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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Schwarber hits some baseballs, Tseng looks strong, Sands has AZ clubhouse reservations

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Schwarber hits some baseballs, Tseng looks strong, Sands has AZ clubhouse reservations
Carlos Penalver

It was a  crazy day for us here, the website went down and stayed down for hours, but things are back to normal now and we have some catching up to do.  Some interesting news, though it should not be surprise if you have been following -- Carson Sands appears to be signed, sealed, and delivered and while we don't have a formal announcement, I think you would agree that a clubhouse space in AZ along with an assigned number (#59), is a pretty good clue...

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No other draft signings to report but I will say I am not ready to give up on Isiah Gilliam just yet.

And here's a better video on Kyle Schwarber's HR yesterday...

I got to thinking after watching this and I decided to compare it to video on Dan Vogelbach's swing. Both are large-framed guys who hit left-handed, but their swings are more different than I expected.

Vogelbach depends heavily on his tremendous upper body strength  while you will see that Schwarber has a more fluid, athletic swing that utilizes the lower half of his body more. He collapses his back leg and drives more with his lower half.  He shows some quick hands, loading up but then quickly lowers the bat head and then explodes through the zone with quick hands and a direct path to the baseball.  It isn't elite Javy Baez type bat speed, of course, but it's pretty good -- and possibly better bat speed than Kris Bryant, but while Bryant has good bat speed in his own right, he does his damage differently, and that is with tremendous leverage and strength.

They have all been effective early in their careers, they just do it differently.  There is more than one path to MLB success so it will be fun to watch all 3 progress through the system.

Side note:  FSL All-Star Bijan Rademacher finished second in the HR derby today.

Now...let's get on with the recap...

Sacramento 9 - Iowa 4

  • Tsuyoshi Wada has been coming back to earth of late and today it was 4 walks and 7 hits in 4.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) to fall to a still solid 6-4 with a 2.82 ERA.
  • 27 year old catcher Luis Flores has had a lot of ups and downs to a career which once saw him as a promising catcher in the system.  You have to give him credit for perseverance and he has made the most of his opportunities this year, hitting .270 but walking an incredible 25 times in 101 PAs to put his OBP at .465.
  • Chris Valaika singled twice and drove in a run.  He's hitting .294 in what has been a solid year for him.
  • Arismendy Alcantara singled, walked, stole his 12th base, and scored a run.
  • Matt Szczur had a 3 hit day, driving in a run and scoring another.  He bumped his average up to .237 on the year.

Mississippi 6 - Tennessee 4

  • Joe Gardner remains a groundball maching, getting 12 of his 17 outs via the ground out, but he came up short today, going 5.2 innings and allowing 3 runs.  I like him better than the other kid the Cubs picked up to fill space in the rotation, as I think Gardner can find a niche with his unique skill, but I don't see him as a "legit" prospect, more of a guy with a shot to earn some kind of role if he keeps at it.
  • Hunter Cervenka, who has been very good all year, got tagged with the loss this year after allowing 2 runs in the 8th after coming into the game to protect a 4-3 lead.  Cervenka has still been solid overall, however, as he fell to 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA.
  • Stephen Bruno returned (again) and went 2 for 4 with a run scored.  Stay on the field, Bruno, we enjoy watching you hit.
  • We also enjoy Kris Bryant and he continues to remind us everyday about why he is such a good ballplayer.  Even the bad days aren't so bad as Kris Bryant went 1 for 4 with a walk and a run scored.
  • Veteran catcher Taylor Davis hit a big, pinch-hit 2 run HR to give the Smokies that 4-3 lead, but it was short-lived.

