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vogelbach amayaA few years ago the Cubs had a dire lack of power hitters in the farm system. That situation had shifted dramatically in a very short time, and the Cubs now feature one of the best collections of slugging talent in all baseball. Unfortunately, that slugging talent is almost exclusively of the right handed variety. And oddly enough, the one notable lefty in the new crop of long ball prospects, Dan Vogelbach, is probably the most tradable of the bunch.

That discussion is coming after this word from our standard Prospects Progress disclaimer. The goal here is not to re-rank the prospects (that comes next year) or to assess the strengths and weaknesses of farm as a whole (that also comes next year). The goal for this series is to take each prospect individually, study the progress made so far, and see what we can learn about the future for that player.

The good news on Dan Vogelbach is that he is showing signs of developing well as a pure slugger. The bad news on Vogelbach is that all he is developing as is a slugger. I think there is little question that he he can evolve into a prolific hitter. As for where the Cubs could hide his glove? That’s a much more complicated conversation.

Dan Vogelbach, DH/1B
Born: December 17, 1992
Acquired: The Cubs took Vogelbach in the second round of that talent-laden 2011 draft. He went number 68 overall.

Season Summary

The most notable thing about Vogelbach’s season isn’t that he hit (and he did quite a bit of that), it is that he walked a lot and did not strike out very often. His raw power numbers were not all that impressive compared to some of the other Cub sluggers we’ve talked about (Baez and Bryant in particular). Over 114 games (500 plate appearances) with Kane County his ISO was a good but not awe-inspiring .166 and his SLG was just .450. Those are solid numbers, but neither quite communicates the potential that many analysts see locked away in Vogelbach’s bat.

In a brief stint with Daytona during their playoff hunt (15 games, 66 PA) his power numbers remained fairly consistent: ISO of .160, SLG of .440. Keep in mind that those Daytona numbers come with a giant sample size alert.

His plate discipline numbers, on the other hand, were much more impressive. With Kane County he turned in a walk rate of 11.4% and a strikeout rate of just 15.2%. Those are both excellent numbers for a power hitter in his first full year as a professional. That impressive walk rate led directly to an OBP of .364 with Kane County.

As a member of Daytona those numbers climbed to 24.2% for the walk rate and 19.7% for the strikeout rate. His OBP checked in at .455.

Put those two stints together and we have a season line of .284/.375/.449 with 19 home runs. That’s not bad for a twenty year old guy in his first full season a a professional. That’s not bad at all. As his power continues to develop with experience, it is easy to see his already patient bat turning into a very potent middle of the lineup weapon.

About that Glove …

In the National League, though, his bat won’t reach any part of the lineup if he can’t adequately hold down a position on the field. The only position we can realistically imagine Vogelbach playing in the majors is first base, and even at first he is not projected to be any better than a little under league average.

He is often referred to as being surprisingly athletic for his size, but given that his size is 6’0″ 250 lbs, that is still not exactly high praise. That said, when we combine that greater than expected athleticism with what is reported to be a strong work ethic, I see no reason that he cannot turn into an adequate first baseman. That is probably his ceiling.

I don’t see any prospect of him ever changing position, either. The Cubs know what they potentially have in his bat, and the Cubs know that they could use a strong left handed bat to break up the right handed bats in their dream future middle of the order. If there was any other position the Cubs could move him to that would make it more likely that they could keep his glove on the field and his bat in the line up, catcher, left field, anywhere, they would be trying it.

They aren’t, because it isn’t an option. Vogelbach is a hitter, and that’s pretty much it.

With the Cubs already in possession of a left handed slugging first baseman who already plays near Gold Glove defense, the future for Vogelbach as a member of the Cubs looks limited. Unless the National League adopts the Designated Hitter, something that most likely could not happen until the next CBA is negotiated in 2016, Vogelbach is going to have a tough time ever winning a job in Chicago.

Prognosis

And that makes him the most obvious trade candidate in the farm system. He showed enough discipline at the plate this season that I think teams would be willing to deal for him with a fair amount of confidence, but he isn’t going to bring the return that one of the Cubs elite prospects would. Not yet, anyway. If he continues to post double digit walk rates while showing more power as a member of the Daytona Cubs in the first of the 2014 season I think he’ll start to climb into the Top 100 lists with a lot more consistency. And if he continues those number when he moves to Double A, possibly as soon as the second half of 2014, he should be cracking Top 100 lists with ease.  Those results enhance his value somewhat, I think, but that value will still be limited by his defense.

