Cubs Notes: Law's prospect list, Baez, Lake, Baker, Ruggiano

Cubs Notes: Law's prospect list, Baez, Lake, Baker, Ruggiano
Junior Lake

It's that time of year and now it' s Keith Law's turn to turn out his top 100 prospects and there are a couple of minor surprises...

Here's the Cubs portion of his list and you can see specific scouting info on ESPN Insider...

7.  Javier Baez

15. Kris Bryant

26. Jorge Soler

28. Albert Almora

67. CJ Edwards

71. Arismendy Alcantara

The minor surprise here is that Jorge Soler is ranked ahead of Albert Almora, which is different from most lists that have Soler closer to the bottom half of the top 50.

Law had a chat afterward and it's the usual fare:  Most parts very good, one part dissing Dan Vogelbach, couple parts straw-manning Cubs fans (is straw-manning a word?), and one part this, which created a minor stir on Twitter among Cubs faithful...

Question: If you had to pick one player in your top 10 that will completely bust, who would it be? Hey, enough of this positivity. Let's get negative!

Law: Baez is where he is because he's got more risk/volatility than the 7 guys ahead of him. I don't think he has great makeup, and the newfound plate discipline came in a pretty small sample.

To which a reader responds...

Why do you think Baez doesn't have good makeup? Haven't heard that and I follow the Cubs. Not doubting, just haven't heard that.

Law: You follow the Cubs. I work in the industry. We can still be friends, but our access to information is not the same.

While it is true that he is more connected than most, I wouldn't take that as the holy gospel.  I don't work in the "industry" and I don't have the same network of connections, but I do speak to scouts, have seen Baez interact with his coaches/teammates (and likely many more times than Law), and have actually spoken to his teammates.  I didn't get the same impression nor did I get that impression from anyone else.

And in case you think they wouldn't say anything that wasn't positive about a player, I can tell you that I've spoken to scouts who have voiced makeup concerns about a player or three -- but never Baez.

I'm not saying Law didn't hear what he heard.  I'm just letting you know it's anything but a consensus among scouts.  In fact, my experience has been the opposite.  Baez may be brash, some may even call him "cocky"...but mental makeup issues?  I have to disagree there.

Junior Lake

Dan Szymborski of ESPN listed some bounce back candidates a while back that included three Cubs: Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Edwin Jackson.  So it's only fair that now he mentions guys who he think may be decline candidates.  Again, another Cubs made the list.  This time it's Junior Lake.

His ZiPS projection is as follows: .252/.295/.380, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 12 SB, 0.3 WAR

That's certainly not the kind of offensive production you are looking for a starter, especially one who may play corner OF, so the hope is that Lake continues to make progress as a player and surpasses those expectations.  Most, including myself, don't expect Lake to be a starter long-term but that doesn't mean I don't hope he proves me wrong.

Scott Baker

The Mariners signed Scott Baker to a minor league deal. We speculated earlier that the Cubs would be interested in bringing him back, but the recent tea leaves indicated otherwise.  On another note, Bronson Arroyo said he has yet to receive an offer.  Part of me would like to see the Cubs bring him in if they can get him on a 2 year deal.  I think they could use a solid starter who is a also a veteran and a good teammate in that rotation.

Justin Ruggiano

Ruggiano avoided arbitration and agreed to terms with the Cubs according to Carrie Muskat,

Can confirm #Cubs and Justin Ruggiano avoid arbitration. He signed $2 million contract

This fits the pattern of this front office both from Boston and in the time they've been here in Chicago.  Their preference has been to settle before the hearings.

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  • If make up is a concern for Law it's surprising that he has Soler ahead of Almora. I've had a couple of guys tell me Soler is a slap. The thing about poor makeup is this: your teammates tend to keep quiet about it if you hit third and go for 37 & 111. If your makeup doesn't preclude you from getting 75 extra base hits, it cannot be THAT bad. As long as he shows respect for the veterans he'll be fine.

