2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

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CaliforniaRaisin
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:42 pm


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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Tim » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:55 pm

JennieGarthAlgar wrote:
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

Not really.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby CubsWin » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:58 am

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:

Wow, that's high praise. Callis is a bit Cub-centric, though. Seems an endorsement of the quality and quantity of the Cubs depth.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby JennieGarthAlgar » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:13 am

Tim wrote:
JennieGarthAlgar wrote:
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

Not really.


But they are both Hispanic infielders with "O's" at the end of their name.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:02 am

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:


Agree that Callis tends to rate Cubs higher than other evaluators do. But the fact that he can still view them as perhaps a top-10 system after all of the graduations really is pretty amazing. Not sure most evaluators will have them in top-10, for whatever little it's worth, but to still be top-half and even a consideration for top-10 is pretty nice.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:24 am

Not that it really matters but I'd be pretty surprised if we aren't in the top 10 of most guys rankings. Torres and Contreras are going to be top 50 guys just about everywhere and then some combination of Jeimer, Eloy, EJM, Almora, Underwood, Mckinney, and Happ will be inside of guys top 100 and probably a few will be in top 75-50s of some evaluators.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby toonsterwu » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:43 pm

I think organizational rankings this year will really be an eye of the beholder type situation. I mean, you can pick apart our system easily, and there's a lot of systems bunched after the top few. I do think we're probably top half, but even some systems that I thought were "bad" or bottom third, really have intriguing bright spots (one that comes to mind is Tampa ... maybe I had a slanted view of them before I took a look, but I like that system quite a bit, particularly it's up the middle depth and young arms). Heck, I think the Padres system is a lot better than general thought (although admittedly, this is post-trade). The Giants are generally considered a weaker system right now (I think), but they've got some arms in that system. I remember looking at the lists a couple weeks back and thinking that after the top 7, a whole bunch of clubs are bunched together until the bottom 5-6).

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby davell » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:09 pm

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/ ... nt=event25

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2016 ... g-smarter/

Pretty interesting stuff, Arguello may very well bring up some points here. At any rate, it's obvious we believe in this stuff.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:11 pm

Thanks, Dave, that's really interesting. Some thoughts:
1. I'd think this kind of thing would take a while to become useful. The quality of the programming and the relevance of the results, not easy or quick to scientifically confirm.
2. If this was useful, I'd think you'd want to be doing a lot of "tests" on actual major-leaguers. If the assessment really has useful predictive powers, then guys who actually are good hitters should tend to score better than guys who aren't very good. I wonder how well the tool tests in that regard?
3. Presumably it would be useful for assessment purposes. (Does Schwarber or Zagunis or DJ Wilson "have it", and Ryan Harvey does not?) But I suppose the concept that it could actually help guys practice and quicken their brain and their recognition skills, while that would seem a higher and less likely-to-be-realistic goal, that would be pretty interesting if it actually worked.
4. In the Boston article, the tool was supposedly already being used by a handful of teams, and being presented to a bunch more. If half the league has it, it becomes like the radar gun; little competitive advantage. I'd think you'd like to have something unique and proprietary, or self-optimized that's better than what the other teams have. I suppose several teams could all have it, but if the Cubs were uniquely wise in knowing how significantly to factor it into their assessment, that could still be an advantage.

5. Arguello has some interesting scouting observations in there about DJ Wilson.
Based on what I have seen so far -- including his late summer and fall performance, the HR derby run to the finals, and his crackling assualt on the breaking ball BP machine, the Cubs may have been right on the money with that pick.
I assume he noted that back in the fall, but I hadn't seen that. Sounds encouraging, particularly having the power to get to the HR-derby finals.

6. That said, I think Arguello has it wrong on Wilson being an overslot surprise pick, suggesting that perhaps his surprising selection/$$ was informed by some special neuroscience insight. My understanding is that BA-etc. underestimated the interest there was in him, and that there were several teams calling him first day including supplemental; but he was still demanding more on Day 1 than he ended up settling for from the Cubs on Day 2. So in reality the Cubs were not at all unique in their valuation. HS prospects in lowish-profile states can raise their stock significantly late by looking impressive in in state playoffs against the best pitching, sometimes too late for the BA-rankings to reflect.

Anyway, hopefully the Cubs are getting some shrewd insights from this neuroscience stuff. That would be cool. And hopefully Wilson is going to be a good-hitter and a good pick.

If the neuroscience bit actually was pretty useful, I wonder if that might not be especially nice for Latin prospects? For guys who never play in actual games against actual pitching, how can you tell whether they'll be able to recognize real pitches? If some tool like this gave insight, that could really help ascertain which raw athlete will be more likely to actually become a hitter.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:41 am

Wilson turns 20 in October. I wonder if he'll just one-step it, and do Eugene this summer? Or if he might perhaps be a fast-track guy who'd jump straight to South Bend?