It is also possible that he is dealt this winter. This offseason looks like it will be one more remembered for trades than free agent deals, at least so far, and I doubt the Cubs will be spectators as that trade market unfolds. If the opportunity appears for the Cubs to add a key long term piece or two, Vogelbach is a name that is likely to come up as a candidate to go the other way.

  • Carew

    I like Vogelbach, I really do. But could he be traded for a Brett Anderson type? With one or two others thrown in of course.

  • http://www.eyecanseeinc.com Leo the Cub

    Perhaps he is in the Prince Fielder mode…it appears he may be over time. I have never seen him actually play so I am not sure of that….however, if he is can develop into that type of player or close to it……the Cubs have a choice to make in the future I suspect.

    • On The Farm

      It would be nice to think that, but Fielder was a better player, had more power at the same age as Vogelbach. Depends on how much you want to stretch the word comparison, but he appears to be a Fielder-type in that he is pretty much limited to playing 1B and his power is his best asset, but his numbers are still behind Fielder.

      • Scotti

        “…but his numbers are still behind Fielder.”

        Through 198 games Vogelbach has 37 HR and 50 2B/3B in 878 PA (110:139 BB:K). Through 210 games (his first two seasons) Fielder had 40 HR and 43 2B/3B in 911 PA (118:134 BB:K). That’s 87 extra base hits for Vogelbach in fewer PA to Fielder’s 83.

        Aside from BA, Vogelbach is toe-to-toe with Fielder through similar experience (both have career .297 MiLB batting averages but some of Fielder’s career AB were at AA/AAA). Much of Fielder’s advantage in BA comes from a .390 BA in Rookie Ball.

        FWIW, Vogelbach and Fielder ran 7.15 and 7.17 60’s, respectively, for Perfect Game. Both have weak arms–the primary reason you’ll never see Vogelbach in LF or anywhere but 1B.

        I’ve watched video of Vogelbach on defense. He isn’t pretty but he gets the job done and that’s what you’re looking for. He’s is also working on his flexibility (daily yoga) and reforming his body composition (not losing weight but losing fat while increasing muscle). I doubt he’ll ever be pretty on defense but I expect he’ll play just fine.

        • On The Farm

          I guess I was giving Fielder the edge because Fielder spent 35 games below A (MWL) ball, where as Vogelbach benefited from from about 25 extra short season games. That and by age 20 Fielder was already in AA. That is why I said his numbers are behind Fielder.

          • Scotti

            Fielder actually spent 41 games at Rookie Ball not 35. That’s where he hit .390 (he was MUCH more human at all other levels). During the timeframe above, Vogelbach had 50 fewer PA at Rookie Ball while having 37 games at Low A (Fielder had none) but also 17 games at High A (Fielder had none).

            So, Fielder had more Rookie level games while Vogelbach was at a higher level (11 game advantage to Vogelbach).
            Vogelbach had more Low A, while Fielder was at a higher level, (37-0) so 26 game advantage to Fielder.
            Vogelbach had more 17 High A, while Fielder was at a lower level (17-0) so 9 game advantage to Fielder.
            BUT Fielder had a 210 to 198 game advantage (12) to start with. Basically a wash for me.

            • http://www.eyecanseeinc.com Leo the Cub

              Great information….I based my initial response on just an assumption but the numbers do seem to match these two up at least from the perspective of age 20 or 21….not sure what the future progress of Dan V. will be but who knows, it could be similar to Fielder. I think keeping him right now is the best move for Cubs.

        • Rebuilding

          Interesting. Nice work

          • Scotti

            Thanks.

      • Doug Dascenzo

        He reminds me of a fatter John Kruk with more power.

  • Dinomite

    Great article Luke. One thing that hadn’t been brought up that I read several times is that he may have trouble with fastballs on the inner half. Did you hear that from anybody?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That complaint often follows guys who hit well with a metal bat when they first make the transition to wood. I’m not sure it would be anything to be worried about yet.

