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daytona cubs logoMinor league team success isn’t always indicative of future success for the big league club. Some of the best prospects – who will go on to help the big team – are pushed for development purposes to levels where they might not necessarily assist in winning games as much as a minor league veteran. For that reason, many of the “best” minor league teams aren’t particularly interesting when it comes to the prospecting game.

That wasn’t the case in Daytona for the Chicago Cubs this year. Their High-A affiliate not only won the Florida State League, but they did it on the backs of a huge number of top prospects. It should be no surprise, then, that Baseball America just named the Daytona Cubs its Minor League Team of the Year. Indeed, Baseball America, itself, calls the award no surprise. That’s high praise on top of high praise.

Over the course of the season, Daytona was home to top prospects Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Dan Vogelbach, C.J. Edwards, and Pierce Johnson. It was also home to guys like Dustin Geiger, John Andreoli, Zeke DeVoss, Ivan Pineyro, Corey Black, Ben Wells, Zach Cates, Matt Loosen, and a number of other intriguing players. The team was stacked throughout the year, and performed like a team loaded with top prospects. That won’t retroactively win the Cubs any games this year – or maybe even in 2014 – but, as we keep saying, the future really does look bright. And having the organization’s High-A team named the best minor league team in baseball? That’s a pretty fantastic indicator of what’s to come.

Read BA’s piece for more on the 2013 Daytona Cubs and all of the love they’re deservedly receiving.

  • hansman

    Um…

    “That won’t win the Cubs any games this year – or maybe even in 2014″

    No matter what, the Cubs aren’t going to win any more games this year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That was the point. I’ll add a word or two.

      • DarthHater

        Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you.

        • Funn Dave

          What’s that from? The Simpsons? Funny stuff.

      • hansman

        [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7f/Over_My_Head_single.jpg[/img]

  • terencemann

    Finally, a Cubs team we can all root for. Looking forward to the Smokies next season. It’ll be Daytona+.

  • Isaac

    Friends – This is a Cubs Top 30 pitching list a friend and I compiled. Debate away!

    CUBS 2014 TOP 30 PITCHING PROSPECTS
    1. C.J. Edwards
    2. Pierce Johnson
    3. Kyle Hendricks
    4. Arodys Vizcaino
    5. Paul Blackburn
    6. Neil Ramirez
    7. Rob Zastryzny
    8. Justin Grimm
    9. Juan Paniagua
    10. Corey Black
    11. Duane Underwood
    12. Dillon Maples
    13. Ivan Pineyro
    14. Trey Masek
    15. Tyler Skulina
    16. Ben Wells
    17. Alberto Cabrera
    18. Tony Zych
    19. Eric Jokisch
    20. Dallas Beeler
    21. Barrett Loux
    22. Jen-Ho-Tseng
    23. Trevor Clifton
    24. Armando Rivero
    25. Zach Cates
    26. Dae-Eun Rhee
    27. Daury Torrez
    28. Jefferson Mejia
    29. Erick Leal
    30. Erling Moreno

    HONORABLE MENTION:
    Matt Loosen. Lendy Castillo. Gerardo Concepcion. Marcus Hatley. Michael Jensen

    NOT MENTIONED:
    Hector Rondon. Trey McNutt. Rafael Dolis. Zach Putnam. Chris Rusin. Brooks Raley.

    • Spriggs

      Not a bad list. I would still find a spot on it for Ryan McNeil. He missed the season, but he has a really nice arm.

      • Isaac

        Good catch. We briefly discussed him, but left him off for the time being due to the injury.

    • Jono

      hopefully Zastryzny and Skulina climb that list next year (due to them being great and not others being bad, of course)

      • Isaac

        Two of my personal favorites. My friend has Zas at 10 originally, and I argued him up to 7. His knock was “ceiling”, my argument was “floor”.

        • Isaac

          *had

    • Norm

      Just cut the list off at 5 or 6 and call everyone else “the rest”.

      • Isaac

        Haha, classic. If you had said “15″, I would agree with you.

    • terencemann

      That’s not a bad list, imo. I think you have players grouped together correctly even if someone else might shift a couple players up or down the list a couple spots.

      • Isaac

        It’s an interesting exercise. It seems to always come down to “do I value a higher potential projection, or better current results?” (ala Hendricks vs. Arodys).

    • Jason P

      Good list overall.

      But why is Cabrera so far down and Ramirez so far up? They are very similar both in terms of stuff, age, and results. Both have dominated (or at least played very well at) AA but struggled in AAA, or in Cabrera’s case, the majors.

