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No matter how you slice it, the Cubs did well in the Matt Garza trade. C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, and the P(s)TBNL alone would have been a quality return for Garza. But the Cubs also landed Mike Olt.

If you buy into the hype, such as that from Jonathan Mayo on cubs.com, Olt is one of the absolute best prospects in baseball and is all but certain to not only play excellent defense, but to hit for a decent average with very high OBP and slugging rates. The hype loves Olt.

History hates him. History tells us that players who strike out 30% of the time or more in Triple A have a very difficult time in the majors; Olt fits that description. Pull up FanGraphs and look up the players who have accomplished that ignoble feat over the past few seasons. I suspect you won’t recognize many names. Very few of the players who hit that milestone are in the majors. To get you started, this link should take you to the page for 2008 (min 250 PA).

So who do you believe? The hype says the Cubs got a potential star, and the history says Olt is destined to go nowhere fast. Fans of hype can point out that no prospect on that list was as well regarded as Olt is now, and fans of history can point out that the list of Triple A 30% K-rate seasons is really depressing reading.

The largely unanswered question here is – why were the Cubs pursuing Olt for two seasons? The Cubs front office know their stats and they know their history. They picked up Olt with the full knowledge that his inability to make consistent contact points more to a career in Japan than a career in the majors. Why did they do it? Did they believe that the vision issues were the primary cause (doubtful, since they sought after Olt last year)? Do they see something in his swing or approach that they believe can be fixed? Or maybe they just see this as a chance to take a flier on a lottery ticket type regardless of the mountain of odds stacked against him? Hard to say. I’ll be watching the interviews given by the front office closely in the coming days to see what their reasoning was.

So where do these players rank in the Bleacher Nation Top 40? Edwards comes in the highest at No. 14, and I’ll admit that feels a little on the low side. He has posted some extremely impressive numbers in the South Atlantic League, but I can’t bring myself to slot him over Hendricks in Double A. At 14, Edwards checks in right behind the Smokies’ ace.

Olt could go as high as No. 5, if you buy into the hype; history says to leave him off altogether. I think there is enough value in the glove alone to put him on the list. Right now he would probably do alright as a defensive replacement and right handed power bat off the bench and in platoon situations in Chicago. That’s not a bad floor, and of course his ceiling is far higher. For now, until he proves he can hit Triple A pitching over a sustained period of time, I’ll slot him in at No. 16, in the same vicinity as other good-glove types with significant offensive questions. If he bounces back in the second half of the season to finish with numbers that are not down right terrifying, then he’ll likely climb back up somewhere in the Top 10. If he keeps up a K% that would make Stephen King hide under the bed, though, then he’ll probably drift down this list some more (but not off it altogether, I think, thanks to his glove).

Justin Grimm is a nice pitcher to have in the system, but he has too many major league innings for me to rank him as a prospect. I’ll deal with the P(s)TBNL later on, when they are officially named.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Rain ended this game early, and the Cubs lost 9-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies committed three errors on their way to a 5-4 loss.
Daytona – The Cubs were rained out.
Kane County – The Cougar’s win streak died at two as they lost 5-2.
Boise – The Hawks beat up on one of the best teams in the league. The final over Everett was a stunning 10-0.
Arizona – It was a low scoring affair in the desert as the Cubs won 2-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Three days after coming in as a reliever, Nick Struck took the mound as the starting pitcher for Iowa. It did not go well at all, but at least we know he isn’t being moved to the bullpen.
  • [Iowa] In what may be his final game as Iowa’s third baseman, Josh Vitters went 0 for 2 with a walk. He will now likely become the left fielder. If his bat continues to produce this year the way it did last year, he has a shot to take over for Soriano in left should the Cubs make another trade later this season.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour hit his 10th home run in this 2 for 4 game.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Hendricks has another quality game. This time he went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 6.
  • [Kane County] Gioskar Amaya walked twice as the Cougars’ lead off hitter. Dan Vogelbach also drew two free passes.
  • [Kane County] Juan Paniagua struck out 4 over 3.1 innings in the start. He also allowed 5 hits, 3 runs, and walked 3.
  • [Boise] Five pitchers combined to toss the three hit shutout for the Hawks. In order of appearance: Rob Zastryzny (2 IP, 1 K), Sam Wilson (2 IP, 4 K), Zack Godley (2 IP, 2 K), Scott Frazier (2 IP, 2 K), and Tyler Bremer (1 IP).
  • [Boise] The bats were just as prolific as the pitching was excellent. Every man in the lineup had a hit, six of them had two hits, and five of them had extra base hits. It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • [Arizona] Kris Bryant doubled and drove in two for the Cubs. David DeJesus, on a rehab assignment, also doubled as part of his two hit game.
  • [Arizona] Erick Leal pitched well in his 3.1 inning start (4H, 1R, 2K). When he left, Josh Davis, Tyler Ihrig, and Trevor Graham finished things off without allowing another run.