  • cubsfan08

    Sounds like a perfect fit for the White Sox – they are trying to corner the market on DH’s as is…

    But in all seriousness – a nice piece to have in a trade. Power is rare, and he appears to have it

    • cubsfan08

      Oh and for those of you from Chicago – he looks like an all world 16″ softball player 20 WAR!!! (I’m studying up on my sabermetrics thanks to you guys – very interesting stuff)

  • Napercal

    I saw him play at KC. He just looks like a hitter. Good balance, quick bat, makes solid contact. He actually runs deceptively well. My guess is that won’t last forever though. Given the likelihood that the NL will incorporate the DH and his age. I don’t know why the Cubs would be so eager to trade him right now. First of all, given the status of the major league team, I don’t see the Cubs making significant trades this off-season. If they are committed to developing the farm system, they should hang on to all of the prospects until they either play their way out of the system or the Cubs are ready to take the next step at the major league level. Second, Vogelbach has the kind of bat that will improve over time. He will only be 23 in 2016. They could plug him into the line-up as DH if the National League goes that route or trade him then. It is quite possible that given the Cubs projected draft position over the next couple of years that a left-handed power bat will be in the equation by then.

  • Dustin S

    I saw him play quite a few times this season. He’s a good guy, great attitude, Defensively at 1B he’s really not that bad at all for a big guy. Not gold glove for sure, but not a liability either.

    As for hitting, about a third of the way through last season opposing teams started almost always putting a full defensive pull shift on for him. That cut into his stats for awhile, but the good news is that he did adapt and started going the other way more later in the season. He also has good contact and lower Ks than you’d expect for a power hitter. I’d predict him as a .260-.280 30-35HR ceiling player (with a lot of doubles) if all goes well. So I can see why other teams are interested. I also think the FO probably has to deal him if they get a decent offer. But I can’t help but have this nightmare scenario in my mind where over the next few years Rizzo continues to hit .233, he turns out to not be a viable long-term 1B solution, and then we see Vogelbach come up and destroy for another team.

  • Beer Baron

    I definitely wouldn’t trade him just because Rizzo is currently at first for the Cubs. If you can trade him and get something great in return that’s one thing, but that really should not have anything to do with Rizzo. At least not yet. Rizzo has shown flashes of being something really good, but also long stretches of being merely average. Time will tell which of those is the real Anthony Rizzo. Meanwhile, the most realistic scenario doesn’t have Vogelbach reaching the majors for at least 2 – 3 years – if Rizzo doesn’t show improvement over that period you can no longer just pencil him in at first for the foreseeable future. Plus by 2016 not only will there be a new CBA but also a new commish – I really think once Bud steps down the DH will come in short order. And if it does, this is exactly the kind of guy you want in your system (assuming he progresses and doesn’t stall out at the higher levels – which is very possible).

    • Jono

      +1

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I think that Rizzo needs to have bounce back year. What if he has another sub par year? With Rizzo still not having proved himself to be the 30 homers, 100 RBI’s guy he was projected to be, and the possibility of the DH being implemented soon, I think it would be stupid not to hang on to Vogelbach. Especially seeing that this is the Commissioner’s last year. I think he may make the push to have a uniform Rule. There was a lot of grumbling during this past World series about the DH. I would say that the odds of the DH being implemented in the National league are higher than they have been at any time in the past.

  • Kernzee

    Obviously , as with any asset , if someone wants to overpay for it you trade it but I see no reason to rush to trade Vogelbach . I think he provides nice insurance in case Rizzo doesn’t pan out . A possible middle of the line up hitter plus two other assets for a pitcher that hasn’t pitched a full season since 2009 and requires a one year commitment of 9.5 or a 2 yr commitment of 20 mil isn’t that appealing to me . I know many of us want the Fister trade to be viewed as an outlier , and maybe it will be , but it’s hard to imagine it won’t affect the value of Anderson , Samardzija and other similar assets .

  • papabear

    I listen to that glove crap from a ton of writers who read it from a lot of other writers- But people that watch him are surprised about his glove because of all the negative crap written. He is never going to win a gold glove – I get it. His Bat will get him in the line up doesn’t matter if it is in the NL or AL. He is one of the top 5 power hitters in the minor leagues.

    Rizzo has about a year and half to figure out if he can hit or not – If he doesn’t he will get moved and Volgelbach will take over.

    • Kyle

      One of the defining characteristics of a top-5 power hitter in the minors might be, you know, hitting for a lot more power than Vogelbach has.

