AZL Fall League Thread

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Cubswin11
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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Cubswin11 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:03 pm

I've always liked Jeimer but I'm hoping we can parlay his good finish and AFL into something in the offseason where maybe he's not a center piece but definitely the second best piece for something significant
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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby davell » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:42 pm

Now that the Theo/Jed/Jason regime has been in place for a few years, I am wondering if yoi have noticed a definitive difference between development of players post-Hendry, and pre-Hendry?

Are you seeing things in AZ that just were not done previously that are being stressed now? Larger number of coaches? Different drills? Better pitching direction?

It is something I asked a couple years ago, but now there has been enough time settle in that I was curious how things have progressed. Thanks.

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E-MAN: The Cubs Player
Submitted by Arizona Phil on Sat, 10/17/2015 - 12:22pm Permalink
E-MAN: The Cubs Player Development Program has changed in various ways under the new regime.

The Cubs now have a "Player Development Plan" for each minor league pitcher and player, which basically lists and explains (in detail) what each individual pitcher or player is trying to accomplish, and the pitcher's or player's development & instruction history up to that point in time. So when a minor league coach or instructor works one-on-one with a particular pitcher or player during the course of Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, the minor league regular season, and/or Instructs, the coach or instructor knows exactly what that player is working on, what problems the pitcher or player may be having, and what instruction the player has received from other coaches & instructors.

For example, I can recall vividly pitchers & players at Fitch Park back in the day telling me that one coach would tell the pitcher or player one thing, and then a month later another coach would tell him something different, sometimes exactly the opposite. And then the kid would sometimes ask ME(?) for advice (like "What should I do?" or " Who should I listen to?"). Needless to say, a lot of players would end up either getting totally confused, or would just stop listening to everybody and try to go it alone. The lucky ones might find one particular coach or instructor who would become the player's "guru" (so to speak), and that would work (but just for that player or pitcher).

Also, the philosophy of instruction varied from coach to coach. Some coaches would yell at players (sort of like a boot camp drill instructor), while others would be almost passive and wait for the player to approach the coach, and then others would just do bizarre stuff. Like I can recall a particular coach who was serving as game manager at Extended Spring Training one year, and he decided to bench players DURING A GAME (by having the player's slot in the batting order get skipped next time up) if the player got called out on strikes. This was not conducive to getting good results. (When you see a slot in the batting order being skipped in a Minor League Camp, EXST, or instructs game , it's usually because a catcher is needed to warm -up a pitcher in the bullpen, or because a player has finished his work for the day, or to get another player an additional AB, and NOT because the player got called out on strikes in his the previous AB!).

In addition, the new regime has implemented a sophisticated video (and audio) operation that records everything that happens on the field during games (including Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs, as well as intrasquad activity & "sim" games, too, and sometimes even BP, infield practice, PFPs, and bullpen side-sessions), and members of the organization can call-up the videos from anywhere at anytime.

Minor League Field Coordinator Tim Cossins has made Instructs (I'm talking about the "basic" version, not advanced instruicts) about instruction and not about playing games against other organizations. Time that formally was spent playing games against other organizations is now spent working on drills and playing "sim" games that can be stopped in mid-inning (if necessary) for a "teaching moment." In fact, the Cubs are the only MLB club in Ariziona that does not play "basic" instructs games against other organizations. Every day is "Camp Day," full of instruction without worrying about stopping a drill so that the team can get BP in before the bus leaves for an AZIL game at another ball park. It works so well for the Cubs, I'm surprised more teams don't stop playing AZIL games and spend that time on instruction. (Again, I''m talking about "basic" instructs, not advanced instructs, which is really more of a "junior AFL").

The instruction itself has also changed, with more conventional "teaching" techniques, like what would be essentially a unique "lesson plan" for each day, and making the drills more fun for the players by finding more-interesting ways to present a particular drill and teach a particular skill.

Players are allowed to fail and make mistakes or errors without being verbally abused, while at the same having the nistake or error addressed by a coach or instructor immediately (instead of waiting for the next day, as happens when players are playing games most every day against other organizations).

The Cubs also make use of the auditorium at the Under Armour Performance Center after field work for what would be essentially "classroom" instruction, with use of multi-media to keep it interesting for the players (remember, a lot of these kids are teenagers!)

So with a Player Development Plan for each player (where coaches, instructors, and players are now on the "same page"), a video operation that allows members of the Player Development Department (the director, managers, coaches, and instructors) to actually see (in "real" time if desired ) what each player is actualy doing ON THE FIELD, a heightened emphasis on actual field instruction over playing games against other organizations, and classtroom instruction ("mental skills") that's presented in a fun and interesting way, the Cubs Player Development Department is on the cutting edge of professional baseball instruction.