Beloit 12- Kane County 11

  • The Cougars got involved in a slug fest today when they really would prefer to bob and weave.  Still, they had a 10-7  lead going into the bottom of the 8th but the normally reliable Corbin Hoffner and Tyler Bremer combined to allow 5 runs.  Hoffner allowed 3 in 2.2 innings and then Bremer came in, gave up the go-ahead run, then allowed the winning run in the 9th after the Cougars came back to tie.  Tough day from a pitcher who has been rock solid all year.
  • As tough as that game was, it was even worse for Alberto Diaz, who was given the modest task of protetcting a 9-0 lead.  He did -- in  a way.  He left the lead, but did not get a single hitter out, allowing 7 runs to help turn a laugher into a  heartbreaker.
  • All of this ruined another outstanding performance from Jen-Ho Tseng, who pitched 5 innings of one-hit baseball while walking 2 and striking out 8.  Tseng has started where he left off from a great season where he has put himself in serious top 10 consideration.  He has walked just 7 batters all year while striking out 43 en route to a 3-0 record with a 2.48 ERA.
  • Lots of offense to talk about starting with leadoff hitter Jacob Hannemann who had 4 hits, including a double while scoring 2 and driving in 2.  Still has been an inconsistent year for the relatively inexperienced OF'er, who is hitting .243/.316/.343.  Hannemann was also ejected after pushing an umpire after being called out.  I'm sure there will be a suspension coming here.
  • Carlos Penalver had 3 hits and a walk in 6 PAs, doubling, scoring a run, and driving in 2.  Penalver raised his average to .252 and  his OBP to an even .300.  I like Penalver as a ballplayer, though I am not sure how much projection is left in that small-framed body.  He may never hit for much power, so he is going to have to get on base more often, steal a few bases (he stole his 15th) and continue to play stellar defense.  But I think he has a realistic shot at being at least a utility infielder and if he can add some strength, perhaps an old-school type defense-first SS.
  • Ben Carhart went 2 for 6 with 2 runs scored.  He's hitting .295/.344/.379 on the year.
  • Jordan Hankins has been the best and most consistent hitter on this team all season.  I have to admit that I wasn't impressed with his rather stocky body and average athleticism, but the kid can hit.  He had 4 more hits, including 2 doubles, while driving in 5 runs,  He's hitting .318/.354/.444, leaving him just shy of the .800 OPS mark.
  • Trey Martin has slowly been finding his groove.  The Cougars have stuck him at the bottom of the lineup and have stuck him in LF (though to me he is the best CF on this team).  He is starting to come around after a lost season in 2013 and a slow start this season.  He had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and a walk, and he is now hitting .222/.274/.290 -- not very impressive to say the least, but he has hit .314/.324/.400 in 12 games this month.

Boise 10 - TriCity 5

  • Eric Leal is one of the guys to watch on this team as a 19 year old with  a clean delivery and an advanced feel for pitching.  He has a chance to fill out and gain some velo, which would make him even more interesting, but for now he is pretty solid.  He got off to a good start with 5 innings of 3 hit baseball, allowing just one earned run while walking one batter and striking out 4.
  • There has to be some concern for Scott Frazier, who could not find the strike zone in Kane County, got sent to AZ, re-started in Boise and now walked  4 of the 5 batters he faced, and allowed a hit to the other.  He also threw 4 wild pitches and allowed 4 runs.  Hoping this isn't a Steve Blass thing and that this is something the Cubs can fix.
  • Very happy to see Trey Lang come in and throw strikes as the big RHP with the mid 90s FB and wipeout slider pitched 2 scoreless, walkless innings, striking out 4.
  • CF Jeffrey Baez is a guy to watch on this team and he played the type of game which makes him an interesting player -- getting  a walk, single and triple, scoring 3 and driving in 2 -- and he also stole 2 bases.  As I said in the preview, he is perhaps the most exciting player on this team.
  • C Kyle Schwarber may not have the same eye-catching kind of athleticism as Baez, but you don't want to miss any of his at-bats either.  He had 3 more hits in 5 ABs, driving in 3.
  • 1B Danny Canela, LF Kevin Brown, and 2B Zak Blair each added 2 hits with Brown and Blair also adding a walk.

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • fb_avatar

    Oh goody. The prospect who desperately needs time on the field shoved an ump. Heady play there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, a bit surprising considering his rep as a good guy. Some frustration perhaps after the huge Cougars collapse.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah Mormons aren't really known for their penchant for violence

  • Given all the injuries and owies to the better prospect pitchers in the system this year, I think it's safe to say Jen Ho has been the most impressive and encouraging, no? He's gotta be a top 10 Cubs prospect in my book.

