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daytona cubs logoIn addition to the draft and the trade deadline, the middle of the season also marks the time when mid-season All Stars are announced in each of the four full season leagues. The first to announce this year is the High-A Florida State League.

The Cubs place four players on the FSL All-Star team, and all four are hitters. This is, I think, a good thing. The FSL is notorious for being a great pitchers league. Anyone who can hit well enough in that league to make an All Star team knows what they are doing at the plate. That doesn’t mean each is a great prospect and guaranteed for stardom, but it is a nice and not-insignificant accolade.

Two of the Cub prospects so honored should come as absolutely no surprise to any Cub fan with a pulse: Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. They are both among the best players in the organization as well as some of the best hitters in all of High-A.

Joining them is infielder Dustin Geiger. This one is not a great surprise to anyone who has been following the farm system. We quickly tagged Geiger as one of the breakout candidates to watch this season, and I think we can safely drop that “candidate.” This guy is breaking out in a big way, and it is good to see him recognized for it. (Geiger was also named the Cubs’ Minor Leaguer Player of the Month for May.)

John Andreoli is the fourth Cub selected. Last season Andreoli caught our attention as a high OBP base stealing threat. This season he has added some additional power to his game and is frequently featured in the middle of the Cubs order. He has spent a long time in Daytona now and is overdue for a promotion to Double A Tennessee, but at least he is continuing to produce at a high level while he’s waiting.

Congratulations to all these All-Stars. Hopefully these are the first four in a long line of Cub prospect All-Star accolades on the way this summer.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The bats erupted for a big win at home. The final in this blowout was 10-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies pulled ahead with a three run seventh and held on for the 8-6 win.
Daytona – The Cubs won a close one on the road, 1-0.
Kane County – The Cougars had the day off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins stretched his hitting streak to eight games with a 3 for 5 performance in this one.
  • [Iowa] Steve Clevenger also had a nice day at the plate. His 2 for 4 rehab outing included a double.
  • [Iowa] Starter Brooks Raley left the game after being hit with a line drive in the fourth inning.
  • [Iowa] Casey Coleman came on in relief and pitched well for 3.2 innings. He allowed just one hit while striking out two.
  • [Tennessee] Three more hits for Arismendy Alcantara, including another two doubles.
  • [Tennessee] And Matt Szczur matched Alcantara hit for hit. Szczur also stole his 15th base of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Ronald Torreyes finished with two hits, including his second home run.
  • [Tennessee] The catcher with the mustache, Chad Noble himself, finished this game 4 for 5 with a double.
  • [Tennessee] Frank Batista picked up his eighth save of the season by locking down the final four outs.
  • [Daytona] Ben Wells and Frank Del Valle share the credit for the shutout. Combined they allowed six hits, three walks, and struck out eight.
  • [Daytona] The Cubs did not have a lot of offense in this game. Soler picked up the lone RBI, but it was Andreoli and Tim Saunders who put together multi-hit games.

Other News

  • After his four inning relief game for Daytona yesterday, I wonder if the Cubs are stretching Frank Del Valle back into a starter. It is not uncommon for pitchers in A-ball to spend half the season in the bullpen and half the season as a starter. This is about the time of year when teams start those transitions; it is something I’ll try to keep an eye on.
  • In addition to being a nice breakout story, Dustin Geiger is a good example of why it is good to be patient with some prospects. The Cubs took Geiger in the 24th round of the 2010 draft. He spent parts of two season in Low-A before getting his chance in the Daytona sun. His 17 home runs in 75 games last season put him on some radars, but the high strikeout rate took him right back off many of them. Now? The patience is rewarded.
  • Oswego chris

    Great stuff as usual Luke…I really looked into Geiger the other day, looking at him defensively, I would think he has left fielder written all over him….really hope I am wrong and he can play third..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s stayed at third for a couple seasons now, if only on a part time basis. I suspect his major league future is going to be based somewhat on his flexibility. If he can keep hitting while playing corner everything, I like his odds.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Which position is Geiger ultimately projected for — 1B or 3B — or is it too soon?

    • Spriggs

      When I watched him, in many ways he reminded me of Youkilis.

