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The 10 Cubs Prospects to watch this spring

The 10 Cubs Prospects to watch this spring
Ian Happ

As much as I am excited about the major league team this spring, I'll be spending a lot of time on the backfields as well.  The Cubs farm system is still strong but with Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant shooting to the majors to stay last year, they are lacking that marquee prospect.  Only Gleyber Torres is a consensus top 50 prospect and there is at least some mixed opinion as to who is #2, though most have Willson Contreras in that spot,

I am, of course, looking forward to seeing them play as well as other top Cubs prospects such as Billy McKinney, Duane Underwood, and Albert Almora.  But to be a prospect hound is to be always looking ahead and dreaming on the possibilities.  With that in mind, here are the top 10 prospects I look most forward to seeing this spring.

1. Eddy Julio Martinez, OF (Did not play in 2015)

Obviously.  Like most non-professional scouts,  I have yet to see him play live.  When a player gets as much mixed review as Martinez does, that makes him difficult to evaluate when it comes to compiling prospect lists.  My methodology when it comes to ranking prospects depends heavily on such live evaluation.  As much as I respect the opinions of those in the field, I ultimately like to make my own decisions and I depend on multiple viewings to come to those conclusions.  Video is helpful but there is something about seeing a player live -- to hear that crack of the bat, to see the burst on bases or in the field, and even just seeing how a player goes about preparing.  All of that factors in my decision process.

I had Martinez 17th but that is admittedly a hedge on my part.  It's essentially a floor ranking rather than a combination of floor and ceiling as is my usual custom.  It is because I have incomplete information.  I am more excited to see Martinez than any other prospect -- and more than any other prospect in my top 25, Martinez has a chance to jump way up the list by the end of March.

2. Ian Happ, 2B-OF (South Bend, A)

Specifically, I am interested in his transition to 2B.  The first couple of times he went out there, Happ looked a little stiff and heavy footed.  And while he is never going to have that fluid athleticism I like to see in middle of the field players, he is still a good athlete and worked hard on his footwork during the fall.  By the time camp broke, I was convinced he has a shot to stick there.  Happ has a muscular build and I am curious to see if he'll shed some of that bulk in favor of more lean muscle mass if it does not detract from his  power.  That could help his quickness at 2B.

At the plate, Happ is pretty far along.  He'll strike out, in large part because of his ferocious swing, but he has good bat speed, great discipline, and an intelligent approach.  He was the most impressive, consistent all-around hitter I saw this fall.  He also has surprising speed and perhaps has the potential of becoming a 20/20 player on offense.

3. Oscar De La Cruz, RHP (Eugene, Short-Season A)

I am going to assume he'll stop growing at some point.  De La Cruz may be as tall as 6'6" right now and still carries a lean, athletic build.  He has an easy, fluid delivery that he can repeat well, which should help him continue to throw strikes.  He can already touch 97, though he sits more at 92-93 right now.  With physical maturity, he may be able to sustain the upper end of that velocity deeper into games.   The curveball also improved last year and has plus potential so I will be interested to see if that continues.  He has an aggressive, attacking demeanor on the mound and if he develops at least an average change, he suddenly becomes a legitimate top of the rotation prospect.  At worst, he has a good chance of becoming an intimidating high leverage reliever.

4. Dylan Cease, RHP, (AZ Rookie League)

I think we just saw him scratching the surface last year.  The easy velocity that reached as high as 100 mph last summer drew a lot of attention -- and deservedly so.  The Cubs simply don't have a lot of arms like Cease's.  There is a lot to dream on with the just turned 20 year old.  The curveball shows potential and he has some feel for the change already.  Last year was about getting back on the mound and regaining arm strength.  Mission accomplished.

This year the bar is set higher.  Scouts are going to want to see improvement with his secondaries and his command.  If Cease can display that this spring, he may just skip Eugene and re-join his draft classmates at South Bend this year.

5. Eloy Jimenez, OF, (Eugene, Short Season)

Jimenez took that step forward last fall as far as maturation and it has me really excited to see how he continues to develop this spring after some time off.  The broad-shouldered Jimenez is already physically mature and he really seemed to grow in confidence.  He even showed some emerging leadership qualities when he took some even younger players under his wing.

But where we really want to see him grow right now is at the plate.  He has a relatively polished swing and tremendous raw power but that power has yet to manifest itself consistently in games.  In order for that to happen, he'll have to develop a more mature, consistent approach, get himself into good hitting counts and learn to wait for pitches he can drive.

