Cubs Top 35 Prospects: 31-35

Cubs Top 35 Prospects:  31-35
Jen-Ho Tseng

First off, I would like to thank everyone that helped contribute to this list. I consulted opinions from the industry and from other prospect writers, though in the end, the rankings are my own personal opinions. A very special thanks to Tim Sheridan of Boys of Spring, who contributed the video and Brian Bedo of MiCubs, who produced the podcast linked at the end of this article. They will be contributing thoughout the series.

I'm a big fan of the minor league game.  I watch a ton of baseball and with it, a lot of minor league prospects.  But I'm always a little ambivalent about ranking those prospects in any kind of strict order.  There will be many places where an argument can be made that one prospect belongs higher than the other.  I will also leave off a lot of players and pitchers that I really like and think have a shot at the big league and we'll talk about them here.  Then there are the talented young arms to keep an eye on..  You could easily make an argument that those guys all belong in a list this large. But that's kind of what this is all about, right?  They make for fun discussion and friendly debate, but evaluating prospects are part science and part art.  So with that in mind, here's how I rank my prospects:

  • I lean more toward impact potential or upside.  This is one reason you won't see a lot of relievers or role players on the list.  I prefer players who have the potential to start.  For example, I'd rather take the chance of leaving off a good utility player than a potential starting SS or 2B -- even if those chances of making it out of the big leagues are smaller than the lower ceiling prospect.  That is not a set rule.  As players get closer and seem like a clear candidate to be an MLB player, even in a limited role, then I may include them on the list.
  • I use both statistics and scouting, but you'll find I lean more on statistics as the player rises through the system.  Once they get to AA, we start to see some more stabilization.  We tend to see more physically mature players and more data means a better feel for statistical trends, so I will tend to weigh the two disciplines more or less equally.  The further I go down the ladder, the more emphasis I will put on scouting.
  • The scouting info is a blend of my conversations with scouts and talent evaluators, published material, and my own personal evaluations.  I ask a lot of questions of a lot of different people, so I'm always looking to increase my knowledge in that area.  You never stop learning and that's what makes baseball such a great game.
  • I did something slightly different and did not include any prospect who has already had time with the Cubs, so that means you will not read about Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, Logan Watkins, Alberto Cabrera, or Zach Rosscup.  That is not to say they can't be MLB'ers.  They've already made it to the highest level so they may have a better chance than many players on this list.  We will cover them later when I do my annual rookies list.

I once asked a veteran scout if he thought a certain fringe prospect had a chance.  He looked at me and said, "They all have a chance..." So with that in mind, here are quite a few players I like that did not make the list, so feel free to ask. The format is going to be a little different this year.  We are going to do a top 35 and we'll count down 5 at a time.  Along with the usual write-ups, we will have video and pictures of all prospects.  I'll also do a podcast with MiCubs writer Brian Bedo for each segment and we will also do a bonus segment with prospects who did not make the list.  If there is any prospect you want us to talk about, you can email me and I'll forward it to Brian for the podcast. Enough prologue, let's start the list...

31. Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP

  • Age: 19
  • 6'1", 195 lbs.
  • Expected Level: Boise (short season ball)
  • Key stats: Has yet to play

Tseng is a sleeper in the Cubs huge IFA haul from last season and some scouts I talked to might think I have him a little low here.  Several teams quietly pursued Tseng but the Cubs put in the biggest bid at $1.625M. Unlike many 19 year olds, Tseng is already physically mature.  That is a double-edged sword because it limits his projection, but Tseng can already reach 95 mph, so that abates much of the concern.  He is also considered to be mentally mature, showing impressive poise for his age and there is some polish to his game already.  Along with the good fastball, Tseng also throws a good curve and an average slider.  One scout who has seen him often likes his change-up and thinks it's a potential plus pitch for him.  The command is still developing but it shows promise and it will be the key to his progress in 2014. Like many pitchers from the Pacific Rim, his delivery has a slight hesitation that can disrupt a hitters timing, especially so since Tseng has the live arm to make it work, exploding on the hitter from that hesitation with quick arm action.  Despite the unorthodox delivery, Tseng maintains good balance, keeps his head still, and maintains a good line toward home plate. Tseng profiles as a mid-rotation starter though at least one scout I spoke to thinks he can be more than that.  While we keep an eye on some of the big name prospects and IFA signings, Tseng is a prospect to watch this season.  He could be the steal of the 2013 IFA signing period.

