Junior Lake, Professional Enigma and Other Bullets

Photo By Scott Jontes
Photo By Scott Jontes

Anyone else wish we could have seen Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer take each other on at the same age? Those five years make a huge difference.

  • John Sickels describes Junior Lake, as a prospect, about as well as anyone in a recent write-up. Among his thoughts on Lake: “If you see Junior Lake on the right day, he looks like one of the best players in the world. He’ll blister a long home run, or he’ll make a spectacular defensive play, or he’ll show off a tremendously good throwing arm, or he’ll steal a critical base. If you see Junior Lake on the wrong day, he’ll look like one of the most confused, helpless players in the world …. Lake’s tools are simply excellent, especially his throwing arm. He’s made improvements around the edges and flashes intriguing baseball skills, but he’s not consistent about it and is still frequently frustrating.” This is why the Cubs will hold out on Lake as long as possible, and why they’re trying to increase his positional versatility. They don’t want him squeezed out, only to see him finally have it “click” with another organization. He doesn’t turn 23 until the end of March.
  • The Rangers have signed Jeff Baker, who had to settle for a minor league deal. It’s a bit surprising, given his versatility and solid numbers against lefties, but he sure did struggle in Detroit and Atlanta after departed from the Cubs in August, and had a down 2011, too. Baker chose a crowded roster to try and make, but it’s obviously a good team.
  • Cubs pitching prospect Dallas Beeler talks about recovering from Tommy John surgery (which he had in 2009), and notes that he’s given pointers to prospect Robert Whitenack, who had his first year back from TJS last season.
  • Phil Rogers, like Ken Rosenthal before him, doesn’t see MLB allowing the Mets to keep their first rounder (11th overall) if they sign Michael Bourn (they’d be making a thin argument that the top ten worst teams are supposed to have their picks protected, which would include the Mets … even though the explicit language of the CBA says top ten picks). Gotta think Scott Boras is getting pretty desperate to put together a multi-team market for Bourn.
  • Darwin Barney was honored as CSN’s Cubs Player of the Year.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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