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jorge soler cubsI cut my foot open this morning when a can lid poked through the trash bag I was carrying. That was weird, and kind of sucked. If only I weren’t a flip flops guy, it could have been avoided …

  • Not to do a redux of yesterday’s fruitful, but drawn-out conversation about Jorge Soler’s struggles in the Arizona Fall League this year (in all of a week and a half’s worth of games, and after missing three months of action), but Jesse Rogers wrote up a long piece on the Cubs outfield prospect yesterday. In it, he hears from at least one scout (was it the same one in the BA piece?) who questioned Soler’s bat speed at this point (calling him “raw”), and another scout (or was it the same one? hard to tell) who says Soler simply doesn’t look like the same guy he was in Spring Training. Neither of those comments provide me any more heartburn than was already there about a young man who has played so little baseball over the last two and a half years. “Raw” was always going to be Soler’s story until he’d played a couple organized seasons consecutively. His injury this year was horribly timed in that regard, but he’s back on the field, and we’ll see what happens next year.
  • Rogers also notes that Soler had to step away from the AFL for a few days to go deal with a residency issue. He’s expected back tomorrow or Friday, but missing more games … grumble. It’s just not what he needs.
  • It’s important to note, by the way, that many who have seen Soler in the AFL have not expressed concerns about him regressing as a prospect. When you compare him to the explosions by Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, or the hot AFL start by Albert Almora, sure, Soler is going to look like he’s really lagging. But you’re talking about three guys that are clear top 20 prospects in all of baseball. To be a bit behind them is no criticism, even if it’s true.
  • Speaking of AFL games, the Mesa Solar Sox lost yesterday. Albert Almora led off and went just 1-5, and Kris Bryant had a couple singles in his four at bats.
  • Another interview with Kris Bryant – he’s the star of the AFL, after all – that’s worth checking out.
  • Sahadev Sharma writes a long piece for Vine Line about Welington Castillo’s emergence, with the aid of staff assistant Mike Borzello. Great read.
  • The Cubs year in quotes, courtesy of Patrick Mooney and CSN.
  • Topps selected Byron Buxton as the minor league player of the year, which is entirely fair, given his ridiculous numbers and fantastic defense in center field. I’d like to think, since we’re just talking about performance, that Javier Baez was probably a close second. How could he not be, right?
  • I hesitate to even share this, because so help me, if it turns into a political or religious discussion … but, the Westboro Baptist Church is planning to protest the World Series at Busch Stadium. They say such silly things. They are the cutest little hate-mongers ever!
  • There is no connection to baseball here, but there’s a connection to sports and me, so that’s enough: it’s the Ohio State marching band doing a half-time Michael Jackson routine, complete with moonwalking. Very worth your time, even if you just skip ahead to the moonwalking (4 minutes).
  • cub2014

    what is the deal with this westboro church they are
    insane. i am a christian and how they have treated
    the family of fallen troops is absolutely disgusting.

    i feel better i wont say another word on this subject

    • Soda Popinski

      I’m going to bet you already opened a can of worms. (wait for it…)

      • auggie55

        I hope the group prays for curse that is longer than that which has has been cast upon the Cubs to be cast on the Cardinals.

        • On The Farm

          A nice thought, but we all know that the Cardinals’ Voodoo magic is more powerful than any curse Westboro tries to place on them.

          • hansman

            Death by a thousand paper cuts has to start somewhere.

            • On The Farm

              I don’t know, I mean they are a team full of Cardinals and somehow avoided the bird flu. It just seems impossible to get to them.

    • Randy

      You must’ve missed the “I hesitate to even share this, because so help me, if it turns into a political or religious discussion …” – or maybe you didn’t, and still decided to make this the first comment, anyway.

      • mjhurdle

        how is saying that these people and what they are doing is disgusting somehow starting a religious or political discussion?

        • Kyle

          We could have a journalism discussion no the responsibility of reporting on them at all.

          • mjhurdle

            im not sure this board is the place, but that would be a fascinating discussion.

