NWL Top 20 List

davell
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NWL Top 20 List

Postby davell » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:47 am

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2 ... prospects/

2 Ian Happ-OF
3 Eloy Jimenez-OF
11 Donnie Dewees-OF
12 Justin Steele-P
13 Carson Sand-P
16 Oscar De La Cruz-P
19 Pedro Araujo-p
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby Tim » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:04 am

Here's the list of Cubs in that list from 2010:
Spoiler: show

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:16 am

2. Ian Happ, of, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 21. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 205. Drafted: Cincinnati, 2015 (1). Video

The Cubs had such success drafting a polished college bat in the first round in 2014 (Kyle Schwarber) that they did it again in 2015. So far, so good, though Happ probably will not find himself at Wrigley Field next season.

Happ’s best position—like Schwarber—is the batter’s box. The Cubs played him in center field exclusively at Eugene, and he moved around the outfield following a promotion to low Class A South Bend on July 25. He will head back to his primary college position of second base for instructional league.

He has a fringe-average arm and needs significant footwork improvement to stick in the dirt. His bat will play, though. Happ has excellent bat speed from both sides of the plate and projects as a plus hitter with average power. He has above-average speed underway and stole 10 bases without being caught.

“When guys can come to the plate and make 95-96 (mph) look slow, you know he’s going to be a hitter,” one NWL manager said.


3. Eloy Jimenez, of, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht: 6-4. Wt: 205. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013. Video

The Cubs invested $2.8 million to sign Jimenez in 2013. After a rough go in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2014, he began showing some of the promise the Cubs saw two years ago.

Jimenez is a strong, physical righthanded batter with plus raw power. He can hit the ball out to all fields and shows tremendous opposite-field pop. He has a long swing, but his level bat path keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. He has holes in his swing, but he maintains a good approach and makes a ton of contact. He has average to tick above-average speed underway with a tick above-average arm as well. With experience, he should be at least an average defender in right field.

“Big bonus. Big tools,” one scout said. “He’s got a long ways to go, but he’s aggressive and has some power. He hasn’t quite taken another step (forward), but that’s a solid year in an aggressive assignment.”


11. Donnie Dewees, of, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 21. B-T: L-L. Ht: 5-11. Wt: 180. Drafted: North Florida, 2015 (2).

Also a soccer and football player in high school, Dewees is athletic but was unheralded in baseball before his arrival at North Florida. He led NCAA Division I in hits, runs, slugging and total bases in the spring, then grinded his way through a solid pro debut as a Cubs second-rounder.

Dewees has a compact lefthanded swing, good contact skills and a feel for the barrel, with excellent bat control. While he can drive the ball the other way, he projects to have below-average power.

Dewees is a plus runner whose times to first base border on double-plus, and one scout timed him at 3.94 seconds on a bunt. His speed helps him go get the ball in center field as well. He’s an average defender whose well below-average arm strength—combined with a lack of power—would present a challenge if moved out of center field.


12. Justin Steele, lhp, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 19. B-T: L-L. Ht: 6-2. Wt: 195. Drafted: HS—Lucedale, Miss., 2014 (5).

One of the prep pitchers the Cubs popped in the 2014 draft, Steele signed for $1 million as a fifth-round pick to pass on Southern Mississippi. Like Eugene teammate Carson Sands, Steele is a lefthander with a projectable frame and plus velocity.

Steele’s fastball topped out at 95 mph this season. The lefthander attacks the strike zone, generating nearly a strikeout per inning and plenty of groundballs. Steele has competitive fire and athleticism and works downhill with the fastball and also a curveball that projects as a future plus weapon. He commands his fastball well, keeping it low in the zone and has yet to allow a home run as a pro.

“It’s tough to know how hard a guy is throwing,” one NWL manager said, “but I know hitters are having a hard time against him.”


13. Carson Sands, lhp, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 20. B-T: L-L. Ht: 6-3. Wt: 205. Drafted: HS—Tallahassee, Fla., 2014 (4). Video

Sands signed for $1.1 million as part of the Cubs’ prep pitching haul in the 2014 draft, a haul that also included Eugene teammate Justin Steele.

Like Hillsboro’s Cody Reed, Sands is another of the NWL’s big-bodied lefthanders with above-average velocity. Sands gets good downhill plane on a fastball that reached 95 mph this season, and he showed solid fastball command and good armside action.