6. Justin Steele, LHP (Eugene, Short Season A)

Like De La Cruz, Steele may not be done growing.   MiLB now has him at 6'2" at 195 lbs. -- and they may be a bit light on that weight.   He may be as much as 10 pounds heavier than that and it appears to be lean muscle weight.  He is one of the most athletic pitchers in the Cubs system and has a tough mentality on the mound.

Steele was reaching 95 when I saw him last spring but more often worked at 92-93 while also flashing a plus curve and improved command.   Along with De La Cruz, he was the pitcher that stood out to me the most.

On the downside, Steele seemed to tire around the middle innings and would start to open up in his delivery.  I tend to get so hyper-focused on movement that on one start, I stepped away for a couple of innings, came back and thought it was a different pitcher when I first returned.  In addition to the change in his delivery, the curve flattened out and the fastball was up and tailing away.

With the added weight and, presumably strength and stamina, the hope is that Steele can sustain his mechanics and stuff deeper into games -- and he did start to show that ability later in the season.  If that happens, then I think he can be a mid-rotation starter.  At worst he is a power lefty out of the pen.

7. Bryan Hudson, LHP (AZ Rookie League)

I didn't see Martinez at all and I only saw a couple innings of Bryan Hudson last year, so he is another one I hedged on a bit and am looking forward to seeing more of him this spring.

What I did see of Hudson was impressive.  He worked at 89-91, flashed a plus curve, and showed surprising athleticism and coordination for a 6'8" teenager.  He still has a long, long way to go.  As you would expect from a gangly teen just out of high school, he still needs to mature in all aspects of the game, but the physical size and skills make him an intriguing breakout candidate once it all comes together.  I don't expect that to happen in 2016 but I am curious to see how much progress he's made and how much work he'll put into improving this spring.

8. DJ Wilson, OF, (AZ Rookie League)

Wilson is the most dynamic position player in the Cubs system.  He is perhaps their fastest runner (and certainly the fastest I timed) and packs a lot of pop into what is listed as a 5'8", 177 pound frame, though after seeing him up close, I think he may be an inch or so taller and several pounds heavier than that (5'9", 185 lbs.?).  Wilson struggled at first in the rookie league.  He seemed to be chopping down on the ball and using his wheels to get on base -- perhaps that was something he was instructed to do as a prep athlete, but after about 10 days off, Wilson came back and seemed to make adjustments to his swing.  He was driving the ball into the gaps with authority and he carried that trend into the fall, where he even showed some HR power to his pull side.

In a system that has plenty of highly skilled players but lacks explosive athletes, Wilson stands out.  I talked about being reserved until I see a player live in the Martinez segment.  Wilson, along with Steele and Contreras a few years ago, are prime examples of players that need to be seen live to be appreciated.  Those three players are among the most athletic in the Cubs system and I really think you have to see them live to get a feel for how dynamic they are on the field.  There is only so much you can glean off of stat sheets, second hand reports, and video.

9. Adbert Alzolay, RHP, (Eugene, Short Season A)

There are two things that intrigue me about Alzolay -- his live, loose build that helps him generate tremendous arm speed and frankly, the fact that Theo Epstein included him on a list of 20 and under pitchers (along with Steele, Sands, Cease, De La Cruz, and Hudson) that are among my favorite arms in the system .  They are the arms, that along with Duane Underwood, may tip the scales toward pitching in the  Cubs system when this season is all said and done.

Like Hudson, I only saw a couple innings from Alzolay and so I was reserved in my ranking (He would have ranked 26th had I extended the list).  I hope to get a better feel for Alzolay's secondaries and command this spring.

10.  Donnie Dewees, OF, (Eugene, Short Season A)

I think we will see the real Donnie Dewees stand up this spring.  He's coming of a tough year in many aspects and while he showed some flashes of displaying the kind of hitting ability that made him a borderline first round talent, Dewees never seemed to fall into a groove  -- that is, until the last couple of weeks of the instructional league when he was driving the ball as consistently as any Cubs hitter in camp.

I am hoping to see him build on that this spring as well as getting an extended look at him in CF, where he showed some ability despite a well below average arm.  If Dewees can stick in CF, then he throws himself into that mix with Almora, Wilson, Martinez, and perhaps Ian Happ  as the Cubs CFer of the future.

