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mccutchen wainwrightEarlier this offseason, I wrote about the menacing strength of the Cardinals and Pirates: the have a crap-ton of young, cost-controlled (or prospect) talent. Being that the Cubs’ wave of young talent is going to be the core that pushes them into competitiveness, it’d be nice to know that the Cubs have more quality young talent than their nearest NL Central competitors – even if that talent isn’t yet showing at the big league level.

Well, Baseball Prospectus took a look at each organization’s talent aged 25-and-younger, whether in the big leagues or in the minors, and ranked them accordingly.

The good news is that the Cubs fared very well, coming in at number 10 (playoff caliber!), despite having only three current Major Leaguers on their top ten list:

1. Javier Baez (21)
2. Starlin Castro (23)
3. Kris Bryant (22)
4. Anthony Rizzo (24)
5. Albert Almora (19)
6. Jorge Soler (22)
7. C.J. Edwards (22)
8. Arismendy Alcantara (22)
9. Pierce Johnson (22)
10. Junior Lake (23)

The bad news is that the Cardinals and Pirates appear much higher on the rankings, at 1 and 4, respectively. The Cardinals:

1. Oscar Taveras (21)
2. Shelby Miller (23)
3. Michael Wacha (22)
4. Carlos Martinez (22)
5. Trevor Rosenthal (23)
6. Kolten Wong (23)
7. Matt Adams (25)
8. Stephen Piscotty (23)
9. Alexander Reyes (19)
10. Joe Kelly (25)

And the Pirates:

1. Gerrit Cole (23)
2. Starling Marte (25)
3. Jameson Taillon (22)
4. Gregory Polanco (22)
5. Tyler Glasnow (20)
6. Reese McGuire (19)
7. Josh Bell (21)
8. Nick Kingham (22)
9. Austin Meadows (18)
10. Jose Tabata (25)

If you’re really squinting for a positive, maybe it’s that the Cardinals’ strength skews to the big league side already, as does the Pirates’ at the top (plus each has those two guys pictured above, and some other quality long-term pieces that didn’t qualify for these lists). So maybe, because of the staggering of the Cubs’ window for success, you could convince yourself that the Cubs are better positioned for 2017/18/19 than the Cardinals and Pirates. But that really isn’t all that relieving.

The Cubs get a top five pick this year, while the Cardinals and Pirates pick late. How about that? Do anything for you? Not enough? Yeah, not enough.

This is all the more evidence that, to be successful in the medium to long-term, the Cubs are going to have to leverage their market advantage over other NL Central teams (i.e., increase revenues to then be spent on the big league roster).

  • CubSTH60625

    “This is all the more evidence that, to be successful in the medium to long-term, the Cubs are going to have to leverage their market advantage over other NL Central teams (i.e., increase revenues to then be spent on the big league roster).”

    Couldn’t agree more…and the $$/WAR isn’t getting smaller.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-cost-of-a-win-in-the-2014-off-season/#more-146386

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      A graph of the cost of contracts vs. projected WAR from David Cameron’s article that I just generated. I am a visual person.

      [img]http://deepcenterfieldmlb.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/2014-war-value.gif[/img]

  • Noah_I

    If you look at what the Cardinals and Pirates have that the Cubs don’t, it’s high end pitching talent that is either already in the Majors (Miller, Wacha, Cole) or likely soon will be (Taillon and Martinez). Hopefully the Cubs make some moves to improve their 25 and under pitching talent over the next 10 months, because their 25 and under offensive talent is extremely promising.

    • Jon

      Which is why they “had” to win on Tanaka.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Tanaka would have been very nice, and I wish the Cubs had been able to sign him, but he wasn’t a requirement for the Cubs rebuild to be successful.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          …and a contract that Guarantees that the team will continue to pay you twenty-something million dollars a year for three more years, or you can back out of the contract if you outperform was the last 1000 nails in the coffin for the Cubs chances.

          Yankees have stupid money, and if they Cubs try to compete with that offer thinking they have enough stupid money to compete with them…well that would just be stupid.

      • aaronb

        They didn’t HAVE to win anybody. Any under 25 list is going to be extremely subjective and arbitrary to the only thing that truly matters…Wins and losses.

        What they needed to do was actually upgrade the roster though. Jimenez/Santana and a Nelson Cruz could have been done for 2/3rds the money Tanaka gets in 2014. Could have improved the 2014 product. And not blocked any meaningful prospect from Wrigley.

