BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

toonsterwu
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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby toonsterwu » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:24 pm

I've really got no huge issue with Edwards outside of the top 10. Look, at the end of the day, rankings are simply for discussion, and Manuel is one of the better ones out there. It sounds like he was fairly thorough in doing the legwork, and IIRC, he was huge on Edwards last year (as he acknowledges in the chat). If the thought process is that he feels that Carl, as a reliever, is not a surefire bet to dominate, and thus, the question of his value to the organization, as a whole, becomes trickier to assess, then okay. I don't think I would leave Edwards out of a top 10, but I don't have a problem with the argument for it. Everyone ranks differently, and it really comes down to what criteria you are utilizing and emphasizing. It sounds like, in this case, he made a value assessment (to put him outside the top 11 - he basically says Zagunis is 11). Doesn't mean he's right, doesn't mean he 's wrong, but I can understand his thought process behind it. A measure of upside, a measure of value.

The Pierce Johnson statement is a bit more telling. If his stuff has backed up ... he's really not that intriguing. I mean, what held his intrigue was the potential of two plus pitches utilized in some role (starting or out of the pen).

Vogelbach out of the top 30? Eh. Don't agree. Dewees in 21-30 range? I'm okay with that, but he's got more potential to be a long term CF than McKinney, so the wide gap seems questionable. Again, no issue with it, though. Wish he had given more analysis on Trevor Clifton in that question. Felix Pena borderline top 30? Admittedly, hadn't thought about it, but at first thought, okay, why not? 3-7 top 100? Based on his list, the debate is on Underwood/Cease/Almora/McKinney. I'd be surprised if more than 2 made it in, in all honesty. Markey, Skulina, and Chesny Young as borderline top 30? Wouldn't really think all three of them would make it.

System rank 7-12? Okay. His 2nd comment (about the plethora of bad systems out there) is the more telling statement. The statements on Candelario's defense was quite ... stunning. "outstanding defender"? If so, then we might be under-selling Candelario. 2 of Williams/Null/Torrez in the top 30? Okay, I can see that, but geesh, he's throwing a lot of guys out there as top 30. Granted, he wasn't done with the list when he did the chat. Christian Villanueva as the White Sox 3rd baseman is ... funny.

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TomtheBombadil
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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:33 pm

He doesn't say anything about Edwards as a reliever besides him being docked solely because of it. No need to add words. My thinking is we're basically witnessing continued racism against relievers. BA is the most scout heavy one, and scouts want SPs. I understand why they did it, just think it is wrong in the context of ranking prospects in this individual system. He didn't even mention the walks or anything.

Agreed most with the "light on his feet" comment on Candelario and am more worried about HR power than his defense.

I like Null some in a Scott Feldman kind of way, liked him in the draft too, and would have him in my top 30. The others not so much, really think Williams is org depth more than an actual prospect.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby Tim » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:40 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:He doesn't say anything about Edwards as a reliever besides him being docked solely because of it. No need to add words. My thinking is we're basically witnessing continued racism against relievers. BA is the most scout heavy one, and scouts want SPs. I understand why they did it, just think it is wrong in the context of ranking this individual system. He didn't even mention the walks or anything.

Agreed most with the "light on his feet" comment on Candelario and am more worried about HR power than his defense.

I like Null some in a Scott Feldman kind of way, liked him in the draft too, and would have him in my top 30. The others not so much, really think Williams is org depth more than an actual prospect.

I think it's the 42 free passes in 55 innings as much as being a reliever that docked him.
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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:57 pm

Tim wrote:I think it's the 42 free passes in 55 innings as much as being a reliever that docked him.


Not even mentioned, and blows by all the good stuff.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby craig » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:30 am

There aren't many teams looking hard to trade for DH's whose only skill is walking. I don't really see any problem with Vogelbach being outside the top 30. (He's at #40 on my list! :))

I have Edwards well into my top 10.

