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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Bryant, Baez, Soler hit HRs; Russell debuts; Hendricks promotion? BP Top 50; PHOTOS/VIDEO

If you like the Cubs Magnificent 7 and HRs, then this recap is for you.  Addison Russell made his debut but Bill McKinney and the Daytona Cubs were rained out

Kyle Hendricks had a short stint and all signs point to a promotion to Chicago in the next few days, most likely for a start this Wednesday.

Baseball Prospectus released their Top 50 Prospects List.  The Cubs tally?  Three in the top 6, 4 in the top 20, and 5 in the top 50.  Those prospects are"

  • Kris Bryant (3)
  • Javier Baez (5)
  • Addison Russell (6)
  • Arismendy Alcantara (18)
  • Albert Almora (37)

And last but not least, thanks to Cliff 1969  for the photos and commentary (in italics) of Russell and a few others.

Now, on with the recap...

Iowa 5 - OKC 4

  • Kyle Hendricks pitched just 2 innings but he is perfectly healthy.  It could only mean one thing.  He will be promoted very soon and make his debut with the Cubs.  There is only 39 players on the roster so no other moves need to be made.  He allowed 1 run and struck out 4, but that is secondary right now.  Congrats Kyle!
  • Armando Rivero pitched 2 scoreless innings but did allow 2 inherited runners to score and thus, allowed OKC to tie the game.  The runs were charged to veteran Yoanner Negrin, who piggybacked Hendricks abreviated start and allowed 3 runs in 4 innings.  Rivero walked one batter, struck out none, and was charged with a blown save.
  • Arismendy Alcantara could be next.  It seems that with the recent promotions of closer Blake Parker and now Hendricks, the Cubs aren't overly concerned with breaking up a prospect laden Iowa team.  Could Arismendy be next?  He certainly continues to make his case, going 2 for 5.  Alcantara is hitting .310/.352/.541 on the year and if you like counting numbers, he has 24 doubles, 11 triples, 10 HRs, and 21 SBs.
  • If I would have told you a couple of months ago that a hitter went  1 for 4 with a walk where the one hit was an opposite field HR, you probably would have guess that it was Bryant.  Not so.  It is the new and improved Javier Baez, who hit his 13th HR of the season.  Incredibly, he now has an 8.6% walk rate with his 28th free pass of the season.  28 is more than he has had at any single level, 7 more than he had in all of the 2012 season, and just 12 away from his full season career high -- and we're not even at the all-star break.  He is hitting .241/.310/.448 overall.

  • Chris Valaika has quietly had a nice season.  The Reds former #12 prospect is having the kind of season most envisioned from he could do 5 years ago.  Is it too late for him?  I don't think so.  His ability to play multiple positions and his solid right-handed stick give him a shot at a utility job somewhere.  He went 2 for 4 with a double and is hitting .296/.363/.454  woth 8 HRs this season.
  • Kris Bryant hits his 30th HR of the year between AA and AAA.  This may be hard to believe but Bryant actually has a higher OPS through 19 games than he did in AA this year.  He has hit .357/.423/.786 with 8 HRs in AAA and .355 with 30 HRs, 80 RBI, and 11 SBs on the year.

  • Manny Ramirez went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
  • Ryan Kalish went 2 for 4 with his 3rd HR of the year, but he still hasn't found his groove yet, hitting just .213.

Tennessee 9 - Birmingham 1

  • Corey Black allowed just one run on 3 hits in 6 innings, though he did walk 4 batters.  Black had a rough start, walking the leadoff batter who scored the Baron’s only run in the first. He settled down after that, but threw a lot of pitches and walked a total of 4. Seemed like all his pitches were between 89-91 – not much variety in the velocity. I will not that the Birmingham radar is known for often being 2-3 ticks slow, so he may have been throwing a bit harder than that. He did strike out 6.
  • Andrew McKirahan pitched 2 scoreless innings but did not miss many bats.  The box score looks good, but he was hit – hard. A couple of sharp liners right at outfielders and a warning track fly ball. Could have been different, easily.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen is handling AA ball pretty well.  He went 2 for 4 with a walk, 2 RBI and a run scored.  He is off to a .263 start with a .417 OBP in his first 5 games at Tennessee.
  • Stephen Bruno went 2 for 5 as he continues his steady performance at the plate this season.
  • Addison Russell made his Cubs debut.  Russell lined out to short on the first pitch he faced in the Cubs organization. He was assigned #31, but wore #4 today (no name on back). I presume his uni isn’t ready yet. Unfortunately, he went 0-5 with two K’s.  His first fielding play as a Smokie was a ground ball for a double play.
  • Jorge Soler, as usual, did not miss a beat despite the time off,  He lined a single and hit a bomb in his 5 ABs this year.  It was his first AA HR in 8 games though he has hit 7 doubles in 29 ABs.

  • Charles Cutler went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored while Jonathan Mota went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored.  He was robbed in his last AB on a diving play.
  • It's been a tough year for Dustin Geiger but perhaps he'll have a good 2nd half now that he is surrounded with more talent.  He went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.  He has hit .220/.297/.382 with 11 HRs.

Clinton 2 - Kane County 1

  • Tyler Skulina hasn't been 100% healthy this year so he hasn't had the kind of year many expected as far as his velocity and peripherals go.  But this could be quite a learning experience for Skulina, who has learned to pitch with a high 80s fastball.  He pitched 6  innings of one run baseball with no walks and 3 Ks.  He got a no-decision, so he stayed at 4-4 but lowered his ERA to 2.88.  If Skulina's mid 90s velo returns, he could become interesting again now that he has learned to get by with more pitchability.
  • Pitchability is a skill that Jen-Ho Tseng has possessed almost from the get-go.  He piggybacked the start and ended up getting a longer outing than he bargained for, as the game went into extra innings.  Clinton could barely touch Tseng, who went 5 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and one walk.  On the season he has worked 55.1 innings and walked just 8 batters while striking out nearly a batter per inning at 54.  His ERA is at 2.93.
  • James Pugliese kept the game going with 2 scoreless innings.  He did walk 2 but lowered his ERA to 1.31.
  • Gerardo Concepcion lost the game when he allowed a run on 2 hits and 2 walks in just 1/3 of an inning.
  • Shawon Dunston had a line like the type he used to put up at Boise, going 2 for 4 and walking twice.  He also drove in the Cougars only run, driving in Trey Martin (2 for 6, double).  Dunston is hitting .256/.303/.356.
  • Ben Carhart, Jeimer Candelario, and David Bote each had two hits.

 Boise 10 - Eugene 5

  • Ben Wells started the game and pitched 4 innings, walking 2, striking out 4 and allowing 3 runs (1 earned).   He was relieved by Josh Davis who pitched 2 scoreless innings (o BB, 3 Ks) to get the win.
  • Jeffrey Baez went 2 for 4, scored 3, drove in 1 and stole a base.  Baez is now hitting .240/.318/.500 with 6 HRs and 12 steals.
  • Rashad Crawford went 3 for 5 and drove in 3 runs in what has been a solid start to the season for the speedy outfielder.  He is hitting .289 though he hasn't added much in terms of walks or power yet.  Crawford was the Cubs 11th round pick in the 2012 draft.
  • Mark Zagunis can run for a catcher and he stole 2 bases today to give him 4 on the season.  He also went 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI.  He is hitting .414 so far at Boise.
  • 2B Chesny Young was a guy we thought was advanced enough to start at Boise and he got the call yesterday.  He went 3 for 3 with a double, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI.  Nice debut.

 AZL Rangers 7 - AZL Cubs 5

  • Kyuji Fujikawa took the next step on the road back from TJS with a scoreless inning.  He retired all 3 batters, striking out one of them.
  • 7th round pick James Norwood made his professional debut but it didn't go particularly well.  The hard-throwing RHP got hit hard, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs in one inning of work.
  • 18th round pick RHP Austyn Willis is a sleeper we like.  Right now he is more about projection but the attributes are there.  He also struggled, however, as he pitched just 1/3 of an inning, walking 2 and allowing one hit and 2 runs.  Could be a case of the first game jitters.
  • Alex Santana walked 2 and allowed a run in 2.2 innings to take the loss.
  • Jefferson Mejia continued his dominant start to the season with 3 innnings to end the game, he walked none and struck out 3, but he did allow a run, causing his ERA to rise to...0.73.  He has 2 walks and 15 Ks in 12.1 innings.
  • The Cubs may have themselves a find with 13th round pick Kevonte Mitchell.  We have seen the 3B get off to a good start with the bat.  Yesterday he took a pair of walks.  He is hitting .400 to start his pro career.
  • Eloy Jimenez went 1 for 4 and scored a run.  He is hitting .389 so far.
  • 2B-SS Ho-Son Young was signed for his speed and defense but so far he has hit better than expected.  A 1 for 3 game left him at .286 for the season.

 

 

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  • Soler is such stud when he's healthy. Really hope the Cubs figure out his body and what has to happen to keep him on the field.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    If only he could stay on the field. He is a beast.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Watching his HR replay I noticed him running around the bases without any funny hitch in his stride.

  • Best org news for our prospect rankings is that Soler is finally healthy. If he can stay that way, he will reclaim his rightful spot in the top 25 prospects in all of baseball by seasons end. Since he's on the 40 man, he may even get a cup of Joe in Sept if he performs...

    Having him, Baez. Bryant, and AA in the mix for 2015 makes me giddy....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Soler just amazes me. He plays, he hits. Only question is whether he can do it over the grind of a full season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not sure Soler needs too much time in AAA next season if he is healthy. If we are in contention I could see him in the line-up this time next year. Can you imagine the stir the Cubs could make next year if Baez, Bryant, and Soler are added to the line-up in the same season? I predict........Fun!

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Oh, and with Arismendy leading off?

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    On the 20-80 scouting scale, I would give that about a 70 for the fun tool. 2016 could be 80.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not just hits, he looks like a natural in RF. Some of the throws he makes to 3B are jaw dropping. I know Baez, Jr Lake, and Silva have that kind of arm strength (and Bryant is right there too). I just haven't seen any of them throw it to 3B on a rope like I've seen Soler do several times.

    He's already got a MLB skill set with his approach, hit tools, power, and defense, etc... Dude just has to stay healthy. I hope whatever Hamstring magic they've been working in AZ the last 2 months works!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Soler has a unique contract situation that may accelerate his trip to Wrigley. He was just about the last minor-leaguer to get a long-term major league contract (it's now against he rules unless you are over 23).

    The implications are that service time/arbitration dates do not matter with Soler; he's under contract already. He already has an advanced approach in the strike zone. He's on the 40-man already. If he hits, he is going to be moved fast, IMO.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    100% agree. If he can stay healthy and handle AA like he should... he is likely to play this Sept in Wrigley as an audition for 2015.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    How will his contract work out for "options." I know he is signed so arbitration/service time is not an issue, but isn't there something like 3 option years and then the player has to clear waivers to stay in the minor leagues or does his major league contract exempt him from that scenario? I am probably off on my number of years but the principle is the part I am wondering about.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    You are right but Soler was granted an extra year, so he doesn't have to come up until 2016.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Per AZ Phil, who is almost always right, Soler will still have an option in 2015. That will be it, though. I also think that if the service clock is pushed back into 2015, it will mean we control Soler 1 more year after his contract expires...it would be an arbitration year. Right now his contract ends at end of 2020 season.

    Giving a 20-year old $30 mil guaranteed is risky, but if he establishes himself in the majors it will be a huge bargain; the last 2 years are at $4 mil per year, chump change these days

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Let's say we include Soler with those other four guys in the Top 50 and call them the Fab Five. What is the over/under on how many become impact players in the majors? Two? With at least one other being a solid contributor and a fourth average? I think that would be a big win.

    Normally, I think, you would say getting one impact player and two solid regulars would be a win, but I'm betting on the Cubs' player development.

    And of course, this doesn't even count the Schwarbers, Edwards and all the dark horses. If a couple of those develop into above-average players, along with Castro and Rizzo, the Cubs could have a five-year window where they can spend most of their free agent money on pitching.

    Am I being too optimistic?

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I realize not all prospects "make it" but as far as our headline group I'm optimistic about all of them.

    Prospects at the very top of these lists make it with pretty strong consistency and we have the development in place to make it happen. Not to mention, the type of player this FO has picked/acquired were specifically guys that had a higher than average likelihood to make it.

  • I have a hard time believing there are prospects ranked higher than Kris Bryant.

    Did Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds build a time machine and send themselves back to the minors?

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Haha! Neither are having as good a year, but they are projecting them higher based on all around skills and premium position.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Who is ahead of Bryant? Buxton must be one, is the other Correa or Taveras?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Correa.

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    In reply to BudMan:

    Wow, in spite of missing the rest of the season. He killed the California League though at age 19, damn impressive.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    No, but Eric Davis did.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Byron Buxton is the #1 prospect in all of baseball...he is the man. Bryant is right there too. The Cubs cannot have every Top 10 prospect...although they are close to it.

  • Wow what a jump by Alcantara ... from barely cracking the top-100, to top-75, and now all the way to top-20.

    Surprised by the drops off Almora and Soler, but they'll be back there by season's end/beginning of next season.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I'm more surprised by Soler, though it's obviously related to his ability to stay healthy, which could sink him.

    I don't doubt that Almora will be able to hit .270 in the majors and be a solid center fielder. But I think what will keep him from being a star will be his walk rate. He needs to start making progress there, because he doesn't hugely stand out to me in any other areas.

    I will say, however, that the Cubs' seemingly stellar player development (I never thought I'd write that) and Almora's age seem to give him a good chance to greatly improve in this area (if he's wired to do it).

  • Anyone know why Zagunis has been playing most of his games in LF instead of catcher? I haven't seen him playing there in 3-4 games

  • In reply to Bcb4Life:

    I'm guessing it is due to him playing all college season and more just trying to get ABs, but not too much strain of even more games. Obviously looks like he has some speed too. I'm not worried as he has more of a chance to stick at Catcher than Schwabs

  • In reply to Bcb4Life:

    The cubs have lots of Catchers to get in the line-up and Zagunis has already had a whole college season too so he may not need the added time bej=hind the plate which can be arduous. The same goes for Schwarber. Less catching starts is less wear and tear.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    I feel like Zagunis though was drafted as a Catcher, and Schwarber was drafted as a Bat. Zagunis should be seeing more time. I get the feeling the Cubs are indulging Schwarber by allowing him to catch, (and also providing a handy emergency option later on), but ultimately think he's a LF, period. Schwarber needs work behind the plate, per Callis, and even with that work would only really progress to "average".

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yea I suppose that is what it looks like to me too but Schwarber seems to want it a lot. If he thrives on being in that kind of leadership role then I wouldn't be too quick to take that away from him. If somehow he does develop there it would be hard to argue it was a bad thing until the wear and tear forces a change of position. I also like the idea of him in LF and maybe back-up catching assuming he catches well enough.

  • In reply to Bcb4Life:

    There are 4 catchers on both the Boise and KC rosters right now so there is going to be some serious time sharing going on. Schwarber, Zagunis, Malave and Remillard are the 4 most interesting of the bunch, but the other 4 are not total non-prospects. Everybody has to share.

  • John, nice of you to get some video of me watching Soler round the bases. Just as he passes the catcher at the 0:25 mark- that's me behind the Baron's dugout, directly in front of the catcher, white goatee and in the middle of changing lenses. Hilarious!

    The Soler photo is the home run swing. He's so quick, the camera shooting 3 frames per second got one of him beginning the swing and he was in the follow-through for the next frame.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Thanks for the report and photos.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Ha! I think that's perfect since you provided us with a bunch of photos and commentary. You got your cameo role!

  • It'll be nice to see Bosio get a hands-on look at Hendricks now and soon Straily so he can figure out the plan of action on these guys between now an next season. I am so stoked for next season. If a couple of the itchers can surprise in a good way we might find ourselves in contention next season and give the front office every motivation to go for it 15/16.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bilbo161:

    Straily is an interesting guy....he was quite effective 2012-2013, but has had a big velocity drop in 2014, 3 mph across the board. We'll see if Bosio and co. can fix that. Straily FB was 91-92, and is now 88-89, he cannot afford that kind of drop. If we can solve that problem, he can be better than Hendricks. If not, he's a right-handed Chris Rusin

  • In reply to Zonk:

    If we come into the winter meetings with our #5 SP solidified and a replacement for the "Moosetache" out of the crop of Straily/Hendricks/Beeler/Wada/Jokish/Rusin... I'd call it a success! Also Sanchez & McDonald may be healthy enough for an audition by then.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed on most. Jonathon Sanchez was released though, he's gone.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He's still showing up on Iowa's roster on the 7 day DL... But I see now they released him July 4th, and they just haven't updated the MiLB Iowa team site.

    Still... they don't call him the "Comeback Kid" for nothing lol

  • fb_avatar

    If we trade Barney and/or Bonifacio, I can see Valaika getting a shot. His stat line kind of looks like Donnie Murphy, with a little less pop and little more contact. Is that about right?

    Along UT player lines, it seems like Watkins has slowed recently, and I wonder if Valaika is ahead of him now (except that Watkins is on 40-man)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    That seems an apt description of Valaika to me. I could easily see him as a bench piece going forward.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think that works.

  • John, if Soler can stay healthy for the rest of this year and get some AB's he could be a very big boost for the Cubs going forward. I could see him in AAA next year and knocking on the door to the bigs in the early summer. Just needs to stay healthy and get some AB's

    Looks like Zagunis may be too advanced for short season but the Cubs may want to bring him along slowly.

  • Skulina was 87-91 with his fastball, mostly 88-90. He did touch 92 a couple times later in the game and 93 once. He did a good job of keeping the ball down in the zone and it was a heavy ball that hitters had difficulty lifting, but he did surrender a decent amount of hard contact on the pitch. His slider (77-80) was effective and he was able to get some chases out of the zone. He went almost exclusively with those two pitches though. If that is going to be his full repertoire than I don't see him as a starter long term. Since neither his fastball or slider are plus pitches, he is going to need to develop a third offering or regain his lost velocity.

    Got to see my first look at Tseng as he piggybacked Skulina's start and was really good his first two innings. He was 91-93, and featured a solid curveball (75-77) and changeup (84-85). He commanded all three pitches well and mix the pitches very effectively. The one disconcerning element of his outing was that he experienced a 2-3 MPH velocity drop across the board on all of his offerings beginning in his third inning of work. He did not lose command or effectiveness but has anyone had noticed similar declines in his previous outings?

    Pugliese did not have much of a fastball yesterday. It fluctuated between 86-90, mostly 87-88. His changeup had an unusual speed discrepency with his fastball (75-76) but it was an effective pitch for him. He only threw one breaking ball and missed badly with it. I've seen a good breaking ball in the past from him and he featured it more prominently, but he must not have had a feel for it yesterday. He did not look comfortable yesterday.

    Concepcion looked very similar to when I saw him with Peoria a couple of years ago with maybe an extra tick on his fastball in relief. 89-91 down in the zone. 76-77 curvball with 1-7 movement. He has a lot of faith in his breaking ball command and will throw it in any count. 83-85 with his changeup which he will spot to right handers. He has decent command, but I still don't see an out pitch.

    Overall it was a pretty boring game despite the close score and it dragged on for 14 innings. Neither offense ever gave the impression that it was on the verge of breaking through. The wind was blowing in at a decent clip and with two fairly punchless lineups there was basically no chance for a HR at any point in the game. Dunston did have a nice game, and hit several line drives to go with his 2 walks. He was really the only player to have consistently good at bats yesterday. He did have a scare in the OF, when he made a nice running catch in foul territory before crashing into the wall and appearing to roll his ankle. He walked it off and stayed in though.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That drop in velocity was what caused Tseng to drop from top 5 IFA's to barely in the top 30. Most of what I've read is that it is a conditioning thing mostly. He's not a max effort guy and with 6+ months of pro-ball/conditioning, that shouldn't be so profound so there may be more to it.

    I'm speculating here; but it is widely known that he has an advanced feel for pitching. It is possible that he takes a little something off of it intentionally to maximize movement or command though...

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Thanks mjvz. I noticed the drop as well when I've seen him this year, which has been twice now. Perhaps he will be able to sustain as he matures.

  • I forgot we have Fuji rehabbing. What will they do with him when he's back? There is no place for him IMO.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsBuck22:

    Bullpen is crowded, but if Fuji is good again, I think they'll make room. Grimm could be sent down, for starters. Purpose would be to just get him healthy and see if someone will trade for him. We wouldn't get much other than salary relief, but Fuji might also be a trade target post-July 31 due to that salary.

  • fb_avatar

    I was very pleased to see Soler in Birmingham. Russell looked very smooth at SS and is a well muscled kid at 20. He may outgrow the SS position. Mota may be organizational filler/utility type, but he handled 3B well and barreled up the ball for 3 hits and was robbed on a liner up the middle. The last time I saw Black, he was throwing a no hitter here...but he opened this one wild. I don't see how he can remain a starter. His slider is unhittable and has bullpen written all over it.

  • I just have to thoughts and like to hear comments.
    First, Holy cow what a log jam of talent!!! It will be very interesting to see how it plays out. What/who will be the factor of how this shakes out? Is it Bryant sticking at third or Castro being traded?

    Second, I am happy for Hendricks. But in this situation would it be better if we called up a vet or found one to start? I just want Hendricks to have a chance to be successful and have a good feeling?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    cubs need to see if Hendricks is going to be part of rotation next year. no he is going to get his chance.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I like Hendricks a lot. I think he can be a 3 starter for along time. I just want him to be in a successful situation. Isn't anyone in minors have experience in mlb? I just want a good situation for a future guy

  • A thing of beauty! Best hitting line-up late next season (assuming a lot of course).
    Alcantara, CF
    Bryant, 3B
    Rizzo, 1B
    Soler, RF
    Baez, 2B
    Castro, SS
    Castillo, C
    Ruggiano/Sweeney, LF
    Wood, P

    The question is, how does Russel break into that at or about the same time as Schwarber? Nice problems to have huh?

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    the best rbi chances come from the 4 and 5 spots of the lineup. Putting Bryant in the 2 spot wastes his power. I would assume Castro moves back to two spot

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    It may be unorthodox, but if Baez and Bryant both become plus power hitters (likely, even if one isn't more than average OBP guy), I like Rizzo best in the 2 spot. It is arguably the most important spot in your lineup as it gets the biggest combination of total at bats and RBI opportunities. This has been proven in studies, and really only due to tradition is the "best hitter in the 3 hole" still prevalent in baseball. I want Rizzo's mixture of superior plate approach, power, and OBP skills in front of two sluggers. Just because he is a slugger himself shouldn't prevent this.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    i would be fine with Rizzo in the 2 spot.. his on obp is exceptional and with Bryant and Baez possibly hitting 3-4-5 spot, I could go with that..

    Also being a LHB would help out even more when the leadoff man is on.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    If we put Rizzo in the 2 spot then our lineup will be too right handed and we will have to sign Milton Bradley again

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I'd rather put a higher OBP guy in at #2 and put Castro's bat-on-the-ball skills lower down in the order where he can do some cleaning up of what's left over after Bryant, Baez and Soler do their mashing. He's on a 100-RBI pace this year, which is just astounding given that he's a SS and what's been leading off for us.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Old school thinking is to put your best hitter in the #3-hole. Bryant is projecting to hit for a higher avg and higher slugging % than Rizzo so if you subscribe to this theory, then he is your #3 hitter.

    Saber Metrics makes a case for your best overall hitter to hit 2nd in the line-up. Which is where Bilbo has him.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    saber metrics makes a case for your best run producers to hit 4 and 5

    i never said for Bryant to hit 3rd.. I said his slugging would be misplaced in the 2 spot because his rbi chances are greatly reduced.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Bryant goes to left, Russell to 3b and Schwarber behind the plate.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Schwarber is not going to be catching in the majors anytime soon, probably never. If you assume Rizzo at first, he's LF, trade bait, or bust.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    My crystal ball probably has Almora, Schwarber, and a couple others being late 2016 at the earliest. Now if one of them hits AA and takes huge strides then that time table could be accelerated.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Scratch Ruggiano/Sweeney, insert Lake until someone else comes along.

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    Hoyer on 670 Score this a.m. said that Arismendy Alcantara will be playing much more CF from now on. Interesting.

    He also confirmed Hendricks's promotion, if that was not official already

  • I like Zagunis. I think he will be the catcher of the future.

    Also what happened to Hannemann? I thought he was getting a couple days off but he has missed 3 straight games.

  • I talked to Austyn Willis last week and got the impression that John alluded to about being nervous, because he did say he was bored from hotel living stuff, but really wanted to get out and show what he has type of thing. He is a tall, lanky, polite kid who probably will have a better outing next time considering he has his first outing behind him.

  • it's not unrealistic to think that the cubs could have seven top 50 prospects by season's end (of course, assuming alcantara would still be considered a prospect):

    bryant
    baez
    russell
    soler
    alcantara
    almora
    schwarber

    (am i missing anybody?)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Next 50 could also include Johnson, Edwards, as well

  • Boy, I know it's early and that stats aren't important at that level, but our IFA from last year are off to a hell of a start. Tseng, Jimenez, Torres, Mejia and Galindo all doing well and a couple of those guys with some pretty aggressive assignments.

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