Cubs Notes: Baez, Alcantara make BA's top 20 in SL; Almora drawing attention, MLB Draft

I wanted to write a piece on some bargain free agents today but to be honest, none really stuck out at me right now, so I’m going to wait until I see what happens with the non-tenders. Right now I feel like I want to go with a lot of the guys the Cubs already have — the Sweeneys, the Bogusevics, the Lakes, as well as some of the up and coming bullpen arms, then some of the names out there right now.  But I’ll keep digging.

For now, here are your evening news and notes…

  • Baseball America came out with it’s Southern League (AA) top 20 prospects and as you might expect, Javier Baez is high on the list, ranking 3rd.  Scouts describe him as having unbelievable bat speed and when he’s locked in, you cannot make a mistake up in the zone.  They also say he can get himself out when he’s in “swing mode”.  It’s something that I personally think he needs to work on at the AAA level, where more experienced pitchers will be able to exploit that aggressiveness.  Scouts also think he’ll move off of SS because he doesn’t slow the game down enough for a SS.  Arismendy Alcantara comes in at 9th and is compared to “a watered down Jose Reyes” and see him being a defensively versatile player who hits around .275 with 12 HRs with extra base pop and base stealing ability.  Defensively, they see him at 2B.  So maybe that is your IF of the future: Baez at 3B, Castro at SS, Alcanata at 2B, and Rizzo at 1B.  Your OF is Soler, Almora, and Bryant.  See how easy that works?  In reality we’ll be lucky if it pans out that way, but the Cubs look to be in pretty good shape for the future as far as their lineup.  They can obviously fill any gaps with free agents and trades.
  • Jonathan Mayo of is impressed with the Cubs prospects in the AFL so far.   He says, “ Soler is a lot bigger than I expected. Bryant is simply an outstanding hitter — puts on a show in batting practice, then evidently does it in games, too.” His focus is on Albert Almora,”Almora is the one who will be the most interesting to watch. The 19-year-old outfielder missed a good portion of his first full season, but when he was playing in the Midwest League, he was very good (.329/.376/.466). I thought he might have been a taxi-squad guy in the AFL because of his age and experience, but he is on the regular roster. Facing the higher level of pitching in the AFL regularly will be a good test for him.”
  • Wanna learn how to scout?  Ben Lindbergh writes about his experiences in scouting school for Grantland and it’s a very interesting read.
  • Talking some draft today and yesterday and the hope is that 4 college pitchers emerge to go with SS Trea Turner.  Carlos Rodon is out and Tyler Kolek may be too raw and risky for the Cubs taste right now, so we’re looking at RHPs Jeff Hoffman, Luke Weaver, and Tyler Beede.  Weaver has a bit of slight build and some compare him to a young Tim Hudson.  Tyler Beede has all kinds of command issues but has great size, athleticism, and arm strength.  If he can figure out his command he can shoot back up to the top 5 in this draft.  Some see Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens potential in him.  That’s high praise but he is obviously a long way away from that.
  • Big day for the AZ Fall League Cubs.  Almora is on the bench but Jorge Soler is back in the lineup playing RF and batting 3rd.  Kris Bryant is the DH and is batting 5th.  Wes Darvill gets his first start, playing 3B and hitting 7.  On the mound is AA prospect Dallas Beeler, who is a sleeper among Cubs prospects.  When healthy he throws a hard two seamer (89-93) with good downward plane, generating a lot of groundballs.  He also shows a good breaking ball and change.  He has the repertoire, build, and command to be a starter and he’ll be someone to keep an eye on in AZ.  We’ll update this article with a recap later tonight.

UPDATE: Fall League Recap

  • Dallas Beeler was impressive, throwing his two seamer at 91-93, peak 94 and mixing in a cutter, hard slider, and a change.  He went 3 innings and allowed one run, walked one, and struck out two.   His combination of good plane, velo, and location on his two seamer gives him a heavy fastball that generates weak contact.  He did not allow a single fly ball.  He also picked two runners off first base. He’s a guy to watch for next year.
  • Lendy Castillo was throwing in the mid 90s but lacked command, walking 2 batters and allowing a run.
  • Jorge Soler went 1 for 5 with a walk and scored 2 runs.
  • Kris Bryant stayed on a roll and went 2 for 5, including his 2nd HR.  He drove in 2.  He’s hitting an even .500 in his first 3 games.
  • Wes Darvill is another sleeper who has matured physically, has a good approach, and has been hitting the ball with more authority this year.  He went 1 for 3 today with 2 walks.  He drove in a run.

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  • Jeff Hoffman is the name that intrigues me...but that may be because I saw someone drop a Wainwright comp on him. Cubs could really use their own Wainwright and I think he'd move quickly. Kolek would be extremely tempting too based on his size and stuff, but I agree that he is probably too raw for the FO to take this high.

