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MLB.com revealed it’s top 100 prospects last night, and, as expected, some notable Chicago Cubs’ farmhands made an appearance.

Outfielder Brett Jackson, 23, was the Cubs’ top draft pick in 2009, and came in at number 33. He is thought by most to be the Cubs’ top prospect, and MLB.com appears to agree. Jackson is expected to start the year at AAA Iowa, where he finished the 2011 season. Depending on injuries and how the outfield shakes out, he could be in Chicago by midseason.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo, 22, is new to the Cubs’ system, having been acquired in an early January trade in a deal that sent Andrew Cashner to the Padres. Rizzo was ranked 37th on the list, and, like Jackson, is expected to start the year at AAA Iowa before possibly coming to Chicago mid-season.

Shortstop (probably soon-to-be third baseman) Javier Baez, 19, was the Cubs’ top draft pick in 2011. He was ranked 62nd, and will probably at low-A or A-ball next year. His time is still a long way off.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind: with 30 teams in baseball, mathematically, each team should have about three players in the top 100 (3.333 to be more precise (3.333333 to be even more precise (I could go on))). The Cubs, therefore, are actually slightly behind the curve.

It’s fair to guess that the only other player who was close to making the list was outfielder Matt Szczur, who is uniquely athletic, and had modest success in his first full professional season in 2011. The Cubs’ top pitching prospect, Trey McNutt, is coming off an injury-filled, disappointing 2011 season. Otherwise, you can assume he would have been in there somewhere as well.

Fear not. The future remains bright in the Cubs’ system, but it shines brightest at the lowest levels. Once a number of those untested youngsters are tested – and pass – the Cubs’ farm system will be getting a great deal more due.

  • http://dailybigten.com DBT

    Positioning, Brett. Positioning.

    The Cubs have three of the top 62 prospects.

    If you look at it that way, they’re ahead of the curve.

    /glass half full.

    • Brian Myers

      It’s actually sad when your farm system has 3 guys on the list. One of the top 100 is a 2011 #1 draft pick (which means he’s still graded out high because of his potential, not your system) and a guy you traded for. It means they’ve “developed” 1 person thought of as having real high value. That’s more of a “my glass was almost empty until they poured a little more water in” situation.

  • Cubsfaninky

    I like the glass half full way of thinking

    • http://aeonimaging.com Cubbie Blues

      The glass would just be too big if it was half full.

      The way to look at the glass would be is it being filled or is it being emptied. I think we can all see that the front office is trying to over flow the dang thing (can’t have too many assets).

      • ferrets_bueller

        Glass is NOT half full or half empty! We are not in a vacuum! Its full- half of water, half of air.

        • DocWimsey

          And if the air-pressure is not high enough, then a lot of the liquid would turn to H20 vapor, too! PV=nRT, dudes!

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    None of top 32. Below curve

    • JB88

      But if the Cubs land Cepedes and/or Soler, that number would probably jump to 5 top 100. Ahead of the curve ;)

    • DocWimsey

      If all teams had equal farm systems, then we’d expect 10 of them to have no prospects in the top 32, 11 to have 1, 6 to have 2, 2 to have 3 and 1 to have 4.

      Upshot? There really is not much of a curve here!

    • Hawkeyegrad

      I know I’m in the minority but I really think the farm system has been on a slow upswing since Wilkins started running the drafts and then last year it took a big step forward after Wilkins was given the resources. Had you not taken Guyer, Hak-Ju Lee (46 on the new list), and Archer (74 on the new list) out of the system to get Garza you would have 5 guys on the list with Guyer just too old to be on the list but no less qualified. Another Cubs farm product, Cashner, was converted to Rizzo. Cashner, Guyer, Jackson, Lee, and Baez were signed or drafted by Wilkins.

      While Wilkins first couple of 1st round picks, Colvin and Vitters, may not make it, 3 out of his next four 1st round picks look pretty good; Cashner, Jackson, and Baez (Hayden Simpson being the 4th). He also signed or drafted Castro (FA), Jeff S (5th round), Campana (13 round), and James Russell (14th round) in the later rounds in 2006, 2007, and 2008. It is too early to know what other role players he might have found in some later drafts (I’m not calling Castro a role player).