Other News

  • Looking for a new background for your desktop? The Tennessee Smokies have you covered. You can take your pick of Bour, Baez, Alcantara, or Hendricks, not to mention some pretty nifty non-player wallpapers.
  • On the day after Braun admitted to cheating, lying, and worst of all (for him anyway), getting caught, there is one mascot from the Mascot Mania contest that is just begging for a mention. Pull up the Southern League and look in the bottom left. NW Arkansas goes by the name of Naturals. And their mascot is Sinker the Lake Creature. Yep, that’s fitting for a day on which the reputation of a not-natural slugger who plays for a city on a lake is sinking. It’d be too perfect if that team were an affiliate of the Brewers, but alas they are part of the Royals farm system.
  • Coldneck

    I’m guessing the Mayo prospect rankings was as of the beginning of the season since Brett Jackson still checks in at #5.

  • Cubbiecop

    Luke,
    I am looking forward to your analysis of the PTBNL in this trade. It appears to me the Cubs got a great haul for Garza

  • MichiganGoat

    Fernando Perez is on you 2008 list… ah the memories he was Brett’s first OMG-REAL-PLAYERS-READ-ME moment… oh the infancy of BleacherNation

    Brett – “you’re growns up and you’re growns up and you’re growns up”

    [img]http://www.smartfindsmarketing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/swingers_all_growns_up_1996-300×177.jpg[/img]

    • MichiganGoat

      [img]http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/6KALJy9fw2Q/hqdefault.jpg[/img]

  • On The Farm

    So we got 2 years of Garza (Half season lost to injury half lost to trade), Rosscup (Still has a chance to be a bullpen guy), a guy with power potential at a premium position (Olt), a rotation peice (Grimm), and an A+ ball pitcher with an insane K rate, and even more crazy HR-less streak. For Chris Archer and Lee (I will throw him in, but I still don’t think he will be much of a MLB guy going forward so, pretty much just Archer).

    Can we please stop whinning about what we gave up to get Garza now?

    • Greg

      While I’d agree the deal doesn’t look too bad now, you can’t ignore the opportunity cost of the prospects given up and the value a cost-controlled effective young starter would have to the Cubs right now.

      • On The Farm

        But we would have spent money on a FA SP for the last three years to take Garza’s spot. So it’s not like they would have had a ton of cost savings with keep Archer. I still think I would trade Chris Archer for Grimm, Olt, and Edwards, and a PTBNL, not even counting we got two years of Garza.

        • Greg

          Well the cost savings would come in Archer’s first 3-5 years, not the past 3 years. But I can buy that argument. Better to have the quantity of prospects than Archer, but the individual risk involved with Olt, Grimm, and Edwards seem higher.

    • MichiganGoat

      I look at trades as a progression so at its simplist the progression is:

      Signed DeRosa as a FA —> traded for Chris Archer —> traded for Matt Garza —> traded for ?(not sure who the star of the group is) —> future trade?

      Yes there are other pieces to those trades but the headliners of each trade allows me to think of DeRosa turning into so much more than he could have provided by himself.

      • LWeb23

        How about throwing this into the equation
        Cubs sign Marlon Byrd as free agent–> Texas gets comp pick from Cubs–> Texas Comp pick selection: Mike Olt

        • MichiganGoat

          MIND BLOWN

          • Spriggs

            head explodes

        • ssckelley

          The pick was in better hands.

  • Cedlandrum

    i’m looking at this year with Olt as an aberration rather then the norm. He has struck out at a much higher rate then in years past. I would chalk it more up to the concussion and the vision problems that follow. Now he may never get over them- like Morneau, but this season could just be a fluke. I still have Olt in my top 10 easy.