    Then again, I have to remember that this time last year we were debating Manaea and Stanek, so it's probably just as likely that the Cubs draft someone not mentioned yet.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    That's probably a good comp. I remember the debate with Manaea, Stanek and Appel. Only one of those guys stayed at the top and the other two were replaced by Jonathan Gray. Mostly things stay somewhat according to plan -- I'm amazed every time I see Law's or BA's early list and how much of it holds up, but odds are pretty good that someone else will emerge and a player or two will fall

  • Would work out great for the Cubs if a college age pitcher shoots up the charts like Gray did this year. Would love a prospect who could be starting for us in a year or two, like Wacha, Sonny Gray etc.

    Have great depth with hitters, need depth on the mound.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Would be ideal if need and BPA line up for them this year.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Yeah, I totally agree.

    A college stud that rises through the rankings quick would be nice. Making his ML debut as the Cubs are contending in September, ala David Price with the Rays.

  • I cringe every time a commenter brings up Alcantara' s name in a trade scenario. Jose Reyes is pretty high end company.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think those people may be thinking that would happen if Bryant plays 3B and Baez plays 2B. But if Baez is at 3B, I like the idea of keeping Alcantara and maybe hitting at the top of the order.

  • This is is exactly why trades for cargo or price have to be very careful. We have a system finally ready to help us compete in the not to distant future. A wise man once said "you gotta know when to hold em"

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Agreed. I think the timing for that kind of trade has to be right, and right now I'm not sure it's the right time -- but they're getting close. Maybe next offseason -- or maybe even trade deadline if the Cubs are better than expected.

  • I'm all for grabbing SS Trea Turner. I like the idea of best position player available and load up on pitchers in the later rounds. I know we have a ton of infield prospects but when it comes to MIFs, you can never have enough. This draft strategy has been working out excellently so far for us so I do not see why the Cubs would draft differently this time around.

  • John, what is the rationale for not allowing teams to trade draft picks either for other draft picks or players? (I mean, other than those competitive balance picks... which, also, really needs a rework IMHO)

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    No rationale that I can think of. They're experimenting with those comp picks to see how it works out and maybe that happens by next CBA.

  • Right now Jeff Weaver isn't really high but he is a 1st rounder. But he is my bet to be the next high riser like Gray last year.

  • My apologies for likely a dumb question, but what did you mean the Carlos Rodon is "out"? Did I miss something where he is hurt? Or are you just stating that he won't last to our pick?

  • In reply to springs:

    He won't make it to the Cubs.

  • In reply to springs:

    Thank you, springs; and John, for that matter. For years, I read this site MIN 2-4 x a day, for hours EA visit and I was taken by that "word", too. Keep waiting to sprout a star trek equivilant Denizen pointed ears any day now. Had to ask my biggest of NCState sports fan to see if he was "out", too. He did not know what I was talking about, either, after I picked him up off of the floor. "What day was the article?" was his first question to determine what OUT meant.

  • Even tough we need pitchers badly but we should still look at hitters at any position with the 1st pick then select pitchers in the -2-5 rounds. I would be great if could draft a top college catcher in the 3-5 rounds.

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    I was thinking about the same thing for a starting line up that you just wrote about. But we've been hearing a lot of chatter about Baez playing second and Olt getting a chance to win the 3B job outright. And we see that Bryant is making folks take note about his play at 3B.

    This has me really thinking that our infield will be set for the next decade or so with Bryant 3B, Castro SS, Baez 2B, Rizzo. That leaves the future of Alcantara, Olt and Vogelbach still pretty shady with the Cubs.

    That is of course unless the NL adopts the DH and Alcantara fills the roster spot as a sub for all 3 INF spots. It's getting to be real high class problems. One more year of this craziness and we should have a pretty clear picture of who will make it and where they will play.....

  • The Marlins have a ton of pitching prospects. The one thing they lack is a shortstop prospect that will stay at that position. Right now I think they will go Turner.

    Rick Hahn may decide to spread the Sox's draft money around Houston style.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    You maybe right but it is really hard to me to see Hoffman making it to the Cubs.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    best pitcher not named Rodon coming out of this class will be Aaron Nola, book it.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    He does not have stuff but has but has outstanding command.

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    What about Michael Cederoth? He had some monster games last year? Is he worth a top 4 pick? I haven't seen any film on him but the stats are eye catching.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I'm seeing a quick note on Cederoth:

    "6'6 righty caught scouts attention last spring with 95-99 mph fastball that regularly touched 100 mph but other parts of his game need work and he sat out the summer."

    Is he a 1 pitch type of guy? That would be more of a closer type and would you want to draft him @ #4 overall?

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    He's hurt and that will hurt his stock, especially since he's still a bit raw for a college pitcher.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    No no no no. Just trust me. I know a few things.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I have no doubt about what you know Kevin! LOL Are you trying to tell us something?