      With what Theo did in Boston and Jed did in SD and all the support they have added, it really makes excited to see what these three do together in these upcoming drafts.

      • Cedlandrum

        Lee and Castro were signed as international free agents. They were not signed by Wilken. Fleita probably had more to do with for sure Castro, and even Lee. The rest of the point is o.k. though.

        • JulioZuleta

          don’t forget Archer was acquired via trade, so that had less to do with him too. I see what you’re saying, but if you have to list Campana as a success story, it just shows how bad he’s been. I hope and assume he has very little say in this year’s draft.

  • BD

    I would like to see this list in 2-3 years, once our low-level prospects are moving up and Theo/Jed have a couple drafts to build with.

  • King Jeff

    I can’t believe Baez is ranked that high with his age and experience level. It’s going to be a fun season following some of these young guys.

  • big george

    IT IS SURE GOING TO BE FUN BUT AS THEO SAID WINNING IS EVEN MORE FUN GO CUBS

  • EQ76

    yeah, and remember.. this is a preseason ranking.. we could end the year with 5-6 in the top 100.. you never know!

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Absolutely not impossible. There are a lot of guys lurking in the low minors who should move up the rankings pretty quickly when they start to play in full season leagues in the states. Six guys in the Top 100 at the start of next season is certainly possible, and if the Cubs can maintain their success on the international free agency front, that number could drift a little higher.

  • ogyu

    Curve, shmurve. The only curve that matters is the one these players are swinging at/throwing.

  • Jeff L

    While the Cubs have 3 top 100 prospects it doesn’t compare to what the Cardinals have and the Pirates. Pirates have more top 100 prospects with a couple of starting pitchers in the top 30. The same goes for the Cardinals. I’ve seen it many times in the past unless you spend money the only way to win through the organization is coming up with top pitching prospects. The Cubs once did that with Kerry Wood, Big Z, and Mark Prior. The Rays are doing that today but still have not won a championship. Unless we start going after top pitching like we should have with Darvish we won’t see a Championship ever. If we are going to go down this path it’s going to take a long time and we are going to have to be in 5th for many years. We also have to get extremely lucky in the draft with an up and coming starting pitching prospect.

    • RCB

      Pitching prospects are by nature extremely volatile assets. I would much prefer to have a farm system of extremely strong position players(who are more stable) then one of pitching prospects. Look at what the Yankees did, built an extremely good rotation through smart trades and signings. Ditto bullpen. Bullpens can be remade on the fly and cheaply. Through FA this year, you could have built a very solid rotation on the cheap from some combo of Oswalt, Kuroda, Wilson, Edwin Jackson, etc etc.

      • Jeff L

        No, I agree with you we should have went out and got free agents like Wilson and Darvish, but with what Epstein and what seems a majority of fans on this site want to do the only way to build a winner is with pitching prospects. That is if you don’t want to spend any money. Pitching wins championships not hitting.

        • RCB

          Getting Wilson or Darvish makes zero sense for the Cubs at this point. Especially Darvish, considering they paid 100+m for someone with no major league track record. Maybe he’ll earn the money, but it’s unlikely.

          And no, the only way to build a winner is not with pitching prospects. If, for example, Rizzo/Jackson/Castro/Baez were all up in the majors and in their prime right now, we could have built a solid rotation through FA. What Theo is doing is similar to that, collecting a lot of starting pitching through FA(Maholm) and trades(Wood/Volstad) so that you have a ton of depth in the rotation that is cheap and when it is time, you can easily throw money at top-tier starting pitchers to add to your strong core of young position players and solid depth at rotation. And like I said, a bullpen can be remade easily and cheaply(See arizona last year).

          • DocWimsey

            Even at the draft level, a few people have shown that batters tend to be a better investment than pitchers in that highly-touted batters have a much higher success rate than highly-touted pitchers. It is likely that too many of the increased workload of minor league ball relative to amateur ball ruins the arms of a lot of pitchers.