      I also think Loosen should be in Loux’s place, and Loux should be off the list.

      Otherwise I have no major disagreements.

      • Isaac

        I completely agree between Ramirez and Cabrera, they should probably both be in the 10-15 range. A “miss” on our part.

        As for Loux, I am also not a fan. He does still have some interesting peripherals and projection.

        Loosen walks too many guys (in our opinion) to be included. Just missed.

    • cub2014

      two guys that are having success but as relievers
      are Frank Batista and Frankie DeValle (not sure
      where they fit on the list though.

      Also read front office is very high on Beeler & Masek
      for what its worth.

      • Isaac

        We had a tough time including primary relievers, as we feel their ability to create long term value is hampered.

        We are high on Beeler/Masek as well…we felt the ranking we gave them appropriately valuated their upside.

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      Notice the lack of lefties in our system ? Zastryzny and Jokicsh are it. Pathetic scouting and poor drafting.

      • Billy

        You don’t draft a lefty pitcher just because it’s a need. Draft the best player available. That doesn’t mean poor scouting, it means the FO didn’t think any lefties available at the time of the draft were worth drafting

      • Isaac

        Yeah, I mentioned that below as well. Concepcion is the only other lefty we discussed. I do NOT contribute it to poor scouting though.

  • AceRemote

    What ever happened to Marcelo Carreno (the pitcher the Cubs got from the tigers in the Jeff Baker deal)?

    • Isaac

      My understanding is that he is rehabbing a long-term injury, and currently does not have an assignment. Brett/Luke please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Frank

    Brett, you said “the future really does look bright”, so what kind of sunglasses do you suggest I buy. Regular or the kind the eye doctor gives you when he puts drops in your eye?

  • Indy57

    Can we adopt their logo for the MLB club?

  • Aaron

    minus the palm trees…

    • Indy57

      of course

  • http://www.rotochamp.com RotoChamp

    Callis and Mayo just released their predictions for the 2014 draft. Callis says we will pick Tyler Beede (SP) and Mayo says we will take Trea Turner (SS):

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article//callis-mayo-take-first-crack-at-top-10-2014-draft-picks?ymd=20131204&content_id=64384888

    • Jon

      I don’t get the point of mock drafts this early. Huge changes can and will take place between now and june

      • Norm

        People loves lists. They can do a 2015 mock draft and they’ll have hits.

      • On The Farm

        Well its kind of their job….

        Do you ever make plans for the future that don’t work out? The whole point this far out is to give the fans a feel for where things stand now. Everyone knows things can change in 6 months, but its fun to speculate and dream ahead. It’s what a majority of people do on this website.

        • Funn Dave

          I’m with John. There are plenty of other baseball topics to discuss that are more tangible and more relevant right now.

          • On The Farm

            Really, you think discussing who is the top players for the next draft is irrelevant right now? So when is the best time to discuss them? Two months before the draft? There is no harm in putting out a list of the top ten draft prospects, I would imagine about 70% of them get drafted in the top ten anyway. And its not like they continually update these lists, they throw something out there and don’t revise it until closer to next season. This is just something to give people a good base on what’s out there.

            And if you don’t care about lists, don’t take the time to read them. These guys are just doing their jobs and fans want to be involved talking about next year’s draft class. Especially the fans who pick in the top ten, that’s about all they have to look forward to the following summer anyway besides the rest of the minor league teams.

            • Funn Dave

              Yeah I think it’s pretty irrelevant. And yes I think two months beforehand would be a better time to start mock drafts. People freak out when people put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, and that’s only a month beforehand. The draft is an eternity away. You wanna make a list thats relevant right now, make a list of available FA’s and where they might fit, or make some mock trades instead of mock drafts. No of course it isn’t hurting anyone–no one ever said it was. Just that it’s kinda pointless.

              • On The Farm

                “The draft is an eternity away.”

                Yeah it a ways away, but wouldn’t you rather know what’s out there?

                “You wanna make a list thats relevant right now, make a list of available FA’s and where they might fit, or make some mock trades instead of mock drafts”

                Oh because that’s just as possible as predicting the draft. I would be willing to bet a weeks paycheck that Mayo and Callis end up being more correct on their top 10 draft projections than any guy who just sits around just thinking up trades to make a team better? Who saw the Fister trade coming? Who say the Tigers then signing Nathan with the savings from said Fister trade? Did anyone know the A’s would be the involved in trades the last few days? You see? The trade market is just as unpredictable. How many times did the mystery team swoop in at the last minute to sign a FA (Pujols? The three Miami Marlin signings?) So what difference does it make if guys who specialize in prospects decide to make up a mock first ten picks in the draft. It’s still relevant to some people. Just because you would prefer a National writer pull some trade out of his behind doesn’t mean its a better thing to write.

