The Chicago Cubs have a long track record of in season promotions for their better prospects. The team’s philosophy appears to be something like: allow the kid to find some success at his present level, and then challenge him to finish out the season playing against tougher competition.
That’s why the decision not to give an in-season promotion to top shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee is a bit surprising.
Age and maturity, Fleita said, figure into who gets moved and who doesn’t, at times. In the Cubs system, that’s a reason why talented shortstop Hak-Ju Lee is still playing for Peoria in the Midwest League. The 19-year-old South Korean has had a very solid full-season debut, and the Cubs didn’t want to move him up and risk having him finish 2010 with failure.
“Sometimes you let them finish where they started,” Fleita said. “In general, they often remember how they finish. It’s a game of confidence, and I like to make sure players go home with the feeling of what it was like to have success. With younger kids, you have to be cognizant of those types of things.” MLB.com.
To be certain, Lee is not playing below his level or anything like that – he’s still just 19, and A-ball is right where a 19 year old would typically find himself (or lower). But Lee is not a typical prospect. The Cubs expect him to be their shortstop of the future (with Starlin Castro sliding over to second base), and an aggressive promotion schedule would not have been surprising.
Hopefully this is not a sign of organizational doubt. Lee is hitting .284 with a .353 OBP for Peoria, but is slugging just .360 and has 27 errors in 85 games in the field this year.