Checking in on some of the latest in the Chicago Cubs’ prospecting world …
- MiLB came out with its list of the Cubs’ organizational All-Stars this year, which makes for a very fun read. Each player has a write-up (and there are video highlights for some), so check it out. The list of the All-Stars:
- C – Rafael Lopez
- 1B – Dan Vogelbach (Jacob Rogers, Honorable Mention)
- 2B – Arismendy Alcantara
- SS – Javier Baez (Addison Russell, HM)
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- OF – Jorge Soler
- OF – Bijan Rademacher
- OF – Billy McKinney
- UTL – Kyle Schwarber
- Righty SP – Jen-Ho Tseng (Kyle Hendricks, HM)
- Lefty SP – Eric Jokisch
- Reliever – Armando Rivero
- Although he didn’t make that list thanks to his shoulder injury this year, C.J. Edwards has maintained his prospect status, thanks in part to success down in Arizona the past few weeks. Bernie Pleskoff writes about Edwards here, noting that he’s got excellent movement on his pitches and late life on his fastball (even if it’s sitting in the 91-93 mph range).
- Jim Callis also wrote about Edwards’ performance in the AFL, noting that, at the game he was scouting, Edwards’ fastball looked good with natural cutting action, and he had a very good curveball. It sounds like Edwards is working on a third pitch – mid-80s, but Callis couldn’t detect obvious changeup or slider movement – right now.
- And at BP, Todd Gold also writes about Edwards, suggesting that a bullpen break-in to the big leagues could make sense (something I’ve discussed before), but that as he gets bigger and stronger, he may be better able to repeat his mechanics, and stick in a rotation. It’s an interesting twist on the size discussion, which folks usually tie to durability.
- Gold also discusses Addison Russell in the piece, and describes his approach at the plate as looking like a hitter on the verge of the big leagues. Russell will start the year at AAA Iowa as the shortstop. From there, we’ll see what happens.
- In a separate piece at BP, Dan Vogelbach comes in for some discussion, and I love the way Jeff Moore describes Vogelbach’s work at the plate: “Even among patient hitters, there are different approaches. Some try to work deep counts while others simply refuse to give in. Vogelbach is the latter. He walked four times in this game but seemed generally disgusted by the notion, as though he wasn’t happy about not getting to hit but cognizant that it’s better than chasing bad pitches and getting out.” That would seem to sum up Vogelbach’s AFL performance thus far, which has featured a ton of walks, very few strikeouts, and also very few extra-base hits. Moore believes that, long-term, Vogelbach will have a big league bat, even if it winds up at DH.