                The funny thing is when Heyman or some other writer does put out a piece that the Cubs should sign Ellsbury or the Cubs are still in on Ellsbury people on this site rip him saying “Rickets is too cheap!” or “Signing Ellsbury doesn’t even make sense for the current team!”

                So really how can writers win? Should they make up trade proposals and FA signing destinations that the common fan can come up with, but will probably never happen? Or should they throw out a rough list of a mock first round? That way when the draft actually does get closer people already know who the player is and have an knowledge of who to watch once the season began. How many people would have watched Sean Manea playing for Indiana State if they didn’t think he was a future top pick? People want a reason to get invested in things. If you don’t want to see the value in putting out a mock list that is a you problem.

                • Funn Dave

                  I don’t want some national writer to pull some trade out of behind. I don’t think mock trades are particularly productive, either. But people are going to do them regardless. I just think mock drafts will be a lot less irrelevant later on, when we actually know for sure who’s available & how everyone is progressing. Just look at the NFL draft: Oregon’s QB just declared that he’s staying in school for another year. That shakes shit up for a lot of NFL teams. But people are going to continue to do mock drafts months and months in advance, just like Kohl’s is going to continue to put up its ornaments and tinsel well before December begins. For the vast majority of people–in fact, the vast majority of baseball fans–these mock drafts will be completely meaningless and irrelevant. And for a very small number of people, they will be exciting–which is fine–just like how my ex gets excited whenever she sees a Christmas ornament, no matter what time of year. There will be a number of people–such as myself–who will be exposed to these mock drafts and Christmas ornaments, and will point out how inane it is to be doing them so early. That’s fine, too.

                  For another analogy, look at American presidential elections. As soon as our next president gets elected, people will start guessing who his opposing party’s main candidate will be. These guesses will be completely meaningless and only partially informed for at least a couple of years, but a few people will make them nonetheless. They will be met with premature discussion from some people, and with indifference or accusations of impetuousness by most.

                  • On The Farm

                    “I don’t think mock trades are particularly productive, either. But people are going to do them regardless”

                    So if you find both productive what should they write about. Further why does it bother you, if you pretty much find every opinion piece a writer produces irrelevant. You just sound like a hard man to please.

                    You use the NFL draft as a comparison, that is completely different situation. That is like comparing a NFL team to a MLB team, they both fill their needs differently. As I am sure you know in the MLB you don’t draft on need you draft on best available. While this is a similar practice for the NFL, they typically use their first round pick to address an immediate team need. Its literally like calling an apple an orange. Also, the NFL draft is different in the fact that writers tend to update their mock draft every week. In the MLB they update it maybe once a month, and again that is just to give the fans something to look at since the best 30 players are drafted in the first round. In the NFL you don’t know if its a year where 6 QBs go in the first round, the first 3 picks will all be OL, or if a RB won’t even be picked in the first round.

                    “just like Kohl’s is going to continue to put up its ornaments and tinsel well before December begins”

                    Maybe, just maybe some people like to buy their ornaments before Christmas. Maybe, just maybe people put up Christmas lights up in November because its warmer outside and they don’t want to be on their roof in the freezing cold? Their are benefits to doing things early. Maybe you like to do your Christmas shopping in December, good for you. Just because I like to beat the crowds and get it done earlier doesn’t mean I am doing Christmas wrong.

                    “For the vast majority of people–in fact, the vast majority of baseball fans–these mock drafts will be completely meaningless and irrelevant”

                    Except when there are those guys who you know will be the #1 overall pick the next year. Guys like Harper, Strasburg, David Price, everyone was talking about them well before April as being draft picks. And since when do you get to speak for the vast majority of baseball fans? Maybe there is a vast majority of fans that are curious as to who will be drafted in 2014. You want to know why I think you are wrong on the vast majority of what fans want? Because writers want clicks and if they write an article that no one wants to read it defeats the purpose. That places you in the minority.

                    This all sounds like you started hearing Christmas music on November first, started seeing Christmas catalogs too early and it got your panties in a bunch so now anything you dictate as being “too early” is going to set you off. If people didn’t want the mock draft articles, the writers wouldn’t be writing them.

