Yesterday’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.