  • Jp3

    Yeah Chris I hoped he would stick at 3rd but its not looking that way, otherwise why is he playing 1st so much? You’d think anyone that stands a chance playing 3rd in our farm system that has any potential with the bat would be staying over there until someone takes them out with a sledgehammer.

    • Oswego chris

      Yes because we seem to have first base covered…considering Vogelbach is legit and I don’t think number 44 is going anywhere….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m not sure where this idea that the Cubs are need of third basemen in the farm system is coming from.

      The situation is exactly the opposite. The Cubs have Vitters, Lake, Villanueva, Baez, Bruno, Candelario and maybe Penalver. They could trade half those guys and still have admirable third base depth.

      • Oswego chris

        Out of those guys u just listed…how would you rank them in terms of being a legit MLB prospect…gotta be Baez first,then Lake and Candelario?

        Another reason I am not buying the Bryant thing…Appel or Gray please

        • Spriggs

          I would think Villanueva to be the middle of that conversation. Maybe even right after Baez since Candelario is so much younger.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I see Bryant as an outfielder anyway, and would draft him as such.

          Baez, Candelario, Lake, Villanueva, Vitters, Bruno, Penalver – Penalver is likely to jump once he gets some more experience.

      • Die hard

        Need a catcher

      • Jp3

        Sorry if I made that seem we are in dire need of a 3B prospect but all the players you mentioned are good options and some are great but there were way too many years of Steve Buechelle and Howard Johnson(past prime), Ken Caminiti(after roids and past prime) for me to be comfortable saying we’re stacked at that position. Vitters isn’t happening, every scout has all but said he’s not sticking at 3rd and Baez love him but who knows how many times he’ll K this year , Villinueva, not much power for a corner infielder and the list goes on and on. I’m just saying it was a long time before Ramirez from Santo and the more options at 3B the merrier. I totally agree with you that we have 1B locked down for a while with Vogs and Rizzo there currently as well as another handful of players you could move over there if you wanted to get their bat in the lineup.

        • Spriggs

          Wow. Howard Johnson… forgot they had him. When did the Cubs ever have Caminiti? Was he a spring training invite or something towards the end?

          Don’t forget 3rd basemen Shane Andrews, Gary Gaetti, Kevin Orie, Jose Hernandez, Chris Stynes, Bill Mueller, and Mark Bellhorn. All opening day starting 3rd basemen between Buechele and A-Ram.

          • Feeney

            Thanks a lot. DON’T FORGET?? I’ve spent the last 15 years TRYING to forget most of those guys. Guess it’s back to the therapist.

          • @cubsfantroy

            Ken Caminiti? He has never played for the Cubs, or even gotten an invite to camp.

            I miss Gary Scott. He could have been an all star. /sarcasm

          • Jp3

            NEW YORK – Cubs general manager Andy MacPhail said he did his best to lure Ken Caminiti to Chicago, but the Atlanta Braves won out.
            Per Bruce Miles

            Sorry about that, we tried unsuccessfully to SIGN ALL THE HAS BEEN 3rd basemen! I knew I remembered it bring close.

      • ssckelley

        If the Cubs drafted Bryant he would easily pass all those names you mentioned as being the top 3rd base prospect in our farm system.

      • Andrew

        regardless of our depth at third, any legit prospect the cubs have should be tried at third before sent to first

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Is Alcantara quietly having the best season in the minors or what? Wow, dude has been raking.

    • Alex

      Agreed, I thought he was a lock for one of the four all-star spots. He’s gotta have the most HRs for a shortstop.

      • JulioZuleta

        Different team. Alcantara is in AA.

  • jt

    I was thinking of Villanueva as glove only 3B. Take a look what he has done May/June.

  • josh ruiter

    Not to bring down Alcantara…but felt like comparing his stat line to Baez just to see, since Baez has been getting a lot of heat over the first two months. In 216 AB’s Baez has 58 k’s, 9hr’s, 36 RBI, BA of .278, OPS of .837, totalling 29 extra base hits. Alcantara (having a phenomenal season by word of mouth is at 207 AB’s. He has 51 K’s, 9hr’s, 30RBI, BA of .290, OPS of .848, totalling 23 extra base hits. Alcantara is just over one year older than Baez, and he does have more SB’s, and is doing it at a higher level, but he is in his 5th year with the club. Baez is in his first full year currently, but to me it kinda says we are being too harsh on Baez because of the ceiling we were all promised and want him to be there NOW. I think we gotta chill a bit and realize this guy’s season is pretty solid top to bottom, and if he weren’t the number one prospect in the system before he played a game, he wouldn’t be getting the criticism he is, a la Alcantara.

