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christian villanueva smokiesAlthough we frequently hear about the Chicago Cubs’ elite prospect talent on the positional side, the focus of that praise tends to be the positional players’ bats. Of course, we know that there’s a necessary additional part of a position player’s game: the glove. Albert Almora gets a ton of love for his defense in center, but, beyond him, we don’t hear too much about the Cubs having great defensive prospects.

Well, Baseball Prospectus continues its top tools series (we previously discussed power), now looking at the top defensive infielders among the prospect ranks. When specifically discussing the top infield arms, the Cubs’ top prospect, Javier Baez, gets a mention in the “also considered” category, behind the top arm, Joey Gallo. Now that Junior Lake is in the big leagues (and in the outfield), you didn’t hear too much about the Cubs having a cannon-armed infielder, but there is Baez, considered among the best in the game. BP says he’s consistently giving a plus-plus grade for his arm, which is just another feather in his increasingly crowded cap.

It’s great to hear that about Baez, but the real pleasant surprise comes in the “top infield defense” category, where third base prospect Christian Villanueva is one of just three prospects who even get a mention. Indians shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor naturally takes the top spot, and Dodgers shortstop prospect Miguel Rojas is the other player mentioned. On Villanueva, BP says, “Villanueva might not play the toughest defensive position on the infield, but that hasn’t stopped him from drawing ample praise from scouts. He has hands that can rival those of Francisco Lindor and he moves well for the position, making every play necessary at the hot corner.”

I don’t want to do too much extrapolating here, but, given that Villanueva was the only third base prospect to make the three-man list, it sounds like BP is saying that he currently offers the best defense at third base in all of the minors right now. Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod said at the Cubs Convention that Villanueva is the best defensive third baseman in the Cubs’ system, but maybe he was actually underselling Villanueva.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s easy to lose Villanueva in the shuffle with guys like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, and Jeimer Candelario getting the bulk of the infield love. But don’t sleep on him. He was quietly great with the bat at AA last year, he turned 22 mid-season, and he is apparently one of the top defensive prospects in all of baseball. Villanueva is expected to be the primary third baseman at AAA this year, and he remains a guy to watch.

  • CubFan Paul

    “He was quietly great with the bat at AA last year”

    Or loudly inconsistent.

    • dw8

      26 percent better than league average is pretty good.

      • CubFan Paul

        Yea, his end result does look ‘pretty good’, but on a day to day basis, it wasn’t.

        • dw8

          What did it look like?

          • CubFan Paul

            Loudly inconsistent.

            • dw8

              Oh, I thought you had some qualitative data that you were going to share, that would lead to your conclusion.

              • CubFan Paul

                No, just offhand knowledge of not being a Johnny come lately to the minors.

                • IA_Colin

                  May-June-July-August he OPS’d .857-.729-.872-..840

                  Could argue June was an inconsistent month but I don’t have his babip numbers, it looks like his average took a dive. I also don’t see your “loudly inconsistent” numbers when compared to most other prospects in AA. These guys aren’t going to put up video game numbers every day.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “I also don’t see your “loudly inconsistent” numbers”

                    I said on a day to day basis.

                    • hansman

                      What in the hell do you mean by “day to day basis”?

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      He means that he not only watched every single Cubs game for the past 5 years, but he’s also watched every single game that Christian Villanueva has played since becoming a Cub

                    • DarthHater

                      Hans, there were actually some days when Villanueva didn’t get on base at all! And other days when he did! All mixed together!!!

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “What in the hell do you mean by “day to day basis”?”

                      He struggled to make adjustments on a day to day basis, because his hit tool isn’t all that.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      CubFan Paul,

                      You do understand that his “end result” is a compilation of his “day to day basis”?

                      Ryne Sandberg was a perennial slow starter, but the end result of each season lead him to Cooperstown.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “You do understand that his “end result” is a compilation of his “day to day basis”?”

                      Voice of Reason = Captain Obvious?

                      The topic was: “He was quietly great with the bat at AA last year”

                    • hansman

                      “Hans, there were actually some days when Villanueva didn’t get on base at all! And other days when he did! All mixed together!!!”

                      That BUM!