32. Scott Frazier, RHP

  • Age 22
  • 6'7", 215 lbs.
  • Expected Level of Play: Kane County
  • Key Stats: 8.27 Ks/9IP, 2.61 ERA/.310 FIP, .255 BABIP, 4.35 BB/9IP

I asked a few scouts a while back to give me some sleeper/surprise candidates and one scout mentioned Scott Frazier.  Some thought the tall, hard-throwing RHP was a potential 1st rounder entering the 2013 college baseball season, but he struggled some with mechanics and repeating his delivery.  That in turn led to command issues and  an off-year.  Frazier wound up slipping all the way to the 6th round.  The Cubs snatched him up and could end up with a steal here.  Frazier intimidates with size and velocity but that big frame also makes it difficult to get all those parts moving together in sync.  If the Cubs can smooth that out,  then they'll have another big arm to add to their growing list of good power pitching prospects. Whereas there are questions about his delivery and mechanics, few doubt his raw stuff.  Frazier throws  a 4-seam fastball that can reach 96 mph and a low 90s 2-seam fastball.  As you can imagine, he gets some good downward plane.  The potential for a hard, heavy 2-seamer is there if he develops as hoped.  His secondary pitch is a hard breaking ball, which is labeled as a slider but it also has the good downward movement of a power curve.   What you have here is the potential for a big, hard-throwing pitcher who pounds the lower part of the zone.  The BABIP is low but it's not hard to envision a pitcher like Frazier inducing weak contact and keeping that BABIP lower than league average.  He also has the stuff to miss bats, but it's his command that will determine his future.  My gut says power reliever but the Cubs have no reason not to give him a shot at starting for as long as possible.

33 Kevin Encarnacion, S/R

  • Age 22
  • 6'0", 175 lbs.
  • Expected 2014 level: Kane County
  • Key Stats: .355/.432/.566, 11.4% walk rate, .466 wOBA

Visa issues have held Encarnacion back and he finally made his stateside debut last season and put up eye-popping numbers.  The temptation is to rank him much higher based on those statistics but we have to keep in mind that he put those up at the short-season level as a 21 year old and got a nice bump from an unsustainable .408 BABIP.  Encarnacion, however, can hit.  He has a knack for putting the fat part of the bat on the ball.  He also has the patient approach and plate discipline to generate good walk rates and high OBPs. Encarnacion plays the game with a fiery intensity and he'll have to be mindful to keep that reined in.  Physically I have some questions as to whether he can maintain his speed and whether he can develop power.  He has a thicker lower half and I'm not crazy about the hip rotation he gets on his swing.  I also wonder if he can play CF as he continues to fill out.  If he does not, then he may not have the power to play the corners -- that would put a great burden on him to sustain those high average and BABIP numbers to be able to carry the position offensively.  He's probably more of a 4th OF'er type but he is an interesting talent worth watching.

34 Juan Paniagua, RHP

  • Age 23
  • 6'1", 175 lbs.
  • Expected level of play: Kane County or Daytona
  • Key Stats: 11.57 Ks/9IP; 7.71 BB/9IP; .558 BABIP

