Cubs Farm System And Prospects Discussion Thread

beckdawg

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Rucker's start today

5 IP 3 hits(1 hr) 1 ER 1 BB and 6 k's.

Also of note, Eddy martinez has started strong in AA. He's hitting .308/.438/.385 over 13 ABs. Would be nice to see him get going. Lange is going for MB atm and Abbott is going at SB. Will update those numbers once games are over
 

beckdawg

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Lange with a good start

5 Ip 4 hits 1 ER 4k's and more importantly for him 0 walks. Ademan is also looking really ready for A+. Currently hitting .333. If he stays on this pace... i mean maybe it's a bit crazy but wouldn't shock me to see him in AA this year.

Abbott wasn't as good. 5 IP 7 hit 3 ER 1 walk 5 k's.
 

CSF77

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Lange with a good start

5 Ip 4 hits 1 ER 4k's and more importantly for him 0 walks. Ademan is also looking really ready for A+. Currently hitting .333. If he stays on this pace... i mean maybe it's a bit crazy but wouldn't shock me to see him in AA this year.

Abbott wasn't as good. 5 IP 7 hit 3 ER 1 walk 5 k's.
Lange had issues when he wasn’t squaring up to the plate. Add to it he over used his curve vs mixing it in with his fastball. He really seems like a Hickey type as he has the 4 seem/curve combo that Hickey takes to.
 

beckdawg

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I'm slightly worried about Little. He wasn't very good after being drafted last season and put up quite a stinker tonight. 0.2 IP and gave up 4 ER. Could just be developing slow but not an encouraging start to his pro career
 

CSF77

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I'm slightly worried about Little. He wasn't very good after being drafted last season and put up quite a stinker tonight. 0.2 IP and gave up 4 ER. Could just be developing slow but not an encouraging start to his pro career
I always thought that they drafted him because of what Andrew Miller did to them in the W.S. So they drafted his prototype then traded for another in Justin Wilson. Then signed another in Drew Smyly. Add to it they already had Bryan Hudson in the pipe with a projectable 6'8" frame.

Honestly it is little to worry about because more fail then succeed. That is why you win by having a lot of darts. That doesn't even get into Justin Steele, Erling Moreno...Carson Sands... well if he ever stays healthy.
 

beckdawg

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I always thought that they drafted him because of what Andrew Miller did to them in the W.S. So they drafted his prototype then traded for another in Justin Wilson. Then signed another in Drew Smyly. Add to it they already had Bryan Hudson in the pipe with a projectable 6'8" frame.

Honestly it is little to worry about because more fail then succeed. That is why you win by having a lot of darts. That doesn't even get into Justin Steele, Erling Moreno...Carson Sands... well if he ever stays healthy.
I don't really see little as a comparison to Miller. Miller was the 6th pick in the 2006 draft. He was always thought of as having ridiculous stuff. He was also a HS arm. That's not really comparable to Little.
 

CSF77

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I don't really see little as a comparison to Miller. Miller was the 6th pick in the 2006 draft. He was always thought of as having ridiculous stuff. He was also a HS arm. That's not really comparable to Little.
Stuff wise
 

beckdawg

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Albertos had a rough outing that only lasted 1 inning. Not sure if he was hurt or what but he gave up 2 walks and a hit with 2 ER in the first. Only threw like 30 pitches which is high but like... you'd think he'd at least go more than an inning. Flip side was Rollie Lacy pitched well again in relief. 4 innings 3 hits 1 ER 2 k's no walks.

Tseng had a rough first inning giving up 3 but sorta settled in after that. Went 5.1 giving up 5 earned with a walk and 5 k's.

Keegan Thompson hasn't looked good in his two starts this year. 8.68 ERA 9.1 IP. Was hoping for more from him. His k to walk ratio is great tho at 7:1. I'm guessing he's just hittable right now for whatever reason. Maybe rust idk.
 

beckdawg

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BA has a review of last year's class of IFA's from the cubs. I'll quote it here incase they paywall it later...