            • Kyle

              I’d like to see that research.

              It’s a bit cyclical. The moment everyone in baseball notices how undervalued a certain draft area is (like, say, college hitters), everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Next thing you know, they are overvalued and other areas are undervalued. You just have to stay ahead of the curve.

              • DocWimsey

                I seem to recall the results being summarized by Neyer or James at one point, and it frequently comes up around draft time. At any rate, it comes down to is that you expect to get 1 good MLB pitcher given X prospects and 1 good MLB position player given Y prospects of the same “rank” and Y << X.

                Now, this does not separate the middle infielders from the corner outfielders for position players and thus is a little misleading. For example, it might be that SS are better investments than pitchers but pitchers better investments than OFers. When you get down to it, putting pitchers and position players on the same list might be foolhardy all the while: we probably should have separate lists for the two.

                But the big problem is that pitchers are always doing something that damages their arms over a short period of time, whereas position players are doing things damage their bodies over long periods of time. We see higher "mortality" rates at the MLB level, and that's just carrying over from the miLB level.

                • RCB

                  Nailed exactly what I was getting at. It’s not that hitters or pitchers are under/over valued, it’s just that hitters tend to be more easily predicted and stable over a long period of time. Rarely is something like Adam Dunn’s utter collapse seen, whereas Matusz’s velocity completely disappearing happens quite often.

                  Look at Lincecum, one of the best pitchers in the game, yet people are hesitant to give him a huge deal(thought someone will) because of his declining velocity even though he’s still incredibly young. Giving a pitcher a long term deal is more risky than a hitter, because you can look at a hitter’s track record and reasonably extrapolate(Minus a few exceptions both ways, see Dunn on one hand and Bautista on the other) their future performance. With pitchers, anything could happen.

        • Brian

          Who were you going to pair these two prized possessions with?. It seems like you want the Cubs to have a billion dollar payroll this year, instead of stability over many years.

  • John (ibcnu2222)

    Which team has the most prospects in the top 100? Where would Sappelt fall on the list?

    • Quintz

      Sappelt might crack top 1000.

    • Kyle

      Sappelt has too much MLB time to be considered for most prospect lists.

      • CubFan Paul

        would you rather have Sappelt or Campana as the 5th OF next year?

        • Kyle

          Sappelt, and it isn’t particularly close.

          Campana might have a career as an average 5th outfielder. That’s his upside. He may not even be that good.

          Sappelt’s downside is that he’s an average fourth outfielder. I think he has the upside to be an average starter.

          • Quintz

            Campana, but purely for my own entertainment. It’s like watching a lightning fast midget bobble-head doll……. though, as said previously, there is a chance he is turrrrible.

          • CubFan Paul

            cool. that’s how i feel too ..Theo&Co wore masks and carried guns when they dealt Marshall ..or jocketty is desperate

            • Kyle

              I agree. I think that is my favorite Cubs trade of the last 20 years. It’s really that much of a Moneyball-style steal.

              • DocWimsey

                I agree. Even if it does not work out, then it was the right sort of “mistake.” Baseball is probabilistic, after all.

              • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

                I’d have to put Hendry’s heist of Pittsburgh above it, but the Marshall deal is certainly near the top of my list.

                • JB88

                  Hendry’s trade for Lee may be my favorite trade in the last 20 years.

                  Until the last few years, Hendry absolutely robbed some of the weak sisters of the NL for a number of years.

                • Deer

                  How is the Marshall deal already a clear winner? Are you projecting Travis Wood will be a mainstay in the rotation for years to come? I hope he is but there’s no track record there yet.

                  • RCB

                    Obviously, it’s hard to say with certainty that the Cubs clearly won, but when you can get a solid young starter with 5 years of control plus two prospects for one year of a reliever, there is very few times where you don’t jump on that deal without hesitation. Especially when rebuilding.

                    • RCB

                      Sean Marshall provided 2.8 WAR last year. Travis Wood provided 1.1 WAR after running in to a large BABIP inflation and the 2.2WAR he produced his rookie season is likely closer to his true talent level.