    • Josh

      Don’t forget that Baez has 24 errors in 53 games and Alcantara has 20 in 56. These two players have eerily similar numbers, and yet as you said, Alcantara is considered to be “breaking out” and Baez is struggling. They even had similar slumping periods to their seasons with both AVG and OPS dropping very low. I say we should Baez at least a full season before we call him a bust or try and ship him off in a trade.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        When I was listing Baez as struggling, it’s because at that time he was.

        Now he isn’t.

        Alcantara is listed as breaking out because he is. If he drops into a stretch in which he strikes out at a near 40% clip, I’d list him as struggling too.

        But that doesn’t mean either player is a bust or a guaranteed star. Breakouts happen and struggles happen. That’s just part of it.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Agreed Luke. I love what Baez can bring. He has been doing just fine. He had a slower start, but has came on. Alcantara on the other hand, was on very few people’s radar for what he is doing. He is showing one more tool at this point than Baez. I would love to see sustained success by Alcantara. It only makes our system better.

    • jt

      Alcantara has 20 BB to 9 for Baez.
      Doesn’t sound like much but it COULD be an indication that Alcantara is learning how to go deep into the count in order to find the pitch he wants to drive.
      In other words, Alcantara’s new found power is based upon pitch selection and wont be so easily manipulated by higher level pitchers.
      Of course, in theory, nothing ever works as it does in theory.

      • Blublud

        Yes, but Alcantara just learned to be selective this season, once he reached AA. In Daytona last year, he only walked 5%. That’s the reason we need to lay off Baez. I pretty certain his BB’s will increase.

        • jt

          I’m also of the opinion that the farm system, particularly the lower farm system, is a place for young players to learn.
          Perhaps for some players it is a good thing to see the numbers go up and down as it could mean they are working on something?
          I find the Baez thing interesting as they try to develop a “not Cory Patterson” player.
          I have no idea as to how it will work out and don’t have much confidence that others have much insight either.
          I’m still watching the Szczur stats which seems to indicate a guy who is working it and learning.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Szczur actually has not shown any real trend with walks. What he showed instead was a “blip” with very few walks in 2011. However, his career average is 8.9%, and his other three seasons (8.6%, 12%, 9.6%) fit within that. 2011 was really wonky for his stats in general: his other three seasons all fit single-rate models for the major stats pretty well. That’s a case where I wonder if he was not being coached to do stuff (like be aggressive and hit HR) that worked against his tool set.

            • jt

              I’d agree with those who say that Szczur has a lot to learn and a short time in which to do it.
              Wonky is as good a word as any. He showed some HR power in 2011. 2012 that converted to some doubles and a good amount of walks.
              After to adjusting to AA in 2013 he has alternated twixt hitting singles with walks and hitting doubles without them.
              The past week or two it seems he is trying to stitch the 2 skills together. I imagine it is a difficult chore. I find it interesting to watch him give it a go.

    • Andrew

      In terms of hitting and speed skills, Alcantara and Baez have been fairly similar, but in terms of on base skills, Alcantara has been improving where Baez has not.

      I think would I like most about what ive seen in Alcantara this year that I havent seen in baez is the walks have gone up. Alcantara has a BB% of 8.4% this year up from 5.3% last year while facing more difficult competition. Also his power has been steadily rising. his HR% has gone from 0.5% in 2011 to 1.9% in 2012 to 3.8% this year, all while hes gotten better at stealing bases.

      Baez has shown improvement in his power numbers but not in his patience. his BB% was at about 3.9% last year and about 3.9% this year. I’m not saying it will stay that way and he won’t improve but so far I from what ive seen from Alcantara and I hope Baez will start figuring that part of his game out. I still think Baez is the better prospect because his tools are so strong, but so far Alcantara’s season has been more encouraging in terms of individual improvement.

