A top Chicago Cubs scout just got some high praise at a league reception for the best of the best in 2021.
Kudos to Louie Eljaua, the Cubs’ VP of International Scouting:
The 2021 scouts of the year include Louie Eljaua, a Cubs' scout with 3 decades of experience, 21 Major Leaguers and 2 World Series MVPs to his credit: https://t.co/NXQU71JKjB pic.twitter.com/VMid1BZbTN
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 24, 2022
Eljaua has been with the Cubs for over a decade as a scout, having arrived shortly before that of the Epstein-Hoyer regime. And while it bears noting that the Cubs’ international prospect development has been a clear issue for quite some time (in terms of organizational prospect concentration), it’s not quite clear that the problem has been scouting – the Cubs have been able to sign a number of top prospects, it’s just that they haven’t seen much in the way of surprising big breakouts the last five-ish years. Moreover, Eljaua was only just named the VP of international scouting – i.e., the boss of that department – a year and a half ago as part of the organizational scouting and player development overhaul.
I tend to think there’s a reason Eljaua (1) is getting an honor like this, (2) survived the arrival of Epstein-Hoyer and the turnover that always comes, and (3) was promoted during the substantial scouting and player development overhaul of the past two years.
The Cubs have high hopes for last year’s biggest international signing, Cristian Hernandez, probably the most decorated international prospect the Cubs have signed since the Gleyber Torres-Eloy Jimenez class. The reality, though, is that we won’t know whether that class, or this year’s, was actually productive – even as quality prospects – for several more years. Right now, we are more into the mode of finding out whether the 2016-17-18-19 classes featured any big hits. Here’s hoping we see that this year, because it’s definitely been a lagging area for the organization. Need some breakouts.