                      Now given that he is cheaper than Marshall, younger and under control for more years, you start to see why people are saying that the Cubs clearly win. Even if none of the prospects ever reach the Majors, the Cubs likely turned ~3WAR this year(Which doesn’t benefit us) to likely more than 10 WAR over the span of multiple seasons when it will be of more use.

                  • JB88

                    I can’t speak to those who are declaring a clear cut winner, but sort of the theory is that you want to turn short term assets into long term assets.

                    So you trade Marshall (1 yr control) for Wood (4 yrs control), plus Sappalt (likely a 4th OF type), and a C or C+ level prospect in Torreyes. All in all, you traded an overvalued commodity (in Marshall) for a LH starter who you control fairly cheaply for 4 years, another ML-level OFer, and a high upside prospect. That is no matter what Marshall does next year a win.

                    • Deer

                      What if Wood is bad and can’t stay in the rotation and the 2 prospects make no impact? What good does 4 yrs of control do if he’s bad? Also, why is it a given the Cubs couldn’t extend Marshall? Are we that strapped for cash suddenly? Once the Cubs are good again, hopefully in the next 2 yrs, they’ll end up spending similar money to get a guy like Marshall than he would have cost on the market. Look at what Theo did in Boston, it will happen again soon, and that will be a good thing.

                    • BetterNews

                      I wouldn’t say Marshall was “overvalued.” Come on now.

  • Jeff L

    Two players from the Garza trade makes the top 100 for the Rays… Shortstop Hak-Jus Lee comes in at 46 and RHP Chris Archer comes in at 74

    • yield51

      Archer has dropped 27 spots since last years rankings. Guyer is probably a AAAA player. Chirinos is a 27 Y/O with a minor league career .260 BA. Fuld is 30, and is a dime a dozen type of player. I do like Lee, but he is still a prospect, he may never develop his hitting tools. I think it is fair to say regardless if we keep Garza or move him for future pieces, the Cubs won this trade.

      • DocWimsey

        Pro-Hendry propaganda! I distinctly remember all 5 guys carrying the Rays to the WS title this year…..

  • Mark

    This is kind of weak! There are 30 teams, so I’m guessing that most teams have three players in the top 100 prospects.

    Here’s one for you….”Cubs will have at least one player in the All Star Game”.

    Must be the offseason with posts like this!

  • yield51

    “It’s fair to guess that the only other player who was close to making the list was outfielder Matt Szczur”

    Dan Vogelbach also has to be close to cracking top 100. He was number ten on MLB first baseman list. Especially considering the ‘weighted’ rankings at premium offensive positions (1B).

    • Kyle

      Vogelbach would not be particularly close to the top 100 lists.

      Keep in mind that there are 7 positions (if we cram outfield into one), so that’s 70 prospects right there. Add in 70 pitchers, and the 10th guy at any given position isn’t a top-100 prospect.

      Vogelbach, while we are all excited about him, was the 68th player selected in last year’s draft. He’s probably in the 150-200 range in terms of ranking all prospects right now. A great first full pro season might have him cracking the bottom of the top 100 next year, though.

    • Quintz

      I like the “weighted” rankings remark. Only top 4 at first made list, and he was number 10. So probably not real close to cracking top 100.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I loved the repeating decimal joke.  I could read it over and over.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ba dum ching.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Glad someone caught that, haha.

        • AP

          I loved the repeating number joke as well. Well played, sir.

  • tjtrigo

    Does anyone know where Cepedes would fall in the top 100?

    • Kyle

      Top 15-25, according to most of the columnists I’ve read.

      • CubSouth

        He wouldn’t fall into it anywhere. They did the list under the new CBS rules. An international player above 23 years old is not considered a rookie, therefore, Cespedes and Darvish would not qualify.

        • Toosh

          When did CBS get involved with baseball again?

          • CubSouth

            Lol, I meant to type CBA, this darn smart phone isn’t too smart.