  • Kyle

    Edwards no. 6, easy top 10. Already on Sickels’ list at 73, will make most top 100s this offseason.

    • On The Farm

      Cubs now have 7 in the top 100 (Baez, Almora, Bryant, Soler, Alacantra, Olt, Edwards) and have a fringe top 100 (Johnson). Not too shabby

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Luke has always skewed toward higher certainty types, so I can understand Edwards being lower for now (I’d probably have him a bit higher; Olt, too).

      • SirCub

        Speaks to the depth of the system though that you could reasonably put a couple guys around 15 that many would call Top 100’s.

      • Rebuilding

        That begs the question as to why Paniagua is above Edwards and a few others. He’s the ultimate in no certainty

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Certainty/high-level isn’t the *only* consideration. It’s always a balance of certainty, ceiling, floor, etc. I’m guessing that Luke buys that Paniagua’s ceiling is a number two/first tier closer. Not sure Edwards has that kind of ceiling.

          • Rebuilding

            I hear what you are saying, but I think a lot of the top of the rotation stuff came when he was hitting 97-98 consistently. Now he sits at 92-94 with only a slider as a secondary. And being 23 (if his 3rd set of docs can be believed even though they list the same birthday that was invalidated before), in A ball, he is shorter than Edwards, doesn’t have as electric stuff, is two years older and a level behind him

            • Spriggs

              When I saw Paniagua pitch a couple weeks ago, he was consistently at 96 per one of the scouts I talked to. And it was his first game back in Arizona. I came away thinking he might be the best arm in the system.

              • Rebuilding

                I hope that’s true. I haven’t seen him live, but the people I have talked to that have said he was hitting 95 occasionally, but sitting a little lower. Maybe that was just getting the rust off

                • Spriggs

                  I’m more worried about his control, though he was flawless the night I saw him – as I recall he was 3 IP with no walks and 4 Ks. I was actually kind of surprised the scout said 96. I was thinking he was a sitting a little higher. He said he topped off at 98.

                  • Rebuilding

                    Ok, good info. Glad to hear from another set of eyes on the ground

            • Cedlandrum

              Yeah Paniagua’s stuff isn’t in question. It may as Spriggs says be the best in the system.

            • DarthHater

              I’m concerned as to how Juan Carlos’s family earned the surname: “Breadandwater.” :-P

              • MXB

                In the olden times in Central America, his family probably were servants that worked for “bread and water” (and room).

        • Edwin

          It raises the question. Not begs the question.

          • Rebuilding

            Thanks, Edwin. You are correct – it was not a fallacy in which the premise of the argument presupposes the truth of its conclusion. 5 points for you

            • Edwin

              Part of me wonders though, if the majority of people use the phrase “begs the question” wrong, does it really matter? Languages evolve over time, maybe I’m now the one that uses the phrase incorrectly.

              • hansman1982

                If I have learned one thing from this site, if you have a halfway decent reason for using it, you’re fine.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I shot low on Edwards in part because I don’t know the South Atlantic League that well. Had he put up those number in a league I do know I’d likely have ranked him more aggressively.

        But I agree he’s definitely a Top 10 candidate.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Yup…Alcantara 5, Edwards/Pierce J. fighting it out for 6th, IMO.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        OOPS, forgot Olt.
        I think I’d still have Alcantara ahead of Olt at 5.
        Then Olt at 6.
        Then Edwards/Pierce at 7/8.

        • Cedlandrum

          I’m with you on your top 6. But differ on 7/8
          1. Baez
          2. Bryant
          3. Almora
          4. Soler
          5. Alcantara
          6. Olt
          7. Johnson
          8. Vizcaino
          9. Edwards
          10. Vogelbach

          That is a really deep top 10. Especially when you have guys like Lake that you could argue in there.

      • mak

        I’d have Pierce at 6, Vogel at 7, Olt 8 and Edwards 9. I really like Edwards, but have concerns about his durability/size over time.

