Cubs Notes: Pacheco, Cahill, Polanco, Prospect List Preview, and more

We will take a break from the draft with this post to talk more about the current team issues and news.  But we do have something for draft/prospects in the photo gallery at the bottom of the page.  Long time reader History Rat put together some "Future Stars" baseball cards with some of the Cubs prospects and recent draftees.  Check it out.

Starlin Castro

I want to reiterate that Starlin Castro is having a pretty good year.  He ranks 6th in wOBA among all shortstops and is tied for 10th in MLB in WAR, so it makes him among the top 1/4 as far as offensive shortstops and among the to 1/3 overall.

He is still flawed and his approach is still unrefined -- but it has shown flashes of being better, and that is what we should expect early on.  It isn't going to suddenly come together all at once for him.

As the Cubs continue to obtain players who have both patience and power, Castro's role will eventually slide, perhaps to the 6th spot, where he can concentrate on making contact and hit with men on base, a situation in which he has hit .321 with an .898 OPS, .204 ISO, and .389 wOBA for his career.  Even his walk rate is higher (7%) with men on.

Prospect List Preview (Top 6)

I will write a more complete list sometime mid-season but for those wondering, I would currently rank the top 6 as follows:

  1. Kris Bryant
  2. Javier Baez
  3. Albert Almora
  4. Arismendy Alcantara
  5. Kyle Schwarber
  6. Jorge Soler

I was talking to an industry friend about how I so much want Soler to succeed because he fits in so well with what the Cubs like in terms of approach and power.  But he needs to stay healthy. I think the Cubs are going to keep him out until they are sure he has balanced his muscle strength so that it won't happen again, but that comes with a great cost in development, something he really cannot afford.  Unfortunately the Cubs seem to have little choice right now.

Alcantara's success in AAA and his ability to play the middle of the field while providing some serious extra base pop and speed gives him the edge over Schwarber -- for now.

Jordan Pacheco on waivers

Lots of questions on whether the Cubs should pursue Pacheco, who was a very good hitter in the minors with some discipline.  He has been catching for the Rockies which makes the bat potential intriguing, but at 28 he hasn't yet showed any success at the MLB level.  Pacheco was once named as the hitter with the most strike zone discipline in the Rockies organization, but hasn't been able to maintain the solid walk rates he showed in the minors.

I am intrigued because of the position value and that maybe he is a late bloomer, ala Luis Valbuena, who also put up great minor league numbers but took a while to develop at the MLB level.

Worth a flyer?  With the lack of catching depth in the Cubs system, why not?

Trevor Cahill DFA'd

This is a different situation as Cahill is still owed 17M, including 12M next year alone.  The peripheral are good as Cahill has upped his K rate to over one per inning, but the walk rate has shot up as well.  Couple that with a .368 BABIP, a low strand rate (67%), and a dropping groundball rate of 48% after having 56% or better the previous 4 years and you can see why he has struggled.

Is he fixable?

I think so.  The velocity is still there and the lower GB rate and higher BABIP suggests he may be leaving more balls up in the zone.  I think with Cahill's height (6'4") and solid frame, he can be a mid-rotation, groundball guy who can eat innings for you and at age 26 he is still entering his prime years.

But $17M is a lot of money for a project, even if the Cubs will have plenty of payroll space to handle it.  It would be somewhat similar to the Sox taking on Alex Rios contract when the Blue Jays put him on waivers a few years back.

UPDATE: Was told not to rule out Cahill as the Cubs are intrigued but there are issues as to a) the money, of course and b) where he can fit in the rotation right now.  Feeling is he is a fit for the Cubs both because of how his stuff might play at Wrigley and because he is just 26.

Gregory Polanco to debut vs. Cubs

Gregory Polanco makes his debut tonight and he has been one of the most talked about prospects in the minors this season, hittng .347/.405/.540 with a .421 wOBA in AAA.  Cubs fans have already seen top Astros prospect George Springer have some success and now they will see the Cubs go head to head vs. Polanco.

We should probably see the Cubs start to make these kinds of promotions in 2015, so in a way, it is a preview of what's to come in their own organization.  It makes me envious, giddy, and slightly impatient -- but it's understandable why Cubs will wait.

Now that I have got you thinking about 2015 promotions, here is the 2014 Cubs lineup...

