A handful of prospect notes to round out your week …
- Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs “would love” for Mike Olt to win the third base job out of Spring Training, because of how well it would set up the rest of their prospects at third base (Christian Villanueva at AAA, Kris Bryant at AA, and Jeimer Candelario at High-A). You can’t tell from the way Rosenthal wrote it whether he’s reporting that the Cubs affirmatively want that, or whether he’s just stating what he presumes is obvious. Either way, I mean, sure, the Cubs would probably very much like if Olt demonstrated that he is clearly ready to start at third in the bigs, and took the job and ran with it. The question is whether the Cubs believe that’s a reasonable outcome of Spring Training, given Olt’s 2013 struggles. I still think it’s more likely that Olt starts the year at AAA so that he can establish himself (hopefully) over the course of a month or two, gain some confidence, and prove he’s back to where he was in 2012. Not only might that be the best approach for the Cubs, but, it might also be the best route to take developmentally for Olt.
- All that said: if the Cubs believe there would be nothing to be gained by sending Olt to AAA, and if they believe he’s the best option for third base on day one, then of course, bring him to Chicago. No argument here, and that’s a clear best case scenario.
- With minor league camp officially opening yesterday, TCR’s Arizona Phil is Johnny on the Spot with the full minor league rosters. Keep in mind: guys are frequently assigned to high levels, and then trickle down as there are cuts from big league camp. In other words, if a guy is three levels higher than you’d otherwise expect him, that might be noteworthy. But the fact that, for example, Dan Vogelbach shows up on Tennessee’s roster as opposed to Daytona’s doesn’t really mean anything in terms of where he’ll start the year. Miscellaneous things to note: Trey McNutt is still in the organization, though he’s rehabbing some kind of injury; Jordan Hankins and Ben Carhart are now working as catchers; Gleyber Torres is listed as not yet present, which could be a visa thing, or could just be that he was inside for some reason today (if Eloy Jimenez is there, we’d expect Torres to be there, too).
- Rick Renteria spoke at length about outfield prospect Jorge Soler (Patrick Mooney, Carrie Muskat), and had nothing but complimentary things to say about Soler’s approach and work. It’s just going to take some time for him to get on track after the long defection layoff and then missing half of the year in 2013.
- An interview with Cubs 1B/3B prospect Dustin Geiger, who put himself on the radar over the past two years, showing a nice power/discipline combo. You can tentatively slate Geiger to start at 1B for Tennessee this year at age 22, and his power is something to keep tracking. He’s hit 34 homers in his last 198 games, split between Low-A and High-A (and neither are hugely offense-friendly leagues).