                    • Funn Dave

                      Of course the two drafts are different. If they weren’t it wouldn’t be an analogy. But those differences don’t pertain to the issue at hand. That is, in both drafts, the players and their rankings will change drastically between now and draft day. With Oregon’s QB out of the mix, that completely shakes up the draft. Had Strasburg or Harper or Price been removed from their respective equations, then their drafts would have been similarly reorganized.

                      Also, I don’t find opinion pieces irrelevant. Quite the opposite, in fact, as I’ve complimented Brett on a number of his own. But a mock draft is not an opinion piece. It may present someone’s “opinion” of what could happen during a draft, but that does not make it an opinion piece. An op-ed is an opinion piece. An editorial is an opinion piece. A list is not. And even if it were, I don’t see how you could possible extrapolate my overall apathy for them at this point in the season into an aversion to all opinion pieces.

                      And of course I don’t speak for all of baseball fandom. But I do know a lot of baseball fans. I know that I follow baseball more closely and am more knowledgeable about the subject than almost all of them, and that none of them have any interest in mock drafts this early. Most of them don’t care about mock drafts, period. I’ve also been following the main Cub blogs/sites for years, and I’ve seen very few positive responses to mock drafts posted this early on any of them. If you think the average baseball fan cares about a mock draft at all–especially one this early–then I think you might be spending too much time here. And I’m one to talk.

                      One final thing–and I’ve been wanting to mention this to you for a while. You will have much more productive discussions if you respond to an entire post rather than picking a few brief quotations to nitpick. Parsing a few select quotes that don’t always address the larger points is something of a manipulative, off-putting, and argumentative way to have a discussion. It speaks to a discussion style that emphasizes furthering one’s own point instead of respecting all viewpoints to try to get to a better understanding.

                    • On The Farm

                      “Of course the two drafts are different. If they weren’t it wouldn’t be an analogy. ”

                      But its completely different a baseball junior can declare for the draft and return to school so no its not the same, rankings don’t get shaken up because a player doesn’t end up entering the draft. It makes the comparison weak at best.

                      ” Had Strasburg or Harper or Price been removed from their respective equations, then their drafts would have been similarly reorganized.”

                      Why would the top prospects be removed from the equation? I see no need for them to be, considering they risked nothing entering the draft (since they could return to school if they wanted). Also, there was quite a bit of love for Pedro Alvarez, but Price got all the buzz. A knowledgeable fan that follows all of baseball has a pretty good idea where the top ten draft prospects are, especially if their team is picking in that top ten.

                      “Also, I don’t find opinion pieces irrelevant. Quite the opposite, in fact, as I’ve complimented Brett on a number of his own. ”

                      Well you weren’t very clear on that front when you said: “I don’t think mock trades are particularly productive, either.” On the surface it appeared you were saying that mock trades (which your first posts you suggest you would prefer to the mock drafts). Of course you like Brett’s opinion pieces, that’s why you come here. But, the opinion pieces I was referring to are the national writers. Brett writes about the Cubs, so naturally you are interested in his prospective moves he would make. Writers don’t have allegiances, so they make up trades kind of on a whim and based on their assumptions. You yourself said you fine them not all that productive. But writers must write.

                      “But I do know a lot of baseball fans. I know that I follow baseball more closely and am more knowledgeable about the subject than almost all of them, and that none of them have any interest in mock drafts this early. Most of them don’t care about mock drafts, period.”

                      If most people don’t care then why would they even post the piece now? Clearly there is some market of fans that want this. Given the amount of transactions that are going on right now, it wouldn’t make sense for national writers to dedicate their time to something readers won’t care about right now, if they can get more clicks writing about the current doings. You are ignoring that if people didn’t like it, they wouldn’t produce it.\

                      “One final thing–and I’ve been wanting to mention this to you for a while. You will have much more productive discussions if you respond to an entire post rather than picking a few brief quotations to nitpick.”

                      I nitpicked your last post because a majority of it was complaining about Kohls and Christmas stuff being out too early and I didn’t feel like I needed to address your issues with when the appropriate time Christmas decorations need to be out at stores. For the record. Retail space is at a premium, especially around the holidays (you can liken it to the flurry of trades going on right now) so if they didn’t have a large market of people wanting that stuff it wouldn’t be out yet. Clearly you are in the minority on Christmas, and clearly there is a market that the writers are trying to reach, you just aren’t apart of it.

