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Absolutely nothing.

Wins are easily the single most useless stat for pitchers. That point was made yet again in Omaha on Thursday night. In a wild offensive game that saw a combined 31 hits and five errors, Alberto Cabrera came into the game in the sixth inning with the score knotted at 7-7. He left the game, three outs later, with the Cubs trailing 9-7.

But thanks to a huge inning from the Cub hitters in the top of the seventh, Cabrera got the win. There is no rational argument by which he deserved the win. He only pitched one inning, he did not pitch particularly well, he did not hold onto to the lead or tie, and he was on the mound when his team fell behind. But in the box score he gets the W and his record moves to 2-0. That makes no sense.

And yet we are stuck with wins. They litter every box score and nearly every baseball column you are likely to find (including mine). It’s a stat is not likely to go away anytime soon. Sadly.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Surprisingly, the wind was not blowing out in the Cubs 12-11 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies split a doubleheader. In the opener they lost 4-1, but they took the nightcap 3-0.
Daytona – The Cubs could not make a strong start hold up as they lost 5-4.
Peoria – The Chiefs gave up one bad inning, but that was enough to result in the 8-5 loss.
Boise – Once again, Boise was sunk by a big inning. They lost 12-11.
Arizona – Just like Peoria and Boise, the AZL Cubs allowed a big inning and it cost them the loss. The final was 7-2.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Welington Castillo launched his fourth home run of the season as part of a two hit game. He’s been in a terrible slump lately; hopefully this game will get him going again.
  • [Iowa] Diory Hernandez also homered as part of a three hit game. The minor league veteran was manning first base for the Cubs in this game.
  • [Iowa] There was not a lot of good news on the mound for the Cubs, but Jay Jackson and Michael Bowden did both manage to pitch pretty well to finish out the game.
  • [Tennessee] Zach Rosscup could not get out of the first inning in Game One, but after he left the bullpen of Ty’relle Harris and Kevin Rhoderick pitched a pretty good game.
  • [Tennessee] The biggest story from the doubleheader was Nick Struck. He pitched six innings in Game Two and allowed just three hits while striking out seven. He picked up his tenth win (I know, I know).
  • [Daytona] Matt Loosen pitched into the seventh inning, striking out six. The biggest blemish on his start were the three walks he allowed.
  • [Daytona] Rubi Silva hit his eighth triple of the season in this game.
  • [Peoria] Taiwan Easterling doubled and homered (number three this season) as part of his three hit game. He also stole his 16th base.
  • [Peoria] 2012 draftee Chadd Krist made his Peoria debut in this game. He finished 2 for 4 with a double.
  • [Boise] Michael Heesh pitched two innings of one hit ball in relief and finished with three strike outs.
  • [Boise] Three different Hawks hit home runs in this game. Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya each hit their second; Rock Shoulders hit his fourth.
  • [Boise] Bijan Rademacher had another very nice game. He finished 3 for 4 with a double and a walk.
  • [Arizona] Matt Iannazzo pitched very well for the AZL Cubs. He lasted 3.1 innings in relief and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out six.
  • [Arizona] Daniel Vogelbach hit his fifth home run in this game. His two run shot in the fourth inning accounted for all the Cubs’ runs.
  • [Arizona] Ben Carhart also had a nice game. He finished 3 for 4 with two doubles.

Other Minor League Notes

  • If we count the All-Star game, Josh Vitters has walked in consecutive games. And even if we don’t count the All-Star game, he has seven walks in his last ten games. Seven!
  • The line for Chris Volstad in this game: 2 Innings, 6 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 2 walks, 1 strikeout. Ouch.
  • The Daytona Cubs didn’t exactly turn this one into a track meet, but they did have three total stolen bases thanks to Ronald Torreyes (his 8th), Matthew Szczur (his 30th) and John Andreoli (his 32nd).

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 39 – 53.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 18.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 10-11
Southern League North Division – Second : 3.0 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 10-11
Florida State League North Division – Fifth Place : 2.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 7-13
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place : 4.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 9 – 18
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 8.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 13 – 5
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 0.5 Game Behind

  • ETS

    Is there any reason at all that vogulbach is still in AZ?

    • ETS

      Vogelbach*

    • Mat B

      He really struggled in extended spring training. I’d like to see him stay where he is and show he can continue to dominate even after the pitchers have seen him a few times, and then move him up.

