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A look back at the Cubs 2015 IFA class

A look back at the Cubs 2015 IFA class
Eddy Julio Martinez

I will be writing a bit more about the Cubs minor leagues even as the MLB team flourishes.  I'm enjoying the MLB success as much as anyone, but to stay successful, you have to remember how you got their in the first place and just as importantly, how to stay there.  Today we're going with one of the big recent amateur investments of the organization -- the 2015 international free agent class in which the Cubs, as they did in 2013, blew away the imposed limits set by the CBA, preferring to procure as much talent as possible at whatever the cost, including  heavy penalties.

Other than the monetary fines, the the Cubs were not able to invest more than #250,000 on any  one prospect in the 2014 class, and while they did still manage to unearth some talent, we are going to focus on the larger, more highly rated 2015 class.

We know the 2013 list is already paying off as SS Gleyber Torres entered the season as the consensus top Cubs prospect and classmate Eloy Jimenez, looks like he'll be another top 5 prospect by year's end.  The Cubs have also gotten solid returns from Jen Ho Tseng, who projects as a bottom of the rotation type, as does Erling Moreno when he is healthy.  Another pitcher, Jefferson Mejia, was the key piece used in obtaining starting catcher Miguel Montero.

The Cubs signed another good class in 2015 but this was more a combination of quality and quantity, so whether it has the same star power as 2013's top rated signings remains to be seen.  Nevertheless there are some players to keep an eye on.

Eddy Julio Martinez, OF

Age: 21 (Jan. 18, 1995) – 6-foot-2, 195 pounds – Bats: R Throws R (Cuba)

EJM5Martinez is the most heralded of the 2015 IFA signees as some considered him the top overall prospect in the class and a true 5 tool talent.  The jury is still out on that but the Cubs believed in him enough to sign him to a $3M bonus, highest in this class.  Martinez has an all-fields approach and some present HR power to his pull side.  There is a slight hitch to his swing so there may always be some swing and miss but he has greatly improved his approach since early this spring, when he was susceptible to breaking balls low and away.  The better plate discipline and line drive, all-fields approach give his hit tool plus potential and his quick bat could lead to more power with a little more lift.  Martinez is a fast runner but I don't see him as plus-plus as some have him graded.  To me he sometimes runs a bit back on his heels which slows him down a tick.  At some point the Cubs will have to decide whether he will be a line drive hitting CFer, a power hitting corner OFer, or somewhere in between.  He certainly has the arm to be a right fielder.  He's 21 so there isn't a lot of room for physical growth but he still has upside as he refines his approach and mechanics.

Aramis Ademan, SS

Age: 17 (Sept. 13, 1998) – 5-foot-10, 150 pounds – Bats: L Throws R (Dominican Republic)

Ademan is perhaps my favorite player in this class.  He impressed last year but seems to have added a bit of strength and physical maturity to his small frame.  Ademan has true SS actions.  He is more quick than fast, flowing through the ball and possessing soft hands to go with an average arm that should improve as he continues to mature and gain strength, though he more than compensates with a quick release ala Addison Russell.  Ademan has advanced pitch recognition and good plate discipline to go with a fluid swing from both sides of the plate, tailor-made for easy contact and squares up for consistent line drives to all fields.  I Aramis Ademanthink he'll hit for average and he is starting to answer some question about what some felt could be a lack of pop.  Ademan has shown ability to drive the ball to both gaps and even pulled one for a HR last week.  If he can get pitchers to respect that extra base pop, then he should be able to translate some of that plate discipline to walks and enhance his OBP numbers.  Apart from his physical skills, he has impressed me with his maturity, often staying late after practice and asking questions of both coaches and more experienced players.  The Cubs like him a lot as well, signing him to a $2M bonus but I think that investment has a good chance to pay off.  As far as I'm concerned, this kid has potential major league ballplayer written all over him.

