2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
Starter
Posts: 933
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:29 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:I think Almora's ceiling right now, if the changes are real, is something like a right-handed Gerardo Parra that has the ability to play CF. Which I'd be absolutely thrilled with.


Yeah, I was thinking Parra-esque. Seems like Almora's way in will be hitting LHP and playing defense.

User avatar
Transmogrified Tiger
Hall of Fame
Posts: 49202
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:23 am
Location: Puget Sound

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:35 pm

I think that sells his ceiling short a bit. If his 2nd half is at all close to the new norm, he's a guy who hit .304/.368/.470/.838 in AA as a CF at 21 with preternaturally good defense and contact rates. That's not a guy who needs a time share arrangement, I mean look at the fWAR numbers Odubel Herrera put up this year. Not that Almora is exceptionally likely to reach that, but if we're using the word ceiling, taking into consideration Almora's real performance(which appears to be due to a mechanical adjustment) it's fair to aim higher than solid D platoon OF.

User avatar
Cubswin11
Superstar
Posts: 10503
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:17 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:13 pm

I didn't mean to say he's a platoon player, just meant more that I think Parra's offensive profile is what I could see as a decent comp for him. .270-.280/.320-.330/.415-.430 type slash line with 6% BB rate and 15% K rate, low-mid teens type HR potential and gold glove defense.
Screw Pitchers

User avatar
sneakypower
Javy Baez Fanclub President
Posts: 10436
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: behind the boathouse

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby sneakypower » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:22 pm

to me, Almora is skinny Aaron Rowand
Image

craig
All-Star
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:52 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:26 pm

A really good defender who hits in the low .700's-OPS is very valuable. (Inciarte.) Really good defense and high .700's-OPS (Heyward) can get hundreds of millions. We don't know where Almora will end up, but he's got the chance to be more than a platoon guy.

Q's:
1. Will the 2nd-half splurge carry over? A lot of guys get in a groove and have a beautiful month; but can they sustain that?
2. Will he ever hit HR? We know he'll not be a power guy. But Heyward has been an 11-14 HR guy for four of the last five years. Not implausible that a 21-year-old could add a few more, and get up to the 11-14 range....
3. How will his K/BB/HR hold up at higher level, like the majors?

4. I think a crucial question really is how good is his actual defense? Seems to me a lot of guys get touted as defenders in the minors; but not all of them play out as premium defenders in the majors. If Almora was to play a full season of CF in the majors, would he still be coming out as one of the best? Or relative to the high standard of big-league CFers, would he be fairly average? The WAR equation is totally different for really exceptional defenders like Heyward and Inciarte.

Big year for him. We'll know a lot more a year from now.
Last edited by craig on Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

craig
All-Star
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:52 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:27 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:I didn't mean to say he's a platoon player, just meant more that I think Parra's offensive profile is what I could see as a decent comp for him. .270-.280/.320-.330/.415-.430 type slash line with 6% BB rate and 15% K rate, low-mid teens type HR potential and gold glove defense.


With great defense, that would be really, really valuable.

User avatar
JennieGarthAlgar
Starter
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Peoria Hills, 61630

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby JennieGarthAlgar » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:12 am

craig wrote:
4. I think a crucial question really is how good is his actual defense? Seems to me a lot of guys get touted as defenders in the minors; but not all of them play out as premium defenders in the majors. If Almora was to play a full season of CF in the majors, would he still be coming out as one of the best? Or relative to the high standard of big-league CFers, would he be fairly average? The WAR equation is totally different for really exceptional defenders like Heyward and Inciarte.



Considering that by all accounts he has just average speed, its his instincts/routes that make him a great defender. So those things should translate to ML.

User avatar
David
Hall of Fame
Posts: 45384
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby David » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:58 pm

JennieGarthAlgar wrote:
craig wrote:
4. I think a crucial question really is how good is his actual defense? Seems to me a lot of guys get touted as defenders in the minors; but not all of them play out as premium defenders in the majors. If Almora was to play a full season of CF in the majors, would he still be coming out as one of the best? Or relative to the high standard of big-league CFers, would he be fairly average? The WAR equation is totally different for really exceptional defenders like Heyward and Inciarte.