    I've also talked to a few players who think Keith Law is a slappo along with Rosenthal, Olney, and most of the other pipsqueaks who never played and have nationally sponsored opinions. The only guy that I've never heard anyone bang is Verducci.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Personally I haven't heard a bad word about Baez, but maybe he heard differently. The guys I've talked to see him a lot, though (and not all are in Cubs org)

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    In reply to Ben20:

    Clearly, it's physically impossible to understand a sport if you've never played. Or if you're a "pipsqueak."

    Very insightful.

    I'd bet that most people who are employed as statisticians or historians haven't swung a bat above little league level.

    Further, there's been more than a few times that an athlete has been shown to have a surprising lack of knowledge about the sport he gets paid millions to play.
    But HEY, as long as they're not pipsqueaks, right?

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    In reply to Ben20:

    I think you take the collective of what you hear across the board into consideration as opposed to ripping anybody who offers negative information about your team. It's not like Law isn't holding the Cubs system and overall minor league talent in high regard.

    In this case, I definitely think John has a better read on Baez than Law. But there are times I look at some of the really knowledgeable national guys and think that their views might be a little more objective than what we get from those whose heart is in the team.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Maybe I don't get out enough. "Slap" and "slappo" are terms for bad character/make-up guys?

  • Sorry for the mediocre Cubs prospect question but.... how high up in the system does a guy with no position (Vogelbach, for example) have to hit before he acquires either trade or "we have to figure out how top use this guy" value? If he goes .350 OBP/.450 slugging at Double A is that enough to make him a lot more interesting?

    Klaw
    (1:59 PM)
    He has no projection: This is what he is. He can't slug .450 and have people think he'll add another 100 points of ISO in time.

    forgot this...This guy really has a vendetta against this guy.

    Vogelbach hit 18 homers in 67 games last year. The power is there.

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    In reply to Mitchener:

    If Vogelbach continues to rake, he can come up and compete with Rizzo for the job. Competition breeds excellence!

  • In reply to Andrue Weber:

    I'd be careful with the expectation that Vogelbach will ever play 1B in the majors. His defense is severely limited. Rizzo's is near gold glove level.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    I don't think he could be any worse defensively than a guy like Adam Dunn or Dave Kingman.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Those are two of the biggest and most powerful guys to play in the last 40 years. Vogelbach may turn out to be a better hitter, but teams got those guys into a lineup any way possible for one reason.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Baseball Prospectus is intractably certain that Vogelbach can't even cut it at 1B in the bigs, and must be a DH at the highest level. Which fits with the consensus among experts. I really don't understand why Cubs fans have to get all homerishly defensive about these things. This is what it is. A really talented hitter who carries some trade value on that tool alone.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Yeah I forgot what a stud defender Prince Fielder is...

    By the way,

    Prince Fielder - 5'11", 275 lbs

    Dan Vogelbach - 6'0", 250 lbs

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    He's probably closer to 230. Looking through his twitter pics he doesn't look anywhere close to Prince's size.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I'm not going to believe any listed weight for either of those guys. Both of them have gained/lost so much weight over the last couple of years I sure none of them are accurate.

    And size does not always correlate to athleticism. Fielder was a much better athlete with much lighter feet when he was Vogelbach's age. Fielder is a glorified DH now, but when he was coming up he was better around the bag than Vogelbach. I commented a couple of days ago that I think Vogelbach's ceiling is basically the player Fielder is now, not the player Fielder was in his prime. That's still a valuable player though.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Yeah my point was just that Vog's is taller than Fielder and weighs at least 25 lbs less than him.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Dan Vogelbach won't play for the Cubs unless the NL miraculously adopts the DH in the next three years, and that wouldn't happen until the next CBA.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Pretty much my point.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    What if Rizzo is hurt? What if the Cubs want to have him on the bench? What if Rizzo regresses? There are other ways. And as you mention there is the DH rule change.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I heard Vogelbach can play a solid 1st base, perhaps not gold glove level...but can hold his own.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    So Law is scouting the stats page, I guess. Anyone who actually watched Vogelbach play could see he was working on things all year, such as going the opposite way, adjusting his two strike approach. When he decided to turn on one, he launched it like he always does. I think he can add power if they let him loose.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The kid can definitely slug. Especially considering his 40 (being kind) speed which no doubt keeps a lot of doubles and especially triples off the board. I love his approach. He can just flat out hit.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    Not necessarily disagreeing with you that Vogelbach has good power, but he did not hit 18 homers in 67 games last year. He hit 19 in 131 games over 568 plate appearances.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    2012, i mean his previous season