It was a lost season for Paniagua as visa issues held him back and slowed his much needed development.  He's going to be 24 in April and has only 7.2 erratic innings of full-season ball.  But the Cubs don't have a whole lot of arms like this in their system so I'm not ready to give up on him yet.  Paniagua has been clocked as high as 98 mph and some unconfirmed reports have him hitting triple digits.  He does all of this with an easy motion in which the ball just seems to explode out of his hand.  He also shows the potential for a good slider and change-up.  The athleticism and easy delivery make him a solid bet to develop command, though he did not show that at all last season. At this point, time is running out so Paniagua needs to get innings in and he needs to break out or risk falling off the prospect radar.  The best hope is that he clicks as a reliever and moves quickly through the system in much the same way that Armando Rivero did last season.  The two prospects will be interesting to watch -- Rivero is closer to the bigs while Paniagua has the higher ceiling, so I went with Paniagua for this list, but I can see the argument for Rivero here.

35. Marco Hernandez, SS, L/R

  •  Age: 21
  • 6'0, 170 lbs.
  • Expected 2014 level: Daytona (high A)
  • Key stats: .254/.287/.336, 3.6 BB rate; 16% K rate

We have to look past those dreadful numbers to understand why someone like Hernandez would make this list.  I was sitting next to a non-Cubs scout at a game last summer and I asked him who he liked on the Kane County team.  The second player he mentioned was Marco Hernandez.  There's a sense that the ability is there and you have to factor in that true shortstops like Hernandez are rare.  But Hernandez has to show something soon and while you don't like to hang "make or break" labels on 21 year olds, you want to see progress this season.  I'm looking forward to seeing how he responds to working with the tremendous coaching staff at Daytona.

Hernandez filled out a bit physically and showed a bit of power last year by hitting 4 HRs in a tough HR league while maintaining above average speed and good range at short.  He has surprisingly strong wrists for his size and is capable of making solid contact with the potential for average power.  But it isn't Hernandez's average to above average tools across the board that has some quietly concerned.  It's more about maturing from a mental standpoint and understanding that he has to come in prepared and put in the effort on every play and AB.  Having attended Kane County games all season last year, I saw some very encouraging progress in that aspect by the end of the season, though it didn't really show up on the stat sheet.  I think if Hernandez comes in with the same attitude and puts in the work with the Mariano Duncan and the rest of that Daytona staff, we could finally see what Hernandez is capable of on the field.

 

PODCAST LINK: Cubs Top 35 prospects #31-#35 with apologies to Brian for originally mixing up #32 and #33, though it appears he has corrected that.

Comments

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    Didn't I hear that Kevin Encarnacion was in some sort of accident in January? Anything that could potentially hurt his development?

  • In reply to Jay Clancy:

    Potentially yes. I'm assuming he'll be okay but he can't afford to lose a lot of development time.

  • My personal favorite is Jen-Ho Tseng ever since they signed him I looked at him as a sleeper in the international market. John I would also like to say congrats on the new dog.

  • In reply to seankl:

    I like Tseng as well. He's my favorite on this list with Frazier a close second. Two guys I kept hearing good things about.

    Thanks for the kind words on our new addition. She's a beauty and has a great outgoing personality. We'll probably get another dog at some point but right now we're just intent on spoiling her.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If you get another John I would highly recommend a Siberian Husky. Intelligent, beautiful, athletic, quiet, & love the snow (obviously)! They'll be my first & last breed. My dog never barked unless there was danger, & he would sing in the morning, wait for me by the door at night :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Speaking of Jen-Ho...I really enjoy the look of his delivery, and that leg hitch combined with his arm can distract the timing of the hitter, especially out of the BP. One "concern"...that same leg hitch looks like an awfully tempting extra second for a guy like billy Hamilton to swipe second. How does Jen-Ho address this potential issue, with runners on base?

  • In reply to SymposiumX13:

    If I am comprehending the rules correctly, a pitcher can throw to any base provided their step is direct towards that base and the front leg does not travel behind the base leg. Therefore, if a pitcher senses a running on first going to second during the windup, they could make a throw to third and, then catch the running at second. From what I could tell Tseng goes almost straight up with the leg before making a move to home. If this is true, it may actually help hold players considering his commitment to home plate is so late in the windup.

