Chicago Cubs Prospect Notes: Holy Baez, Professor Parks, 3B Rankings, More

javier baez aflTons of prospect stuff to dig into this afternoon …

  • Baseball Prospectus’s lead prospect dude/Patrick Swayze enthusiast Jason Parks chatted the other day, and there were some Cubs prospect bits: (1) There is swing and miss potential with Kris Bryant’s bat, and sometimes it is under-discussed, but the power is very real; (2) Parks’ best guess for Bryant is that he ends up a first division right fielder with several All-Star seasons (I’d gladly take that); (3) add Parks to the group in the industry who believe Kyle Hendricks is a future back-end guy at best (to my mind, Hendricks as an effective four or five isn’t the worst outcome in the world); (4) no sense in paraphrasing the love for Javier Baez: “One front office source told me that thinks Baez has hall of fame potential. No don’t go crazy with one projection, but if you really believe in the bat–meaning you think he will reach his offensive projections–35+ home runs is possible, all from a left-side of the diamond home. This is an extreme opinion, but not all that crazy when it comes to potential. Javier Baez could have a very special bat; the hand/eye, the bat speed, the raw strength are elite. If he puts it all together, he could be one of the best players in the game. If he stays healthy and consistent once he achieves that level, the hyperbole and hype of the present won’t seem so crazy.”; (5) the Cubs’ system may have improved the most in baseball over the last year; (6) Parks is reminded of Jose Reyes-lite when he sees Arismendy Alcantara; (7) Jorge Soler has more tools than skills, and is slow to adjust (which makes his tools play down in the game);
  • Parks was also on the Score with Wayne Randazzo for an interview, and, among the highlights: (1) Dan Vogelbach could impact the 2015 Cubs team … by way of trade; (2) Albert Almora is a fast-mover and very advanced, and a big league opportunity in 2015 wouldn’t be a surprise; (3) Mike Olt didn’t lose his abilities, it was a down year, and we’ll see what happens; (4) Anthony Rizzo may be a future guy who just relaxes at the plate and the natural ability shines through (as opposed to thinking through everything); (5) neither C.J. Edwards nor Pierce Johnson will change the face of a rotation (but extremely few prospects have that kind of ceiling), and there isn’t an “ace” upside pitching prospect in the Cubs’ system; (6) Parks doesn’t see much upside left for either Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters; and (7) Kris Bryant is the safest bet of the Big Four, Javier Baez has the highest upside, and Jorge Soler is the most likely to fail to reach expectations.
  • More still from Parks, who notes that BP’s Cubs list will come out later this week: the young men who will show up as “on the rise” include 3B/C Mark Malave (2011 bonus baby), righty Paul Blackburn (supplemental 1st rounder in 2012), and Rob Zastryzny (2nd rounder in 2013).
  • Apropos of this morning’s MLB.com notes on first base and second base, the third base list also came out today, with Kris Bryant in the two spot, just behind Miguel Sano. There’s not much more that can be said about Bryant that hasn’t already been said, but I’ll not that the MLB.com crew seems to believe he’s more likely to be able to stick at third than Sano. He’s a young man who could start at AA next year, and be on the big league roster within a few months. It’s also possible that the Cubs will remain patient, or that he’ll go through an adjustment process in his first full professional season. In either case, he could wind up staying the full year at AA. I don’t think that’s likely, given his polish and upside, but I’m just saying it’s possible. And don’t freak out if that’s what happens.
  • Some bits from Tony Andracki on Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and Arodys Vizcaino.
  • And, to close on something to make you not even know what to say …

 

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

143 responses to “Chicago Cubs Prospect Notes: Holy Baez, Professor Parks, 3B Rankings, More”

  1. ChrisFChi

    Also, he ranks cubs farm #2 overall.

  2. Kevin

    I am very excited to see what Baez does this year in AAA and fully expect him to be in the Show in July or August.

  3. Luke

    Baez is an obvious candidate for #1 prospect in all of baseball. I can’t argue with that possibility at all.

    Here’s the crazy part, though.

    I can make a case that’s he’s #2 in the Cubs system. I’m not sure I will make that case when I re-rank the Top 40, but there is a case to be made.

