Miscellaneous Prospect Notes: Bryant, Edwards, Olt, Paniagua, Skulina, Vogelbach, More

Kris BryantIt isn’t all about trades and trade rumors today, as there are a few notable prospecting bits to touch on …

  • Jim Callis was asked how he’d rank various draft prospects if they could have been included in Baseball America’s midseason prospect update, and he was quite complimentary of the Cubs’ top pick, Kris Bryant. Indeed, Callis believes Bryant is the Cubs’ best prospect right now, meriting placement in the top 10 overall prospects in baseball; Callis would have him at number 10, one spot ahead of Javier Baez. That’s ahead of Mark Appel, the pitcher selected one spot before Bryant in the Draft.
  • On new Cubs prospects Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards, Callis says they would slot in behind the top four prospects (Bryant, Baez, Soler, Almora), with Olt at number five (ahead of Arismendy Alcantara, you’ll note), and Edwards coming somewhere in the six to ten range. Callis says there’s “no question” that Edwards and Pierce Johnson are the Cubs’ top two pitching prospects. There’s a good bit more in that edition of Ask BA, so it’s worth checking out.
  • Kane County and Boise made a couple roster moves each today, swapping Juan Carlos Paniagua and Kelvin Encarnacion (down to Boise) with Tyler Skulina and Jose Dore (up to Kane County). The step back for Paniagua is a disappointment, as it appears that he simply needs more work after missing most of the year with a visa issue. Encarnacion’s promotion to Kane County was kind of aggressive, given his limited stateside experience, so this isn’t a big knock on him. The promotion of Skulina, the Cubs’ 4th round pick this year (who received an over slot bonus), is good news. He dominated Boise, and will now get a few innings at Kane County to round out his year. He’ll be 22 next year, and could move quickly up the ladder.
  • Baseball Prospect put up an eyes-on scouting report of Dan Vogelbach (subscription required and recommended), and it’s mostly what you’d expect – physique and glove issues, but looks like it could be quite good down the line (though it, too, needs work). BP says that he’s still working on figuring out plate approach and pitch sequencing, which could be the next step for him to really break out offensively. A future .290/.360/.500 type line could be in his future if everything clicks.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

76 responses to “Miscellaneous Prospect Notes: Bryant, Edwards, Olt, Paniagua, Skulina, Vogelbach, More”

  1. TC

    This is unrelated to this post, but everyone please help out!


    “Ok, 1130pm we all start tweeting Hunter Pence to congratulate him on the trade to Boston.”

    Everyone pitch in please!

    1. TC

      Gotta have some fun in the wee hours of a blogathon, right?

  2. Jason Powers

    Excellent stuff. So we sound good on the corners, in the future.

  3. Jake

    I can see Bryant and Baez up in the bigs by next yr in the 2nd half. Can you see them up in the bigs can you Brett

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Maybe Baez, if he tears up AA early next year, will get a September call up. Bryant on the other hand will make AA with Soler and maybe even Almora. Actually its possible we see all big 4 at Tennessee around July, with Pierce Johnson and C.J. Edwards.

    2. Nate

      I would think that starting the arbitration clock would slow down a big league call up if either isn’t really ready and there’s a need. Both being that ready seems unlikely

  4. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Panigua just seemed to get drilled and walk too many batters to be effective.

  5. ssckelley

    Any rumors out there on Valbuena? Or he just a victim of the double switch?

    1. Crockett

      FWIW – Minnesota said he doesnt expect ANY deals to be announced tonight. That’s in the entire majors.

      1. ssckelley

        So nobody hugging yet?

      2. Jed Jam Band

        You’re killing my buzz, man.

      3. Crockett

        “I hope by now you realize that was sarcasm.”

        “I think three deals go down tonight…one pretty big.”

        Sometimes, he’s still a jerk like in college…

    2. Assman22

      Dbacks and Indians both have interest…Cubs seeking Competitive Balance Picks…been in talks with several teams that hold those picks…

      1. VegasGoat

        No one feed the troll

        1. Drew7


          1. VegasGoat

            Last not there was a fake Assman feeding a bunch of bs

        2. CubsFaninMS

          No. The Assman Cometh.