  1. Bonifacio, CF
  2. Lake, LF
  3. Rizzo, 1B
  4. Castro, SS
  5. Ruggiano, RF
  6. Olt, 3B
  7. Barney, 2B
  8. Whiteside, C
  9. Wood, SP

Sure, hoping that top 5 can do some damage tonight.  And one more thing, just for fun.  Ever wonder what a 97 mph fastball looks like?  This should give you a good idea...

I like how the hitter doesn't flinch at 97 high and tight.  I probably would have hit the deck -- and quite possibly peed my pants.


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  • I love that video. Camera on ump's head? Wonder why its not used for every telecast. Really neat. Is that 2nd pitch a slider?

    John, how do you think Bryant would do if was brought up to the big leagues right after the AA all star game?

  • In reply to TTP:

    I believe so, just ran across it today and thought it was cool.

    I think if Bryant was called up he would probably K a lot and hit some HRs, but there really is no point. With Boras as his advisor, I'm waiting until 2015 before I call him up and delay that free agency.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I thought the same thing. With what they are doing with camera technology today, it would be pretty amazing to see cameras input into batting helmets and catching masks. It would be great added functionality to some day.

  • That guy probably didn't have time to flinch on that 97mph heater.

  • In reply to Mike:

    Ha! But if he didn't even have time to flinch, how is he ever going to have enough time to hit it?

  • OK - Lets have some fun.

    Of the 4 "Future Star" Groupings, which would you take?

    I think the overwhelming favorite would be #3 with Blackburn (SP who is really taking some steps this year), Bryant (no comment needed) and Remillard (catcher is such a huge need right now).

    Who do you have?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think Bryant alone makes that group the best choice.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I agree with you and John that the Bryant one has the most potential.I think the three young pitchers one is the most intriguing. Think about the fact that in 5 years, three solid arms, two of them lefties, could be on the mound for 5-6 years.

  • So is it safe to say you lean more towards the Cubs valuation of Schwarber than the industry's? Or do you really think guys like Edwards, Johnson and Soler have fallen off that much due to injuries?

    I'd have a hard time putting Schwarber, who many prospect sites seem to think was a mid-late round talent, ahead of any of those 3 guys. Certainly not close to eclipsing Alcantara. I obviously hope that the Cubs FO got it right and that he really is deserving of that #4 pick, but right now #5 just seems too high.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I actually asked around a little and this order was pretty much the consensus -- and I usually talk to those people outside Cubs org. Almost everyone I asked had him above Soler and Edwards.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Huh, interesting, that's very surprising to me.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    But the Cubs took him #4 and they see him as the best hitter in the draft. The "experts" (which scouts laugh at that term) don't see these guys enough and they don't take into account the personality and make up.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That may be with regards to scouts perception of the online guys, but the fact he was willing to go underslot (we'll have to wait and see how far) suggests that the rest of the industry and/or Schwarber and his agent saw him as a talent that was likely to be taken further down the board too.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    For what it's worth, just got this note from a different scout...

    "Kyle has a chance to be a 60/60 type (hit/power), but let's say he is .280 and 25 it does not matter on star impact. He could be a decent bat with the other options around him. He is a better athlete than these so called experts say in public. Soft around the middle yes, but carries it well and moves okay for me. I am 50/50 leaning more on No for a catcher, but you never know and seen worse stick behind the plate."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The fact is I had Bryant's hitting tool ranked hitter then anyone in the Media. And who is the one looking smart there?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I think that scout pretty much supports what you are saying. He is a little lighter on the power tool, but still has it as plus and his thoughts are similar to yours.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cool, thanks for the report.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    No problem. Another non-Cubs guy by the way,

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    The fact he was willing to go under slot means nothing. Some of the best players don't go in the top 5.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Brady Aiken went under slot.

    And it only takes a few teams passing Schwarber. With Gordon, Jackson, and Nola still there, next 3 teams were known not to be in on him. At #8 he would be at just over $3M, which is what the Cubs will reportedly pay him. He is still getting top 8 money and if I were him, I would have taken it too.

    Don't forget some people thought of Nola as a mid round pick and that some players (i.e. Kolek, Jackson -- even Rodon) were more hyped in the media than on some team draft boards.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Aiken went under slot, but his deal fell somewhere between the 2 and 3 slots (I am surprised it ended up below the 2nd slot, though).