                      “He struggled to make adjustments on a day to day basis, because his hit tool isn’t all that.”

                      So hit hit tool isn’t all that (most likely because that is what folks have been saying) or he fails to make adjustments overall (tough to have this one when the player reached AA by age 21) or there are some games where he look lost at the plate (odd that scouts haven’t picked up on that as a trend (could be some error in what you are observing)) or you’re pretending to know everything about all prospects ever

                    • Voice of Reason

                      so, CubFan Paul, if it’s OBVIOUS that the “end result” is a compilation of his “day to day basis” then why did you type:

                      “Yea, his end result does look ‘pretty good’, but on a day to day basis, it wasn’t.”

                      Just curious…

                    • Drew7

                      Pauly & VOR in a heated discussion = Smart-Ass overload :D

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Yea, his end result does look ‘pretty good’, but on a day to day basis, it wasn’t.”

                      .261/.317/.469 looks pretty, but it wasn’t.

                    • hansman

                      “.261/.317/.469 looks pretty”

                      Actually, that doesn’t look pretty.

                      “, but it wasn’t.”

                      It has a good personality.

                    • DarthHater

                      The return of “Better Math.” Woo-hoo!

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “So hit hit tool isn’t all that (Never was) or he fails to make adjustments overall (No one said it was easy or that he was dumb) or there are some games where he look lost at the plate (That’s common) or you’re pretending to know everything about all prospects ever”

                      So should I be sorry I disagreed with Brett, Hans?

                • dw8

                  That’s all well and good, but just dropping “loudly inconsistent” is less compelling as an argument than discussing the results of a 542 PA season by a “young” 22 year old at an advanced level. Especially considering the Villanueva’s profile as a plus defensive player on the left side of the infield.

  • Kyle

    Given our reluctance to add things to the MLB team and the need for whatever we do add to be pitching, I seriously think we might just pull off an entirely homegrown lineup next year. Homegrown and pre-FA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think the outfield probably prevents that from happening.

      • Kyle

        The outfield is where we’re going to have to stick some of the infielders.

        With Castro and Rizzo entrenched (although I could see Castro being traded), we only need two of Villanueva, Baez and Olt to stick before there’s no room in the infield for Bryant or Alcantara, who could move to RF and CF.

        • cub4life

          I was thinking something like that, but I was going with the
          C – Castillo
          1B – Rizzo
          2B – Baez
          SS – Castro
          3B – Villanueva
          LF – Olt
          CF – Lake/Alcantara
          RF – Bryant

          that would be an interesting/fun line up to watch

          • ibcnu2222

            What year is this for? Just wondering where Soler would be.

            • CubFan Paul

              “I seriously think we might just pull off an entirely homegrown lineup next year”

              • ibcnu2222

                We would have to replace Rizzo, Villanueva, and Olt since we did not draft/sign them.

                • CubFan Paul

                  Only if we use your definition of homegrown. Trades come from the asset base.

                  • Chad

                    If developed at all by the cubs they are homegrown, or a product of the farm IMO.

            • Chad

              I would see Soler in RF, Bryant in LF, Olt at 3B, Lake 4th OF, Villanueva utility INF. Almora also could be in CF and allow more flexibility to make Alcantara a super utility type of player.

              • Rich H

                Villaneuva was tried at 2nd when he was in the Rangers system. The results were they moved him back to 3rd.

              • cub4life

                well this would be for next year so Almora won’t be up yet (but once he is he is the starting CF) and as for Soler well i just missed him….I guess its Bryant and Soler in the corners and Olt at 3B and Villenueva is on the bench or traded. And I agree that Lake (if he is around) would be the 4th OF.

          • Diehardthefirst

            Half that lineup won’t be on the Cubs by 2018

    • Edwin

      It’s a dream come true.

      • Kyle

        And that team would have a reasonable shot at winning as many games as it loses, as long as they don’t completely cheap on the pitching.

        • CubChymyst

          If enough of the players work out to fill the infield, I see the ones left out getting traded for pitching or an outfielder instead of being shifted to the outfield.