Total 2017 signings: 41.

Top 2017-18 Signing: RHP Florencio Serrano and SS Luis Verdugo, Mexico, $1.2 million each.

The Cubs were in their second and final year of being in the penalty box during the 2017-18 signing period, meaning they couldn’t sign any player for more than $300,000.

Well, sort of.

Nearly every player signed out of Mexico is already under contract with a Mexican League team. When a major league club signs a player from one of those Mexican League teams, only the amount that goes to the player—typically 25 percent of the deal—counts against the club’s international bonus pool.

Not only that, but for teams under the penalty that are limited to signings of no more than $300,000, only the amount that goes to the player counts toward that $300,000 maximum. Since many players get just 25 percent on their deals, that means a team under the penalty can pay up to $1.2 million to sign a player from a Mexican League team.

Between their penalty situation and what the Cubs felt was a strong year for prospects in Mexico, the Cubs made an aggressive push in Mexico last year and signed several players for more than $300,000, including one of the top pitching prospects on the international market in 18-year-old righthander Florencio Serrano. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Serrano pitched for Robstown (Tex.) High as a freshman in 2016. Serrano’s parents were both born in Mexico, and after his freshman year, Serrano moved to Mexico and joined the Tijuana Toros. While Serrano was old enough to sign as an international player before last year, he had to wait until July 2 since he hadn’t previously been registered to sign with MLB.

Serrano is 6 feet, 175 pounds with strong legs and a low-90s fastball that has reached 95 mph, with quick arm speed and a chance to throw harder. He has good feel for a potentially plus slider that he can use as a putaway pitch along with a changeup that’s effective for his age. Serrano has the repertoire of a starter, though there is some effort to his delivery, which is why some scouts saw risk that he might eventually wind up a reliever. He’s going to extended spring training and will make his pro debut this summer in the United States.

The Cubs also paid $1.2 million for Luis Verdugo, a 17-year-old Mexican shortstop from the Mexico City Red Devils. Verdugo was 15 when he played on the Mexican junior national team at the COPABE 18 Pan American Championship in 2016. He spent 2017 playing against older competition in the Mexican Northern League, where he hit .271/.328/.318 in 118 plate appearances.

A wiry 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Verdugo is a defense-first player with slick actions and a knack for slowing the game down. Verdugo has secure hands, his feet work well and he has a nose for the ball with a good internal clock. He has a funky throwing motion but his arm strength is solid-average and could be plus. Even though he’s a fringe-average runner who doesn’t have the first-step explosiveness some scouts prefer in a shortstop, his actions and feel for the position should allow him to stay there. Verdugo has a whippy righthanded swing that stays compact in BP but tends to get long in games. While Verdugo’s glove is ahead of his bat, he made progress as a hitter last summer. Mostly a singles hitter for a while, he got stronger and started driving the ball with more authority, even driving the ball out of the park occasionally during BP, with a frame to grow into 10-15 home runs.

Another Mexican shortstop, Reivaj Garcia (or Javier, spelled backwards), signed for $500,000 from the Yucatan Lions in August shortly after his 16th birthday. Garcia is an instinctive, fundamentally sound player for his age. A wiry 6 feet, 175 pounds, Garcia has hit well in games from both sides of the plate. He doesn’t strike out much, with a line-drive approach and occasional doubles power, and he’s an adept bunter already. He’s an average to a tick better runner with a chance to stick at shortstop. His overall game savvy and awareness helps everything he does play up.

Another Mexican player the Cubs signed from Yucatan was lefthander Saul Vazquez on a $450,000 deal in August. Vazquez, 17, is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with a fastball that has reached 92 mph and the physical projection to grow into an above-average fastball. He shows good feel to spin a curveball, which he can land for strikes and is more advanced than his changeup. Vazquez has a frame that bodes well for his durability, with good athleticism and clean arm action.

