Obligatory up front on Black Friday: the deals at Amazon today are predictably very, very good. The Wife sent me a list last night of the things we need to look for, and I’ve been shopping for much of the morning on there. When other folks shop via our links at BN, it supports the business with a commission, so thank you very much for perusing the deals.
- I’ve been thinking a lot about Victor Caratini this offseason for what I expect are obvious reasons, and I just wanted to throw out a little more context on just how good his season was in 2019: *IF* he had played a starter-level complement of games/ABs, and *IF* he’d produced at the same offensive and defensive level … Victor Caratini would’ve been worth about 2.5 WAR last year. Only 7 catchers in all of baseball exceeded 2.5 WAR last year.
- The question is whether Caratini would actually produce at that same level as a starter. The only part of his offensive game that really jumped last year in a way that was a little disproportionate to his minor league numbers/projection was his power. But as an extreme line-drive hitting catcher, you very well might *expect* his power to start to step forward in the second-half of his 20s (the juiced ball surely helped … ). You’d also expect Caratini’s defense – remember, he was a minor league conversion – to continue to develop as well. That is all to say, if the circumstances were different with the Cubs, it would be reasonable for them to be heading into 2020 with Caratini projected to be the starter – it wouldn’t just be wishcasting.
- Talk about a development priority:
This is delivery of Richard Gallardo, Cubs 18 y.o. legit bonus baby from Venezuela. He’s shown poise, 3 pitches and a 95 mph fastball. But he’s also still raw. Delivery needs real cleaning, and difference between CH and FB too obvious from this angle. But oh the upside. pic.twitter.com/I5bRlOFVfg
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) November 29, 2019
- Gallardo was the top pitching prospect in the entire IFA class in 2018-19, & got $1M to sign (which is a ton for an IFA pitcher). He was pitching in stateside short-season ball in his first professional year. Isn’t even 19 until next September. He’s the kind of pitching prospect the Cubs absolutely need to develop fully if they’re going to continue to have success in the big leagues over the next decade.
- Also – and I mean this in the most analytical, sabermetric way possible – dude is already packing some serious Baseball Butt.
- On the sports deals side of things, make sure you check out Fanatics’ Black Friday sale, too. I poked around, and although not literally everything is on sale … basically everything is on sale. I need some new exercise shirts, and I don’t even care that I wear Nike Cubs shirts every single time I go to a class …
- Corey got me on this one:
- I see that picture of Brennen Davis there, and I demand MLB Pipeline remove it immediately:
As anticipation builds around the potential for trades during the upcoming #WinterMeetings, @jimcallisMLB, @JonathanMayo and @GoldenSombrero look at 30 prospects who could be dealt — one from each #MLB team: https://t.co/CQBMCYykUq pic.twitter.com/CMdqCLuWRG
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) November 29, 2019
- Obviously you consider trading any prospect in the right deal and all that, but what Davis did in his first full pro year out of high school as a raw two-sport athlete – the absurd physical and swing changes in a single offseason, and then becoming the best hitter in the Midwest League as a teenager – makes him just about entirely off-limits for me.
- May he develop even more in 2020 under the tutelage of the Cubs’ new development program. Here’s the Cubs’ new Director of Hitting, showing the love:
Went around the table tonight and talked individually what we were thankful for. Outside of our families, I immediately said:
Beside tireless workers, they are innovative and forward thinking people that have collectively put their stamp on the baseball industry.
— Justin Stone (@elite_baseball) November 29, 2019
- Obvious Shirts‘ Black Friday sale is here, and it includes every single thing:
BLACK FRIDAY IS HERE.
35% OFF EVERYTHING.
FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING.
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) November 29, 2019