          • Kyle

            We haven’t been real big on trades in the last two offseasons, and I don’t think that’s going to change. It’s hard to find fits in current MLB. Few teams are too broke to afford to keep their good players, and the price of trades in prospects is going up pretty crazily.

            • CubChymyst

              An MLB ready 3B who is under controll for several years and a few other prospects might not bring an TOR pitcher but I think a solid 3 with 2 upside is not unreasonable.

              • Chad

                I’m looking forward to the days where a guy like Villanueva can be playing above average 3B for the cubs and get traded for prospects, or areas of need because we have a guy coming up behind him in the minors that should be a better replacement. ie Castro and Baez. That is where I believe the cubs will benefit the most from a strong system. We used to see the Braves do this all the time with catching prospects and it is what the Rays do with pitchers.

            • hansman

              It seems that trades have been down league-wide each of the last two offseasons.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              Seems like a reach to mention a couple years where the Cubs were no where near ready to ‘seriously’ compete and chose (wisely) not to trade away long term assets in order to take a ‘weak swing’ at competitiveness in 2012-2013. I could see them trading a top infield prospect for a top pitching prospect in 2015. The lack of this trade so far is easily explained by timing.

  • Jon

    Does Candelario have a nickname yet? If not it has to be Candy Man.

    • Johnny Chess

      Good one! Captain obvious.
      How about Liberace

    • itzscott

      I have a better one….

      Jeimer

    • VanceLawblawsLawBlog

      Candy Maldonado would have something to say about that.

    • Blackhawks1963

      John Candeleria of the Pittsburgh Pirates World Championship team of 1979 would have something to say about that. He was the original and best Candyman.

      • Jon

        Tony Todd would have something to say about that.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Sammy Davis Jr. says hello….

      Who can take a sunrise
      (Who can take a sunrise)
      Sprinkle it with dew
      (Sprinkle it with dew)
      Cover it in chocolate
      And a miracle or two
      The candy man
      (The candy man)
      The candy man can
      (The candy man can)
      The candy man can cause he
      Mixes it with love and
      Makes the world taste good

      Who can take a rainbow
      (Who can take a rainbow)
      And wrap it in a sigh
      (Wrap it in a sigh)
      Soak it in the sun and
      Make a tasty lemon pie
      The candy man
      (The candy man)
      Oh the candy man can
      (The candy man can)
      The candy man can
      ‘Cause he
      Mixes it with
      Love and
      Makes the world
      Taste good

      The candy man makes
      Everything he bakes
      Satisfying and delicious
      Talk about your
      Childhood wishes
      You could even eat
      The dishes

      Who can take tomorrow
      (Who can take tomorrow)
      And dip it in a dream
      (Dip it in a dream)
      Separate the sorrow
      And collect up all the cream
      The candy man
      (The candy man)
      Oh the candy man can
      (The candy man can)
      The candy man can cause he
      Mixes it with love and
      Makes the world
      Taste good

      The candy man can cause he
      Mixes it with love and
      Makes the world
      Taste good

      • DarthHater

        Who can take a chat board
        Fill it full of spam
        And repeat the same damn post
        Til no one gives a damn?

        Blackhawks1963 can ;-)

        • another JP

          Outstanding! That brought tears to my eyes Darth. Que Sammy Davis…

        • Wilburthefirst

          … classic!

      • Jon

        I’ll take you to the candy shop
        I’ll let you lick the lollipop
        Go ‘head girl, don’t you stop
        Keep going ’til you hit the spot

  • Johnny Chess

    A candelabrum (plural candelabrums, candelabra, candelabras),[1] sometimes called a candle tree, is a candlestick holder with multiple arms.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Seems fitting in a piece about IF defense, but Ozzie Smith started a campaign to make Opening Day a National Holiday. They filed a petition with the White House, if you’re so inclined.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/declare-major-league-baseball-opening-day-national-holiday/3XNmgfBb

    • Chad

      I already take the day off of work every year anyway, so it might as well be a holiday.

    • Cubsin

      It probably won’t become a national holiday, but it is likely to become a holiday for federal and state workers. Of course, thereafter Opening Day will always have to be on a Monday so the public employees can have another three-day weekend.