    Either way, he has some amazing balance and generates tremendous power considering the pauses in momentum.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Thanks KC. I agree with the rules interpretation, but it would seem like an awkward pickoff move. 3rd to 2nd. Not sure if I've ever seen that as a regular pickoff, and could potentially leave a large hole on the left side, if the 3b has to worry about taking a pickoff throw and send it over to 2b. Still, that creates a fun visual in my mind for a little "trickery".

    Either way, Tseng looks interesting!

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    More likely he would just abandon the pause with runners on. What you're describing would come very close to a balk way too often to be a reliable method of holding the runners.

  • Was Encanarcion the one hurt in the car accident? That could really set him back if he is going to be in the hospital for awhile yet.

    Tseng and Frazier are going to be part of a group of hard throwers that we are going to be seeing year after year. Hope Tseng makes it to KC this summer so we can all see him.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I knew I wasn't crazy. He had some pretty severe burns if I read the article right.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Yes, but I went under the assumption that he'd be okay.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    There were some reports in the past week that the Cubs brought him to a burn center in AZ. He had substantial burns on his arm, stomach and foot, if I remember correctly.

  • I have to say these prospects look very good and they are not even in the top 30 Cubs prospects. We are loaded.

    How is Encarnacion recovering from burns from the car fire accident?

  • Very good find, very good video clips... Ball seems to explode out of Tseng's hand.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Thanks -- and he'll have better ones as we get higher up the list.

    Tseng is an exciting prospect -- consensus seems to be the Cubs might have gotten a steal. I was a bit conservative with the ranking but tough to squeeze 3 IFAs with no experience in the top 30 -- but Tseng may have the best 2014.

  • How many more years before Paniagua has to be rule 5 protected? He sounds like he could be a steal too.

  • In reply to John57:

    He could be a steal but he has to get innings and develop. I think his only shot is as a reliever at this point but he could be a late inning guy and certainly has the arm to be a closer.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is it known if Paniagua made it to AZ for spring training? I hope he took care of his visa stuff far in advance this time.you've always spoken highly of his talent. I'd like to see him get going finally.

  • In reply to John57:

    As for Rule 5 protected, it appears he'll have a couple more years -- but if he doesn't make it by then, then I think it doesn't matter anyway.

  • Interesting wrinkle to the format for this year John.

    I think Tseng is going to fly through the lower minors and really force his way on to a lot prospect lists this year.

    Frazier is intriguing, but he's so tall - struggling with his release point and command is only natural... That's a lot of limbs to keep aligned!

    I was really excited about Paniagua at first... now I'm just like let him play and don;t ever let him leave the country....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Thanks, it was a challenge to try and coordinate all of that along with the trip to Paris, but I'm pleased at how it came out.

    Frazier is a high ceiling high risk guy for the reasons you stated, but it's tough to deny the potential to be a power pitcher -- and Paniagua has the kind of arm strength you just can't teach. Both are guys who could move quickly or stall before AA ball.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Paniagua has got to move quickly this year...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's imperative for him this year. He has to jump a couple of levels by seasons end, in my opinion.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John great stuff, when can we expect rest of your list?

  • ughhh. I hate how Frazier brings his arm all the way down behind him... that isnt good

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Yeah, not a fan of that either. Hopefully they can tweak that a little.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I see what you mean. You compare his arm action to someone like Wainwright and his arm is way out behind his back. Even if that does ruin his shoulder, it offers hitters a wonderful look at the ball. I bet the Cubs staff will be all over that this year, if they haven't already.

    John, where do you think he will start 2014? Kane?

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    It als looked like he was standing in the middle of the rubber. I assume they move him to the first base side too

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    He should start at Kane.

  • Yay! I love these lists; thanks for the hard work John. I look forward to seeing the rest. This last IFA class could be special. Imagine seeing Jimenez, Torrez, and Tseng in Wrigley.