    1. woody

      OK Luke don’t leave us hanging in the wind here. Spit it out! Who pray tell would be the other #1 candidate? Has to be Almora of Bryant. Interesting that Parks uses HOF potential for Baez, but only allstar for Bryant. IMHO Bryant has as much potential as Baez in the HR & RBI category. They both look like studs to me. How blessed we are to have two guys like that in our system.

      1. JDB

        The fact that Baez has the ability to stick at SS makes him the more interesting prospect. Obviously you’d take his potential at any position but SS makes it that much better.

      2. pinkstonaa

        To be fair, HOF for Baez weren’t Parks’ words but a “front office source” – I assume he would also say “multiple time all star” for Baez, as well.

      3. CubsFaninMS

        With the advent of the internet and all of these prospect predictions, I’m sure we’ll be able to look back in 10 years and say “Haha, look what Parks said about ‘x’ prospect.” Evaluating talent is an endlessly flawed system, although sabermetrics have certainly helped.

  4. college_of_coaches

    I find it interesting that he mentioned Malave, and I wonder what his reasons are.

  5. hansman

    Wow Kris Bryant at the safest to make the majors?

    1. Luke

      I’ve been thinking along those lines since he lit up Daytona.

      Sample size was small there, but those numbers were ridiculous.

      1. hansman

        I’m shocked Almora isn’t listed. Bryant did mash Daytona but hearing a lot about swing and miss issues.

        1. Luke

          His K% was a little elevated in Daytona, but he didn’t really have time to adjust there either. And he still crushed the ball despite that.

          Almora is harder to gauge the floor of because he spent only a partial season in Kane County. His AFL showing was impressive, if short.

          This time next year we may be saying Almora has the highest floor, but that could easily be due to Bryant playing in Chicago.

        2. ari gold

          Exactly! those k issues could be very real. I was very underwhelmed by his K rate considering he was the most advanced hitter in college and #2 overall pick. Very interested to see what he does in AA this year.

        3. Rebuilding

          Don’t forget that Bryant’s K% at Daytona was inflated because of small sample size and his first game he went 0-5 with 5 Ks I believe. After that he just crushed it. He then made the AFL look silly

          1. CubFan Paul

            I don’t think AA will challenge him either.

          2. Luke

            Yep. After that first game he struck out about 21% of the time. That’s much more reasonable (but still a touch on the high side for my preference).

  6. Isaac

    FINALLY! Someone justifies Arismendy reminding me of Reyes!

    1. AA Correspondant

      I agree…… thats the player that comes to mind for me when I saw him play in AA.

  7. woody

    I sure hope that Baez isn’t reading all of this prospect porn and projections. He beat expecations last year and if he does it again in AAA I don’t see anything holding him back. I hope he is one of those guys that believes he is the absolute best and goes out and proves it every day. I have to believe that Castro is feeling the heat. We’ll see what he is made of shortly. If Castro answers the call and Baez dominates then it’s hasta la vista Darwin Barney.

  8. roz

    The paragraph about the Randazzo interview are making me salivate.

  9. Diehardthefirst

    Keep your eye on Candelario

    1. Luke

      Been high on him for awhile. He’s got a few years yet.

  10. Mr Gonzo

    My anticipation for the Iowa Cubs’ series in May @ RR Express is close to bursting…

  11. Voice of Reason

    Barring injury, Bryant will be something special!

    Bryant has never drank an alcoholic beverage! It doesn’t mean he can’t miss… it’s just interesting!

    1. jp3

      Hmmm… I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

  12. CubFan Paul

    “Rizzo may be a future guy who just relaxes at the plate and the natural ability shines through (as opposed to thinking through everything)”

    I like how Parks didn’t mention bad luck in that part of the interview. He was clearly referring the adjustments Rizzo was trying to make all last year (putting away/borderline pitches into LF and hammering inside pitches to RF).

  13. Eternal Pessimist

    Does the continued prospect gains justify “the strategy”? I would say it does!

    1. Kyle

      Only if the MLB standings condemn it.

      Nobody denied that they’d come out of this with a lot of great prospects.

      1. JacqueJones

        you mean that if you get top 5-10 picks 3 years in a row you end up with good prospects??!?!?

        1. Luke

          Sometimes.