Isaac Paredes, SS

Age 17 (Feb. 18th, 1999), 6 feet, 175 lbs - Bats R Throws R (Mexico)

Paredes has a thick frame and appears slightly bigger than that 175 lbs. listing and at his young age, it's reasonable to believe he may soon outgrow SS.  For now, however, the plays the position well, getting good reads and compensating for no better than average speed with quick feet and good reflexes. Isaac Paredes It's hard to see him sticking at SS, though we have seen similar-bodied players like Jhonny Peralta make it work.  If he does have to move to 3B, he does look like he may have the bat to carry the position.  Paredes has good strength and a quick bat, geared mostly for line drives but with the potential for some pull power.  He recognizes pitches well and has good hand-eye coordination.  It isn't hard to project him to have an above average hit tool with solid OBP skills.  He was unheralded player in this class but appears to have been a good find.  He's not the guy who catches your eye walking off the bus, but he is hard not to watch once he gets between the lines.  This kid can hit.  He just has that knack for barreling up the ball. As with players like Jeimer Candelario, he will have to be mindful of his physical conditioning but if he does, he has a chance to be a solid all-around infielder.

Yonathan Perlaza, 2B

Age: 17 (Nov. 10, 1998) – 5-foot-8, 175 pounds – Bats: S Throws R (Venezuela)

Perlaza is just 5'8" but has a strong, muscular build, particularly his lower half, which he incorporates well in his swing.  He has perhaps the best bat speed of any player on this list, Yonathan Perlaza swing grimacecertainly of the teenage group.  When he connects, he hits loud line drives with power potential and some feel for going the other way.  He is a bit more advanced from the left side right now.  He plays hard on every play, though he is not as polished as Ademan either at the plate, where he can get aggressive, or in the field, where despite good speed and athleticism, he lacks the same fluid actions and soft hands.  A move to 2B is likely and, in fact, he is already seeing more time there than SS.  In some ways he reminds me a bit of Frandy De La Rosa, whom the Cubs have recently dealt for RP Spencer Patton.  MLB.com compares him to Martin Prado and it is easy to see him perhaps being a multi-positional player (2B, 3B, OF) whose greatest value comes from his bat.  The Cubs signed him to a $1M bonus.

Miguel Amaya, C (Panama)

Age: 17 (March 9, 1999) – 6-foot, 160 pounds – Bats: L Throws R

What stands out about Amaya is the maturity of his game.  He is an advanced receiver who has a good feel for handling pitchers and some natural leadership qualities.  He is not afraid to go out Mguel Amaya 2and take charge even as the youngest player on this list.  He has smooth mechanics both at the plate and behind the plate.  He blocks well and has a quick release, but his arm strength is just average.  Amaya needs to get stronger overall, but as a player who just turned 17 this spring, that is not a big suprise.  He probably won't hit for a lot of power, but could be a solid average hitter who provides a ton of value at the position because of his receiving potential.  An interesting prospect, but one to file away for now until his physical maturity catches up with his mental approach.

Jonathan Sierra, OF (Dominican Republic)

Age: 17 (Oct. 17, 1998) – 6-foot-4, 190 pounds – Bats: L Throws L

Sierra has the sweetest swing in his class.  He has a  left-handed stroke from a tall, thin frame that has plenty of room to fill out.  Sierra drew some mixed reviews but that is partly due to only a handful of teams getting an extended good look before he signed.  The Cubs were one of those teams and saw Jonathan Sierraenough in him to ink him to a $2.5M deal, more than anyone in this class except for Martinez.  Sierra has a right fielder's frame, arm, and athleticism with the power potential to match.  He has already shown raw power in BP but it may be a while before it shows in games.  He is extremely coachable with a respectful demeanor. Good kid. I have often seen him asking questions of Eloy Jimenez, for example, and that is probably the player with the most similar skill set in camp.  Perhaps that shows best in his surprisingly disciplined approach at such a young age.  Sierra rarely chases bad pitches at this level.  Much will depend on his physical development.

Jose Albertos RHP (Mexico)

Age: 17 (Nov. 11, 1998) -- 6'1", 190 -- Bats R Throws R

Jose Albertos faceThe only pitcher on this list, Albertos is another player who came in with little fanfare but like Sierra and Paredes, it may have just been a case of a player slipping through the cracks.  The Cubs signed him for $1.5M, though much of that money goes to his team in Mexico.  The Cubs are using the kid gloves with Albertos, throwing him an inning at a time or two at most and he will likely start in the DSL where he can work in relief until he is ready to take on a full load.  He certainly has dynamic arm strength.  He has an easy, athletic delivery that generates consistent 94-96 mph heat and flashes a plus mid 70s CB.  He does struggle with command and will need to build stamina -- but hey, this kid is just 17.  He has all the time in the world right now.