      • Scotti

        The kid was a high #2 pick who has a .700 slg% through 16 games. What anyone does in extended is pointless–they don’t even keep stats there. When it gets down to it extended is glorified BP. The only possible legitimate reason to keep him in AZ would be if they have him on a special conditioning program.

  • Mat B

    Very good points regarding wins for relievers in that type of situation. I do think though, that it is still a valid stat, in most cases, for starters. There are similar situations for starters, like giving up a lead in the top of the sixth inning and not coming back out for the seventh, while your teammates regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth. I don’t know. I’m sure there is a lot of speculation going on out there.

    • Cubbie Blues

      W/L records are VERY archaic. They don’t show how good of a game/season the pitcher had at all. You can lose a one run game and win after giving up 10. How do either one of those scenarios evaluate the pitchers performance. With the advent of sabermetrics we have much better ways of evaluating pitchers. Look at the season Garza had last year. He finished the year 10/10. Does that really show how well he pitched? Again, this year Dempster has a 4/3 record. Does that indicate someone with a 1.99 ERA?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      For starting pitchers I’d much rather use Quality Starts than Wins.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      You’re better off ignoring Wins and Losses for all pitchers.

      • hansman1982

        losses are useful for relief pitchers…you certaintly don’t want guys who consistently come in and cough up the lead.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          But what if they cough it up but the team comes back to win? No loss for him.
          Sure, it’s bad to have a high number…but the pitcher with the higher number of losses still might have had a MUCH better season than a pitcher with a couple losses.

    • ETS

      Wins are an awful stat. The only argument I can think of for them that makes any since is if you are a starting pitcher and, say for example, the wind is blowing out the hardest it has in 10 years. You end up giving up 5 runs to the other pitcher’s 8. That’s not going to go down as a quality start but you did “out duel” the other pitcher.

      This is why park normalized stats are even better yet.

  • BD

    Two things:

    1) What is Andreoli’s ceiling?

    2) I would prefer if the W-L record was replaced for starters with Quality starts vs. not. So, 4-2 would mean 4 quality starts out of 6. There would need to be some metric for quality outings so that relievers could use this as well. I know quality starts don’t tell the whole story either, but it’s much more useful to me than wins/losses.

    • Mat B

      Yeah, they’d have to rework the quality start stat to maybe factor in k/bb ratio. If a starter walks 6, but gets great defense behind him and only gives up 2 runs in 6 innings, I don’t really consider that real good quality. If they could work it out it could be better.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Totally agree on 2. It’s not perfect, but it’s simple enough, and it’s a HUGE upgrade.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Right now, based almost entirely on the numbers, as I see Andreoli as a fourth outfielder / starting outfielder in the right situation. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with his numbers this season.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      For me, its:
      “Meltdowns” and “Shutdowns” at Fangraphs for relief pitchers.
      “Game Score” for starters

    • andrew

      I like the quality start idea. I think that would satisfy the old school thought of the importance of a clutch outing without the reliance on the offenses performance. If the definition of quality starts ended up being that overall half of the starts in the majors would be quality, then it’d be perfect. Then if a player had a high ERA but still had more good starts than bad starts, you could attribute it to a couple bad games without delving through the game logs. according to espn Dempster is ranked 25th with a 69% quality start percentage (actually forget the ranking because it includes people with very few starts) Travis wood has a 70%. Shark has 53% Maholm 50%. Garza 63%. Volstad has 11% (honestly I’m amazed he had one quality start). Disregarding Wood, since his sample size is pretty small, That is pretty much how I’d rank the Cubs starters this year. Dempster, Garza, Samardzija, Maholm, and at the bottom of course Volstad. As for win percentage. Demp and wood are tied for first at 4-3. Then comes Maholm (6-6). Then Shark (6-8). Then Garza (4-7). So Wood and demp have still done best under this metric, which seems legit to me. But I dont think maholms performed better than Samardzija and certainly not better than Garza. Of course, most great pitchers are going to have a good to great win-loss record, but I think it really skews the pitchers that are merely good or average to look way better than they are, or more often, because getting a loss is easier than a win (for starters at least because of the 5 inning requirement), make them look worse than they are.

  • Blitzenjohn

    Volstad, ouch indeed. I’ve said this before, but I’d like to see how Volstad would do without the pressure of starting. Come in, get 1-6 outs, sit down. We’ll never know until it’s tried, but as a SP he’s just isn’t effective.