    • Jed Jam Band

      I know we all tend to pull Vogelbach down due to his extreme need to hit, but Jason Parks continues to count him as potential top 101 for next year, so there’s that. Also, I have been and am a huge believer in his bat. Anyways, I have Johnson at 6, Edwards at 7, Vogelbach at 8, with Lake at 9, Vizcaino at 10, Hendricks at 11, and ultimately I have Olt slotted in at 12.

      • Crockett

        No offense to Mr Parks, but I read almost everything he writes and I find his opinions to be…lacking. I don’t think he’s in the reference-able echelon of baseball scout writers.

        • Jed Jam Band

          I appreciate your opinion, but I’ve always found him to have great insight. They each bring something to the table for my purposes. My favorite might just be Sickels though, but I’m not really certain at this point. I feel that Keith Law is sometimes stubborn about adjusting his opinions, while there are certainly holes to be poked in what Parks says as well. Mayo doesn’t change his rankings often enough for my liking. I really like that Sickels’ site gives us a place to examine prospects and only prospects. It’s so much fun.

        • Cedlandrum

          I love Jason Parks. I think he is a great evaluator and I appreciate his humor.

      • Kevin

        All in the top 101

  • Chef

    Luke, is there anything to be said about Anthony Giansanti going from Iowa to Daytona for what he tweeted was a “playoff run” ? Not knowing the history of such things, it seems odd for a kid to go from AAA to A+ for playoffs.

    • Brunsmk

      He seems to be a guy they bounce all over the place depending on the need of the organization. Typically is a role player no matter what his level is.

    • Cedlandrum

      Brunsmk is right. Anthony was in DSM to fill a roster spot. Now that they have Olt and signed Edgar Gonzalez they can put Anthony back where he started the year in Daytona.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Giansanti has been everywhere this year, but he has played well everywhere.

      His season has been unusual enough it might warrant an article over the winter.

  • Edwin

    I’d put Olt at least as high as Lake, probably higher. Olt has better power, takes more walks, and plays much better defense. He’s also already made it to AAA/MLB, which is farther than a lot of prospects will get. I like Olt a lot more than either Johnson or Vizcaino, so I’d defintely put Olt at either 5 or 6.

  • MoneyBoy

    Luke – Question.

    Jonathan Mayo is pretty well regarded isn’t he? Are the new rankings due to this list being on the Cubs website? Is the ‘truth’ somewhere in between his and yours?

    • Brunsmk

      His aren’t updated from the preseason, just slotted new guys in there. I would ignore that list until he updates it. See Jackson and maples inclusion on his top 10 as proof of this.

  • TonyP

    NW Arkansas is in the Texas League……….

    • wvcubsfan

      NW Arkansas is in the Texas (spit) League……….

      FIFY

      • TonyP

        :-) I live in Kansas but I’m an hour and half drive from Springfield, NW Arkansas, and Tulsa….. Texas League is the closet pro games for me. I have been hoping for years that the Cubs would move the AA team to the Texas League…………

        • TonyP

          *closest

          • wvcubsfan

            Well I guess you could call them closet pros as well. NTTAWWT

        • wvcubsfan

          I haven’t made it to a NWA game yet. I keep saying that I’m going to catch a game there, but I always get busy doing other things when I’m in the area. My son lives close but is trying to finish off his house, so we usually have to work and no time to play. The stadium sure looks nice though, and people claim it’s a lot like the new stadium in Little Rock which is very nice.

          I like you wish that the TN team would move into the Texas league as well.

  • Jarder

    I love the talent added to the farm, but when will this start to turn into major league wins? 2015 is a long way off and considering the bulk of the high end talent is still in A-ball it may even be a bit longer.

  • ssckelley

    On MLB last night they said that Olt was striking out 40% in April while dealing with issues with his vision and then missed most of May while recovering from the surgery (tear ducts issues). They said every time he blinked it felt like his eye lids were rubbing sandpaper over his eyes. Since he has came back his stats have been much better, nothing mind blowing, but respectable. His SO ratio in AA was 24% and you never know what the Cub are seeing in Olt, perhaps they see something correctable.

    Bottom line is the Cubs are buying low on one of the top 3rd base prospects in all of baseball. They are getting a slugging 3rd baseman that has a good glove. In the past year the Cubs have went from 3rd base being a weak position to now being one of the strongest. If Olt does not work out they still have Villanueva, Candelario, Bryant, and you can still count Vitters in the mix. If Olt does not excite you then the pitching prospects they got and the 2 PTBNL should. This was a very nice haul for the Cubs and the organization took another step forward.