Others to watch

  • Kwang-Min Kwon, OF: He has good size and strength and is just 18 and he is more athletic than most give him credit for.  He's also a quiet competitor who works hard at his game.  Perhaps most famous for winning the Cubs instructional league HR derby, he has shown much more swing and miss than I expected and I have some concerns about his bat speed and ability to hit good fastballs.  He will need to make adjustments to his swing without sacrificing power, which will be the key to his success as a prospect.
  • Kevin Zamudio, C: More of an offensive-minded catcher with some power though he does show some potential to control the running game with a good arm and a quicker release than I expected.  The question is whether he can handle the receiving aspect as he matures physically as he already has a big, strong build.
  • Yunior Perez, RHP:  Can bring it up to 94 mph and not much else, but that arm strength and a 6'3" athletic, projectable frame is a good place to start.

Complete 2016 list via AZ Phil 

PITCHERS: 10
Jose Albertos (Mexico) - age 16
Maikel Aguiar (Venezuela)  - age 19
Javier Assad (Mexico) - age 17
* Faustino Carrera (Mexico) - age 16
Carlos Ocampo (Colombia) - age 17
* Brailyn Marquez (Dominican Republic)  - age 16
Hector Matos (Dominican Republic) - age 16
Yunior Perez (Dominican Republic) - age 16
* Jose MacDonna (Dominican Republic) - age 19
Edison Novas (Dominican Republic) - age 18

CATCHERS: 4
Miguel Amaya (Panama) - age 16
Henderson Perez (Venezuela) - age 16
# Herson Perez (Venezuela) - age 18
Kevin Zamudio (Mexico) - age 17

INFIELDERS: 6
* Aramis Ademan (Dominican Republic) - age 16
Luis Diaz (Dominican Republic) - age 16
* Christopher Morel (Dominican Republic) - age 16
Orian Nunez (Dominican Republic) - age 17
# Yonathan Perlaza (Venezuela) - age 16
Isaac Paredes (Mexico) - age 16
NOTE: Five of the six 2015-16 IFA infielders were signed as shortstops (Nunez was signed as a second-baseman)

OUTFIELDERS: 7
# Jose Gutierrez (Venezuela) - age 16
* Kwang-Min Kwon (South Korea) - age 17
Fernando Kelli (Venezuela) - age 17
Eddy Julio Martinez (Cuba) - age 20
* Ruben Reyes (Mexico) - age 19
* Abraham Rodriguez (Panama) - age 16
* Jonathan Sierra (Dominican Republic) - age 16

Comments

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  • Awesome work as always John.

    I feel like I missed Albertos. That was a nice surprise as a 17 year old at that. The system needs more guys with arms in that caliber. I assume he will be a starter given his throwing a curve versus a sider at this point. Is that accurate?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Not necessarily. Edwards, for example, throws a curve as his main secondary. Tom Gordon made a good career out of it too. I do think they will try to make him a starter first though. No reason not to try. They're just being cautious with a very good and very young arm right now.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    And thanks, by the way :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You are welcome, of course. :-) Gordon is a damn good comp. I hope Albertos can spin it like "Flash"--that was one sick hammer he threw.

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    Nice review! It takes awhile to see results from IFA's, so good to see a writeup so we can keep an eye on the pipeline down the road.

    Quesiton: Who are the big dollar IFAs that did not work out? Malave was one, IIRC? And Gioskar Amaya? Seems there is an attrition rate on even the top guys like any prospect bunch

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    In reply to Zonk:

    There is going to be attrition. Most of these guys have not had much good coaching so some of the difference could be that a player happened to have a little better coach. And they are all in their high-teens/early-20's. We expect attrition from guys that the Cubs have complete control of their development and are that old. Everyone wants that "can't miss" prospect, but the reality is that most teams also use a "flood" strategy: Just bring in a bunch of guys with some talent and see what happens--at least to some degree.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks. The entire last Hendry/Fleita class that included Malave, Acosta, and Marcano has been a bust. Malave is now a pitcher and he has some talent, but would not have gotten 1.5M had he started there. Acosta struggled and is now in prison. Believe he got 1.1M. Marcano is around (350K) but he is a fringe prospect who is going to have to have a big year to avoid getting released.