  • Nick

    Important News:

  • Nick
    • Carew

      I dont think theyd trade Garza, Barney, AND LaHair. It would just be 2 of the 3. But I can see Junior Lake being the third piece.

    • TonyS

      That seems like a lot to give up for castellanos and turner. At the start of the year i would have said yes in a heartbeat but barney surely has way more value now as do lahair, vitters and lake. Castellanos is only in a ball and turner has plateaued a bit as well i think. The 3rd and 4th parts from the tigers would need to be far better than throw ins.

      • Nick

        Castellanos is in double a ball and almost major league ready. Turner has already pitched in the majors this year

        • Edwin

          I’d do that trade in a heartbeat. Barney has value for now, but only because he’s salary controlled. Once his salary starts to increase he loses value quickly.

          Garza probably isn’t as good as most Cubs fans think he is. Looking at his pitching metrics, he’s a good but not great pitcher. He’ll be 29 at the start of next season, and he’s going to get even more expensive. He probably has similar value to Ted Lilly when Ted was traded.

          LaHair is valuable, but he’s not a proven commodity. He doesn’t really have a future with the Cubs. I don’t really know why the Tigers would want him.

          Yeah, if the Cubs were offered this deal they should take it and not look back, but there’s no way they get offered this deal.

          • Mat B

            I don’t want to give up Barney. Ozzie Smith was in the majors for years as a no hit great glove shortstop. Through a lot of hard work, he made himself a pretty good major league hitter. I’d rather have Barney manning 2nd, than put out some Bozo who hits .290 with 12 home runs and commits 18 errors every season. Let’s see what Barney can do to improve himself offensively over the next couple seasons.

            • MikeW

              come on. This is someone playing a joke, right?

            • Cedlandrum

              That trade is giving up a major league number 1, a gold glove potential second baseman, and your number 5 hitter who was just an all star for 4 prospects. I don’t think that is a good trade and then he says throw in Lake and/or Vitters. That is a big dream of crap.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                Garza is not a number 1.
                Barney doesn’t hit enough to win a gold glove.
                The Cubs #5 hitter isn’t very good.
                -
                Castellanos is not going anywhere.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                And only two high quality prospects at that. That package should net more than two of the Tigers Top 10 guys. Garza alone should arguably net two of the Tigers Top 10 guys.

                The rumor that article is based on may be accurate (I didn’t see anything in it we didn’t already know, so it probably is), but the trade itself doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

                Except for the Tigers. If the Cubs took that deal they’d probably have a promotional night where they passed out suckers printed with Theo’ face.

                • Edwin

                  How does Garza alone net two of the Tigers top ten prospects? I’d be interested in the reasoning behind that.

                  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                    I don’t think the back end of the Tigers Top 10 is all that great. Jacob Turner and the #8, 9, or 10 is a realistic possibility.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    He’s one of the best starting pitchers available, he’s not a free agent until after the 2013 season, and it’s a sellers market.

                    Once you get past the two or three guys at the top, the Tigers’ farm system is not that great.

                    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/#list=det

                    For example, Andy Oliver and Jose Ortega are both in the Tigers’ Top 10. There is absolutely no reason the Cubs’ can’t do better than that in a trade for Garza.

                    • Edwin

                      Ok. That makes more sense.

                • andrew

                  Why do people insist on looking at trades in terms of a systems top ten. Think of this trade as getting two top 21 prospects in all of baseball (according to Sickels’ July 1 rankings). I’m no talent evaluator and have seen neither player play, but Sickels is and he has both Castellanos and Turner ranked higher than Rizzo. Two players of Rizzo talent, are close to the majors, are at positions of greatest need and havent started major league service time clocks yet for Barney (a league average second baseman overall in my opinion (thats not a knock on Barney as I think a team full of league average players at their positions is pretty solid)), Lahair, a good player but one that probably has not a big part of the future with the cubs anyways), Garza (obviously the centerpiece, but based on what the cubs gave (current 79th ranked prospect (Lee) and current 81st ranked (Archer) plus a few throw ins) when he had twice as many years of control left so his value cant go up) and Lake/Vitters (decent prospects but not even close to likely to be good major leaguers). I’d jump at that deal in an instant

              • Edwin

                Garza is not a “#1″. He had a great season last season, and is starting to regress. He’s an above average starter, but not much above average.