    I smell a steal with a 2nd round pick a coming..... hahaha

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Shoulder concerns.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    He's hurt.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John. Cederoth was my first follow for 2014 come November. Thanks for the heads up. Like Boca Bobby said, maybe he makes it to the Cubs in a later round.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I still like him though. Not sure why he is a no no no but I'm not a scout. I did see he has some CMD issues though.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Shoulder red flags. Big ones.

  • What about Nola?

    I know the Cubs FO seems to prefer college to HS is that why you have only listed the college pitchers?

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    He doesn't have TOR stuff. He's a good pitcher, but might be more of a #3 type guy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i will have to beg to differ , Nola is Hendricks with 2-3 extra ticks on the FB , I have seen him 3 complete games and He is a surgeon, He beat Rodon head to head . Louisiana my old stomping grounds . I went to NW St so i keep tabs , Trust me, I was wanting Almora months before the draft , Nola is worth the 4 pick , He is underrated BIG time .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Nola will probably be a late 1st rounder, maybe somewhere in the 20's?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    yea Wacha part 2 , Cardinals will scoop him up just like that ,

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Maybe, I'm just going by the consensus. I haven't personally scouted Nola.

  • John,
    Between a possible trade of Shark for what I assume will be a high ranked prospect or two, another year of flips and a good draft, do you think we will have the top farm in baseball a year from now.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I'll be interested in seeing how much flipping they do simply because I think they have a bunch of their roster already in place

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I'm not sure they'll trade Samardzija. It will also depend on how many players graduate. If Baez, Bryant, and Alcantara are in the majors (and maybe Edwards and/or Johnson) they may take a dip -- thought it would be for good reason.

  • Is save in spot on the 40-man roster to draft someone very
    young with potential in the Rule V draft worth it.

  • Is Jeff going to another pitcher who will make a million+ per win

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    My untouchables would be: Baez, Bryant, Soler, Almora, and any decent arm in the system.

    I really like Vogelbach, Alcantara and Candelario.
    ...But they may be valuable trade bait for young starting pitching at one point next season.
    I'd rather see if Pittsburgh or Arizona would give up that front-line pitching for Samardzija.

    ...In addition, if Alcantara starts to look like his offensive value may be higher than Castro- I'd look to deal Starlin and go with Baez at short. If Olt can show any value at all, we'll be in fantastic position to acquire even more talent. Excited for 2014.

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    Not trying to be contradictory and I follow your premise. But I'm a hitting instructor, admittedly not MLB mind you, and I don't think Alcantara will approach Castro offensively, last year not withstanding. Alcantara did turn the corner in his development last year, from fringe prospect with tools to real MLB prospect, but Castro, when he's right, is special. Alcantara doesn't have the natural sweet stroke or plate coverage Castro is capable of. Plate discipline is great for most guys, and I teach my kids to be "patiently aggressive" but Castro is the type of guy who can feast on balls three inches off the plate and turn those into gappers. It took them a year and 3/4 to realize they should have left the kid alone. Leave him to his "see the ball-hit the ball" style of old and stay the bleep out of his head and he'll have another 200 hit, 40 double season

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I have done my fair hitting instruction. I take a zone philosophy to hitting where the your hitting zone expands the more strikes you have on you gets. I allow the players to decide their own zone sizes based on how feeling there ability to make contact. I have had players that had zones the size of two baseballs and some that were half the strike zone to start off. It is very similar to the Yankees and Red Sox style of hitting.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Agreed here.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Agreed. We even used a tarp with the strike zone broken into 9 zones for visualization and then had them hitting into that tarp off a tee positioned at different spots/depths of the strike zone so they could visualize it. Bottom line is you teach, teach, and teach... but ultimately it comes down to letting them process it and incorporate into their uniqueness, because they are all different. They learn differently, they have different physical skills and abilities, etc...

    I think John summarized this previously when he said some of what was being force fed to Castro will stick. He will apply parts of it. I agree with that. He wasn't allowed to process the information being taught and apply it within his natural instincts and ability. He was being forced to do something unnatural almost militantly and the results were terrible. If they allow him to himself, we'll have the old Castro back plus a slightly more disciplined Castro at chasing "pitchers pitches."

    You're right that Castro is "special". I'm not at all worried about him long term. I think Baez and Almora fit that "special" tag as well; and I'm starting to think Bryant may as well. I like Alcantara and believe he can/will be a solid everyday player. But even if the stars aligned perfectly, I don't see "special". I wish people would stop trying to trade our special, economically cost controlled long term core pieces.... We need more of these guys, not less.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    To the extent you're description of Castro's hitting "re-indoctrination" was accurate, I think you provide Exhibit A on why Sveum staying for year 3 didn't happen. If this style was applied to Castro, I assume this style of instruction was applied to other team members as well.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    I became overly concerned when it was admitted that they were trying to get Barney to pull more to LF. Both Castro and Rizzo struggled as it seemed the coaching staff insisted on power over performance. While we had problems in the pen, my biggest criticism was the lack of quality at bats.

