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Fall/Winter Ball


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Alex S.

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

With Soler's injury delaying his development and the plan being something along the lines of:

"Soler returning at some point in August and then playing somewhere this Fall/Winter. Epstein specifically suggested Soler could play in the prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the lost at bats. Soler was probably going to play somewhere this Fall/Winter anyway, though, having played so little over the last two years as he defected from Cuba."

I was wondering how much of a difference Fall/Winter ball makes in a player's development.  Of course every player develops at his own pace and it isn't a time based thing, but because of the varied experience/talent levels of the players in, say, the Venezuelan league, how comparable is offseason baseball to full season minor league ball? 

 

Soler would have been playing somewhere this offseason anyhow, but if he performs at a very high level (think Valbuena or Gattis 2012 winter league numbers) does he have a chance of beginning next season in Tennessee or is he pretty much pegged for Daytona (to start at least)?

 

 



#2 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:20 AM

He'll probably start the season in AA. If he put up those numbers being hurt all season, then look out! Those Winter leagues are competitive and they'll bench you if you don't perform right away. I.e., they moved Junior Lake into the OF before the Cubs did.

#3 King Jeff

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:00 AM

The Arizona Fall League is only a few weeks long, but it's a good opportunity to play against top level talent.  I'm sure they'll have him play in one of the South American winter leagues too, if he's healthy.  Like Mike said, they are very competetive, they demoted Josh Vitters and then sent him home last year because he was struggling.  I don't know that it's worth a whole season of development, but a lot of prospects take a step forward in the fall/winter leagues. 



#4 Spriggs

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:38 AM

I just hope he's healthy and healed enough to continue playing in Daytona come August. If not, I really doubt that he'll play elsewhere in the fall or winter. From what I read he has the type of leg/bone injury you REALLY don't want to rush back. And knowing the Cubs and their long, painful history - especially recent history - they will not rush him back and will be overly cautious. So although I don't expect he will play again this year, I really, really, really hope he makes it back in August and demonstrates he is healthy enough to play in the AFL (so I can watch him play for 2 months!).

The competition in the AFL is outstanding. For example, from the 2011 MLB All-Star rosters, over 40 had played in the AFL! The vast majority of players in the league are AA prospects, and many obviously are highly ranked. It's a great experience for the players and I think Soler, Alcantarez, and Baez need to be there this year!

#5 CubChymyst

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:51 AM

I think the chances of Soler starting off at AA next year is already pretty high already.  Soler already has shown the ability to draw walks and keep the strike outs down with his approach at the plate in high A.  If you want to compare Soler to Baez; Soler seems to have a better approach at the plate (higher BB% and lower K%) but Baez has more power (higher ISO).  The fact that Soler is on the 40 man also makes me think the front office is more likely to move him up next year then have him repeat a level.



#6 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:02 PM

And that's the trade-off. Soler was hitting for average on a bum leg, because he couldn't drive the ball as far as what he was used to seeing; I think that says a lot about a player's development and maturity.

#7 Scotti

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:25 PM

My guess is that if he gets some playing time at Daytona to end the year out and then goes to the AFL he has a shot to start in AA with a good spring.  AA is a different bird than A+ and you don't want to be overly aggressive in his promotion.  






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