                Gold Glove awards are meaningless. Barney probably has more trade value than either Garza or Dempster just due to his low cost, but he’s not the type of player you need to keep long term.

                Where a hitter bats and how many all-star games they’ve played in is worthless. The Cubs traded for Cesar Izturis, who was an all-star for the Dodgers. Didn’t seem to help him much. LaHair is a good hitting cheap first basemen, but he’s probably only as valuable as his bat carries him. I think he’ll wind up being a league average hitter at 1B, which is great, but it’s not like he’s a blue chip trade candidate.

                • Cedlandrum

                  Cesar Izturis was not an all star the year they traded him. Garza may not be a number one, but he has that ceiling and showed a lot of it last year and as far as Gold Gloves not being important, when you have a hole in your team, you try to acquire the best player possible. Well if there are no guys with + bats, you try to get the guy who has a passable bat with ++ defense.

                  We can call LaHair not great, but the he was voted into the All-Star game by his peers. He also is having a pretty good year overall. He showed right before the break that he is adjusting after the league adjusted to him. He isn’t great, but his reputation is at a high level right now, so you don’t give him away. He talks walks and can hit it out of the park. Look at the landscape of the league there aren’t a ton of guys available that are leaps and bounds higher.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Izturis was one of those “oh, crap, somebody cancelled and we need somebody on short notice!!!” All Star’s in 2005. When the trade was made, it was lauded as win-win for the Dodgers, as they got Maddux and got rid of Izturis: addition and addition-by-deletion all at once!

                • Cedlandrum

                  Also Garza’s regression is debatable. He seems to have had a bit more bad luck this year. Go look at his peripherals.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Garza’s xFIP is about the same as Dempster’s (3.7), and both are in the Top 30. That’s important to remember because you expect each team to have one pitcher in the Top 30, and that should be what people mean by a “#1″ pitcher.

                    • Edwin

                      I disagree. Just because a pitcher is in the top 30 doesn’t make them an elite pitcher, which is generally what is implied with #1 status. A better way would be to look at a pitcher’s FIP, xFIP, or whatever metric you would like to use, and see how many Standard Deviations above average the pitcher is.

                      Garza is currently 33rd in xFIP with 3.69. He’s .43 standard deviations above average.

                    • andrew

                      I’m a little wary of xFIP. According to Fangraphs, Samardzija has a lower xFIP than both Demp and Garza. Does this cubs team really have three #1 pitchers on it? I don’t think so. I don’t think it means I disregard the stats because a lot of good pitchers are at the top of the list too but I do think a pitcher needs more than a good FIP to be considered a number one because there are some random pitchers near the top. For example Scherzer of the tigers has a higher xFIP than Verlander. Are we really going to say hes better than Verlander or even on the same level as him?

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Oh, and as a reminder: xFIP is proportional to:
                    ((13*(FB% * League-average HR/FB rate))+(3*(BB+HBP-IBB))-(2*K))/IP

                    So, it’s basically “true” outcomes unaffected by fielders. If a guy’s home runs are up because his HR/FB ratio is high (as I think Garza’s is), then this assumes some measure of bad luck.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Doc I get smarter everytime you post, seriously you been a great influence in the blog, you should really contact Brett and write up a few articles that explain these metrics in great detail. Your BN’s Fangraph.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I’d be way into that.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      It would be a great series for the winter: Advanced Stats 101 with Doc.

                    • Drew7

                      And BN gains a little more sex-appeal with each MG-appearance.

                    • Joker

                      I’d be in to it to, but I’m already confident that Doc’s class would make my head explode. What we need is a Doc to casual fan explanation. Me am slow.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      My blushes! I am a little busy now: I’m off to Australia this weekend to (what else?) do my segment in a shortcourse on “biostatistics” for a bunch of grad students. (I do the part on how we figure out evolutionary relationships among species: and you’d be surprised at the things that this has in common with testing ideas about how baseball players perform!)

                      However, I’d be happy to put together a couple of “short articles” trying to Anglify both statistics and probability models some time in August. (I’ll update the “breaking down winning” then, too….)

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Sweet.

                    • MaxM1908

                      I know I’ve become a huge baseball nerd when this gets me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It would be a great experience. At the risk of sounding like a complete moron, could I request one post with a statistics 101 overview? The last time I had to really think about standard deviation, regression, and probability was in high school. I’m sure many others on here would appreciate the refresher course before delving into the advanced analytics. Thanks, Doc, for all your insight. You are a great addition to this site.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      Is it too early to register for Doc’s class?