          Not always.

          1. When The Musics Over

            With the team building strategy employed, you damn well better come away with some great prospects. Anything less than that would be a failure.

            On top of that, since this front office is consistently lauded as one of the best ever in MLB history, and paid accordingly, again, anything less than great / good prospects would be disappointing.

            1. Luke

              I’m not arguing with any of that.

              But it is also true that picking at the top of the draft does not guarantee a great draft. Teams have, and will, blown their drafts despite those advantages. It would a serious problem if the Cubs did so, but there are no guarantees. A great deal of work goes into making sure a team drafts well; it isn’t simply a function of draft position.

              And, arguably, from an organization building standpoint, rounds 2 through 10 are just as important as the first. Blow those rounds and the first round won’t save the organization. Get those rounds right, and you even if you pick lower in the first you’re still in pretty good shape. That’s probably a separate conversation, though.

              1. JacqueJones

                The problem is that it takes longer for guys in rounds 2-10 to gain the types of reputations of the guys drafted at the top, so saying that theyve done a great job of drafting in those rounds would be premature.

              2. When The Musics Over

                Totally agree. However, in cases where teams tank multiple consecutive years in order to obtain high draft picks, the pressure to hit on those picks (and all following round picks) is heightened. This front office has amplified draft expectations with their rebuilding approach, and I’d be willing to bet money they’d agree the pressure to hit is higher because of the route they’ve chosen.

        2. When The Musics Over

          Also, after the 2014 season, the Cubs very well may have 5 top 10 picks in a row, with 4 of them coming in the top 6. In terms of prospect ranking battles/fights, that’s like giving one team a Conan sized broad sword and other teams small hand knives. Anything less than the Cubs being a top 5 organization with a number of very high ranked prospects would be a massive failure.

      2. Eternal Pessimist

        No, of course you didn’t, but the three + years of bad teams lined up well with accumulating high probability prospects while running out some bad contracts.

        Now we have cheap labor coming up soon at the same time the team has made some payroll space with expiring (bad) contracts. I like all of that from a strategy perspective. The only remaining question for me is they will really commit to spending with the big markets.

    2. Edwin

      That’s an interesting question.

    3. Kyle

      But I will say this: I don’t think there’s any doubt at this point that we’re going to get something out of the rebuild. The Cubs won’t be awful forever. There’s too much talent in the pipeline and the game is trending young.

      We’ll never be able to definitely answer whether it was a better decision than dual-fronts. What if we don’t make the playoffs until Epstein year 6, then make it 4 out of the next 9? That’s not really a success. What if we make it in year 4 and then 8 years out of 10? That probably is.

      And that’s even before we get into the nasty business of whether or not those playoff berths actually turn into a WS title.

      1. ari gold

        If it any one of those years turn into a world series then it’s a success.

      2. YourResidentJag

        So far, this whole rebuilding thing points similarly to the Washington Nationals. The Nationals made in deep into the playoffs in 2012, missed in 2013, and now in 2014 they’re are hopefully playoff bound, but who knows? The track record of theirs has been mixed so far…I see the same with the Cubs.

        1. brainiac

          i’d say there are two faces of janus here – with tanaka it looks like washington….kiiiinda. without tanaka it looks like a money grab by cynical billionaires. of course with the worst team in baseball theo is going to get some good prospects. but that doesn’t mean they’ll pan out as stars. i certainly hope so, but it didn’t have to go this way. we’re still looking at years until we’re even decent, so stop harping on the team as some kind of perennial contender in a couple years. that’s just fantasy baseball after you edit player algorithms.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Well, by your projections then….we’re the Twins….except the Cubs are making an effort to sign big FAs. Some of that is going to have to replace the fact that prospects aren’t all going to be stars. Harping on the team as some kind of perennial contender….the Nationals by comparison really haven’t been that yet. :)

        2. DocPeterWimsey

          The Nats actually are eliminated in the first round in the 2012 playoffs. They had the lead until 2 outs in the 9th when a classic BABiP blessing put the Cards in front.

          The failure of the Nats to replicate 2012 stemmed largely from injuries, although with their players’ track-records, what might wind up making 2012 special was that they avoided injuries so well. Re-signing LaRoche might have been a mistake: 2012 clearly was a “blip” and Zimmerman cannot remain at 3rd much longer. However, Rendon has adapted well to 2nd, which helped given Espinosa’s K issues.