Sands struggles to control his curveball, which flashed plus but had inconsistent shape. His changeup flashes average. If he can refine his control and harness his curveball, Sands has the makings of a mid-rotation starter and has plenty of room to fill out his body.


16. Oscar de la Cruz, rhp, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 20. B-T: R-R. Ht: 6-4. Wt: 200. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2012.

De la Cruz signed with the Cubs for just $85,000 as a 17-year-old in October 2012. He made giant strides in 2015 in extended spring training, earning a jump to the NWL following two years in the Dominican Summer League.

De la Cruz didn’t just hold his own at Eugene. He ranked second in the NWL with 73 strikeouts and tied for first with a 1.00 WHIP. The projectable de la Cruz appears to stand at least one inch taller than his listed 6-foot-4 height, giving him great natural plane. De la Cruz has room to grow, though he’s already fairly strong, and as he does, his velocity should eclipse its current 92-93 mph range, which is where he sits.

De la Cruz’s secondary offerings are still in development. Of those, his curveball shows the most promise and flashed plus in the second half of the season. He has feel for his changeup, but it has been inconsistent. His delivery is clean and repeatable, thanks to athleticism he possesses.


19. Pedro Araujo, rhp, Eugene (Cubs)

Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht: 6-3. Wt: 214. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2011.

The Cubs signed Araujo, a Dominican righthander, for $100,000 in 2011, but he still has yet to reach full-season ball in five pro seasons—but he has potential. He has a physical, 6-foot-3 frame, a short stride and a low-90s fastball that he throws to set up a solid curveball and a changeup.

Araujo throws a high percentage of strikes and had a nearly 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the NWL. Thanks to a heavy fastball that is difficult to elevate, he can both miss bats and keep the ball in the park. However, Araujo been used strictly as a reliever since debuting in the U.S. in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2014 following three years in the Dominican Summer League.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby davell » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:28 am

Araujo snuck up on me. I hadn't noticed how well he did this season.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:04 am

It's only 8 teams, but having 7 of the Top 20 sure is nice.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby toonsterwu » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:47 pm

The chat questions

Roy (Indiana): Can Ian Happ play second? Does this improve his chances of reaching the major leagues sooner?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: That is unclear. The Cubs are trying him there in instructs and it certainly helps his profile if he can stick in the dirt, as they say. His bat is the carrying tool, much like Kyle Schwarber. He doesn’t have Schwarber’s power, but the hit tool might be better, and he’s athletic enough to play center field.


Bill Jones (Charleston, SC): While he only pitched 22 innings with a .81 era and 30K's at Eugene, what is your take on Preston Morrison?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: I like Morrison a lot. But I’m not sure how well his stuff plays as he moves up. His fastball sits around 85, so he’s going to have to do something to keep hitters off of it; it’ll be interesting to see how well he does as he climbs.


Justin (MEmphis): I was surprised to see Happ listed above Eloy Jimenez. Does Happ have the ceiling Jimenez does or is he just more likely to reach it?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Great question. It’s the latter. I think Eloy has more tools, but the success the Cubs had in projecting Schwarber has tilted me in favor of Happ as far as selecting to place Happ above Jimenez here. Just so much projection left on Jimenez.


David Askew (Ohio): Oscar De La Cruz put up nice numbers and seemed like a high riser in t he Cubs system - is he one of their most talented pitchers?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The Cubs had a very, very good staff at Eugene; Justin Steele, Carson Sands, Adbert Alzolay, Pedro Araujo, Kyle Twomey and de la Cruz. The context being, there are many pitchers who rate as intriguing in that organization right now.


tom (Boise): Steele project to better than a #5? Also, E.Jimenez have as much upside as Soler? Thanks
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: I think it’s difficult to say Jimenez has as much upside as Soler, given what Soler’s done in his brief career. Have you seen that guy play? But Jimenez has an array of exciting tools; I think it’s fair to say Steele could be a No. 3; batters have trouble lifting his pitches, he pitches assertively but in control and can push the fastball to 95. He needs to develop a changeup.


nb (Philly): Hey Vince - Do you think Eloy Jimmenez is ready for a promotion to the MWL next year? I know he's still very young, but what do you see as his floor and ceiling? Thanks!
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: I’ll say probably; It’s difficult to project what an organization believes a particular player needs in terms of experience or at-bats prior to a promotion. The ceiling is high; he’s got loud tools and is already showing an advanced approach; his strikeout percentage and walk rate portend promising future numbers. A lot can happen from short-season to full-season leagues, however.