      • Blublud

        Once again, Alcantara didn’t improve those number until this year. Baez will do the same.

        • DarthHater

          So what you are saying is that because one player became more selective after reaching AA, all other players can be expected to do the same?

          • Blublud

            No. What I’m saying is that it can be done. Baez has much more talent the Alcantara. If he can, Baez can. I personally think he will.

            • DarthHater

              Oh, what the fisk:

              “If he can, Baez can.”

              No. Just because it is possible for some people to achieve something, does not mean the same achievement is possible for another person with different abilities.

              “I personally think he will.”

              The data for this kind of improvement suggest that, even if Alcantara succeeds at doing it (which has yet to be fully established), it is highly improbable for any player, including Baez. You are, of course, free to personally believe in things that are unlikely to happen.

              • Blublud

                Once again, if Theo had drafted Baez, you guys would be on you knee, mouths wide for him. Similar to way yall treat Almora.

                • DarthHater

                  That’s right, when all else fails, resort to Theo trolling. Totally lame, man. And you can keep your “yalls” to yourself. They have nothing to do with me.

                  • Blublud

                    Not Theo trolling. I’m a Theo fan. I think other people get so caught in Theo vs Hendry, like I stated yesterday, that they assume every prospect not signed by Theo will fail. Its almost like they hope they fail, or that Theo will just dump them. Doc appears to be the ring leaders.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Alcantara was not signed by Theo. Doesn’t that kind of negate your entire premise here?

                    • hansman1982

                      I like Vogelbach…I think Vogelbach has a pretty good chance of succeeding.

                      Vogelbach was drafted by Hendry.

                      Mind meet explosives.

                    • Blublud

                      Luke or Hansman, I wasn’t talking about either of you. I basicly speaking of Doc who has nothing to say good about Hendry’s prospect, but will go all out to prove how good Almora is or Soler.

                    • DarthHater

                      Blu, I like interacting with you. Maybe we both got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I’m happy to go first and apologize for being pissy with you.

                    • Blublud

                      I’m not pissy, I just have an anger problem, maybe everyday. Plus maybe I feel entitled since today is my birthday. I’m not going to apologize, but only because I don’t feel you owe me one. I was out of line with Kyle last night, so I apologized. I don’t feel either one of us said anything out of line. We are just debating.

                    • Blublud

                      Ok. Maybe the mouth wide comment deserves an apology. I apologize for that.

                    • TWC

                      Happy Birthday Jay! First drink’s on me tonight. Send the tab to my accounts payable division, care of Michigan Goat, Grand Rapids, MI.

                      Cheers!

                  • DarthHater

                    Oh, yeah? Well, you just go have a happy f-ing birthday then, okay?!?! ;-)

                • Jacob

                  Or, maybe the aspects of baseball you’ve been discussing just happen to be aspects that Almora are better than Baez at. Wanna talk about power or bat speed? Everyone would be all over Baez.

                  The only impact Theo has on the debate is that he is a smart enough GM to draft a more well-rounded player. And trust me, I’m huge on Baez, but you have to be open-minded to the fact he is less likely to succeed than the other two top prospects.. because it’s true.

                  • Blublud

                    I think Baez has more star power and bust potential then the other 2. I thinks its very likely Almora will be above average to decent, and possibly good, but he doesnt have star power. I don’t see Almora coming close to being a star. I think Soler is slightly behing Bae

                    • Jacob

                      People who make a living off of evaluating talent disagree with your projection for Almora. He’s not going to be a superstar, but he’s going to be a very very good player. Especially because he’s going to be a team leader, top of the order hitter, and play GREAT CF defense.

                  • Blublud

                    I think Baez has more star power and bust potential then the other 2. I thinks its very likely Almora will be above average to decent, and possibly good, but he doesnt have star power. I don’t see Almora coming close to being a star. I think Soler is only slightly behing Baez and a much better ball player then Almora.

                • Timothy Scarbrough

                  Theo wouldn’t have drafted Baez, he’s not his kind of player.

                • hansman1982

                  Well then, that’s a useful comment.

                  I like Almora better than Baez because his scouting reports indicate he will be a high walk, low K guys with above average contact skills.

                  Guys like that should have an easier path to reaching their ceiling than most.