    • On The Farm

      You can even throw Lake into that mix at 3B, very nice depth indeed

      • SirCub

        It’s The Age of the Third Baseman!

      • ssckelley

        Oops, forgot Lake……good catch.

        • Scotti

          Lake will not play third. He’s awful there. He doesn’t even play it well enough to be a sub. Hell, he doesn’t even play it well enough for fantasy baseball. He’s that bad at third.

          • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

            lake was considered a solid shortstop in minors look
            at his numbers compared to castro and baez. so to say
            he is horrible at 3rd seems a bit much. many shortstops
            make the transition to 3rd.

            • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

              IMO opinion lake will be used to fill-in all over (if he continues
              to hit he will find a permanent home somewhere in the outfield)
              he has a lot of work to do to be a good centerfielder. But he has
              been pretty good considering he has played more game in CF
              for Chicago than he has in his minors career.

          • Chad

            You know this because of the 30 games he has spent there in AAA?

            • arta

              many scouts said he (Lake) was as good as Castro at SS with power when Castro first came up.

            • Chad

              My comment was at Scotti. Lake has a similar skill set to Castro and has the same mental errors as Castro. He’s still a good 3B prospect if he can get his concentration down.

              • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

                i agree scotti, and he could end up being a reallly good CF
                for no more than he has played there he looks good.

                • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

                  sorry i meant i agree with chad.

  • Austin8466

    Luke, I always love your information and opinions. That being said, and I’m definitely no expert, Olt has to rank in the top 10. You ranked Baez tops among the big 4 because he had already made it to AA. He’s struggling in AA and Olt has already CRUSHED AA. He’s had some hurdles to overcome, but he was untouchable last year as a trade piece. He has ridiculous power, draws walks, and plays a premium position at a high level. I’m sorry, but putting a guy like Candelario ahead of Olt in the rankings is just crazy to me. Paniagua is getting destroyed at Kane County and Skulina/Zastryzny are still wet behind the ears and have a wide projection. Watkins has been inconsistent and an average-at-best hitter at AAA. At least Olt’s line since he got his vision problem corrected has been pretty solid.

    • mak

      There is a lot of projection in any rankings. Candelerio is doing a lot of very good things (like walking, for one) at Kane County, at age 19. Olt is striking out at ridiculous rates at age 25 in AAA. So, you have to take age and projections into consideration.

    • CubsFaninMS

      If you rank Olt on his ceiling, he’s definitely a top 10. If you rank Olt on his floor, he may barely break the top 20. IMO the span between his ceiling and floor is worse than Baez’s. All three main pieces to this trade have an above averge risk. Olt due to his vision problems and strikeout rate. Grimm due to his “grim” results thus far in the majors. Edwards due to he being in the lower minors. The good news is.. if just ONE of these players becomes an average to successful Major Leaguer, it’s a win for us. I believe that’s a high probability. The sleeper player (PTBNL) may end up being that person, who knows. For a rental, we were not about to receive a “surefire” Major League star in the making. Even Segura was not assumed to be that type, although he has surprised. We came out well on the deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Compare the ages between Olt and Baez. That is a very big part of why Baez is ranked significantly higher.

    • Chad

      Rankings are about what they can become, not what they have done at certain levels. Yes that plays a part of it, but Baez destroyed A ball and he’s not even 20 yet (or just turned 20). He’s young for AA while Olt is 24 and should be destroying AAA if he is a top prospect.

  • Edwin

    So far Baez has struck out just as often as Olt in his minor league career, with fewer walks and slightly less power. Should we be worried about Baez as well?

    • SirCub

      Yea, absolutely. He’s still a might bit younger though, so while we should be just as concerned, we can also be more optimistic that he’ll improve.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That has always been a concern, yes.

    • Kyle

      Failing at a high level is worse than not being there yet, especially when not young.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Can Olt play the corner outfield positions? Could he possibly be a part of a deal to get a better return see what they Yankees would give for he and Soriano?

  • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

    Olt was 44 on BA’s mid-season top prospect list. BA knows the difference between “hype and history” (I think that’s the wrong dichotomy to use in this analysis). Going by the mid-season top prospect lists, I think it’s a good bet Olt will be the highest ranked prospect moved in the second half of July ’13.

    • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com Tommy (TC)

      exactly. There’s also the matter that Olt’s glove, appraoch, and power make his strikeout issues much less worrisome. Even if/when he goes through prolonged slumps, his glove and OBP will provide enough value that he’s not a total zero. If he turns into an Adam Dunn-lite type (.225/.350/.475 with a lot of bombs and k’s), as a +3-+8 run type defender, he’s would be extremely valuable.

      Also, I think the K-rate issues are overblown. He’s been a high-K guy in the past (~24%), but it’s rare that a prospect sees his K% jump by nearly 40%. He had a weird vision issue early in the year that caused a lot of those K’s, too

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        Right –
        1) Olt is more than bat.
        2) We already have performance after the eye problem was resolved to consider, in which his K rate is down. (It will always be high, but not +30% high)
        3) Olt’s ongoing Ks come in the context of his patient approach (which sets him apart from a high K guy like Baez)
        4) The idea that there should be some question as to why the Cubs even want Olt implies that professional writers ranking prospects are ignorant.

        • On The Farm

          5) Its obviously the best set of players that were available. It’s not like he only worked with Texas. I am not saying they fleeced Texas, but they were desperate, and I am not sure you would have gotten a better group of players than what they got.

        • hansman1982

          1) Brett Jackson is more than bat.
          2) We already have performance after the eye problem was resolved to consider, in which his K rate is down. (It will always be high, but not +30% high) — (this is just wrong with Olt – since returning from AA, his K rate is still at 30%) With that said, he is performing about as well as he can considering a 30% K rate.
          3) Jackson’s ongoing Ks come in the context of his patient approach (which sets him apart from a high K guy like Baez)

          FTFY

          • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com Tommy (TC)

            BJax never had nearly the power of Olt or a strikeout rate in a reasonable range. Jackson was in the high 20% range in A+ and AA, Olt was 24% at those levels.

            Unfair comp

            Also, I haven’t given up on Jackson’s future yet. He’s buried in an org like this, but I think if he gets healthy there’s a good chance he ends up a solid average player for a few years down the road

            • hansman1982

              Ya, Olt does have better power but Jackson had a very similar K-rate progression in the minors to Olt with neither of them flirting with 30% K-rates until AAA.

              I think Jackson, Vitters and Olt will have decent careers but right now, I’m not holding my breath. Olt might just end up like Mark Reynolds, which is nothing to sneeze at, and we have at least 1 interesting August call-up to look forward to.

  • Austin8466

    If the lone PTBNL is Neil Ramirez, where would he rank among our top 40? Has to be top 20, I would imagine.

    • Cedlandrum

      15-20 my guess.

    • Austin8466

      That seems like a pretty great PTBNL. Mix him in with the other three players we’ve already received, and this is a pretty awesome haul for a rental.

  • cubchymyst

    I’ve seen two MLB comparisons for Olt that I think are good, Mark Reynolds and Dan Uggla. My expectations are 0.230/0.340/0.430 or production similar to what the Cubs have gotten out of 3rd this year perhaps with more power.

    • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com Tommy (TC)

      I’d go higher on the iso there, think .250 range (improves that line to .230/.340/.480). The power is very, very legit.

    • Edwin

      I’d say Russell Branyon as a decent comp.

  • Spriggs

    I’m just hoping that somehow the Olt that I saw in the 2011 Arizona Fall League returns. He was absolutely dominant both at the plate and in the field. He looked all-world in all the games I saw him play. He was on base nearly half the time and I believe he led the league in home runs by a wide margin. Whatever his problems are right now, I hope the Cubs can help him figure it out.

    I realize the AFL is a hitter friendly environment, but it’s high profile, high pressure – and the hitters do face at least 2 or 3 different pitchers every game – and some of those are very promising arms. It isn’t a cakewalk for the hitters.

  • Jim Gillmeister

    Re: the line in the post concerning Josh Vitters taking Soriano’s place on the 25 man. To me it seems more likely that was why Junior Lake was brought up. He’s playing CF ’til DeJesus is back, and sliding over to left when Soriano goes.