    Have to think Schwarber's deal will fall more than 1 or 2 slots below him, but if you're right and it's around the value of the 8th slot then that's not too far at all. I was thinking it'd be below that spot, somewhere in the 12-15 range, but that was just a guess.

    Think we're all hoping it's comparable to a slot further down the draft, would be great if they had a ton of money to throw at not just the overslot guys in the top 10 rounds, but also Gilliam and a few of those other guys they took flyers on.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Law's June 3rd mock and Callis' final mock each had Schwarber going 8th to the Rockies. Getting 8th slot money makes sense, I guess.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Depending on how underslot the player will go, it means something. We'll see where Schwarber lands.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    It means nothing. It is not a view on his talent level. It may just have to do that he wants to play and not go back to school.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    What do you think it means?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If a player is going for well under slot in the 1st round? That he and his agent are willing to accept less money because they think there's a risk that they'll slide down the draft board (Hunter Dozier last year). Or a player might go well under slot first round because of little leverage (Hoffman, Beede likely to do so this year).

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Here is the thing almost very player in the top 5 is going underslot.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    While true, the degree to which they go under slot is meaningful. Most of the guys in the top 5 go under slot, but the value they sign for is comparable to a slot 1-2 spots below them. With Schwarber, all indications are that the amount he signs for will be a bigger drop than 1-2 spots. All speculation at this point, so we'll have to see.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    It doesn't. It means nothing to their talent. Here is how talent: hit tool is about 33% of the total grade, power is 27%, fielding is 18%, arm and speed are 11% each. I add and subtract based on makeup and work ethic. And I had had schwarber in the top 4 on my board. And if you go off your logic Boras client are better then any other players. That's not the case.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    How so? If Aiken is signing for under #2overall slot, what does that say? Nothing. Does that mean he thinks his ability is somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd overall pick? Of course not.

    It only means two things:

    1) Teams can use other teams' rumored interests into gain an edge in negotiations as it pertains to getting a player to sign below slot, and...

    2) Teams can use a player's desire to go pro instead of going to/going back to college as a way to gain an edge in negotiations.

    If "most" of the guys in the top 5 are going under slot, that seems to substantiate these two statements. It does not substantiate your implicit statement that it somehow means that the player knows he is getting drafted sooner than his talent level dictates.

    There are other possibilities as well. Maybe he is humble and non-materialistic. Maybe he's a team-first player. Maybe as a player who played at IU, he wants to stay in the area....kind of like the kid in Boise?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Even Rodon with agent Boras?

  • In reply to John57:

    I don't he does but he is a Boras client. Which is kind of case in point with the whole slot argument.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Your evaluation of Kris Bryant certainly did better than most "experts". BTW , Kevin, as an Indians scout, how much have you see of Lindor? Ive seen him play twice this year, he looks good, but doesnt wow me, particulary on offense.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Not Kevin, of course, but he is an amateur scout, meaning he scouts college and high school players. Pro scouts handle the players in the players who have already started the minors. Not that he can't or hasn't seen Lindor, but he is paid to scout players for the draft.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I have never seen him play in person. I do have a different view on what is important then the organization does.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Schwarber gets knocked by prospect sites because of his positional value in LF and because he doesn't have the explosive upside of guys like Kolek or Gordon. But he's a steady prospect with a reasonable chance of having a 60 hit tool/60 power tool. That alone makes him very valuable.

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    Soler's injuries are particularly bad because he's on a major league contract. He's running out of option years. What's even more frustrating than Soler's injuries is that even with them its difficult to make a case for putting CJ Edwards or Pierce Johnson ahead of him.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think Soler's injuries hightlight how important the Eloy Jiminez signing really was. Jiminez is much younger but might end up being the better choice between the two in the long term. Could that make Soler more likely to be part of a deal for pitching needs? More to be revealed......

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    I agree Soler is more likely to be trade bait than an outfielder at this point. Bryant and Schwarber do seem to give him an eye of a needle to squeeze through. We'll see what happens. I have a piece with a suggestion on just that coming up.