Considering that by all accounts he has just average speed, its his instincts/routes that make him a great defender. So those things should translate to ML.


it's also those qualities that might mean he's overrated as a defender. in fact, lacking speed but having great instincts could be exactly the combination of attributes that could lead to a lot of great looking catches that maybe shouldn't be so great looking. we won't know until we see him everyday and see what the different metrics and things like statcast think of him.
Image

User avatar
sneakypower
Javy Baez Fanclub President
Posts: 10436
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: behind the boathouse

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby sneakypower » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:07 pm

you're talking like you haven't paid attention to scouts consistently touting his routes specifically...it's a definite skill that we can reasonably expect to carry through
Image

User avatar
David
Hall of Fame
Posts: 45384
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby David » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:14 pm

sneakypower wrote:you're talking like you haven't paid attention to scouts consistently touting his routes specifically...it's a definite skill that we can reasonably expect to carry through


that doesn't mean the product of that skill is "elite" or even "great" defensive CFer.

we'll see.

the majority of scouting reports were down on bryant as a 3B - admittedly, so was I from the little i had seen (and, admittedly, there was the occasional positive report), i don't recall hearing from any of them that soler might be a complete sinkhole bad in RF, while the consensus was pretty right on about addison. I'm just saying i don't trust the random scouts that we hear snippets from on the internet all that much.

i certainly don't expect almora to be a bad OFer or anything.
Image

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
Starter
Posts: 933
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:26 pm

David wrote:
sneakypower wrote:you're talking like you haven't paid attention to scouts consistently touting his routes specifically...it's a definite skill that we can reasonably expect to carry through


that doesn't mean the product of that skill is "elite" or even "great" defensive CFer.

we'll see.

the majority of scouting reports were down on bryant as a 3B - admittedly, so was I from the little i had seen (and, admittedly, there was the occasional positive report), i don't recall hearing from any of them that soler might be a complete sinkhole bad in RF, while the consensus was pretty right on about addison. I'm just saying i don't trust the random scouts that we hear snippets from on the internet all that much.

i certainly don't expect almora to be a bad OFer or anything.


Feel the same way...Dont trust the opinions and don't think it's even kinda sorta a given that Almora is an elite or great defensive ML OF until he's doing it in the majors. Too much noise in the minors for something that can already be noisy in the majors.

User avatar
Bear Cub
Role Player
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:22 am
Location: Geneseo, Il

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Bear Cub » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:10 am

Dont forget Trey Martin. he got the minor league gold glove for all minor league ball.
Bring Sammy back into the Cubs family!

User avatar
Hairyducked Idiot
Kyle in disguise
Posts: 31177
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:42 am
Location: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:32 am

re: Almora's defense, besides the fact that there's all this fuzziness between reports and how a guy shows up (though lately that's been in the Cubs' favor as often as not), I think sometimes fans misinterpret what is said.

Up-the-middle positions at the MLB level have very high defensive standards. A slightly below average MLB CFer is still one of the best 50 or so defensive outfielders in the game. A guy who can play an MLB-decent CF is going to get gushing reviews in the minors, but it doesn't mean we can start plugging him in as a +15 run defender. Most of the actual scouting reports I've read about Almora (not just gushing manager quotes or third-hand repetitions) have been more "this guy can play CF in the majors" than "this guy is going to be the next Andruw Jones." His defense seems to be more floor than ceiling (or better, more present than projected).

User avatar
Transmogrified Tiger
Hall of Fame
Posts: 49202
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:23 am
Location: Puget Sound

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:39 am

I know this is your pet peeve, but come on. Every report I've ever seen on Almora's defense from draft day to now has characterized him as a terrific defender. If you want to say they're just wrong then okay, but even on the curve of subjective evaluations Almora is still considered a very good defensive CF.

User avatar
Hairyducked Idiot
Kyle in disguise
Posts: 31177
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:42 am
Location: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:08 am

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:I know this is your pet peeve, but come on. Every report I've ever seen on Almora's defense from draft day to now has characterized him as a terrific defender. If you want to say they're just wrong then okay, but even on the curve of subjective evaluations Almora is still considered a very good defensive CF.


We're talking about what it means when they say "terrific defender."

The *actual scouting reports* I've seen tend to put a 60 on it.

Just for fun, here's three things I could dig up on Dexter Fowler from 2009:

http://www.rotowire.com/baseball/showAr ... m?id=11277
"an excellent defensive outfielder."

https://diamondcutter.wordpress.com/200 ... er-fowler/
"a plus-defender"

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/pro ... pid=451594
"a plus, plus defender in center field."