  • Kevin

    Why isn’t there any talk about the compensation the Cubs owe the Red Sox for Theo? I don’t understand why baseball is dragging their feet. The Cubs need to move on and the sooner they know the sooner they can plan for the future.

    • Kyle

      What do you mean “why isn’t there any talk”? We talk about it pretty much every day. But at this point, we’re all just waiting on the commissioner’s office to decide.

    • DocWimsey

      And, let’s face it, most of the talk is between a very small number of individuals. As we just saw with the Fielder deal, much (if not most) of what happens is unavailable to us.

  • AB

    Names linked to Garza
    (assuming DET is still an option)

    Banuelos (NYY) # 13
    Turner (DET) # 15
    Lindor (TOR) #32
    Castellanos (DET) #51
    Gose (TOR) #57
    Marisnick (TOR) #58
    Smyly (DET) #82

  • Steve

    I agree with RCB. You build a winning team by developing position players and use the pitching “prospects” to acquire proven starting pitching. As I mentioned in a post earlier in the year, if the Cubs were a contending team this year, and were in need of a top of the rotation starter, what would WE be willing to give up for Garza?? Two pitching “prospects”?? Um, two words… HELL YES!

    • Jeff L

      Steve I completely disagree with you. Look at the Cubs of 2003 they “almost or should have” won with their young starting pitching prospects. The Cardinals won the World Series because of pitchers coming through their organization like Carpenter. You don’t just win with position players coming up through the organization. I’m not saying that doesn’t help. Also, it’s important to have a great bullpen which is something the Cubs have or had. Like I said before pitching wins championships not hitting. And there is no guarantee that Ricketts will ever spend the money needed for top pitching free agents. But by what you guys are saying once we have 3 more prospects who become good hitters in the Cubs lineup the Cubs are going to trade or get free agent pitchers??? If Ricketts isn’t willing top spend money on a 25 year old phenom in Darvish or even go out and get Wilson what makes you think he will ever spend money on free agent pitching. You can have a killer lineup but without pitching you got nothing. One thing Epstein said coming is was that we have to improve our starting rotation. Do you guys think it has improved from last year. Do you see any light on the horizon when it comes to starting pitching in our farm system. I don’t think so.

      • Toosh

        Chris Carpenter did not come up with the Cardinals.

        • DocWimsey

          Cardinals, Blue Jays, whatever: they both have crests, right?

          • Toosh

            You are right. Carpenter didn’t become what he is today until he started pitching for Tony LaJuica. Enough written.

      • RCB

        Hurray, someone agrees with me! I feel special.

        To Jeff:
        1. As I addressed earlier, signing Wilson or Darvish makes absolutely zero sense at this point. Especially Darvish, who cost over 100 million and has no track record with MLB hitting. We are not in a place to need top tier pitching right now and the money that would’ve been spent on that can(and has) been used elsewhere and in better ways.

        2. I have absolutely no doubt that when the time comes, Ricketts will open the pocket books for the free agents we need. There is a reason that the Cubs front office has been developing additional sources of revenue.

        3. The pitching rotation has improved from last year. We have far more depth at the position to than we did last year. And again, like I stated previously, it is very easy to build a good-to-great rotation through FA/trades. Look at the Yankees top 3 pitchers(CC, Kuroda, Pineda), none of which were brought up through their system.

        4. There are many ways to win a championship, but the best way? Get to the playoffs often, which means sustained success. Throwing your money around at players who will not be of use to you(Wilson/Darvish) is not one of those.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    for all the people that are drooling over cepedes and trying to determine weather or not to give him this monster contract, i ask this… Lahair has been tearing it up in the minors, just had an impressive offseason in the VWL, and is (probably) the same age as cepedes. can we just trim a touch of that true blue cubbie faith, that stuff that money cant buy, and shoot just a little bit to our STARTING 1at baseman! he has already proven all the things with the bat that we can only hope cepedes does and there seems to be so little support for the guy. i like many other cub fans am thrilled at how the club looks at first. however it all starts with Lahair right now. so im encouraging cub fans to show the guy a little more love. for cub fans it just comes natural.

