Prospect Notes: Edwards, Almora, Bryant, Baez, Vogelbach, Jimenez, Torres, More

javier baez aflYesterday’s AFL action was relatively low on Cubs-related participation. Albert Almora went 1-4 with a single. /end Cubs stuff from game.

  • BP’s Jason Parks chatted about prospects, and offered many thoughts of relevance here … (1) Parks likes C.J. Edwards very much, but he simply doesn’t see a starting pitcher long-term, given the inability to add on weight – indeed, Parks says he doesn’t know a single evaluator who has seen Edwards in person and believes he can be a top-of-the-rotation arm; (2) although AFL performances are sometimes overrated, they aren’t meaningless – and Albert Almora is a top 20 prospect to Parks; (3) Kris Bryant is a “polished offensive monster” who is a top 10 prospect in the game, right behind Oscar Tavares(!); (4) third base is probably best for Javier Baez, given the hands and the arm; (5) Almora could probably handle a leap to AA, but it’s just a matter of how the Cubs’ developmental staff sees the best next step; (6) at least one of The Big Four will underwhelm, because that’s what happens; (7) Parks sees Bryant as a right fielder eventually; and (8) Corey Black is a future reliever, but he’ll reach the big leagues. There’s tons, tons more in there, though.
  • Keith Law also did some chatting, and … (1) Law thinks Bryant will stick at third (where he says the Cubs want him to stick) and will be a future All-Star; (2) [not prospecty, but interesting] Masahiro Tanaka is not comparable to Yu Darvish, and no one in the NPB is – instead, Tanaka is more comparable to Hiroki Kuroda (I’d still want that guy); (3) Law reminds everyone to take it easy on AFL stats, given the small sample and the caliber of pitching (which tends not to be as top shelf as the offensive talent, especially as guys get shut down at certain innings limits); (4) [also not prospecty, sorry] Law hopes Manny Acta gets the Cubs’ gig; and (5) Law implies – though it was directed by the question – that Dan Vogelbach has the worst body of any prospect (would love to know Parks’ hashtag for that one).
  • Carrie Muskat knocked one out of the park in an piece about international signees Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres, who are currently working with the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona. Read it, and let the joy of the international signing period this year (remember when the Cubs absolutely pwned that period?) wash over you anew. Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Anthony Iapoce says that the duo are advanced for 16-year-olds, and aren’t especially raw. Each youngster says he expects to be with the Cubs in three or four years. That’s pretty unlikely, but the two were the top prospects in the international class – and were paid commensurately – for a reason. If they’re as advanced as it sounds like they could be, playing in the States as soon as next year isn’t out of the question.
  • More on Kris Bryant’s development and his time in Arizona. The ball looks like a beach ball to him right now, he says.


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

161 responses to “Prospect Notes: Edwards, Almora, Bryant, Baez, Vogelbach, Jimenez, Torres, More”

  1. Kyle

    Because I gotta be me, I was pretty intrigued by the rip-job Arizona Phil did on Frandy de las Rosa, 2012′s No. 2 international signing after Paniagua.

    “Speaking of position players being converted to pitchers, 17-year old Dominican shortstop Frandy de la Rosa (signed by Cubs in 2012 – $700K bonus) continues to struggle mightily defensively and appears totally clueless at the plate as well. While it is probably too soon for the Cubs to give up on the idea that he can eventually succeed as a shortstop, de la Rosa does have a cannon for an arm, and so he could be a possible future RHP if the SS gig doesn’t work out. “

  2. Stinky Pete

    “Law implies – though it was directed by the question – that Dan Vogelbach has the worst body of any prospect”

    Japhet Amador respectfully disagrees…

  3. Cubbies

    How come when talking about Jiminez and Torres, it is always that they are 3-4 years away from coming stateside at the earliest. However when you look at some of the recent top international signings a lot of them made it here at 18. Many other top prospects have made it before then why would our guys take longer. Especially if they are getting rave reviews about their polish.

  4. Voice of Reason

    Am I the only one who finds it strange that 16 year olds from other countries are allowed to come to America and play baseball?

    I guess it’s okay under our labor laws, but how could it be?

    I guess a 16 year old kid in Columbus, Ohio could quit school and be signed by the Mariners?

    Isn’t that wrong from a values stand point?

    I guess values are out the windows when we’re talking about an association that has it’s members shooting up steroids.