    Certainly we need a quality manager moving forward but I will be just as anxious to see who our hitting instructor will be.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Almora is going to be a perennial all-star. As far as some of the posts below this one, he is your Carlos Beltran comp, especially if the power comes.

    I think John said the guy could roll out of bed and hit. Great description.

  • John, I like your idea of the starting 8; if we can only hope they all make it. Much like the Dodgers of the early '70's with their homegrown infield that lasted for years.

    Much talk is about this off-season's FA signings, trades, etc. Truly I , for one, really don't want to sacrifice the farm for CarGo, Price, or Stanton, or others. I would like to see what one more year of minor league experience can do for our up-and-coming crop of young players. I am, for sure, all-in on getting Tanaka. I also would like the Cubs to offer a two-year (front loaded) contract to Carlos Beltran. The thinking is, if we can convince him to come here, is that he brings the veteran all-star presence the line-up needs, he can be a great help for our young Latino players, and he brings a great bat to protect Rizzo. A Tanaka-Beltran winter for the Cubs wouldn't be too bad, and all it would cost is money.

    Thoughts, comments.......

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    I thought of getting Beltran too. I think he would be great to mentor the young guys how to control the strike zone. I seem to remember when the Cubs introduced Bryant to Wrigley field and took batting practice, that Beltran was impressed. The question I have would he be given a qualifing offer? If he has a QO then I don't want him. I do not want to give StLouis another pick or us losing our top pick.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree with you John on the QO....I want acquisitions this off-season that only cost money, not picks or the Cubs top minor leaguers.

  • In reply to John57:

    Carlos Beltran?.. as in "Mr. October 2.0"?... One of the most prolific post season players in MLB history?... The same guy who, single-handedly defeated the Dodgers last night in game 1 of the NLCS?...

    Yeah, that'd be nice... but less than a 1% chance of ever becoming realistic. He's writing/defining his HOF career legacy. I doubt he ever leaves STL and a QO will not necessary to keep him.

    I agree with the thought process though. We desperately need A). veteran leadership that will mentor the youngsters. B). It would help if they were a prolific hitter to help protect Rizzo in the line-up. C). It would help if they were Latin, had post-season experience/success and a repeat AS player. D). It would really help if they played corner OF because they could potentially be blocking a youngster anywhere else..... Crap, did I just describe Soriano?

  • In reply to John57:

    Im willing to bet STL will not give Beltran a QO. Just something they generally dont do, Cards tend not to keep older players if they have a younger kid(Taveras) they can replace him with.

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    I don't think Beltran is going to be interested in going to a non-contender. At this point of his career you have to believe he's all about winning.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    You may be right Yemi, but if the Cards don't present a QO to Beltran, I think the Cubs' FO should inquire...a 2-yr front-loaded contract at $20-24M may do it. But I am sure the Giants may go after him again, and so may the Cardinals. Just saying if he is out there, look into it. Rather have Beltran over Corey Hart.

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    In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    A player of Beltran's age and experience is more likely to be motivated by championship rings than dollars. For example, the Cubs are not going to go substantially over Beltran's market value just to get a guy for two years when they are probably more than two years away from competing for championships. All things being equal, Beltran will receive similar offers from multiple teams and may take less AAV in exchange for an extra year - so using your example as a "fair" offer, Beltran may take 3/28 instead of 2/20 were he to choose not to go to a contender, and I have no idea what his market value is, just making a point.

    I see your point, Beltran would be fun to watch on the Cubs but really what is the point for the team or the player? 3/28 or 2/20-24 isn't worth it just to get 2-3 WAR when you are a 65-win team.

  • Beede may appeal to the Cubs with Derek Johnson on the staff. DJ already recuited him once.

  • With the:

    Rule V draft
    Low cost fairly young FA's
    Winter meetings
    June draft
    International player market

    Theo should acquire the missing pieces in our team
    and farm system

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    Okay, the fan in me is breaking through my normally level headed self. Just for fun, lets say everything goes right, by next september the club could, possibly, maybe, who knows, look like this (I realize it's unlikel and there's a lot of if's and other variables like trades and FA), but...
    C - Castillo
    1B - Rizzo
    2B - Baez
    SS - Castro
    3B - Olt
    LF - Soler
    Cf - Lake
    RF - Bryant
    with Hopefully tenaka heading a staff of Smardz, Wood EJax and Arrieta and power arms like Grimm, Parker and Strop in the pen.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    One lefty! Don't hold your breath.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I never got the point of "it's a heavy RH hitting line-up so we shouldn't do it."

    I'd rather have a righty who can hit then a lefty just for the sake of it.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Me too!