        • Jon

          Actually, in the current baseball climate, elite 25 year old FA’s are extremely rare. Yeah, they did kinda need to win Tananka at all costs, given their lack of impact pitching in the high minors. They didn’t and they are going to be in a bind because of it.

          • BT

            The Yankees needed to win Tanaka at all costs as well. So how do you settle that conundrum? If the Cubs saw it was obvious that the Yankees were going to continue to outbid them, how high should they have gone?

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            The rebuild is tougher without Tanaka but, in reality, if the bidding became 6/180 with a 4th year opt out and the $20M fee for the Cubs to land him, at some point, spending $30-35M a year on someone like Tanaka isn’t smart, no matter how good it would make the rebuild look right now.

            The Cubs needed to win the Darvish sweeps.

            • CubChymyst

              I would of settled for the Ryu sweeps.

              • YourResidentJag

                +1

        • YourResidentJag

          I’d say that they needed to trade for Eaton (I’m with @Rebuilding on that one) and with Jason Powers–they should have gotten Kazmir if they were going to get a FA starter.

          • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

            I certainly can’t disagree…. ;)

        • okiecubhawk

          It blocks the prospect they would have gotten with 65 wins instead of 70. Why is that so hard to understand?

          • aaronb

            Because its ridiculous.

  • itzscott

    Instead of looking at it strictly from a volume standpoint, I’d rather look at it from a quality standpoint by grading each of those prospects with a numerical value from 1-10 or 1-100 and then seeing where every team grades out with these same players.

    • Nate

      I agree, but I still don’t think the Cubs would have come out any higher on a list like that. The Cardinals and Pirates have too many proven under-25 guys on their ML rosters already. There’s really no telling how the big 4 will end up when all is said and done, and they’re nothing more than great prospects right now.

      If they all turn out to be great big leaguers, we’re a lot higher on this list.

  • Brocktoon

    Or we could use our already enormous revenue advantage over these 2

  • Mr Gonzo

    If the lots fall a certain way, the Cubs could be looking at potential TOR picks from the next two drafts. This gives their system some of the young, TOR SPs that they lack. It’s not going to be easy when they are competitive, but it will make it all the more glorious if a World Series win does happen in the next decade.

  • Rebuilding

    Ok, I’ll go out on a limb and say there is no way I would trade our Top 10 for the Cardinals or the Pirates. The Pirates 6-10 is much weaker than ours IMHO. The Cardinals 10 is awesome obviously, but I think the Cubs list has a higher ceiling

  • cow142

    This is totally a glass is half full look at this…. But I actually like that the Cubs list is not full of pitching prospects due to the fickle nature of pitching arms. Of course I would like to have 1 or 2 more on our list but I kinda wonder what the STL arms look like in a few years. I think my thoughts are rooted in the Prior/Wood promise. STL could have some towel throwing in their future while the Cubs easy power is taking hold. I know, this is all wishful thinking, but that is what spring is for.

    • SenorGato

      I don’t see it as wishful thinking. Pitchers are high risk and the Cards’ positional talent after Taveras is uninspiring at best. I got it when Pujols was there but the run after cant just be explained away with “well we develop late bloomers really well.” Its not unimpressive what they’ve done with Jays and Craigs and Wongs but GFY if that seems sustainable or like something you want to do for a decade.

      OTOH I don’t want a complete collapse. I want them competitive, but not in this cartoonish magical way anymore.

      • Funn Dave

        GFY? OTOH? Was there an internet acronym coinage day that I missed?

        • Funn Dave

          On the other hand?

        • SenorGato

          Yeah it happened 5+ years ago. Teeheeee.

          • cow142

            Cartoonish magical way! That made me LOL (“laugh out loud” which now has prompted another LOL!). I agree, it is like everything they touch turns to gold. If it was the Cubs a guy like Craig would have eaten his way into a Micha Hoffpauir type prospect. The worm needs to turn and the FO seems to have guys on the right page and I have this feeling that our pitching coaches from Bosio to Derek Johnson are beginning to work magic throughout the system. Jokisch comes to mind. He looked great yesterday. Meaning that one of these pitching prospects will be a surprise TOR in the end. Not saying it will be Jokisch but someone.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Here’s hoping they are forced to bring them all up soon and get those clocks running and costs growing.