While some might say that therefore the Cubs should develop more big league players, the Player Development Department can only do what it can do to help the player reach hisd potential. The player has to do his part, and the Scouting Department has to provide the players to the Player Development Department who have the talent and potential to become MLB players and pitchers.
Additional rule: you have to have one or the other.The only exception is you have an amazing board name. davell, I'm looking at you; put up a [expletive] avatar or something if your name only sounds like somebody tried say Dave as they lapsed into a coma.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby davell » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:44 pm

By all means, read my previous post. It's AZPhil talking about the differences from Hendry's regime to now.

I honestly didn't even think it was possible to be THAT bad.
Additional rule: you have to have one or the other.The only exception is you have an amazing board name. davell, I'm looking at you; put up a [expletive] avatar or something if your name only sounds like somebody tried say Dave as they lapsed into a coma.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Duke Silver » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:03 am

Willson Contreras had 2 doubles and a homer yesterday. Candelario hit another homer on Tuesday and didn't play yesterday.

So far in AZL Fall League play:
Candelario is 10/15 with 4 doubles and 3 homers. Contreras is 7/19 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 4 walks. Mark Zagunis is only 1/8, but he also has 7 walks.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Tim » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:31 am

Duke Silver wrote:Willson Contreras had 2 doubles and a homer yesterday. Candelario hit another homer on Tuesday and didn't play yesterday.

So far in AZL Fall League play:
Candelario is 10/15 with 4 doubles and 3 homers. Contreras is 7/19 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 4 walks. Mark Zagunis is only 1/8, but he also has 7 walks.

:shock: :good: :lol:
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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby ctcf » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:18 am

is that good?

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:52 am

Got my first look at Contreras yesterday and, Montero cheerleader tweets aside, meeeeeeeh on the defense. He wasn't even catching velocity early on and I saw multiple pitches take his glove, he gave away a couple strikes.....Personable, social guy THO that I can see hanging around the majors for a long time because of position and personality. Greg Zaun without the switch hitting is what I thought.

OTOH I still like Candelario in a Mike Lowell-y kind of way. I'm not even sure why.
Last edited by TomtheBombadil on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby UK » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:08 am

I was wrong on both Soto and especially Aguilera. I non-prospected both of them in HS, I left after infield and one AB for each of them. I had two major leaguers and a bunch of wasted money on picks that didn't make it.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:20 am

Btw the Cubs' AZ fields are perfect for both fans and players.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby UK » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:04 pm

Make room for him (if he goes unprotected).

http://www.lonestarball.com/2015/10/17/ ... its-in-afl

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby PackLandVA » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:38 am


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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:41 am

Keith Law:

to see the Cubs' Wilson Contreras hit but not catch, unfortunately, so I can't speak to his defensive abilities. But I can tell you his swing was one of my favorite right-handed swings in the AFL with a clean path and tremendous body control throughout. He loads back by his right shoulder and explodes forward to the ball with excellent hand strength that allowed him to adjust well to changing speeds and to pitches on the outer third. If he can catch as well as the Cubs believe he can, the decision to convert Schwarber to another position becomes even easier.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:53 am

Contreras can hit. He was popping 1.85-1.95 all day yesterday and is definitely at athlete at C. Personally he needs more refinement as a receiver, jabs at the ball sometimes. My favorite thing about him is his energy and intensity, still. He argued with the ump over balls and strikes yesterday and gave up a run on a really stupid play where he blocked a pitch in the dirt and threw it away for no reason.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby JennieGarthAlgar » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:06 am

No one answered my question from the first page so I'll try again: anyone that has seen Contreras in person... Is he really only 175lbs, or is that an outdated figure?

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:22 am

JennieGarthAlgar wrote:No one answered my question from the first page so I'll try again: anyone that has seen Contreras in person... Is he really only 175lbs, or is that an outdated figure?


He's bigger than that. I thought he was more like 5'11" 195-205.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby David » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:52 am

UK wrote:I was wrong on both Soto and especially Aguilera. I non-prospected both of them in HS, I left after infield and one AB for each of them. I had two major leaguers and a bunch of wasted money on picks that didn't make it.


Who is Aguilera (and I'm guessing Geovany Soto?) and what is this post about?

Just a response to Gato's evaluation of Contreras (above your post)?
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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:33 am

Candelario is well liked. Goooooooooood kid, incredible makeup to go with his tools. His arm is maybe average, at best, and doesn't have much HR power right now, but otherwise hes just quality.