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    That is an awful RHed heavy lineup. Wow.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    a good hitter is a good hitter i could care less what side of the plate they stand , As a former pitcher i can tell ya i want to throw to a decent lefty as a RH pitcher than RH masher

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    FO won't be looking for lefthanders that suck at hitting.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's also easier said then done to get that a good lefty. Especially when there's no one besides Alcantara, who is a switch hitter, in the minor leagues who is a lefty and could possibly come up next year.

    Do you have anyone to suggest for the Cubs in free agency? Because I don't see it unless you want to dole out $100 million for one of the top tier OF's.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Cubs won't need one next year as they have an outfield full, but when Baez, Bryant, Almora, and Soler arrive with Castro they will.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The example was only for next September though, not for future years.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Sorry, I didn't mean to bicker. I like all those right handed guys and I like to speculate as well.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    No, I don't even see it as bickering.

    I apologize if I came off as hostile.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    But good pitching always beats good hitting so you need to get all the advantages you can. Pitchers pitch differently against RHH and LHH. If you allow the to get into a groove by being to one sided it gives them a rhyme you don't want them to have.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I like a minimum of three lefty hitters against a right handed starter. One for to top of the order,one in the middle, one at the bottom. In that scenario one could sill have five right sided quality hitters. Ideally, the batting order would have four of each. However, if the roster doesn't have the left side bats don't look for the Cubs to be playing in the WS, as it would be a long shot at best.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Isn't Cubs and WS an oxymoron?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I like your line up. A lot of exciting players coming but I don't think Soler will come up next Sept. He needs quite a few ABs. The chance I would give our prospects of getting to Wrigley field by Sept.

    Baez 80% I expect him to be there
    Olt 50% If his head/eye problems are done
    Alcantara 50% Nice to have a switch hitter, OBP, and speed
    Szczur 25% A grinder with speed
    Bryant 25% Only has had a few ABs so far
    Villanueva 10% Could get crowded at 3B
    Soler 5% Needs time and ABs
    B Jackson 5% I am not giving up on him yet

  • In reply to John57:

    I think Bryant is one of those players that decides his own fate when he gets called up. I also don't think we will see all of these players I think at least a couple will be traded.

    I think it is very possible you will see Soler, Castillo, Vogelbache and Samardijza being traded over the off season or at the deadline next season. The ideal situation would be them to add Salty, move Baez to 3B, Alcantara takes 2B, move Bryant to a corner OF and they add a LHed or Switching OFer. That gives him a very balanced line up special with 2 switch hitters in Salty and Alcantara in the line up and Rizzo seems to be hitting LHPing better.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Could happen but I don't see the cubs trading Vogelbach or Soler within the next year. They are not close to the majors but both have high ceilings so we wouldn't get much for them. Shark is a possibility, just have to see how things shake out. I hope they don't trade Castillo. If they need a lefty catcher give D. Navarro whatever money he wants and keep his number of starts where they were this year. But whatever this FO does I trust them to do it well.

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    In reply to John57:

    One think to consider John: Though Soler and Vogelbach have high ceilings, attrition rate for minor league players works against them. The more ABs they accumulate at higher levels offers more opportunity to expose any weakness in their games. Then their trade value decreases. It may not, but when trading a young player or deciding to keep him, there is a double-edged sword of risk involved. Sometimes hype can be your greatest asset, but when a player starts to trend toward a skill set of diminishing returns, no amount of hype can increase his eroding value.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I realize attrition rate is high that is why this FO wants volume. I have never heard them say let's trade some because the attrition rate is high and some will fail.

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    In reply to John57:

    Of course they don't say that but it certainly is a factor whenever you trade an established player for a minor league player and vice versa, or when you trade a particular skill set for a different skill set.

    I got this from Baseball HQ:

    Players Playing At Each Level And Their Chances Of Reaching The Major Leagues

    Triple A: 73%
    Double A: 33%
    Class A: 15%
    Short-Season A: 9%

    So when you are speaking purely from an analytical standpoint, of course these numbers certainly factor in any potential deal.

    Granted, it is purely average, so for every Roy Oswalt (why I picked him is not important) there is another Bobby Hill (same thing). Further I think the rate of 1st round players who make a major league roster is 66%, and it is 50% for round 2 picks. The one year turnover rate of drafted players overall is about 28%. Lastly, out of all players who play minor league baseball only about 10% of those players who sign contracts play at least 1 game in the majors.

    John Sickels analyzed data from the 2002 - 2006 drafts and for those five seasons came up with this:

    Based on five seasons of data, we see the following averages.

    - An average of 107 players make it to the major leagues from the first 10 rounds of each draft.
    - More than 40 percent of those that make it have produced below replacement level, with 60 percent at 0+ WAR
    - 44 players from each draft produced at least 1 WAR within five seasons or more.
    - 10.8 players per draft have produced 10+WAR and 20 players per draft produced 5+ WAR.

