11 up and coming Cubs prospects to put on your radar

11 up and coming Cubs prospects to put on your radar
Duane Underwood

The Cubs system is so much better than it was just 3 years ago.  The progress can only be described as astonishing.   We have covered the first 15 prospects over 2 days but today we will look at a few prospects who look to join that status in the very near future.

Sweet swinging infielders

Gioskar Amaya and these two players just missed the cut for my top 15 and all have a chance to be at least top 20 prospects by the time we roll around to our offseason list.

Gleyber Torres, 17, SS, R, AZ Cubs

He's 17 years old and already playing at Rookie Level Arizona.  That may not seem like much but consider that a lot of recent draftees participate in that league, including some from the college ranks.  Even the high school draftees are older.  Torres is more than holding his own, showing patience and a line drive swing that has him hitting .313/.410/.469 in his first 8 games.  Torres is usually thought of as the second IFA the Cubs signed but many scouts will tell you they liked Torres better than consensus #1 prospect Eloy Jimenez.  The question with Torres is whether he is athletic enough to stay at SS.  The Cubs think he is and what he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in instincts. If he does, he will provide an excellent bat for the position.

Stephen Bruno, 23, 2B, AA, Tennessee

Nearly 6 years older, Bruno is such a seasoned hitter that he has barely needed any development time at the lower levels, skipping low A and getting just 19 ABs in advanced A ball.  He is hitting .288/.365/.428 at Tennessee.  Bruno is a better athlete than he is given credit and the Cubs have experimented with him at 3B, OF, and catcher, but 2B is easily his best defensive position.  The issue there is that the Cubs have a line forming there with Arismendy Alcantara and possibly Javier Baez ahead of him and  Amaya and maybe Torres behind him, but Bruno's bat will eventually land him in the big leagues in one way or another.

Getting Filthy

Trevor Clifton, 19, A-, Boise

Clifton was a raw high school prospect when the Cubs tabbed him in the 13th round and signed him to an over slot deal.  The Cubs liked the physical skills he had to work with: the athleticism, the arm strength,  and the hand speed to go with the 6'4" height and  projectable frame.  That's pretty much how you would start to build a pitcher if you had to do it from scratch.   The arm strength already manifested itself with Clifton's velocity, which has reached as high as 97 mph, but the hand speed gives him a shot to develop plus breaking stuff, and the athleticism will help him to smooth out and repeat his delivery, which should lead to better command.   It all means nothing however, if the pitcher doesn't have the work ethic, coachability and the overall mental makeup to make the best use of those gifts. As you now by now, the Cubs carefully evaluate all of those things and  Clifton fills all the desired boxes there as well.  He has already made great progress in a short period of time working with the Cubs development staff.   Keep in mind that he is still just 19 and still has lots of work to do, but he is a protoypical upside play. So far it has gone as well as the Cubs could ask.  After shaking off some first start jitters, Clifton has dominated his last two starts, walking just 3 in 10 innings while striking out 12 over 10 innings.

Duane Underwood, 19, A, Kane County

It's hard to believe Underwood has not turned 20 yet.   This is his 3rd year in the organization and his first in full season ball.  Underwood features a smooth, athletic deliver with tremendous arm speed, making it seem like the ball just explodes out of his hand.  He has trouble maintaining that arm speed for longer stints.  He also slows it down noticeably when he throws his secondaries.  The curveball is a big breaker with potential but it tends to get loopy at times.  The command is an issue and it is improving but he is still walking about 4 batters per 9 IP.  Underwood doesn't miss many bats despite his mid 90s FB in part because he lacks the consistent command and secondaries to keep hitters honest.  He has come a long way already but he still has a lot of work to do, but you don't get a lot of pitchers with his raw talent.  My gut feeling right now is he ends up in the pen for all the reasons stated above, but he has plenty of time to develop and be much more.

Daury Torrez, 21, A, Kane County

He doesn't have the raw arm strength of the other pitchers in this group but he has a good fastball that has reached 94 and features good arm side run. When he locates well he can bore it in on RH hitters and induce weak contact or run it away from lefties.  The rest of his stuff is average to fringe average right now but solid command, an intelligent approach, and a fastball with solid velo and good movement can take you a long way.  Dallas Beeler is an example of that.  Torrez still has time to develop those secondaries but even if they only end up as average, he has a shot to be a 5th starter.