  • Thank you. I'm excited about this class as well. All 3 of those guys will be on the list.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was wondering about Jefferson Mejia. Is he close to the list? Was he in that car accident? If he was, is he OK too?

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    Is it me John, or does it seem like alot of our big dollar IFA's lately haven't really broken out? It's too soon on last year's haul, but I am thinking of some larger bonus guys like Frandy Delarosa, Mark Malave, Carlos Penalver, and Paniagua. There are no sure things of course, but you'd hope for one or two to emerge.

    Maybe the recent hit is Candelario, but outside of him and Alcantara, our top 20 is likely to be all draft picks and trade acquisitions, rather than IFA scouting/signing successes. (PS: I am not counting Soler, who was very well known to everyone)

    I don't know, just doesn't seem like we get as much out of the Carribean as some other teams like the Rangers....who seem to always have IFA prospects. Maybe that will change.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    PS: And as a side note, I remember that under the prior regime, the Cubs made a real commitment to Asia, with a high-profile field coordinator over there, and we signed a number of IFA's from Asia, particularly Korea. We had a few Korean pitchers flame out IIRC; Hee Seop Choi sort of made it, but we've also had a bunch of guys who didn't; probably the best player we signed we traded to Tampa (Hak Ju Lee). Anyway, doesn't seem like that investment paid off, with only one player, Choi, who actually made it to the bigs

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yes, it does seem like the Cubs scaled back there. The problem is trying to translate performance from Asian amateurs. They don't always have the same projection physically, so you see real good players like Pin-Chieh Chen get a bit overmatched when facing bigger players as he has moved up. But the kid can hit and square up the baseball run a bit, throw -- the tools are there but physically he fall a little bit shy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Because of that it's probably no coincidence that the Cubs have pursued older Pacific rim players with the exception of Tseng, who is physically and mentally mature already.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Yeah, I have to think there's at least some bad luck in there -- international prospects are always a crapshoot to begin with, and a couple Cubs guys, Choi and Rhee, have struggled with injury.

    The Rangers are probably the premier team when it comes to finding, investing in, and developing international prospects. The Cubs haven't been anywhere near as successful as them, but Alcantara, Candelario, Encarnacion, and of course the 2013 class aren't a bad crop. The first 2 guys would be top-5 in a lot of systems.

    Certainly an area that could improve and possibly already has depending on how the new guys pan out.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think we need to give it some time. Cubs have always had some success and they've only recently made a bigger investment. Aside from Candelario, hear good stuff about Penalver (who just missed this list) and Malave (who did make it). There are 3 prospects from the most recent class on this list and both Moreno and Mejia got some support as well. I think it's coming, but it's going to be more like the 3rd or 4th wave.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree about needing more time. I would guess the Cubs do about as well as the average team in signing IFAs, with some teams (like Rangers) more successful than most and many other teams finding a few good players and a bit more role players from their signings. Nothing is more of a crapshoot than signing a 16 year old, so I am comfortable with our historical production when we didn't spend that much (Zambrano, Cruz, Lake, Castro) and am quite excited about the next wave and seeing how they develop.

    More importantly, John, thank you very much for this list and information/videos connected therewith. I don't post a ton, but check this board every day and do not think there is a better place for Cubs information and knowledgeable discussion.

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    Great article. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Frazier/Skulina/Zastryzny/Masek group develops this year along with a couple of 2012 draftees, Underwood and Blackburn.

    One guy who's probably not going to be on your list that I think has a chance to be pretty good is John Andreoli. I think he'll hit better than average -- aided by speed-inflated BABIP -- with a walk rate probably near double digits. If everything breaks right, is it far fetched to think he could develop into a speedier David Dejesus?

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    In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Oh, and I almost forgot, excellent finds with the video. I can see what you're saying with Encarnacion's hip rotation. It doesn't seem like he generates a lot of torque.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Thanks, that was Tim with the video. The rotation bothered me when I saw him at Kane and Tim found a great shot of it there. I think it will limit his power and I don't know if the injury might affect that even more. I wrote this up before the most recent news and I didn't factor that in.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Thank you. Masek just missed this list and I agree he's one to watch.