    My point is, even though it is not commonly noted or publicly verbalized, a front office is aware of these patterns when trading for a minor league player or when trading a minor league player.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Impressive statistics. I was just trying to say that prospects like Vogelbach and Soler, who are still in single A, have very little trade value. Your statistics show that. And since they have low value right now, now is not the time to trade them. They are exactly the kinds of prospects you would want to acquire if you were a GM building a farm system. High ceiling prospects for sale, cheap. I want to keep them and let them develop. If they hit their ceilings their value will skyrocket. That is when I would be willing to trade them. See Tampa Bay trades.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I would hate to see those players traded, but I really like that lineup.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I agree they're too RH'd but I think Saltalamacchia is far from ideal! Nothing I like about him other than his ability to hit from both sides...they need to find lineup balance, but here's hoping they don't look to do it at catcher.

  • If the cubs are in the market for a catcher does that mean that Castillo is maybe trade bait?

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    I think if the Cubs can find a good left handed hitting everyday catcher(two are free agents) that will open up spots in the batting order for the right hand mashers mentioned above.

  • Love this time of year all the way til the draft. Unfortunately we have to focus on this instead of the big club, but I get a lot of knowledge from everyone and if nothing else, from all the suggestions about this or that player, I get to check the box scores and look at videos to make my own opinion. Much like the Gray v Bryant v Appel discussion last year. My vote was Gray but seeing Bryant rake is another reason to trust the new FO.

    Based on need of the clubs ahead of us, I would say it should come down to Hoffman or Turner. The Marlins like those young high ceiling arms, so I can see Kolek going #2. Does Gatewood have all the tools to be a top 4?

  • In reply to Buzz:

    If he could stay at SS yes but the is a big question mark.

  • Watching Gameday of the Mesa team and it seems like Beeler was throwing 91-93 mph consistently on his fastball and hit 94 mph a few times... Threw a slider, cutter and change up... Lendy Castillo is on the mound right now and struggling, his fastball has been consistently 94-95 mph, he's also throwing a slider and a change up.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I'm telling you, Beeler is a sleeper. Big kid who throws a hard, heavy fastball. Going to generate a lot of weak contact if he can keep it low in the zone.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A 91-94 mph sinker is definitely something... It seems like hitters just can't lift the ball off him... He could be one of those pitchers that can transition to the bigs easier than others because he's got good command and in the bigs he will have better defense to pick up those ground balls than in the minors.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Oh and Kris Bryant just HRd.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Turned on a 93 mph fastball to straight away CF lol... Right on cue!

  • Bryant again....HR, thanks KGallo for allowing us to see the light!!

  • I am looking forward to going to the Mesa-Scottsdale game Monday. Gates open an hour before the game, so don't get to see BP, but it will be fun, and, of course, hitting OldTown (Scottsdale) after the game. FYI, Bryant is wearing #17, and Soler 22. Didn't see Almora last Tuesday, so don't know his number yet. Lendy Castillo is not impressive, but Rivero sure is; hope he gets a strong look for the bullpen next Spring.

  • I'd like for the Cubs to go after Brian Wilson in free agency. Proven closer, looks good since he has been back. You really can't expect him to get a big contract either. We could entice him by offering him the closers job, something another team might not be able to offer. I have no idea what kind of contract he would command though, 2 years/8 million? Complete shot in the dark.

    I was waiting to see if he gave up a run in the 9th before I posted that.

  • In reply to Yemi:

    Problem is, I think he wants to stay out west. He has said he prefers a west coast team, also prefers the NL to the AL. Im betting the LAD makes an effort to keep him. Hes pitched well for them so far.

  • Dallas Green once said (when asked about the "righthandedness" of his lineup), "aren't right handed hitters SUPPOSED to hit against right handed pitchers?" So, I'm not sure what the side of the plate one hits from has that much to do with success, though many left-handed hitters seem to have more trouble vs. lefties than the opposite. That may simply translate as frequency of seeing lefty pitching as anything else. However, if I thought we indeed needed more lefty hitting in the lineup, I would opt for trading one of our righty kids for one of someone else's lefty kids with the same or comparable ability. That would depend, of course, on a team loaded with lefty hitters in their system, one that sees a need for more righties. IDK if that's realistic, just a thought.

  • This may be way off topic, but Cubs Den has frequently been crashing Safari browser on my ipad. It doesn't happen with any other site. Is it just me,or has some kind of a virus affected other members of this community?

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    In reply to clarkaddison:

    Mine actually works better on my iPad except for the spell suggestion/correction, which is quite frustrating and especially bothers one comment contributor. I am not a fan of the pop-ups and pop-unders on my imac via safari and Chrome. But it is not a deal breaker.

  • In reply to clarkaddison:

    Mine crashed this AM while browsing the Den but I can't say that's been a regular occurrence that I've noted.