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    Okay, in that case the numbers are actually a little better than you stated. 17 HRs in 61 games. He was sick that year, but also facing a lot worse competition in Rookie and short season ball combined. He saw a lot more fastballs he could turn on and a lot more mistakes he could crush. The lower the level, the more meaningless the stats.

    Again, not saying you're not correct about his power potential. He's still got a lot to prove at the upper levels before we can project him as a big leaguer with any accuracy.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Dan Vogelbach is an interesting prospect, but I would like to see him slug in AA at least before getting too excited. He might be a decent 1B/DH in the league, I can also see him becoming a 4-A bat. There are many, many examples of defensively limited players who taste the majors without staying. Brad Nelson, Brian LaHair, Micah Hoffpauir, are just Cub examples......

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Vogelbach projects better than a 4A type. His hit tools say so. His success thus far as a pre-age-21 pro. And what the experts see.

  • This is coming from what Mr. Law has heard... How about the FACTS?? The things I've heard from Baez as a person are the same things I heard from Bryce Harper... So, why is Harper a competitor but Baez doesn't have good makeup?

    Javier Baez didn't make a decision about College or MLB until the end of his HS season... And that was so he could attract scouts to the games for them to watch his teammates play and scout them, according to an article... That doesn't seem to me like bad makeup.

    Baez can let his competitor nature get the best of him, just like Harper and he might argue with an ump or display some frustration, but I did not see him once disrespect the game and we've seen how highly his teammates (like Jokisch) and coaches (like Mariano Duncan) have spoken of him.

    I think Law's reaction is just grandiose delusions and an attempt to save himself from embarrassment in front of everybody... I mean, why else would he take a shot at that person bragging about how he works in the industry without even knowing what that person does? For all he knows, it could've been his own Cubs sources asking him that question or even Jed Hoyer on a boring day.

    And this is not saying Law doesn't know what he's talking about because Baez indeed has higher risks than most prospects in the top 10, it's the 2nd part of the Baez saga that makes me lose credibility on him.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I was actually thinking the same thing. I see Baez as more like Brian Harper. He's got that type of drive and brashness about him -- but I can't imagine Harper's teammates aren't thrilled to have him on their side.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Listening to Law's podcast, the make-up issue he mentioned was concern that Baez lacked the work ethic / dedication to reach his ceiling. First I had heard about this. He didn't mention the old arrogance / brashness / cockiness criticism. FWIW.

  • In reply to brs2:

    I've been around Baez more than Law has, and that is a ridiculous accusation. His coaches past & present have raved about his work ethic so I don't see the basis for this as anything other Law being Law...

    But thanks for passing along the info.

  • In reply to brs2:

    That concern is even more bizarre.

  • Law sure seems to love to troll Cubs fans. Anyone know why? Is he just annoyed at the questions by fans who think Vitters will be a HoFer?

    That 2nd answer was basically the equivalent to patting that guy on the head and telling him that he's cute but to go away so the adults can talk. He doesn't really address the fan's question either which seems to be less about if Law has actually heard what he heard ("I'm not doubting") and more about, where did you get that info? I don't expect Law to reveal his sources, but a simple, "I've heard it from some scouts or FO people", etc. would suffice.

    Also, he just seems to be condescending to baseball fans in general. He knows his baseball, but he sure can be annoying.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I think he gets annnoyed and I think he probably has taken it out of proportion. I don't know, for example, any Cubs fans who believe Junior Lake and Matt Szczur are "future superstars". I don't know of many who think they will even be starters long term.

