2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

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Re: 2016 Cubs Farm and Prospect Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:41 am

craig wrote:Watkins was simply being used as an example of a struggle-then-finish-stronger guy. That profile also applied to Caratini, who needed a stronger finish to get his OPS up, but still only to a still-meager .714, with a still light-hitting 4 HR, and a still light-hitting .372 slugging.

(Heh heh, this is outside the point that Watkins was a struggle-then-finish-stronger guy. But in comparing age-21-Daytona Watkins to age-21-Caratini,
Caratini had fewer HR's, lower slugging, and was ~40 points lower OPS. Fortunately for him, the offensive bar is low for catchers.)

Those numbers given context - position, league (league OPS was .679 for Caratini, .716 for Watkins), K:BB (advantage Caratini), K%-BB% (advantage Caratini), league SLG (.344 SLG/.108 IsoSLG for Caratini, .386/.124 for Watkins) show Caratini as the better offensive player in High A. Caratini had more power - an above league average .115 IsoSLG to Watkins' league average IsoSLG of .123. Caratini walked more, struck out less, hit in a tougher environment, played the tougher position....It's honestly not close as to who the better prospect is.


So, if you check out his monthly splits and game logs on BbRef, Caratini was only a below league average league hitter for one month - a 54 PA April. It is very similar situation to Heyward's first ~55 PAs last year dragging his stats down for months and months, though obviously Caratini isn't nearly the player Heyward is and didn't go off quite as much as Heyward did. Over Caratini's final 399 regular season PAs (keep in mind he also tore up the playoffs and he put up a .786 OPS over the final 103 PAs), he put up a .265/.351/.390 batting line with 34 XBHs, an 11.2% BB rate, and a 45/68 BB/K. This is while learning to play the most physically and mentally demanding position on the field...Actually, the more I look at Caratini's season the more serious a sleeper prospect he seems.

Here's a high quality profile on Caratini from after the trade:

http://www.chicagobaseballmuseum.org/fi ... 140818.pdf

Plenty of stuff and quotes from non-anonymous sources about his receiving potential, work ethic, aptitude, and so on. Caratini also mentions something I vaguely remember reading multiple times before - that the Cubs heavily scouted him before the draft in 2013 and kept eyes on him even after he signed with the Braves. CCO even states that the Cubs picked the Braves' offer over 5 other offers, so they definitely sought out Caratini.

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