Rethinking the 5 tool player and re-examining the Cubs draft

Rethinking the 5 tool player and re-examining the Cubs draft

Back in the '80s when I was a kid, I remember the terms "tools" coming into prominence when describing a player from a scouting perspective.  As you probably know, there are 5 tools and a player who has all of them is rare indeed.

In case you are unfamiliar, those tools are:

  1. Hit
  2. Power
  3. Speed
  4. Defense
  5. Arm

Players like Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy became the stars of that era because they possessed all 5 tools.  For a player to get 30 HRs and 30 SBs was one of the greatest achievements of that day.  It was thought that such players could beat you in any number of ways and this is completely true -- you can use any of those 5 tools to beat your opponent on any given day.

When we look back at this past draft, we can see which players were labeled as toolsy: Nick Gordon, Bradley Zimmer, Trea Turner, and even Alex Jackson all have potential to be at least 4 tool players -- and all were highly rated.

But the nature of the game has changed since the advent of advanced metrics.  Your arm and speed could certainly win you games, but getting on base and avoiding outs has a more direct, measurable impact on runs scored and by extension, wins and losses.

So while scouting has begun to keep up with the metrics movement, it still may lag behind in some ways.  Maybe we have been looking at this all wrong.

I wonder if sometimes the 5 tools should be this:

  1. Hit 
  2. Power
  3. Ability to Control the Strike Zone
  4. Baseball-related athleticism
  5. Mental Makeup

Think about it.

You may have some questions here but it starts at the very top.  When it comes to a position player, if you get those top 3 tools (Hit, Power, Ability to Control Strike Zone), then you have yourself a heck of an offensive player.  In fact, it isn't uncommon that when you do get a player like that, you will hear scouts or execs say, "That bat will play anywhere" or "They will find a place for him to play".

This tool set doesn't directly include defense,  which we know is important, but let's face it, how many players end up at the positions in which they were drafted? Perhaps what is more important at this stage is to possess the kind of skills need to play defense at more than one position.  That can be incorporated into #4 and if combined with #5, perhaps you can teach an amateur to be a good defender, or at least an adequate one -- at some position -- over time.

Lastly, I think mental makeup is the glue that holds this all together.  If you have a player with aptitude, the willingness to work hard, and the willingness to work with others, then you have a player who is more likely to make use of the tools he does have.

Now I don't want to say plus speed and plus arm strength aren't important, because they are, but are they really 20% of the game today?  I almost think you have to look at these two skills as secondary -- as a bonus, if you will.  Besides, if a player has baseball related athleticism, we assume that incorporates some ability to run and throw the baseball, even if it is just at an average (or at least adequate) level for the sport.

Now, let's think about the 3 players that the Cubs have drafted in the first round:

  • Albert Almora
  • Kris Bryant
  • Kyle Schwarber

All have a plus hit tool, so we can assume that is paramount when the Cubs scout position players.  Two of them have plus power tools while the third (Almora) has an average power tool.  When it comes to controlling the strike zone, nobody doubts Bryant or Schwarber, but even Almora has shown the ability to work counts and swing at strikes, even if he doesn't walk much.  And while none of the three are elite in terms of traditional athleticism, they all possess excellent baseball-related athleticism.  Lastly, nobody questions the mental makeup of any of these players.

Let's take it a step further and examine this year's draft because the Cubs seemed to gravitate even further toward this template.  Every player seems to possess at least 3 of these tools and nearly all of the top draft prospects picked have a good hit and/or power tool.

Round 1: As mentioned above, Kyle Scwharber checks all these boxes. He is a "5 tool" player under these guidelines.  Here is what one scout said yesterday.

"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 if he has 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."

And this MLB Video supports this, especially listen to what Jon Hart and Peter Gammons have to say.

Also check out Kevin's scouting report from yesterday.

Round 3: Mark Zagunis, C

  • Hit: Zagunis shows a line drive approach suited to hit for average.
  • Power: Zagunis seems to lack this tool though he did hit for average power the previous season and some think he can do that again as he develops.
  • Ability to Control Strike Zone: 13% walk rate and more walks (32) than Ks (20), .426 OBP
  • Baseball Athleticism: He is unusually athletic for a catcher and even possesses good speed as a bonus. Even though he isn't a good defender, he does possess the skills to become at least an average one.
  • Mental Makeup: Like almost all players the Cubs draft, Zagunis is considered to have plus makeup.