            • hansman

              I think a better discussion would be one on the morallity of the E! network being in existence.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Generally-speaking, ignoring them completely would be my preferred tack, since they are nothing more than in-real-life trolls.

            But the Cardinals thing and the World Series thing … I couldn’t help myself.

            I guess I’ve been trolled.

            • ncsujuri

              It’s kinda like how when some idiot gets on the field we don’t get to see him get plowed by an NFL linebacker because they don’t want to devote attention to the idiocy.

            • ClevelandCubsFan

              They are worse than trolls. This is basically one extended family, a total of about 40 people. They call themselves Westboro Baptist Church. In so doing they disgrace the words church, baptist, and (I presume though I’ve never been there) Westboro. They get attention because they are shocking and shocking makes money for the media. And them.

    • RoughRider

      I want to make a remark about that group but nothing seems to be appropriate. May God have mercy.

    • Aaron

      I’m a Christian as well and I’m appalled at the things that church says. They claim that if everyone would read the Bible and follow, then our country would be better. Perhaps they are correct. Perhaps they should be the first to do so ;)

      2 Timothy 2:23-25 NLT
      Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. [24] A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. [25] Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

      Cause that’s what these Westboro folks are doing, right? Yuck.

  • HCS

    People of all faiths (or lack thereof) are capable of amazing good and amazing evil. Unfortunately, The WBC falls well into the realm of the latter.

    No accusations of the Cardinals using Voodoo, though. I think their aim is off on this one.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Brett do you have a story about your time at the Neverland ranch to share with us???

  • Cubbie in NC

    If I had to rate the top 4 in the system of likelihood to fail it would have to be
    Soler
    Almora
    Bryant
    Baez

    Hopefully none do, but odds are that at least 1 of them will not reach their potential.

    • cub2014

      If your talking strictly likely to fail
      I would have to say:
      Soler (lots of questions)
      Baez (strikeout rate)
      Almora
      Bryant

    • ssckelley

      interesting….my top 4 to fail

      1. Baez – to many swing and a miss (blast away at me)
      2. Soler – yep ok…struggling in AFL (yawn, whatever)
      3. Bryant – lol…uhhhh…yeah, Wrigley next year? Over/under at 25 homers in 2015 (in Chicago) to low?
      4. Almora – Has the tools to start in CF now. Injuries will be the only thing to keep him from Wrigley in 2015.

      • hansman

        BUT THOSE HOMERUNZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        (provided MLB pitching doesn’t cause him to K 35% of the time)

        • Kyle

          He could strike out 35% of the time and still be above replacement level fairly easily.

          • ssckelley

            Sure, as long as he keeps knocking the ball out of the ball park. I have always wondered what it would be like to have a Gorman Thomas playing middle infield.

            • Andrew

              he could hit like .200/.300/.450 and still be above replacement level if he plays shortstop. that’s why I’d say Baez has the highest floor. At a minimum he looks like he’ll hit like Soriano (lots of power and k’s) but at a much harder position to play.

              • ssckelley

                I agree, let me rephrase my comment to “I think it would be neat to have Gorman Thomas like production playing middle infield”. Reports are good on his defensive skills, he needs to cut down on his errors which is typical for a SS his age. But to swap out Barney for THAT kind of offensive production gets me giddy.

          • hansman

            Ya, a range of 28-35% K rate would take him from superstar (.396 wOBA (strictly using his AA stats)) to well above average (.360 wOBA).

            Assuming he still hits the ball as well when he does hit the ball.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Yea. I’d almost be okay with Baez K’ing 35% of the time if he leads the team (division?) in bases/HR.

      • Norm

        People seem mighty high on Bryant (rightfully so, of course) but he still needs to show that he’s not Baez-like in approach. His A+ K/BB %’s were pretty abysmal for the college player of the year.

        Yes, I know, 60-some PA’s, but I think his bust potential is pretty close to Baez’s right now.

        • ssckelley

          WHAT???? Go look at his college stats again. For as many home runs as he hits they were very impressive. As a freshman he only struck out ~23%, I will take that all day in a slugger.