Mexican righthander Manuel Espinoza signed with the Cubs for $400,000 in July. Espinoza has advanced pitchability for a 17-year-old. He’s a wiry 6 feet, 175 pounds with good arm action, throws frequent strikes, and changes speeds well to keep hitters off balance. Signed throwing 86-89 mph with good movement, Espinoza has since reached the low-90s. His breaking pitches are more advanced, with a curveball and slider that both flash average with the potential to tick up. Espinoza and the rest of the Cubs’ Mexican signings could all debut this year in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

Fabian Pertuz, a 17-year-old Colombian shortstop, signed for $300,000 in August. Pertuz is 6 feet, 160 pounds and hit well in games in Colombia, with a line-drive stroke and gap power from the right side. An average runner, Pertuz is a high-energy shortstop who likes to make the flashy play, though like a lot of young shortstops sometimes he can try to do too much and will have to play more under control. Pertuz has the actions and arm strength for shortstop, though depending how much bigger he gets, second or third base could be options down the road. Pertuz went to Arizona last fall for instructional league, and with the Cubs adding a second AZL team this year in addition to their two DSL teams, they should have opportunities for Pertuz, Verdugo and Garcia to get regular reps at shortstop somewhere. Pertuz trained with Orlando Cabrera.


Dominican outfielder Alexander Ovalles, a 17-year-old who got $300,000 in July, is one of the better hitters the Cubs signed last year. Ovalles is a 6-foot, 180-pound lefty who has hit well against live pitching, spreading line drives to all fields with gap power. Ovalles has high overall game awareness and his instincts are evident in the way he plays center field. Ovalles is an average runner, so there’s some risk he may end up in a corner, but his defensive instincts are advanced enough to give him a chance to stick in center. Ovalles trained with Amauris Nina.

The Cubs signed 21-year-old Cuban catcher Alexander Guerra for $300,000 in September. Guerra performed well in the Cuban junior leagues and played abroad in tournaments as a teenager. Guerra has a heavy frame, signed at 5-foot-11, 245 pounds (though he’s since lost 10-15 pounds) and relies on his strength more than bat speed to generate power, with questions on how well his hitting will translate against better pitching. Guerra has a lot of work to do to stay behind the plate, both with his receiving and with his conditioning to improve his mobility and agility. He could head to short-season Eugene or low Class A South Bend later this year.

Brailin Pena, a 16-year-old Dominican outfielder, signed with the Cubs for $225,000 in July. He’s a 5-foot-11, 160-pound lefty with a similar skill set to Ovalles, hitting well in games with a line-drive stroke and gap power. He’s a tick above-average runner with good defensive instincts. Pena trained with Eddy Fontana.

milb-transactions
Minor League Transactions
A summary of minor league maneuvering for all 30 organizations for the period March 30-April 5, 2018.

Venezuelan shortstop Nestor Heredia signed for $200,000 in October after training with Roberto Vahlis. Heredia, 17, is a below-average runner with an average arm, so he’s unlikely to stick at shortstop, with third base or possibly second being potential destinations. Some scouts were intrigued by the possibility of putting the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Heredia behind the plate, though the Cubs plan to use him as an infielder. Some clubs saw a higher swing-and-miss rate with Heredia, but the Cubs were drawn to Heredia for his bat after seeing him perform well in games from the right side of the plate, showing over-the-fence power already along with a patient approach.


Widimer Joaquin is a 17-year-old third baseman the Cubs signed for $200,000 in July. He’s 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and stands out for his raw power from the right side, driving the ball out of the park in BP with the frame to increase his power even more once he fills out. It’s a power-over-hit profile, and while Joaquin has the hands for third base, he could end up in the outfield depending how much bigger he gets. Joaquin trained with Nube.

The Cubs in July gave $180,000 to Jorge Remon, a 17-year-old righthander from Panama. Remon is a projectable 6-foot-2, 160 pounds with a lively fastball that has reached 91 mph. Remon’s arm works well and he repeats his delivery well for his age, which helps him throw a lot of strikes, and the movement on his fastball helps him get swing-and-miss on that pitch. Remon throws a slider and a changeup, with his slider the more advanced pitch right now.