    Very excited to see what Jiminez and Torres do on the AZL Cubs.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    It's way too early to put any stock at all in Jimenez. He hasn't even played well in EXST.
    That isn't to say he CAN'T play well, but you're talking about a guy who is realistically 5 years away.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Oh, I totally agree. But at this point Soler's inability to stay on the field has me doubting that the guy can make any impact much less make it to Chicago. I also did state it was a long term view. Time will tell I guess....

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    How many more option years does Soler have? I forget. With his advanced approach, I'm not too concerned, though he obviously needs to stay healthy. I don't think it would be problematic to promote him quickly after he shows success at each level.

  • Many years ago there was a TV show which featured a "guy off the street" who fancied himself am athlete and could select a sport and the show's producer would come up with a professional in that sport to compete against him.
    The guy picked baseball and he wanted to bat against a ML pitcher. The producer came up with a somewhat unknown young pitcher. Koufax was his name. Koufax had not yet acquired the control which came to him later. No need to tell you what happened.

  • In reply to tboy:

    A very good friend of mine would throw 80-84 in high school and even that was enough to intimidate. He would mix in a big breaking 11 to 7 curve that would completely buckle my knees. That's pretty much when I knew my best chance at being involved in baseball was through my writing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I knew someone that years (and years ago) played in I believe it was A ball but it was low minor leagues. He was a lefty hitter and thought he was pretty good with a chance to make it. Then one game he batted against a left hander that threw him a curveball he said he pretty much bailed out as it was coming right at him. It turned out to be a strike right down the middle and he realized there he was not pro caliber. That lefty turned out to be Kenny Holzman who was short work for that level and as Paul Harvey would say, "you know the rest of the story"

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Still don't understand how these guys do it, at all LOL

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I stood in against a former AAA pitcher that used to throw mid 90s but was down to the high 80s when I met him. Absolutely terrifying. We didn't have a catcher so the balls would just go to the backstop and that is basically the point at which my bat was making it through the zone, when I heard the ball hit the backstop. And forget it with the breaking ball, I alternated between bailing out and being flash frozen in place.

  • I often wish that the various
    condescending sports writers around town - see Rosenditz - could have that experience.
    Maybe then they would be a bit less patronizing about the ball players they toss darts at from behind their iPads.
    I get aggravated too - "can't we just hit a fly ball?"
    But deep down, we all know ain't so.easy.

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    Lots of names changing colors. We should hear of some confirmed signings soon....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Rumor on Twitter that Sands has agreed to terms. I could see them waiting for Schwarber to sign before inking the deal, though. Don't want to put yourself in a position where a non-signing costs you a pick next year.

  • fb_avatar

    What kind of adjustments will Rizzo make against Liriano? Liriano owned Rizzo last time.....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Well, that answers that! LOL

  • fb_avatar

    For anyone who missed it, the clip MLB put together on Schwarber is priceless. You can see what the Cubs like here in terms of makeup. He seems like he's going to be the guy that keeps the entire locker room loose. You can also see catcher here -- this is the anti-Crash Davis who has the pitcher smiling so much he loses track of how much pressure he's under.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I was struck by how much both Jon Hart and Peter Gammons understand this pick better than most of the media.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Gammons nails it with the idea of moving power hitters for pitchers. I'd be surprised if that isn't the plan.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hart's one of the few guys on MLB Network I truly enjoy listening to. Doesn't matter what organization, he always seems to get the thought process.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hart was one very good GM while in Cleveland. People tend to forget, this was the first guy who started signing players to long-term contracts before Arb, and he built a powerhouse lineup thru good drafting(Belle, Thome, Ramirez) and shrewd trades(Baerga, Alomar Jr, Sorrento). Im mystified why he isnt a GM today.

  • For entertainment purposes only, and inspired by the recent draft additions, I have put together my own dream future lineup:

    1 Hannemann L LF
    2 Almora R CF
    3 Rizzo L 1B
    4 Bryant R 3B
    5 Schwarber L C
    6 Baez R 2B
    7 Vogelbomb L DH
    8 Soler R RF
    9 Castro R SS

    Super Sub: Alcantara
    Catcher Platoon: Beef

    and in this dream world we still have the likes of Jimenez, Torres, Candelario & others to use in a trade for pitching & other needs. A Cubs fan can dream :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ChiRy:

    How did I forget about Hannemann? I love where you're going with this!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Hannemann's bat will never play in LF.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We don't really know what his bat will be yet, but with the power elsewhere throughout this line-up, his bat won't have to play up to the traditional LFers expectations. Can he be Brett Gardner? If so, his defense, speed and hopefully his OBP will be what matters. His ability to get on base will be the biggest factor. He's so far away any serious discussion of this is moot. It was a dream scenario anyway.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    That's true. I suppose with the silly amount of power bats coming through the system, the OBP/top of the order type guys are the ones who will have to push their way into the lineup. Seems so backwards from the norm.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I would bring Joey Martarano into this conversation for a bench piece. Not sure if he brings a lot of value to the baseball field, but that would be a pretty imposing lineup in royal rumble. Pitchers would really need to think twice about pitching inside and risking ticking off one of the big boys there.

  • fb_avatar

    The fastball clip should be something people look at whenever a guy gets intentionally plunked by a pitcher.

    It looks so much slower from the TV's angle but that is so insanely not okay.

  • Kyle Freeland just signed for well under slot at 2.3M. Makes me wonder if worries about meds,

  • These are payroll commitments from 2015 through 2019

    Miami Marlins $22.10
    Houston Astros $41.01
    Oakland Athletics $62.37
    San Diego Padres $79.08
    Kansas City Royals $87.45
    Pittsburgh Pirates $92.87
    Baltimore Orioles $113.45
    Chicago Cubs $134.10 ***
    Boston Red Sox $138.37
    Toronto Blue Jays $145.80
    Cleveland Indians $153.16
    Tampa Bay Rays $154.59
    Chicago White Sox $155.14
    Arz Diamondbacks $163.75
    Minnesota Twins $168.85
    Milwaukee Brewers $169.55
    New York Mets $169.60
    Colorado Rockies $173.79
    Washington Nationals $200.41
    Philadelphia Phillies $261.58
    Seattle Mariners $265.13
    St. Louis Cardinals $289.23
    Cincinnati Reds $294.13
    Atlanta Braves $299.55
    San Francisco Giant $359.31
    Texas Rangers $394.50
    Detroit Tigers $419.60
    Los Angeles Angels $452.89
    New York Yankees $535.47
    Los Angeles Dodgers $709.89

  • Recommendations re: Mike Olt: well, I know about Mike Schmidt's early struggles, but Olt's current SO rate plus his SO rate before the eye problems plus the uncertainty about his being fully recovered - let's play Olt pretty much every day for the rest of this audition season.
    If looks like he is the answer, fine.
    But if not, we have a number of other potential 3rd basemen in the system or even on the current roster.
    Declare the Olt experiment over.
    Was worth a try.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to tboy:

    I think the FO kinda "wished" him into the Cubs roster outta Spring training. It's looking more like he could have used more seasoning at Iowa.....

  • If the Cubs sign their 4, 5, 6 and 11, plus Martarano and Gilliam, the draft would have to be considered a home run at that point, no? As of today, I'm rating it B+ pending how many of these guys they can sign. Stinnett is my biggest disappointment. YMMV

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    i don't think they'll sign Gilliam. It may be that the only ranked guys they sign after 20th round are Depperman and Martarano.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought Gilliam was a special case, something about his dad making a big push to get him declared eligible or something like that? Hard to imagine they'd drive that bus if they didn't want it to go somewhere. Overslot sure, but that's why the FO picked him, right?

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Not necessarily. Sometimes you pick guys because you like them and want to build a relationship with them, so that when they become eligible their is an established rapport between the two sides.

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    In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I think I'll wait to see what these guys' results are before I call the draft a home run. They don't give you a world series ring because you signed good high school and college kids.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    This can be said for everyone's draft. When you talk about draft grades, it's about projecting what the class will be like. Anyone can "see what these guys results are" and then give a grade.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    completely silly to call a draft a "home run" based on zero results in professional baseball. File under Vitters, Josh and Jackson, Brett. Get back to me in 3 years.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You're missing the entire point. Any idiot can look at a draft from three years ago and tell you if it was good or not, that takes no particular skill. The idea of a draft being a "home-run" at this point after the draft is simply relative to how well you used your resources to maximize the talent you brought in.