Others: Carson Sands (LHP), Trevor Clifton (RHP), Wladimir Galindo (3B), Andruw Monasterio (SS), Aramis Ademan (SS), Pedro Araujo (RHP), Miguel Amaya (C)

 

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  • Though we may be lacking in top tier prospects, the continued depth of young talent is impressive. I figure us at about 7th in organizational rankings, behind the Dodgers, Rockies, Braves, Phillies, Pirates, and Rangers. What do you think?

  • In reply to djbk:

    Hoping some of these guys can be breakout guys and along with Torres, jump into a higher tier.

    I think athletic guys are most likely to do that once the game clicks for them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    B est part of our current crop is most of these kids are pitchers. John, do these kids compare with Prior, Zambrano Cruz,Guzman of the early 2000s?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    There is not a Prior in this group -- nobody with that kind of polish and upside, but I think the rest may compare favorably as the season rolls along: De La Cruz vs Zambrano, Underwwood vs. Guzman, Cease vs. Cruz...that almost sounds like it might make for an interesting article :)

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    Probably my favorite part of this site is the insights into prospects. From what I've read recently, I'm starting to get excited about some of the starting pitching prospects, and thinking maybe some of the "experts" are sleeping on what the Cubs are building. Dylan Cease is now two years removed from TJ, and I'm hoping this season he takes a step forward.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Thanks. That is probably what I am most passionate about as well. Really can't wait to see how these guys look and how far they've progressed.

  • John, can you point me in the right direction for these kids when I come out in March? Thanks

  • In reply to edubbs:

    Absolutely. Come find me and we can watch them together if you like. They will most likely be at fields 3-6 which are toward the west side of the complex (and on the west side of the Performance Center building)

  • This pretty much sums up the list of guys I am interested in seeing this year too. I'm definitely hoping to make it down to ST this year for a week or so. I'd add some the college arms they picked last year to my list as well, simply because I haven't gotten much of a look at them yet. I'm still intrigued by Kevonte Mitchell too.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The college arms like Effross, Kellogg, Berg, Morrison, etc. are interesting as well I was focused a bit more on upside for this particular piece, but the college arms are interesting as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    And let me know if you make it down...

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thinking mid March, still trying to finalize plans.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    John and Mike and the Denizens. We will be down from Tuesday 3/9 - Sunday 3/14. We have game tix for every game. Would really enjoy meeting y'all. You provide so much information. I have become a better fan of the sport because of the intelligent information you provide. Best, Scott.

  • In reply to Third Generation:

    Thank you. Hope to see you there. As always, feel free to stop me. I will probably either be wearing a red BU cap or a maroon ASU cap...when in Rome...well ,that and it was ridiculously cheap.

  • In reply to Third Generation:

    We should also find out who is coming and when. Maybe we can meet at a particular place and time that works for people.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe we could put together a spreadsheet for when everyone is going to be there and when. Like the FA competition thing,

  • The Cubs system is dying for a couple of these pitching prospects to step up and become legit TOR prosoects. Underwood, Cease seem the most likely candidates. With Arietta 2 years from potentially walking, Lester a couple years away from potential regression. Lackey 2 years from retirement and Hammel in his walk year. It would be nice to see a little tatse of what the Mets have going on in their rotation. Clearly not close to that degree of the Mets, they have 5 young TOR starters if Wheeler comes back strong.

    I think one of Almora, Wilson, EJM or perhaps Happ will become at least an average starting CF. Almora already has half of the equation. There's no reason to think he can't at least become Austin Jackson as his floor.

    My real concern is what's going to happen 6 years down the road. Once guys like Bryant, Schwarber, Soler, Russell and Heyward are all commanding a new deal of $25M+ AAV, I don't know where we come up with either the mo eyes to continue to buy the top of our rotation or the replacements for the guys I just mentioned. Maybe Torres can replace Russell, maybe Happ takes over at 2B, but you don't have any Mathers left in our system to replace a bat like Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber or potentially Soler. With us drafting low from here forward, it's that much more unlikely we will find a talent like those guys through the draft.

    Having said all that, it's going to be a great 5-6 year run and these are excellent problems to have.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    It is going to be a lot of fun seeing how these guys all fit together. Happ has the potential to be an everyday player at multiple positions.