                  I like Vogelbach because he can walk and isn’t K’ing at 22% in A ball. This season is interesting because his production has come back to Earth, if it continues this way then the top-100 “snub” was well justified and greatly hurts his chances of making the majors.

                  We are talking about fundamental differences in player talent evaluation. Hendry thought batting eye could be taught, Epstein thinks it is an ingrained thing that coaching may be able to tweak but a guy is who he is.

                  Obviously, the guys Hendry drafted will generally follow the low-BB poor batting eye mold. Theo will, generally, draft high-bb, good batting eye players. There is a segment of us that like the high-bb good batting eye players. It makes sense that we prefer Theo’s players to Hendry’s.

                • WGNstatic

                  I would add…

                  I trust that Theo/Jed etc. do see something in Baez that leads them to believe that he has the skill set to made make changes/improvements as he moves up the system.

                  These guys know FAR more about the players in the Cubs system than we do, and, they have FAR more invested in figuring out how they will perform in the future.

                  If Theo/Jed came to the same conclusion as many around here have, that Baez, based on his low BB and high K rates prior to this season, is highly unlikely to become successful MLB player, then they would surely have traded Baez this last offseason, when the prospect rankings were lauding him.

                  The very fact that they decided to hold onto him leads me to believe that they feel that he has the skill set to improve on the areas of his game that need adjusting.

                  • Blublud

                    I really think his bat speed hurts him as far as his k’s. But if he slugs, no one will care about the SO.

                    As for his walks, If he learns to make better contact on balls in the zone, they’ll come. He has to big a blue zone in the strike zone for a pitcher to have to throw strikes to get him out. If he gets better with his contact in the zone, which can be taught, he’ll see more balls and therefor walk more.

                    • Blublud

                      Meant to say he has to large a blue zone in the strike zone for a pitcher to have to throw *balls* to get him out.

                    • Justin

                      Baez striking out a ton and walking very little in the majors doesn’t matter to me much if he still hits with power at a high level. But the problem is that when a player strikes out and walks as little as he does in the MINORs there is very little chance they become a good major leaguer. Especially in High A ball… It’s not a good sign at all… In fact it’s almost certainly a death sentence to his major league stardom chances.
                      That’s cool if you think he’s going to be a stud regardless, but it’s way way way more likely that he is going to be a below average major league player with his ratios. I trade Baez if I can get good value in a hearbeat..

                    • Blublud

                      And as a GM, you would regret it. Im thinking Theo never trades Baez, and that Baez will be here when Theo is long gone in 6 or 7 years.

                    • Justin

                      I hope your right for sure dude. The strikeouts in High A would scare most GM’s off from giving up much for Baez anyway, so they might as well hold on to him and pray he can beat the path that killed thousands of other Minor leaguers before him.

                  • WGNstatic

                    “I trade Baez if I can get good value in a hearbeat..”

                    This is really the heart of my argument. Here are my basic contentions, that shouldn’t be too shocking:

                    1) Baez’s K/BB numbers this season are not shocking as they are in line with his #s from last season.

                    2) Theo/Jed are more aware of the numbers of the Cubs prospects than we are.

                    3) Theo/Jed are smarter baseball minds than any of us are. Accordingly, they are more able to forecast, based on an individual’s skill set and past numbers what his future performance will likely be.

                    If you are willing to acknowledge these three contentions, then it seems likely that Theo/Jed see something in Baez that suggests that he has a good chance to become a highly productive big leaguer.

                    If The/Jed were to trade Baez now, I would be appalled. Not because I necessarily see Baez as a can’t miss star, but because they could have traded him in January for considerably more value than he is perceived to have now.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It *can* be done and it is *probable* that it will be done are two wildly different things. 1 in 100 events occur because they can, not because they are probable.

            Moreover, this is a really good case of how the small fractions are so misleading at small sample sizes. Prior to this year, Alcantara had walked in 5.9% of his PAs. This year it is 8.4%. That sounds like a big difference: but it is only 6 more walks. (We expect 14, we have seen 20.) All of a sudden, it does not sound like a lot. *IF* all pitching was equally good, then Alcantara would do this once ever 25 sequence of 237 PAs. (Another way to look at it is that one batter in 25 will deviate by this much just by chance every 237 PAs.) Of course, as all pitching is not equal, that makes it more probable: Alcantara’s walk rate itself has a distribution that reflects the distribution of pitchers in his league, and that increases the probability of short runs of over/above expectation.