    • Kyle

      If LaHair were a plus-defensive CFer instead of a poor defensive 1b, then I’d be a lot more excited about him, too.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        i guesss nobody gets where im comming from on this one.

        • Cheryl

          I get where you’re coming from and agree. I do have a question. Where did LaHair get the tag that he was poor at defense? He didn’t seem to show that in the brief time he was up with the cubs. In fact, who had the most errors of all the cubs from last year – Castro? Castro is a very good player. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just pointing out that that is a weakness of his. Yet because he is so good in other areass that it is rarely mentioned. We haven’t seen LaHair that much, unless I’m mistaken, to say he is poor in defense.

          • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

            thank you cheryl… and yea that too!

          • Kyle

            Errors are a poor way to measure defense.

            LaHair’s reputation as a poor defensive first basemen comes from nearly a decade in the minor leagues of scouts watching him. It didn’t just magically appear.

            • Cheryl

              Thanks. I just wondered where it came from – so scouts say he is poor in defense – not minor league managers or coaches. Appreciate the clarification. But all I had to go on was errors and I agree that that only tells part of the story.

      • DocWimsey

        Kyle’s point is an important one. ESPN had a discussion of what AAAA players are, and the closest thing to a consensus is that they are guys who would be average MLB hitters but who cannot play a position.

        The problem is that you move guys who cannot play a position to 1st or LF: and MLB average is below average at those positions.

        On the other hand, stick an MLB average bat in CF, SS or catcher, and you have an above-average bat at that position.

        • Cheryl

          And yet you have how many very good defensive and offensive first basemen – Derrick Lee among others,

    • JB88

      But that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. You are comparing possibly a one-tool prospect (LaHair) to at least a three-tool (and probably a four-tool) prospect in Cepedes. It is great that LaHair can hit homers, but that is really all he can do and does so at a position that routinely is where teams hide bad defenders. Cepedes is slotted to play CF, do so quite above average, hit with power, and has VG to G arm strength. Add to that he likely has enough speed to qualify that tool as well, and well, you just have a more valuable prospect than LaHair.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      LaHair projects to do one thing: hit for power.

      Cespedes projects to hit for power, play average-to-plus defense, and has average-to-plus speed.

      I’d love to see LaHair have a great season (or half season, as if he is having a great season the Cubs should trade him in July), but let’s not put him in the same category as Cespedes. That would be like comparing Brett Jackson to Wily Mo Pena.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        or comparing an unproven cuban, for a proven cub, just because we hope hes that good. again im not comparing the two players just the fans reaction. cepedes is not a cub… ill be in his courner when he is. and if we give him a bunch of money and he comes to chicago ill put my faith in him too.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    okay like i said in my post… im only pointing out the bats here. i also understand that the top prospect in the farm is a “plus- defender” and a possible 5 tool player at cf. Lahair is a cub now… hes our starting first baseman. cepedes is unproven, you cant even prove his age let alone his transition to the majors. to be totally clear on this im not comparing anything aside from the fans drooling on cepedes and writeing off a CUB that has done nothing but show that he can hit.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    and though my argument may only create another argument, my bottom line is can our 1st baseman get a little love? i dont think its to much of a stretch to think that Lahair bats clean up and leads the team in HR RBI and well maybe ERRORS too.

  • Dick

    LaHair will be a starting corner outfielder by August with Rizzo at 1st. They will desperately need bats by then. Junior Lake will be the starting 3rd baseman after Stewart flames out.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      If Stewart does flame out, Vitters will get the call before Lake. And I don’t see Vitters failing so badly so quickly that Lake gets a shot at the majors in 2012 (not counting a September call up).

    • BetterNews

      Dick-Who would he replace? Are you saying Soriano will be gone by then?

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    okay guys ill come out and say it… im not real high on cepedes and the potential conract/signing bonus/poss PED/dont know how old he is/ hasnt done nothing outside cuba/hype hype hype!!! and yes i like brian Lahair only because hes our starting 1st baseman and has paid ALOT of dues to get there. all my other argument were smoke screens to hide my own issues… sorry! sue me!

