Baseball Prospectus continues to be awesome, and to expand its scouting reach and influence. The man helping, in large part, to drive that expansion is Jason Parks (not-a-professor-but-@ProfessorParks), the national prospect and player development writer at BP (#rig).
He chatted at BP yesterday about all manner of things, and it always makes for a good read. If you want to become a better student of the prospect game across baseball (pretty handy this time of year), it’s as good of a place to start as any. Among his Cubs-related thoughts …
- Parks loves Kris Bryant’s power, and places him as the more attractive prospect, overall, between he and Gregory Polanco (the question was power versus wide range of tools). That said, Parks remains a little concerned about swing and miss issues as he climbs the ladder.
- A .315/.360/.485 slash line with 20+ HR and 20+ SB is probably too optimistic for Albert Almora long-term, but Parks still sees a first division talent in Almora. I really hope he’s healthy next year, because I’m fascinated to see how quickly he can climb.
- Jorge Soler has huge power potential, but his performance might always trail his tools because of “adjustment ability” and “overall feel for the game.” Parks doesn’t see a future star in Soler, and sees him as the most likely of The Big Four to underperform. All fair, though I wonder how much of a book there can really be out there on a guy who played a partial season in 2012 and then a couple months in 2013 before he was injured. (Not that those are good things … )
- Jeimer Candelario is not a top 100 type prospect … “this year.” As he was in 2013, Candelario remains a huge breakout candidate for 2014.
- On Starlin Castro ever rebounding in the future, Parks offered this: “If he’s allowed to return to the type of player he is and not the type of player they seem to want him to be. He’s an aggressive, reactionary hitter. That’s who he is.” There was nothing wrong with trying to make him, overall, a more potent hitter. It didn’t take last year, and this year should probably be about a salvage job.
- Parks offers much love for Matt Dorey – the recently-promoted crosschecker who is now the Cubs’ Farm Director – calling him a friend, and “one of the sharpest scouting minds in the game.” Giggity.
- On the Blue Jays trading for Jeff Samardzija, Parks says that dealing either Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman would be “reckless.” I guess he’s quite high on those two (Parks prefers Stroman, for what it’s worth).