    I considered Andreoli and he wasn't too far off either. Concern is that the bat (lack of power) won't play in the corners and he can't be a full time CF defensively. DeJesus is possible, I'm thinking more along the lines of Reed Johnson.

  • Yeah. What happened to Gerardo concepcion? Haven't heard anything about him since he was getting rocked in the low minors. I thought I might have heard something about him getting hurt last year but can't remember?

  • In reply to T dizzle:

    He was so bad, I could swear I read somewhere the Cubs are going to send him all the way back to the AZ development league this year. I mean, the guy was absolutely rocked last year. $7MM wasted.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    He didn't even pitch last year, not sure how he was getting rocked unless it was in intrasquad games. Think he caught mono last year.

    He was certainly bad in 2012 though. I caught a couple of his starts with Peoria. He was high 80s with the 2 seam fastball. Curveball in the 70s that didn't have a lot of bite, and then a low 80s changeup. Don't think he made it out of the 3rd inning in either start (not sure he made it out of the first in one of them). I do remember thinking he was getting terribly unlucky with several seeing eye grounders making it through and nothing getting hit really hard in either start, but he just didn't have any pitches plus pitches.

  • In reply to T dizzle:

    He's a big question mark right now. Looks like an organizational guy at this point but we'll see how he does with some health.

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    In reply to T dizzle:

    On another blog, that came up, and the resident expert stated that Concepcion is in minor league camp, and is due to start in the AZL Rookie leage, due to his layoff last year from illness (he had mono or something like that).

    Probably we aren't getting a return on that investment though

  • Lots of fun stuff, great piece & we aren't even cracking the top 30 yet! And by the way great to have you back John, & great filling in Mike. I think however you forgot to note the expected level of Frazier & the age of Marco.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Thanks ChiRy -- I will add those in.

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    Personally, I think I would have put Penalver ahead of Hernandez and Paniagua given his glove and how he seemed to figure out the hitting thing at the end of last season, but at this point in the list they're pretty interchangeable.

    I really do like Penalver as a breakout guy at KC this year, though.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hernandez is a really slick fielder. I haven't gotten to see Penalver live yet, but if he is actually better than Hernandez than he is definitely someone to be excited about. I had never heard anyone say his glove is better though. Hernandez has legit MLB SS tools.

    Hernandez's problems all seem to stem from poor approach. He gets lazy in the field and gets too pull happy at the plate. If he matures as a player he can play in the majors, but right now he is just way too inconsistent.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    Here's TCR:
    "The 18-year old Venezuelan was signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old for a reported $550K bonus on July 2, 2010 (the first day of the 2010 International Signing Period), and he is probably the best defensive shortstop in the organization. "
    http://www.thecubreporter.com/05082013/penalver-four-hit-day-pain-halo-angels

    This is Sahadev:
    "The best defensive shortstop in the system, Penalver has smooth hands, easy transfer and plenty of arm strength."
    http://vineline.mlblogs.com/tag/carlos-penalver/

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Nice, I hadn't heard that his glove was that good. Penalver and Hanneman are the two position players I haven't seen that I am looking forward to most when watching KC this year. Will be good to see Balaguert (in better shape then when he made his cup of coffee in Peoria in 12), Dunston and Martin in person after getting to watch them on video the past couple of years. No big names on the team this year, but a lot of good athletes and it will still be fun to see if any of them can break through and capitalize on their tools.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We've been raving about Penalver's defense for a while now, most recently in early January,

    " He may be the best defensive SS in the system. He has a strong arm, quick feet, and the fluid athleticism to stick at SS."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Penalver isn't far behind but Hernandez had shown a better bat to start his career, though both struggled early on at Boise. I think Hernandez can be a shortstop with some pop and good defense but I'm unsure about how much Penalver can provide offensively at this point. Next year is a big year for both, especially Hernandez.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Penalver is a different kind of guy, but offensively I look at him and see a guy with good OBP skills (OBP almost 80 points above his average) and capable of stealing a base. The challenge I see for him is learning to use his speed to be a threat on the basepaths. He could be a very valuable piece as a top of the order guy who provides plus to plus plus defense at shortstop.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    No doubt they're close. Penalver would have been top 40 which doesn't leave him too far behind. Very possible he passes Hernandez this year.