          • ari gold

            He’s referring to his minor league stats this year. K rate was high and BB rate was low. He didn’t have a ton of PA’s though. As Hansman said, something to keep and eye on.

        • hansman

          Right now, his K rate is merely something to keep his eye on.

      • Blublud

        You have lost your damn mind. Players don’t do what Baez did at AA and bust. He made the best minor league level look silly. There is a chance he is not a super star, or a star, but Baez will be a productive middle infielder in the league for many, many seasons. There is a 0% chance he is not an above replacement level, and considering he has more success then any of our prospects, at a higher level then any of our prospects, his bust potential is probably the lowest. Bryant may have less bust potential because of his college experience, but that is about it. It’s funny. People always said I’ll wait to see what he does once he reaches AA, then I give him the benefit of the doubt. Well, he did to AA what few players have ever done and he still gets no credit. If Theo had drafted him, he would be receiving nothing but praise. I guess the reason mister can do no wrong only receives unwarranted praise.

        If you think Almora could play in the MLB right now, you are crazy. He would probably be average in the field right now at best, and his bat would be one of the worse in the league. He is not a fast pace candidate. I would not be surprised if he struggle worse then Baez did originally when he gets to High A. I hope it doesn’t happen, but don’t be surprised if he spends all of next year in Daytona. He may get a month in AA at the most.

        • jh03

          Almora is one year out of high school. Who is saying he should be in the MLB? What are you talking about? (For the record, scouts – you know, people who do this for a living – say Almora would play great CF defense at the major league level right now. Just an FYI)

          Also, saying Baez’s chances of busting are 0% is asinine. Do I *think* Baez will bust? No. Do I understand there’s a very good possibility that he does? Yes.

          • On The Farm

            On of the bigger issues BluBlud has is speaking in absolutes. Here it is again with the 0% chance. Also, ssckelly and him often debate about the “ceiling/floor” of Baez and Almora. That is where the first part of his post is coming from. hope that clears some of the air of what he was thinking. Not saying I agree with him on these facts though.

            • ssckelley

              I look forward to debating him almost every day. As much as I disagree with him he is one of my favorite posters here.

              • Blublud

                Oh, I missed this one. ssckelley, you are definitely my favorite poster. :)

        • mjhurdle

          “There is a 0% chance he is not an above replacement level”
          There is absolutely no way you can say that, prospects (and MLB players) hit walls and fail all the time.
          I like Baez, and think he will be really good, but it is silly to think that there is no way he ever isn’t an above-average player.

          A very interesting read on non-player specific success rates:
          http://www.royalsreview.com/2011/2/14/1992424/success-and-failure-rates-of-top-mlb-prospects

          reinforces the Front Office’s apparent desire to draft positional players with first round picks.

          • Blublud

            I didn’t say the was a 0% chance he wouldn’t be average. I said ther is a 0% chance he isn’t better then replacement level. There is a difference you know.

            I honestly don’t think Baez will come close to being below average. I personally think there is 0% chance he is not very good. But I know the chances and would not state that definitively. However, I will definitively state that by looking at his numbers, there is no way, 0%, he is above replacement level.

            • jh03

              There’s not even a 0% chance that Mike Trout never falls below replacement level, you know that right? Saying that for Baez is insane.

            • mjhurdle

              I misunderstood you then.
              But even changing to ‘replacement level’, my point stands. There is absolutely no way you can say that there is a 0% chance.

            • C. Steadman

              note Brandon Wood…theres always a chance…its not 0%…

          • Scotti

            “reinforces the Front Office’s apparent desire to draft positional players with first round picks.”

            No, it doesn’t. The draft doesn’t occur in a vacuum. You can’t have that discussion without factoring in the cost (in dollars and wasted dollars due to injuries/ineffectiveness) between free agent pitchers and free agent hitters (and THEN make that comparison to the same in the draft).