          1. YourResidentJag

            Ok, deep into the playoffs is wrong here…still. Zimmerman might not remain at 3b…same might be said for Baez or Bryant.

  14. Kyle

    One of these days I’ll get around to asking Parks for my apology now that he’s done his offseason catchup.

    1. roz

      What’s he apologizing for?

      1. Kyle

        Ridiculing me to his followers when I suggested in late summer that the only reason he and other pundits didn’t have Baez clearly in his top-5 and over Sano was that he hadn’t done his offseason catchup yet.

        1. DarthHater

          10732970213_d767b57d32_o.jpg

          ;-)

          1. Kyle

            Dang straight. And now I’m vindicated.

            1. another JP

              LMAO, pal… nobody owes you an apology for squat. You were a not only a bit late to the Javy Baez hype parade, but also went to great lengths to go on every forum you could find last spring to dampen the enthusiasm of me and every other fan that was excited over his performance in spring training last year. Remember? I do, all you could blab about was how Javy hadn’t mastered Daytona yet. It wasn’t until he smashed 4 homers in a game that you attached yourself to his jockstrap, so maybe you should cut Parks some slack, expert.

              1. Rebuilding

                I’ll second this. Lot’s of revision, Kyle

              2. Kyle

                I prefer a big circle of vindication. Feel free to feel vindicated if you wish.

                Although there’s a difference between getting new information and simply being slow to adjust to existing information.

                1. Rebuilding

                  And there’s a difference between looking at a kid’s physical tools and projecting stardom and waiting until he’s lighting up AA to do the same. Some of us are in the former group, you are in the latter

                  1. Kyle

                    And I encourage you to spike the football.

                2. DarthHater

                  12078309326_dae4c9599e_m.jpg

                  1. Rebuilding

                    Well, that’s fantastic. I’m the best corner in the BN!

    2. When The Musics Over

      It might not just be Parks,as even Goldstein was much, much higher on Lindor post draft and even years post draft (just focusing on the SS position here). As for Parks, he was man crush city on Sano all year, but has slowly come around on Baez. I’d guess BP in general has been pretty conservative/guarded with Baez until very recently.

  15. Funn Dave

    I just yesterday had my “holy crap, just a few more months til baseball!” moment. Now I’m even more pumped.

  16. CubsFaninMS

    Parks’ assessment of Bryant, Baez, and Soler are in line with my expectations of them. Baez clearly has a little more upside that Bryant (as we’ve seen so far) but I expect Bryant to be a little more polished at the plate with a lower floor. I see Bryant as a potential .280 to .290 hitter, whereas I see Baez keeping his average within the realm of what Alfonso Soriano has done. That being said, Baez’s explosion that was the 2013 season shows he is capable of making some crazy adjustments. The chances that one of them will turn into a star are very high, IMO. As a Cubs fan, I hope Soler is a successful Major Leaguer, but his potential does not match his performance as of yet, partly due to his injuries. Let’s hope 2014 is his year to prove any of the naysayers.

  17. CubsFaninMS

    *Bryant to be a little more polished at the plate (than Baez) with a HIGHER floor.

  18. Voice of Reason

    By mid season, 2015 Rizzo will no longer be the Cubs first baseman.

    Bryant and Baez will be the only All Stars for the Chicago Cubs out of the big four.

    None of the pitchers who will start the season in the rotation for the 2014 Cubs will be with the Cubs in 2016.

    Almora will not make it to the major leagues as a Cub.

    Neither Dr. Dre nor Justin Bieber will do a concert at Wrigley Field.

    Junior Lake will still be on the Cubs roster in 2017.

    Renteria will not be managing the Cubs by the end of the 2016 season.

    Starlin Castro will end the 2014 season as the Chicago Cubs second baseman.

    1. roz

      I don’t see them trading Almora. At all.

    2. ari gold

      “Bryant and Baez will be the only All Stars for the Chicago Cubs out of the big four.”

      You say that like it’s a bad thing. What do you expect all 4 of them to be all-stars? If you do, then you’re in for a massive disappointment.