    • Jon

      That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’ve got to believe that if Baez continues to progress AND can demonstrate the ability to stick at shortstop, then the best thing to happen for the Cubs is a resurgence by Castro that in turn leads to Castro being traded next offseason for frontline pitching help.

    Maybe the future of 3rd base is Bryant. Or maybe the future of 3rd base is Villenueva or Olt and the future of LF is Bryant. Or maybe the future of 3rd base is Baez and the future of LF is Bryant. Or maybe the future of 2nd base is Baez and the future of 3rd base is Bryant. Or maybe the future of 2nd base is Alcantara and the future of 3rd base is Baez and the future of LF is Bryant.

    The potential combinations and permutations is mind boggling…BUT VERY GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE BREWING.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      If it weren’t for Alcantara I would be inclined to play Baez at second ( ala Robbie Cano ), but with Alcantara’s speed and switch hitting he may just be too good to keep out of the lineup. But assuming that Castro does bounce back you have to believe that he is the one that will bring in the biggest haul of prospects. But realistically if Castro is putting up numbers approaching 200 hits and .300 BA do you really think we move him for guys that haven’t played a day in the big leagues? I think not. If Villanueva holds his own at AAA then he is ready for the big show. I see either him or Olt being the trade bait. If Baez is raking at Iowa and Alcantara is doing well also I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both come up, with Baez at third. Castro will be just as valuable over the winter as in July. If Castro returns to form I think he stays and Baez goes to third period! Olt becomes frosting on the cake for a mid-july flip of one of our pitchers. Considering how few genuine third basemen there are Olt could fetch a really nice pitching prospect. And considering that he was just a throw in on the Garza rental it could only be a win win for the cubs. I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for this, but given the choice of Baez or Olt at third I will take Baez every time. I project the 2015 infield to be Rizzo, Alcantara, Castro and Baez.

      • CubFan Paul

        “If it weren’t for Alcantara I would be inclined to play Baez at second”

        Baez will get the first crack at 2B.

        CF or trade bait is more likey for Alcantara.

        • Chad

          I wouldn’t mind seeing Alcantara in CF if Castro can stay at SS and Baez to 2B. My dream scenario is below though.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          I disagree Paul. If Alcantara continues to impress I think he becomes a neccesity at the top of the batting order. This team lacks a true leadoff man. And unless Castro surprises in that capacity it will remain a weakness. Hitting from both sides with some power and base stealing ability will be the deciding factor. When Baez, Bryant and Soler arrive we need some base runners for them to drive in. I like Castro hitting in the two spot better than leadoff. And of course Junior Lake has something to say about that too. If he continues to grow and wins the centerfield battle then he is another candidate for the first two spots in the order. Really it is all speculation at this point, but somebody has to go for sure.

          • CubFan Paul

            “I disagree Paul”

            With what exactly?

    • Chad

      The potential combinations are great to dream about. Honestly I think the best (yet unattainable) scenario would be if Castro can rebound to be a pretty good SS and he gets traded for some really good pitching prospects, or ML pitching and Baez takes over SS. Then Alcantara goes to 2B, Olt can play at 3b, Villanueva can be the utility infielder. Bryant goes to LF, Soler in RF, Lake plays CF until Almora gets up and then he is the 4th OF.

      That is a pipe dream for sure, but it would be awesome. Then FA money can be spent on Scherzer and Price!!!!!!! Just kidding kind of. There are so many things that can happen, but if that above scenario happened it would be fantastic. Not to mention any other prospects that begin to make a push over the next few years to push those guys out.

      I would rather see a big league piece moved to get a good pitching prospect and several other prospects than prospects moved to get 1 pitcher.

    • WGNstatic

      I completely agree about the SS position. There are quite a few big if’s
      – Castro bounces back to at least 2012 level of offense
      – Castro (continues to?) improve with the glove at SS
      – Baez continues to impress as a future MLB bat.
      – Baez shows he can stick, at least in the near term, as an MLB SS

      If all four of those pan out, and if enough of the 2B and 3B options pan out, then the Cubs could potentially have a tremendously valuable trade chip on their hands. Could Castro be a centerpiece (along with other significant prospects) for a David Price-like trade? I don’t see why not.