            On the flip side, a team could look at the injury rates and cost of free agent pitchers and decide they will NOT sign TOR free agent pitchers. Since player acquisition doesn’t happen in a vacuum, that would be a stupid idea without first factoring in the draft.

            Once you DO factor in the draft AND free agency, I think it’s clear that the best idea is to DRAFT TOR pitchers if, and when, available and to get top free agent hitters where needed. But either side of the argument without the other reinforces nothing.

            • mjhurdle

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reinforce

              by saying reinforce, i am not saying that is the sole reason behind the idea. I even made a point to say ‘apparent’, because i don’t even know for sure that the Front Office does prefer positional players over pitchers.

              My point is that, IF the front office did believe in positional players over pitchers, this would support the idea. Of course there are many variables associated with drafting strategy, and by no means did i say that Theo read that article and said “BAM! nothing but positional players! That is the only way!”
              But if you had 2 players evaluated at the same level, and all else was equal, then this would support/strengthen/reinforce the idea that you choose the positional player over a pitcher.

              • Scotti

                “and by no means did i say that Theo read that article and said “BAM! nothing but positional players! That is the only way!”

                No one said you did. And whether he/they is/do, or not, is immaterial as to whether, or not, this could reinforce–make stronger–the argument for drafting hitters over pitchers w/ top draft picks.

                “But if you had 2 players evaluated at the same level, and all else was equal, then this would support/strengthen/reinforce the idea that you choose the positional player over a pitcher.”

                A) All else is not equal and just about never is. B) It supports nothing because it isn’t in context. The notion of drafting hitters, at the expense of pitching, has been around for a long time. Making such an argument, without consideration of the other avenues of player procurement, does not support/strengthen/reinforce anything.

                It’s like someone who is mountain climbing and, seeing a rope, thinks that grabbing onto that rope is going to “reinforce” his/her position without ever stopping to check what the other side of that rope is doing.

                Does a rope that is secured reinforce? Yes. Does a rope that is dangling loose reinforce? No. And neither does an argument that is dangling loose.

                C) Really, a dictionary link? Really?

        • ssckelley

          Damn Blub, it took you long enough to respond to that. Where the hell you been all morning? But yeah, I think it is obvious you and I are on the opposite side of the spectrum on who we consider the best Cubs prospects. I like Baez, I am excited about the possibilities of him being in Chicago as early as next season. But in the history of baseball there have not been many 30%+ SO rates in the minors that have went on to long productive MLB careers. I am high on all 4 of the Cubs top prospects and I am probably in the minority when I say I believe all 4 end up starting at the MLB level. But when I look at the potential of each prospect and where they are at right now I believe Almora has the highest FLOOR of all of them with Bryant not far behind. Almora’s defensive skills alone will get him to the major leagues and you cannot say that about any of the other 3 players.

          • Blublud

            His glove might get him there, but his bat is average at best. Average bat plus GG defense makes a good player. But if his bat even dips a little, his GG defense then doesn’t matter because he’s only a 4 OF at that point. As much as I hope not, Almora is just as overrated as Jurickson Profar.

            • ssckelley

              How can you say these numbers (through 417 PA) are “average at best”?

              .326 .361 .465 .826

              • Blublud

                Nobody is projecting Almora to be a .326 hitter. Not even a .300 hitter. His defense will carry him. His bat only needs to be average, which is where I have him at. That makes him an above average player. He is only believe to have a high floor because of his defense.

                • jh03

                  Do you just make stuff up? Seriously. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18849

                  I can deal with people not agreeing, and I don’t care if you don’t like Almora, but stop making crap up to prove a point.

                • jh03

                  “Well-rounded tool collection; feel for the game is outstanding and allows tools to play above grade; 5 arm; 5 run; 6 glove; future hit could be easy 6; excellent bat speed; gets into zone quickly and efficiently; power has above-average potential; shows advanced game skills; lauded for work ethic/makeup; now talent that could move fast.”

                  “290/.350/.450 from premium defensive position, with 10-15 home run pop, plenty of doubles, and a chance to steal 15-20 bases at a high success rate.”