Jefferson Mejia, 19, R, AZ Cubs

A 6'7" RHP who can bear down on you with 97 mph fastballs is scary enough in itself but Mejia also adds an advanced change-up that misses bats, plus a solid curveball which gives him a 3rd potential plus pitch.  He is dominating the Rookie league right now and will probably head to Boise soon given that he will be 20 next month.   His athleticism isn't special but he is beginning to get those arms and legs all working together.  The ability to repeat his mechanics will be key to his development.  I hope to see both Mejia and Clifton at Kane County next season, where it's going to be a lot of fun sitting behind home plate for the second straight year.

What's in the Tool Shed?

Eloy Jimenez, 17, OF, R, AZ Cubs

Torres isn't the only 17 year old playing Rookie ball.  Jimenez's tremendous physical skills and sound swing has the Cubs thinking he can handle the advanced competition as well.  He hasn't shown up games as early and often as Torres had in his amateur career and has been brought about a bit more slowly because of that.  He just got his first start last night.  Jimenez is an enormous player with athleticism and tremendous raw power.  His swing, however, is currently more conducive to line drives, the bat stays in the zone a long time. and he should be able to hit for average.  It's possible the Cubs may tweak his swing a bit over time and add more lift to take better advantage of his raw power.  He could eventually become a classic RF with the ability to hit for average and power while also being a solid defender with a strong arm.

Charcer Burks, 19, OF, R, AZ Cubs

Burks came on late in the draft process and the Cubs saw him hold his own against more advanced pitchers in workouts.  He has a knack for barreling up the baseball though he isn't a big player and he doesn't have elite bat speed, so he probably won't hit for much power.  He is a player, however, who could hit for average, extra base power and be a big asset on the bases.  He is one of the faster players in the organization, running a 6.5 60 yard dash.  He is an aggressive hitter at this point and he'll eventually need to supplement his hit tool with walks so he can utilize his speed more often on the bases.  He profiles best as a CF.

Jeffrey Baez, 20, OF, A-, Boise

Like Burks, Baez is one of the fastest players in the organization but he has a more advanced approach and a bit more pop in his bat.  Baez has already hit 4 HRs in Boise to go with his 8 SBs. giving a glimpse of his power/speed combo.  There is some swing and miss to his game and he doesn't barrel up as easily as Burks does, so I don't think he is going to hit for a high average, but his other skills could make him a dynamic all-around offensive player.  Baez probably fits best if he can stick at CF but the emerging power may make him viable at one of the corners.

Will Remillard, 21, C, A, Kane County

Remillard isn't as fast as the other two players ahead of him here, of course, but as a catcher he doesn't need it.  He has tools more appropriate for his position.  He's rated as the best defensive catcher in the organization, he has a good arm, a disciplined approach and the ability to square up the baseball.  He should develop some power over time and has the chance to be a good all-around catcher if he continues to develop.  He's probably the best catching prospect in the system right now, though 3rd round pick Mark Zagunis may challenge him for that distinction soon.

The Late Bloomer

Rafael Lopez, 26, C, AAA, Iowa

Lopez isn't your typical fast riser but considering he was a 15th round pick after switching to catcher in college, was in low A ball two years ago, had his ascent slowed by injuries  -- and is already knocking on the door to the big leagues, we will make an exception.  The only difference is he didn't start his rise until he was 24 years old.  Lopez is a solid defender who has improved his ability to throw out base stealers.  He provides a lefty bat with a patient approach, a line drive bat, and some gap power.  He profiles more as a backup catcher, but considering his late start, that's a remarkable achievement in itself.

The bullpen arms

The Cubs strategy to draft or sign power arms early, late, and everywhere in between has resulted in a steady stream of potential bullpen contributors.  Here's the skinny on a few who have improved their prospect status this year...