                    • Funn Dave

                      Alright, I can see how you’d take issue with the Oregon example. How about Manti’i Teo? He was supposed to be a top pick. Then his off-the-field issues, combined with his performance in a key game, moved him waay down most lists, to the point where I can’t even remember how to spell his name. The point is, things change in both baseball and football drafts. Even the top picks change. If you look where Gray, Appel, and Bryant were placed in mock drafts leading up to last year’s draft, I think you’ll be surprised by how much those three switched places with one another.

                      As for your other points, they’re the result of your either misunderstanding, ignoring, or forgetting what I said earlier; I’m not sure which. I acknowledged repeatedly that there is a market for early mock drafts, as well as for early Christmas decorations. See, for example, “for a very small number of people, they will be exciting.” Some people like early mock drafts and early Christmas decorations, so the forces that be provide them to appease those people. More people, however, aren’t interested in either, and they either ignore it as best they can or make their voices heard. Like Norm said, “People loves lists. They can do a 2015 mock draft and they’ll have hits.” People also love the Kardashians. The fact that people watch the show doesn’t redeem its value, just like the fact that people read early mock drafts doesn’t make them any more valuable. If you really think demand determines value, then hardcore porn has more cultural value than Dostoyevky. Even then, I wish people still put click tickers on their websites, so I could further address your page view misconceptions. If a page view count were made available to the public, I’m sure the number of views a mock draft in early December gets pales in comparison to the number of views an actual, current, tangible story gets.

                      You’ve also misinterpreted my point about mock drafts vs. mock trades, or perhaps I was bad at explaining it. If you’re comparing mock trades a month before the trade deadline to mock drafts a month before the draft, I feel the mock draft is more valuable & less likely to be just grasping at straws. If you’re comparing mock trades right now to mock drafts right now, I find the former much more stimulating. The variables for both are constantly changing, so the one whose subject is more imminent will be more useful. But then again, I’m not sure that’s even what we’re talking about anymore. These tangents are getting tough to keep track of.

            • Funn Dave

              Also, I’m bigger than you.

              • On The Farm

                You are missing the entire point of why people put out mock drafts, but okay. Hope you at least think your funny.

                • Funn Dave

                  Yeah but I’m like twice your size. It’s not even close.

                  • On The Farm

                    This post is the definition of irrelevant. By extension I can only assume as you read your own post, it drives you crazy.

                    • Funn Dave

                      Aw c’mon buddy, no need to get all jealous. Size isn’t everything.

                    • DarthHater

                      Oh, Dave, you are just soooo much funn. :-P

                    • On The Farm

                      “Aw c’mon buddy, no need to get all jealous. Size isn’t everything.”

                      I never said it was, and considering how much you are obsessing over it, I have to assume you are in fact over compensating for a possible lack of size. But that is a personal issue I really don’t need to know.

            • mjhurdle

              “This is just something to give people a good base on what’s out there”

              Exactly. Mock drafts right now don’t even pretend that they are actually predicting exactly how the draft will go. They give fans that maybe don’t follow every college and high school baseball game in America a general idea what player might be in their teams window, so that way you can track the players that gain your interest to see how they progress towards the drafts.

              • Funn Dave

                Fair enough. I just hope that everyone who reads them realizes as much.

                • On The Farm

                  Another thing I feel like adding here as opposed to our really long discussion. I am pretty sure college baseball starts in Mid Feb. So as I said before the mock drafts are primarily used to give fans a good base on what’s out there. The guys listed on the mock draft, a majority were college players, so it make sense that fans should know a few months in advance who they should be watching as the college baseball season will be underway very soon. (With the holidays and the new year it tends to be January before you know it, so getting the article out sooner rather than later is probably a good idea)

    • Rebuilding

      As we’ve seen and heard…Theo and Co. prefer to take bats this high in the draft. Beede has a lot to prove command wise before I could see them take him at #4

  • ruby2626

    Interesting that 6 of the top 10 were acquired by Theo and company in trades the last year and a half. Also interesting that you have to go to #12 to hit a Jim Hendry acquisition. At least he didn’t leave the shelves barren with every day prospects, see Baez, Volgelbach and Alcantrara.

    Why do I feel that 3 years from now this list will still include Vizcaino, has anyone heard anything about him? Wasn’t he supposed to be pitching in AZ

    • Isaac

      Also note that of all of the guys mentioned (even the best of the rest), there are only three lefties.

    • Funn Dave

      He was initially but then got reassigned to an instructuional league to work on his rehab.

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