    1. HCS

      As for point a, see Harper, Bryce.

    2. cubfanincardinalland

      You ever been to the Dominican Republic or Venezuela? These kids hit the lottery, best thing that ever happened to them and their families.

      1. Jono

        but they have to actually WORK for their fortune. 16 year olds shouldn’t have to work (insert sarcasm font)

    3. Funn Dave

      Hmm yeah that’s a tough call. I’m tempted to say that I agree with you, but I can also see the point that many of them are escaping poverty. I guess as long as they have the parents’ concurrence, it’s kind of like sending your kid off to boarding school. I hope the Cubs’ instructors realize as much and pay due attention to the players’ personal growth as well as their baseball growth.

      1. terencemann

        There’s definitely a lot of morality issues with the way Latin American prospects are handled. For one thing, most of them are at the mercy of their academy and the buscones until they actually sign with a major league team. Even then, the safety net is practically non-existent. There was a Nationals signee who died from meningitis a while back because he had no insurance, could not afford the local hospital and had to travel for hours to get to a hospital that would treat him.

        That’s balanced against the chance to make enough money in one signing to take care of their families for years – it’s kind of a lottery ticket. In the US, great players at least have the chance to get some money for college even if they’re not headed for the majors.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          Do you have a reference for that story? If you are talking about ERs they all have a legal obligation to treat any emergency condition regardless of ability to pay. Certainly could have had a triage situation where he was mistakenly thought not to be too sick. Very tragic and poor medical care if they refused him care at an ER.

          1. Patrick W.

            He died in the Dominican Republic.

            Yewri Guillen.

            Here is a quote from his father:

            “We took him to a doctor on Wednesday and Thursday in San Cristobal to treat him for the headaches,” Guillen said. “Things got worse on Friday and we went to Santo Domingo, but the (private clinic) wouldn’t help us because we didn’t have medical insurance or 50,000 pesos ($1,300) to leave as a deposit. From there we went to another center where Yewri remained hospitalized for seven days until he died.”

            Tragic story outlined here:


            1. Eternal Pessimist

              Oh…thanks! Thought this had happened in the U.S.

    4. Cizzle

      Soccer clubs have their own boarding/training schools. Kids start a lot earlier than 16 over in Europe.

      1. Funn Dave

        Factories have their own sweatshops. Kids start a lot earlier than 12 over in China.

        1. On The Farm

          Because sweatshops is a good comparison for soccer clubs in Europe. Wow.

      2. cubfanincardinalland

        Lionel Messi moved from Argentina to enter the football academy for Team Barcelona. He was 11.
        His net worth today is estimated at over 100 million dollars.

      3. Patrick W.

        Anybody ever see a WHL game? I was at a Seattle Thunderbirds game last Saturday where the starting goalie was 17, his backup is 16. Nobody seems to care about that.

  5. Blackhawks1963

    Not one of these pencil neck sabermetrician “experts” in the media (Law, Parks, etc.) can tell me why CJ Edwards won’t succeed as a starting pitcher. It’s foolish to project ANYBODY to be a top of rotation starter unless they have a minor league resume like Strasburg. That said I feel very good about Edwards becoming a true quality major league starting pitcher. Tim Lincecum weights 160 pounds soaking wet and was an elite pitcher for several years. Greg Maddux hit the radar gun at 91 MPH and looked like an accountant en route to 350 career victories.

    1. Kyle

      Maddux was known to hit 94 before he got older and slower.


      1. Blackhawks1963

        Edwards has electric stuff. A fastball that dances and a breaking ball that is unfair. He is not a scrawny twerp who throws junk to the plate. And for all the criticisms of his physical build there is no denying the kid is a pure athlete.

        1. JB88

          If he didn’t fade after 4 innings, I’m sure people would overlook his slight build. It is the fact that he can’t sustain his stuff that probably has most talent evaluators nervous about suggesting he is a TOR pitcher.

          1. gocatsgo2003

            Are there splits anywhere that back up the “fade after 4 innings” assertion? I’m asking honestly because I can’t find anything other than month-by-month splits, which don’t seem to support any kind of “fade” over a longer period of time (though he did pitch less innings toward the end of the year, which could be instructive, but also probably very common for young starters).

