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Careful we don't get caught up in the hype


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#1 5412

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

HI,

 

Well the draft is over and we have a new injection of hope to keep us going.  I read the Cub post on the new kids and they supplied a link to the top 20 kids in the minors:

 

I tried to post the link but the system will not let me.  I would urge all die hard fans to read the reports on our top 20 prospects currently with this in mind.  First, start with their age. 

 

Brett Jackson is 24 and has 55K's in 170 AB's.  He is ranked #4.

 

Vitters is #14 and is soon to be 24.  The write up is like all PR, made to sound positive but his defense is sub-par. 

 

Vogelback is younger at 20.  As he went to the same high school my youngest daughter did, I followed him a bit.  A top scout told me he was quite surprised he was taken so high in the draft.  He was described to me as very non-athletic, weighed close to 280# in high school and has a constant battle to keep his weight down.  He is a below average runner, average fielder at best, and it is his power numbers that will give him a shot at making the major leagues.  Couple the fact that most DH's are veterans who have a history record of slugging, and in the later years of their contract; Vogelbach has a real challenge in front of him.  I watched him a few times in spring training and he is the guy that you say is running like he is carrying a piano on his back.  That means a lot of double plays down the road. 

 

My point is this.  Personally I would suggest the Cubs trade all three of them if they can garner some value.  Honestly, there are a few kids who are late bloomers but those who are really good are in the major league by the time they are 24.

 

The college kids have a different challenge.  They come out of college at 22-23 and have to move through the system more quickly.  Note Darwin Barney signed out of college and made it through the system in around three years.  He is already in his late 20's as he was born in November, 1985.

 

The statistics are this.  Out of every 100 kids drafted and signed, four make it to the major leagues, and two qualify for the pension plan.  If you have a 50 player draft (including international kids), then statistically 2 kids should turn out to be good and one really good.  Now the 1985 Braves and the 1989 Cubs roster was loaded with kids that came through the system so you can beat those odds. 

 

At the same time, when I see the projected 2014-2015 lineups, I take them with a grain of salt.  We have seen too many of them over the years with names like Luis Montanez, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Bobby Hill, He Sop Choi and others. 

 

I would be really delighted if Almora, Soler, Baez and now Bryant live up to their expectations.  At the same time, there are kids like Castro who will power through the system that are not on too many folks list at the moment.  Hell, if half of our pitchers with Tommy John surgery come back and pitch well, we should jump for joy. 

 

Sure don't want to come off as negative; however I have seen too many Felix Pie's and Corey Patterson's who were going to be our saviors and we were told they were young and we could pencin their name in the lineup card for a decade  . 

 

regards,

5412



#2 5412

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:48 AM

I screwed up. I meant the 1995 Braves.

5412

#3 T C

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:14 PM

I'm not sure there is any hype around Vitters and Jackson anymore....

 

Also, re: Vogelbach:

 

"Out of every 100 kids drafted and signed, four make it to the major leagues"

 

This is extraordinarily misleading. You're saying don't get caught up in the hype about a guy who was drafted in the second round because of a bunch of guys drafted in the 30th round never made it. Why get excited about any prospects if nearly all of them fail?

 

Yes, Vogelbach is slow. But he's a first baseman with exceptional bat speed generated with a short stroke and the huge power to put a lot of balls over the fence. I've also seen Vogelbach a lot, and I've been impressed with his bat. He needs a lot of work, but that's why he's in A ball right now.

 

He also has great makeup, something that I don't believe gets discussed enough. It's not just that he has lost all that weight. I sat on him for an entire series last weekend as was amazed at how he responded to a few things:

 

He weakly grounded out to the pitcher on a hittable pitch, busted his ass down the line, and was clearly upset with himself. He then spent the next inning talking to himself. He had a couple of other at bats with poor outcomes and did the same thing. Vogelbach is very hard on himself at times.

 

But then the next day he came out and had a great day, with a home run and a double into the left centerfield gap. He bounced back from a day where he was deep in his own head with a great game. That means a lot to me.

 

Maybe don't buy anyone telling you that Vogelbach is going to be a superstar, but I think he has a great shot of at least getting to the majors



#4 Spencer

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:40 PM

Vogelbach was talking to himself? He must be insane like Soler.



#5 5412

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:54 PM

I'm not sure there is any hype around Vitters and Jackson anymore....
 
Also, re: Vogelbach:
 
"Out of every 100 kids drafted and signed, four make it to the major leagues"
 
This is extraordinarily misleading. You're saying don't get caught up in the hype about a guy who was drafted in the second round because of a bunch of guys drafted in the 30th round never made it. Why get excited about any prospects if nearly all of them fail?
 