As we get outside the top 10 rounds, it becomes a little more difficult to get this kind of well-rounded player, so scouts begin to look for players with one or two standout tools to go with the good to plus makeup.  If you have one tool to build around and can at least get adequate to average performance in the rest of the categories, you have yourself a potential impact player.

Here are some of the more noteworthy picks that I think can become MLB prospects if they develop...

  • Round 13: Kevonte Mitchell, OF: Mitchell is a tremendous athlete with a long lean frame and tremendous raw power. Per Nathan Rode of Prep Baseball:  Very raw, power. Lean w/ tons of room. 6-4, 190.  Super raw, but thunder in the bat, lean frame that aces the eye test. Very quick hands.  As a bonus, he also has a tremendous throwing arm, able to hit 90 mph off the mound, and good speed for his size.
  • Round 14: Chesny Young, 2B: Described to me as an underrated athlete whose primary tool is his ability to hit, great instincts as a baseball player, similar to Daniel Lockhart in many respects, but with better size.  Shows some good plate discipline/ability to control strike zone.
  • Round 22: Joey Martarano, 3B: Great athlete with tremendous raw power, was one of the better power hitters in the 2012 prep class but decided to concentrate on football at Boise St.
  • Round 23: Isiah Gilliam, OF:  Again, power is the ticket here and Gilliam shows some hit tool potential as well.  Does not have the approach the Cubs like.  He's still raw, but like all these players has the kind of makeup the Cubs look for to go out and improve.  Not a burner by any means but Cubs feel he is athletic enough to move to the OF.
  • Round 30: Michael Cantu, C: A former quarterback, he is more athletic than your average catcher with his best tool being raw power and  a strong arm.  Scouts rave about his mental makeup.
  • Round 31: DJ Peters. OF: Big-time power potential and a good athlete for his size.

The prevailing "tools" here are players with athleticism, power (which has become an increasingly rare commodity in today's game), and good mental makeup, though here are also some prospects here with good hit tool potential as well, particularly toward the top half of the draft.  Also at the top half  we see more players who are able to control the strike zone, but as we go further down the draft and the talent is more unrefined, those players become increasingly scarce (if available at all), so the Cubs focused more on athleticism and raw power with the kind of mental makeup needed to develop those particular skills/traits.

So, if anybody tells you that the Cubs should have focused more on toolsy players in the draft, just tell them that is exactly what they did -- and that Kyle Schwarber, as far as we are concerned, is a good example of this new era 5 tool player.

Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft

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    John, I believe that Schwarber may be good...real good. But it seems as if you are promoting him as a left handed Kris Bryant type and I say that it is way to early for that comparison. Schwarber is on my TBD list and we will see in a few months what he might be.

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    He is not as good as Kris Bryant. Just because he has the same basic tool set, it doesn't mean those tools are at the same level. He can be a good player, especially on offense, but to expect him to be Kris Bryant is unfair.

  • Good stuff, John.

    More than any "tool", it seems like the front office really values makeup. If you look for a defining characteristic in players that they draft, trade for, or target in free agency, you often hear "makeup" as one of the key talking points in why they wanted them.

    Seeing as this is an extremely smart front office, you wonder if they haven't done a ton of research into the kind of personality traits that make a player more likely to succeed at the next level.

    Even going back a little bit and looking at some of Theo's succesful Red Sox teams you see tons of players that fit that mold like Youklis, Ortiz, Pedroia and on and on. Guys that weren't just talented, but very savvy, and team oriented.

    Also, maybe they think that strong makeup correlates to high obp/plate discipline

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Thanks. Makeup is huge for the Cubs and it certainly affects their decision. There was no way I could write this piece without talking about it. I also think athleticism and the hit tool and/or power tool is prevalent in all their prospect level picks. Ability to control the strike zone becomes harder to find after the first few rounds, but the Cubs seem to like to choose those kinds of players early.