EJ Martinez is 20. I also wonder where he'll start. I'd guess they'd be pretty careful/slow with him, likely keep him initially under the instruction-heavy environment of XST, much more daily teaching and coaching, Cubs-Way enculturation, English training, weight-room/dietary training, I'd imagine. If he's doing well, maybe get him up to full-season after some weeks in XST; if he's not doing all that great, maybe Boise?

Would be cool to have both martinez and Wilson both in full-season and both succeeding in full season.

Heyward, lots of CF possibilities. Will Heyward stay in CF all 3 years, or not? Will Almora affirm his August hitting and emerge into a desirable regular CF fixture in due time, or not? Hopefully Heyward and Almora will both be excellent in center. May also be that in 3 years, Heyward will leave and Almora won't be entrenched. If either Wilson or Martinez blossomed really well, 3-years could be a reasonable window to progress and be about ready to graduate. 3 years might be a little quick, but if one of them really has it, perhaps being ready at age 22 (Wilson) or 23 (Martinez) would be OK.

Will be interesting to track. Well, hopefully. Might not be that interesting if none of Almora, Martinez, or Wilson ever really emerge as more than fringe guys.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Duke Silver » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:29 pm

Reading about that just makes me angry that we didn't get Theo a year before. Mookie Betts would look pretty good in a Cubs uniform. I know it's not exactly like it would be an even swap and we would just have all the guys the Red Sox drafted, or anything remotely close to that. But, the Red Sox killed that 2011 draft -- though they did have four picks in the top 40, thanks to compensation picks. Betts, Swihart, Jackie Bradley Jr., Travis Shaw, Henry Owens. That's 11 wins from those five last year, with only Betts playing a full season. The rest were mid-season call-ups. Plus two relievers in Matt Barnes and Noe Ramirez who have made it to the majors and are at least semi-intriguing.

Throw in Bogaerts and Theo built a nice young foundation for the team projected as the AL's best team, not to mention what he's built here.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:46 pm

If I had to guess - Wilson is in Eugene and Martinez is in South Bend. Could easily see them switching between CF and a corner for Eugene, which is not an easy place to hit.

My hope is Heyward is moved out of CF because Almora and friends help land Ozuna and Fernandez. Otherwise, I think he's the CF the next three years for the most part.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:10 am

Add Dewees as perhaps also an outside possibility in the CF future. Arm is weak, but it's better than Pierre.

We'd like perfect players everywhere, of course, so I don't want a weak-armed CF. But often you end up choosing between guys with flaws. *IF* he has true CF range, and *IF* he hits well, and *IF* his only flaw is his arm, perhaps other alternative guys post-Heyward may have worse flaws than that, and he'll enter the discussion.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby weis21 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:51 am


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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Tim » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:46 am


I strongly anticipate a bombadil meltdown because of a certain ranking.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby toonsterwu » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:55 am



Haven't been a huge fan of this new guy's work there. I have no clue what his background is, compared to Kiley, and overall, I don't have a gigantically huge problem with the list, but ... it's an odd list, and like his other work so far, he seems to place an abnormally high emphasis on "gut feeling" for some players. You know the ranking that sort of had me aghast? I can sort of ... sort of ... get past the Vogelbach/Contreras/Almora/Edwards rankings. Ryan Williams, and more specifically, his note that he thought about pushing him much higher was just ... odd. Jake Stinnett at 13? I get gut feeling as a component in rankings, and here's hoping Stinnett bounces ... well ... forward, but c'mon, at his age, prove something first.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:00 am

Tim wrote:

I strongly anticipate a bombadil meltdown because of a certain ranking.


Underwood at 3?

I can't get mad at this. With FanGraphs reeling from the McDaniel loss, they'll need a while to get their feet back under them in the prospect world. The free content is nice to pass the significant amount of offseason time left, but yeah this isn't the list to make all lists or anything.

toonsterwu wrote:


Haven't been a huge fan of this new guy's work there. I have no clue what his background is, compared to Kiley, and overall, I don't have a gigantically huge problem with the list, but ... it's an odd list, and like his other work so far, he seems to place an abnormally high emphasis on "gut feeling" for some players. You know the ranking that sort of had me aghast? I can sort of ... sort of ... get past the Vogelbach/Contreras/Almora/Edwards rankings. Ryan Williams, and more specifically, his note that he thought about pushing him much higher was just ... odd. Jake Stinnett at 13? I get gut feeling as a component in rankings, and here's hoping Stinnett bounces ... well ... forward, but c'mon, at his age, prove something first.