      His bat is still very much in doubt as far as whether it gets to be MLB quality.

      • On The Farm

        This year will be a pretty big test year for his bat. He has good power, but in order for scouts to keep believing he has elite power I would like to see him get over the 20 hump in the FSL. I think his last two years he has put up 17 and 19 HRs across two levels each year.

      • Noah_I

        Exactly. My biggest concern with Vogelbach is not the glove. That is what it is. My concern is the power. Vogelbach hit 17 HRs in 283 PAs between rookie ball and short season A ball in 2012. But upon making the first of the big jumps in pro ball, to full season ball, he hit only 2 more HRs in nearly 300 more PAs.

        Now, Vogelbach is still young. He’ll start back at High A in 2014, and has at least two seasons before he is MLB ready, so he has time to turn his mass and approach into MLB power. But the elite power was not there in 2013. Without the elite power, Vogelbach becomes a poor man’s John Olerud or Mark Grace… and you better field like Olerud or Grace if that’s the case.

        • On The Farm

          He is still learning and was a HS bat. There is a ton of time for the power to catch up to him. As he figures out MLB pitching, the power will come. There is nothing to be concerned about because he didn’t hit 30 HRs in his first full season.

          • Noah_I

            I agree with the statement that there is a ton of time for the power to catch up to him. I disagree with the statement that the power “will come.” It may come. It may not. The power never really came for Josh Vitters, even when he did stay healthy. The power already came for Javier Baez, who is essentially the same age (like a week apart) as Vogelbach. Vogelbach is a promising, back end of a top ten type of prospect.

            I think the big thing you and I would agree on, though, is that it’s FAR too early to be thinking about how Vogelbach and Rizzo affect each other at the MLB level.

            • On The Farm

              Yes, we do agree on the MLB roster spots. As for Vitters, he was more considered a pure hitter when he was drafted, while Vogelbach was considered a top power threat. As you can see Vitters still hits for average in the minors, and I think Vogelbach’s power will come in time (lots of hitters don’t start seeing their power surge until A+ or AA). As for Baez while they are only a week a part in age, but there is a reason he was a first round pick and Vogelbach was a second round pick.

          • Kyle

            There’s always reason to be concerned. The default position to take toward any prospect should be doubt unless they force you to become less doubtful.

            • On The Farm

              Okay, if you want to be black and white about it. I am willing to take the wait and see approach. I don’t think there is any need to get worked up over minor league numbers (or lack thereof). There is still plenty of time for the prospect to develop, but you have to understand that we are talking about a prospect and don’t have to be so literal with everything.

              I am not saying he is a sure thing, by any means, but there is no cause for concern as applies to this circumstance. It’s not like he isn’t hitting any HRs.

              • Kyle

                I guess that works, so long as it’s remembered that most prospects of Vogelbach’s caliber are never going to be regular major leaguers.

                • On The Farm

                  Right, I just think its too soon to be really concerned. You could list off hundreds of hitters who’s power didn’t develop until AA, there is no reason to think his lack of elite power is alarming so far. As long as he is putting up 20 HRs there really shouldn’t be too much concern.

                  I hope Vogelbach pans out, but realizing he wasn’t in that magical first round and knowing that statistically his odds are pretty low, expectations should be tempered until we see him match up with other elite competition (even then we shouldn’t get out of hand).

      • papabear

        At 19 years old he hits 17 and 20 he hits 19 – This will be a big year to see if he is going to step up.

  • tbone

    It would be a mistake to trade Vogelbaugh at this juncture. They need to give him time. If he can carry the walk rate, power and low strikeout rate up the ladder you find a spot for him, period. Glove be damned. Left handed power hitters with low strikout and high walk rates are just not something you ever, ever trade away. You move Rizzo at that point. That being said, we just don’t know if Vogelbaugh can sustain the same type of numbers (with better power) as he gets promoted. But given his tools, I think you have to wait a couple of years and give him every chance to prove himself.

    • Funn Dave

      I agree. Yes he’s currently blocked by Rizzo, and yes Rizzo is under contract for a while; but if Rizzo’s offense doesn’t get any better than it was last season and Vogelbach’s continues to progress, then defense be damned, his offensive value would overtake his defensive liability.

      • On The Farm

        Really? As a 24 year old he has reached his offensive peak?