  • Armando Rivero, AAA: He has overmatched minor league hitters but must improve FB command if he expects to do the same in the big leagues.
  • Andrew McKirahan,AA: lefties with fastballs that sit low 90s, touch mid 90s, with swing and miss breaking balls tend to get a chance in this league.
  • Juan Paniagua, A: One of the best arms in the system, Paniagua is starting now but will probably end up in the bullpen
  • Hunter Cervenka, AA: Power lefty with low 90s FB with sink and tail, a hard 80s cutter, and slider. Command is the issue.
  • Zach Godley, A: Another power pitcher who surprises with low to mid 90s heat and a high 80s cutter/slider.
  • James Pugliese, A: Has a starter's repertoire and mentality but his fastball has moved up a few ticks out of the pen, giving him a chance to be a well-rounded RP.
  • Starling Peralta, A+: He broke out 2 years ago and he is coming back again, hitting 97 with an occasional wipeout slider, and the best command of his career.
  • Marcus Hatley, AAA: The pitching version of the late bloomer, the former OF has added good command to his 92-95 mph heat and power curve.

Comments

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  • To me some these were more deserving the your 11 through15.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I originally had Torres at #13 but I decided to wait until the offseason. Many of these guys could be top 20 by the end of the year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I would have put underwood Torres, Clifton, and Bruno ahead of a lot of players in your 11 to 15.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I gave the full season guys the benefit of the doubt for now. List could change if these guys continue to develop. Not sure Bruno is a top 15 guy for me, but he is a big leaguer, imo.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He would be 15 for me.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    You must not be that high on Dan Vogelbach, Rob Zastrysny, or maybe Hanneman.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I just think there are more talented player them in the system right now.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'm with Kevin on this one. While I also agree with John not putting the rookie league guys high, but even without them, I think there are better players than Vogelbach and Hanneman in the system. I haven't seen Zastryzny pitch so I can't comment on him.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    There's ceiling and there is probability of making it when you factor in rankings. If you were to go strictly on talent, then lists would look very different. Torres has good probability for someone so young, but he is 17, Clifton has a lot of work to do still and Bruno has great probability but has a limited ceiling because of lack of power, average defense, and limited versatility if he has to be a bench guy.

    As far as full season guys go, I'd only consider Underwood, Amaya as top 15 guys right now but Underwood looks like a reliever at this point. Hannemann has some upside and I think a top 10 guy like Vogelbach doesn't deserve to drop off the 15 when he is having an equivalent season in a tougher league. I also don't think you can drop Zastryzny when his numbers and stuff are still good when he is pitching at advanced A in his first pro season.

    I really don't see who else to add unless you want to dream on short season players when we really haven't seen them play much yet. As it is, I'm relying on contacts for my info on those guys.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wasn't arguing for Torres or any of the young guys. I agreed with you there.

    I think I commented yesterday that I get the Hanneman ranking but there is just something about him when I watch him that prevents me from buying in. He is kind of the guy that Cubs fans deluded themselves into thinking that Matt Szczur would be, but I am just not sold on his ability to drive the ball against better pitching. I admit I may well be wrong as he is definitely a great athlete.

    Vogelbach was never a top 10 guy for me. Not a fan of all bat prospects. I had him in the 13-15 range to begin the year but I think he is now a little lower than that.

    I have Amaya and Bruno ahead of them. I had my doubts coming into the season but I believe Rivero is cementing himself as a potential closer in the upper levels and has jumped ahead. I maintain that Villanueva and Candelerio should be ahead of Vogelbach as well.

    It really just personal preference at this point though. There is so little separating prospect 12 from prospect 20 it is pretty pointless. In fact, I don't even use a numbering system. I use tiers and don't rate guys within the tiers.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I agree with the concerns on Hannemann and I debated putting him on the list. I can see Torres and Amaya I agree with but not as much on Bruno. I love Bruno, but if you check out my response to Giffmo at the bottom of the page, he compares to Mike Fontenot with Fontenot actually being the better player at the same age and level, similar size and defensive profile.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    \It is wonderful to see a kid doing well in Arizona at age 17, and leads to all sorts of wonderful dreaming.

    But all too often, kids like this fail to develop as hoped as they mature. Candelario was a whiz kid in the lower minors as the youngest kid in the league. Then he became rather average in performance, although he was the youngest in the league. \he is now below average as one of the youngest in the league.

    I am not writing off Candelario by any means. Merely pointing out that players mature at different rates, and someone that dominates at a young age does not always keep pace as others mature.

  • True story: in 2 years, Gleyber Torres will be one of the top 20 prospects in all of baseball. To be that good at baseball at just 17 yo is pretty scary.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    I won't rule that out!

  • Excited to see Clifton and Baez in KC next year (or maybe later this year).

    Really love the amassing of power arms in the bullpen.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I had to give those BP guys their due. Lot of guys putting themselves in the picture as potential RPs this year.