            Here is the other thing to consider: Alcantara likely always has had better pitch recognition than Baez. Even if we exclude this year, then the probability that Baez and Alcantara had the same “true” walk rate was only 0.08. Alcantara drew more walks in his first 293 PAs than Baez drew in all 577!

            (The K-rate might be more telling: there is only a 0.04 probability of them sharing the same “true” K-rate.)

            At any rate, suppose that Alcantara really does improve his walk-rate significantly over the next couple of years. Does this mean that anybody can do it if they just work hard? No. Truly improving walking rates is not non-existent, it is just really rare. As such, don’t plan on it happening.

            • Blublud

              This is some complete BS. Where do you come up with crap?

              • DarthHater

                Where? I think it’s a place called high school math class. You should consider visiting some time.

                • Blublud

                  Man screw you. I probably have 10 times the math experience that you have. Thats not the point. Show me a statistic that prooves only 1 in 25 players improve their walk rates. And show me a stat that says it only by chance. I’m not saying it’s more or less, just show some evidence. I an engineer. I could come here and post all kinds of mathematical equations. However, I don’t come to Bleachernation as an engineer, I come as a regular guy who is a Cubs fan.

                  • DarthHater

                    Based on the logic you are displaying, I’d ask you to please post the locations of any bridges you have designed, so I can avoid them.

                    • Blublud

                      I don’t build bridges, but next time you Fly on an airplane, think about me.

                    • Timothy Scarbrough

                      I’m not sure you understand the difference between laws and theories, Andrew.

                    • DarthHater

                      Sure. As I fly over, I’ll wave down to you in the choo-choo you’ll be driving. :-P

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    heh, the math used for engineering and the math used for statistical sciences are pretty different, although I don’t know that either is necessarily more difficult than the other (at least at this level).

                    What is much more important here is the logic and the premises. Several of the premises (tacit and explicit) simply are not true. Alcantara looks like he has always had a better batting eye than Baez. That one player does something rare is not proof that the feat is not rare, only that he is unusual. Etc., etc.

                    But this also probably exemplifies a difference between scientists and engineers. The latter view problems in very deterministic Boolean terms: if X happens, then Y happens afterward. The former view problems in very probabilistic terms: if X happens, then Y might happen.

                    And that creates almost a philosophical difference. One points to an unusual event and accepts that improbable things happen once in a while. The other looks at unusual events and says: “that one got it right; ergo, all of the others could with some effort.” Often, that is simply untrue.

                    • Blublud

                      Maybe I’ll choose to show a little knowledge.

                      I think scientists believe everything is definite. If anything defies this logic, then it’s only by chance and probably can’t be duplicated. If it is duplicated, then it’s just a coincidence that it happened twice.

                      As an Industrial Engineer, I can assure you that most thing are not definite. Anything can be studied and duplicated. If something defies logic, even if it is only by chance, we can gather enough information about the steps taken and duplicate that success over and over.

                      In other words, a scientist sees 1+1 as a definite 2. I see it as why can’t I research each of those 1’s and make them 2, at which point 1+1 would equal 4 even if it seems impossible.

                    • Jacob

                      “I think scientists believe everything is definite.”

                      That’s false. I’m in college now, and every single science professor I have starts off the class by saying that nothing in science is proven. It’s all theories and they are constantly working on improving each theory to make it more accurate. Nothing scientists do is 100%, nor should it be. And saying that it’s not, isn’t a detriment to their work.

                    • Blublud

                      When I say definite, I mean they believe that If A happens, B has to happen next. Then C has to follow. If it doesn’t then it just happen. I don’t believe they think you can force it to happen any other way.