                  • Cyranojoe

                    Oh wow, his bat’s projected above his glove? I had not heard that… cool.

                    • ssckelley

                      pfffft, those projections are “average at best”.

                    • Blublud

                      If he is a .290/350/450 guy with GG defense, then we might as well go ahead and punch his ticket into the hall of fame now.

                • ssckelley

                  So define average for me. Even a guy projected to hit .290/.350/.450 (see BP projections below) is still considered above average.

                  • Brains

                    a team of guys who hit like that are going to the playoffs. we should be so lucky to have that plus two guys who can hit 110-plus rbi and have a high OPS.

                  • ssckelley

                    oops, I mean above (see jh03′s comment above)

            • Blublud

              I take that back. I would not trade Almora for Profar, so maybe not as overrated.

            • ssckelley

              Oh and I love how you call 20 year old kids like Profar “over rated”. The Cubs would have taken him for Garza or Dempster in a heartbeat.

              • Brains

                yeah guys, he’s TWENTY. unless you’re 18 you’re being assholes. turn the condescending attitude to the people who are doing a poor job at cobbling together a professional-quality ballclub and give the kids some time to mature. they’re going to be great, but we can’t rely upon them to save us from ourselves.

              • Blublud

                I hate when people say a player will develop this or that. Profar and Almora are projected to develop their skills. Baez already has developed as player at a similar age. If players develop as they mature, then Baez will develop as a 100 HR a year guy right.

                • Brains

                  very few people come up as albert pujols or arod…like once every 20 years. careers are more like ryan ludwick, where they toil for a couple years, have a few great years, and then trail back down. if we’re lucky, they’ll all be adrian beltre, who started out a solid defensiveman, and over the eyars has become a consistent marquee hitter. he had a bunch of 270/22/80 years, good not great. now he’s great. that’s a good career and what we should expect.

                  • Brains

                    any other assumption is fantasy baseball metrics

                • C. Steadman

                  Yadier developed power…went from a 6-7 HR a year to 14-22-12 HR a year the past three years…now i’m going to go rinse my mouth with Scope because I mentioned a Cardanal

                  • Brains

                    and he’s a great catcher and leader. i’m positive that’s what Theo wants for the team, but he’s not going to get it unless he pays for it. this piecemeal waiver wire thing is just the lowest of the low, and he’s gotta be going home every night and getting drunk in his mansion while his reputation evaporates.

                    • Cyranojoe

                      smh

                • ssckelley

                  Yeah, them damn scouts….who needs them anyway? Just listen to Blub, he has all the answers and has played ball above little league. He even refs basketball games.

                  So Blub, what are your thoughts on Vogelbach? He has hit 37 homers in the minors already, that is kinda sexy right? He going to be better than Almora?

                  • Blublud

                    I think Vogs is a better hitter, but due to defense, Almora is the better prospect. You guys convinced me of that. I don’t think Almora has star power. I think Beaz and Bryant have star potential and are likely to get close to that potential. I think Almora has good player potential, and is very likely to get close to that potential. I just don’t think he’s the same type of prospect as Beaz and Bryant, that’s all.

                    • Cyranojoe

                      That sounds similar to my assessment of them at this point. I think the debate got started with the question of Almora’s floor, meaning that he’s most likely to prove a serviceable major league bench bat/4th OF at worst, whereas while Bryant and Baez might become superstars, they could also flame out. I certainly agree with that, not that I have the slightest bit of information on this outside what BN provides me. :)

                    • ssckelley

                      Cyranojoe, exactly right. That is the only reason why I rate Almora higher than Baez at this point.

                      @Blu, I pannot pargue pith panything pou psay. Now go wipe your monitor off.

  • Austin8466

    I actually kind of agree that God hates the Cardinals. That’s what their signs say, right?