    Like you said, I think these are the things they scout best, so it is important that they stick to that, but it should also be noted that it fits into what they do as a whole -- they preach plate discipline, athleticism, and strong makeup, and if they can get that hit and/or power tool to go with it, then that is the kind of player they really seem to gravitate toward.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, when you say "ability to control the strike zone" gets harder to find later in the draft, what specifically do you mean by that? Not to sound dumb, as I guess it involves walks vs. ks, but is it basically pitch recognition and not swinging at bad pitches? And what do you think occurs in the player to control that strike zone? Experience, some sort of obscure, innate ability, eye-hand coordination? I'm more of a football guy and I've never really looked into this aspect of "talent", so I often wonder how player A recognizes the slider, but player B doesn't, for example.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    That is exactly it. I think part of it is innate, part of it is vision. Some of it is discipline and that can be taught. To speak from my own modest experience playing baseball, I know that my very first coach in little league taught us plate discipline when we were just 7-8 years old. I picked it up quickly and as I got older and kids started throwing breaking balls, I had very good vision and could pick it up quickly, the angle of their hand, grip. their arm speed, the spin. I would say this and my ability to field were my only talents as a baseball player. I was pretty much a slap hitting version of Luis Valbuena (except I had zero power) Maybe that's why I always defend him ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks to you, Dave, and Coz for your answers. I think I know more about this now. I guess the scouts' evaluation of a player includes whether he has this ability now and if he possibly will in the future and that is a pretty big factor in how high he will be on the draft board. It certainly correlates with OBP expectations, something this FO treasures.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    To use a football analogy, it is perhaps similar to a quarterback or running back being able to "see the entire field". Some guys can, and some guys can't. Walter Payton wasn't the fastest guy on the field, but he not only knew HOW to cut, but WHEN to cut. Perhaps it is the ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Not only "can I reach it" but "can I get the barrel on it"?

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Great question. I thinks this is where the "skill" vs "athlete" question comes into play. Hand-eye coordination, being able to translate your hands to react to what your eyes see may be the most underrated "skill," (or is it an athletic trait?) in all of sports. But in all of sport it may be most important in baseball.

    Two teams, I think, diametrically opposed in the type of players they are drafting in this regard are the Brewers and the Cubs. Brewers seem to be going more high-risk, traditional 5-tool athlete-type whereas the Cubs are prioritizing more of the skilled-hitter, Oakland A's ballplayer-type. Will be interesting to see how this plays out over the long haul. In my opinion, the skilled-hitter types the Cubs are prioritizing leads to winning baseball more so than the swing and miss athlete-types. The top 3 teams last year in OBP and runs scored were Boston, Detroit, and St. Louis. That, to me, says it all.

    COZ

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Niced definition of "5 tools". Remember , Earl Cunningham was supposed to have 5 "tools" and apparently forgot about ability to actually hit a baseball.

  • I think they correlate makeup to work ethic and determination to be succesfull

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Agreed.

  • Believe Xander Bogaerts was a IFA under Theo Epsteins Tenure also

  • "Lady I'm not an athlete. I'm a baseball player." John Kruk

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Haha!

  • Did I read somewhere that Zagunis played some games in CF?

    If so, check of the "baseball athleticism" tool

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    He can play CF. Unusual speed for a catcher.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    When the Cubs drafted him the Draft Guru's made a point to say he had plus speed not plus speed for a catcher. i got a little giddy about that one I admit. A catcher that can control the strike zone with great pitch recognition and the abilitie to take the extra base? Jason Kendell jr?..... Yes please.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Kendall is the guy I immediately thought of as well.

  • In reply to Richard Hood:

    Foot speed is good, but quickness and footwork is paramount for a catcher.

  • John, maybe there should be 10 tools to really confuse people. You could also add baseball intelligence. Some players are so fast they don't have to read a pitcher to steal a base where some have to perfect their craft. I also think that big power guys that can read a pitch naturally get put in good counts without really working it. Pitchers don't want to throw that first pitch fastball like they would with others so they nibble and get in trouble and predictable.
    I was thinking about your mailbag thread. Maybe you could add a new tab on the top of the page next to the commenting policy or something like that?

  • In reply to CubsBuck22:

    Ha! I didn't want to get the list too long ;) I'd say speed is still a tool, so is arm strength, but in my case I tried to encompass that as part of baseball athleticism. And I consider baseball intelligence or aptitude part of a player's mental makeup, And those guys who can work counts are filed under ability to control the strike zone.