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    Speaking of Frandy, he is really struggling in Low-A ball as a 20 year old, so trading him for Patton might have been a good move.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    It looks that way now. Frandy has some serious bat speed, though. If he can figure it out, the could still turn into something. Approach has been an issue, though

  • What will happen if the Cubs spend over budget

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    If they go over the $250K limit? I think the league will nullify the contract and the player is a FA once again. The player's agents know which teams have the $250K limit and will not seriously negotiate with them.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    They can't.

  • Really good stuff John, thanks. I guess I had missed Ademan and Amaya when they signed so it's nice to get some good reports on guys I didn't know about at all, especially when you're talking SS and C which I consider to be areas you can never have too many guys at. This foundation building is so much fun to follow and we are very fortunate to have you as our eyes to see it happen. Such a good time to be a Cubs fan on so many levels.

  • In reply to TC154:

    You are welcome. Those are two of the lesser known guys that stood out to me too.

    It is a great time because we have an organization that gets it and a fan base that is beginning to understand it as well. To appreciate the Cubs, you have to appreciate the whole, in my opinion.

  • No stats so far this year for Mr. Jeferson Mejia (one f). Might be worrisome...for someone.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.cgi?id=mejia-000jef

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    In reply to painhertz:

    I am guessing the D-Backs were really interested in Godley and Mejia was a "throw in" for them.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That trade was purely a salary dump for Arizona and wasn't it a bit of a surprise they got him since we ate all of Miggys contract? Meija was there "get" and Godley was as unheralded as they come wasn't he? Meija was an IFA signing who was at least exciting when he signed?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    What happened to Godley?

  • Godley started in AA for the D-Back organization this year, faltered a little but I believe was recently promoted to AAA.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Actually Mejia was the more highly regarded prospect at the time.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's what I thought. I had heard Godley was the "throw in".

  • In reply to TC154:

    Godley was a college senior whom the Cubs picked to save money. He has been very good, though. Kudos to D'Backs for good scouting.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I know Mejia was the more highly regarded prospect, but isn't it reasonable that the D-Backs saw something they liked in Godley and may have treated him like a "throw-in" to get Mejia, and then hope both of them turn out.

    Or did they simply catch lightning in a bottle last year with Godley?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Absolutely. The certainly saw more in him than the Cubs did.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Just the opposite. Dbacks wanted Mejia...accepted Godley. Heard that from a Dbacks scout.

  • In reply to painhertz:

    Probably still in extended spring training getting ready for short season low A.

  • I enjoyed the analysis. Thanks as always.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    You're welcome and thanks!

  • John, have you seen Javier Assad or Brailyn Marquez? I'd thought there was some talk of each of them throwing pretty hard, and having some projection?

    And then for the catchers, you list both a Henderson Perez, 16, and a #Herson Perez, 18, from Venezuela. Are those actually different guys, or is this perhaps a clerical error?

    I think BA listed Henderson Perez as getting $1.25 bonus, one of the highest in the class. Has he even come to Mesa and have you seen him? Or for some of the really young guys like this, did they not even bring him over and you haven't seen him yet?

    Good catchers are so very hard to find, so if Perez and Amaya were both $1.25 guys, there could be at least a hope for talent there. Love to see them both work out.

  • In reply to craigJ:

    I have seen a little of Assad but not Marquez, who has not been in AZ as of my last time there. Assad has a good arm but much too early to get a good read.

    The raw list is from AZ Phil, he generally doesn't make clerical errors :)

  • In reply to craigJ:

    Henderson is the bonus baby and Herson is his 18 yr old brother who's also a catcher. Might very well have been a package deal which is understandable

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Definitely a package deal.

  • In reply to craigJ:

    Haven't seen Perez in live action so can't comment too much there. Amaya has some good skills -- should be a more defensive minded catcher with some line drive ability. Needs to gain strength, though.