  • Kevni F

    Hack Rogers should thank his lucky whatever that he fell into his gig like he fell out of Mike North’s limo. I still fully expect to read in any piece he writes how much whoever he’s writing about misses Dustin Byfuglien, cuz he rode that pony till it lathered and fainted. What did he do with the quotes from scouts who actually take into consideration Soler’s inactivity when assessing his bat speed and pitch recognition? Or did Jimmy Olsen just fail to talk to those guys? sheesh…..

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Dustin was a great piece in the Hawks championship. He was big enough to take up space in front of the net (when willing…which included the playoffs) and was one of few who could play defense, wing and center positions. he also had deceptive speed.

  • Jono

    interesting that they’re going to be in st louis but not Boston. I wonder why

  • Norm

    I think the “needs to play” talk is overblown. It’s the AFL, it’s only 100 at bats or so, and players did just fine before the AFL was around.

    Regarding the Player of the Year, if it’s performance based, it would have to go to George Springer.

    • CubFan Paul

      How is it overblown when he needs to play after missing time? It’s 100 at bats against the most advanced pitching Soler has seen. The AFL could of been a springboard to start the year in AA (with Bryant).

  • Randy

    On a non-baptist note, that Michael Jackson moonwalk was pretty damn impressive

  • Jon

    I think I read the goal of Westboro is just to troll for lawsuits, as a bunch of them are lawyers. Of course that doesn’t change the fact they are disgusting human beings.

    • Cyranojoe

      Yup, that’s how they make their money to sustain their awfulness. Lawsuits. I’m not sure there’s lower pond scum than Westboro.

  • Farley Flash

    Ok, so I hate to use this format for anything other than baseball, however I need your help. I teach at a HS of 750 students in Epworth, Iowa. I have been a Cub fan my entire life. This has been passed on by my father and I have passed it on to my son. We are in a contest called “Celebrate My Drive” nation wide. It is about driver safety all week. The winning school can win $100,000 and a private concert with Kelly Clarkson. The event is sponsored by State Farm. At mid week we have been back and forth with a school that is 5 times the size of us, we fell into the large school category (smallest big). If I could get you to follow this link and commit for our school [Epworth, Iowa Western Dubuque] we could win and you would be helping a fellow Cub fan. It only takes a few minutes and if your own school did not register over a week ago they can not now join. I promise this is not a scam and StateFarm will not continue to bother you. It is only for this contest. Anyone 14 yrs and older can do this from any where in the country. Please help us out Cub Fans.

    http://celebratemydrive.com/RegisterStudent.aspx

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    It is still encouraging after this year most would feel we have atleast 2 players that could be very solid contributors in the future and maybe even 3. When the hype not only maintains but rises above what it was for players when they were new shiny things that means they had a good year.

  • waittilthisyear

    the best thing the wbc and all other insane idiots contribute to my world is the knowledge that, despite all my flaws, i am not even close to being as much of a fuck as some of those out there. on a baseball related note, i still have faith in Soler, and this world series is impossible for me to root for anyone.

    at the risk of another can of worms opening, anyone notice how white both these teams are? (any inferences that can be deduced from this statement, i assure, are not intended. just something my friend and i noticed, especially when watching boston) papi, yadier, and carlos beltran are the only non white guys starting, yea?

  • Blackhawks1963

    Soler is the most probable of the “top prospects” to not pan out. Almora is the most probable to have the longest and most productive major league career. But in the end, the quintet of Alcantara, Almora, Baez, Bryant and Soler is the envy of baseball right now. That is 5 special talents.

    • Kyle

      I’m going to disagree with Almora being the most probable to have a long career. He’s getting dinged in that category just by virtue of being the furthest from the majors.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Yep. Baez is in double A w/o the wheels falling off yet. He already is much less likely to fail. I think Bryant is right there with him as being at least a decent big leaguer w/ all star potential.

  • arta

    is the name of that scout Rogers? people kept saying if B. Jackson could only raise his average a little he’d be ok with all them K’s. people keep saying Baez won’t make it cause of all the K’s despite hitting a ton, hmmm. IMO Baez makes it.

