Cubs Farm System And Prospects Discussion Thread

DewsSox79

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And there have been a lot of them.
"Cubs shouldn't signs the lesterzzzzz cuss he sucked and stuffzzzz in 1 playoff game" Jim Johnson

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beckdawg

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Cubs top 10 according to Baseball America. Torres has made an appearance. Almora has sunk some.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2015-chicago-cubs-top-10-prospects/

This mlb scout Plskoff's top 10 for all of baseball.

He has Russell number 4 and Kris Bryant the best prospect in the game.

http://m.rockies.mlb.com/news/article/104792060/bernie-pleskoffs-picks-top-10-prospects
I remember suggesting this would happen though some(don't remember who to be honest) were dubious. As for Almora I'm not really sure he's sunk so much as other people have played there way ahead of him. I remember saying prior to the season that Almora wasn't every likely to be a crazy talent. The appeal to him is that he has a pretty high floor. His defense alone in CF probably makes him a bench player eventually unless he's horrid at hitting. I think having him and McKinney ranked next to each other is interesting because I sort of feel they are mirrors. McKinney is a pretty good hitter with average power/speed with average defense. Almora is a pretty good defender with average power/speed and probably going to be an average hitter at best.
 

Parade_Rain

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Cubs top 10 according to Baseball America. Torres has made an appearance. Almora has sunk some.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2015-chicago-cubs-top-10-prospects/

This mlb scout Plskoff's top 10 for all of baseball.

He has Russell number 4 and Kris Bryant the best prospect in the game.

http://m.rockies.mlb.com/news/article/104792060/bernie-pleskoffs-picks-top-10-prospects
Almora sliding down? Is it just because other prospects are making their way onto the list or something else?
 

Parade_Rain

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I remember suggesting this would happen though some(don't remember who to be honest) were dubious. As for Almora I'm not really sure he's sunk so much as other people have played there way ahead of him. I remember saying prior to the season that Almora wasn't every likely to be a crazy talent. The appeal to him is that he has a pretty high floor. His defense alone in CF probably makes him a bench player eventually unless he's horrid at hitting. I think having him and McKinney ranked next to each other is interesting because I sort of feel they are mirrors. McKinney is a pretty good hitter with average power/speed with average defense. Almora is a pretty good defender with average power/speed and probably going to be an average hitter at best.
I am thinking the same about Almora, but I am wondering if the "average hitter at best" is causing the current drop down the list.
 

CSF77

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I agree with the list.

1. Bryant: arguably best prospect in minors.
2. Russell: Would be #1 prospect on most teams.
3. Soler (Should not be on this list as he starts in the majors.)
4. Schwarber. His bat is a +. Power/OBA/low SO. He could become a elite catcher in the bigs.
5. Edwards This year will either boost him or bust him. He needs to prove that he can pitch a whole season.
6. McKinney My pick for future LF for the Cubs. My bet is he becomes that tag along that ends up as the biggest steal.
7. Almora Not surprised with his rankings dropping. He has not been the same hitter post hand injury. This year I expect that his game improves.
8. Torres I'm not too up on him. Have to see how this year shakes out.
9. Johnson. As Edwards. He needs to prove that he can stay healthy for a full year. He seems to have better durability than Edwards but Edwards has the better stuff.
10. Underwood May be the best arm in the system right now. Stuff/durability wise.
 

TC in Mississippi

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8. Torres I'm not too up on him. Have to see how this year shakes out.
Curious on this. Obviously I haven't seen this kid play but he's garnered a lot of national attention from scouts and media lately and looks to be a possible valuable trade chip in the future. What are your concerns?
 