  • Fascinating read as always, John, but can anyone help me understand why nobody seems to care about Charles Cutler putting up a .400 OBP in the minors year after year after year?

  • In reply to adamdm4:

    He is 28 and isn't an MLB catcher defensively.

  • In reply to adamdm4:

    And thank you Adam.

  • I can hardly wait to see how all the organizations stack up against each other.

  • Another thing - John, very nice series!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks Toby! The last one was the most fun for me.

  • I can't believe that Manny kid in AAA didn't hit the list. I know he is old for the league, but he can rake!

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    And Manny is still a kid at heart.

  • Cutler is 28 years old.

  • To me, Meija is one of the most intriguing arms in all of MiLB. It's way too early to say, but... with that size/stuff combo, the sky is the limit.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Definitely one of the more intriguing arms in the Cubs system.

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    I love how the FO deals with the holes in the organization. We were short at 3B and now we have a log jam, 6 months ago we were weak at Catcher and now we have good catching prospects all over the list and in the waiting line to be on the list.

    Tremendous job! And thanks for putting these lists together John.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Thank Zach and agreed. What makes that even better, they won't reach to fill needs but they do a good job at finding talent below the radar.

  • Great Read John !!

    Any updates on D. Cease signing yet ?

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    Thanks! Haven't heard anything lately, but he will sign.

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    Several of these players are Rule 5 eligible this off-season; who do you think the Cubs need to add to the roster?
    Amaya
    McKirahan
    Peralta
    Cervenka
    Lopez
    Hatley (minor league FA)
    Jeff Baez
    (Hendricks and Edwards also eligible, but I assume they are slam dunks to be added)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I wouldn't protect Jeffery Baez or Hunter Cervenka at this point. I would have to decide on the others at the end of the season, or even after the fall league.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I can see that. If I had to guess now, I think Hatley is a lock, and maybe Lopez and McKirahan because they are closer to majors. Hard to tell though.

    Rule 5 has also lost significance last few years. Hector Rondon may have been the best recent pick

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Lopez would be added to take bakers spot (that could happen this summer). Depending on how the rest of season goes Cervenka & McKirahan would be at risk to stick with another team. I to would think Baez & Amaya wouldnt stick.

    So if you add Cerveka or McKirahan, Rivero, Lopez,Hendricks, Edwards, Javy Baez & Bryant a FA outfielder & FA pitcher, then you we will need to lose: BJax, Hammel, Villanueva, Russell, Baker, Barney, Schierholtz, Sweeney, Wada. If you bring a couple 40 man guys back in trade then we might have to look at Watkins, Rusin, Villanueva or Vitters to get it back down to 40. Not to mention what to do with Fujikawa.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Are you sure about Amaya and Jeffrey Baez? I'm thinking they are too young to be rule 5 eligible.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Nevermind, I guess you are correct.

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    In reply to Peter Chicago:

    It's not me, it's AZ Phil. He's always right on these things. Great resource.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Hendricks, Edwards, Lopez, Jokisch, Rivero, Baez and Bryant are all locks to be added to the 40 man in the offseason in my opinion. Cervenka and McKirahan are probable.

    They probably try to sneak Cates and Peralta through. Amaya and Baez are probably far enough away that the chances they are picked and stick are minimal.

    If Hatley is FA he may not return. He will probably have a better chance to catch on to a big league team elsewhere.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Javier Baez and Kris Bryant are not Rule 5 eligible though; I think they won't be added during the offseason.

    Hatley is a FA, but if we add him to the roster within 5 days of the end of World Series, we lock him out of FA. If we don't, he'll go elsewhere. For that reason, I think he'll be added by September, unless his control falls apart. He's close to a lock right now.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I have had no issue with the way the FO has handled the rebuild up to this point. But if they send Baez and Bryant down to AAA next April and wait for the super two date I will be pissed. That is giving up on a season. I'm not of the belief that they will have a great shot at the WC next year, but its not out of the realm of possibility if some of the young guys manage to have an immediate impact. Bryant and Baez should be starting Opening Day.

    Good to know on Hatley, he probably will get added after the trading deadline then this year, but I still think he is borderline. There are just so many bullpen options available. On a related note I also meant to say above that they probably choose one of McKirahan or Cervenka to protect, not both.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    There really isn't going to be much of a roster crunch this offseason unless they acquire a ton of prospects at the deadline that need to be added. There is still a ton of placeholders/garbage/fringe prospects on the 40 man. There is only 1 OF (Soler) on the 40 man right now that I think has any future with the team beyond next year. Maybe two if you count Alcantara.

    Post 2015 is when things will get interesting.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Be ready to be upset. I have a real hard time believing (assuming they both crush it and cruise thru rest of AAA season) that either will break camp w the team. Perhaps if we are lucky, one and that one prob being Baez.

    You never know. Cubs could sign a legit OF back and a TOR arm like Lester or Mad max, then I could see a slim chance of both breaking camp w the team. ( don't forget the hopefully close to MLB ready prospects we get In the upcoming trades )

    Although I love Jake Arrieta and prayed we would get him from Baltimore for Garza, but then we get him for Feldman, What a score!! And no I didn't expect him to be this good this year, actually expected it in 2015 ( still long way to go this yr). I just hope he's not our opening say starter next year. If he is, we are probably punting one more year, but what's another year anyway?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    ...well, vitters and jackson are on the 40 now & are not likely to be there through the offseason. if you're looking for a couple slots to open for a bryant or baez, there you go.

    that said, alot of this comes down to 1) any prospects acquired this season as well as 2) FAs potentially acquired during the offseason.

    once all that shakes out, we'd be able to concoct a credible prediction -- assuming terrific AAA production for the remainder of this season along with impressive performances in Mesa -- about baez/bryant breaking camp with the big league club in 2015.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Agree with you on super two but it makes absolutely no sense for them to be on the opening day roster next year when keeping them down until the end of April guarantees an extra year of control while they are in their primes.

  • In reply to Eric:

    I hope throwing away a month by not fielding the best possible team and potentially sabotaging a season is worth it in the future.

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    In reply to Chrissy T:

    Don't we all. This thing could probably already be turned around w a little more luck, a little more money, and absolut belief in the scouts / talent evaluators. ( ie if they believed Sanchez, Tanaka, Darvish were legitimate difference makers, they should have thrown some more money at them ESP w how low the payroll has been, I mean we are making small market teams look like ballers)

    The losing will all be worth it w a top 5 pick, hit a home run n it, and of course signing/trading for a legitimate LH outfielder as well as TOR starter like Lester or Mad Max. Why spend this offseason ? Because the prospects and waves are coming, Rizzo and Castro could use some protecting, team already possess a top notch bullpen w more power arms waiting.......

    This thing could come together very fast w the right moves and some luck.

  • In addition to the last two, Amaya, McKirahan, Cervenka and Hatley should be rostered, as well as \lopez, or they are likely to be taken.

    The bad part of having a great system is that you get to the point that you can't possibly protect everyone

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    In reply to DaveP:

    That is when you start looking at trading the guys that you can't protect. They could be dealt "straight up" in minor league trades OR used as "sweeteners."

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    Who would you put on a list of prospects to take OFF your radar? Who has fallen the most in prospect status this year? (and maybe related to that, where is Dillon Maples?)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Possibly. Maples had a broken rib to start the year that was going to require 8 to 12 weeks to heal. I usually have to see a guy have at least 2 bad years before I take him off the radar. I'm sure we could all guess who some of those guys are. I kinda feel bad doing it though, like kicking a guy when they're down.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    I think Maples, McNutt, Devoss, Vitters, B Jax and Concepcion would have to be on that list, Zonk.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    Honestly, no one of note has fallen off. Maples has a rib injury, not an arm injury so he is still the same lottery ticket he always was. DeVoss never had a chance to me. McNutt was never more than a middle reliever to me anyway so his lost season means very little. BJax and Vitters are still the same guys they were last year. Concepcion, if anything, actually reestablished himself in a very small way.

    Ha and Silva are probably the guys that have buried themselves this year, but they were never more then 5th OF types. The nail may well be in Ben Wells' coffin though.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    And Alberto Cabrera throwing 90 MPH out of the bullpen ended his slim chances as well.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    I agree with all but Maples...he looked quite good toward the end of last year and had a broken rib this year. In a system without pitching prospects, he still is in the discussion for top 5 best starting pitching prospects IMO.

  • Maples has a broken rib

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    Do you think Meija will stay in the bullpen or are they just bringing him along slowly?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    It's less important who starts at the complex level. He is still getting extended outings. Probably just trying to manage his load right now. I think he will be a starter somewhere next year, hopefully Kane.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks.

    Y'know, I must have looked at his stats wrong and probably got distracted by the 0 for games started and assumed he was just getting short innings.

    Meija was actually one of the guys I was most excited about last year. You can't coach size and stuff. Now I find myself trying to not get excited about SSS, but he could be that kind if guy in 3-4 years making the rest of the league go "oh crap."

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    what is "SSS"?

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    small sample size

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    thanks.

  • Thanks John. Being made from a bit shorter stock myself I like your take on Bruno. I really think he could be the next fan favorite sorta like Campana but with a big stick instead of just speed.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    I think his bat gets him to the bigs though it remains to be seen where and what kind of role.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    Probably not in Chicago, though.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Here is what I think of when I think of Bruno and why I don't want to rate him too high:

    Player A: 5'9", 175 lbs, 2B, 8th round pick, age 23, AA

    .288/.365/.428...3 HRs, 4SBs, 6.3% walk rate

    Player B: 5'", 165 lbs, 2B, 1st round pick, age 23, AA

    .325/.399/.481, 12 HRs, 16 SBs, 9.7% walk rate.

    We all know who player A is (Stephen Bruno). Player B was a very good natural hitter too and had a respectable career and then was limited when he was unable to start because of his lack of true defensive versatility. In case you haven't guessed it, the 2nd guy is Mike Fontenot. Very similar players in many ways.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Little different offensive eras when comparing the numbers though.

    Fontenot had a pretty long career. I'd be plenty happy if Bruno turned into that. Fontenot could at least fake SS (and hit lefthanded), which meant he had a shelf life as utility guy, so that lack of versatility may be the one thing that holds Bruno back. I can't argue with that. You make a pretty strong case.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I like Bruno as a hitter (I also liked Fontenot). I decided to gamble on a guy like Hannemann, who could have a bigger impact as a guy who plays a premium position but Bruno has a much better shot at having some impact for a number of years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    In the very few games I saw Fontenot play while he was with Iowa, the ball exploded off his bat. He put a charge into the ball that was disproportionate to his frame.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Totally agree. Bruno has some surprising pop as well.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Pretty good comparison. I like it.

    I think Bruno will be a very nice third or fourth piece in a trade and, much like "little Babe Ruth" will have a few years of semi productive major league play for a team until they can find a better alternative.

    I don't think our infield depth will allow him to ever do that in Chicago.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Bruno might fit the role of "scrappy" ballplayer. If our big four makes it to the big leagues, we are going to need role players. Bruno might not be the most talented player, but every winning team needs this type of player , a guy that can do a little of everything.

  • In reply to kevie:

    I could see him starting and giving you a nice bat and a dependable glove.

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    Anyone have a clue why Travis Wood sucks on the road? Team gets him 6 early runs and all he tries to do is nibble nibble and more nibbling..........can't even make it thru 4.

    Got to give Renteria credit, cause if I was managing, big papi would have been his last batter.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    3+ innings, 7 hits, 4 walks and only 3 earned runs, Better take Carlos V out for lap dances and drinks tonight. M

    Hopefully Carlos can get 6 more outs and then we can turn it over to the bullpen ........getting this sweep would be huge for everyone......

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Because Travis Wood is just not as good as most of us Cubs fans tend to make him out to be. If his velocity was 2-3 mph higher, I would think he'd be a "building block". I just don't see him being anything more than a 5 starter (or CV's current role) when we are contending. I'm not sure at this point that Wood's trade value could be much higher than E-Jax. I've always felt when watching Wood that when he does well, he gets extremely lucky. I believe some of that luck is starting to catch up to him.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Maybe you answered your question there. I think RR did well to take him out when he did. Just didn't have it.

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    The highly touted midget just hit a bomb and Carlito gives the two runs right back in a flash, still no outs.........cubs might need 12 runs to win tonight..........too much nibbling from wood and Villanueva w big leads......just unacceptable

  • I sure hope that Skulina's short, awful day at the office was due to the rain delay.

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    Did Sutcliffe actually compare Almora physically to Mike Trout?? Lol

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    Another possible riser: Josh Conway.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Nice one. I agree.

  • Speaking of Dillon Maples, he is starting tonight in AZ. Two good innings so far.

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