                    • jt

                      Actually, the engineer has to consider the 2nd and 3rd laws of thermodynamics. The first states that all things moves away from the perfect and the latter guy states that you can not get to the perfect anyway.
                      Pure math states that if I try to walk across the room I can never get to the other side because after I get half way there I again half that half to 3/4 the distance and half that distance to 7/8…… But physics introduces the quantum.
                      Math demands purity. Science expects contamination.
                      Math is not limited by dimension. Science depends upon geometry.
                      Math cares not of “why”. The reason for being of science is of “why”.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Right, Blubud, everything is science is ordered. That’s why astrophysics subscribes to chaos theories of the universe not being ordered but being shaped by series of random, sometimes inexplicable, events.

                    • Blublud

                      People who study the universe are not scientist. I prefer not to say what I think they are, but I will say most are not Godly.

                      I think scientist deal with theories. Then once those theories become “scientist fact,”(doesn’t exist) then it has to be that way.

                      I’m an industrial engineer. I deal with more processes then anything. Teamwork, communication, concepts, methodological approaches and analytics (believe it or not) to support it all.

                    • TWC

                      People who study the universe are not scientists?

                      Criminy, Jay, that might be the dumbest thing I have *ever* read on this board. (Yeah, I know, that’s saying something.) It’s, frankly, a pretty embarrassing thing to say.

                    • Blublud

                      TWC, thats more of a religious thing for me. That’s why I will not get into it. But I will state that I believe there is no need to study the universe the my God created.

                    • SirCub

                      This is a very weird debate that I don’t understand at all. But I think that I can say, science isn’t about believing everything is definite. It’s the process of seeking explanations of the way things in the universe (yep, the whole thing) work. We ask questions, and try to find evidence to support our explanations. Once there’s a bunch of evidence, we say, “Ok, I think this is what’s going on.”

                      That’s pretty much it. No smoke and mirrors.

                    • Blublud

                      That’s basically what I said 3 lines up.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      “When I say definite, I mean they believe that If A happens, B has to happen next. Then C has to follow.”

                      “Determined” or “deterministic” is the word. (“Definite” has a very different meaning!) And modern science is most emphatically non-deterministic, which is a clumsy way of saying probabilistic. Biology and physics are the most obvious examples, but this is true for all other sciences these days, too. This does not mean “random,” either: it means that A affects x, and thus makes predictions about x; however, because B, C, D, etc. also affect x, the expectations are probabilistic. Or, put another way, the probability of x given A is not 1.0 (determinism), and it’s not 1/n where n is all possible outcomes (random), but some fraction between 1/n and 1.0 (probabilistic).

                      Ultimately, what it comes down to is this: that one player does something unusual makes it no more or less probable that a second player will do something equally unusual. Alcantara himself offers us nothing for predicting Baez’s fate; the frequency of Alcantaras among all players does.

                    • Andrew

                      I actually kind of disagree with you on this one Doc. Scientists realize that all things that happen are governed by certain laws. If a law does not apply 100% of the time, the law is wrong or incomplete. The theories of Relativity, Gravity, Thermodynamics etc. are all correct almost all of the time. However not always, and they are therefore being tweaked to figure out a law that does work 100% of the time. Scientists search for the laws that work 100% of the time. These may be found through looks into string theory and dark matter. I am no physicist so I don’t know much about it but that is what physicists are looking for. Engineers use these laws like gravity and thermodynamics to come up with designs that will work almost all of the time. Engineers are not dealing with certainty, simply near enough to certainty that there is no tangible effect on the design. i.e. the moon’s gravitational pull has an effect on a bridges design, but nearly all of the time, that will have no effect on the bridges integrity, so it is ignored. Engineers are content dealing with uncertainties and working with it, whereas scientists attempt to find out what causes the anomalies to further refine their theories.

            • Timothy Scarbrough

              What I think is more remarkable about Sammy Sosa than the home run jump, is the jump in his walk rate mid-career. Part of that had to have been due to IBB, but still, a 5% jump is impressive.

            • jt

              The BB rate increase with an increase in the K rate with an increase in SLG. The increase has been substantial in each of the 3 three.
              When taken together it suggests, not defines, that he is going deeper into the count and that he is being more selective.

        • Andrew

          I agree that it is possible for Baez to make that improvement, but he is far from a lock to do it. Many prospects never improve their discipline unfortunately. Alcantara being able to improve his walks does not mean Baez will do the same.

    • ari gold

      Why would you leave out the walks and OBP, which is a major criticism of Baez, while Alcantara is doing quite well in that department.