            1. JB88

              There were lots of eye witness reports this season, at least, of him being unable to sustain a mid-90s fastball after the first few innings.

              Given his age and weight, I think most people expect that will be a constant problem. For me, we’ll see. It would be great if he was the rare exception and started gaining stamina as he gets older.

            2. On The Farm

              They also could have been limiting his innings so that he could play in the FSL playoffs. I don’t know for certain, but there could be other factors of why he never really pitched a lot of innings in Daytona this season.

              1. JB88

                Again, limiting innings is one thing. It is another when repeated people said he lost a few miles off his fastball by the 4th inning. That’s not a red flag, but it is a concern. And I think it is a valid reason to doubt that Edwards is a TOR pitcher.

          2. Jason Powers

            Something tells me he should be allowed to go deep…Edwards

            2012: 13 Starts, 67 IP – 5 IP average
            2013: Tex: 18 for 93IP – again 5IP
            2013: Cubs: 6 for 23IP- tick under 4IP

            Allow the guy to go 7 innings….not every time, but if under 100 pitches. Edwards has given up 1 HR in 183 IPs. So if he’s fading, it does not result in what I consider the bad outcomes..

            66BB in those 183IP. Do they all happen after inning 4? That would be sign, at least…

            Find him a dietician that can add weight and lean muscle, since that’s the durability knock from the traditionalists.

            The Cubs need to hit jackpot on this guy. Either a 6inning mid rotation guy, or a Craig Kimbrel…statistically.

            1. itzscott

              If the only thing holding him back from being a TOR starter is that he loses it after 5 IP, then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a lights out middle reliever and closer to plan on using whenever he starts.

              Trot out those 3 consistently and that gives the Cubs the TOR they don’t have now or in their system.

              1. On The Farm

                Well 9-5=4. So unless the lights out RP and CP are pitching two innings each, they are going to need more than just those two pitchers. Also, since lights out RP don’t grow on trees, if we did use just those two to close out Edward’s games we would also have to plan on having a third really good bullpen arm, because the first two will probably be unavailable the next day. If your starting pitcher is only going to give you 5 IP every start, your bullpen is going to struggle.

                1. itzscott

                  A lights out middle reliever, as well as a lights out closer can pitch more frequently than every 5 days….. unlike a TOR pitcher.

                  1. On The Farm

                    Not if they are pitching two innings in a day, also if we have to count on them pitching every time Edwards is on the bump it is going to vastly hurt the bullpen. Over use of RP arms is not a good thing.

        2. Kyle

          What’s weird is that you are complaining about sabermetrics and pencil-necks or whatever, but stats *love* Edwards. It’s traditional old scouts who doubt his build.

        3. cub2014

          I think what law is saying is that he is more likely
          to not handle the 200 innings per year without
          arm problems. That is an educated guess, but I
          agree there are many exceptions to this theory.
          Many big strong kids who get hurt as well. So
          prospects are a crap shoot plain and simple.

        4. cubfanincardinalland

          I was told he throws nice and easy with very little effort. Boy, did Theo and Jed pillage the Rangers on that Garza deal, or what?

          1. ScottPilgrim

            Pillage? We got a blind 3B and a possible bullpen arm.

            1. On The Farm

              We have a 3B (who we seem to have quite of few in the system now) that we could take a chance on, a RP (Neil Ramirez), a mid rotation SP (Edwards) and a back end rotation/bullpen guy (Grimm). I would call that a pillage for a couple Months of Matt Garza.

      2. JB88

        I read “/neverlettingthispetpeevego” and Rick Astley’s timeless classic immediately started running through my head. So, thanks for that.

    2. Norm

      That pencil neck Law agrees with you.
      MKPJ (Chicago)
      Hey Keith. Please tell me the Cubs can get some weight to stick on CJ Edwards.? This guy can be really good, right?

      (1:21 PM)
      Potential star. Weight/durability will be an issue, but he’s athletic and does it all very easy.

      Jack (Toronto)
      Klaw, I saw that John Manuel said that scouts he talked to in the FSL preferred CJ Edwards to Syndergaard (better breaking ball, better secondary offerings, also throws hard). This seems crazy to me. Wasn’t Syndergaard posting triple digits? What do you think about those 2 pitchers?

      (1:22 PM)
      I didn’t see John’s piece, but I can completely understand that point of view. Velocity doesn’t make the pitcher and Edwards has a far better breaking ball. Syndergaard is much further along, which balances things out somewhat.