Orlando Zapata trained in the same program as Heredia and the Cubs signed the two of them the same day in October, with Zapata landing a $160,000 bonus. Zapata is an athletic, 5-foot-9 lefthanded hitter with plus speed. He has minimal extra-base pop but he doesn’t strike out much, putting the ball on the ground and spraying the ball to all fields with a sound grasp of the strike zone. Zapata is a versatile defender who will likely split time between shortstop, second base and center field.

Dominican lefthander Misael Garcia, 16, signed out of Nolan Pena's program for $150,000 in July, but his stock has improved since then. Leading up to July 2, Garcia was 6 feet, 170 pounds and was throwing in the mid-to-upper 80s. He’s grown taller and added strength (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and now has touched 92 mph. Garcia is a good strike-thrower and has advanced feel to spin a curveball that could develop into an out pitch.

The Cubs also signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Jonathan Rodriguez for $150,000 in July. Rodriguez has a physical, athletic frame (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) and above-average speed. His size and speed stick out when he’s running around in center field, where he has a slightly above-average arm that could tick up to plus as he fills out. Rodriguez isn’t a pure hitter, but he’s shown solid instincts for his age and the ball jumps off his bat well from the right side.

Dominican righthander Willy Cabrera, a 17-year-old signed for $125,000 in July, has a large, physical frame (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and throws his fastball with good downhill plane. He has reached 93 mph and should be throwing in the mid-90s at some point. Cabrera has a mature ability to change speeds on hitters, with the ability to miss bats with both his slider and changeup. Cabrera has the repertoire, delivery and durable build to project as a starter. He trained with Jonathan Tejada, known as "Poto."

In August, the Cubs signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Carlos Morfa for $125,000. Morfa stands out for his combination of strength and athleticism in a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. His righthanded swing is crude and he needs to improve his plate discipline, but he makes loud contact when he squares it up and at times manages to connect with pitches when he does chase. His outfield actions also look raw, but he runs well for his size and has a solid arm. Morfa trained with El Niche.
 

beckdawg

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Ademan is pretty interesting right now. He's hitting in A+ but k'ing at a really high rate. He's hitting .290. However he has 14 k's in 35 ABs. I'm normally worried about guys who strike out that much but in his case I think they just were really aggressive putting him in A+. Historically he's not even been an average K rate guy. He's been well below. He arguably shouldn't be holding his own this well though with that sort of K rate. His BABIP isn't *that* crazy either. It was high at .412 coming into tonight but that's not crazy high. I think by midseason you're going to hear a lot of buzz about him. Presumably that K rate will fall once he adjusts to the competition and if it does watch out.

Underwood made a strong start in AAA tonight. Went 5 IP with 4 hits 0 walks and 6 k's to go along with 2 unearned runs. If he turns things around this year that could be big.

De La Cruz hasn't been good and wasn't very good today. Gave up 6 in 2 innings. I do like what I'm seeing out of Eddy Martinez though. Through 3 PAs tonight he's got 15.6% walk rate on the season to go with his .269/.387/.308. You'd like to see the slugging up a bit and his k rate is higher than I'd like(25%) but you can live with the average/obp and he too like Ademan isn't a guy known for striking out. My guess is AA is also challenging him more. AA tends to be a pretty big bump in competition and this is his first taste there.
 

beckdawg

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I'm not sure how to feel about matt swarmer. He'a not very far in the system(A+) at 24. His strikeout to walk ratio is fantastic at 9.7/2.2. His ERA as a minor leaguer hasn't quite reflected that at 4.48. The issue appears to be he's kind of hittable. Currently averages 9.9 hits per 9. I don't think he's ever going to be viewed as a top guy. Fangraphs didn't even mention him in the honorable mentions for their cubs write up. But having said that, I'll point out there are guys like Jacob deGrom who was in A at age 24 and like Swarmer he had a good k walk ratio 7.4/2.3 and who at times had issues with hits/9 at 9.3 per 9 in the minors.