    It's sort of taken a life of it's own. It's a way to get your question answered, I guess, and it's become something of a shtick on those chats. My guess is a lot of it is just Law and his readers perpetuating that perception of Cubs fans.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    For a guy who is supposedly doing what he loves, he sure seems awfully salty.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Oh, I think he gets plenty of enjoyment out of getting a rise out of fans.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I also think being affiliated with ESPN has an influence. Controversy and overreactive fans just draw more attention to ESPN which is good for business. I always take Keith Law quotes with a grain of salt. He definitely knows his baseball and his prospects but he definitely knows how to "play the game" as well.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Ya, it's kind of annyoing. I was interested in whether Vogelbach had a top 100 bat, but he didn't answer the question. We already know what he thinks of his as fielder and runner....just stop the smugness and answer the question.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    Was the Volgelbach question yours? Definitely smug response to that.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    No, just wanted to know.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Half-true. Law can be annoying in an arrogant sort of way. But it's just ridiculous to say he has some sort of anti-Cubs bias. I absolutely hate it when fans of a particular team take an expert's negative opinion way too personally and conclude, hey, that guy's really got it in for us. This is another way of saying it's harder for our boys to succeed, we're the Rodney Dangerfields, the dumped-on underdogs, the unfairly maligned. It's homer-rooted hogwash.

  • In reply to michaelc:

    I understand what you're getting at, michaelc. There are a lot of times where fans (and maybe Cubs fans in particular?) take on the roll of being persecuted, etc, etc. I get that. But find another quote in that chat where he dogs on another teams' fans. I've read a fair number of Law chtas and he's pretty consistent about calling out Cubs fans as being unrealistic/stupid/over-evaluating their own prospects, etc. I don't doubt that contingent is out there. I don't even doubt Cubs fans do it more (a little? a lot?) than other fans, but I've never seen him call out a Mariners fan or a Yankees fan or a Giants fan for doing the same thing. Never. I'd say that's a bias.

  • He really is annoying, there is too much smugness coming from him that prevents me from ever really liking him. I have never read anywhere else that Baez has makeup issues, sounds like to me a scout or two who Law likes badmouthed Baez because of his cockyness. To me Baez is just confident, but some people misread that as arrogance.

  • Law has never been high on VogelBOMB, because of his range/defense. Sounds like he's nitpicking the obvious tools now. Also, he is so entrenched in the anti Junior Lake camp that even if Jr. is nothing more than a 5th OF'r, Law will be wrong....

    There is no make-up issues with Baez. I've been around him and seen as much of him as anyone whether there in the "industry" or not...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's true. I forgot about that. You've been around him quite a bit.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yes, it seems like he was much more favorable to a similar player in Matt adams.

    Pierce (Tulsa, OK)
    I've spoken with several scouts who are very impressed by Matt Adams's power? Do you really see him being more than an org player?
    Klaw
    (5:16 PM)

    I do - had him 8th in their system before the season. Good for STL for pushing him to an age-appropriate level.

    or

    Casey (Hawaii)
    I know Matt Adams plays in the most hitter friendly league in the minors but come on?!?! His numbers are insane. Top 50 guy next year?
    Klaw
    (1:21 PM)

    Don't know if he has anything like that kind of ceiling, but he is definitely a prospect, chance to be more than an everyday guy. Not to be all Captain Obvious, but when the prospect in question is all bat, you'd like to see a better walk rate than he's shown. Hit & power tools are real.

    I think his analysis of Adams is what we would kind of expect.

  • fb_avatar

    One snarky point: Law doesn't know his own list. As Baez is #7, there are six guys ranked ahead of him, not seven.

    Dan Vogelbach is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of prospect lists: kid can't get no respect. It's clearly frustrating him (follow his Twitter). I hope he uses it as motivation to prove them all wrong when he's, in Parks's words, Price Fielder with a little less game power.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That is not necessarily a bad thing, to have that motivation. I have always liked Professor Parks alot. He doesn't have a big ego, and just spits the facts.

    I just dont see how Law would think that Vogelbach cant improve, he is only 21 years old.