Zastrzyny should be in the pen. Can't buy a strike with his curveball, but knows how to bury it. No third pitch, change sucks.

I suspect we will see an awesome trade before December's FA and the Rule V draft.

Blue Jays prospect Rowdy Tellez is a badass prospect. Just want to throw that out there for 3-5 years down the road when he's a top tier 1B.

Have I mentioned that Yankees C prospect Gary Sanchez is a stud?

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Vinestal » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:39 am

Enjoyed this guy's piece on Rob Zastryzny http://appraisingarizona.blogspot.com/2015/10/afl-notes-dominic-smith-casey-gillaspie.html
He's also worth a follow on twitter: @AZLBaseball

When Zastryzny is commanding his pitches and throwing a solid curve, as he did in this last start, he looks like a #3 type starter. The better bet, however, is that he fits better at the bottom of a rotation. The floor is a solid lefty RP.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:08 am

Vinestal wrote:Enjoyed this guy's piece on Rob Zastryzny http://appraisingarizona.blogspot.com/2015/10/afl-notes-dominic-smith-casey-gillaspie.html
He's also worth a follow on twitter: @AZLBaseball

When Zastryzny is commanding his pitches and throwing a solid curve, as he did in this last start, he looks like a #3 type starter. The better bet, however, is that he fits better at the bottom of a rotation. The floor is a solid lefty RP.


Straight up, this guy is just wrong on the secondaries. He was on the 1B side so he confused Zastrzny's curve for a change up, something a surprising amount of young guys did. I literally have video of Guerrero's two Ks and it was curveballs. In the first Zastryzny got him to chase two in a row that were buried. He threw maybe two change ups all game. It's a firm pitch he has little confidence in and no deception with, MLer would rock that pitch. He threw a bunch in the bullpen, bouncing as many (1) as he threw with some decent fade (1).

Best pitch was his fastball, which did have good velocity (t93) in the game and maybe had a shot at 95 in the pen. He was mostly 88-91 with it but aggressive and willing to pitch in and up with it to set up his curve. If they didn't chase the curve, he'd come right back and elevate the fastball to change the eye level. Cuts it into RHs and pounds lefties in with four seam and some two seam.

I gave him a shot to have two average pitches in fastball and curve but he lacks command of the curve so it's currently a below average pitch.I thought he was a reliever all the way, not the floor. Looked better from the stretch, though he was slow to the plate and they ran on him with confidence. I thought he was stiff from the windup and just not a starter.

David Garner looked alright...didn't get anything on the off speed because he had a quick inning and I wasn't really locked in on him, but just noticed he looked good and threw hard with command of it. Didn't get to see Pierce Johnson do anything and honestly maybe only glanced at him during warmups as he hung out with Black and some other dude. Not a big guy.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:50 am

AppraisingArizona is Arguello, btw.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby UK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:21 am

David wrote:
UK wrote:I was wrong on both Soto and especially Aguilera. I non-prospected both of them in HS, I left after infield and one AB for each of them. I had two major leaguers and a bunch of wasted money on picks that didn't make it.


Who is Aguilera (and I'm guessing Geovany Soto?) and what is this post about?

Just a response to Gato's evaluation of Contreras (above your post)?


Eric Aguilera is on the mesa roster, I scouted him in HS, JUCO, and college. Eliot Soto is the former cubs prospect who I also scouted in HS. Both at the same game. I liked neither of them.

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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby David » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:24 am

UK wrote:
David wrote:
UK wrote:I was wrong on both Soto and especially Aguilera. I non-prospected both of them in HS, I left after infield and one AB for each of them. I had two major leaguers and a bunch of wasted money on picks that didn't make it.


Who is Aguilera (and I'm guessing Geovany Soto?) and what is this post about?

Just a response to Gato's evaluation of Contreras (above your post)?


Eric Aguilera is on the mesa roster, I scouted him in HS, JUCO, and college. Eliot Soto is the former cubs prospect who I also scouted in HS. Both at the same game. I liked neither of them.


Gotcha. I figured you were talking about major leaguers when you said you were wrong on them.
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Re: AZL Fall League Roster

Postby Vinestal » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:24 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:AppraisingArizona is Arguello, btw.

Ok well that nullifies that opinion thanks for the heads up, I had no idea. Hate that guy.

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Re: AZL Fall League Thread

Postby ctcf » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:05 pm

Contreras hit his 3rd HR of the AFL today. Gonna be real fun to see what he can do in Iowa next year.

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Re: AZL Fall League Thread

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