But really, other than Candelario, I don't see compelling reason to flip Edwards over the guys BA included.
*The info Manuel got on de la Cruz was pretty enthusiastic. "Beast", "stud", plus movement-plus-velocity fastball that touches 97, throws strikes, I can see why Manuel ranked him ahead of a wild reliever if that's his intel. Maybe his info is baloney, and the scouts he talked to weren't really that smart, so Edwards as a 7th inning reliever may have a much more valuable career, very possible. But I can see how a possible rotation asset would rank ahead of a wild reliever.
*Likewise Jiminez, with his power potential, I don't think it would have been wise to exclude him from the top 10. So if those guys are coming in 8th/9th, I don't see huge argument about posting 42walk/53inning Edwards behind them.

It's maybe the nature of the ranking/projecting business to try to ID and rank impact players. Cease, Jiminez with his Bryant/Schwarber-level raw power (and no attitude/effort/intelligence/contact/K issues thus far), and DelaCruz (given the "stuff" evaluations Manual was working with), those three have shots to be stars or high-impact guys. I think BA doesn't want to omit possible impact guys like that, and if they do their is no shame there, since they obviously mention how distant and raw and short-season each of those three guys are. But If Edwards becomes an effective setup reliever, I don't think BA would have the same "How did we miss that guy?" shame. Miss on setup reliever, o well. Miss on a big star? Big miss.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby craig » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:48 am

I'm not that big a Candelario guy. So I had Edwards ahead of him. Seems like a decent-across guy, but not sure I see anything special.
*Manuel has his defense and arm really good. Just this week Law thought his defense was a limitation, rather than a significant asset. I assume he's got a good chance to be fine, but not a "because of his glove" guy. I'm a little guarded there.
*I'm optimistic about his power. But none of the scouting reports really describe him as a HR-guy. He's been a 10-11 HR guy, while young. So, I'm very optimistic that he project the raw power and hitting skill to eventually be a 14-24 HR kind of guy. But none of the scouting reports seem to scout as having big power in the Baez/Soler/Schwarber/Bryant/Jiminez mold, or even in the Addison Russell mode. I'm guarded their too.
*His K/BB are solid, very much so if he was a HR guy, but at the same time not amazing or anything. And his average hasn't been anything wow. .270's this year, .250 previous season. I'm pretty optimistic; K/BB is controlled, and having 8/1 K/HR ratios at 20/21 gives him a serious chance to maintain respectable K/HR ratios future. But I don't get the sense that his wrists and bat-speed have the "pop" that really good hitters have. So, again I'm guarded.

Seems like a very nice prospect, but maybe more a guy who might be an average-across-the-board guy rather than good-at-everything-and-special-at-something.

Overall a very good prospect, and we'll see what the new summer brings. Hopefully he'll step everything up, the more Manuel-like defensive evals will become the norm and win out over the Law-view. Hopefully his BABIP will look better, and he'll bump his HR's a little further.

I admit a certain level of hypocrisy, probably. Candelario has a chance to be a solid/average starter. I see Almora as having a chance to be a solid/average starter. I've got Almora in my top 5, because given the Cubs present layout, a capable solid/average CFer projects to be a very valuable commodity. And with Soler/Schwarber having defensive limits on one or the other or both sides, having a good-D CFer seems especially important long-term. Perhaps if 3B was to Candelario what CF is to Almora, perhaps I'd have Candelario securely in my top 10, and Almora on or off the bubble too.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby craig » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:18 am

I think Manuel has Happ too high. I included Edwards in my top ten; Happ, Candelario, and DelaRosa were three who I didn't include. Why is Happ too high?
1. So many K's. He's got the nice stroke that appeals to scouts. But, he's consistently been a high-K guy in college, and he's been a high-K guy in his first pro summer, even against short-season and A- pitching. K-issues are a concern to me for a guy who's gotten quite a few post-HS AB's. There might be some good underlying reasons why he so frequently swings-and-misses. And swing-and-miss issues usually get worse up the ladder, particularly in the majors.
2. Overrated Defense. I think Manuel seems too favorable about Happ's defense. Manuel casts his 2B defense in a favorable light, and made Zobrist allusions, and hopefully for good reason. But I'm pretty guarded/skeptical there. I know he played 2B in instrux, and he played center in minors, but I'm somewhat doubtful that he'll really be big-league average at either 2B or CF, or anything like Zobrist who's a super fluid/coordinated/instinctive guy everywhere. Az Phil is of course no scout; but his comment on 2B Happ in instrux was "looks stiff". I'm guessing that perhaps Happ will blossom defensively and perhaps be able to give LaStella-caliber 2B, or Denorfia-caliber CF. But I'm guessing that really LF/RF are the only two positions where he's got much chance to ever be a big-league asset defensively.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby craig » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:35 am