      1. jt

        Warren Edward Spahn

        Position: Pitcher
        Bats: Left, Throws: Left
        Height: 6′ 0″, Weight: 172 lb.

  6. cub2014

    3-4 years to reach the majors for Jiminez seems pretty
    optimistic. But there must be something to like.

    Many of these prospects will never make it successfully
    in the big leagues. Some that do may make it will be with a
    different team. Even if they all ended up being stars, you
    wouldn’t have room to play them all. So many off these
    guys will be traded, hopefully before they bust. Hopefully
    the FO picks the right ones to trade. I think a trade this
    off season involving some prospects is probably coming.

  7. BT

    Law also said that Bowden’s grades of 70/70 for Abreu were “way off”, and that he won’t have the impact of Puig or Cespedes. No mention of him being the best hitting prospect in the world.

    1. Rebuilding

      I hate to question the great Keith Law, but Abreu put up the same numbers as a 19 yo that Cespedes did in his last year in the Cuban league at 24. At 24 Abreu put up video game numbers. Puig is a different animal because he was much younger (although you heard man of the same things and that it would take a couple of years for him to even make it to the majors).

      1. BT

        The point isn’t that Law is right, everyone else is wrong (although the law of percentages say he is). It’s that people on this board hear one guy say Abreu is an 80, and suddenly he isn’t a prospect anymore, he’s a sure thing that the Cubs would be idiots not to not only drop 70 million on, but get rid of Rizzo to make room for. He might be the next Prince Fielder, but the Cubs would have to pony up quite a bit to find out. And it’s for damn certain no one on this board knows anything for sure about him.

        1. terencemann

          I think the moral of the story is: never read Jim Bowden for actual baseball analysis. His articles about the inner-workings of front offices and dealing with arbitration are really interesting, though. I guess he’s ok at the radio thing or else they wouldn’t hold onto him.

    2. mjhurdle

      that is not true. I have read on these message boards that Abreu is an 80 power easy, and that the Marlins KNOW he is better than Stanton, but just didn’t have the money to sign him. :)

  8. cub2014

    Lets not forget Cespedes and Puig after thir
    amazing starts have stats similiar to Nate
    Schierholtz so time will tell what these guys
    really are.

    Look at Ortiz and Cabrera these 2 minor league
    stats looked pedestrian as did their 1st partial
    season in the majors it took Ortiz almost 3 years
    in the bigs before he started to turn it on, so you
    never know.

    1. terencemann

      Puig held up pretty well for a rookie even if his final month was a little rough:

      1. Jon

        The popular myth on BN is that Puig was terrible the 2nd half the season.

        1. TWC

          “popular myth” = a few folks’ opinions?

          Criminy, some of you are really into the whole whiny victim thing, aren’t you?

          1. MichiganGoat

            Everyone just needs happy thoughts

        2. On The Farm

          When I look at Puig’s month-by-month split I see: Hot June, Cooled off in July, Heated back up in August, Pretty cold November.

          1. On The Farm

            Wow September, not November.

            1. DarthHater

              Hitless November not really his fault. ;-)

              1. On The Farm

                We’ll see a back-to-back wins in STL and then unfortunate weather delay could push the WS to November.

  9. Funn Dave

    “…at least one of the Big Four will underwhelm.”

    Soler or Almora; I’m callin’ it now.

    1. ari gold

      I’d say Baez. The expectations for him are through the roof, and he does have a worrisome k %.

      1. Funn Dave

        That’s true, we are pinning a lot of our hopes on him.

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          He’s also the only one who hit 37 homers last year….no, I doubt strongly it will be Baez.

    2. DarthHater

      Parks will underwhelm. The Big Four will all succeed.

    3. Voice of Reason

      I would say three of the four will underwhelm compared to what we’re expecting!

      I say Bryant ends up being the All Star and possible Hall of Famer!

  10. cub2014

    i think soler has biggest bust potential (hasnt
    really done anything yet) even though Baez
    K-rate screams bust (i really hope he is the
    acception to the K rule).

    1. Jon

      If Soler busts it’s going to make their failure to get Puig look even worse.

      1. cub2014

        jon, lets not forget that many teams are bidding
        on these guys. I think it is unrealistic to think we
        get all 3? (darvish,cespedes,puig) and less than
        likely we manage to get any of those 3.