  • Vogelbach has only one option - to kick some major a** on the field!

  • I've never liked Bronson Arroyo and very much hope the Cubs do not sign him. However, I think he is probably a very good candidate for a sign and flip at the deadline kind of deal that could work out extremely well for both parties.

    Consider that through 14 big league seasons, Arroyo has accumulated a total of only 29.1 post-season innings - sure he won a ring in '04 but pitched terribly in that postseason. I think instead of taking a gamble and signing for a team that might be postseason bound, it would be a very symbiotic deal for Arroyo to sign for a team like the Cubs with the agreement of being traded to a contender at the end of July. To expand on that, I would like to see the Cubs use a good chunk of money (which they do have and didn't spend on Tanaka) to give Arroyo a great signing bonus but low yearly salary, thus making him all the more valuable trade-wise come trade deadline. And tossing in a team option for the 2nd year at a fair salary would increase the prospect haul as well.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    I don't think the Cubs are going to have to worry about how Arroyo pitches in the post-season if they sign him.d

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    I don't think the Cubs are going to have to worry about how Arroyo pitches in the post-season if they sign him.

  • Interesting bits on the Jays and Shark. Their #9 and #11 picks are protected, so if they were to sign Jiminez or Santana, they would be giving up their 2nd round pick or #49 overall.

    Why would they give up one or two of their top prospects for Shark when they could give up a second rounder for one of the above?

    Sounds like Shark to the Jays is a long shot.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I'd think Jimeniz several bad years a declining #'s are deterrent, while Santana has been bitten by the home run bug before.

    Shark has the better stuff. He looks like he could be a horse and could survive the AL East.

    Although, I wonder why if they give Burrnett a chance?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think the Jay's interest in Shark over Jimenez and Santana is largely cost related. The Jays payroll in 2013 went up about 40%. Even though the Jays didn't add anyone this off-season and their payroll went up another $10 million (despite losing Josh Johnson), because of the ridiculous escalators built into Reyes/Buerhle's contracts.

    Sure they could back load deals to Jimenez and Santana, but Shark would reasonably cheaper for the first 2 years. On top of that I like Samardzija a lot more than Santana, and I think he's more predictable than Jimenez. I think the next 3 years are key for the Jays. That's their window. Encarnacion and Bautista, will be gone beyond that, so will Dickey. In many ways I think they're desperate to make a go of it these next couple seasons.

  • People get way too worked up over Law. I'm not a professional scout, but I'm fairly certain the ultimate careers of Baez, Lake and Vogelbach will have zero to do with Keith Law's opinion of them. I've seen Vogelbach play a number of times and completely disagree with his opinion, but all of this wouldn't be very fun if we all agreed. Part of his act is to put on his show.

  • I don't care what Law says one way or the other... but does he have to be such a huge a-hole?

    Every Chat that Kieth Law has ever done...

    HappyBaseballFan (Rockford, IL): Hey Keith, thanks a ton for taking my question! What do you think about [my favorite team's best prospect]? How soon until he's playing in the majors?

    KLaw: Never. He Sucks. Also don't ask such stupid questions.

  • John did the cubs officially sign Wladimir Galindo ? And do you have a scouting report on him ?

  • In reply to seankl:

    I don't know if it's official. I don't have a scouting report on him at this point.

  • Law should be allowed to have a different opinion. Not all scouts think alike. I just wish he had less snark and more openness to the questions. As far as Vogelbach there are very few body type comps in the current era. The challenge is if he does make it, like Fielder or Sandoval before him, he has to be elite especially with his hit tool and contact efficiency.

  • In reply to Gator:

    That's my thought on this as well. I don't agree with his Baez comments, but he's welcome to them.

    Also seems to me he's become more snarky since the departure of Goldstein, who used to field most of the JR Lake Sczcur comments tweeted by meatball fans.

  • I think this is just lazy on Law's part. How many prospect roundups have we seen in the last two weeks? 7? 8? No one has the same concerns about the Cubs' prospects that he does. You'd think that bad makeup would pop up somewhere.