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    Looking back at the 2012 draft, it's interesting that there really isn't a college player who fits into Bryant/Schwarber mold. The closest is probably Ramsey in retrospect but the power tool is really something he developed after the draft. (That was another one of those are-you-kidding-me? drafts in St. Louis. Wacha-Ramsey-Piscotty in the first 36 picks.) More so even than Wacha, Gallo is probably the guy the Cubs wish they could have another bite at the apple on, but that hit tool was real questionable even up to this year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I wanted gallo in that draft but knew the only hope of the cubs taking him was 2nd round so I kinda gave up on that pretty quick. Gallo had/has crazy pop but his hit tool made him a borderline comp/2nd rounder so there wasn't much hope. I was actually rooting on him being apart of the Garza trade which would have been sick. I bet they'd take wacha if they could redo that draft though

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    I just wanted to clarify my discussion with nmu (before I get back to work) regarding calling this draft or any draft a "home run" a week after the fact. As Cub fans we more than anyone else - having lived through the Felix Pie's, the Corey Pattersons, the Gary Wards and a hundred other can't-miss prospects - should be leery about counting our chickens before they hatch. Scouting is fine, you can tell a lot about a person's potential by scouting, I don't discount the value of it at all and I read scouting reports and John's updates and get excited like anyone else. But everyone loves their own drafts, they all think they've hit home runs. They can't all be home runs, and you can't judge a complete draft until you see actual results. Otherwise it's like collecting 9 baseball cards and predicting exactly how many wins that team will have. Or like looking at your low-A club that won their league and announcing in 3 years that team will win the WS. It's fantasy, it's a child's imagination game, it's silly. For the same reason that I'm not counting on Almora, I haven't given up on Zastryszny. It's way early. Let's see what they've got. Now, if you want to say this draft "has the potential be a home run if all the top guys do what we think they can do," I'm all for that wording. Sure there are some special players - I think Kris Bryant is one of them - that you can pretty much count on from the get go. But I'm sure Billy Beane will tell you, scouting doesn't predict the future. Wait and see, it'll be here soon enough.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I get that. Prospect attrition makes the draft a total crap shoot. The reason I think the draft gets a good grade so far is solely on how well the resources were used to get as many top prospects as possible. There was no Kris Bryant available at 4, so we pushed our resources around and made it possible to get 7 guys in the top 150 instead. That's the part that gets the good grade for me anyways. Now, like you say, it's silly to expect all 7 guys to make it because that just doesn't happen like how we hope for all of them on draft day. But I think there's a higher chance to have one or two of them succeed at the major league level if we use our resources to gather 7 top 150 guys rather than just 3 if we didn't use our slot money the way we did.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You can excited about making a good plan and executing it. I think you can get excited about good process. We don't have to wait for results to know what a good draft was. Players don't pan out for whatever reason (injury, regression, etc,) -- and most of these players won't, but that doesn't mean the way a team attacked the draft wasn't good. I think if you get too caught up in results-oriented thinking, you rob yourself of just enjoying good process, planning, strategy, and execution.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Nothing wrong with looking back in the draft in a few years but sometimes it is just focused solely on the pick. When a player succeeds, you will say 'what a great pick' leaving out the development process and maybe luck. On the flip side, maybe the player was well scouted but developed wrong and/or ran into bad luck.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    You can definitely look back, but also saying there is also reason to enjoy it now for what it is.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I love the strategy and execution part of it. Moody's portfolio article was terrific.

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    In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    Thank you.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    Agreed. He did a great job.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks.

  • Here is what I wrote last night on a previous post. When I scout I don't go off the 5 tools as equals hit tool to me is 33% of the total score. The hit tool includes contact and control of the strike zone. Power is 25 to 27% given the position a up the middle player defense becomes more of a factor and power is a little less import but only by a little bit. Defense can be anywhere from 18 to 20% again given the postion. Speed and arm repetitively are worth 11%. I then add or subtract for makeup and athleticism as needed. I does these separate because the mostly are a judgement call above the others.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I agree that the 5 physical tools are not created equally and there needs to be a positional factor. i.e., we really don't grade a guy like Rizzo on his speed tool equally to a guy like Bonafacio.

    How do you factor make-up into your equation/rankings once you've graded them on the physical tools?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I have 10 points to add or subtract for make up. So it can factor in a lot special if they have a negative make up.

  • John, this was a really good read. I'm all for adding "make-up" as a 6th tool and would even value it over some of the physical ones. But I wouldn't completely rid ourselves of the speed & arm tools as either can significantly alter a game at any time.