      2. cubfanincardinalland

        I heard that Dave McKay absolutely loves Soler. His comments were the kid has a huge drive to succeed. Has a chance to be a star in the league, needs to work on pitch recognition, but has great hand eye coordination and a rocket arm. Just needs to play. 50 homer potential.

        1. Jon

          50 HR? Maybe if PEDS weren’t tested for now. McKay did help Canseco become a monster (wink wink)

        2. DavidC

          If any one is going to hit 50 HR someday it will be Bryant or Baez. I’ll be thrilled if Soler hit 30 someday.

        3. Mike F

          No I agree with McKay, great hand eye, quick hands and wrists allow the ball to jump off his bat. He has a lot of upside.

    2. Funn Dave

      Personally, I hope he’s the *exception* to the K rule, and doesn’t just accept it.

      -BN Grammar Douche

      1. Scooti

        From the 2011 draft:

        “Wilken said Baez has varying approaches at the plate.”

        “He’s got two different swings,” Wilken said. “He really lets it out at times, and then he’s got a good two-strike approach.”

        From September of this year:

        “I’m more patient at the plate,” Baez said. “Since I got called up to Double A, I’ve had to be. The pitchers here know what they can throw you and what you can hit. You have to wait to get one to hit.”

    3. On The Farm

      …except Soler posted a 9 BB%, .186 ISO, .367 wOBA, and 125 wRC+ in Daytona. What a bum.

      1. Kyle

        None of those numbers are particularly exceptional. They are all pretty good, sure.

        1. gocatsgo2003

          “They’re all pretty good, sure.”

          Isn’t it kind of the point that you look for above-average numbers across the board? This was also in the kid’s first action stateside.

          1. Kyle

            Depends on the context.

            In the context of elite prospects, which we’d like Soler to be, I’d like a little more.

            1. On The Farm

              He put up better numbers in the FSL than Almora put up in the MWL.I am not sure how that would equate to Soler has the best chance of busting. The numbers were posted to show that while Soler wasn’t other worldly, he still posted some pretty solid numbers. Numbers that are solid enough that scouts haven’t been convinced he should be moved out of the top 30s of top prospects. So you are right not the greatest stats, but he is also the lowest ranked Big Four.

              1. Kyle

                Almora is also a center fielder. I’m not super crazy about Almora’s numbers, either, though. I think there’s a clear demarcation between Baez/Bryant and Almora/Soler.

                1. On The Farm

                  Well I don’t think anyone would argue you. Baez is a top 10, and some consider Bryant a top 10 also. Almora looks like a top 20 and Soler is in the 30s. Much like you have changed your tune with Baez this year, I have a feeling by late July you will have a different feeling about Almora and Soler. I am not saying they are superstar prospects, but they are still star prospects.

                  1. Kyle

                    I’m not saying they aren’t star prospects.

            2. jt

              “In the context of elite prospects, which we’d like Soler to be, I’d like a little more”
              could be wrong but wasn’t he hitting on the stress fracture all spring?
              Also, I’m of the opinion that he needed more PA’s to define himself for that level.

            3. JB88

              The main question for me, though, is whether Soler’s numbers low because he was injured or are they low because that’s his talent? I’m hoping the former.

              1. DarthHater

                In five AFL games, Soler has five hits, three of them doubles, and four RBIs. That’s not that bad, especially coming off a long layoff and facing higher-level competition than previously.

            4. josh ruiter

              like a little more? on a broken leg? hell, the fact that he was playing is staggering enough! let him play healthy for awhile, then cast a stone if you want

            5. Drew7

              Below AA, scouting reports >>> numbers

              1. Kyle

                I don’t disagree. But when I’m looking at guys with glowing scouting reports *and* awesome numbers (Baez, Bryant), I prefer them to guys with glowing scouting reports and pretty good numbers.

        2. On The Farm

          I never said he was amazing. But the post I replied to said he hasn’t done anything yet. Being one of the younger players in the FSL putting up above average stats. What more do you want from a prospect?

          1. caryatid62

            Considering many Cubs fans are selling “THE FUTURE” as the defense against any critiques of their current MLB team/payroll issues, it would be nice if he were a little better than above average.

            Like it or not, when so much time is spent promoting the minor leagues as the cure-all, there has to be an expectation that these players will come under increased scrutiny.