  • Isn't the Baez "possible bust" kerfuffle a little blown out of context. The question wasn't did he think Baez would tank. It was of the the top 10, who had a greater chance than the others to fizzle. They are all top 10, so Law has a lot of respect for all of them. So instead of saying how dare Law name a Cubs prospect, perhaps the better approach is to suggest who else in the Top 10 would be a better candidate and why.

    Personally, I've heard the makeup issue as well, but I feel like these dated from Baez's original draft when that was his rep coming out of high school. But aside from seeing the obvious cockiness and occasional show-boating on homers, I can't say I've heard anything else new on this front.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Totally agree, he was asked a question specifically about the top 10, and to be honest, I agree with him. Baez is clearly the most aggressive of the top 10, which can hurt you.

    And like you said. he DID list him in the top 10, which is not only a huge compliment in itself, but to those upset about the "makeup" comment, Law OBVIOUSLY doesn't think that the aforementioned makeup questions are a very big deal if he's the #7 prospect in all of baseball.

    I do like Law. I think he's pretty funny and I like the snark. A lot of baseball guys are pretty dry, so someone with a sense of humor is kinda refreshing.

    And I totally get why he gets annoyed with Cubs fans because he really does get an ungodly number of absolutely banal questions about why he doesn't like prospect X or Y.

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that everyone here hates him and I didn't get why. It's amusing either way and in the end, he's probably more popular for it.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Good points. My only disappointment about Vogelbach is the more people get on the Vogelbach bandwagon, the more we get back when we inevitably trade him. This is assuming Rizzo starts putting it together and keeps blocking him.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    "And I totally get why he gets annoyed with Cubs fans because he really does get an ungodly number of absolutely banal questions about why he doesn't like prospect X or Y."

    But only from Cubs fans? And isn't that part of his job description? Seems to me that a lot of others do the same job without the same level of condescension. I like that he has a different point of view and that he's even very confident in his evaluations... just could do without the snark. IMHO, snark isn't very difficult to pull off and is a fairly cheap for of humor. Hence, you see lots of teens using it.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Here's the thing. He can be snarky and he can state his opinion, but he tries to pull this power play whenever someone disagrees with him. If he is going to be snarky, then he needs thicker skin. Goes with the territory that he'll get backlash.

    I'm stating here that I have heard very different things about Baez. Not knocking Law's right to have his opinion -- but he uses position to dismiss those who disagree with him. Since he so casually dismissed this guy who asked the question, I felt it was far to let people know that there are indeed others who talk to people in the industry, so he can't dismiss all of our opinions so easily.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Well, let's start with Miguel Sano who struggled in the exact same level as Baez last year. Add in Carlos Correa, who has never played above A-ball. And then Kyle Zimmer (an insanely high ranking) who is a pitcher and was up and down last year and has battled injuries. So three out of ten make a better option than Baez to bust out.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sano struggled? In what universe? His BABIP at AA was pretty low and he is 6 months younger than Baez anyway. Unless you're talking about defense, but in his case, no one cares.

    Correa was one of the youngest players in his league and killed all year long.

    Zimmer played great last year, even improved after moving up. (and pitcher's stats in the minors can be deceptive anyway because you don't know if he was working on something new.)

    Baez is awesome but I agree he has the most volatile future.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    You're taking the most sanguine possible view of those three and the most negative possible view of Baez and then claiming: "See, Beaz is ridiculously risky."

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm really not. When Baez played the level Correa just finished he had a lower OBP, a higher K%, and a lower BB%. Their BABIPs are nearly identical at the level.

    Sano's lower BA at AA is not necessarily indicative of struggles. His OBP and K% rate were almost identical to Baez but Sano had a notably better BB% and the difference in BA can be easily enough explained when noting the nearly 70 point difference in BABIP.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You don't think .234/.344 with a 29.3% K rate is struggling? For a guy that was .340/.424 in A+ ball, I'd say thats struggling.

