Stay tuned today, because there are a lot of fun rumor-related things to discuss (as there were this weekend, if you missed anything), and Baseball America releases its top Cubs prospect list. I can’t wait to see it, though I don’t expect there to be a shock at the top like there was when BP released its list …
- Speaking of the guy at the top. Another forward-looking piece on the most interesting people of 2015, this one from Jerry Crasnick, who lists Joe Maddon and Kris Bryant among his 15 names. Bryant, who turned 23 yesterday and shows up frequently on lists like this, is undoubtedly a stud, as far as prospects go. And the art of prospect evaluation is probably better than it’s ever been. So, yes, it’s completely legitimate to shout to the world that Bryant is a guy to watch in 2015 – the game is getting younger every year, and Bryant could be the next young star. That said, let’s just take this as a moment to remember that he IS still young and he IS still a prospect. If Bryant goes through ups and downs after reaching the big leagues, don’t let yourself get too high or too low too quickly. Bryant’s name belongs on lists like this, but don’t take it as a guarantee that he’s going to blow the doors off the place with his first swing.
- … but if he does, you know we’ll all be there to go crazy jumping around and screaming like children. BASEBALL!!!
- (This stuff, by the way, is at least one part of the reason I discuss the Cubs’ outfield as needing to add another big bat. When I say those things, yes, I’m entirely aware that it’s possible Bryant arrives in late April and slots into left field as a regular. But I’m not sure the Cubs, who hope to contend in 2015, should be building the roster with that expectation because (1) Bryant may struggle as many rookies do, (2) Bryant may stick at third base, and (3) have quality depth and redundancies is necessary for a good team to stay successful through a full season.)
- Carrie Muskat revealed her Hall of Fame ballot, and was very candid about no longer voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens after speaking with current and former players. Whether you agree or not, I think a lot of credit is due for being transparent about that part of the decision.
- A profile on new Cubs hitting coach John Mallee at Cubs.com.
- David Laurila’s Sunday Notes at FanGraphs includes a discussion of player development, and the impact of being able to get a guy in your system younger, rather than older. Also, a fun, random inclusion: Rogers Hornsby (to me, one of the 10 best players all-time) didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame until his fifth try.
- Fun timing on this – Myles wrote about former Cubs prospect Felix Pie on Friday, who flamed out in the States but has had success in Korea. Just one day later:
In America, Felix Pie is a former top prospect bust. In Korea, Pelix (How Koreans say Felix) Pie is a KBO poster boy. pic.twitter.com/A4Kh0rPSX2
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) January 3, 2015