    3. CubsFaninMS

      Marty!!!!

    4. Xruben31

      0%

    5. YourResidentJag

      Well, if that’s the case, then Theo and Jed will be gone by 2016?

      1. brainiac

        i think that there’s a very good chance that they’ll leave if we don’t get tanaka. why would they stay? they did their job in good faith by stocking the minors. it’s the only job they were allowed when here. if they can go to a more baseball-friendly team they will.

        1. TWC

          “i think that there’s a very good chance that they’ll leave if we don’t get tanaka.”

          Haha.

          What bullshit.

          1. brainiac

            bullshit is being in charge of a team for 5 years and not being allowed to cultivate the mlb squad – the only part of the team that 95% of the fans actually care about.

            1. TWC

              “bullshit is being in charge of a team for 5 years and not being allowed to cultivate the mlb squad”

              Sure, that would be bullshit. But there’s no evidence that it’s true.*

              *Note: scenarios that only exist in your head don’t count as “evidence”. HTH.

            2. hansman

              Who has been in charge of the MLB squad for 5 years?

              Ricketts hasn’t even been owner for that long.

              1. brainiac

                i’m talking about “the future”. if the team still is full of minor leaguers and no progress on the mlb level because we have no finances. that was already clear before, you guys are just doing shenanigans.

                1. hansman

                  Oh…so they should quit now because there is no hope of building a contender in the next two years because they failed to do so in the last two years.

                  1. Fishin Phil

                    If at first you don’t succeed, quit and go home.

                    Wait, that’s not right.

                    1. brainiac

                      they’d quit because the owners were dishonest about what they’d be capable in doing for the team to build a contender. they’ll certainly have other offers.

                    2. DarthHater

                      Of course, Theo has said repeatedly that that is not the case, so he’d have to say something like: “Wait! I was being dishonest when I said they weren’t being dishonest!”

              2. roz

                Didn’t Ricketts reach an agreement to buy the team in January of 2009? That would be 5 years. Unless he didn’t gain control until after the 2009 season.

                1. Kyle

                  Correct. His bid was accepted in January, but there were some snags and he didn’t take over until October or November formally.

                  1. roz

                    Gotcha. Thanks.

        2. aaronb

          I can certainly see Theo going. Surely Jed would stay.

          1. YourResidentJag

            I would rather they convert McLeod to GM if that’s the case.

            1. brainiac

              i think i agree with this – mcleod seems more talented than theo at building a team

              1. Voice of Reason

                Brainiac,

                Theo is doing exactly what he said. Sit back and learn.

    6. Scotti

      “Neither Dr. Dre nor Justin Bieber will do a concert at Wrigley Field”

      Biebley Field!!!

  19. Fishin Phil

    “Neither Dr. Dre nor Justin Bieber will do a concert at Wrigley Field.”

    OK, I’ll give you that one.

    1. ChrisFChi

      Thank God.

      1. YourResidentJag

        +1

    2. woody

      I surely hope they don’t.

  20. NateCorbitt

    Sounds like I might need to make the 5 hour drive from North Carolina to Nashville when Iowa plays the Sounds…….

    1. Cub Fan Dan

      Make a quick stop along the way to see the Smokies. Nice little baseball trip!

  21. SenorGato

    Malave was a slick name for Parks to throw out. I think he will be a 2014 riser at catcher, where he will spend the year.

    Baez’s alt position is going to be 2B this ST, again, right?

    1. SenorGato

      Also in that chat Parks nailed CJ Edwards:

      Wrigleyvillenat (Chicago): What do you project for C.J. Edwards? Can he overcome “frame” and become top-of-rotation starter?

      Jason Parks: I don’t see a top-of-the-rotation starter, and that would be true even if he weighed more than 160 pounds. I like the arm; I really do. I know the kid. I’ve been around him since he signed, and I’ve seen him pitch countless times. I get it. I do. Its very loose and easy, and the fastball has serious pop to it. I like the CB, but its a better minor league pitch than it projects to be at the major league level, and I think his CH will be his best weapon to play off the fastball. He pitches with length and can maintain the stuff pretty well, but I don’t see the type of physicality necessary for a heavy major league workload. That’s the rub. He could be a very good late-innings reliever with a deep arsenal, and perhaps even a mid-rotation arm that just makes it work despite the physical concerns. But the top of the rotation talk is a dream that is based more on the stats than the scouting.