    At AA last year Sano was .234/.344/.571. Baez was .294/.346/.638. Sano walked more, but he struck out more as well.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    Sano's BABIP was 35 points under 300 while Baez was almost. 35 point above.

    Also, it's unfair to categorize their differences in K and BB Raye like they're equal.
    Sano's 29.3% K% was 0.5 higher, which is statistically insignificant.

    However, Baez walked 5.1 points less than Sano. 7.9% to Sano's 13.0%

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    There was no ?'s about Baez's make-up pre-draft. It came from a situation in Rookie ball. He missed a take sign and swung away on a 3-0 FB.

    It was later communicated by everyone that he simply missed it. Baez apologized for the incident, but people blew it completely out of proportion at the time. Anyone, including Law saying he has make-up issues is using that old incident as their basis and have not spent anytime with the guy (I have to force myself to stop referring to him as a kid).

    In fact, he actually has exceptional make-up. His instincts rival Almora's, his competitiveness rivals Shark's, He's coachable, adaptable, exceptional work-ethic, does charity & volunteer work, and is always smiling.... I saw him working out at JU recently. I didn't get to speak with him, (btw his warm-up exceeds 95% of actual workouts for the rest of us) but the kid was actually smiling while busting his ass... The only knock on Javier's make-up is that he has been a bit immature at times. But it's hard to chastise him over that because I think the majority of 18-20yo males fall prey to that issue.

    What else could we possibly ask for in a 20yo kids make-up?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Great Post Hoosier

  • I don't mind Law's approach. He deals with people thinking their prospects are so much better then everyone else's and how his list is wrong.

    I doubt he gets a lot of "Great job on your list" comments, mostly people complaining that their guy is too low. It's a thankless job to the fans he provides these lists for.

    I'd bet he'd be considered witty and real if he painted a better picture for the Cubs prospects.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Not to mention all of the "see how wrong you were about Goldschmidt" comments. And I guarantee he got 100+ "See how wrong you were about Lake" comments when Junior came up and had 3 good weeks with an insanely high babip. It is a thankless job, and one where everyone in the profession is going to be wrong more than they are right, and as the guy at ESPN he bares the brunt of the meatball barrage while guys working for BA or BP probably get a slightly more informed and smaller readership.

    I rarely agree with Law about baseball, and his approach borders on sports radio tendencies (which I loathe), but I tend to defend him because he is in kind of a no win situation there and one thing I do like is he isn't afraid to take stances on social situations that infringe on sports. People mostly just complain about his sense of humor, which isn't a universal thing, and rather just ignoring him they choose to keep going back and get annoyed, which reminds me of the "definition of insanity".

  • Law is an excellent baseball mind wrapped in an insufferable layer of pedantic smarm. Respect his knowledge, loathe his personality.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Well said, Eddie.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Like Law's ability. Question his "makeup."

  • Is Law's opinion that relevant? He seems to make up his mind about someone and that's it. It appears that Vogelbach will always be in his doghouse. Two years from now if V hits 30 or 40 home runs and his defense improves and he's in the majors Law will still be down on him. I'd look more to Park's opinion on V than Law's.

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    OT, but interesting footnote to the Garza trade. According to Peter Gammons, Rougned Odor, 2B, a top-50 or so prospect in baseball, was originally included in the Garza trade. He was taken out at the last minute, after the Rangers reviewed Garza's meds.

    He has no idea who was substituted; I doubt the trade would have been Odor AND the 4 guys we got, so probably there was a last minute downgrade/substitution to replace Odor. But interesting.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Cool. More ammo for my side of the debate I had going with Moody yesterday,

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I don't disagree with either of you on that one. Shark clearly has more trade value now, but the MARKET may not be favorable to us, due to presence of acceptable FA options out there. We don't know, but probably it's better to wait until Trade Deadline, when trades are the ONLY option, and teams going for it are going to overpay (and they know they are doing it).

    Certainly, I think the FO has done very well with trade deadline deals; I think they squeezed pretty much all they could get out of the value we were offering. FO seems to favor dealing at the deadline, rather than offseason.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    My guess is Olt.

