You may have noticed, but my podcast co-host Sahadev Sharma also does quite a bit of writing. Virtually all of his work is worth highlighting here on BN – dude can write (there’s a reason we hit it off in the first place) – and his latest on a handful of Chicago Cubs prospects is no exception.
In a fair bit of detail over at ESPN Chicago, Sahadev digs into ten of the Cubs’ most-discussed prospects (although he cautions that it’s not a top ten list, it includes guys who are solidly in the top ten conversation): Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantara, Dan Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, C.J. Edwards, Paul Blackburn, and Kyle Hendricks. If you follow Cubs prospects even casually, you’ve probably heard of these guys, and Sahadev’s piece offers additional insight (including bits from scouts and rival executives – an AL scouting director called Bryant “an Adonis”) and statistical analysis.
Here’s a portion of the write-up on Dan Vogelbach, for example:
Vogelbach is known for his power, but it’s his plus hit tool and ability to drive the ball to all fields that makes him a strong offensive talent. By the looks of him, one would assume that Vogelbach would be a pull-happy, strikeout prone lefty, but that’s hardly the case with the burly, Florida native. To go along with his plus raw power, Vogelbach has strong contact ability and is more of a pure hitter than most would imagine ….
There are those who aren’t nearly as high on Vogelbach’s bat. And if a scout isn’t high on his bat, there isn’t much else to like. Scouts who have seen Vogelbach say he has questionable hands in the field, doesn’t position himself well defensively and has little to no range. To continue to progress into the big leagues, Vogelbach is going to have to hit at an above-average level on a consistent basis. Right now, it appears Vogelbach is a DH stuck in a National League system. One scout who wasn’t particularly fond of the bat felt that Vogelbach was heading toward being a “4A” player, “a guy who mashes in Triple-A, but ends up going to Japan.”
Obviously there are many who feel differently, including plenty in the Cubs organization. It’s their hope that Vogelbach takes advantage of the nice weather early on in Daytona and hits his way to Tennessee before the end of the 2014 season.
Good read. Check it out.