  • Cubsin

    I looked at the Cubs vs. the Pirates, and asked myself would I like it if the Cubs traded their #1 for the Pirates #1? #2? No. #3? Maybe, because the Cubs need pitching. #4? No. #5? No. #6? No. #7? No. #8 Maybe, because the Cubs need pitching. #9? Maybe, but I’m not in favor of trading pitchers. #10? Yes. I would consider all of the maybes to be fair trades, not a huge win for the Cubs.

    So I’m either overvaluing the Cubs’ prospects, undervaluing the Pirates’ prospects or the Cubs should be ranked ahead of the Pirates.

    • Edwin

      Being a fan of a team, it’s always hard not to overvalue your own prospects, and undervalue another team’s.

    • Jason P

      I’d trade Baez for Cole.

      • YourResidentJag

        I’d trade Almora to the Nationals in a package for Zimmerman (if he becomes available during the course of the season or next offseason). Mostly, because it’s more realistic.

        • Jason P

          Yeah, I don’t think the Pirates are trading Cole for anything short of Mike Trout.

  • SenorGato

    The Cards’ rotation are all coming off career high workloards except the perpetually injured Garcia. I don’t wish injury on them but I just don’t buy that franchise catching every possible break every single time forever. I just don’t have the fear or reverance for their top ten there. I think Taveras and Rosenthal are utter badassses, Miller might be, and everyone else is at least a little overblown. Wacha gets treated like an established ace when hes not. Martinez could be anything but its not a slam dunk. Just….I think we’ve hit the point where the hype on the Cards exceeds the talent level (finally).

    OTOH I’m enjoying the rise of the Pirates. I would not mind them taking down the Cards this year, though obviously I want the Cubs to do it.

    • Jon

      So they got two guys(Rosenthtal and Miller) that probably can project as #1′s, and another guy that in Wacha that at worst is a #2. They guys are already established in the big leagues as well. That’s really not hype, that’s reality.

      • JB88

        I’m not sure any of your evaluations are correct, unless you are using the #1 and #2 as where they might slot in a rotation versus the designation that most talent evaluators use for 1 and 2.

        • Jon

          Miller has always been considered an elite “ace’ like pitcher his entire career, even in the minor leagues. Rosenthal maybe not a ace of a staff, but he has the stuff to easily be a #2 in a rotation.

          • SenorGato

            “His entire career even in the minors”…One, his entire career is almost all minors right now and in 2012 he looked like he was going to plummet. So no, while Miller is extremely talented (Ive been high on him since his draft year and actually like him a little less now), it has not been all sunshine and lollipops. Some injury IIRC…makeup/maturity questions…

            Rosenthal isn’t going to be in the rotation this year, not that I know of. Cross that bridge when you get there. I do think hes their best and most valuable arm.

          • JB88

            I don’t see the evidence out there that supports these claims.

            • Jon

              “evidence”? As Shelby Miller being a a top 10 prospect in all of baseball in 2011 and 2012?

              Sure you can warts on every elite prospect in the game, even our own Javier Baez.

              • JB88

                No, I see no evidence that any talent evaluator has said that Shelby Miller has two plus pitches, an average third pitch, plus-plus command, and plus makeup.

                That doesn’t mean that he isn’t a No. 2, it just means that I think you overstate things when you claim he is a TOR No. 1.

                • SenorGato

                  I can say with great confidence that plus plus command and plus makeup were not things Miller was touted for.

                  • JB88

                    Well especially the plus makeup, after getting suspended for the alcohol-related incident in 2011.

                  • JCubs79

                    He struggled with his command big time in the first half on 2012 as well.

                • Rebuilding

                  Shelby Miller really struggled down the stretch last year and was dropped from the playoff rotation. Fatigue or something more? Wacha out pitched even the most optimistic scouting reports. We’ll see how he does the 2nd time around. It’s looking more and more likely that Rosenthal and Martinez don’t have the stamina to start and will be bullpen arms going forward. Don’t get me wrong – I would love to have all of them, but there are a lot of questions around each one

      • SenorGato

        Not really reality but it is often the written reality these days. At worst a #2 is the kind of nonsense fans just getting into prospects will say. A lot worse can happen and the odds are actually with worse happening.