I don't mind gut feelings, in the end there isn't so much info on these guys that you can't have an opinion. That said, this guy has a weird gut and I don't particularly like or share his taste in prospects.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Tim » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:09 am

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Tim wrote:

I strongly anticipate a bombadil meltdown because of a certain ranking.


Underwood at 3?

CJ at 14.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:29 am

Tim wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
Tim wrote:

I strongly anticipate a bombadil meltdown because of a certain ranking.


Underwood at 3?

CJ at 14.


Oh, :shrugs:

I read a few of the write ups and they seemed fair - Johnson, Edwards, and Contreras...He seems to be taking some risks, possibly in hopes of building his reputation.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby craig » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:38 am

Interesting list, and some interesting perspectives based on quick skim. I'm no scout, so don't know how to evaluate scouts or players very well.

I wonder how many views he gets on guys to shape his report? His Zastryzny report almost sounds like it's largely based on one AFL game (when "good" Zastryzny made a somewhat rare appearance.)

He has swing perspective/breakdown/analysis/opinion on lots of the hitters, which I think are potentially quite interesting. But are they based on enough AB's to be accurate? Seems to me that a guy's swing can look very different from one week to the next, really from one pitch to the next.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:25 pm

craig wrote:Interesting list, and some interesting perspectives based on quick skim. I'm no scout, so don't know how to evaluate...players very well.

I wonder how many views he gets on guys to shape his report? His Zastryzny report almost sounds like it's largely based on one AFL game (when "good" Zastryzny made a somewhat rare appearance.)


Just out of curiosity: when did this become standard procedure when offering opinions on baseball players? Don't get me wrong - breaking down swings or pitching mechanics is probably best left for the pros, but a strong general opinion can be formed without all that. It's still just baseball.

Agreed on Zastrzny....I don't think he's a ML SP at all.

This system is hard as [expletive] as rank to this year, if you're even into rankings. Half the top 10 isn't already written like in recent years. Throw in the loss of McDaniel and I'm just giving FanGraphs the mulligan.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Little Slide Rooter » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:54 pm

A lot of surprises there. Not so much the players but where they're ranked. I really don't get how Vogelbach is ahead of Almora. Almora is a 21 year old at AA, a potentially elite defenseman, and coming off a huge 2nd half with the bat. Vogelbach's a mediocre season away from AAAA.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby davell » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:26 pm

Prospect coverage is down. Not JUST at FG, but BP and BA too. Law is consistent for ESPN and at least Callis is solid at MLB for the most part.(used to be great) That said, FG went from being great, with Kiley, to the worst of the bunch, by far. This guys lists so far have been cringe worthy. Finding guys is an issue though, as more and more get scooped up by teams.This guy won't last long though.

So when I saw his Cubs list, I wasn't surprised whatsoever. In fact, I was expecting it to be worse. Not for nothing, this is the first report I've seen of Stinnett in the low to mid 90's since he's been a pro. I'm assuming its just a mistake on this guys part.
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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby toonsterwu » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:42 pm

Don't get me wrong, I am fine with "gut feeling" as a component of prospect ranking. After all, we're projecting kids whose bodies haven't physically matured yet ... and more importantly, haven't mentally matured yet (remember when Mark Pawelek was supposed to be a superbly mature 18 year old?). I just think he places an abnormally high amount of gut feeling calls on certain prospects. I'm too lazy to dig up his other lists, but there was a Braves pitching prospect that engendered a crap ton of discussion by folks in the comments.

I don't mind Contreras' ranking, but the read of that is essentially: here's a talented kid, my Cubs sources say they rank him top 5, he has shown defensive potential and offensive improvement/potential, but I'm ranking him lower than most because my gut feeling says so even though his talent deserves to be higher. To me, if you are supposed to be doing prospect rankings for official sites, you need to be able to blend in all the components.

___

I'm also baffled at how he views the term "mid-rotation starter". Could I see Ryan Williams developing into a Kyle Hendricks-ish arm in terms of fringe stuff but the command plays? Sure, but the idea that Ryan Williams has sleeper mid-rotation potential baffles me in terms of traditional scouting views. He acknowledges the lack of plus pitches across the board, and while I don't have the old scouting "views" information in front of me, I don't recall a mid-rotation label slapped on a pitcher with a lack of a plus pitch, particularly a lack of a plus fastball. I guess it could be an issue of semantics here, as he could view mid-rotation as a 4th starter?

___

On a side note, is this the guy that helped start that AFL site with that ... uh ... some Cubs guy was in that as well.

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby Tryptamine » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:45 pm

I do not like this list at all.


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