      1. Napercal

        I wonder what they said about Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez when they came through the minors? I’m not giving up on Edwards. Remember these are just projections. Not meaning to sound like an old timer, but if I had a nickel for the outstanding write-ups on Cubs prospects over the past 50 years, I would have bought the Cubs myself.

        1. Fishin Phil

          Scouts are never wrong.

          1. SenorGato

            Wrong. The ones not anointing Cubs guys are!

            1. Fishin Phil

              Just saying that scouting is not an exact science, and no one has a crystal ball. I don’t care which organization they are scouting.

              1. SenorGato

                Why is that relevant? People seem very high on Edwards, just not ace high.

                1. dw8
                  1. Rebuilding

                    Pedro came up as a reliever over endurance (size) issues. There was a real debate about the Dodgers putting him in the rotation because of it. He was just so dominant that they gave him a shot and the rest is history

        2. SenorGato

          How is what Parks said there giving up? I think hes just being realistic at a point where its all sunshine and lollis for Edwards. When you throw out those two names arent you seeking that nickel?

        3. JacqueJones

          Both Maddux and Martinez were very highly rated prospects.

      2. Rebuilding

        Not saying people are wrong about Edwards, but all of the same things were said about Pedro Martinez with regards to size and stuff. Now comparing Edwards to Pedro is unfair to the kid, but his ability to make people make weak contact is uncanny. I would much rather he be skinny than short

        1. CubFan Paul

          But was Pedro’s stuff affected by stamina at the same age/level?

        2. hansman

          No…you’d rather him be short.

          Short pitchers succeed as often and as well as tall pitchers. Skinny pitchers; however, are more likely to become relievers.

  22. itzscott

    Reassure me that they ALL can’t be like Felix Pie.

    1. DarthHater

      aahomer.jpg

  23. woody

    So far the only think talking to me is Edwards numbers. They were impressive enough to be pitcher of the year. The opinions of all these talking heads and scout wannabe’s aren’t worth a puddle of spit in the end. The game is played between the lines and Edwards will do just fine.

    1. SenorGato

      Why is very good reliever seen as a knock? Its as confounding to me as the lack of Baez at 2B talk when talking about moving him.

      1. Voice of Reason

        OK, I’ll bite…

        Because its tougher to find a good starting pitcher than it is to find a good reliever.

        1. SenorGato

          Well duh? Still need a great bullpen to win.

          1. Voice of Reason

            Well thank you, captain obvious. I guess what I’m saying is going right over your head as usual.

            While we’re at it… what in the hell were you trying to say in that second sentence about Baez??

            1. SenorGato

              It wasnt.

          2. DocPeterWimsey

            Actually, there have been several playoff teams in recent years with below average bullpens. Starting pitching is much, much more important than the bullpen because the starters are pitching in 2/3rds of the games, and most games are decided early. (In 2012, nearly 70% of games were won by the team that held the first lead, and that seems to be typical.)

            1. SenorGato

              Interesting, but how about WS winners? Too small a sub group? Boston and St. Louis were badass in the late innings with Rosenthal and Uehara headlining.

  24. josh ruiter

    With all the praise, can we begin dreaming on a 2015 lineup of:
    1. Alcantara – 2b
    2. Almora – CF
    3. Bryant – LF
    4. Baez – 3b
    5. Rizzo – 1b
    6. Soler – RF
    7. Castro – SS
    8. Castillo – C
    9. Pitcher?

    That is certainly a dreamy lineup…talk about prospect laden and full of future!!!

    1. CubFan Paul

      a more realistic lineup

      1. Lake CF
      2. Castro SS
      3. Baez 2B
      4. Rizzo 1B
      5. Bryant LF
      6. Olt 3B
      7. Castillo C
      8. Vitters Platoon RF

      1. josh ruiter

        First thing Paul…Bryant will be in right well before vitters…leaving the platoon in LF. and a guy can dream can’t he?

        1. CubFan Paul

          “Bryant will be in right well before vitters”

          Vitters will be given the opportunity first this year as the 4th or 5th OF. He could stick.