      2. X the Cubs Fan

        Have interest in what?

        1. Assman22


          1. X the Cubs Fan

            Would be awesome if we hoard all the CBA picks next year.

      3. Lou Brock

        Interest in who – Russell ?

      4. Jp3

        I have the perfect avatar handle for Assman, I just stumbled on it while I may or may not have been checking out my favorite IPhone App (The Chive). Anyone else here ever go to it? I’d post this avatar suggestion for him but my wifi isn’t hooked up until tomorrow and my phone won’t let me post pics

        1. Joker

          KCCO, sir

  6. Bilbo161

    Things are looking good down on the farm. Hope we can add a couple more arms soon.

  7. Victor M

    Really hope the NL will have the DH position when Volgebach is major league ready.

    1. VegasGoat

      You got to wait for Seligs’s retirement before that becomes a possibility. But I agree it be pretty exciting to see vogelbach at dh

    2. SalukiHawk

      Really hope you’ll be traded by then to another message board for a true baseball fan.

    3. Scotti

      Rizzo doesn’t have a No Trade Contract…

  8. Jason Powers

    Red Sox on Peavy. They shouldn’t be. I’d question his health still. But they are falling behind Tampa, in a crazy good month.

    1. Figgelbert

      Rosenthal says deals close,olney said reviewing medicals
      Finally a big deal tonight maybe

  9. Josh

    Hugging in the pirates dugout

  10. Jason Powers

    Athletics Acquire Alberto Callaspo

    1. Jason Powers

      Athletics Acquire Alberto Callaspo For Grant Green

    2. deej34

      For Grant Green? Wow… Wasn’t Green in there top 3 prospects? Seems like a steep price.

      1. Jason Powers

        Not really. More about a given for a potential. Oakland needed a cost effective bat at 2B/3B. Sneaky Beane Cleans Up on Angels…;)

    3. Jed Jam Band

      Makes sense. Most likely moving to 2nd and only making that team even better.

  11. ssckelley

    Who got Avisail Garcia? Kaplan retweeted someone saying he got pulled in the middle of an at bat.

  12. Jared

    So… If Bryant and Baez are NOT coming up next year…who is? And how does this make us (the Cubs) competitive next year, or the year after? My timeline ((is extremely flawed) apparently), would have the big 4, 5 if you’re counting, in the bigs during the back half of 2014??? If they don’t come up, then we are still “rebuilding”?

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Alcantra, Olt, AA relievers, Sczur, Fujikawa, Vitters, Villanueva, Androli, maybe Soler, maybe Baez, maybe Bryant, maybe Pierce Johnson. Who knows?

    2. jpeck

      Lets be patient with these guys. Baez is still hitting .220. yes, lots of HR’s, but he is not ready. Bryant,… still in rookie league…. not ready.

      1. Jared

        I don’t want to rush anyone…I am simply trying to get a semi-solid grasp on the competitiveness for the coming years…

      2. Jono

        Exactly. It’s more important to develop them correctly than showing them off in front of fans at wrigley

    3. Jono

      Yep, it’s going to take time. This 2014 talk has gotten a little out of hand lately. I think that even 2015 isn’t very realistic for the team to be a true competitor. Im aiming for 2016. Rebuilds take time, especially when you start from the ground up (in the low minors). It’s not even all rebuild, it starts with reconstruction, then rebuild. 2014 is when they probably pivot from deconstruction to rebuild

      1. Jono

        *deconstruction*, not reconstruction

    4. Kyle

      This front office is perfectly capable of putting together a competitive team in 2014 with the players and budget room we have available to us, without bringing up any of the major prospects.

      1. BWA

        I know I’m dreaming here, but bringing back Garza and signing ellsbury would make us seem somewhat competitive. Good Rotation, hopefully improved bullpen, and less holes in the lineup with olt moving to third and barney hopefully replaced by alcantara midseason. Of course, Olt could be a huge hole in the lineup…

        1. Danny Ballgame

          Add Olt, move Valbuena to 2B, that’s an improvement

          1. Drew7

            Right now? I doubt that.