  • John, these are the types of posts you've been doing since the blog's beginning, and they are as terrific and welcome now as they were back then. Well done, and get well soon.

    re: EJM running on his heels. This is EXACTLY the problem that Lorenzo Cain had while in the Brewers system. In a well-known story at this point in KC, as soon as Cain arrived here, the Royals worked extensively with him to get him running on his toes, and the rest is history.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Interesting. It has bothered me about EJM since the first time I saw him bust it down the line. He gave it great effort but the mechanics looked off and he just didn't look or time as fast as I expected. Wonder if the Cubs think there is something to fix there too or if it's just me?

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    And thanks! Glad you liked this one. Always wonder if people still appreciate the deep minor league stuff -- but as I said above, to truly appreciate the Cubs, you have to appreciate the whole.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John... I'll chime in here. These articles are remarkable in their depth and analysis. They're among the reasons I keep coming back - in addition to all the fabulous game day information. Thank you for not only the hard work but tremendous information.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Thanks, MB. Appreciate the kind words as always.

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    John, this is one reason we love this blog. Many of these players are 17 years old, and we'll be reading about them for the next 4, 5 or 6 years so when some of them do break out we won't be saying "where did he come from?" because we'll have all the years of reporting behind us.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Completely agree, Jonathan!! I, for one, am 1000% better 'informed' about the IFA draft and the kids working their way up the system.

    And, as you said, the day will come when they'll hit the spotlight and Denizens can say, "We've been following him since (blank)."

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank you, Jonathan. A couple of these guys are going to be household names in a couple of years among Cubs prospect fans. So much fun to see these guys early --- nothing beats getting a chance to see them day in and day out.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That's right. I remember my stacks of magazines and newspapers, trying to follow the Bobby Hills and Ryan Harveys. Starlin Castro kind of snuck up on me, but that was before I discovered Cubs Den.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    You bring up some memorable names. The 2 I remember being excited about are Mike Harkey and Earl Cunningham. I remember when the draft picks weren't even released for a few days (maybe a week) and then I would look in Baseball America and they listed a lot of players by region and I would check and see if our pick was mentioned, or if he was in the top 100 players listed.
    This is much easier, and more fun too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    For me it was Lance Dickson. Flew through the system, dominated at every level, got to the bigs and got hurt. Then vanished. I just remember being so stoked that the Cubs might have a good young left handed starter. Its 25 years later and I'm still kind of waiting for that particular unicorn.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I saw a lot of minor league games back then, and Dickson was the best minor league pitcher I have ever seen, other than Sid Fernandez (somehow, I never saw a game with Valenzuela pitching).

    Dickson hurt his arm in the last AAA game he pitched, and never was the same.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ryan Harvey - The guy hit 4HR in a game! How could he go wrong?
    Gary Scott - No less than Ron Santo insisted he was the 3B of the future
    Kevin Orie - No less than Ron Santo insisted he was the 3B of the future.

    The list goes on-and-on.

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    I just saw that Al Yellon on BCB that Neil Ramirez was claimed by the Brewers. I wish him well.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yes, he was. He'll get an opportunity and if he can regain command and a tick or two, still has a shot to make it. Good guy.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Edwin Jackson got DFA'd today too.

  • In reply to criggilyk:

    criggilyk! You sure snuck that blurb by me! Yes, it is true, this his last year of his 4-50m that he signed four years ago. I can't say we really got value for that deal, (although he did suck up some innings in year one and two) yet; going 2-1 for us last year, he would have earnt a ws share had we not ran into the metropolitans. *sigh*. Thanks for the FYI on the DFA!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Crazy that he was just claimed today, this being the tenth day. It would seem that he cleared waivers on day one or two, or certainly would have had the chance to be claimed by the Brewers earlier than today, consistent with the Brewers place in the standings. Perhaps once he cleared, he had chance to pick and choose where he might be needed most.

  • John great stuff as always. This is the stuff that is absolutely incomparable.
    AZ Phil reported that a scout told him Paredes was best suited to catch. Does that make any sense?

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Thanks, Eric. Paredes is well, um...slow. I am a little charitable but I cannot see him as a middle infielder no matter how hard I squint. 3B is possible but has to keep himself in shape -- the body is soft, he's the anti-Perlaza (who looks like he is cut out of granite), so that may have influenced scout. Good infield instincts so don't want to rule him out at 3B. Hadn't thought about catching, though. Maybe. Appears to have good aptitude for the game.

  • In reply to ericccs:

    When I saw him take an AB during spring training I assumed he was a catcher from his build. I was a little surprised to say the least when he went out to SS the next half inning.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Hilarious. Great stuff, ME

  • In reply to ericccs:

    Yeah, I made a comment to AZ Phil and he just kind of nodded and said yeah that isn't going to last real long.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    He'll surprise you out there though. Not a SS, but he makes up for in skill what he lacks in athleticism. He has outlasted Perlaza at SS, among others. But in reality Ademan the only real true SS in the group. I will be happy if he can stick at 3B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I didn't really get a chance to see him play the position. It just struck me how unusual he looked out there.

  • John, really great article as foundation determines the strength of the building. Of interest to me is what do 16/17/18 year old kids from less fortunate countries do year round? How much time do they spend under direct control of Cub staff? How do the Cubs even keep track of them? Are they still in school and being regular teenagers? What's it like being a teenager in the Dominican, Panama, Mexico with >$1M. Guess I'm looking for some background on what it's like to worry about visas, passports, international flight schedules etc. My grandson who just finished his college soph year as an honor student often can't answer questions as to when classes start next semester, how are you getting home from college, do you have a summer job yet. Just wonder how these kids cope.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Thanks and that's an interesting question. I think that might be something I might ask one of these kids one day, may make for an interesting article. It is something that we just don't experience so hard for us to relate to those kinds of things.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I've been around a lot of these kids in south Florida. I've seen many go nuts with the "new" money and ruin their careers. I've also seen the ones who focus and try to better themselves, often citing the desire to pull their families out of what they just escaped. I've mentioned before that I love how the Cubs FO values make-up, scouting not only the player, but their family and upbringing. Unfortunately, a lot of these IFA signings simply don't have the level of background scrutiny that is afforded American prospects. I think that would make a fascinating arrticle(s).

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That would be amazing, John. I've never seen a thorough breakdown of the IFA experience--neither the top picks who come to AZ right away or the late bloomers that toil in the DSL for up to 3 years. There have have to be some great stories of perseverance in there

  • In reply to ericccs:

    I will see what I can do on that. Might not get it this year and may have to get it from older guys who now have perspective. Gleyber and Eloy would be great. Both smart guys.

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    In reply to veteran:

    I haven't seen you post for a while, and want to thank you for serving.

  • Great article. I love reading about the young guys and you are one of the best in the business writing about them.
    Also I really like the photo you took of Martinez standing next to the young sapling tree. Very appropriate.

  • In reply to couch:

    Pretty artsy, huh? Thanks, couch. Appreciate that.

  • Great summary John. I must admit that I was quite skeptical of oversigning for this class and indeed, even now, I am still a bit unsure -- it is quite easy to justify oversigning when you get Eloy and Torres, but when your list starts with the #20 or so rated prospect, it does seem debatable whether you should have stayed under budget to sign more players the following year. Adding EJM takes some merit out of my argument, but even then I still believe it made more sense to go over budget if the Cubs planned to sign more than just EJM out of Cuba.

    Great to hear that perhaps these were just underrated kids. Interested to see their development and hope they prove me wrong.

    On the 2016-17 IFA class, Kevin Maitan looks like one of the best IFAs in a long time, though appears set to sign with Atlanta. Maitan, Swanson, their 2016 pick, their 2017 and already good young rotation might make them the next big rebuilding success.

    http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=int

  • In reply to springs:

    Thanks. Trying to rate IFA from the outside is similar to doing it for the draft. There is some hype from the schools, agents, mainstream media, etc -- that is fine for fans, but as an organization you have to trust your guys, your scouts. The Cubs have proved that their scouts know what they're doing in the draft and they're proving it in the IFA now as well. I don't see these guys before they're signed, so I prefer to reserve judgment. Some, like Ademan, Amaya, Alberto, and Paredes surpass expectations. Some like Sierra and Perlaza meet them and others like EJM may have been a little too hyped -- not that he's not good, he's a very talented player, but his star power/name recognition got a disproportionate amount of attention for what is a strong deep class.

  • Very much appreciated post John. Love this stuff, and it is basically hidden from our knowledge base.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Thanks Q. Glad you enjoyed it. It's fun to share because I know it's stuff I would have wondered about.

  • John terrific as always. Anything new on the injured pitchers front?

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