    As of right now, if we sign all of the high up side guys later in the draft, it is a home run RELATIVE to this point in the draft class's progress. In three years, progress is measured by results. There are no results for ANY of the drafted players on any team. So projection is the only way to rate them.

    I did research on our debate about the high school draftees getting money for tuition on the previous article and posted some of it, you should go check that out. It's actually some interesting and informative stuff.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree with your point. Sure like NMU said any idiot can look back and then say what happens but guessing is such a crapshoot. It might look good now, but don't the Washington Redskins win free agency every year? haha

    People can talk themselves into anything. No matter who Theo drafted he would have gotten praised. Schwarber was talked about very little everywhere pre-draft for the Cubs and after he's drafted he gets the "great pick!!!!" label. Same would have happened with ANYONE Theo drafted.

    Gordon- Great ceiling! Amazing bloodlines!
    Pentecost- The catcher of the future! Great hit tool!
    Conforto- Great hitter! Defense isn't as bad as you think.
    Nola- Fast mover! Low ceiling!

  • In reply to Kapp:

    *high ceiling

  • In reply to Kapp:

    When you write this kind of stuff, it is an attempt to insult the readers and the authors. I can tell you the readers and authors here are very intelligent people and can contribute more everyday than this kind of trolling. They contribute an actual knowledge of baseball.

    Between conversations and evaluations (some of which have since been posted, including information from scouts outside the org) we all thought Schwarber was the best hitter in the draft, but only Mike Moody, an author here, went so far as to say the Cubs should pick him. The question with me was defense and I didn't think he could play the OF. I have since been told he can play the OF by people who know more about it than I do, so I can admit I made a mistake here with regard to his athleticism and defensive capabilities.

    So, instead of trolling , please do tell us what you know about baseball and you will find out just how smart you are. This is a site about baseball, after all, that is what we talk about here. We don't talk about how much smarter we think we are than the other readers.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What? No baseball knowledge to share, "Kapp"?

    Yeah, I thought so.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My response was "Name the player the Cubs could have selected that was being talked about pre-draft that you would have considered a bad pick"

    There's none out there. You wouldn't have criticized anyone your hero picked.

    Lol wow you deleted my response and blocked my username.

  • In reply to Sammie y:

    If you were to be honest here (and I could release the messages so that people can see you are being dishonest), you were trolling, which is against commenting policy. That is why your comment was deleted. I also asked you to tell us what you know of baseball, but like all trolls (cowards), you cannot add to conversation, you only attempt to subtract from it and/or write self-serving comments so that, in your own mind, you can feel superior to others. But we don't play those immature games here. All commenters have something to add and you seem incapable.

    I did not want the Cubs to select Alex Jackson. Kyle Freeland, Brandon Finnegan...just for starters, but you would know that if you were paying attention.

    Now, will you be able to tell us something that you know about baseball and add to the covnersation? If not, and all you are capable of is trolling, then expect your comments to be deleted. Any further attempts to draw attention to yourself and away from the conversation will also be deleted.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Calling someone a coward over the internet. You've probably never been in a fight in your life lol.

    I'll meet you at your next Cubs Den get together and I bet you won't say it to my face. Bet your bottom dollar on that one Johnny Boy.

    Name the time and place tough guy.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, I screamed from the rooftops that I wanted the best college bat. I just thought from everything I was reading that it was Conforto.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Yes, I should have done better explaining that. I made the mistake of assuming Schwarber was a 1B/DH only so I didn't incorporate him in the discussion, even though I liked him a lot as a hitter as did some of the people we talked to. Conforto was actually listed as an OF'er so we did include him.

    We should have listened more on our scouts about the athleticism and defense and we should have trusted some of the so-called draft experts less.

    This was a definite learning experience on my part -- and if you don't keep learning in this game, then you are doing it wrong ;)

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    The aftermath of this pick reminds me of the Bears number draft this year. The Score did hours of analysis every day leading up to the draft. Every had the DL Donald out of Pitt or one of the safeties. Donald was off the board. The Bears went with Kyle Fuller in the first and a good Donald comp who had fallen to the third. A few experts mentioned that Fuller was their number one corner on the board and was a perfect fit while everyone else lamented not picking DL or safety. The crowd thought Fuller would be a first year backup and special teamer. Then we came to learn that the nickel package was needed over 90% of the time against GB and Det (and I would guess similar against a good chunk of the schedule). Probably the four most important games as far as landing a playoff spot. So, the Bears needed three quality CB's. The scouting said he was the best choice at this spot. And they found the undervalued DT out of ASU in the third.