    But maybe Russell moves to 3B or Torres to 3B and Happ at 2B, Bryant to the OF...the Cubs certainly have a lot of flexibility going forward.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Very true but I don't know if I see Torres developing enough power to carry 3B. Russell potentially.

  • Thanks John. I always enjoy these pieces and it's good to see some pitching coming around even if it's a few years away. Guys like De La Cruz and Cease actually have of velocity that bears watching and there hasn't been a lot of that in the Cubs system to this point. As far as Ian Happ where do you see him starting the season this year, Myrtle Beach or will he need more time at South Bend?

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think Happ's bat is ready for Myrtle Beach but the fact that he is learning at 2B may keep him at South Bend to allow him to focus on his defense.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Selfishly, I hope he starts at South Bend, as I'll be there often early in the season. I agree the bat is ready for Myrtle Beach, but if they really want to develop him as a 2B, some time is in order at South Bend.

  • The problem with Eloy so far is the same thing that Jason Heyward has--a swing plane that's just too level. If someone can teach both guys to elevate their plane, even just a bit, both project to be major power hitters. Heyward in particular, I just can't believe this guy isn't mashing 30 HRs a year with ease. He has more raw power in his swing than Rizzo.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    It's frustrating for sure. With Heyward in particular because he already produced power numbers for a full season. On the other hand, not every position needs to mash 30 HRs.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Heyward apparently had a shoulder injury a few years back and he had to/chose to alter his swing to compensate and has struggled to get it back since.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    That is certainly part of the equation, but Eloy can launch them in BP, so I think the swing plane works just fine when it comes to raw power. We can say there is a similar issue with Soler, but we have seen he can hit it out of any field in any ballpark.

    There are other factors, learning to turn on pitches (and waiting for the right pitch to turn on) is one thing he needs to work on most. He is learning to take pitches but he still doesn't have a plan up there. There is some inconsistency to his approach. For me, it's maturity in his approach that will be key. He could tinker with his swing path, but you want to be careful there, his current swing is what makes him the advanced hitter that he is for his age..

  • Good read. Although I had not heard of him, Hudson from Alton is only 40+miles south of me. I have heard that the Cardinals(thier back yard) were scouting heavy as well, but didn't think of him to me drafted than early.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    that early.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Guessing the Cards were hoping to get a steal and maybe a hometown discount later in the draft. Hudson grew up a Cards fan.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Poor kid.

  • In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    Ha!

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    What I love: there really isn't a spot on the team right now for any of the position players on this list. The team is just that stacked right now.

    Personally, I'm curious to see what Almora does against major league pitchers in the spring, even if it is the spring and they're just warming up for the season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's stacked with depth, but there isn't really much in the way of potential premier talent.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    Not yet...let's see how some of the talent develops. Even guys like Contreras still have a sizable development curve ahead.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You could be right, and you'd know better than I. I hope so. It's difficult to assess it when most of our best prospects are in the lower levels.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    Always a lot more risk when we are talking about A ball and below. Too many things can happen.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. Almora is definitely one of the guys to watch in the MLB camp portion.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Almora is the guy I'm interested in as well. And I just saw that Underwood got a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. I could see Warren in the rotation in 2017 (taking Hammel's spot), and Underwood at some point as well.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    In an alternate universe Cubs fans could be looking forward to a team of:

    McKinney LF
    EJM CF
    Jimenez RF
    Candelario 3B
    Torres SS
    Happ 2B
    Vogelbach 1B
    Contreares C

    Cease
    De la Cruz
    Underwood
    Steele
    Sands

    That appears to be a pretty competitive line up. I left out Almora b/c I believe he will be part of the reality team very soon!

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    In reply to good4you:

    Where would you put DJ Wilson? From everything John writes about him I can't wait to see when and where he will play. He also seems like a difference maker and we need more of those. Still, a formidable
    lineup.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Almora will be fun to watch, but also Wilson contreras to see if he can just go in a terror and create another good problem to have.. force a montero trade. .

  • Thank you for your very hard work. We will look forward to your
    upcoming info on these great/good prospects in the year to
    come. Still can't believe all the great/good talent we have

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks E. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    john, do you know which Cuban ifa's the cubs are in on. I know you have stated ruiz, ona, machado, and morejon. is there interest in "lazarito, arozena,vlad gueteriz,(misspelled I know) also, guetterez was declared a free agent in august but hasn't signed. I wonder if he isn't getting the offers he thought he would get (ala ejm). I read at his showcases scouts thought his mechanics looked off but that should be easily fixed. also ruiz has put on about 25 lbs and pitches don't have the "pop" they had before. wonder if that is the weight or possible injury. just wondering if you have heard anything from your sources.