Yes, Vogelbach is slow. But he's a first baseman with exceptional bat speed generated with a short stroke and the huge power to put a lot of balls over the fence. I've also seen Vogelbach a lot, and I've been impressed with his bat. He needs a lot of work, but that's why he's in A ball right now.
 
He also has great makeup, something that I don't believe gets discussed enough. It's not just that he has lost all that weight. I sat on him for an entire series last weekend as was amazed at how he responded to a few things:
 
He weakly grounded out to the pitcher on a hittable pitch, busted his ass down the line, and was clearly upset with himself. He then spent the next inning talking to himself. He had a couple of other at bats with poor outcomes and did the same thing. Vogelbach is very hard on himself at times.
 
But then the next day he came out and had a great day, with a home run and a double into the left centerfield gap. He bounced back from a day where he was deep in his own head with a great game. That means a lot to me.
 
Maybe don't buy anyone telling you that Vogelbach is going to be a superstar, but I think he has a great shot of at least getting to the majors



#6 5412

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:01 PM

Hi,

I want to be wrong about Vogelbach as much as any Cub fan.

I wrote the post because I saw several fans pencilling the lineup in 2-3 years. Just wanted to put in a perspective.

As far as the stats go, they are accurate and the Cubs were worse than the averages for too many years. I spent a bit of time with Dallas Green in March talking about his success with the Cubs. The bulk of the 1989 team came through the farm system he built. When the Tribune let him go the farm system was never looked after.

I have had three different scouts tell me the Cubs had the worst payer development in the major leagues for 20 years. It showed in their performance.

Regards,
5412



#7 hansman1982

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:55 AM

Hi,

I want to be wrong about Vogelbach as much as any Cub fan.

I wrote the post because I say several pencilling the lineup in 2-3 years. Just wanted to put in a perspective.

As far as the stats go, they are accurate and the Cubs were worse than the averages for too many years. I spent a bit of time with Dallas Green in March talking about his success with the Cubs. The bulk of the 1989 team came through the farm system he built. When the Tribune let him go the farm system was never looked after.

I have had three different scouts tell me the Cubs had the worst payer development in the major leagues for 20 years. It showed in their performance.

Regards,
5412

 

You also mentioned 2 guys that not many people have much hope in becoming MLB regulars anymore.  Jackson had a significant flaw (contact ability) that many people were clamoring was merely him being too patient (a HUGE red flag flew up when I heard this about Bryant) and Vitters has always had plus contact ability but no batting eye.

 

Vogelbach has (in my opinion) a better chance of becoming an MLB regular than Baez if only because he knows the strike zone and you are talking about a guy who was more of a Theo-style prospect than a Hendry-style.

 

At the end of the day, out of our top-5 (Soler, Almora, Bryant, Baez, Vogelbach), I'd say you can expect 1 to hit their ceiling, (maybe if we are lucky) 2 become regulars (more likely just 1), 1 provides some positive WAR but nothing special and 1-2 flame out. 

 

Heck, I'd bet you'd find similar percentages throughout the prospect scene, 20% hit their ceiling, 20-40% fall between their ceiling and floor, 20% do something other than hit their floor and 20% hit their floor.  It's just that, outside of the top-50 draftees, very few have a floor of "might appear in a few games over the course of a year or two" and it's much more "probably won't make the show unless these 17 things go right". 



#8 5412

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 04:13 PM

Hi,

 

I totally agree with you.  At the same time we also must factor that, like Joe Carter, they may become regulars for some other team because they are used in a trade.

 

Up until Theo, the Cubs basically had no player development as compared to other teams.  You can't coach speed, nor can you coach a whole lot of smarts.  A swing, how to pitch, fielding, etc. can all be improved a good bit with proper coaching.

 

I still feel a bit sorry for Corey Patterson, they jerked him around like a yo-yo.  When Chipper Jones was doing his farewell tour, he talked with Pat Hughes about the Braves farm system.  He said they told him he was projected to be a #3 hitter for his career and that is where he hit during all his time in the minor leagues.

 

Contrast that with Corey Patterson who they never could figure out what to do with.  He would hit a couple of home runs and the would be in the middle of the order, then he would hit leadoff.  It was a joke.

 

If nothing else, with Theo and his "Cubs way" these kids will be taught consistently.

 

I've seen Soler, Vogelbach and Baez play.  My son was an all American at 1B and the stopwatch did him in because he did not have Vogelbach power.  Baez has lots of tools but I don't know if he can put them together.  Soler was just getting started in Peoria when I saw him.  He looked lost then he smacked the hell out of the ball and made a great throw in the OF.  I think he has a good chance to be at least above average for a decade if he continues to improve.  AA will be a big hurdle for them as that cuts out a lot of kids.

 

regards,

5412






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