        Does anyone even know why Miller was randomly shut down last year? Was it preparing for the leap to super acedom?

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Every explanation that came out for that was completely asinine and makes me wonder how smart the Cards organization is these days.

        • JCubs79

          I think Miller was shut down on due to being on an innings limit IIRC

          • SenorGato

            That makes most sense so I hope so. There’s always been some buzz that Miller is just a little immature, though like anything negative it was squashed during good times. It was a big part of his 2012 struggles that left him with a much lighter bandwagon going into 2013.

            • JB88

              The problem with that story is that, according to Miller, it isn’t true (or at least was never communicated to him by the Cardinals) …

              http://www.hardballtimes.com/revisiting-the-shelby-miller-mystery/

              • SenorGato

                Here’s the makeup thing kicking in…no reason for him to answer these questions. Its the Cardinals so few will pick it up, but there’s something funny smelling about the Cards and Miller.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Of course there is a reason to answer those questions. When you are basically being libeled or slandered (depending on the medium), you respond.

                  In truth, none of this is important: “character” is the great phlogiston of athletics.

                  • SenorGato

                    Got here before I could backtrack…He actually didn’t say anything too bad if you eliminate all context beyond the immediate (asked a question, he answers). This doesn’t account for any passive aggression, but if you dontncare for that stuff its easy to downplay or ignore. Little stirring the pot IMO…

                    Where was he being libeled or slandered?

                    Disagree on makeup. That’s all I’m willing to say on it I think, for now, but I get where you’re coming from. In a.numbers dominated world human traits are secondary.

          • mjhurdle

            They said that at first, but then left him on the playoff roster.
            When they were asked why they wasted a roster spot on someone they weren’t going to pitch due to innings, they said it wasn’t an inning limit.
            They never answered why they left him on the roster but never pitched him.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              It was such a Cubs move, I still can’t believe it.

            • MichaelD

              The explanation I heard to that was that they didn’t have anyone who would have been useful to have on the playoff roster instead. However, later events suggest that even a pinch runner would have had some value.

          • Norm
  • Cubsin

    Add a resounding No! for the trade of #1′s.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Baez for Taveras is intriguing.

  • Edwin

    I think it’s more impressive that a team like the Cardinals has so much young talent already up in the Majors. Cubs could lose 3-4 players from their list just due to prospects doing what prospects do.

    • aaronb

      Agreed,

      The Cubs really don’t have a sure fire, guaranteed star level player on that list. The best bets are two guys who haven’t even seen AAA yet.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That doesn’t make their ranking impressive – it makes it understandable. The point is that the Cubs are up there *despite* not having already established big league talent. Clearly the prospects are very well regarded.

      • Brocktoon

        The cubs are up there because they haven’t tried at the big league level the last 2 years it’s much more impressive that the cardinals are where they are while actually caring about the product they put in the big league field

  • Jrock1

    Theo and Jed have dug a huge hole to get out of in this division. No way we surpass either of these teams in the next 5 years. Even if the big 4 come up and play really really well, I can’t see us having enough talent to win the division. Hopefully we have wildcard games to look forward to.

    • waittilthisyear

      to posit that there is “no way” that pretty much anything can happen in “5 years” is beyond naive

      • Jrock1

        Naive is believing the Cubs (one of the worst teams in MLB) will be better then, arguably, the best team in MLB (Cardinals) in the next couple of years when the Cardinals have better prospects and a ton of young talent already contributing. The Cardinal are stacked and doing everything right and will continue to for a long time. I was being hopeful when I said 5 years. Don’t hold your breath.

        • blublud

          Naive is think that baseball isn’t a sport where a little luck, a few prospect and a couple free agents can help a team turn it around pretty quick.

          That can also go the other way. A little bad luck, miss on a couple prospects and not get that one free agent and all of a sudden the cards win 72 games. I’ve seen it happen both way.

          • Jon

            Yeah, but it’s a little tough when the FO purposely tanks seasons.

        • waittilthisyear

          yes, that would be naive. i did not say that. if you look at what i said and don’t create inferences that aren’t there, we can engage in a discussion. if re-read my post and you still think that my (accurate) criticism of your (idiotic) post says anything beyond “Absolute predictions for the (im)possibility of anything baseball related are unreliable at best and dumb at worst,” then you’re not worth discussing the weather with

      • Funn Dave

        Especially in baseball.