            1. On The Farm

              You’re thinking is flawed if you think every top prospect is supposed to put up video game numbers. Soler put up some pretty good numbers, better than league average while being young for his league. Don’t forget he comes in at #4 of the Big Four. Bryant and Baez are getting all the love with their insane power. Almora is getting his love because he has the ability to make really good contact. Its not like the FUTURE rests solely on Soler’s shoulders.

        3. ari gold

          Those aren’t bad for a guy who didn’t play a lot over the past 2 years. Also, who knows how bad his leg was? Maybe it was bothering him before he went on the DL? Maybe not. I think by this time next year, it’ll be a lot more clear how good Soler is.

  11. cub2014

    I meant only 300 AB so far and very little power. But
    he would be my guess as a bust guy. I hope I am
    wrong we will certainly know a lot more about him
    after 2014.

  12. BlameHendry

    Tim Lincecum has decided he wants to test the FA market. I really hope our FO takes a good look at him…

    1. Funn Dave

      Me, too. One of my favorite players.

    2. Voice of Reason

      You mean like when you were a kid and you took a good look at the sun and after just the blink of an eye you had to turn your head so you wouldn’t go blind?

      That’s the only way I want the front office to look at lincecum. He looks like he smokes too much dope.

      1. CubsFaninMS

        When I see Tim Lincecum, the first thing that pops in my mind is “ARTEX, YOU’RE SINKING!” He looks just like the kid from the Neverending Story.

        1. Jon

          I always thought he was a dead ringer for “Mitch” from Dazed and Confused

  13. Jon

    Everyone is aware Lincecum has been pretty much awful for two years, correct?

    I’d offer 2 years, 8 million and nothing more.

    1. YourResidentJag

      He really needs to be turned into a closer….something which I don’t think would be a primary target of the Cubs.

    2. Voice of Reason

      8 million each year of the two years or 8 million total meaning 4 million per year?

      1. Jon

        8 total/ 4 year.

        1. Voice of Reason

          You will never get him for that.

          8mil for one year? MAYBE, if he slips to us and he takes a one year to prove he is back as a premiere starter.

          If not, minimum 10mil per year on name and past performance alone.

          1. Jon

            That’s fine. Like I said, he’s pretty bad these days.

    3. terencemann

      You can probably find better starters. His name recognition is going to net him a few extra million not to mention the Giants’ preference to re-sign their players.

      BBREF sees him as below replacement level for last season.

    4. Funn Dave

      Awful as a starter. But remember how he pitched in relief during the playoffs last year? Beautiful.

      1. cub2014

        i here people calling lincecum awful, but his
        number this year were the same as Samardijza’s.

  14. Iowacubs

    What happened to Gerardo Concepcion? I know he was taken off the 40 man. Any news on him or is he a lost cause now?

    1. terencemann

      He was pulled from game action until the instructional league (now) back in late June due to back issues.

      1. terencemann

        Thanks, BN, for covering it!

  15. Blackhawks1963

    Carrie Muskrat has an interesting article posted on Mike “Mr. Magoo” Olt. Apparently he is making progress with his vision problems in Arizona right now. I remain dubious on him ever amounted to anything, but maybe we will hit on that lottery ticket and he can be decent until Kris Bryant or Javy Baez arrives at 3rd base.

    1. Voice of Reason

      She works for Major League Baseball. Did you expert her to write an objective piece that says his career is over?

      1. Funn Dave

        Yeah, she almost never writes anything negative. When she does, it’s only because she has to.

    2. Jon


  16. Steve

    Blackhawks1963: Carrie’s last name is Muskat not Muskrat.

    1. DarthHater

      Glad we got that cleared up.

  17. Cheryl

    Does Law ever change his mind about a prospect? I’ve read several positive reports on Vogelbach and it seems that once he’s down on somebody that’s it.

    1. terencemann

      He does it’s just usually not high profile players and he’s been correct about a lot of guys (Brett Jackson and Mike Olt, for example) when other people were a lot higher on them. I mean if Vogelbach’s ceiling is Matt Adams, that’s a good enough hitter to be a major league regular but not someone to throw a parade for.

  18. Patrick W.

    It’s really disgusting to poke fun at Mike Olt for getting hit in the head and having vision problems because he can’t help the baseball team you root for be a little better.

