Guardians Prospect Passes Away Suddenly, Correa's ZiPS Projection, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Guardians Prospect Passes Away Suddenly, Correa’s ZiPS Projection, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there, as much as possible. It just seems to be back to being a tough time again – well, not that we ever necessarily fully left it. But right now it’s got that feeling again.

•   Sad news out of the Cleveland Guardians organization, as 20-year-old catching prospect Andrés Meléndez passed away “suddenly”. In a team statement: “Meléndez is remembered by his teammates and friends as a positive, respectful and thoughtful young man with a beautiful smile who had a profound impact on others. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones, teammates and those who knew him.” There is no public cause of death discussed. Much love and care going out to Meléndez’s family, friends, and org-mates. Truly awful.

•   The latest ZiPS are out, and it’s the Houston Astros. Because he was last on the Astros, that means Carlos Correa’s ZiPS are now out, and while it’s quite strong overall, it certainly isn’t gonna blow your socks off: .275/.354/.481, 124 OPS+, 4.7 WAR (less than, for example, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez, and only slightly higher than Alex Bregman, on the Astros). As always, you are reminded that this is merely a median projection, and it lives inside the outliers for a reason. Projections are conservative. But they are a reminder that you cannot simply presume that a guy is going to be a 140 wRC+ guy again and again just because he has a spike or two up into that range. Sometimes, THOSE *WERE* the outlier seasons.

•   That slash line is basically in line with Correa’s career numbers, by the way, which isn’t necessarily what you’d want to see in a $300+ million player’s age 27 season. You’d be hoping to see things still on the upswing, and I’m guessing the injury history and some uneven seasons are contributing to a very conservative projection. Reminders of the risks with Correa, I suppose.

•   That is all to say, Correa’s is the projection of a very good player – especially for a plus defensive shortstop – but it does give you a moment of pause in relation to the Cubs. Correa’s best years in his coming deal, even at his age, are still most likely to come at the front end of the contract, when he might be least impactful for a fringe team like the Cubs. That doesn’t mean you don’t sign him! But it does mean that you’d be making a big mistake to sign him and not coordinate with a number of other impactful near-term moves (and even then, it’s so hard to turn a team like the Cubs into a top-tier playoff contender in a single offseason). The ZiPS on Correa isn’t changing my mind on anything – I still think the Cubs should pursue Correa and at least see where his market goes – but it’s just reminding me of all the stuff that makes the fit imperfect.

•   Ichiro is still out there having fun, but also wanting to win, even if just in a fun showcase game against top high schoolers:

•   Clippers, smart locks, toys, shoes, gift cards, and so much more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad

•   Randomly remembered this:

•   Really nasty over-the-top slider:

•   Andre Dawson’s arm:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.