All that is preamble to pointing out he's made 2 starts this year totaling 9.2 IP, 12 hits, 3 ER, 1 walk, 14 k's. That's an absurd k/bb rate even for a guy who's been great with it in the past. If he ever figures out how to keep a few hitters off the base he instantly becomes interesting. At the very least, if you put him in a bullpen later on that issue shouldn't be as big and with a likely uptick in k/9 he becomes an interesting BP piece.
 

CSF77

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Michael Ernst said 20 hours, 39 minutes ago
Iowa game today is postponed, but it sounds like Alzolay will make his debut on Thursday, weather permitting of course
 

beckdawg

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fangraphs added their "board" for the draft
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/updated-2018-mlb-draft-rankings/

Slotting guys to teams after the first 5-6 guys is difficult but if we assume no one in the top 15 is falling to the cubs at 24, think it's some what likely they are going HS player. Between 16-50 there are 13 college guys and of those 5 are pitchers.

16 Logan Gilbert RHP Stetson
20 Greyson Jenista RF Wichita State
21 Jackson Kowar RHP Florida
24 Jonathan India 3B Florida
26 Jeremy Eierman SS Mizzou
35 Tristan Beck RHP Stanford
38 Jake McCarthy CF Virginia
39 Nico Hoerner 2B Stanford
41 Kris Bubic LHP Stanford
43 Griffin Conine RF Duke
45 Steele Walker RF Oklahoma
46 Konnor Pilkington LHP Mississippi State
47 Kyle Isbel CF UNLV

None of those names really pop out at me as guys the cubs would have to have. The group doesn't have any particular stand out stuff. For example, Lange when they drafted him had arguably the best curve in the class. In terms of these pitchers, Gilbert has average to above average stuff all around but nothing stand out. Kowar is fastball change up and fringy breaking stuff. Beck is decent fastball with a 55 slider. That's sort of the gist on the pitchers. They are all good tool guys but lack great where as the guys the cubs went after last year had some great stuff but had a lot of ironing out to do which made some think they were bullpen guys. As for the hitters, it's kind of a similar story. Jenista apparently looks like Adam Dunn which I could maybe see the appeal to the cubs but corner outfield isn't really a need and he's probably not going to age well.

There's also a lot of interesting prep guys. There's a lot of high school guys throwing 96+ that will probably be there when the cubs pick.
 

CSF77

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Looks like DeLaCruz pitched 6 scoreless after his first 2 duds. Might have to keep a eye on him now.
 

beckdawg

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Alzolay took a no hitter into the 5th than gave up a solo shot. Ended the game with 2 hits 2 walks 6 k's over 6 innings with 1 ER.
 

beckdawg

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Also of note, Tyler Thomas look like a pretty good pick at this point. Gave up 3 unearned tonight which reduced his ERA over 3 starts to 0.60. Line tonight was 5 IP 5 hits 1 walk 0 ER 4 k's. That gives him an 8.40 k/9 and a 1.2 bb/9 over those 3 starts. That's fairly hendricks like.

Hudson was pretty great tonight for MB. 5 IP 3 hits 3 walks 1 ER 7 k's.

In AA looks like Rucker was going good and got roughed up hard in one inning giving up all 6 of his ER in the 5th. He only had 4 hits and 2 walks to go with his 4 k's so that seems to be pretty flukey.

I've mostly been following the cubs pitching and one or two hitters thus far this year. I'll probably start to make note of hitters once they get a few more ab's underneath them. That being said, Andruw Monasterio is intriguing me. Basically been watching him Ademan, Eddy Martine and Jared Young of late. No other bats have popped out for me give most of the cubs talent is still in half season ball at either A- or rookie league.
 
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