    • blublud

      Because players dont age, get injured, have down years, lucky years, etc. etc., and no way the Cubs will ever sign a good free agent themselves.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Very excited about the progress of the Cubs, BUT pitching is KING in baseball and the Cardinals and Pirates are loaded in this regard. To go on top of elite positional talent.

    The Cardinals have the current talent and continuing pipeline to be a friggin dynasty if they catch a break or two. And you have to be impressed with that Pittsburgh system. Cole and Taillon is about as good of a 1-2 punch on the potential-o-meter as it gets. And Polanco waits in the wings to play the outfield. My goodness.

  • Lou Brown

    Man, Wacha really chaps my hide. Instead of an albatross contract for an old, underperforming Pujols, they get a top pitcher as a compensation pick. Thanks a bunch Angels, let’s all bail out the Cardinals…

    • Blackhawks1963

      Bail out the Cardinals? They were the smart ones to say no to a mega-contract on Pujols and yet still not miss a beat. The Cardinals are doing everything well these days. Its frightening to think how good that team might be for a long time. Can’t stand them, but my goodness Mozeliak deserves enormous credit for what he does down there.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        Makes me wonder how smart it is to sign aging players to big contracts.

        • Darth Ivy

          The cards traded for holliday, right?

        • blublud

          As good as the Cards are, having Pujols(the healthy Pujols, not the one of the last 2 years) makes them better. In this case it worked out. However, I’m will to bet that it doesn’t work out like this for all team. The Cards situation was an outlier, as you statheads say, not the norm.

      • WGNstatic

        So I know the Cardinals are good, and have been historically. I just looked at baseball reference, curious to see the last time they had consecutive losing seasons. The answer: 1994-1995. Then I tortured myself by looking to see the last time they had three consecutive losing seasons… 1918-1920. Wow.

        • Brocktoon

          They’re probably due for 3 consecutive losing seasons, no other way they could have a good farm system going forward

          • Lou Brown

            Don’t forget they get an extra pick this year for competitive balance. Its only fair, when was the last time the Cardinals were competitive?

        • C. Steadman

          That was so depressing that I looked it up, its actually 1954-56 but that is still depressing considering we havent even been to a world series since ’45

        • TTH

          Tanking from 18-20 has really paid off nicely for them.

      • Lou Brown

        The Angels let them go back to their fan base and say “Its not our fault, the Angels were paying crazy.” That was the bailout.

    • Jon

      You should probably blame teams drafting 10-18, as he should never have fallen to 19.

    • SenorGato

      How will you feel when Wacha is mostly a 90-92 guy who can hit 93/94 with a good changeup and decent curve? Lets see how he actually does over a full season.

      • blublud

        I have always been high on Wacha. I had a debate last year ab out how good he is. He is a TOR guy to me.

        • SenorGato

          I liked Wacha out of college too, more than most I would say. He’s a polished guy who might, over a full season, not he as exciting as his surprise run of dominance through a very prominent part of the baseball season in 2013. Nothing wrong with that, I just think its hilarious to write him in as an ace already based on that run.

  • Brandon

    Wasnt Wacha the one who never faced the same team twice last year? Then faced the Red Sox twice in the W.S. and got his ass handed to him in the second one? Lets see what he does when teams have seen him more than once before giving him tor comps or cy young awards.

    • JB88

      Wacha only started twice against one team (the Red Sox), but he did pitch in relief against a number of teams more than once and did fine. By way of reference, in addition to pitching twice against the Red Sox, he pitched twice against the Cubs, Pirates, Braves, and Reds.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/statsd.aspx?playerid=14078&position=P

  • Brandon

    Coming in relief is a lot different than starting. Facing hitters 2-3 times a game allows them to see the pit. more. Shark was a tougher pit. out of the bullpen for an inning or two, but is not the same as a starter. Just saying lets see if he can continue to pitch as a dominate starter when teams get more looks of him. Dontrelle Willis was great until teams figured him out and he couldnt adjust and lost his command.

  • candyland07

    What is mind boggling the Cardinals can draft well without punting seasons.I am glad the Cubs have a mighty fine system as well. It will be nice when the Cubs actually decide to play baseball in Chicago .Hopefully that under 25 will be a constant, once the team begins to win games and fall further from drafting in premium draft spots – time will tell if that under 25 can compete with one of the best Front Office is Baseball…. the Cardinals.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Guy who was drafting for st. Louis and his scouts headed out of town 2 years ago. Position player wise their system has dried up fast. In 08 and 09, cardinals drafted well in front of cubs, and have been getting the idiotic competitive balance picks for years. Cubs are pulling away from them in young talent.

