ethic. I'm still not convinced he will ever be adequate at 1B though. Losing the 40+ pounds speaks wonders about his commitment and desire to be a good player, but he needed to do that just to get into the same shape that Fielder has always been in. I would like to think Vogelbach can keep it up (and maybe even lose a little more), but how long term is that? In my experience people who are that big once tend to get that big again at some point, especially as they age. Vogelbach may well be the tpe of player that has an early peak/decline.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I don't know about the weight issue. I know a couple people who were very overweight and they changed their lifestyle. They kept the weight off and did not gain it back. We won't know how Dan will handle his weight problem until he does it. But right now according to their official height and weight, Dan is taller and weighs less than Fielder.

  • In reply to John57:

    Fielder is in a weight gain stage. I expect Vogelbach's body will behave similarly at Prince's age.

    The thing that gives me hope about Vogelbach is his apparently strong work ethic and the fact he made the dramatic change so early in his adult life. He may have matured or discovered something about his metabolism or habits that needed to be monitored.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Matt adams, seems similiar in size. I think vog, has a better bat though and hit tool.

  • As badly as I want Bryant up and helping the big club, there's a part of me that hopes he scuffles somewhere along the way (AAA, maybe?), for two reasons. One, lower the growing pains in the majors, two, let Mike Olt establish himself in the show. If Mark Trumbo can turn into Tyler Skaggs, I see no reason Mike Olt can't potentially be used in a similar deal.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    If Olt hits they will find a spot for him in the lineup in RF or LF. Or move Bryant there. No reason to slow Bryant's progress on account of Olt. Playing the OF will not hurt Olt's trade value, the industry consensus he already plays a MLB caliber 3B, so even if he doesn't play there very often for the Cubs, an acquiring team would still view him as a 3B if that is what their need is.

  • John-
    I recently found the blog and I admit I am an avid follower now. Thanks for all the great insight and education regarding sabermetrics etc .
    Question for you to discuss if possible:
    Dreaming that all the talent in the pipeline reaches their potential, what do you envision a lineup looking like in 2-3 years? If Olt resorts back to the "Untouchable prospect" McCleod referred to last week-is he the 3rd baseman of the future? Does that push Bryant to Right or Left Field with Soler and Almora? Would that preclude to a Castro/Baez SS/2nd tandem up the middle? Who are the likely prospects that get squeezed out by so much talent and become elite trade bait? I assume Voggelbach is a candidate for an American League team...
    Thanks again!

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