3 thoughts:
1. Manuel suggested 7-12 for Cubs placement. That seems pretty reasonable to me, although perhaps a little high. I think often the guys who write up a particular organization tend to fall in love with their guys a little bit. Some of the other BA guys might not value the Cubs as much, so wouldn't be surprised if they ended somewhere more around 15, but whatever. Doesn't matter much either way.

2. Much of Manuel's info comes from other scouts, but also talking to internal Cubs people. That's especially true for low-exposure guys like DelaRosa, Jiminez, Cease, and instrux-level Happ. Not tons of premier scouts flocking to Northwest-League games. I suspect Cubs sources probably pump their guys pretty much, even if not necessarily as flagrantly as Hendry and Fleita did. When you look at Manuel's info, several key evals hinge on Cub sources:
*Torres: "Some club officials give Torres plus future power"
*Happ: "He focused solely on playing second base in instructional league and impressed club officials with his athleticism, making throws from all angles and improving his footwork."
*De La Cruz: "His fastball sits in the 92-93 mph range but bumps 97 regularly when his delivery is in sync" (seems like Cubs info....) "Club officials try to rein in their enthusiasm with regard to de la Cruz, but they clearly have high hopes for him."

Cubs know more and give more thought to their guys than anybody else. So, honest internal eval is probably more valuable than any other source we have access to. And given the recent success the Cubs have had with their evaluations and development, plus how articular Cubs guys tend to be, I can see how Manuel would tend to respect their input. Still, it does make me wonder if what Manuel hears and what influences his rankings, whether all of that really is honest or not? Call me guarded.... :)

3. Pretty impressive/encouraging to have a system with so many impact graduations, and then still have possible impact guys like Cease/DelaRosa/Jiminez still hanging out in the 5-9 range, and still have many possible perfectly-solid-regulars prospects like Contreras/Almora/McKinney/Candelario still included, and to have a possible impact-reliever like Edwards not even make it. And to have a guy like Eddy Julio Martinez who may be JAG but perhaps will be a special athlete who perhaps will also hit besides waiting behind, and a nice prospect like Steele waiting to perhaps earn solid top-10 future. Good place to be.

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Re: BA's Cubs 2015-16 Top 10 Prospects

Postby toonsterwu » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:55 pm

I wonder if the Happ ranking is sort of by default. That is, it's somewhat hard figuring out who to put up there, and with a respected college pedigree, you are sort of hoping on it.

The Zobrist comps - don't like. Zobrist was a shortstop coming up (even in the Astros farm coming up, IIRC). A lot more fluid than Happ seems to be. Happ, at the same age, seems to have much more offensive potential. Just an odd comp, IMO (other than 2nd/possible corner OF ...).

The beauty of this list, if anything, is in it's identification of upside, which, in some respects, gives us a better grasp of how Manuel's sources are feeling on other guys as well. I mean, in noting de la Cruz and Cease's pitching upside, and Underwood as a possible 3, it sort of gives us an identification on the potential ceiling of other arms.

As for de la Cruz, even I tend to think that report was a bit gushing (now, he did have such a season that perhaps all the scouts that saw him were that gushing), and I've been fascinated with de la Cruz. On profile, this is an exciting kid. Frame, stuff, velo, mechanics - I mean, on paper, other than a good 3rd option, which is fine at his age, he's a fascinating arm. Profiles only matter when it comes to rankings, though. I do think de la Cruz sounds far more intriguing than any Latin American arm we've had come through the pipeline in a LONG time.

As for the system rank, I did a quick scan when this came up in another thread, and while systems across the board are down, I still have, on a quick glance, around 10 teams ahead of the Cubs myself.


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