      • Chad

        I think Castro for Price would not be fair to the cubs. Price will only have 1 year of control left after this season. Castro 5 years on an extremely reasonable contract. Price, not reasonable, even for last year of Arb. I would hope something would come back with Price, but I think Price will be able to be had in FA in 2 years. Also, I don’t think Castro’s glove will hurt his trade value if he can get back to 2012 Castro at the plate.

        • Noah_I

          If Castro solely reaches the level he was at as a player from 2010-2012 (a 3 win player with a good average, but who doesn’t get on base much otherwise and 10-15 HR per year power), I’d be fine having him be the centerpiece of a Price deal, if it meant no other top 5 prospects had to go the other way. Price has been at least a 4 win player for four years running, with a Cy Young award to his name.

          If Castro surpasses his 2010-2012 production, by either adding more power or more patience? Then it’s a different story. But if Castro is the same sort of .285 to .310 hitter with a .320 to .345 OBP, and only hitting 10 to 15 HRs in 2014 that he previously was, I think you’re looking at his ceiling at that point.

    • Cubsin

      You forgot Jeimer Candelario and Trea Turner!

  • Jason P

    I’m surprised. I knew Villanueva was good at third, but not *that* good.

    This changes my stance slightly on him as a prospect, but I still think he’s probably a second division regular.

    • aaronb

      He will need to be able to play 2nd base to be a MLB regular with that bat.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Guys with a great glove at 3rd base always find employment in the majors. So long as Villenueva can be a serviceable enough hitter he projects to have a nice career in the bigs. Ironically, it is less inspiring offensive guys like Villenueva who often end up having longer and more productive big league careers versus former hot shot prospects like a Josh Vitters.

      • C. Steadman

        2nd in wOBA in the Southern League among 3B(1st was a 27 yr old) with a great glove seems pretty good to me at 3B

      • Chad

        With that glove he would need average bat to play 3B, but I could see him as a utility guy if other players can make it to the ml.

      • hansman

        2B and 3B aren’t that far apart on the offensive spectrum.

  • itzscott

    >> it is less inspiring offensive guys like Villenueva who often end up having longer and more productive big league careers versus former hot shot prospects like a Josh Vitters.<<

    I just heard Josh Vitters say:

    "Ouch, hey! Take it easy, guys!!"

  • BWA

    Why is everyone so down on villanuevas bat? He hit 20 homers and 40 doubles last year in AA. Ya he needs to improve his OBP, but if his numbers translated at the MLB right now he’s probably a top half offensive 3B

    • CubFan Paul

      He has on base issues.

      “but if his numbers translated at the MLB right now he’s probably a top half offensive 3B”

      He’d struggle to hit .200, but would probably SLG .425

      • Chad

        Do you think his bat is worse than Barney’s? I don’t think it is. I agree that he is not big league ready and probably will not be an all star but could be a starter in the ML in the future, or a good utility infielder.

        • hansman

          The only thing that would be worse than Barney on that would be AVG. If Villanueva somehow slugged .425 with a .200 AVG, that’d give him something in the .700 OPS range, which would top Barney…while only being 22.

          • CubFan Paul

            “which would top Barney”

            But their OBPs would be the same.

            • Drew7

              Sure, but that would still make CV a more productive player than Barney.

              • CubFan Paul

                Barney .250/.280/.350

                Villanueva .200/.275/.425

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Depends where they hit in the lineup, but if that’s in the 8 hole (where Barney will probably be), I’ll take the Villanueva stat line over the Barney stat line every single time

                • Drew7

                  1) Where did you get Barney’s numbers?

                  2) Those numbers would make CV the more productive player

                  FWIW, ZIPS backs that statement up as well:

                  Villanueva at .244/.294/.412/.706
                  Barney: .253/.299/.349/.648

                  • CubFan Paul

                    1) That’s typical Barney give or take a few points

                    2) are we changing the topic?

                    • Drew7

                      1) Ok, just wondering.

                      2) No. The topic was whether or not CV’s bat would be better than Barney’s this year. CV’s offensive production *would* likely be better than Barney’s.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      2) the topic was Why is everyone so down on villanuevas bat?

