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Member Since 30 Jul 2013
Offline Last Active Apr 07 2014 01:05 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: WTF Jesse Rogers

15 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

It's interesting to think about whether "rushing" a prospect to the bigs damages him somehow if you do it too soon.   Three types of examples in recent Cubs history illustrate the different ways this can work out:


1. Starlin Castro - brought up quickly, probably largely to create fan interest, and has struggled in parts of his game, but generally been a useful player, who's good skills generally overshadow areas needing more development


2.  Brett Jackson - brought up roughly on schedule, and tanked completely in the majors.  Was probably brought up without a full 2012 in AAA on the strength of his second half 2011 performance, which featured a troubling 30% K rate, but which looked very good on the strength of an unsustainable .402 babip.  A dramatic lower babip (.298) in Chicago, combined with a predictably elevated 42% K rate (it was 34% at Iowa) sealed his fate.  And now, he appears to be just lost... irrevocably broken perhaps?  If he had just reverted to his 2012 Iowa numbers, you could say that's just his peak, but he's way worse, suggesting that the experience with Chicago could have damaged him in a non-baseball-ability way.


3.  Anthony Rizzo - who also tanked miserably when first brought up, but seems to have mentally survived the experience, and is afforded the chance to learn how to hit in the majors via on-the-job training because his club is going nowhere, and can afford to have him struggle there.  His hitting performance - in many phases - has been encouraging, despite some pretty quiet stretches.  Rizzo might not have been out there every day on a contender...


So, if the Cubs are no good in 2014, I guess you could make the case that Baez might as well learn baseball playing with the best players, if you can afford to wait out his growing pains.  His K rate, so far, is a bit higher at Tennessee than Jackson's was, but he's also younger than Jackson was, and has more power, so there's no reason not to put him on the half-season at Tennessee, half season at Iowa, September callup for 2014, assuming things progress.  But there's also a case to be made, if the Cubs aren't competitive, to try skipping that AAA move and trotting him out in Chicago every day after the All Star break.  Assuming that he will struggle mightily, like Jackson, Vitters and Rizzo, will he emerge in 2015 better for the experience and coaching?  As long as you don't psychologically break the guy (if that's what's even wrong with Jackson), why not?

In Topic: Fun with Prospect Rankings

13 August 2013 - 09:19 AM

This is such a great thread, from a great post.  I clicked "2" on the survey before reading the thread, and that still feels like the right response based on the thread.  Sure, it's a small sample, but it's still good for setting perspective and expectations.


My observation (again, looking just at this small sample) is that the pitchers that are highly regarded as prospects, but don't "make it," are more often derailed by injury than lack of ability, while more position players simply top out on ability.  I'm not a veteran minor league watcher, so I don't know if this is already common knowledge.  I guess it's easier to evaluate prospect pitchers quantitatively on "stuff" with radar guns, pitch-break analysis, etc, than it is evaluate hitters, since their performance is so dependent upon the pitching they're facing.  In other words, you can measure and quantify nasty "stuff" no matter who's hitting, but it's probably harder to evaluate hitting ability independent of the corresponding pitcher.

In Topic: Albert Almora and Dan Vogs not in lineup

07 August 2013 - 10:04 PM

Well, player development schedule certainly isn't the only driving factor behind who gets moved where and when.  You've got to keep a certain number of prospects down a level, for a while at least, even if they might be developmentally ready to move up, for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Keeping their stats surging to make them attractive for package trades
  • Building up a sense of urgency among fans to promote them, thereby creating interest, particularly during the dog days of a typical Cubs season
  • Controlling their service time and salary
  • 40 man roster manipulation
  • Keeping some veteran plugin spots ready in Iowa to fill in for injuries

In Topic: Is it crazy to bring up Jae-Hoon Hah for Neal

07 August 2013 - 09:16 PM

I guess you have to decide that there's no player development value to bringing a young prospect up to get major league at bats in a lost season, and after the Jackson and Vitterrs disasters last year, I can understand feeling burned by that.  Sappelt or Ty Wright probably make the most sense, but they're both all they're ever going to be, so you won't really be answering any questions by having them play with the big club.

In Topic: Is it crazy to bring up Jae-Hoon Hah for Neal

07 August 2013 - 09:01 PM

Boscan I figured, yeah.  I understand not rushing Ha, and I guess you want him to play every day at Iowa, and you don't want to start his service time, and all that.  But it would still be *fun* to see him called up.  I've heard about him for so long, and never seen him play live.

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