SilenceS

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Almora has dropped because he never made the adjustments scouts thought he would. He hasnt really shown the power they thought he would create. He walks atr a horrendous clip even for being young and he is not showing the plate discipline they thought would grow with time. Almora has always been an over achiever. He does not have this immense talent compared to others, but he always played up to competition. If people remember, this was my concern with Almora from day 1 we drafted him. I dont buy into over achievers like others. It is rare that talent doesnt over come them eventually. Almora has good instincts and will probably be a starter somewhere, but I dont think it will be for the Cubs before it is done. He has great D which relies on his instincts not his physical gifts. He doesnt steal bags and he really doesnt have much speed. He had a 3.1 walk rate in high A and 1.4 walk rate in AA. Thats insane. He makes Baez and Castro look like the Greek God of walks.
 

SilenceS

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Are you thinking of another player with a similar name? Torres just turned 18 and has handled himself at every level against much older and more defined competition.
 

TC in Mississippi

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Are you thinking of another player with a similar name? Torres just turned 18 and has handled himself at every level against much older and more defined competition.
Also, as I said, has drawn the attention of a lot of the national media. I don't know what's not to like to this point. Does anyone know where he's likely to play this year though? He played the Short Season at Boise last in 2014. Will he start at South Bend?
 

beckdawg

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I wouldn't worry as much about Almora's walk rates because his K rates are significantly low as well. We're talking like 5% off league average. That in theory just means he is going to put a lot of balls into play and given that league average is .300 on BABIP that's not a huge worry. Obviously more walks is almost never a bad thing but I don't really see it as a hurdle to him being a useful player where as K rate is for some players.

To my the biggest problem at least looking at the numbers is that Almora is kind of an empty average. It wouldn't be a shock to see him hit .280+ but to what end? He's not going to advance himself with steals and he doesn't appear to have all that much extra base power. Assuming that he's that player in the future, he probably has a place on a MLB team possibly even as a starter but he isn't a thrilling player.

A some what interesting comparison for me is Salvador Perez. CF and C are both premium defensive positions. Perez has a career 3.9%/12.2% walk/k rate and his career high in HRs was 17 this year. If Almora is that player in CF then he's decent but you're kind of putting most of his value on defense. That being said, if you have the offense to compensate he's not a 7th/8th hitter who's gonna kill you.
 

beckdawg

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Also, as I said, has drawn the attention of a lot of the national media. I don't know what's not to like to this point. Does anyone know where he's likely to play this year though? He played the Short Season at Boise last in 2014. Will he start at South Bend?
Given his age I'd expect him to stay in mesa for awhile then filter into A ball. IIRC he finished last season strong in Boise but if you use Baez as an indication he only had 235 PAs in A ball as a 19 year old with 86 in A+ and then finished the season in the AFL with 60. Playing a full season at that age would be sort of surprising but I could be wrong. Also A- doesn't start until around midseason IIRC so they might just hold him back and go right to A rather than sending him to Eugene(?) in A-
 

SilenceS

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http://www.cubsinsider.com/cubs-promote-javier-baez-fail/

Last year at this time the biggest question for the Cubs regarded top prospect Javier Baez: would he break camp with the big league club if he had an impressive Spring Training?

Baez indeed had himself an impressive exhibition, yet he did not head to Chicago for Opening Day.

Last spring, a local media friend approached team president Theo Epstein about the thought process behind that strategy. Epstein gave him an insightful earful and shared with him his belief that everyone was absolutely crazy to think that Baez was anywhere near ready at the beginning of last year for the major league level.

Epstein also scoffed at the notion that it was about club control and amusingly chuckled at speculation that littered Twitter and such at the time regarding dates Baez would get the call-up. Baez still had many kinks to work out and there was even a strong doubt within the organization as to whether he would make his debut at any time at all in 2014.

Baez was eventually, and somewhat surprisingly, promoted in early August after rebounding from a horrible stretch at AAA Iowa while working with new mentor Manny Ramirez.

Upon his call-up, Baez showed some flashes of the lightning quick bat and brilliant power most scouts had come to rave about. Overall though, the converted second baseman struggled mightily at the plate and his alarming strikeout rate (44.6%) wasn’t too much of a surprise to anyone in the Cubs front office. He looked simply overmatched at times.