Fowler's coming off his career best -1.9 UZR/150 for the Cubs last year in CF.

toonsterwu
All-Star
Posts: 3878
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:10 am

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby toonsterwu » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:40 am

Well ... since I had time to scan the boards this morning ... I sort of get what Kyle is ... questioning? ... here on Almora. Yes, Almora is touted as a solid defender, but keep in mind that this is an "instinct" judgment (ability to read/get jumps) rather than an assessment on tools (I don't recall any tools report saying he was a top shelf defensive tools guy ... good, yes, not great). Thus, I think it's valid to question until it's seen, as you would still prefer the elite defensive tools to work with.

Now, the flip side is, I forget who, but someone last year noted that his speed might've gotten better as he physically matured. If that's the case, that does greatly increase the probability of him becoming the top shelf defensive centerfielder at the next level, as his arm is certainly a good one.

Personally, I think Almora might be the type that is a very good defensive centerfielder in his early-mid-20's, but may see a decline earlier than others and be better off in a corner role by his late 20's. Nothing to base it on, other than loose body point assessment. At the end of the day, if his offense/approach develops enough, he'll get a look from the Cubs provided we haven't dealt for a long term solution in CF.

craig
All-Star
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:52 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:58 am

Amora has gotten uniformly favorable defensive evals. Still, it's hard to evaluate exactly how good that will project to at the big-league level.
1. It's very hard to be an average big-league CFer. Nobody who's average CF in the majors got negative defensive evals in the minors, I don't think.
2. Hairy's note are well taken; guys who we view as sub-average now got favorable evals in the minors.
3. I'm sure I'm accurate that Almora's scouting reports have consensus projected that he would/could stay in center, and be good defensively there. But I'm not sure many have really been projecting gold-glove, or top-10-percentile, or anything like that?
4. Some big-league CFers are really good. Some both get good jumps/take good routes, PLUS have top-end speed. Without the top-end speed, there will likely be some balls where Almora gets a good jump and runs a good route, but he just can't quite run the ball down; some CFers likewise get great jumps and run great routes, but who's speed just expands their range somewhat further than Almora's. He can't be the perfect CFer, and it may be more likely that he'll fall into the 50th-80th percentile defensively than into the >90th percentile.
5. Enough favorable scouting to assume he'll not be sub-average. But 50th percentile vs 60th vs 75th vs 88th vs 98th, +5, +10, +15, +20 runs, those are all different places. Not sure how good on the continuum from good-to-great that he'll be. Without knowing how good he'll be defensively it's hard to know how much offense he'll need to become a desirable starter. Stating the obvious.

User avatar
sneakypower
Javy Baez Fanclub President
Posts: 10436
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: behind the boathouse

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby sneakypower » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:35 am

i fully expect him to be somewhere near +5 in CF, especially in this ballpark; guys here are making it sound like he'll be playing in the Polo Grounds and his lack of burner speed will be exploited on the reg

doing that he can still be a league average type starter with just a .700 OPS / 90 OPS+

i should probably clarify that personally i largely feel like strong CF defense is more predicated on reps/reads unless you're just an elite athletic specimen like Billy Hamilton/Corey Patterson...there have been countless players without the prototypical top-level athleticism who were plus fielders when they were right (Aaron Rowand, Mark Kotsay, Vernon Wells, Jay Payton, Jim Edmonds, Randy Winn, Curtis Granderson, Colby Rasmus, Marlon Byrd, Jon Jay, etc.)

statcast route efficiency ratings would be elucidatory here for sure
Image

craig
All-Star
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:52 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:42 pm

Reads/routes are more important than speed, and there are plenty of good CF without great speed. Everybody agrees on that, I think. And that Almora not only can but is likely to be good, speed notwithstanding.

Great location/movement is more important than great velocity for pitchers, but Cy Youngs sometimes have location/movement AND velocity.

I don't think Almora's speed will be exploited "on the reg". But over 160 games, there may be a couple of balls he just can't quite get to.

User avatar
David
Hall of Fame
Posts: 45384
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby David » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:58 pm

http://www.bleachernation.com/2015/12/2 ... andelario/

And that’s good, because his bat could be special. If he pans out as a hitter he could play anywhere, but he would be all the more valuable at a more premium position such as third. Candelario is a switch-hitter who has the potential to hit for both power and average from both sides of the plate. He does not strike out at a concerning rate, walks quite a bit, and can send line drives sailing to pretty much any part of the diamond. This is the sort of bat that could look good in the middle of a lot of lineups.
His Myrtle Beach numbers are quite good: 343 PA, .270/.318/.415, 5 HR, 5.8% BB%, 18.1% K%. For a guy who played all year at age 21, that is a good line. It is also completely blown away by what he did in Tennessee.

