Cubs Prospect Christian Villanueva Drawing Interest from Others

Cubs Prospect Christian Villanueva Drawing Interest from Others

The Cubs are looking at a possible surplus at the hot corner.

Earlier in the day, I had heard back from a scout that I checked in with in regards to Mike Olt.

From the reports I received, Olt looks more and more like the former top prospect he once was considered. In fact, this scout was pretty confident that Olt should be able to force the Cubs to bring him north as the third baseman if things continue in a similar fashion.

Later, I also heard from an Arizona source that other clubs are noticing yet another Cubs prospect at the same position. One Director of Pro Scouting says he would ask for Christian Villanueva.

“He’s not talked about enough”, says the source.

Villanueva is seen as a potential gold glove candidate. He doesn’t possess the power that most of the Cubs elite prospects flash. Still, he is seen as a potential .300 hitter with line drive power.

Hold on folks that's not at all.

If you call now, you can also receive reports that say Kris Bryant looks more than capable of handling third himself. Bryant apparently is showing some pretty good instincts defensively.

Bryant is still viewed by some as a future corner outfielder. Yesterday, however, Theo Epstein told WSCR’s Matt Spiegel he won’t rush to move a player like Bryant off a position before it is deemed completely necessary, regardless of a player like Olt stepping up.

If Olt does indeed step up, the organization is going to have an embarrassment of riches at third. A position that historically hasn't been easy to fill for the Cubs.

As for the former third baseman of the future Josh Vitters, the reports aren’t quite as glowing. One scout went as far as questioning Vitters baseball IQ (putting it nicely) after getting picked off and dropping a routine pop up.

You cannot win them all.

However, it is becoming apparent the Cubs are well on their way of winning the Ryan Dempster trade (receiving Villanueva) with Texas.

@TomLoxas

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Comments

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  • Just curious -- what's the position rankings defensively, in order of "if the dude can play at that position, you don't move him"?

    My guess:

    C, SS, CF, 3B, 2B, RF, LF, 1B

    Sound right?

  • I believe it is generally believed to be C, SS, 2B, CF, 3B, RF, LF, 1B

  • In reply to dabynsky:

    Thanks Dabs.

  • In reply to dabynsky:

    Nooooo!!!! 2B does not come before CF, and probably not 3B either. Teams often live with a Jeff Kent, Daniel Murphy or Todd Walker at 2B. The '04 champion Red Sox even used the one and only Mark Bellhorn as their seven-inning starter. But you've gotta have a good defensive CF. The basic reason for this is that most chances at 2B are pretty easy.

  • In reply to michaelc:

    That is the usual defensive spectrum as written by Bill James about two decades ago. I can also point to teams carrying weak hitting, glove first 2B (ahem our team as exhibit A) and bat first, weak gloves in CF (Matt Kemp comes to mind).

    You are correct that their is an argument for this, and that not every team values it equally. There was a long period of time (first few decades of the modern era) where 3B was universally considered harder than 2B. But the spectrum I posted is generally pretty accepted at this point, in my opinion.

  • Tom-
    What happened to this article yesterday?
    Thanks.
    Jack

    Tom Loxas has posted a new item on Cubs Insider: Cubs and Rooftop Association deal appears imminent.

  • In reply to PANAMALIMITED:

    Sorry, it was an old article that I accidentally republished.

  • In reply to PANAMALIMITED:

    Its in the Jan archives.

  • I think Christian Villlamueva, based his second half with the Smokies, is very close to consistently showing his power stroke. It's ideal for Wrigley's short porch in left/leftcenter. His demeanor is professional. In Tennessee, I watched him make a nifty backhand stop on a smash then struggle with transfer and eat it. The official scorer gave him an E-5, but he sure looked good doing it.

  • Don't forget Kyle Hendricks was included in that Dempster trade too. After leaving the Cubs, Dempster went a deceptive 15-12 with the Rangers and Red Sox with a combined ERA of 4.72, WHIP of 1.448, and giving up 1.3 HRs per 9 innings. Excellent return.

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