  • John, I read the linked article about Scouting School and it drew my attention, especially in this respect. He said prospective scouts had to be sponsored by MLB teams, so I wanted to ask you what your thoughts on that aspect might be. How would you suggest someone get to that point with a team? I ask because my son has expressed a desire to be a scout. I sent him the link, and after he reads it, he might not think it's such a great idea (LOL), but then again, he might. But the first step would be to get "in" with a team and since he lives near Detroit, it would probably have to be with the Tigers. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Its really hard to get into scouting school I know a lot of amateur scouts who haven't attended yet. Each team only gets 2 spots per year. My suggestion is for your son to go to as many amateur games as possible and start talking to scouts. Then Tell them you are interested in scouting. I do have a warning scouts don't make much money. It more of a labor of love and you have a separate job to pay the bills.

  • In reply to KGallo:


    When did Bryant become the "gotta have" player at #2 for you last year (or earlier this year)?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Right before the 2012 draft. I went to a game at USD to see another player but Bryant was the one that stood out to me in the Game. It was the way he carried himself and played the game. At that point I knew he was going to be special. The only thing that he did in 2013 was make me more of a believer.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I think I speak on behalf of a good number of Denizens here who look forward to your updates on the '14 Draft, I thank you for your contributions and insights!

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Thanks much, Kevin. I'll pass that along.

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    Your blog is really interfering with my work!!! I need to curb this addiction. Kevin thanks for the injury info on Cederoth. Have a great day guys.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Ha! Sorry. May take a day off today -- unless something happens, of course.

  • Saw in the Tribune today that Olt will not be playing winter ball. Didn't say why or what he will be doing, that was it.

    Wondering if the eye problems are lingering.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think the Cubs actually asked him to take the winter off.

  • John, I was lucky enough to watch an Arizona Fall League game with you and your wife last year in Mesa. I read everyday but don't post much. I was able to attend the game last night so I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

    Kris Bryant really impressed me. The kid looked really smooth and relaxed out there. It seems like he has a perfect attitude and demeanor for this game. The HR he hit was a moon shot that landed well beyond the CF wall. As soon as he hit it you knew it was gone. He could have had a 3rd hit but the 2nd baseman made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle. I think Cubs fans are really going to like this kid.

    Dallas Beeler really opened my eyes tonight. I went into the game thinking he was no more than an organizational arm but came away much more optimistic. He really seemed to be in control out there. As John mentioned nothing left the infield. Everything was being hit softly into the ground. He only gave up 3 infield hits and I felt all 3 of them could have easily been scored errors. I still don't think he has a huge upside but I could see him fitting in at the back end of a rotation some day.

    Jorge Soler had a soft single in his first at bat but he didn't look very good tonight. I'm hoping he is still rusty from his long layoff. He was taking strikes and swinging at pitches no where near the strike zone. He looked bad striking out a couple of times on balls in the dirt. He physically looks very impressive. He showed off his arm by throwing a laser to 2nd on a deep fly ball. He obviously has a lot of tools, I'm hoping it was just a bad night.

    I really had no idea what to expect from Wes Darvill. He seems to have a pretty good eye at the plate. He walked twice and seemed to work the count every time up. What I was most impressed with though was his hustle. His base hit was a comebacker to the mound. The pitcher assumed it was an easy out and took his time getting to the ball. Wes was hustling all the way and beat the throw by a step. His last at bat was a routine ground ball that he came within an eyelash of beating out. I always admired Shawon Dunstons hustle and Wes showed a lot of that tonight. I don't think we should get too excited about this kid but I think he might have a future as a utility player. He seemed like a Brent Lillibridge type, although hopefully he works out better than Lillibridge did for us.

    Thanks again for this outstanding blog and all the great information and thought provoking ideas it provides.

  • In reply to AZSaluki:

    I remember you. My wife and I had to leave early because we had dinner and movie plans.

    I think Darvill is a potential utility guy as well. I expect him to have a solid year and more people will get to know him. Beeler is a nice sleeper, you get a tall kid like that you can throw a two seamer with good plane, pound the bottom of the zone, and you might have something.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This article and comments are the reason why I read this blog. Well written,easy to read, informative, great view points of prospects from high school and college and hands on comments from all levels throughout the year. I remember the 'live in game" type of comments from AZ, Boise, Daytona et. al. All are noticed and appreciated with many thanks.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    Absolutely. Very much appreciated. Thanks for the comment and the kind words.

  • In reply to AZSaluki:

    Thanks for posting this and Bryant left the exact same impression on me when I saw him in Daytona. It was just one game, but you just tell he has "it".

  • In reply to AZSaluki:

    Thank you for sharing your observations... Beeler is indeed a sleeper.

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    I see where Rizzo has supposedly made his preferences in regards to the new manager known to the front office, or did the front office more likely ask him what he thought of certain candidates currently in the employ of his old team?