      • Josh

        Alcantara also has 600+ professional ABs more than Baez…..that’s more than a full season, maybe even a season-and-a-half, more than of professional baseball then Baez ( not counting the 260 in the DSL). Give Baez more than a full season before we burn him in effigy.

        • Dynastyin2017

          Don’t forget this sites bias against Baez.

          • mudge

            Not sure I buy this Baez bias.

            • Dynastyin2017

              Me no ‘splain very goodly.
              Let me try again…
              Compared to the comment threads on all the other Cubs sites, this site has, by far, the highest percentage of anti-Baez comments.

              This has nothing to do with how Brett and/or Luke cover Mr. Baez.

              • DarthHater

                I don’t think commenters here are anti-Baez, so much as they are trying to be realistic about the challenges that face prospects with significant strikeout issues.

              • King Jeff

                I like to think that this is because there is a higher concentration of knowledgeable baseball fans on this site that can see past homeruns and batting average. I also feel like the extra scrutiny on Baez is due to most of us having been burnt by highly hyped Cubs position prospects who have had similar issues to Baez in the past.

                • DarthHater

                  There. Somebody said it. We rock! :-D

                • X the Cubs Fan

                  weird that we posted that about the same time. Great minds

              • X the Cubs Fan

                People on this website have had at least one “great” prospect break their hearts. Everyone on here would love to see Baez be a superstar. But if a prospect has problem a that could hold them back from being a “great” big league player then that will be a cause for us fans to worry. And who’s to say we’re wrong?

          • DarthHater

            Yes, here are some examples of BN headlines that are clearly biased against Baez:

            Javier Baez’s Plate Discipline Might Be Improving

            Keep Your Hand Off the Javier Baez Panic Button

            Another Day, Another Set of Javier Baez Homers

            Javier Baez is Babe Ruth

            • DarthHater

              Unless you meant Joan Baez. Can’t stand that pretentious poser. :-P

              • mudge

                Mme Baez, pretentious? I beg to differ!

                • DarthHater

                  Hah! This site’s pro-Baez bias finally shows itself!

                  • mudge

                    My poetry was lousy you said,
                    Plus I was lousy in bed…

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I ranked him the No 2 prospect in the system and said he might be the best offensive shortstop prospect in all baseball.

            Biased against Baez is not a charge I would have expected.

            • Dynastyin2017

              Don’t recall mentioning you.

              • DarthHater

                You said this site. Do you not realize that “this site” means Brett and Luke? The rest of us who post here are just brainless blowhards with nothing better to do, like yourself.

                • Dynastyin2017

                  The apology was written as a reply to your earlier comment.

                  • DarthHater

                    Yep. Saw it. ;-)

  • ssckelley

    Any word on Raley? Neat to see all the Cubs farm teams win yesterday, even the 2 overseas teams won, wish the big league team could have made it a clean sweep.

  • JulioZuleta

    Andreoli turns 23 in 4 days. Let’s give him a B-day promotion.

  • Blublud

    Dustin Geiger is a perfect example that you can cut down on SO as a hitter. And he did it by moving up a league. I also thought he was older then is. That a quartet of very impressive hitters.

  • Patrick G

    Is Alcantra a possible September call up? or will he be promoted to AAA if anything?

    • Blublud

      Yeah. In 2014.

  • DarthHater

    mlbtraderumors.com reports that Aledmys Diaz is playing in Mexico and hopes to sign with a ML team in February.

  • Bilbo161

    Alcantara has impressed me too. Hopefully, he can avoid the injury bug this year. Anyone think he breaks into the top 100 this year?

    • Blublud

      I think he comes close if he doesn’t.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        If he keeps going like he is he should, but I also thought Vogelbach should of made it last year.

  • mak

    Is Alcantara a top 100 prospect right now? Trying to gauge his value to the rest of the league.

  • mudge

    baseball is neither a math nor a science.

  • wvcubsfan

    Well that was the most theory that I’ve read since my college days

  • nkniacc13

    im kinda surprised with the 3 promotions off of Kane Countys roster in the last 3 days we haven’t seen anyone heading to the cougers

  • nkniacc13

    6 Kane County players named to all star team.

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