    I don’t get the thorough lack of empathy. It’s grotesque to see for what it says about you as a sad person.

    1. DarthHater

      It’s really insensitive of you to criticize a guy for making comments attributable to his having been dropped on his head repeatedly as an infant. :-P

      1. Patrick W.

        I’m disgusted in myself.

  19. Jon

    Every Tom, Dick, & Larry gets offended by something. Grow some thicker skin

    1. Patrick W.

      I’m not offended I’m disgusted.

    2. fortyonenorth

      Jews, sick kids, blind people. Jon’s just ticking off his list. If he hasn’t offended you yet, he will soon.

      1. Jon

        ok, I’ll bite. How did I offend Jews? I simply suggested there might be slight bond between Epstein and Ausmus because they shared a common faith.

        The length some of you assholes go to on here to twist things blows my mind.

        1. DarthHater

          There you go offending assholes now. Sheesh! :-P

        2. Stinky Pete

          Wow. You could probably use some thicker skin. Relax, dude.

        3. On The Farm

          Or you can continually bash a guy with vision problems, make unnecessary remarks about a guy doing charity work (for a cancer society no less), and we don’t have to twist what you said at all. You realize you make it incredibly easy don’t you?

  20. someday...2015?

    Bryant just went deep.

    1. someday...2015?

      And he goes deep again!

  21. RotoChamp

    Kris Bryant is ridiculous. 2 HRs today, including one over the 2nd fence at HoHoKam (480 ft ?). He also has a ground rule double that every eyewitness says cleared the fence… really 3 HRs today SO FAR, though only 2 will count in the box score.

    1. Professor Snarks

      Prediction time:

      Who is up to the bigs first? Bryant or Baez?

      1. RotoChamp

        If they think Bryant has passable defense at 3B then I think he’s up the first week of May with Baez to follow when they feel Super 2 deadline has passed (mid June).

      2. Cheryl

        Bryant up first, Baez second, Lake gets another try at center field, Vogelbach has a solid year in minors and is promoted to AAA and is part of a package traded for Price or traded to the Rockies (I wish this wouldn’t happen but see it as a good possibility if Rizzo comes back.) and Castro may be traded in September. I think the first three are real possibilities, not sure about Rizzo, Castro or Vogelbach a lot depends on this off season and how Rizzo and Castro do next year. Also, Edwards may get a look see in September when rosters expand.

    2. mjhurdle

      i KNEW we should have drafted Gray!!

  22. someday...2015?

    @BerniePleskoff: #Cubs Kris Bryant just hit a first pitch oppo boppo homer to right center field. That was his 2nd homer of the game. Also had a double.

  23. daveyrosello

    Bryant, wow….Tavares, Bryant, Sano, Singleton, Baez, that’s pretty much your elite 5 power bats in the minors right now. Niiiiice.

  24. North Side Irish

    Baseball America ‏@BaseballAmerica 1h
    Minors Update: Tyler Skulina, Rob Zastryzny Throw For Theo (VIDEO)

    Also has a video of Eloy Jiminez batting…

  25. Diamond Don

    Baez will not flop! His bat speed is off the radar. He reminds me a little of Gary Sheffield’s bat speed. Why do any of the Big 4 have to flop? Maybe all 4 will be good players. I predict Almora wins a lot of gold gloves and Baez becomes a real star!

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Maybe they don’t all flop, but the percentages of all 4 becoming quality regular players is not likely. Add on top of that you are saying in your post essentially 2 of the 4 will become “stars”. That is even less likely. Can happen, but you are forming that opinion with a Single A player who is at best 2 full seasons away if not 3. How can anyone predict a player in Single A is going to win lots of gold gloves? I love our prospects as much as anyone, but man.

    2. cub2014

      diamond, sheffields minors k rate was
      11%, baez has a k rate of 25%. So there
      is reason to be concerned.

      1. Diamond Don

        Yes, I agree that a 25% strikeout ratio might be an issue, but Baez is 19 years old and is playing against players much older than him. Learning pitchers and the strike zone will come through experience. Eye/hand coordination and bat speed can’t be taught and Baez has this talent.

        1. cub2014

          i really hope baez excels, but sheffield
          was 19 at AA as well. Baez will have to
          learn to control his swing or he might
          end up being at .240 hitter with big power
          (which wouldnt be terrible).