    Junior Lake is a perfect example of why just the physical tools aren't enough. Kids got the speed for CF and base-stealing; arm for RF; power, etc... but his command of the strike zone sucks... He just can't/hasn't put it all together to be an impact star caliber player. Perfect case where the sum total is less than the individual parts...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Thanks, Hoosier. I did not rid speed and position player arm strength as tools, I just incorporated them as part of baseball athleticism rather than giving them their stand alone categories, which I think puts too much weight on it (20% of a player's worth) for today's game.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A little off topic but I would love some others thoughts on this...

    I think this Cubs team is very close to being a contender. I think we are 3 players from getting there. I think the time is right to hold onto our core guys and add some players this off-season (or even this mid-season) for next year.

    Pitching: we have the available payroll lets sign Shark & Hammel
    then we need to sign Lester in the off-season or someone like him to replace Jackson. In my opinion that would give us as good a pitching staff as their is in baseball.

    Hitting: this is where it will be difficult. #1 we need to go find that middle of the lineup outfielder (preferably left handed) we might have to make a trade to do so. #2 that leadoff type hitter to play either CF or 2B. (I am expecting Alcantera to give us solid numbers at the plate whether he play 2B or CF depends on who we can get).

    If (here is the big if) Baez and Bryant or going to be solid contributors at 3B and RF next year then our lineup looks very good with the other 2 additions (actually if Bryant & Baez aren't going to be solid big leaguers we are going to have to go out and get guys anyway).

    A bench of: Lake,Bonafacio,Valbuena,Lopez & someone like Ruggiano or Olt (if he recovers from this terrible slump) would be one of the better benches I can remember.

    We are very close I think the time to act is upon us. What do you guys think?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Good way of putting it IMO HD.

    Physical tools (and Lake's got those no doubt) can get you a long way. But - the difference between somebody like Lake with the tools,and a perennial All-Star type guy is work ethic, mental make up & concentration, and the work needed to put those tools to their full potential.

    If you just look at Lake - he reminds me a lot of what was seen for Alfonso Soriano early in his career (the first season or two). Lake probably has a higher ceiling on the defensive end when compared to Soriano, and a lower offensive ceiling (especially if he can't get his K-rate down somewhat). But the power/speed combination is similar. Soriano gelled faster than Lake is appearing to though.

    Lake could be a guy who regularly hits 20-25 HR and 150-200 Ks if he were to manage to get 600 or so plate appearances. But - hopefully for the Cubs, there will be better options to man CF/LF beginning next season.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    From all accounts I've read, no one is really questioning Lakes work ethic, desire, or even coachability... it's his coverage/recognition of the strike zone and his approach.

    he's just the perfect example of why that needs to be a "tool". because you can mash with power, fly around like a gazelle, and have a cannon for an arm and still not be worth much if you can't control the strike zone...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Well put - and better put than I did HD.

  • Nice article John. I've long felt the 5 tools thing has been overblown and outdated. I've found myself leaning to the same approach you have when evaluating guys, though I have continued to use a more traditional "defense" approach rather than the baseball related athletcism, but I must admit I prefer your method. Consider me converted.

    I think what some people get confused about is how to value each of the indivudual tools and how they should translate to on field performance. This kind of touches on what Kevin stated above with his weighting system as well. To me, there is a very simple litmus test when looking at a player and projecting their impact. The three most important ways a player can impact his team over a 162 game season are 1) Getting on base (through some combo of hit and plate discipline), 2) Hitting for power, and 3) Playing good defense. Any player that can do all three at above average rates or better is star. A guy that does two of the three is a starting caliber player. A guy that does one of the three can be a part time starter/key bench guy (assuming he isn't well below average at the other two).

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Ha! Thanks. Defense was the one that I struggled with the most but Kevin's report on Schwarber got me thinking how hard it is to evaluate an amateur's defense when so many end up moving. Both Kevin and the scout I quoted mentioned Schwarber's athleticism and how he moves well.

    I agree with your version as well, abd the weighting system Kevin mentioned is another way to say roughly the same thing. In fact, it is something Kevin and I have talked about. I just re-imagined it in terms of 5 new tools,

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Amen to this comment and this article. Approach, plate discipline, OBP, Power, & Make-Up are components, historically, of Championship baseball. These traits play up even more so when playing at Wrigley Field. I think the FO is consciously trying to build a line-up of mashers which play to the unique advantages of Wrigley. And in doing so, will crush the speed and defense teams (which the industry is now valuing highly) that come to Wrigley. Great article that I think highlights the traits our FO is making more of a priority....and the Schwarber pick signals this.