Roy (Indiana): Lots of Eugene players on this list. Any thoughts on a couple who didn't make it, Matt Rose & Kyle Twomey?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Neither player played enough to qualify. Rose has a long swing, but has a disciplined approach; Twomey isn’t overpowering but has good life and clean arm action.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby toonsterwu » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:04 am

What's especially nice to see at this early stage is that all the intriguing arms are fairly good strike-throwers. It's a nice crop of arms, and with some of them, there seems to be legitimately strong upside that's lacking in the system. Going to be fascinating to see which of these arms step up in full-season next year. Also going to be curious if anyone takes a big step up (I'm not so sure that Jose Paulino should be that far behind these guys to not get mentioned, but it seems like he hasn't been in the discussions ... also, what happened to Alex Santana ... vaguely recall he held some intrigue but didn't follow the day-to-day this year enough to know what happened).

Feels like, considering his age, they should give a quick look to Araujo as a starter in South Bend, but if it isn't clicking early, perhaps to fast-track him as a pen arm.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:06 am

Really like that they put Steele over both Sands and maybe even de la Cruz. Of the three, I think he will adjust to full season ball quickest next year. He's supremely confident in his fastball/breaking ball combo, the bulldog of the Emeralds' talented 19-20 year olds, and knows how to use both pitches to set up each other. A little impressive that he has yet to give up a HR as a pro.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby CubsWin » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:34 am

davell wrote:Araujo snuck up on me. I hadn't noticed how well he did this season.

Numbers wise, he's been really good for a long time (from age 18 on). As I was wont to do a few years back (I've learned a lot since), I got excited about him (with his frame and production being what it was) but once he got to the states, the scouting reports left a bit to be desired. This is the first I've heard that he had a heavy low-90s FB. Everything prior had him 88-89. I was pleasantly surprised to see him on the list. Could be a middle reliever. More if he continues to add velo.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby CubsWin » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:40 am

Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The Cubs had a very, very good staff at Eugene; Justin Steele, Carson Sands, Adbert Alzolay, Pedro Araujo, Kyle Twomey and de la Cruz. The context being, there are many pitchers who rate as intriguing in that organization right now.

Depth, man. Keep playing that numbers game, Cubs. Somebody's gonna pop. Add in Underwood, Cease and Clifton and the Cubs may have something or a few somethings that are really good in a couple years.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:46 am

Araujo is there largely because he qualified in playing time and the NWL is a shallow league. Plenty of better prospects just didn't qualify, including a couple on the same team.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby CubsWin » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:36 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Araujo is there largely because he qualified in playing time and the NWL is a shallow league. Plenty of better prospects just didn't qualify, including a couple on the same team.

Interesting. I thought he was on the list because:

He has a physical, 6-foot-3 frame, a short stride and a low-90s fastball that he throws to set up a solid curveball and a changeup.

Araujo throws a high percentage of strikes and had a nearly 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the NWL. Thanks to a heavy fastball that is difficult to elevate, he can both miss bats and keep the ball in the park.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:06 pm

Guys like Ryan Burr, Kellogg, Twomey, Jordan Brink, Jake Brentz, and Caleb Smith would outrank him if any threw enough innings. I'll also throw Mariners LHP Gohara in as a guy that probably should have made it over him as well. Maybe even younger, promoted to full season org mate Alex Santana...

Guy was a 5th/6th year pro and just mastered SS ball. While he's 6'3", he's already about 215 or so and not projectable or athletic. Nothing really special about any of his pitches, generic prospect RH repertoire (low 90s fastball, slider, barely there change), average size and not long limbed...maybe a middle reliever ceiling, probably an org arm. A strong performance, not impossible even for fringe prospects, and some technicalities got him on the list - entirely possible when we're talking 19th on a given short season league top 20 prospect list.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby CubsWin » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:57 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Guys like Ryan Burr, Kellogg, Twomey, Jordan Brink, Jake Brentz, and Caleb Smith would outrank him if any threw enough innings. I'll also throw Mariners LHP Gohara in as a guy that probably should have made it over him as well. Maybe even younger, promoted to full season org mate Alex Santana...