          1. MichiganGoat

            The biggest concern for me is that K% rarely gets dramatically better as a players makes it to the show, Baez will likely be a near 200K hitter and hopefully the HR make it something we can live with.

            1. cub2014

              ya adam dunn went from k rate in minors
              of 21% to 28% in the bigs. It is very rare
              for someone to reduce k rate as they move
              up. If over swinging is Baez issue then that
              can be fixed. We will know a lot more this
              time next year.

              1. MichiganGoat

                I’d be happy with a better fielding “in his prime” Adam Dunn but Dunn was also great at taking BB.

                1. Eternal Pessimist

                  Again, we are talking about a 19 y/o playing against much older players. How young would he need to be before we rethink how likely he is to keep that high strike-out rate. What if he was only 18 y/o? or 17 y/o? don’t we expect one of the youngest guys in AA to strike out more against the more advanced minor league pitching?

                  1. hansman1982

                    “How young would he need to be before we rethink how likely he is to keep that high strike-out rate.”

                    Unfortunately, he has never flashed an acceptable K rate. He has issues making contact. Hopefully, it is just his approach and when he gets schooled in MLB, hopefully he adjusts.

                    1. jt

                      2013 147K/578PA = 25%
                      2012 68K/321PA = 21%
                      using the standard 165PA’s/season
                      25% of 650PA’s would be 163K/season
                      That is a lot of K’s but for a 0.500+ SLG guy batting 6th it would be acceptable.
                      It seems that he doesn’t have to lower his K rate (though it would be nice if he did). Rather he needs to prevent it from going higher as he ascends the system.

                    2. Eternal Pessimist

                      I guess I’m hoping this formula doesn’t fully apply to guys that have always played a couple of leagues higher than their age…as he gets stronger (is it really possible) as a 21 and 22 year old he might start finding himself able to foul off some of the strikes.

            2. hansman1982

              Ya, let’s hope his power this year wasn’t a bit flukey. If he is a 30 HR hitter, a 30% K rate really hurts his value if he’s only walking 6% of the time.

        2. DocPeterWimsey

          ” Learning pitchers and the strike zone will come through experience. Eye/hand coordination and bat speed can’t be taught and Baez has this talent.”

          Actually, pitch recognition is as unteachable and unlearnable (if not more so) than bat speed. It is extremely rare for batters to improve pitch recognition: and it’s possible that the few guys who showed signs of it (Sammy Sosa is the only one in recent years) actually did something else.

          What we have to hope for is a Chris Davis type who homers enough to make up for the lack of walks and all of the K’s. But a 30+% K rate in MLB should not be a surprise.

          1. jt

            Perhaps the 20/21 y/o ages of Adam Jones at AAA is instructive.
            Adam Jones is also a low BB guy (4.6% MLB). His age 21 K rate grew to 22.6% in 2006 from 18.8% in 2005 while playing for the same team in the same league. But his SLG also grew to 0.586 from 0.484 for those years.

  26. cub2014

    Its so unlikely that our prospects become
    all stars. (i hope they do) you have to add
    some legitimate hitters to finish this rebuild.

  27. MichiganGoat

    Fucking Cardinal Voodoo Magic

    1. Brains
      1. Brains

        We suck so bad that they don’t even want to play us on the radio anymore after like 80 years on the same station.

  28. Jp3

    Well, Bryant had himself quite a day, 3-5 with a double and 2 HRs…

    1. TOOT

      Yes, this kid is tearing it up. You have to believe this kid is the real deal and the FO hit a HR with te pick. Great to see. Can’t wait to see up in the bigs. Looks like the FO thinks he could stick at third too.

    2. TOOT
      1. MichiganGoat

        I wonder if the Cubs had the first pick if they would have still picked him.

        1. TOOT

          That is a REALLY good question. Personally, I think they had their minds made up. But your point is intriguing, for sure.

    3. MichiganGoat

      It’s starting to look like that 80 power is very real, and that is squeal worthy.

  29. Dumpgobbler

    Hey Brett, just to give you a heads up I just read an article on about Olt and his eyes. Sounds optimistic. I’ll reserve judgment until spring training but nice to read anyways.

  30. kscubfan

    2014 could be a very exciting time in the minors….lots of guys to follow…maybe even one or too make to Chicago

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