                  • Drew7

                    Garza:

                    2011 (rank):

                    ERA: 3.32 (26th)
                    FIP: 2.95 (8th)
                    xFIP: 3.19 (11th)

                    2012 (rank):

                    ERA: 4.32 (65th)
                    FIP: 4.37 (77th)
                    xFIP: 3.69 (31st)

                    OppBABIP is actually down .036 to .270, while K/9 is also down.

                    His xFIP will take into account HR/FB, and even that is .5 higher this year.

                • Mat B

                  How many people who make comments like, Barney is not a player you want to keep long term, made similar comments about Ozzie Smith early in his career. Barney is a much better hitter than Ozzie was early on.

                  • ncsujuri

                    Mat,

                    A different era entirely when teams could get by with a big gaping hole or 2 in their lineups. (Not that I think Darwin is that, but I’m just saying the comparison is off based on the era in my opinion).

                    • Mat B

                      That may be true, but Ozzie eventually became a very good hitter. Don’t you think Barney could, as well?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Ozzie always had a pretty good batting eye, so even early in his career when is BA was pretty low, his OBP actually a better than Barney’s, and often considerably. (So much for the “you cannot take walks if you do not have power” hypothesis!) Ozzie got a little better as a hitter, but his few “good” years were driven by a combination of low K’s and high BABiP.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Anyone have the age of Ozzie vs Barney. I’m guessing Ozzie was much younger when his BA was lower vs. Barney was still in the minors at the same time.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Okay Ozzie debuted at 22 vs Barney at 25 so Ozzie had three years before he started to become a consistent AS and MVP caliber player. So I just don’t see the comparison being all that valid.

                    • Mat B

                      Ozzie’s first year with the Padres was 1978. He was born in December of 1954, making him 23 during his first season. Barney was 24 his first partial season with the Cubs. That’s pretty comparable. Here’s the link to Barney’s stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/barneda01.shtml

                    • MichiganGoat

                      I was just looking at years (quick phone calculations) so thanks for the correction. I guess it’s possible but I don’t see Barney becoming an AS/MVP candidate in the next few years. He has value to a contending team that needs a 2B/SS and the Cubs should use that to their benefit.

                  • Mat B

                    His first 3 years in the league Ozzie’s OBP was never over .313 for a season, and was below .300 two of the first four seasons. As his BA improved so did his eye. Here’s the link to his stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/smithoz01.shtml

                    • hansman1982

                      For Ozzie’s first three seasons he carred an ISOD of .066.

                      Barney has an ISOD of .041.

                      Also, it appears that Barney’s early season power was either a mirage or he is not a full-time player and is breaking down already. Since June 1 he sports a pitiful .240 .275 .272 triple slash and has all of 4 XBH (all doubles).

                      If you think that might just be a slump, or bad luck or whatever, the last half of that stretch he is sporting a .212 .246 .242 triple slash.

                      While each of these are a small sample size, Barney is repeating the same pattern as last year – sizzling hot start and then falls off after May.

                      While I am not suggesting that Barney is a terrible player, if we can include him in a trade and increase the prospects significantly, by all means do it.

                  • Edwin

                    Mat,

                    Comparing any player to a HOF is fundamentally flawed. Hall of Fame caliber players are generally exceptions to the rules. I wouldn’t expect many players to have similar career paths to Hall of Famers.

                    • Mat B

                      You are quite right. I did pause before doing so, but the numbers are very similar, and I think Barney deserves a chance before people write him off, saying he is not a part of the future of the team.

                    • Mat B

                      I should also say, that I don’t expect Barney to become a Hall of Famer. I just think he is a very solid player with more upside than some give him credit for. I also want to say that I really appreciate the healthy debates I seem to spur anytime I post on here. Different opinions only make us different, not better or worse. Thanks everyone!

  • RY34

    boy that volstad sure is something!

    • DoTheLindy

      Did you know, in five of Volstad’s starts with the Cubs he had 2 outs in his ‘big inning’ with the Cubs still in the lead. If he would have gotten that out in 3 or 4, he would have left the game with the lead. Actually been in line to get a win. He did NOT have the mental makeup to make the right pitch, so he got the loss.