    John, you need to report the cascading discouraging days from Baez here as well as the (rare) good days. We're all getting concerned about Javy at this point, no use hiding it.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Not hiding it but this recap has always been more about the highlights, just as you would see in any recap. Nobody really tunes in to hear about an o for 4 day. When I don't talk about a top player, you can assume he didn't do anything positive. Box score is linked so if anyone wants to bring it up they can.

    One thing about Baez that I was told is that he has been rolling his wrists over in an effort to make contact, but the result is he has been making weaker contact and it hasn't stopped him from striking out.

    As for Tseng, he is in my top 10 for this year so far, as is his teammate Paul Blackburn.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    do you remember me telling you he would move quickly through the system and rankings when you came out with him in the 25+ range?...

    the good news is he seems to be a real value find for us.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I do remember and I got a whole lot of love for Tseng pre-season, but I ranked him conservatively. I think he will crack that mid-season prospect list.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd say the top 10 would go something like:
    1. Bryant
    2. Baez
    3. Almora
    4. Alcantara
    5. Edwards
    6. Soler
    7. Schwarber
    8. Johnson
    9. Tseng/Blackburn
    10. Blackburn/Tseng

    Although Almora has had kind of a "meh" year so far, I'm still very high on him, and I think his hitting ability is too solid to not progress through the minors. Edwards and Johnson, albeit injured, haven't really diminished their value, same with Soler.

    John, do you think if Tseng and Blackburn can continue pitching consistently well, they could break into the top 100 overall?

  • In reply to kSlee146:

    Oh, and Bryant has to be top 3 by now, right? I couldn't imagine a better performance thus far.

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    In reply to kSlee146:

    I like that list, but I have to believe Schwarber has to be in the top 5 if not top 4. Hard to justify Almora and Soler up so high after basically doing zip nada zilch this year.

    Anyone know what's up w pierce Johnson ? How hurt is he?

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I can buy the "zip, zero, zilch" for Almora (maybe) as he is not hitting the cover off the ball, but he is also 2 leagues higher than Schwarber and is almost 3 years younger than average in a league famously pitcher friendly. Almora has shredded everywhere else he has been so I am willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt for now.

    As for Soler, yeah his line of .333/.407/.625 tells a tale of woe...wait a minute...WHAT? His problem has NOT been production (again, a league he is 2 years younger than average) with a 5:3 K:BB ratio. His problem has been health. I have trouble putting Schwarber at their level when we consider the competition he is playing against. I want to see Schwarber dominate at Kane County before I have him extending the Core-4 into the Fab-5.

    While they're not the "big names" I still like Alcantara (if he could get his walk rate up I would consider using him to construct a Fab-5). He is holding his own in a league far more advanced than any I have mentioned so far.

    Another one I like more than most is Kyle Hendricks. While he doesn't have the "mid-90's fastball" that is de-rigeur he just plain produces. Again, at AAA where he is facing guys that are older and more experienced he is holding his own with a decent 3.89 ERA AND a K:BB rate of 97:27 with only 5HR given up in 114 innings. This isn't a "flash-in-the-pan" either as he has done basically this his whole career.