Guy was a 5th/6th year pro and just mastered SS ball. While he's 6'3", he's already about 215 or so and not projectable or athletic. Nothing really special about any of his pitches, generic prospect RH repertoire (low 90s fastball, slider, barely there change), average size and not long limbed...maybe a middle reliever ceiling, probably an org arm. A strong performance, not impossible even for fringe prospects, and some technicalities got him on the list - entirely possible when we're talking 19th on a given short season league top 20 prospect list.

Right, so he's a possible middle reliever. We agree.

I don't think anyone is saying that any player ranked at the bottom of a top 20 list for a league the size of the NWL should be lauded as the next great thing. He made the list. Lots of guys could've made the list. What's the point of discrediting him?

What we don't agree on is that being a 5th year pro matters. He signed when he was 17. If he'd had the chance to go to college and develop there, he'd be a first or second year pro. He's younger than Jordan Brink and about a half year older than Kellogg and Twomey. You're reaching, dude.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:26 pm

CubsWin wrote:Right, so he's a possible middle reliever. We agree.

I don't think anyone is saying that any player ranked at the bottom of a top 20 list for a league the size of the NWL should be lauded as the next great thing. He made the list. Lots of guys could've made the list. What's the point of discrediting him?

What we don't agree on is that being a 5th year pro matters. He signed when he was 17. If he'd had the chance to go to college and develop there, he'd be a first or second year pro. He's younger than Jordan Brink and about a half year older than Kellogg and Twomey. You're reaching, dude.


Actually most of the guys I listed, all higher profile prospects except Brink (probably a little fast and loose there), *couldn't* make the list due to playing time. Not trying to discredit him - we all seem to agree that him being on the list at all is a surprise and his ceiling is basically a fungible middle reliever.

As far as the fifth year pro thing - signing at 17 is not unique. Dozens of guys that age or younger are brought into pro ball every year. I wonder why he didn't get the call to South Bend but Santana did?

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby toonsterwu » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:04 am

Wouldn't surprise me if it was something as simple as age/stuff/readiness. Santana's stuff, IIRC, was really good ... mid-90's fastball, sharp breaking ball. Add in that he was in his age 21 season, and will be in his age 22 season, perhaps the Cubs simply wanted to push Santana and see what they had.

There's really only three names I really want to hear about in the coming weeks chats - Santana in the MWL (he sort of dropped off the radar a bit, and that's probably partially due to the lack of innings in Eugene and, subsequently, South Bend), Jeffrey Baez in MWL/CL, and Jeimer Candelario in SL. Very curious how those three get talked about.

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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby davell » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:31 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Guys like Ryan Burr, Kellogg, Twomey, Jordan Brink, Jake Brentz, and Caleb Smith would outrank him if any threw enough innings. I'll also throw Mariners LHP Gohara in as a guy that probably should have made it over him as well. Maybe even younger, promoted to full season org mate Alex Santana...

Guy was a 5th/6th year pro and just mastered SS ball. While he's 6'3", he's already about 215 or so and not projectable or athletic. Nothing really special about any of his pitches, generic prospect RH repertoire (low 90s fastball, slider, barely there change), average size and not long limbed...maybe a middle reliever ceiling, probably an org arm. A strong performance, not impossible even for fringe prospects, and some technicalities got him on the list - entirely possible when we're talking 19th on a given short season league top 20 prospect list.


Why is Caleb Smith listed here? He's 24 and in AA.
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Re: NWL Top 20 List

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:44 pm

davell wrote:Why is Caleb Smith listed here? He's 24 and in AA.


AAA, IIRC, and not that Caleb Smith. The Giants happened to draft a lefty two years younger with the same name, height, and around the same weight. He struck out 42 in 24 IP or something like that.

Toonster, Santana probably had the best in game fastball on Eugene's roster - at least among the guys I saw during those 4-5 games. He threw one particularly nasty sinker, 94 and heavy, that basically single handedly put him on my radar. Meh other pitches, and not very big so limited to reliever only, but that was a really nice pitch. I'll save you time on Baez and give you the heads up that he's boring. Candelario improved his defense, filled out his lower body a little bit without hurting his athleticism, leaned out the upper body, and generally just looked way better than last year. Next year will tell us more than this year did about his ceiling, though I think he showed he has a good work ethic and makeup this year.


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