  • While I would surely love to get to see these guys in person, life has me rooted here in the Chicago area. I appreciate being able to live the scouting life vicariously through your writings John as well as the comments of everyone else. Thank you all.

    EJM, Cease, and Wilson are the three I am most hoping to see do well. Wilson especially. From the comments I've read on him I'm already thinking of him as Bobby Dernier but with an arm and more power. That would be nice in a few years when the roster starts to get expensive.

  • Thinking about the potential of some of those power arms is bringing back the excitement and anticipation I had before last year's graduating class. The future keeps getting even brighter!

  • Assuming some of these young guys continue to improve, I can definitely see the possibility 2 or 3 years down the road, where the Cubs are in position to trade a couple of their bigger name position players, before they hit free agency. Restock the minor leagues with studs, or fill an area of need.

  • *gasp* Just what does everyone use to help keep track of all of our prospects? Perhaps that is a loaded question, certainly it is a spread sheet (right?), maybe it is totally proprietary in nature yet, there has to be SOME WAY (oh no, sounds like I am trying to avoid doing any work) to keep track of a player, pos, when drafted (rd and #), age, ht-wt, how we got them (maybe in a trade? Read: From Garza to Rangers to Cubs (oh my!), where they are currently (Rk, A-, A, AA etc), what college or hs they were drafted from, cliff notes to include Mo. POY (Wilson, DJ right? NO! That was Bryan Hudson!) Overslot, underslot (I know, maybe that doesn't matter yet, that can give you a feel for how the team might approach a prospects' retainability...there is probably a better word I am looking for here/there). TJ? Y/N and when! There would be other things too, statistic wise that would just make the sheet just s o l o n g (best to use two (or more) lines in that spread sheet? I have got just SO MANY old 40 man rosters from spring to November (rule5), index cards with names of others for my use in figuring out just WHO would be the right mix for a Soler or a Baez (NO(><) not yet!) where that same team info would be useful to help me gauge just what is a good idea and what is just plain ol' nonsense. Yet before that guidance, just WHAT DO DENIZENS USE? My computer desktop has a NEED TO KNOW! (and of course, thank you in advance for any guidance you have).

  • In reply to rickmonday:

    Therapy

  • In reply to rickmonday:

    All I use is a basic spreadsheet with players name to keep a few basic notes and my own scouting reports and do the rest from memory. Don't worry, waste time, or clutter up a reference sheet with the draft position, how acquired, current stats, etc. That is what the internet is for. If you happen to forget any of that info you can quickly look it up on Fangraphs or a dozen other sites.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thank you, Michael; for your suggestions. I would imagine that (therapy) printing off a MLB Draft Tracker for a few years back would give me enough of an on hand listing of where a lot of our players come from. Adding notes to a club roster/depth chart would help me to distinquish btwn a hs/college/ifa fast-risers plus to remind me of what is going on with the Maples, EJMs, ODeLaCruz', EloyJimz', Szczurs, and the ChristianVs of this world. After this site, BRef, Fangraphs, and TCR fills in a lot of the blanks.

  • In reply to rickmonday:

    I'll be doing regular updates throughout the season to help track progress of the guys in top 25 and beyond for the readers. So hopefully that will help you.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    ^^^^^^^thank you^^^^^^^^^

  • Thank you John, this is great and couldn't agree more on this list. While you mentioned the college pitchers from last year, I actually am much more interested in the college pitchers from the previous years.

    Stinnett and Norwood could become breakout prospects while I still have hopes for Skulina to become a legitimate MOR prospect. On that same line, still intrigued by potential from Trey Masek and Scott Frazier and wonder if Josh Conway or Ryan McNeil will continue their progression from injury and, perhaps, come back to the rotation. All of these other than McNeil are a bit older and most have/had some projection to be major league contributors (at least in the pen), so they could become relevant quickly.

    I would be very interested in getting your (and Mike M and Michael E and others) thoughts on these guys (and eternal projection hopeful, Dillon Maples) and whether you think any of these could become top prospects (or at least relevant as relief candidates) by the end of this season.