  • Mike Moody

    I think the important part is that they’re building a minor league system that can produce impact talent. And that talent, even though much of it has to reach the majors, is in shouting distance of the division leaders.

    As Theo implied on the 670 interview this morning when the stadium and TV deals are reworked, they’ll be able to spend with the big boys. If they can spend closer to the Dodgers and have homegrown talent closer to the Cardinals, they will be very tough to beat, even if they aren’t as good as either team individually in each area.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I’m sure they will spend more, but doubt they will spend anything near what the Dodgers or Yankees do.

  • Q-Ball

    On the brighter side, look at the Brewer’s under 25 list. Is there a single guy on their list, other than Jean Segura, that you would swap with ANY of the guys on our list? None for me, other than Segura.

  • Darth Ivy

    Man I hate cardinals. I gotta learn the force choke.

  • http://BleacherNation blewett

    Next year the Cards and Pirates both have two 25 year olds drop off this list. We lose none of our Top 10, so we probably pass them both. Cubs win!!!!

  • Fastball

    Here’s the thing on the Cardinals. They have had their shit together on how to run a farm system for Forever. They don’t have to be in the top 10 picks in the draft. They have a system which is loaded and they can selectively draft the right players into their system. They can do this because each year they know exactly what they need to look for. They have a pipeline and they know where there weaknesses reside. The Cubs on the other hand just starting getting smart on the draft about 3 or 4 years ago. Thus we are seeing our pipeline starting to develop. Our problem is we needed talent at virtually every position. So while the Cardinals are years ahead of the Cubs in farm system management they don’t have the pressure to get the Bryants of the world. We had to draft impact players immediately and we had to take them for whatever position they might play. Best Available is how we have drafted. The Cardinals do have to draft best available. The draft based on need in the pipeline. They also draft pitching as first option and then smartly draft the position players into the system. If Theo sticks around for 10 years the Cubs will be at this point. When Moezaliak took over they handed him the book. This is how we do it. Don’t F it up… I personally don’t think there is anything you can do to stop them. They were smart as hell to shut down a pitcher. Did they really need him. Would they have won the World Series with him. They damned near won it anyway. They aren’t going anywhere. The Pirates have a wicked smart GM who is basically 3 years ahead of the Cubs organization following the model. Theo has smartly covered more ground than his nemisis in the division probably thought possible. Theo needs to keep all the talent he has assembled and keep drafting best available in the early rounds and if it’s a pitcher so be it. If not so be it. But after the first few rounds he has drafted almost exclusively pitching. In another 2 years we will see a wave of pitching start to come through toward the top of the organization. My thinking is Theo has done a pretty decent job signing Free Agent pitchers at the mid to low range. If we have a couple that look good we need to keep them for a couple years instead of having a mid season turnstile. That approach worked great for the first few years. Maybe this year he needs to take a pause. I think he needs to vet the staff and cut the dead wood out going into next year and replace with better free agents until the drafted pitching starts to surface. I personally don’t care if the 1st couple years we are competitive and start to make a run if we have older starting pitchers. So we have them for 2 or 3 years. We need to buy time for what he is drafting to develop. We have a lot position players coming on in the very near term. Build pitching around them. Maybe we can score enough runs to be competitive. Maybe a really smart trade sets us up with a pitcher.

    • King Jeff

      Not that they don’t draft and develop well, but they also have the benefit of extra draft picks and slot money every year. It’s going to be difficult for the Cubs to catch up without the benefit of overspending.

  • Fastball

    On that top 10 list for the Cubs… I think Olt gets added to that list very soon. As I have said earlier. I think he might start at AAA for about a month. I think he is fine healthwise. He will get into a groove hitting at AAA in April and then he comes up and is going to be Rookie of the Year.

  • Fastball

    If Braynt, Baez, Olt and Rizzo all get it together at the same time. The middle of our lineup could be like watching a Home Run Derby Contest every night of the week. If we see a few other guys hit in the low to mid 20′s. It will be like shock and awe at Wrigley.

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