      But wins, as a stat don’t matter….

      WINS…the reason we play the game…don’t matter.

      • Edwin

        Wins matter to a team. Obviously.

        Using wins as a statistic to try and tell you the value of a pitcher is worthless. There are much better ways to do it.

        You’re talking about two separate things.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    We were talking about draft picks not signing and their commitments to college when Keith Law said Almora could’ve went back in the draft next year if he went to JuCo. Some thought he couldn’t get out of his commit to Miami. This is from Jim Callis:

    Teddy Stankiewicz, rhp, Fort Worth Christian HS, Richland Hills, Texas (Mets, second round): Stankiewicz was willing to sign for his pick value ($680,400) on draft day, but New York has yet to come within 10 percent of that number. He could forego a commitment to Arkansas and attend Seminole State (Okla.) JC if he doesn’t turn pro.

    Later in a chat:
    Brandon (Fayetteville, AR): Why would Stankiwecz go to JC over Arkansas where he signed?
    Jim Callis: To be eligible for the 2013 draft.
    -
    “Verbal commits” are not binding in the least.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If you’re able/willing to pay your own way, that’s right. The scholarship part, however, is binding. Once you sign, that’s the only school from whom you can receive a scholarship (save for exceptional circumstances). For top kids, it’s worth forgoing and paying for a year of JuCo. For many, however, it isn’t. The signed commitment absolutely means something.

      (And a verbal commit indeed means nothing. But we’re not talking about a verbal commit.)

      • Bails17

        Brett…your making me second guess myself here. But are you sure about that? The NCAA and NJCAA are two totally different organizations, and I don’t beleive that a player is unable to receive a NJCAA scholarship even after signing his letter of intent with an NCAA school.

  • Xavier B.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Brett Jackson 3 walks and stolen base last night. I was at the iCubs game last night and it was rough to watch with all the errors.

  • TampaCubsphan35

    With the first pick in the 2013 MLB Draft the Chicago Cubs pick Mark Appel, senior out of Stanford!!!!!!!!!!! Just read the Pirates were unable to sign him.

    • calicubsfan007

      Tampa: I have said it before, I will say it again. I am not sure that I want to take a chance on someone that has some sort of attitude issues. I think he is the second coming of matt harrington.

    • MaxM1908

      I wouldn’t count on it. Appel is a great talent, but next year’s class is going to be much better than this year’s. Unless Appel puts up another stellar year at Stanford, I’m not sure he’ll be considered the top prospect in the draft.

      • Njriv

        I wouldn’t worry about his attitude, I’m pretty sure he”ll mature. I also thought that next years draft was supposed to be better than this years, but today I read a couple of reports (I think one was Kieth Law?) saying it was weaker compared to this years.

        • MaxM1908

          Interesting. I wonder why there was so much consensus in June that 2013 would be a much better draft class.

        • Kyle

          It’s way, way too early to tell. Nobody really knows what those kids will look in 10 months.

        • calicubsfan007

          Njriv: Eh, Keith Law? I can’t see why it would be logical for him to already say that this upcoming class will be weaker, especially with it being quite a few months before the draft. Plus, Appel won’t be number 1, too many teams will be scared off by his price tag.

    • Kyle

      I really hope that if the Cubs get the No. 1 pick next year, someone better than Appel emerges.

      • Jackalope

        Do Mike Trout or Bryce Harper have any younger brothers?

        • Njriv

          Cubs have tried singing the siblings of stars, I remember the Cubs drafted Bryce Harper’s older brother Bryan in the 2012 draft and I remember a few years ago they also had Jonathan Papelbon’s younger brother Jeremy in their system.

        • Toby

          We all know how brothers work out. Billy Ripken and Ozzie Canseco come to mind.

          • MoneyBoy

            Let’s not forget the Reuschels … nor Richie (Dick) Allen and his brother Hank!

          • calicubsfan007

            Toby: Don’t forget about Jeremy Giambi. I think the guy had more run ins with the law and with the MLB than he had homers.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Luke, is it possible if Vogelbach loses more weight and develops more athleticism that the Cubs would think about moving him to catcher? I think the Cubs are very thin at catcher at the minor league level and obviously with Rizzo at first Vogelbach would be blocked their… I don’t see him at 3rd or in the outfield, not enough range or speed. If he developed into a catcher the Cubs would have a bonafied catching prospect in the minors… Something to think about.

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