    What does my Top-10 look like? I remember not long ago I would have had to put Vitters and BJaxx into the top-10 even with their pitiful seasons, but not anymore. It is crowded at the top:
    1. Bryant--His domination of AA has been mind-boggling. The only concern I have about him is that he has not EVER struggled...anywhere. Maybe he is that Bonds-ian type talent that just plain plays on another level than anyone else, but I would rather see him, oddly, go 3-16 in a week with no walks, 6K's and see how he handles it mentally.
    2. Baez--Maybe this is still after-glow from his stratospheric season last year, but he is starting to come around in AAA ball and he still has a very high ceiling. Again, lets remember he is very young for his league and at AAA you are facing guys not necessarily more physically talented than at AA (sometimes maybe even less talented) but are more advanced mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. There is nothing that a 34-year old has-been would like more than to tell his kids he made the great Javier Baez look like a fool.
    3. Almora--This one may be reaching but I still think he needs to be in the top-4. I just can't believe that he has suddenly, inexplicably, forgotten how to hit. All hitters need to struggle so we can see how well they handle it. If this is Almora's worst year I can handle it. Most players struggle at some point. This isn't a list of top-10 seasons but guys I believe have a bright future and it takes more than 1 bad season for me to drop a guy down the list more than a couple of notches.
    4. Soler--though he has had VERY limited time this year he has flat out DOMINATED when he has played. On straight production he would have to be up there along with Bryant. Imagine if he were able to do this for a full season! He is still young and I am thrilled with his production so far.
    5. Alcantara--Again, he is putting up solid numbers in a very experienced league. Not eye-popping, but he is not being shelled.
    6. Tseng--I hadn't paid attention to this guy but he is doing very well at a very young age.
    7. Schwarber--I am a little worried about putting him up this high based on 2 games (albeit with video game numbers). He might be getting bonus points for being a high first-rounder. I look forward to seeing what he does when he has a couple of hundred plate appearances in.
    8. Hendricks--I can't keep this guy out of my top-10. The scouts may not like him as much as I do, but he has a steady approach and doesn't seem to have an injury history.
    9. Bruno--Thanks, John, for opening my eyes to this guy. He seems to be what I always wanted Ronaldo Torreyes to be. Like Hendricks, probably not the high ceiling, but he does produce. If we don't have room for him at the major league level he could make for an interesting "sweetener" in a trade in the future.
    10. Blackburn--Very solid performance thus far. I LOVE the 50:14 K:BB ratio and 3 homers given up in almost 65 innings.

    My favorite thing about the cubs was picking a #10 guy wasn't digging to find someone. I had to leave high quality guys off the list like Johnson (I am worried about the poor K:BB ratio...though I brushed aside similar problems in Almora...I guess I have never been high on Johnson), Jokisch, Vogelbach, Vizcaino et al. These four would be on almost every other teams top-10...Probably some Top-5.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    No Edwards in your top 10?

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    In reply to NathanE:

    Wow, you read that far?! I thought of him after I posted but then go to thinking, if I keep Almora where he is I could slot Edwards in above Schwarber citing, among other things, lack of sufficient usable data on Schwarber, but I might actually consider Tseng above Edwards. I don't go for the whole "he isn't big enough to start" thing, but Tseng's K:BB ratio is oustanding. To Edit I would probably put Edwards in between 7-10 and probably drop Blackburn. Again, a good problem to have, no room in the top-10 for oustanding talent.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Lou Pinella said something to the effect of how every 3 game winning streak, Cubs fans were talking World Series, and every 3 game losing streak, Cubs fans were ready for a fire sale.

    With every 0-4 game, Cubs fans are ready to trade away Baez. Oh my goodness, just let the kid play. He's going to be a star. It's not about a single game report or even a month... we're following a career here.

  • Good to see the increasingly better results from Hannemann, Tseng after his injury and impressive start from Schwarber. Not to trilled about 2 errors already, which further sheds doubt on his ability to stay at C.

    From the trade rumor discussion earlier, I saw Paxton's 2 starts. After watching I said I have to keep an eye on this tall lefty who throws 97. If we can get him for Hammel, that would be a nice haul!!

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    In reply to Buzz:

    It would be a top 5 trade all time in this front offices tenure and I am counting there Red Sox time. That's how high I am on James Paxton.

    I think they might actually trade him. They have walker coming back, but the sad thing is the Mariners need some hitting. They wasted a great pitching performance by King Felix Friday night and only have one lineup regular hitting over .300 and one w an OBP over .330 and we all know who that guy is.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree 100%. His stuff from what I saw was great. 97 and good slider. I guess the only thing would be the control. Floor I'd say is #3, ceiling maybe # 1, albeit 2 starts, but you can't teach stuff but you can teach control. And his injury is non-arm related.

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    In reply to Buzz:

    Yes sir. You can't teach height and that easy smooth delivery.

    I believe his walk rate has been improving plus he was pitching in the PCL so that's why his minor league numbers are a bit deceiving.