The Double A edition of Candelario’s age 21 season looked like this: 182 PA, .291/.379/.462, 5 HR, 12.1% B%, 11.5% K%. If your jaw isn’t on the floor, you probably misread that line. Even allowing for the fact that the Southern League is more hitter friendly than the Carolina League and that the Smokies play in a relatively slugger friendly stadium, that is a remarkable set of numbers when compared to what he did in Myrtle Beach.

There’s more. Candelario’s Batting Average on Balls In Play was .320 with Myrtle Beach, but fell to .308 in Tennessee. That means he posted that marked increase in production without any significant increase in good luck. What’s more, he walked more than he struck out. That is a very good sign for a young Double A hitter.

How good of a sign? Here is the list of every single player who has posted more walks than strikeouts over at least 180 plate appearances in his age 21 season (or younger) in the Southern League going back to 2006 (data from Fangraphs):

Michael Brantley (twice)
Jason Heyward
Logan Morrison
Ronald Torreyes
Jeimer Candelario

That’s it. That’s the list. Two stars, an everyday player, a guy who just reached the majors last season, and Candelario. Of that list, only Heyward posted a better ISO than Candelario in their year of record.

I’m not sure what happened here, but a sample of 182 Plate Appearances is too much to just ignore. A random hot streak can account for some of it, but I have a hard time crediting just a hot streak with a decline in strikeout rate of the size Candelario experienced between High A and Double A. Whatever the cause, be it luck or a change in ballpark or a matter some lessons taking hold or a combination of factors, Candelario ended the season on a high note that he continued in the Arizona Fall League (89 PA, .329/.371/.610, 5 HR, 6.7% BB%, 11.2% K%). As a result, he will enter 2016 as one of the best hitters in the farm system.
Image

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
Starter
Posts: 933
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:14 pm

I mean - there's other context involved (farm system is weaker, highest upside guys are at the lower levels and/or got hurt) - but I dig me some Candelario and have him as an easy top 10 system guy.

I think he can be a similar on field player to Chase Headley, but I always compare him to Mike Lowell because of the praise he earns for his makeup, character, and work ethic. He could find himself on successful and loaded rosters, like Lowell did, because teams will value his character as much as his baseball skill. Do think there's a solid 3B glove, line drive bat with plate discipline in there.

User avatar
David
Hall of Fame
Posts: 45384
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby David » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:28 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:I mean - there's other context involved (farm system is weaker, highest upside guys are at the lower levels and/or got hurt) - but I dig me some Candelario and have him as an easy top 10 system guy.

I think he can be a similar on field player to Chase Headley, but I always compare him to Mike Lowell because of the praise he earns for his makeup, character, and work ethic. He could find himself on successful and loaded rosters, like Lowell did, because teams will value his character as much as his baseball skill. Do think there's a solid 3B glove, line drive bat with plate discipline in there.


well, those guys both were elite defensively.

it looks like candelario might be able to stick at 3b, but i can't imagine he'll ever be that. but i get what you're saying, otherwise.
Image

User avatar
Transmogrified Tiger
Hall of Fame
Posts: 49202
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:23 am
Location: Puget Sound

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:34 pm

Interesting that of the 4 others on that AA list of BB > K, two of them were purposefully acquired by this regime. A decision of Villanueva v. Candelario will probably have to be made eventually, the 40 man will probably be a bit crowded otherwise. That's one little point in favor of Candelario.

User avatar
Cubswin11
Superstar
Posts: 10503
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:17 pm

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:48 pm

I've always liked Jeimer, hopefully he can carry what he did last year and in the AFL into the first half this year and we can use him as a main piece at the deadline to acquire whatever our main need may be.
Screw Pitchers

User avatar
JennieGarthAlgar
Starter
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Peoria Hills, 61630

Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby JennieGarthAlgar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:51 pm

David wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:I mean - there's other context involved (farm system is weaker, highest upside guys are at the lower levels and/or got hurt) - but I dig me some Candelario and have him as an easy top 10 system guy.

I think he can be a similar on field player to Chase Headley, but I always compare him to Mike Lowell because of the praise he earns for his makeup, character, and work ethic. He could find himself on successful and loaded rosters, like Lowell did, because teams will value his character as much as his baseball skill. Do think there's a solid 3B glove, line drive bat with plate discipline in there.


well, those guys both were elite defensively.

it looks like candelario might be able to stick at 3b, but i can't imagine he'll ever be that. but i get what you're saying, otherwise.


It's obvious his comp is Placido Polanco


Return to “Minor Leagues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest