Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Soler HRs, gets call to Cubs; Clifton, Edwards sharp; Baez HRs

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Soler HRs, gets call to Cubs; Clifton, Edwards sharp; Baez HRs
graphic by @thehistoryrat

Jorge Soler will be joining the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

That's a tough act to follow for the rest of this recap...

Iowa 8 - Tacoma 0

  • So...Jorge Soler.
  • Eric Jokisch started the game and was looking like his usual self when he suddenly had to exit the game.  Initial speculation was that perhaps a second player was headed to join the Cubs.  Unfortunately that was not the case as the trainer went out to see him.  It was nothing, just a finger blister.  He pitched 2.1 innings, walked none and struck out two.  Since that was likely his last start at AAA for the season, Jokisch will finish with a 9-10 record and a 3.58 ERA.  He walked 31 (1.8 BB/9 IP) and struck out 143 (8.2 Ks/9 IP) in 158 innings.
  • Alberto Cabrera is a big strong kid and he used to be a starter, so he had no problems picking up some innings and saving the bullpen.  He went 4.2 innings without allowing a run or  a walk to improve to 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA.  Cabrera's once promising future has dimmed as he struggled with command at the MLB level, lost his 40 man roster spot and is now pitching middle relief at Iowa.  His FB was reportedly in the low 90s after it had been clocked as high as 97 a couple of years ago.
  • Arodys Vizcaino pitched a scoreless inning to lower his AAA ERA to 5.71, but again, that is more due to 3 consecutive 3-run outings.  He has been dominant otherwise over 3 levels, posting a 3.6o ERA in 40 innings.  He has walked 17 and struck out 41.  Vizcaino has been clocked in the high 90s this year and profiles as a power reliever.  He could get a call this September.
  • Armando Rivero finished off the shutout with a scoreless frame of his own.  He lowered his ERA to 2.54.  He has been even more dominant than Vizcaino (2.03 ERA over 2 levels and just a shade under 14 Ks per 9 IP) but doesn't have the luxury of a roster spot.   At his age (he'll be 27 before Opening Day next year), the Cubs will probably add him and give him every chance to win a bullpen spot next season.
  • Big game for Junior Lake.  He looks to be finding his stroke again, going 3 for 5 with  a double.  He also scored a run and drove in 2.  He is hitting .293 since his demotion.
  • Jorge Soler ended his minor league season with a flourish, hitting a 3-run HR off of top prospect Taijuan Walker.  Soler rebounded from a dry spell and finished his season at Iowa with a .282/.378/.618 with 8 HRs.  His final minor league season line is .340/.432/.700 with 15 HRs in just 200 ABs (236 PAs).   He had a walk rate of 13.5% and a K rate of 20%.
  • Jonathan Mota had the honor of replacing Soler in the lineup and did quite well, going 2 for 3 and hitting his 2nd HR.
  • Rafael Lopez went 2 for 4 and improved his line to .290/.392/.333 with 1 HR at Iowa.

Jacksonville 2 - Tennessee 1

  • Before Iowa started the game, I figured the most exciting news would be CJ Edwards 5 inning, 1 hit, 8 strikeout performance.  The reed-thin RHP did walk 3 batters.  He's been tough to hit in his last 2 starts, covering 10 innings and allowing just 3 hits while striking out 15.  He received a no-decision in a pitcher's duel with fellow prospecdt Justin Nicolino's and is now 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA.  He was walked 3.68 batters per 9 IP while striking out 9.2 per 9 IP.
  • Unfortunately, Nicolino matched Edwards pitch for pitch, lasting until the 7th inning.   LHP Andrew McKirahan came in to try and keep the duel going but he allowed a run in his 2 innings of work.  He didn't pitch badly (0BB, 2 Ks) but there was little room for error here.
  • Newcomer Blake Cooper pitched a scoreless inning and struck out the side.
  • Some bad news as Stephen Bruno hurt his hamstring and it may have been a tear (h/t @cubsnation), which would sideline him for the season and much of the fall.  He was replaced in the lineup by Pin-Chieh Chen, who had 2 of the Smokies 5 hits.
  • Rubi Silva made it back from his rehab assignment and went 1 for 3 with a run scored. Silva is hitting .257/.299/.393 with 6 HRs and 7 SBs on the year.

Dunedin 8 - Daytona 7

  • The D-Cubs ran swingman Yao-Lin Wang for the start today but he did not fare well, allowing 5 runs in 4 innings to fall to 4-6 with a 5.40 ERA.
  • Gioskar Amaya is finding his power stroke late in the season.  He went 2 for 4 with a triple and his 4th HR.  He also walked, scored 2, and drove in 2.  Amaya's line is at .276/.378/.370 as he slowly gets that ISO near triple digits.  Amaya is a good defender with a solid bat and a good approach, if he can hit for extra base power he has a shot to be a starter down the road.
  • Kyle Schwarber did not HR this time but did go 1 for 4 with an RBI.
  • Bijan Rademacher is finishing strong down the stretch and has come up big as Daytona has needed him for their playoff push.  He went 2 for 4 and hit his 9th HR of the season.  He is hovering just below the .800 OPS mark at .276/.363/.436

Kane County 8 - Burlington 3

  • Paul Blackburn is trying to finish up his first full season as a pro and the Cubs are understandably taking it easy with him.  He went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs, walking 2 and striking out 2.  He's at 115 innings for the season, walking just 30 batters (2.3 per 9 IP) and posting a 9-4 record with a 3.29 ERA.  He was in line for the win but the bullpen didn't hold on.
  • The culprit was James Pugliese, who has been very good and is returning from a rehab stint.  Unfortunately he allowed a hard luck unearned run in his one inning, but the Cougars came back to give him the win, improving his record to 4-0 with a 1.81 ERA.  Pugliese pitches in the high 80s-low 90s and keeps the ball down with a good 2 seamer.
  • Jasvir Rakkar continues to throw goose eggs on the board.  Two more shutout frames gave him 17 scoreless innings since his promotion to the MWL.
  • Jeimer Candelario had a 3 hit day, improving his average to .253 on the year to go with 5 HRs at Kane County.  He has 10 HRs overall this year but has struggled to get on base at his usual rate, putting up a .284 OBP for the season between Daytona and Kane.
  • 1B Jacob Rogers has had a productive year batting cleanup.  He went 2 for 4 and drove in 2.  He is hitting .267 with 16 HRs and 67 RBI.
  • It's been a disappointing year for talented hitter Yasiel Balaguert, but he has hit well since coming back from his injury.  Balaguert has good bat speed but struggles with breaking stuff.  He went 2 for 4 with a double, HR, 2 runs, and 2 RBI.  Balaguert is hitting .243/.279/.362 with 7 HRs.
  • Jeffrey Baez hit his 6th HR at Kane County and 13th overall.  At Kane he is hitting .276/.333/.586.

Boise 3 - Everett 0

  • Trevor Clifton has had his ups and downs but he had his best outing of the season, stretching out to 7 innings because of his efficiency.  He did not walk a batter while striking out 3 but forcing 9 ground outs.  He did not allow a run, improvd to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.86 on the season.  Clifton has a 91-93 mph FB and may project for more, with a good feel for secondaries that should get better as he gains experience.  Clifton struggled with his control at times and has walked 4.5 per 9 IP, but he showed progress and I expect him to build on that next season.
  • Rashad Crawford and Danny Canela each doubled and scored a run.  Canela also walked.
  • Jesse Hodges went 2 for 4 and drove in a run.


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    John love the 1979 Topps card for Soler

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Ha! Thanks, That is actually from Todd @thehistoryrat

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    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Yeah, I think I have that I don't.

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    I know it's technically "scouting the stat line" but I get a real kick out of seeing Edwards perform and hoping he can overcome the projections for the big league team.

  • In reply to Nathan King:

    For him it's all about stamina. Can he hold up for big innings over the course of a long season. It's rare for someone of his size to do that, but if he does, he certainly has the stuff to be very good.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think he captures my imagination in the same way Juan Cruz did; he has that Pedro Martinez skinny dominance about him.

  • In reply to Nathan King:

    I liked Cruz too. Had some nasty stuff.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cubs should have listened to Oscar Acosta about him.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    What was that?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Nathan King:

    I guess that's probably a pretty popular opinion around here now that I think about it.

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    In reply to Nathan King:

    I get a kick out of how not using "the eye test" is suddenly so politically incorrect. Few of us are trained scouts, and even those who are have a success/fail rate comparable to a really bad batting average.

    Indeed, sitting at home on my couch I can use advance statistics and a glance at history and get a fairly accurate read at some point in the progression of prospects who will succeed and who will fail (see Nate Silver for one who uses historical data to predict outcomes with stunning accuracy). So those who trash "scouting the stat line" to predict future outcomes strike me as a little pompous.

    Obviously, the best scouts or writers or bloggers or whatever will use both. But without a trained eye, "the eye test" is very limiting. Sure, I can look at Starlin Castro's at bats this year and see that his approach is much better. But there was a post on this site (Mauricio?) that showed an amazing chart that was a lot more informative.

    Sorry, but the snarkiness of that comment from a couple days ago regarding someone's failure to use "the eye test" just rubbed me the wrong way.

  • fb_avatar

    Nice to see a good outing from Clifton. I think he can be good.

    I saw that Schwarber flied out to center 3 times. I wonder how far those went. Would've been nice to see the homer parade continue. :p
    Either way, it's a good sign. has started listing GO/AO ratios as part of the stat line ans Schwarber's is fantastic.
    I remember an article last year pointing out that Oakland had found another market inefficiency by collecting fly-ball hitters.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I remember Bernstein reading that Oakland article on the air. It was really interesting.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    "I remember an article last year pointing out that Oakland had found another market inefficiency by collecting fly-ball hitters."

    How did they describe it as a market inefficiency. I'm not saying you are wrong. I am just curious. To me, this seems ridiculous, because fly balls are easy outs and ground balls have a chance for errors, infield hits, squeak through for a base hit, potentially advance runners etc. I guess if other teams were thinking this way too, then there could be your inefficiency. Also, I guess a fly ball avoids double plays and can score runners tagging up.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nukee:

    Ground ball ball is much more likely to be an out. Fly ball more likely to be a hit.

    Think about when we talk about pitching.
    If a pitcher doesn't get a strikeout, you want them to hit a ground ball. Easy to field. Easy out. The ones that squeak through are not as common as the easily fielded out.

    There's a lot more space in the outfield so a fly ball is more likely to fall for a hit. Get it over the infields heads, make the D run for it.
    Plus, power hitters' fly balls turn into HRs.
    Wrigley is notorious for that. On windy nights tht fly balls that just keep going and going until it's in the basket.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    You're actually a little off. Ground balls are much more likely to be hits but far less likely to go for extra bases (naturally). Ground ball pitchers are prioritized not because they limit BABIP but because most pitchers who allow fly balls also allow home runs, and the ones who don't (like Clayton Kershaw) are gods.

    Oakland has been willing to sacrifice a bit of BABIP for a lot of power, especially because you'll do pretty well if you can get hitters who can lift balls low in the zone, since that's where everyone is pitching now.

    Incidentally, another way they've used this fact is that their closer throws more or less nothing but low 90s fastballs up in the zone, and gets LOTS of strikeouts. Hitters just aren't used to that pitch in today's major league.

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    In reply to Nathan King:

    Fair enough, and I appreciate the correction, but you're a little off on BABIP too (at least partially)

    I looked a little more into it and found this on fangraphs:

    the section toward the middle is interesting:
    the higher a pitcher’s ground ball rate, the easier it is for their defense to turn those ground balls into outs. In other words, a pitcher with a 55% ground ball rate will have a lower BABIP on grounders than a pitcher with a 45% ground ball rate.

    Which further clarifies to nukee (and ...myself) why Oakland went after the fly balls. With most pitchers focusing on ground balls, they sought the other end of the spectrum.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    That's one I didn't know! But it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that!

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Flyball hitters tend to hit more line drives and more home runs..

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    We should also remember that they are talking about "market "inefficiencies". It is not that fly ball hitters are necessarily better than ground ball hitters, but that fly ball hitters are cheaper (considering what they bring) than ground ball hitters.

    Fly ball hitters are undervalued in the market place, so a team on a strict budget gets more value for their money.

    The Cubs front office has identified power hitters (a form of fly ball hitters) as being undervalued, and have gathered them almost to the point of hoarding them. They seem to believe that a top power hitter is more valuable than a top pitcher, and have spent their currency (top draft choices and MLB trade bait) for power position players, specifically, power hitting shortstops that can be moved to other positions.

    It will be interesting to see how they treat free agent pitching as they gain more financial flexibility. I get the feeling that they believe that two fifteen million dollar pitchers are better than one 30 million dollar pitcher (age and contract status being equal), at least until the staff is full of fifteen million dollar pitchers. These are free agent measurements, and would probably equate to two #3 plus pitchers as opposed to one # 1 pitcher. We should learn more about their philosophy this winter. Are they going to go after 2 # 1 pitchers (Lester and Scherzer?) or perhaps one # 1 pitcher and a couple of # 3 plus pitchers like Hammel/Feldman/Maholm.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DaveP:

    I think your 1st paragraph is more accurate than your third. Fly ball hitters aren't better than groundball hitters, just that a team on a budget will get more for the same amount of money from a fly ball hitter.

    Similarly, (3rd paragraph) the Cubs FO does NOT necessarily believe that a top power hitter is more valuable than a top pitcher. Simply they believe that at the bottom line they will get more bang for their buck (and a more predictable bang at that) from a top hitter than a top pitcher. I would guess there are A LOT more pitchers in the $15-20M range than hitters when taking production into account (whether it is WAR or whatever metric you like).

    My guess is they will not sign Lester OR Scherzer. Both guys are over 30 and will expect a contract in the 6 year $150-200M range. Might they be the signing that puts us over the top? Maybe. But the risk is great that the last 3-5 years that will be a HUGE overpay.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    This is new information for me and I find it interesting. I always thought that ground ball pitchers were liked because double plays tend to come more often on groundballs (old school), the the more "new school" ground balls are less likely to be extra base hits (pesky middle infielders usually scoop up "ground balls to the gaps"). You are saying, though, that guys with higher ground ball rates get more outs on GROUND BALLS than pitchers with lower ground ball rates. I find that counter-intuitive (somewhat like my first reaction to the Vorros McCracken discovery). Is there an explanation why this would be the case? To me it would make sense to say the percentage of ground balls that turn into outs is stable but that, by virtue of getting more ground balls, ground ball pitchers will get a higher percentage of their outs via ground ball or something like that.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Fly balls also stay away from double plays.

    I wonder if the stadium has anything to do with that. Fly balls would definitely help at Texas in the summer.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Ground ball pitchers are especially valuable in a relief role, where they often come in with men on base, and a ground ball is more likely to result in a double play than a fly ball. But it also applies to starters. Every pitcher gives up some hits, and a ground ball pitcher is more likely to turn those hits into double plays.

    The reverse would seem to be true for hitters. A fly ballhitter is not only more likely to hit a home run, but he is also less likely to hit into a double play. And, of course, more likely to hit a sacrifice fly.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You do have to say one thing-Billy Beane was the originator of using Sabremetrics and always seem to find ways to tweak them. If Im right(im not sure I am on this) didnt Theo start his career in Oakland, before he went to Boston?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    In Moneyball Epstein gets his start in Boston. Maybe you are thinking of DePodesta.

    There will always be ways to tweak baseball. All Billy does is goes through the time and effort to figure out what the market has undervalued. It will ALWAYS undervalue something. The trick is he is willing to go where the data leads. I think Epstein and Hoyer are able to do that too.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Does a line drive count as an AO or is it in a separate category?

  • I was at the Smokies game last night and C.J. Edwards was impressive. He left in the 6th inning due to a blister on his right thumb.

    I've seen Edwards twice now and he seems to follow a pattern. Nothing but fastballs for the first two or three innings. The lone exception last night; swinging strikeout of the final batter in the 2nd inning on a curveball. He struck out the side in the 2nd. After the 3rd he started mixing in the breaking ball, but he predominately relied on the fastball. His fastball hit 95 mph once on the gun in the 2nd inning (it was high). He was 92-94 early, 90-92 in 3rd and 4th, and was down to 89-91 in the 5th. He came out to start the 6th and left because of the blister. He also made a nice play on a hard line-shot right back at him. The only hit he gave up was on a fastball. I believe the guy who hit it actually has played a few games in the majors for Miami this season. Other than that; he was blowing guys away. Two of the 3 walks he gave up were in the 1st inning (one scoring). He needs to work on his bunting. He got one down, but he got lucky. It was a rocket-bunt that wasn't handled very well by the 1B.

    Almora was 0-4, but hit the ball hard twice to RF and 2B. He also made a diving attempt on a line shot to right-center, but he didn't make the catch even though it hit his glove. I think he'd tell you he should have had it. It wasn't an easy play, but for someone with his talent he probably catches that ball 9 times out of 10.

    Bruno started the game at 2B, hit in the bottom of the 1st and then was pulled from the field during warm-ups for the top of 2nd. Does anyone have any idea why? Was he called up to AAA?

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Thanks AggBat. Wrote about Bruno in the recap. It was his hamstring, possibly a tear.

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Wonderful stuff, AggBat. Always great to get first hand reports.

  • John, love the recaps! First time commenter. Was wondering what you think about this years 32nd round pick Andrew Ely? He's flown through the minors. Good ball player, what do you project from him?

  • In reply to Rizzolution2015:

    Well he was just up in Iowa temporarily to replace Watkins who was replacing Castro. It is much easier to move one guy instead of several to cover each level. They did this with Amaya before (just not as long of a time). Clubs take a low level guy to minimize the movement. I'll let John or someone else talk about him specifically, but he hasn't flown through as it is just a temporay thing as will go back to usual spot in the low minors.

  • In reply to Rizzolution2015:

    Thanks! I think I just missed your comment last night. Ely is a polished hitter, a bit smallish, and he is limited because he is a 2B from the get go, meaning he may not have a lot of utility if he doesn't start. The latter two reasons are likely why he slipped as far as he did. I think if he can increase his versatility he can be a utility guy but we may not see that until the next year or so.

  • Opps; missed that Bruno pulled a hamstring.

  • Hey John, does Edwards throw anything besides a fastball and curve?

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Change. He basically a 3 pitch guy.

  • Yeoman-like work today John. I guess the Soler news was like a 40 oz coffee. Hope these recaps go deep into the playoffs.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    It did perk me up...but I zonked out before I could get to all your comments!

    We'll do the playoffs though it may only be a couple of teams, maybe 3.

  • I wonder if Iowa was in a better spot in the standings if Soler would get called up already. I doubt it. Either way, I think he is head strong enough to come in and perform well at the MLB level. I'm really hoping he ends up being better than Cespedes and Puig. (Man, I cannot stand Puig. He is a physical specimen, but he is an immature little s***.)

  • In reply to nukee:

    I think the Cubs were lucky to get Soler young so that he can adapt to baseball culture in the US. Here's what I think, you gotta have a lot of confidence to risk everything and defect to the US -- so it doesn't surprise me that it can come off as brash in some cases. Soler, however, is probably more like Abreu in personality than he is like Puig. More of a quiet confidence.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I met him once. There was a language barrier but he was gracious to the fans, smiled, shook hands, signed every autograph request. It seemed like he genuinely appreciated the adulation. I think he'll be revered in Chicago like Dawson and Sosa (pre-cork)

  • And after rosters expand next week, we may also see the return of Olt and Lake, who've both regained some confidence. If we can fit them all in the lineup, then there's a ton of power -- and despite all these exciting promotions, we'll still have two of the top 5 (or the top two?) prospects in baseball when camp opens in March.

    John, love the Soler rookie card. For next week, might be a good idea to queue up a Cookie Monster GIF.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Taft:

    Top-2? No. Buxton and Correa may have something to say about that (maybe even Lindor). I think Bryant has a solid chance at #1 but I doubt Russell gets #2.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Bryant, IMO, should be #1 prospect in rankings, with Russell probably #4 (behind the two you mention). Very impressive, still. Javy would probably be #4-5 with Russell if he didn't use up his eligibility. As far as prospect rankings go, it's still possible for Soler to be eligible, depending on how many AB's he gets

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zonk:

    I would still give the nod to Lindor. He has less power but a good batting eye and is considered the better fielder between him and Russell. A strong argument could be made for both of them, though.

  • I'm a cubs fan living in cincy. Found this site this summer and read it everyday I call it my newspaper. My question is I'm going to the game Wednesday has there been any talk about seeing Soler in the starting lineup that night or is he going to be on the bench.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to MrJonesy:

    According to Carrie Muskat, he will be playing in Wednesday's lineup.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to MrJonesy:

    I don't know for sure, but with the Cubs other call-ups they put them in the line-up and they stayed there, even when struggling. There wouldn't be any purpose to pulling up Soler to ride the bench. He needs ABs, not just "soak up the experience."

  • In reply to MrJonesy:

    He is going to play everyday in RF. Well, they have been protecting his legs a little bit since he came back from the injury, so he might get one game off per week. He won't be a platoon guy like Lake or Olt.

  • I wake up every morning, get the coffee going, primed for these recaps. What am I going to do without them? This is an addiction!

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    In reply to cubs1969:


  • The only thing I didn't like about CJ's night is the fact he threw 84 pitches in 5 innings. Only threw strikes on 57% of his pitches. To be a TOR starter, we need him to be a 7-8 inning guy and to do so, needs to be more efficient with his pitches.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    They're going to baby him for the rest of the year, and rightfully so. He's not going to touch 100 pitches even in a playoff game.

  • Fans will love Soler's advanced approach at the plate.

  • Do we know who is pitching tomorrow night yet? Wednesday night?

  • In reply to plymkr:

    Think it will be Wood tonight. Turner has been announced as the starter Wednesday. Hendricks Thursday morning.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Thanks! Looking forward to seeing Turner in a start.

  • There's a chance, in the not too distant future, that Rizzo/Baez/Bryant?Soler are the 4 of the 5 NL representatives in the HR Derby @ the AS game....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Might actually watch the derby in that case.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It would be fun, but the powers that be probably don't want only two teams represented. Baseball politics, and all.....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    There's a greater chance that Rizzo/Baez/Bryant/Soler/Castro are all in the starting lineup for the NL squad in 2016 and for several years thereafter! Oh baby!

    And in 2019, the entire starting NL line up (add Schwarber, Russell and Almora) will be the Cubs' lineup. ; )

  • In reply to TTP:

    lets dont forget-1969 Cubs entire IF made the all-star team.

  • I know I am being a bit of a homer here, but why couldn't Russell be listed ahead of Buxton? Buxton was not great when he did play. He was good. He flashed a bit. But he was injured much of the year. Russell did better at a higher level once back from injury. Buxton still needs to prove a little bit more IMO to be the top prospect overall over both Bryant and Russell.

    Correa was doing very well in the Cali league before seriously breaking his leg. But this is a serious injury for a SS. It will be important to see how he recovers in terms of speed, mobility and flexibility. So if his positional value decreases, then that should affect his ranking.

    The point is you have two top prospects who now have question marks that Bryant and Russell do not have. Both Russell and Bryant have performed well at higher levels. I think it would be a travesty to have them not listed #1 and #2.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gator:

    I can see scouts rating Russell higher than Correa and Buxton, but they tend not to move off it too much in case of injury. Buxton is more talented than anybody, just a snakebit year. Correa will recover from his injury. It's possible Russell gets a higher ranking, based on his higher floor at this point.

    Those injuries, though, to me mean that Bryant will be #1. He'll probably also be named BA minor league player of the year.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    I don't see Russell moving pat Buxton, Correa, or even Lindor on most lists.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gator:

    I think the world of Russell but will try to come up with reasons why Buxton and Correa are often listed above Russell. I don't have a membership with BA or so don't have access to their lists and full comments so I will use the list because, well, there's is free. I am sure that the scouting grades aren't enormously different.

    These are "prospect lists" and not lists of "best current player." There is a lot of forecasting. I don't like it much, but it is what it is.

    Looking at their "Grades" (20-80 scale) the 3 players I mentioned possibly ahead of Russell:
    Buxton: Hit: 70 | Power: 60 | Run: 80 | Arm: 70 | Field: 75 | Overall: 75
    Correa: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 50 | Arm: 70 | Field: 50 | Overall: 70
    Russell: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 65
    Lindor: Hit: 60 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 70 | Overall: 65

    For perspective these are Bryant's scouting numbers:
    Hit: 55 | Power: 75 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 70

    Personally, I think that most of these lists value footspeed and defense/field/glove too highly, but that is just an opinion. Just remember, going through the minor leagues faster doesn't mean you will become a better player.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that there is inertia at the top of these lists. They are based more strongly on scouting reports than on performance. Once a player has a ranking only a putrid season by them (or a missed season due to injury such as Sano) OR an impossible to ignore good season by someone else will cause a move in the top 5-10 spots. Lower spots are more volatile.

    FWIW I weight my evaluation of prospects more on performance/results and less on scouting reports than these lists and many on this site. This is unlikely to be news to those who have read my posts. However my post was about who would be higher on the lists so I have to use the rationale of the lists, not my personal preferences in evaluations.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Law said they won't be #1 and #2 on his list.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I also think Russel should be rated the #2 prospect behind Bryant. he has put up monster numbers since joining the Cubs. He also plays plus defense and he is only 20! I think he is definitely better than Lindor who needs to work on his batting. And, I think Buxton's and Correa's injuries have hurt their status enough for Russel to move ahead of them.

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    I think there is a very good chance the 2015 Cubs lead the league in home runs, and strikeouts. Just hope there is enough contact around those two items to make us a top offense.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    When we have Bryant, Soler and Schwarber in the line-up we will probably lead the league in walks. For that matter, most offensive categories, good and bad.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Cy Young is the all time record holder for career losses as well as wins

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    EXACTLY! Nolan Ryan not only leads the World in Ks, but BB as well.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Brett Favre holds the record in Touchdowns, Yards, and Interceptions.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Totally agree. We're close enough in those two categories already.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Remember when it was our pitching that led the league in Ks and not the offense?

  • In reply to LetTheKidsPlay:

    Why can't we do both? The bullpen should be able to pile up Ks in the coming years with Vizcaino, Rondon, Ramirez, Rivero, etc. Arrieta gets a decent amount. Hendricks probably won't get many but Edwards could. Depending on what veteran starters they acquire over the next year or two they could at least challenge for the most in the league. It won't be Prior/Wood/Zambrano/Clement type numbers but few teams in history could challenge that group.

  • I'm seeing Soler is going to play in left instead of right. Any idea why? Permanent move or temporary to give him time to adjust to Wrigley?

  • The winds keep picking up at Wrigley.....

  •'s comment section makes me appreciate this board even more. good god at that dumpster fire. Great work @Cubs Den

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    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I can't read those boards anymore. The negativity is just overbearing and I feel as if a group of fans on there are being negative just for the sake of being negative reality be damned.

  • Looking forward to taking my son to his first MLB game at Wrigley on Labor Day. Was thinking that we were not going to get to catch Soler. This is great news!

  • We still need pitching.....Lester & Price should do it for 2016.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Lester this off season and maybe Price the off season after that. :)

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