                      I don’t care to get into that, because CV isn’t ML ready and would definitely suck this year in the Majors. & come next year, because of Barney’s hefty arb1 salary and position redundancy, I doubt he’s a Cub.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      I don’t care to get into CV’s bat would be better than Barney’s this year, is what I meant.

                      Besides “this year” was never part of it either.

                    • hansman

                      This year, CV would be about as valuable as Barney considering the less valuable defensive position and lesser defensive skill.

                      With that said, I’m guessing VIllanueva goes on to a Valbuena-esque career. Just trading OBP for power.

                • hansman

                  Um…based on your numbers:

                  Barney: .630 OPS (although you have his OBP too low)
                  CV: .700 OPS

                  CV > Barney by a wide margin

                  Those 5 points of OBP do not come close to making up the 75 points of slugging.

                  However, CV is going to hit for a lot better than .200. He’d probably pull in a .230/.290/.420 line for this year if he were called up which would be good for a .710 OPS or an OPS+ of 94-95…ish.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    I know how OPS works Hans.

    • C. Steadman

      im with you, he’s never posted a wRC+ under 116 at any stop in the minors, and above 120 three times…that isnt superstar status but with his glove thats solid 3b material

    • IA_Colin

      Some fans may be down but the FO and many scouts are not. There was a good article posted earlier in Winter that signaled out likely major league prospects that didn’t make the top 100 BA list. Villanueva was one along with Andreoli, Hendricks and many others.

      He’s not a real sexy pick to succeed but he’s very practical.

  • itzscott

    >> Why is everyone so down on villanuevas bat? <<

    Because the poor guy has a couple of higher profile, first round draft choices grabbing all the headlines in front of him.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Has there been any talk of Baez playing center? I know that his bat projects great at Short, but I would think that same bat would project well in Center. That would leave Castro at short and Olt, Bryant and Villanueva to battle for 3rd with possibly Olt or Bryant moving to left.

    • CubFan Paul

      “but I would think that same bat would project well in Center”

      Think Matt Kemp.

    • C. Steadman

      if i remember right, he doesnt have great range which is why some have labeled 3B as a future destination with that plus arm…I think COF would be a better landing spot, i like range to be a major factor for a CFer

  • Blackhawks1963

    Cubs need to acquire pitching from somewhere in support of the overall building strategy. I disagree completely that Castro shouldn’t be on the trading table IF he can produce a solid 2014 campaign and IF Baez demonstrates the ability to stick defensively at shortstop. Alcantara is no slouch at 2nd base and there are multiple options brewing at 3rd base, to include Bryant (if he doesn’t move to LF), Olt, Villenueva, Candelerario.

    It takes quality to get quality…pitching that is. A resurgent Castro would be a wonderful trading chip.

    • Voice of Reason

      Castro’s contract is so team friendly that the only way they would move him is if they were overwhelmed by an offer.

      Castro could hit .240 for the season and as a starting shortstop there would still be value in what we are paying him for 2014 ($5 million). I believe he will rebound this year and hit at least .280. There is real value there! I know he has lapses where he forgets how many outs there are, etc. That’s where the coaches have to step in and be coaches.

      You need to have value at positions when you can because there are other positions that you are going to dramatically over pay. If you can get value at the shortstop position then you better hang on to it.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Pitching has to come from somewhere. Cubs don’t have enough frontline pitching and it will take trades to get better in that department.

  • Napercal

    If memory serves me correctly, Villanueva was ranked in Baseball America’s Top 100 a couple of years ago.

    • ssckelley

      Yes, CV came in at #100 in 2012 as he had one hell of a season at class A Hickory, hit 17 HRs, Stole 32 bases, and a .278/.338/.465/803 line. He also scored and drove in the most runs that season while only striking out 86 times in 529 PA. The power numbers he has last season in AA were encouraging hitting 41 doubles and 19 home runs but he is not going to be someone who can steal 32 bases per season and his SO rate has climbed considerably.

      CV is not a top 100 prospect anymore but if he has a decent season at the plate in AAA I wonder if the Cubs will package him in a deal for a starting pitcher.

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