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    In reply to Kapp:

    I don't think it's a matter of "talking" yourself into something. Clearly, there was upside with all of those guys and the Cubs have a whole team of guys looking at each pick intensely so it's hard not to trust that - I will, of course, in hindsight, lol.

    On the balance, the Cubs decided the upside of Schwarber's hit tool outweighed any uncertainty about his defense, and if he's 75 percent the hitter Bryant is proving himself to be, then I like the pick!

  • My sons is a college pitcher, just finished his freshman year at small school. Good friends with a couple of guys at IU. From what they say, everyone loves KS. A true leader, totally down to earth. He is going to be a fan favorite for sure. Seems like an old school "Chicago guy." Can definitely see him being Kaner to Bryant's Toews. Showtime, baby!

  • In reply to TTP:

    Where does your son go to college?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    He's charter member of new program at Purdue Calumet in Hammond. NAIA. 6'5" 180 RHP. Sits 87-88. Touched 90 -- once. ;) Projectable. Playing in Midwest Collegiate League with Southland Vikings.

    Kevin, have you met Bill Bryk? Bill's has been my guys pitching coach.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I have not.

  • Am I the only one who feels like Russell has never gotten Alvarez out, even though he's been brought in to face him and only him about 4857034987 times?

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He hasn't been totally ineffective as a loogy, but Pedro Alvarez specifically seems to have his number.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Certainly not this year. Frankly Russell pitches to Alvarez likes hes afraid of him.

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    john you beat me to the Pacheco idea, I was thinking of it earlier but darn work got in the way. Not much of a career wRC+ but
    .236/.300/.347 beats Baker and Whiteside, and Coors field might inflate power numbers but not OBP (still lousy, but still beats what we have).

  • I read Jesse Rogers chat today on ESPN Chicago. His last response to a question was pretty sad, but honestly, he is probably right with his statement. He was answering a question about club house chemistry dealing with trades and prospects and what not.

    "It's fine -- but when Hammel and Samadrzija get traded, all bets are off. You can tell from the core guys they know they don't have enough. They do the best they can and hope for help!"

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    Time to bring back Steve Clevenger.

  • There aren't a lot of teams that have enough if their two best pitchers go down.

    But I'm getting the idea that the Cubs would like to sign Hammel to an extension rather than trade him. I wonder what it would take to get a three year contract with one or two option years?

  • Is it just me or is Olt looking like 2013 Starlin about this same time in the season. Are the confusing him or is he pressing?

    Time to go down and work thru some magic - oh wait Villanueva is playing well and there is a certain someone coming up to AAA soon (hopefully). So does Olt go down to sit with Vitters and Jackson on the scrap pile?

  • In reply to Gator:

    I don't think Starlin could look this bad if he tried. Even bad Starlin hits .245

  • I'd like to grab Trevor Cahill, but only via a trade where the DBacks eat a good chunk of the contract.

    Do you think we could get them to eat $14MM & take a C prospect or two?

  • BTW, love the BB card pix in the caption:)! Nicely done.

  • The Cubs are very close. I think 3 players away from competing next year:
    1.Replacing Edwin Jackson with a TOR (that means resigning Hammel & Shark).
    2. Find a middle lineup lefty OFer.
    3. A leadoff guy to play CF or 2B
    That means Baez,Bryant & Alcantera have to stick.
    With Lake,Bonafacio,Valbuena,Lopez & Ruggiano type for the bench.

    I think the time is now.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I keep thinking of James Shields for 2015, maybe a 3yr contract or so (3/54?). Only other possability that comes to mind are trades for a Price or a Cliff Lee, but Im gunshy on what there teams would ask for them. Shields to replace the loser EJax, make our 1-5 Shields, Shark, Hammel, Wood, Arrieta. BP -Vizciano, Rondon, Ramirez, Grimm from the right side, Rosscup and Cervanka as southpaws. A decent OF option might be Seth Smith, though hes more a platoon type, but he has really good #s against RHP. I personally think Valbuenna(.379 obp) should be a platoon leadoff option at 2b.

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