  • John,

    By the way, welcome back. I was busy over the weekend and had to catch up on the first couple of articles you wrote since you got back well after they came out and didn't get a chance to share in the avalanche of welcome backs you received at the time. The boys all did an admirable job filling in for you and kept us from going over the deep end, but I think I can say for all of us that we were going through Cubs Den withdrawals without all your late night articles. You really do spoil us with the amount of content you manage to output on a daily basis. And now back with a prospect article to boot. Thanks for all you do. Best Cubs blog around.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Thanks for the kind words mjvz.

    And no worries, I'm still trying to catch up myself!

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Here here. Yes, Welcome back John. I think the fact that we can all think well of guys that didn't quite make the list bodes well for the overall depth of the system. Even now its fun to guess who made it or who was on the bubble. I'd like to see Bruno on the list for instance but not sure he made it. Others like Trey Martin and Dunston Jr are a couple I think probably did make it. And of course, what about the arms. Are we getting deeper? Just fun to speculate.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    You mentioned Trey Martin and Dunston. That reminded me of Hannemann, Burkes and Jeff Baez. They all have a chance of being on the list. Oh and I guess we have to throw Szczur in there too.

  • In reply to John57:

    A few of those guys will make it.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Thanks Bilbo. Bruno just missed but I have hopes for him. Any time you can hit the way he can, you have a chance.

    Cubs are getting deeper but they still have a ways to go. There's a lot of attrition with pitching prospects and you never really can have too many.

  • Great little podcast as fans get a little of Harry thrown in without the mispronounciation. Each month I go off the grid for a few days to play caregiver for my elderly mother, who lives in the middle of nowhere, and its always fun to catch up with the Cubs Den. Good reads all and welcome back John.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thanks 44.

  • I love the video. Tseng looks awesome, love his delivery and how balanced he is.

  • In reply to couch:

    Thanks. He looks pretty polished.

  • Both Jen-Ho and Frazier need time to work on minor elements. In watching videos of Frazier, I think he needs a better plan in addition to the mechanical replication. For Jen-Ho from the videos, it looks as if he is cleaner out of the stretch rather than his wind up.

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    Love the list, John, but is there a reason you didn't do this in reverse order? 35-31 instead of 31-35? That might add to the suspense as you move forward. Just a thought.

  • In reply to Phil James:

    Funny you should say that. Just talked about that with Tim. Will do it that way from this point forward.

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    Gordo just tweeted a picture of Vogelbach. I had heard he lost 30 lbs. But the proof is in the pudding.

    https://twitter.com/GDubCub/status/438374621352435712/photo/1

    It's just great to see how hungry these guys are. They take no breaks and just keep working hard. And as a "fat" guy myself in my playing years, I'd love to see Vogelbach make his critics eat crow! You just gotta love this kid.

    With that said, I'm sure Gordo will turn this great accomplishment into something ugly in an upcoming column....... lol

  • Pics of VogelBOMB 2012 vs 2014:

    https://twitter.com/denny__andrew/status/438381116643221504/photo/1

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Whoa. Thanks, Hoosier.

    I'm starting to wonder if he's putting left field back on the table. (Long shot, I know.)

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's quite a difference from where he once was. he almost doesn't even look like the same guy.
    Sort of like Lonnie Smith in reverse. Smith gained so much weight one off season that one of his Braves teammates said he went home in the fall looking like Lonnie and came back the next spring looking like Bob Horner. lol

  • This stuff is great. I love it. Can't wait until BB starts.

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