  • In reply to GoCubs:

    And I am glad we got Olt. He has tremendous upside.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    an old MLB trade rumor article said we settled for grimm instead of odor

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    In reply to kingpro98:

    I saw that.......Odor is a better prospect, though 2B is not really an area of need in our system, unlike pitching.

  • Law is a douchebag, plain and simple

  • Why is Ruggiano even on the team? He's making 2 million and has no upside. He's 31 and had one decent year when he only had 288 ABs. You're not gonna get anything for him at the trading deadline. I see no value to him on the roster. Seems like a wasted roster spot. I'm sure there is someone much younger and cheaper in the minors who could use those MLB ABs. Wouldn't be hard to put up equivalent production and perhaps be a surprise piece we didn't know we had.

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    In reply to RobBleedsCubbieBlue:

    2 mil is peanuts, in baseball money. Who else do we put out there, Vitters? Szczur? Ha? Or, should we fork over $50 mil+ for Nelson Cruz?

    He doesn't have tremendous upside, but properly platooned looks like a guy that can mash LHP. Until we contend, that's all we need.

    I personally think the FO has squeezed tons of value out of platoons; we got league average production out of 3B last year, and close to it from RF, all basically with platoon players

  • In reply to RobBleedsCubbieBlue:

    Ruggiano was brought in to be the right-handed side of a platoon with Nate Schierholtz. Is he going to be great? No, but he wasn't brought in with the intent of becoming a long-term solution. Like Schierholtz, he was brought in to bridge the gap until Almora/Soler/Bryant/etc. are ready.

    That said, from '11-'13, he has put up a respectable .270/.347/.544 slash line with 16 HRs and 44 RBI in 270 ABs against lefties. If the Cubs were to get that kind of production out of Ruggiano in '14, I think they would be more than happy.

  • In reply to RobBleedsCubbieBlue:

    He's here because he fills a need on the team,... a platoon partner for Scherholtz who hits the other way. He's defensively flexible as to where he can play (passable CF, good RF) has some power and some speed. He gives the team some of what his trade 'buddy' Bogusevic had - except that the hits from the other side of the plate.

    Until there is somebody to push him out of a spot on the field (for example should Bryant switch to corner OF and be ready for regular Wrigley play) - he's a decent, inexpensive, and easily tradable option in the OF.

    Who in the Cubs minors is (that we know of anyway) ready for full time play that would be obviously better than Ruggiano? Lake is already up and not blocked. Soler, Almora, and Bryant are not yet clearly ready for a 25-man roster sopt (yet being the key word). Brett Jackson and Vitters might have as much value, but that also remains to be seen,.... and while $2 MM sounds like a lot,.... it is fairly cheap for a ML rostered player with a few years of experience.

  • In reply to RobBleedsCubbieBlue:

    Is it not one of the "mantras" of this FO to not bring up players until they are ready? There may be disagreement about when that is, but it seems the FO has the final word.

    Is there someone younger and cheaper? Sure. Could they use those MLB at bats? Not in the FO's estimation, or so it would seem.

    Yes, we all want the prospects up ASAP. But ours is not the final say, and the long term is better for that.

  • Really good part-time player. 2 mil is peanuts in this market. Double short-side platoon option with R Sweeney in CF or N Schierholtz in RF. You still have to field a team, and Ruggiano is not only a legit big-league player but very much the crowd-pleasing type. You're also wrong about his trade value. A contender with a need for a speedy, versatile lefty-basher will give us a B to B+ prospect. Very silly post. One of our few offseason moves, and definitely one of the better ones. My gosh, the guy has hit 31 HR with 29 SB's in equivalent of 1 1/4 seasons in cavernous Miami with irregular playing time. A part-timer who's arguably a better player than numerous regulars.

  • Someone brought this up earlier, but should we be concerned about Soler's makeup? The dude did go after someone with a bat...

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I don't know what Soler could have been thinking, but he didn't swing it at anyone. He was pretty new to this country so it is probably an isolated incident. I believe there little chance of something like that in his future.

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