    • Edwin

      How do you know LaHair isn’t actually 34, and is also lying about his age?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Cespedes’s birthday has been a matter of record since he first appeared on the international baseball scene years ago. I highly doubt that the Cuban government is conspiring with him to allow him to cover up his real age.

      As for the PED nonsense… just stop. He’s played in multiple international competitions, and those competition tend to require Olympic levels of drug testing. We have more reason to be confident that Cespedes is clean than we do any nearly any other player in baseball. Very few American players ever face anything as stringent as the Olympic standard blood test once – given the number of international tournaments Cespedes has been in, I think he must have passed one at least two or three times.

      It’s fine to be skeptical that Cespedes can be a success in the majors, but let’s leave these age/drug accusations out of it. Those are both problems that crop up time to time on the international free agent circuit, but I don’t think either of them remotely applies to the case of Cespedes.

      • Kyle

        But if he’s got brownish skin and comes from south of America, he must be lying about his age. All those different countries are exactly the same, really.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    you make a statement about to players and BN comes at you with calculators and protractors and graphs and split you down the middle!!! but i love it here, and i love all you micro managers. ill admit i get a lot of my insight from your hard work.

  • Brian in San Diego

    The average of prospects ranking combined is 168.33 (1+2+3+….99+100=5050 / 30teams = 168.3333) we are at 132. Which means we are 22% above average. Which is equal to 12th among MLB teams. And it is getting better, sveet!!!!

  • edgar

    cant wait till the minor league reports start

  • Kyle

    He has a very large track record. Most of it happens to be in the minors.

    Let’s just get all this out of the way: Every player in MLB is a question mark. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Starlin Castro might wake up tomorrow with Steve Sax disease and become nearly worthless. Ian Stewart might figure it out and hit 40 HRs. Tim Lincecum’s elbow could snap on his next pitch.

    Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way:

    We can make reasonable projections about what players will do in the near future. We can say “Based on his track record, X is the most likely result.”

    And in the hands of someone who understands how to properly adjust them, AA and AAA performance can be just as predictive of future success as MLB peformance is. (Bill James actually proved this pretty convincingly as far back as the mid 1980s.)

    Okay, now take Travis Wood.

    He throws in the low 90s. He’s adequate secondary stuff. He doesn’t walk very many, he doesn’t give up very many home runs for a fly ball pitcher (especially outside of GABP). He strikes out a reasonable number of guys.

    Based on all that, we can feel very comfortable projecting him to be an average starter in the major leagues. We can feel just as comfortable projecting him to that as we would a pitcher of the same age and stuff who has 800 MLB innings.

    So yes, I’m already penciling in Travis Wood as a league average or better starter for the next five years. I have very good reason to do so.

    • DocWimsey

      And, just to re-emphasize the point, even if Wood does not work out, then he is the SORT of “risk” that the Cubs should be taking. At best, Marshall was not going to hugely improve the Cubs chances of making post-season; however, at best, Wood could do so. Cutting down on the walks and extra-base hits allowed by this staff should create a few more W flags.

      If Wood does not pan out, well, this is Risk, not chess….

  • jim

    Selig now has his new contract. Expect compensation announement soon. Vitters?

  • rcleven
    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Nice find. Thanks for linking it.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      what about hayden simpson? does anyone know anything about whats up with him these days? i didnt see him in any rotation in the farm, did i miss something?

      • ferrets_bueller

        he’s actually been mentioned on this site just a few hours ago.  He’s had some non-baseball health issues, and will be making a comeback this season, hopefully.

  • rocky8263

    Not to sound gay or to gross anyone out but a surefire test for Cespedes’ age is as follows. At 30 I noticed my testes drooped to the water while sitting. So all we need to do is find a spanish speaking person to casually ask him if his balls hit the water.

    • FromFenwayPahk

      SSS

    • Edwin

      Or, we find an official birth certificate. I like this idea much better.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      wow… great idea… we should really do that

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