  • RoughRiider

    Because you win games in the Major Leagues with talented pitchers like Garza, I’m dissapointed that the Cubs didn’t sign him to an extension. Since that wasn’t going to happen, for whatever reason, this trade appears to be solid. Who knows if any of these players will be major league talent. The hope is that at least 1 will be not just a major league player but a very good player. That appears to be a very good possibility. Considering that Garza was only going to be around for two more months of a losing season the Cubs did very well in the trade. It would be extra special if the Cubs could sign Garza after the season.

  • boomindanny

    i’m gonna be ignorant here, but is there any word on that super delayed pitcher who just got into the states a few weeks ago?

    • cubchymyst

      Juan Paniagua, he is listed in the recap.

      • boomindanny

        perfect, thanks!

  • jt

    adding AA numbers to the consideration… that is when Theo/Jed originally pursued Olt.
    Olt’s BB rate in AAA is 13%…down from 14% at previous levels;pretty close.
    A BB rate of 13% would result in 85 BB over 650 PA.
    *
    Olt’s K rate in AAA has been 31% and had been 25% in AA
    A K rate of 31% would result in 201 K over 650 PA.
    A K rate of 25% would result in 163 K over 650 PA.
    *
    BB/K rate AA = 57%
    BB/K rate AAA = 39%
    *
    BB/K rate of 57% is really pretty good!
    Why the change in K rate from AA to AAA?
    BB/K rate of 39% is better than most guys on your list.
    *
    He obviously goes deep in the count. His BB rate did not change much but his K rate did substantially rise. Is it for lack of contact or are more pitches hitting the corners when he already has 2 strikes. In other words, is it a question of contact skill or judgement?
    If it is indeed judgement, can he fix the problem by learning to spoil close pitches?
    *
    That sudden jump from 25% K rate to 31% indicates that there may be something else going on. Let me stress the word “may”.

  • fester30

    Just for fun, I looked at that fangraphs page with the strikeout percentage, and clicked the K header to reverse the stats, putting the lowest strikeout percentages at the top. To be fair, there were only a couple names that jumped out at me. While a lower strikeout percentage is desirable, it does not appear to be the only factor. During his prime, Adam Dunn was a strikeout machine. However, he also got on base a lot thanks to also being a walk and home run machine.

  • Henson

    Thank you Luke for having the guts to write a realistic article on Olt. His current K rate is 39%. Hopefully, it was injury related as he was actually quite consistent in every year prior to the current. From Rookie to AA, he swung and missed between 29 and 30% every year. His common player comparison, Mark Reynolds, had huge SO problems during his most prolific power years at around 39-42%. One has to remember this translates into deflated OPS stats unless Olt learns to take a walk ala Adam Dunn, which he has not shown the ability to do.

    As you said, it’s the glove that creates a nice floor. However, without a correction in Ks or a progression in BB rate, then he just may not be around very long/at all. My point is I see alot of people calling those critical of this deal as being haters or silly (and not many are directly panning it as it’s a decent return for a rental and we should be happy). But that should stop. It is a good, but very flawed package. Fingers crossed! And Go Cubs Go!

    • Cedlandrum

      Olt has k’d 26 for his career. Before this year the rate was 24.7. Not great but o.k.

    • Cedlandrum

      Also are you figuring K % by AB or PA?

    • DarthHater

      Yes, thank you for having such “guts,” Luke. I know it can be incredibly threatening to run the risk of posting an opinion here with which someone else might actually disagree. We appreciate your courage.

      • Dale’s Ear

        this post was a waste of time and you’re dumb for even thinking of it ;)

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

    Carlos Rodon is really good…

  • http://bleachernation DL Huyck

    CJ Edwards went to the same High School I attended, this guy has got to be really good!

  • AD

    Saw that White Sox rejected Carlos Martinez for Alexi Ramierez. So glad Theo and Jed are in charge of the Cubs.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Wait…WHAT?! They turned that down?! Oh, I’m gonna go over in this corner and laugh for the next hour.

      • AD

        per mlb trade rumors. i couldnt believe it.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Wow… Rick Haughn is an idiot. Why would he turn that down. Unless he is getting amazing offers for Alexi Ramierez then he’s an idiot for turning that down. Martinez is a stud

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