            1. willis

              Garza is not coming back. Never ever ever…ask Taylor Swift. They won’t pay him what he’s wanting, or even close. This is a dead issue.

              Going to be hard to compete in 2014 unless a couple big offensive pieces are added, which is hard to believe at this point. The pitching may be ok, but there is so much work to do. They may be a touch better, but not playoff ready.

          2. Mike F

            Let’s connect some dots on Olt first and see him have some minor successes at AAA before he’s handed anything. Right now in AAA Iowa he’s striking out over 37% of the time, not doing anything in terms of power and hitting just over 100. This follows pretty clear real regression in Texas AAA. He is looking like a real project and less like someone you just hand a position to.

            None of that is to say throw him away or give up. but it is to say the Chicago Cubs need hitting instruction help, and if ever there was a time not to let the Major League hitting coaching near a player this is it. Given what they are doing for Rizzo, Castro and Barney, its a fair question to ask why they have jobs. I think unless he starts hitting everything in sight, they need to step up and make some instruction change with hitters like Olt in mind, because if he is the real prospect so many think, he needs a lot of help and is a project they seem to failing on the Major League level already with.

            1. Kyle

              Olt went 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts.

              He’s like super-duper broken right now. He might be worse than Jackson and Vitters last year in their callups.

            2. another JP

              I think Olt will be OK… he’s coming back from a pretty serious injury and it might take a year for his eyes to adjust. He still has less than 250 ABs @ AAA and has to adjust to a new team too. With all the 3B prospects we have I’m not concerned about Olt’s production in the least, someone will step up and hopefully it’s him.

  13. YourResidentJag

    Wake up, Brett. We’ve got a big trade.

  14. X the Cubs Fan

    Jon HeymanVerified account‏@JonHeymanCBS
    red sox and white sox have a peavy deal.

    1. deej34
  15. Jason Powers

    Red Sox, White Sox Agree To Jake Peavy Trade for Jose Iglesias?

    1. Jed Jam Band

      Can’t be the centerpiece, can he?

      1. Jason Powers

        With the White Sox, who knows?

        1. Jason Powers

          Might be the only ‘piece’ they get…ha! (Salary relief?)

    2. JBarnes

      3 team deal…Iglesias to DET, Peavy to BOS, not sure about CHI

      1. JBarnes

        Looks like maybe Avisail Garcia to CHI

  16. Jp3
  17. Rebuilding

    So Boston got someone to buy high on Iglesias. Surely they have to give up a decent pitching prospect in the deal

    1. Crockett

      They have to be giving up at least one more decent prospect…maybe two.

      But yes, Iglesias is basically Darwin Barney but at SS. Great glove…zero bat.

    2. YourResidentJag

      Or someone desperate….with a major offensive piece….waiting to be suspended.

      1. Crockett

        In that case, the Tigers could have had Barney for MUCH less than Garcia.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Maybe, that all depends on how our FO values Barney.

    3. YourResidentJag

      This is an interesting take on Iglesias for Detroit:
      Paul Sporer ‏@sporer 8m
      Tigers have 4 of top 15 AL BABIPs: Verlander (.330), Sanchez (.319), 12 Porcello (.309), 14 Fister (.308) — Iglesias barely has to hit.

  18. Crockett

    So, this could seriously reopen the Shark to Dbacks thing.

    I don’t expect Shark to be dealt, but Towers has to be feeling pressure now, knowing the Dodgers are a pretty flawed team. I think they’ll end up with someone like Norris…but I can dream…

  19. Nate

    “Callis says there’s “no question” that Edwards and Pierce Johnson are the Cubs’ top two pitching prospects.” Does this mean that he’s skeptical of how vizcaino will be after his surgery or that Edwards and Johnson are just that good?

    1. Kyle

      Both. And Paniagua has had some really bad reports in the states.

      1. willis

        Right, both. Vizcaino is a relief arm, so going to take a backseat to serious rotation candidates. Johnson and Edwards have big promise and can still be considered future rotation pieces, so they’ll get the nod.

  20. Big Joe

    I’m on a business trip, in Clinton, IA.. I will get to see Kane County vs Clinton this weekend. Very much look forward to it. I’m actually staying the entire weekend just to see the series.

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