        • Kyle

          Probably, or at least awfully close.

          • Rebuilding

            He should have a little upside left by a typical aging curve, but it’s probably not s much as people expect:

            http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/5/31/2199146/hitter-aging-curves

          • On The Farm

            I would say power wise yeah, he is pretty close. His BB% ranks 30th in the MLB so that’s pretty solid (10th among all 1B). His XBHs are almost where you want them to be for a 1B, but he could use a few more hits (singles) in general to raise the rest of his slash line.

            • Rebuilding

              Here are Rizzo’s Top 10 Comps through Age 23:

              1.Ed Stevens (962)
              2.Ken Harrelson (950)
              3.Tony Horton (949)
              4.John Milner (949)
              5.Wally Pipp (947)
              6.Howie Schultz (940)
              7.John Mayberry (940)
              8.Derrek Lee (939)
              9.Daric Barton (937)
              10.Roger Maris (937)

              So yeah, he could really go either way at this point, but he is very unlikely to develop into a perennial All-Star

              • Rebuilding

                Here are his top comps overall. Not an inspiring list:

                1.Norm Zauchin (972)
                2.Hee-Seop Choi (971)
                3.Mark Johnson (969)
                4.Matt LaPorta (967)
                5.Brett Wallace (964)
                6.Dan Johnson (959)
                7.Scott Stahoviak (958)
                8.Dave Hostetler (957)
                9.Marv Throneberry (956)
                10.Gail Harris (955

              • MightyBear

                Most absolute meaningless statistic I’ve seen on this blog. Who the hell cares who he comps to? Sandberg probably had similar comps in his first year. Look how he turned out. Personally I hope Rizzo turns into Wally Pip that way we’ll have Lou Gehrig at first when Rizzo sits out a game.

                • Rebuilding

                  Vogelbach might be your Gehrig lol. People use comp lists to give a general feel for the type of player you’re talking about all of the time. Sorry you’re so offended – I’ll alert Baseball Reference

                  • Rebuilding

                    Btw…here’s who Sandberg comps to:

                    Similar Batters
                    View Similar Player Links in Pop-up
                    Compare Stats to Similars
                    Lou Whitaker (901)
                    Joe Torre (874)
                    Miguel Tejada (870)
                    Barry Larkin (865) *
                    Alan Trammell (859)
                    Ray Durham (854)
                    Michael Young (849)
                    Ken Boyer (843)
                    Bobby Doerr (835) *
                    Roberto Alomar (834) *
                    * – Signifies Hall of Famer

                    • MightyBear

                      Not offended and I know that people like to make comparisons. I remember when Vince Coleman (coach at the time in the minors for the Cubs) compared Felix Pie to Clemente or a young Barry Bonds. How did that work out? I just don’t see the point. Rizzo is going to be who he is going to be. He may end up in Cooperstown or he may end up in Mayberry. Time will tell. It’s a little early to say.

      • Professor Snarks

        Funn Dave,
        With a ‘possible’ infield of Bryant, Castro, and Baez, we NEED a Gold-Glove caliber 1st baseman.

    • C. Steadman

      “Left handed power hitters with low strikout and high walk rates are just not something you ever, ever trade away.”

      Anthony Rizzo is a LH power guy who has a high BB rate and low K rate…

  • waittilthisyear

    hang onto this kid until his trade value goes through the roof for an AL team or the NL adopts the DH. kid has “professional hitter” written all over him.

  • AB

    Two things I wonder about this situation- 1. I know Rizzo is a great feilder, but if he doesn’t become the player the FO thinks he will, would they be able to move him to left to make room for Vogelbach’s bat? (assuming he does pan out) 2. If his bat is so good, why not put Vogelbach in left until/if they add the DH? He can’t be worse than Soriano’s first few years out there.

    • papabear

      two years from now the cubs will have better options in the outfield than Rizzo

    • On The Farm

      Vogelbach has a long ways to go before they need to worry about what to do with Rizzo. It’s not like Rizzo didn’t put up drooling minor numbers too. I would like to see what Vogelbach does at AA before I start worrying where to slot him in the MLB lineup. That will be a bit since he will start the season at A+, and best case he gets a midseason bump to AA. Also, pretty sure Vogelbach will need at least a half season in AAA. That’s extremely optimistic, he won’t be challenging for a 25 man spot for a while.