          1. brickhouse

            Vitters is toast – at best he will be a 4A type player

            1. CubFan Paul

              “Vitters is toast – at best he will be a 4A type player”

              Okay.

          2. josh ruiter

            Right, but if Bryant and Vitters are in a competition…Bryant is the better fielder all around, arm strength, instincts, range, maybe even speed…so he would be in RF, with Vitters sliding to left.

            1. CubFan Paul

              the specific positions don’t matter, the more realistic lineup was the point (no almora, no soler)

            2. woody

              Dude, what world are you living in? Vitters is an after thought. A potential bench warmer at best.

              1. Xruben31

                Vitters still has potential. He’s hit everywhere, besides the majors and I think he deserves another shot.

      2. DocPeterWimsey

        That is some pretty woeful OBP at the top of the order: two of them will probably struggle to get OBP’s over 0.300 and the third will struggle to get OBP over 0.340! That’s a lot of first innings thrown away.

        What you would want is to swap out Lake for an OBP guy (even if he’s a 1-year stopgap), push Bryant up to #2, Rizzo #3; if Olt’s eye problems are worked out, then he’s #4. Then Baez, Castro, Castillo and whatever we get in RF.

        1. CubFan Paul

          “What you would want is to swap out Lake for an OBP guy”

          Tell that to the guy with the tight purse strings (*cough*Choo*cough*)

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            OK, how about one who won’t be a platoon player in 2015?

  25. Rooster

    おはようございます(^^)

  26. itzscott

    WELL…. It’s WEDNESDAY morning, 10:30am, in Tokyo.

    An announcement can come at any minute now.

  27. itzscott

    Maybe if we all post in haiku it’ll send out positive karma to Tanaka and draw him to the Cubs

    At old Wrigley
    A pitcher signs
    Elation erupts

  28. Ivy Walls

    I am not sure people are not sure people understand the gravity or consequence what Parks is saying. He is saying that he projects Baez’s ceiling to be HOF stuff. Is he Mike Schmidt or A Rodriquez level stuff here. I watched five HOF players wear Cub uniforms, Banks (though too young to see his ’56-’60 years), Williams, Santo, Sandburg and Maddux. One might say that Wood and Prior had that level of potential. That Bryant has perennial All Star potential and Soler, Almora and Alcantara again star level potential, but HOF he is saying of Baez.

    Now this places an interesting conundrum. Do you play Baez at 3B and move Bryant to the OF? At 3B Baez might stay healthier than at SS. Bryant might be better suited there and then you have Soler, Almora and possibly others. He says that Vogelbach is a trade piece, but could Vogelbach play a Manny Ramirez level LF meaning that someone else gets traded. (I personally would like to see another big bat lefty than another righty, but then again is Soler’s defense more valuable with Bryant in the OF?)

    But HOF, you make room for that, and if Castro continues in his regression than when do you go with the present script?

    1. SenorGato

      Actually, isnt 3B the most injured infield position with the shortest shelf life? IIRC they’re susceptible to hip problems.

      Never been a fan of moving Baez to third and he himself seemed to react negatively to it during his AFL stint.

      1. Xruben31

        Not including catcher, yes it is the infield position with the most injuries.

        1. SenorGato

          All the more why I find 2B the optimal position for him if he must leave SS.

    2. SenorGato

      Also, Vogelbach would prob be horrendous in LF.

      1. Scotti

        Vogelbach has plenty of speed to play LF (7.15 second 60). He has a very weak arm.

        Far more likely than Vogelbach playing LF is either he or Rizzo getting traded (and Rizzo being traded is a real option).

    3. CubFan Paul

      “if Castro continues in his regression”

      I don’t know if i’d call 2013 a regression (if that’s what you were referring to).

      He had 3 hitting coaches, who wouldn’t let him swing at the first pitch. With those coaches fired, we should get a normal-Castro this season

    4. ClevelandCubsFan

      More like John Kruk LF probably. But give him time and he might surprise. There once was a pudgy high school prospect worth a great hit tool named Pujols.

    5. Scotti

      “He is saying that he projects Baez’s ceiling to be HOF stuff.”

      No, he isn’t. Someone else did and he referenced that.

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