    COZ

  • John, You're missing the most obvious tool - The Will To Win.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    LOL! Man, I am going to have to write this article over again ;)

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Part of the makeup for me.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I want to never hear "He gone!" again in my life!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Use Michael Jordan as your Grade A example of will to win.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Hawk just needs to squint his eyes to detect the aura around TWTW guys.

  • Sabermetrics is a way that evaluates the balance between baseball player and athlete.

  • I was thinking when I read the article that Dan Vogelbach fits the player type our FO likes. He can hit, he has power, he can control the strike zone and he has good make up. The only thing he is weak on is baseball athleticism and even there he is better than a lot give him credit for. I think that is why he is able to steal a base every now and then.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think athleticism is the biggest difference between someone like Schwarber and Vogelbach. Vogelbach is relegated to 1B and is working hard to be average there. That puts a lot of pressure on his bat.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was curious. Has anyone checked out Dan to see how he is doing in the field/running with his 30 lb weight loss? I would imagine it would have to make him faster. That being said it still may be below average.

  • Great read as always John, starting to get pretty familiar with most of these Cubs selections. The MLB draft more than any other I follow seems like one that makes so much more sense when you look at the entire process and strategy. It is really easy to look at the Cubs selections pick by pick and wonder what the heck they are doing, but then once you start to read up on these guys it makes so much more sense!

    WhaT?! College senior in the 2nd?!? Oh.. wait low mileage arm... good sinking fastball! I get it!!!!

    I think you have a great point with some of the tools being rethought, since some traditional 5 toolers end up not having a hit tool and then how useful are the other 4??

    But speaking of traditional 5 tool players is it too early to start talking about the Daz Cameron sweepstakes at the top of next years draft?!?! The sooner you do an write up on him, the more willing the Cubs Den will be to start tanking baby!!!

    Maybe when they start trading off pieces we can refer to it as Dumping for Daz?? Thoughts?

  • In reply to worldjordo:

    I will root for them to win because I am a fan and I have no control over whether they win or lose -- and frankly, I don't enjoy it when the Cubs lose. Now if it is at the end of the season and the first pick is on the line, then I may hope they lose but that would mean I wouldn't watch the game ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yea I hear ya there, not being from the Chicago area it is harder to see as many games and so it probably devalues wins from this fans prospective.

    It's always easier to read about a loss then to actually sit through one. Point made my friend.

  • It looks like the FO likes power hitting 3B players.

    Kevonte Mitchell 3B R / R 6' 4" 185 lbs
    Joe Martarano 3B R / R 6' 4" 235 lbs

    It will be nice to snag these two guys. A lot of potential there. I like the size.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think Martarano is in the bag.. He only wanted to get drafted by the Cubs so that he could play at Boise while he attends Boise State and plays football, so guarded optimism on that one.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Yeah Martarano should sign, Cubs lucked out wit the Boise connection to get a very talented kid in the 22nd round....and Mitchell is in the bag too (from Yags)..

    Coach Bieser ‏@biesersr
    Best of Luck to Semo signee @_KevonteM who will be signing with the Chicago Cubs to start his professional career. #semobaseball

    Kevonte Mitchell ‏@_KevonteM
    @biesersr thank you coach!

    https://twitter.com/_KevonteM/status/475684154592735232

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Definitely a lot of luck with the Martarano situation. Serious power bats, just have to hope they develop a decent hit tool so it can play.

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    Good article. All tools in the traditional model are not created equally. Being a great athlete is severely diminished if your hit tool is challenged in a way that it will be exploited past high school especially or college.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Thanks. I think the hit tool is near the top of the list but the Cubs have shown they like athletic ballplayers, with emphasis on the word ballplayers.

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    I see a couple of problems. One is athleticism is too vague. I think speed is important and should be substituted here. Next is that you can't really attach mental makeup as a stat or tool because if a player doesn't have it or has a negative rating, it is really negative - much more than saying someone doesn't have power or speed. Those are more easily measured. I have never heard of a player complaining about his power tool rating, saying I am better than that. But if you assign a low mental makeup score 90% will complain and say it isn't true. The makeup thing has to be somewhat secretive because of this. It's just a little too personal to be laid out there like a stat or even a scouting rating. I just see too much backlash here.

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