    Imagine if they somehow find a way to keep Jeff S and sign a Jon Lester type pitcher this offseason.

    Rotation is deep, mixed, and set up for fierce competition

    Jon Lester L
    Jeff S. R
    Travis Wood L
    Edwin J R
    Jake Arrieta R
    James Paxton L

    Even if you take Jeff out, it's still a solid rotation, but if we keep him. this could be the best rotation we have seen on the north side in close to a decade.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    I'd love that trade, and I've got to believe that mid-4's ERA at AAA last year can't have the M's too confident in Paxton, but I do feel that trade could quickly turn into (even more) Fire Jackie Z talk in Seattle.

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    Are we sure that's #59 and not #54?

  • In reply to the DCHAV:

    Yeah, I saw that too. Glad I scrolled before posting.

  • I'm pretty happy with Schwarber's 3 singles today. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I see it as him just putting the ball in play to score the RBI instead of trying for a HR (fly out). The power is there, no need to extend beyond himself in those ABs.

    My hopes for the season trades:

    Hammel to M's for Paxton (+/- filler), Shark to Dodgers for Pederson + pitching prospect...call it a successful season.

  • In reply to SymposiumX13:

    Pederson + Arias please.

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    If we're going to keep on trying to acquire Pederson, try using Baez as the center piece, the dodgers have enough of'ers and don't have the prospects in the infield, the cubs have the opposite, also Pederson seems to be the type of player the cubs are striving for and Baez is'nt an Epstein draftee, seems like the answer to the problem...

  • In reply to Robert Menadue:

    I'd hang onto Baez. His upside is just too drool inductive to give up on him, already. He is young for AAA. Let's give him more time to show that he can adjust out of a slump (which he has done every level, thus far).

    Shark isn't going to re-sign, as much as most of us would like. This, you keep Baez and trade Shark for the best package available.

    I think Hammels will be gone soon, followed by Shark. I trust the Cubs FO to squeeze every iota of value from both trades.

  • In reply to Robert Menadue:

    If the LAD want Spellcheck, Pederson is a must. . Otherwise tell Coletti to take a hike.

  • In reply to Robert Menadue:

    A SS capable of 40 HR for an OF who may be a platoon player (though he may eventually come around the way Rizzo has)?

    No. Just no. Completely shortsided. If you aren't getting a top MLB player in return (say Stanton) then any trade scenario involving Javy is a very bad idea.

  • In reply to Robert Menadue:

    I think that the fact that Baez isn't an Epstein draftee means absolutely nothing.

  • Schwarber wearing #16 is a good omen to me of course.

    Website malfunction...I suspect Chinese military.

    Happy Father's Day to all.

  • Dodgers have Corey Steager at SS who's ranked ahead of Pederson on most scouts rankings. Baez has talent you just don't give up on. Hopefully he can turn it around soon, his favorite player was Manny so hopefully he can work with Baez and help him get his shit together.

    I wanna see Shark to the Dodgers for Pederson, Lee and Urias. Throw em Valbuena and Vitters if it means getting Lee and Urias. We need OF help asap and Pederson fits that to a T. Dodgers will be looking for SP in the offseason with Beckett and Haren leaving so I can see them being in on Shark.

    Also wanna see us go after Price, we got the prospects to swing a trade. Maybe a deal of Almora, Soler Vogelbach and a pitching prospect gets it done. Get Price and extend him and go after Lester in the offseason.

  • In reply to Kicker of Elves:

    Are you related to Jim Hendry?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I thought Kenny Williams myself.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    If I was I would've told him to take the Soriano contract and stick it up his butt. :)

  • In reply to Kicker of Elves:

    We could probably get Pederson in a trade for Samardzija. We could probably get Lee in a trade for Samardzija. We might even get Urias in a trade for Samardzija.

    But there is no way we would get two of them, let alone all three for Samardzija.

    And I have never understood the belief that if the other team won't trade us there stars for our load of crap, we can make it more appealing if we pile the crap higher. Valbuena has no place on the Dodger's 25 man system, and Vitters has no place in the Dodger's minor league system.