  • In reply to springs:

    You're welcome and thanks for the kind words.

    I think Skulina has a legit shot, but more likely as a reliever at this point. was hitting mid 90s and seemed to be regaining some bite on his slider. Norwood throws hard and the Cubs seemed to be toying with the idea of starting him late last summer, but he lacks the kind of feel for pitching you want from a starter, so bullpen seems likely. Can't rule out Stinnett, although the velo drop was concerning. I think if he makes it he's a bullpen arm. Frazier is a bullpen arm out of the way. He's neck and neck with Cease as far as pure velocity in the system but command and a second pitch is shaky. I do know one scout who was impressed with what Conway did at MB -- good slider to go with a FB that is getting back up to his pre-injury velo.

    McNeil is the kind of guy who needs to develop as a starter and at this point he looks more like a bottom of the rotation type. Big body that can eat innings. Pitched out of the pen but that may have been just to ease his innings increase after all the injuries. Maybe they'll stretch him out this spring. Masek really struggled last year -- velo was in the 80s and he had no command. Has had injuries so maybe that played a big role, but he is going to have to show something soon to keep his career going. Maples FB velo down a bit, perhaps to try to improve his command of it. He's more 92-94 now with the big curve. Time is running out on him but any time you have a good arm and athleticism, you are going to get every chance to figure it out.

  • In reply to springs:

    Skulina flashes. At times he makes you believe he could put it all together and be solid starter, but the inconsistency makes a relief role far more likely.

    I still see some upside as a starter with Stinnett. He is a good enough athlete with decent size so I think he could hold up. He has a starters pitch mix. What he doesn't have is command and consistency. I would let him work at least one more year as a starter and see if he can continue the progress he showed over his final 10 starts or so last year. If he is still struggling in 2017 then moving him to the pen and narrowing his focus on his best pitches would probably help.

    I'm with John on Norwood. His best asset is velocity and the pen highlights that strength better than the rotation. I like the idea of getting him extra innings as a starter in the minors, but the pen is his ultimate destination.

    I've only seen Frazier a couple of times, but there is no doubt he has a great arm. That control though... still a long road ahead for him. Have to keep giving an arm like that more chances. Kind of the same boat with Maples. Maples doesn't throw as hard, but the curveball is a swing and miss pitch to go along with low to mid 90s heat. Still a long way to go with him too. But if it ever does click for him, he could move fast.

    I like Conway. It really seemed to come together for him in the second half last year. He has the fastball/slider combo of a typical power reliever. He began commanding and getting more swings and misses as the season progressed. He doesn't possess much deception and his fastball doesn't have a lot of movement so command is important for him. He can't throw pitches down the middle. Think he starts in Tennessee next season and finishes in Iowa but if the big club needs help from non roster relievers at some point Conway would be in the mix, though guys like Markey, Williams, Pena would be more likely.

    I haven't seen Masek or McNeill much. Can't really comment on them.

  • Excited to see which prospects blossom next, perhaps a surprise?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Always a chance for a surprise. In fact, we should probably expect one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Does that mean that it would be a surprise if there were no surprise? (Sorry, not enough coffee in the system yet.)

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Haha! Exactly. I have seen so many players at this point that nobody is coming completely out of nowhere, but I'd be surprised if someone I haven't mentioned has a big season and makes his way up the prospect list.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Chesny Young!!!! I think makes leaps up when he wins he 2nd consecutive batting title.

    He is the guy I am looking forward to see how he handles the higher levels. Dude can flat out rake.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Two consecutive batting titles certainly will get the FO's attention. What a problem to have, too many good players. :-)

  • Why not a written word about my personal favorite Daury Torrez?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    I like Torrez. He was in my just missed list, so probably a top 35 guy or so for me too. Torrez can bring it up to about 94 with a lower arm slot, maybe an avg slider, change. For me, he's an RP. I'd let him loose in short stints, see if he gains a couple of ticks and that arm slot should make it hard on RH hitters.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Totally agree on Daury Torrez.

  • We've been served with a Cease and Dewees order.

  • Hey John, I will be in Mesa the whole month of March. Staying a few blocks from Sloan. As a first time spring trainer and a Die Hard, when and where can I see these kids playing. Are they on the practice fields while games are goin on? Do players work out in the mornings before games? What is a good watering hole to quench our thirst after the games?

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