    • ssckelley

      With both of them it is all about putting the bat on the ball, when BJax does it he gets on base and scores runs and when Baez does it the ball leaves the field of play. As BJax has already experienced it only gets tougher to put the bat on the ball as you climb through the system and into the majors. I think Baez can make it as well, but striking out 30% in the minors is a concern. I have not seen Baez swing much, certainly never live, but when I seen BJax he has flaws in his swing that should have been corrected well before he got to Chicago.

  • gocatsgo2003

    “Albert Almora led off and went just 1-5…”

    You know a guy is on a pretty good run when a 1-5 day is a “just” kind of day.

  • The Dude Abides

    Soler will be 22 next season and should be in AA at some point, to date he hasn’t had a problem hitting for the two years he has been in the Cubs lower level system. Soler’s (along with Almora) main issue is staying healthy. Unfortunately that is the downfall of many many players in all sports. Time will tell about these two. Soler is a great example of someone who needs time to adjust to playing in the states. Sounds like he is still dealing with residency issues, language, culture, etc. If he makes it by 24 – 25 it shouldn’t come as a surprise, if he never develops into a MLB player that shouldn’t come as a surprise either.

    The problem is the Cubs team is so bad and generally an inordinate amount of the focus of this blog is spent pining over these A & AA players to the point of in game updates during the evening hours. A bit of an overkill that makes you think they are a lot closer than they really are.

    Hopefully, the 2014 team in Chicago actually is competitive enough to put some focus on the MLB team and these young players are left to develop out of the spotlight a bit.

    • ssckelley

      Wrong, the 35 at bats in the AFL is more than enough to write Soler off as a prospect. I am sure Hoyer is already calling every team to try and trade him for whatever bullpen help he can get.

  • Tony_S

    Oh. My. Word. The quotes from that “church” are downright scary.

    • ssckelley

      They are, and I laugh at the idea that god is on their side. They must not really read the bible (something they say everyone ELSE needs to do) if they truly believe that. No where in the bible does it encourage a public display like this.

  • DarthHater

    “I hesitate to even share this, because so help me, if it turns into a political or religious discussion …”

    Cue today’s debate on whether the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results…

  • CubsFanSaxMan

    Finally a little culture on this site – even if it is a marching band. Not many do it better than Ohio State.

  • cavemencubbie

    Brett:
    I always enjoyed the Ohio State marching Band strut their stuff after a game at Illinois. They would march down the streets of Champaign, to I assume their bus or quarters. Saw them twice during my tenure at Illinois in the 50′s. Great band!! Great tradition!

  • Gabe Athouse

    Brett – in light of your recent injury I suggest you avoid carrying any deer meat in the near future.

  • MightyBear

    George Springer should have been minor league player of the year. He had a monster season with the bat, played almost as good defense in center as Buxton and he did in AA/AAA. Buxton was chosen because all the scouts have him so high on their lists and you know, they can’t be wrong.

  • Mike

    I said on here months ago that Soler would be a bust.

    • ssckelley

      based on……………?

    • On The Farm

      And now you are back for some kudos? A pat on the back? I am confused, I am not sure anyone has declared Soler a bust, so I guess I just don’t get your post.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Good god people. The kid is freaking 21, been in America for 15 months. Coming off an injury where he had to stop playing baseball for several months. Talk about looking for something negative. I think the young man will be a star in the league. Dave McKay said as much, I will defer to him.

  • LWeb23

    Re: The Westboro Baptist Church, yet avoiding the religious/politcal debate…
    http://totalfratmove.com/blake-sheltons-views-on-the-westboro-baptist-church-tftc/

  • Professor Snarks

    Minor League player of the Year:

    1-Buxton
    2-Springer
    3-Baez

    Had to be, right?

  • Aaron

    Brett…do you know any more details on Jorge Soler’s contract other than it’s for 9 years at $30 million, such as how much is that guaranteed, etc. I’m curious.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s all guaranteed, and he can opt into arbitration if and when he qualifies, if he believes he can make more money that way.

  • Cubfan Budman

    Done ….Farley Flash it said your school is ranked #1 good luck

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