  • Interesting about Rademacher doing so well in the HR derby. Hasn't the big question on him always been his power? I know there's a big difference between batting practice power and game power. However, it shows he's got the strength.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    He has a beautiful swing. Watching him take batting practice is fun. He consistently sends line drives over the RF fence. He doesn't have much loft to his swing so he never hits moonshots and the ball never goes more then 10 rows back. I've seen him get in a groove during BP where he sends five or six straight pitches to the same ten square foot radius n the RF bleachers.

  • Dodgers have Corey Steager at SS who's ranked ahead of Pederson on most scouts top prospects list. Baez is stuggling but you don't give up on talent like that so easily. Hopefully Manny can work with him and help him get his shit together. Manny was his fav player so maybe he'll listen to him.

    I wanna see Shark traded to the Dodgers for Pederson, Lee and Urias. Pederson fills a huge hole in the OF and that's what we need right away. I'd throw in Valbuena to get Urias and Lee too. Dodger's make sense since they'll be losing 2 of their SP (Beckett and Haren)

    I also wanna see us go after Price and extend him. Trade off Almora Soler Vogelbach and a pitching prospect to get him.

    Trade Hammel to Seattle for Paxton and Wilson.

  • Please,please have patience with Baez and don't consider trading him. If we can somehow sign Smarj and sign a top free agent pitcher I believe 2015 is going to be a very good year. We must get rid of outfielders that can't hit above .230. Olt must go to Iowa to see if he can hit .250.

  • fb_avatar

    Jordan Hankins at a quick glance reminds of a Ken Oberkfell or Jacob Turner utility type guy.

  • fb_avatar

    I am still of the thinking that Hammel will be gone first and now very quickly (probably before the All Star break) but I am thinking that it will not be for a big arm (They will use Shark and his much higher ceiling for this). What they might do is take on one of the players that are young and struggling from a contender to get some ready guys (kind of like the Strop/Arrieta trade last year). I am holding out hope for Reddick from Oakland (if he can get healthy) or Nick Franklin from the M's.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    They've said they want more for Hammel then what they got for Feldman last year.

  • Olt needs to see some regularly at bats in AAA right now. I know we want to see the kids but sending him down is the best thing for him right now. Call up Valakia or Watkins, and if Olt tears it up for a few months, call him back up

  • In reply to NathanE:

    Totally agree. Send Olt to AAA to get ABs at 1B, bring up Logan Watkins and platoon him with DarBar are 2B (Watkins hits righties very well) while Boni is on the DL.

    After Boni comes back, keep Watkins up and just DFA Barney at this point. He'll be non-tendered in the offseason and his bat has gotten even worse. Give a guy like Watkins, who now has a .386 OBP against righties and a .815 OPS against them in AAA, some reps between CF and 2B against righties.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    With Bonifacio injured Olt should get the chance to have at bats every day in the majors. Not sure if you meant he needs the step down in competition or just the regular at bats, but the at bats are there for him now.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I'm not sure if it's ABs he needs or just a confidence boost. Sooner or later, something's gotta give with Mr. Olt. I'd be fine with sending him to AAA or even making up a reason to put him on the DL and then sending him somewhere for extensive "rehab." I'm not confident more ABs at the MLB will help. He just looks lost.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yeah, once every five games or so he has at bats that make you think his approach and power might start to click, but then he goes 1 for his next 30. A confidence boost is what he seems to need, but I don't know if a demotion would ruin that even more. If he can mash AAA pitching for a while it might help though.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I really think he just needs some time.

    He was playing extremely solid ball in double-A a couple years back when he got a cup of coffee he wasn't really ready for. We all know the train wreck that was 2013. Its been AWHILE since he's been comfortable playing.

    He has too much upside and potential to cast off. We've given Bitters and Bjax eons by comparison.
    I'd even be okay with demoting (or trading) Villanueva to give Olt some time to play every day and settle back in.

  • My top ten:

    Bryant
    Baez
    Almora
    Soler
    Alcantara
    Edwards
    Schwarber
    Tseng
    Blackburn
    Johnson

  • Sorry about the double post, my screen froze up when after submitting and I thought I lost it.