  • Did anyone catch Levine on Score this AM. Granted, I don't take everything he says as an article of faith and he might be trying to generate buzz on a new station but he , apparently, had some interesting things to say.

    It's not exactly news but I heard that he indicated communication gap between Epstein & Ricketts might be larger than we've heard. The possibility that Epstein is being meaningfully held back by Ricketts' $ issues scares me, if it's indeed true. I think many of us assume that "the plan" is proceeding at exactly the pace Epstoyer want it to. Is it possible that there is a significant disconnect.

    I ,for one, am not going to be excited by an offseason highlighted by signing somebody like Kazmir, with the intention of flipping him at the deadline. The depth is there and the system is ready to start bearing fruit. It's time to get the show on the road....

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Cubs don't need any stinking $$. We're building our own studs and they are closing in on Wrigley.

  • Looks like Tanaka price is increasing .....

    Yankees Expected To Aggressively Pursue Tanaka
    By Steve Adams [October 11 at 9:00am CST]
    Masahiro Tanaka's video-game numbers for NPB's Rakuten Golden Eagles this season have turned quite a few heads in the United States, and according to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees "are going to be serious players" for the Japanese ace.

    King spoke with several executives who guessed that the posting fee for Tanaka could go as high as $60MM, but the Yankees aren't overly concerned about that number given the fact that the posting fee wouldn't count against their stated desire to get underneath baseball's $189MM luxury tax threshhold. The expected $50-60MM contract that would go along with such a posting fee -- contract totals are usually in the same ballpark as the posting fee -- certainly would.

  • Phil, the cub reporter says Trey Martin is looking real good in Instructs... Yesterday it seems like Daury Torrez and Jose Rosario were impressive as well.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Martin really impressed me 2 yes ago at Extended ST.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Martin and Torrez are two of my favorite sleeper low level prospects. Saw Rosario many times at Kane County, including 2 years ago (when they were the Chiefs) when he struck out 11 and allowed 2 hits in 7 innings. Slight build but a good FB and when he can get his breaking ball over, he can be tough. I think he's a reliever if he makes it, but he has some talent.

  • I think we should be fair here.

    Always hearing about how the Cubs are going to win in 2 or 3 years. How do you explain the Red Sox this year? Or the opposite, the Nationals?

    Baseball is too random to say that this team or that team will or will be in the hunt on a year to year basis. You can sign all the free agents, or develop all the talent you want, but if they get injured, or don't produce, it's just another year of broken crystal balls and failed promise.

    Baseball is always full of surprises. I want to see a WS ring in 2014 and I will keep my hopes up. What if the Red Sox win this year? Was their strategy of bringing in free agents wrong? How many of the "kids" are driving their championship drive? More vets than kids, and this is not uncommon.

    I'm not against building from within, I love that the Cubs systems is number 2, and I'm not against the philosophy.

    But, don't tell me when they are going to be competitive, or this and that. I hope they can build a beast, but all 29 teams are getting better every year too in most cases.

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    I think the key to overcoming the injuries and individual poor seasons is to have a farm that is constantly funneling talent to the big club. St Louis is the perfect model. Yadier Molina, Carpenter, Kozma, Jay, Craig, Adams, Miller, Wacha, Lynn, Kelly and Rosenthal all drafted and developed by the Cardinals. Wainwright and Freese were obtained as minor leaguers for JD Drew and Jim Edmonds, respectively.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Sorry, it's late. Valverde, not Valbuena. Good night.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I agree with you on the fact that baseball is a sport where you can make a huge move either direction from year to year. And just because you make post season one year doesn't mean you will the next year or you can have best record in baseball and be knocked out of playoffs first round. I don't think most cub fans said two years ago just wait 2-3 years. And because you can have a quick turn around baseball, why can't we compete in two years? The people we are excited about were not in our farm system yet.

    I also agree with you that there are different ways to build a consistent winner but I think if you don't have a strong farm system it will catch up with you at some point.

    If you think about in the last seven years or so we haven't had a system to be proud or excited about. I can only think of a handful f guys that I was excited to see, but know we have a dozen guys I am excited to see in spring training. So tHat is a huge improvement from what we had and puts us on the right path.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Bullpen roulette, man! Bull pen roulette. When its our turn to have a lock down bullpen, we'll be in the hunt regardless of who has made it and who hasn't. Lock down pens are the one thing that's pretty much common to every playoff team to a certain degree.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    And so hard to predict. Lidge, Axeford, Valbuena, near perfect one year, losing their job the next. Closers are so mercurial. It seems the best thing to do is assemble as many interchangeable power arms in you system as you can. When journeyman Ryan Franklin falters, in steps Motte, who yield to bargain find Mujica, who gives way to home grown Rosenthal and so forth and so on. I'm actually encouraged with the possibility of Pedro Strop anchoring our bullpen next year with guys like Parker, Grimm and possibly Arrieta and Vizcaino fighting for set up roles.

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