      • papabear

        Guessing Rizzo has two years to put it together

        • On The Farm

          Rizzo’s power number’s are developing, but look really positive so far, and he is pretty good at taking a walk. So I guess the only thing he needs to get together is hitting singles.

          • Funn Dave

            Pretty much.

    • Noah_I

      Vogelbach would be historically terrible in LF. Soriano was actually pretty good there, overall, his first couple of seasons. He made terrible reads and decisions, but made up for it with speed, arm strength and athletic ability. He had a couple of rough years in the middle of the deal when his speed started to go, then improved the last couple of years when he improved his technique.

      Any Rizzo/Vogelbach conversation is not worth having at this juncture. Vogelbach is at least two years away (in other words, 2016 season), at which point Rizzo either will have established himself as an elite bat or will have failed to do so. If Rizzo has established himself as an elite bat, the Cubs will either look to trade Vogelbach or, if it looks like the DH will be established in the NL following the next CBA negotiations (the current CBA expires after 2016), the Cubs could hold on to Vogelbach to make him the DH in 2017. If Rizzo has not established himself as an elite bat by 2016, I doubt he would be viewed as blocking Vogelbach at that time.

      • Scotti

        “Vogelbach would be historically terrible in LF.”

        I don’t think so. He has plenty of speed for traditional power hitting LF’s and, while his arm is rather weak, there have been plenty of weak armed LF. He profiles best at 1B but he wouldn’t be “historically terrible” LF.

    • frank

      From everything I’ve read, Vogelbach is a 1b-only type guy. Outfield really isn’t an option.

      • C. Steadman

        yeah you throw Vogs out there in the OF and you get an Adam Dunn or worse defensively

  • bobk

    Note that we dont have any other solid prospects at first. Is Rizzo a candidate to switch position if Vogelbach steps up? Do you think the DH is coming to NL? If either of these scenarios are possible a batting line-up 2016 with Castro, Baez, Bryant, Rizzo, Vogelbach, Almora, Soler, Castillo is scary!

  • David

    I wish there was a way Volgleburger can lay off the cheeseburgers and give 25 pounds to CJ Edwards!!!

    • Blackhawks1963

      This is one of the misperceptions. Vogelbach doesn’t necessarily battle a weight problem…he just happens to be a big dude for baseball. His eating habits as documented are actually very good. He is very conscious of diet because he could readily baloon up in weight.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Vogelbach is a tough prospect to project. His high side could be a Billy Butler type who is a professional hitter and can flat out rake. Or he may be something that is distinctly less than that. I’m sure Theo/Jed/Jason have an objective assessment of what they think they have with Vogelbach. I’d be surprised to see him traded this offseason. I would think the Cubs want to see what happens with him in Hi A / Double A. To be honest, I don’t think his current trade value is that strong where there would be logic in selling him now if the Cubs thought his future wasn’t especially bright.

  • 26.2Cubs Fan

    I think we’re falling back into the habit of overvaluing our own prospects. The patience is nice, but until he starts ISOing over .200, we can’t really discuss him as an elite power guy. I know he’s young and he MIGHT develop more power because he’s big and all, and that’s a good thing to have. But nobody is going to give up an elite prospect for a no-glove 21yo with less than 100 ABs above rookie ball who has shown slightly above average power in 650 minor league plate appearances.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not for nothing, but he’s got about 730 at bats above rookie ball.

    • Scotti

      “…but until he starts ISOing over .200, we can’t really discuss him as an elite power guy.”

      .297/.386/.515/.900

      Do the math.

      “I think we’re falling back into the habit of overvaluing our own prospects.”

      Vogelbach has never been overrated.

      • Rebuilding

        Power is usually the last thing to come. He’s only 20. The fact that he knows the difference between a ball and a strike is far more important at this point. Any comparison to Baez’s power is silly because Baez (along with Bryant and Sano) seems to have 75-80 power

        • Scotti

          Agreed, though I think 37 HR and 50 2B/3B is plenty of power in 752 AB to start with.

          Comparing him to Baez–one of the top 5-10 prospects in baseball–is also rather unfair and not just because of how highly ranked Baez is. They are different hitters. If Vogelbach was grippin’ and rippin’ like Baez (54:220 BB:K) Vogelbach (110:139 BB:K) would have far more HR and 2B/3B than he has now. They are different hitters (though Vogelbach has a career .900 OPS and Baez a career .903).