  • Despite pretty similar results, I'm more excited (I know I'm in the minority here) about Hannemann than I am about Almora. Taking those years off his mission trip and having games like he did yesterday remind me of the Ellsbury ceiling that's been mentioned in the past.

    Almora I still see as a guy with a high floor but a rather limited ceiling.

  • In reply to Deacon:

    I would trade 3 Hannemanns for one Almora.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Same. Not to mention that Almora is 3 years younger than Hanneman and a level ahead of him in the minors.

    Hanneman's #'s at Kane County(23 yrs old): .243/.316/.343

    Almora's #'s at Kane County last year(at age 19): .329/.376./.466

  • My top 10 goes:

    1) Bryant
    2) Baez
    3) Alcantara
    4) Almora
    5) Schwarber
    6) Edwards
    7) Soler
    8) Johnson
    9) Tseng
    10) Blackburn

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I like your list but somehow I would like to squeeze Viscaino in there.

  • In reply to John57:

    He is a pure reliever for me so that keeps him out of the top 10.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Very close to my top 10. Very close.

  • I know it's a longer shot, but I'm hoping the Cubs find a little extra cash to sign Isiah Gilliam, the reports coming from PG Nationals are drool inducing...

    "Gilliam, also a switch hitter, showed two completely different yet equally powerful swings from each side of the plate. He looks to be a better pure hitter from the right side, and the ball made a different sound off his bat as he routinely smoked the ball to left and left-center field. From the left side of the batter's box he added more loft and pure pull power down the right field line, hitting a pair of balls well over the wall in right field."

    Perfect Game USA ‏@PerfectGameUSA Jun 13
    Isiah Gilliam (GA) with an outstanding BP from both side of the plate! Huge power! #PGNational

    Isiah Gilliam not only showed huge power in BP but threw 91 from 1B (just below all-time event record of 93 mph), 90 from IF and 93 from OF! #PGNational

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    He would probably like to go to college and get drafted in the top 10. But then he would miss out on 3 years of development in the top Cubs farm system. If anyone can sign him this year I would bet on Theo. I am with you hoping the Cubs get him this year.

  • In reply to John57:

    That's the thing, you can tell the kid wants to go pro if a team would just pony up some money. The Front Office didn't sound too optimistic just after the draft. I guess it just depends on how much he will take to sign. If he asks for 500k to avoid going to school for 3 years and risking injury, etc then I believe the Cubs could still have enough left over to get it done (including the 5% total bonus pool overage allowed before you start losing draft picks)...if he asks for a Million+... well then I hope he likes dorm rooms and cafeteria food.

  • My Top Ten Cubs Prospects are:

    1 'A' Baez
    1. 'B' Bryant (Both are top dogs in my book)
    3. Almora (ceiling gives him slight edge & puts him just above Alcantara)

    4. Alcantara (At AAA & on the cusp... if better OBP he'd be 3rd.)
    5. Edwards (On DL, but at AA & T.O.R. candidate keeps him high)
    6. Schwarber (#1 pick has to be in top 10)
    7. Soler (health, but the high ceiling keeps him in)
    8. Blackburn (liking his low 90s sinking FB, especially for Wrigley)
    9. Skulina (because of his big frame, mid 90s FB & a #2 projection)
    10. Vogelbach (Pure hitter & because he's an everyday guy he gets slight edge for me over others just on the cusp)

    Just on the rim:
    Jen-Ho Tseng (He's right there. International signing, only 19 & doing great at KC. Like to see him dominate the next level & I'd be sold & have him right up there.)
    Pierce Johnson (DL, so-so #s this yr., at 23 & mid rotation projection just keeps him out for me. Doesn't scream top 10. Could change when he comes back if he performs well.)
    A. Vizcaino (Right there, but relief pitchers don't scream top 10 for me either. Love his #s this year so far. Just a matter of continued dominance before his next promotion.)

    Next tier who could jump up.
    D. Underwood.
    E. Jimenez
    Both just need more experience/seasoning with high level of performance could crack the top ten based on what guys just ahead of them do &/or if closest 3 get promoted to big club (Alcantara, Baez, Bryant) thus creating the room for 3 more top ten.

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