The Cubs knew what they were doing by promoting Baez earlier then they may have initially planned. Did they set him up to fail? Not really. They wanted Baez to succeed in the long run, but they also knew full well that he would receive a rude awaking from MLB pitchers.

In talking with a scout recently, the belief around some league circles is that the Cubs organization had a purpose in calling Baez up to watch him fail with the hope that it would humble him into understanding the kind of work he still needs to do to be a success at the major-league level.

They wanted to break him down a little, if you will; Baez definitely has a stubborn streak. Epstein was pretty up-front with beat reporters in letting them know he wanted the kid to see for himself what it’s really like in the big leagues.

When I have talked with local sources regarding Baez, I’ve been assured the Cubs in no way have soured on Baez or are even possibly thinking about giving him up in any deals just yet. They still see the potential as being as high as it has ever been.

It is pretty apparent, however, that the Cubs are hedging their bets somewhat for 2015. By trading for Tommy La Stella and making overtures towards Stephen Drew and possibly even Ben Zobrist, the Cubs are allowing themselves the very real possibility of starting Baez off at Iowa to open the 2015 campaign.

At the very least, there is the strong possibility that Baez could be sent down in short order if no progress is displayed in his plate approach.

New Cubs hitting coach John Mallee has had some recent success with young Astro hitters such as Jose Altuve and Chris Carter and has recently been in San Juan working with Baez.

MLB network analyst Ron Darling shared some strong opinions with me regarding Baez:

Well, I hope they leave this (Baez) thing alone. He generates so much bat speed. He reminds me very much of Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez in his prime. I hear a lot of that [talk about] shortening his stroke. If anyone shortens his stroke, I hope they get fired. I mean, what he needs to do is to have an idea on strike zone.

The intelligence part of the game–the recognizing the pitch, knowing what pitches he can handle–I know that’s going to come, but I think what happens over the course of time is that, people…It’s like taking a guy who throws really hard and saying, “You know what, I’m going to make him throw only 65%, 70%; that way he throws strikes.”

I wouldn’t do that with Baez. I would let him do what he does best, and that is that he’s real aggressive. When he makes contact, no one can hit the ball as far as he can. What he’s got to understand is strike zone recognition; that’s not different from any other younger player. Now, the strikeouts, are they alarming? Well, if you ask a lot of sabermetricians, they don’t care about strikeouts.

I think he’s got to get better with two strikes. He was on a pace with just the small number of games he played last year to set a Major League record, if he’d played the entire season. Yes, he has to do some things with two strikes that are different, but I wouldn’t change too much on the first two strikes.

Most eyes this spring will be on Kris Bryant as the Cubs have a new focal point, his blue eyes and all, yet much of the organization will be focused on the guy with the MLB logo tattooed on his neck.
 

JP Hochbaum

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Interesting psychology being displayed by humbling him first before trying to mess with him. in order to build people sometimes it is best to break them apart and let them become more open to teaching. I like that approach and hope it works.
 

Parade_Rain

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Interesting psychology being displayed by humbling him first before trying to mess with him. in order to build people sometimes it is best to break them apart and let them become more open to teaching. I like that approach and hope it works.
This is why many people over-estimate the job MLB team hitting instructors do or have control over. I;ve been trying to educate forumites on this since my arrival here at CCS/Cubs.
 

cbfan

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4. Schwarber. His bat is a +. Power/OBA/low SO. He could become a elite catcher in the bigs.
I was just curious if Schwarber has the making of a left hand hitting Mike Piazza? Idk much about him, except what I've read about his hitting. I know they talked about him in the OF, now it sounds like they might keep him behind the plate.


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SilenceS

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I was just curious if Schwarber has the making of a left hand hitting Mike Piazza? Idk much about him, except what I've read about his hitting. I know they talked about him in the OF, now it sounds like they might keep him behind the plate.


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Long shot he stays behind the plate.
 
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