          • Rebuilding

            Oh yeah. I’m higher than Vogelbach than most I think. If he was swinging for the fences I think we would see the bigger power numbers and more Ks

  • MightyBear

    Totally off the subject but any thoughts on the Cubs signing Daniel Hudson who the Dbacks non tendered yesterday? I believe he’s coming back from surgery but he’s still young and could be a good starter for the Cubs.

    • Blackhawks1963

      He’s not expected to be ready to pitch until late 2014, if then. Think another Scott Baker investment in this regard.

      Meh.

      • papabear

        Cubs could pay him 6 mil – then let him pitch at the end of the year – kinda like a try out for other teams.

        This time they best get a option for a second year.

  • C. Steadman

    I think we need to let Vogs marinate in the minors for an extra year or two before we trade him…i doubt too many teams will give a good haul for a 1B/DH-only prospect, despite the good bat, who has just reached Hi A…the only way i would want to see Vogs go this offseason is in a package for Price or some other stud player

  • Cheryl

    We need another year before we decide on Vogelbach, maybe two years. It would be a mistake to trade him now. After 2014 we’ll have a better idea of his value. From what I’ve read he wants to be a complete player and is striving to improve both his batting and fielding. Right now he’s maybe average or a little below average as a first baseman. There’s been little discussion of his improving on defense. If he does and if Rizzo continues like last year there’s no reason to trade Vogelbach. What’s the feeling about the possibility of V becoming an above average fielder?

    • Norm

      How do you know it would be a mistake without knowing the return?
      And he’ll never be an above average fielder.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      A little below average is Vogelbach’s defensive ceiling. If he keeps working, that’s where the scouts think he can get. He is quite a ways worse than that now.

      The question on Vogelbach isn’t whether or not his glove will be a liability, the question is how big or small a liability will it be?

  • v23

    Why not float Rizzo and see what the return is? Could you get a high end starter?

    • On The Farm

      Well the Cubs won’t have Vogelbach as a replacement for a few years. If Vogelbach proves his mettle against the upper leagues of MiLB, then you can start talking about moving Rizzo, I would say they have about two years (at least) before that becomes a concern.

  • Elephanthole

    Im really rooting for Vogelbach. Hope he pans out. No need to trade him just yet because he’s young and who knows what Rizzos future holds. Not a big Rizzo fan yet.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Just a thought on the DH thing. There was quite a bit of bitching going on in the world series this year about the DH rule. And the Commissioner made some remarks to the effect that he might consider looking at it in his final year in office. When you have heavy weights like the Yankees and Red Sox chiming in on the subject that carries a lot of weight. Selig being in his last year could very well get that rule change done. That is if he and A-rod ever finish with their blood feud LOL.

  • Steve

    Piazza wasn’t that great as a major league catcher, but was one hell of a hitter during his career. Convert Vogelbach to a catcher at AA this summer and see how well he can progress behind the plate

  • SenorGato

    As far as Vogelbach is concerned this might be the best time to trade him. He’s a non-entity defensively and on the bases, he still has periphs that teams probably like, 1B prospects are still down, and he still looks decent on paper after getting promoted to the FSL.

    I’d like him packaged for a pitcher this offseason. Or maybe even traded for a Vogelbach-esque pitching prospect. He’s no longer the most interesting, hipster-y prospect in the system since Jeimer Candelario continues to be awesome.

  • Cheryl

    I’m at a disadvantage because I haven’t seen V play but if he’s so bad defensively there may not be a decent market for him, at least not now. If he continues to improve with the bat that may up his value.

  • Dylan

    I am a batboy for the south bend silver hawks, a Single A team for the D-backs and Dan Vogelbach and company came and during batting practice, I watched with my own eyes and scouts before the deadline saw, he hit an estimated (with trajectory and other math) that he hit a 600 foot bomb over our giant jumbotron and feel free to lok up a picture. He hit 1 clear over the logo and the S and the next day hit one through the gap at the top . He has INCREDIBLE power. He’s more of a DH specialist if you ask me though.

  • terencemann

    On an off-topic note, who is playing 2nd base in the photo at the top? Amaya?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup. Amaya.

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