NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

User avatar
Tim
Hall of Fame
Posts: 44101
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: Naperville, IL
x 65
x 1808
Contact:

NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby Tim » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:00 am

For this prospect ranking season, I'd like to use the prospect ranking page I built for the front end.

I propose that we do several rounds of voting, each round lasting a week. Between each round, we can argue the merits of our choices, lobby to have people moved up or down in the rankings, etc. Each person can vote multiple times each week, but only each person's final vote each week will count in the rankings.

1) does this process sound good or should we do it in the more traditional way?
2) what changes / enhancements should be made to the rankings page and the analysis page before we get kicked off? I know I'll need to add support to the analysis page for "Ranking by week"

There aren't nearly as many blue chip prospects as in years past, but there is still some good talent in the system. It should be fun!
1 x
Spoiler: show

Image

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:04 am

Oh yay, time to start figuring out how much I really like Kellogg and Paredes (aka the two non-Jimenez talents I favor most, for lack of a better phrase) compared to their peers in the system.
0 x

davell
Hall of Fame
Posts: 20993
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:55 pm
x 1598
x 2034

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby davell » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:25 am

Eloy, Happ, Cease, Candelario, Clifton, De La Cruz, 7-25 are damn near interchangeable
1 x
Additional rule: you have to have one or the other.The only exception is you have an amazing board name. davell, I'm looking at you; put up a [expletive] avatar or something if your name only sounds like somebody tried say Dave as they lapsed into a coma.

User avatar
CyHawk_Cub
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5799
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:24 pm
x 69
x 1241

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby CyHawk_Cub » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:11 am

Eloy = the only prospect I'd be bummed to lose in a trade, especially if it's for a pitcher
Happ = ehh, switch hitter, so cool I guess. Most Cubs fans I know love him though, so what do I know.
Jeimer = love him, but wouldn't hate to see him moved w/ his stock likely as high as it'll ever be
Paredes = love

A bunch of pitchers that I just can't get myself to care about much.
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:45 am

davell wrote:Eloy, Happ, Cease, Candelario, Clifton, De La Cruz, 7-25 are damn near interchangeable


Honestly you can start tossing it up after the first two or three.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:57 pm

Your tool works really well, Tim. I like the format.

To me, I see
clear 1: Jiminez
Clear 2: Cease.

3-5 definite: Clifton, de la Cruz, and Happ. (That's my order, but any order is fine I think. Although at this point I'm thinking Clifton has the edge here.)

6-9, I've got Zastryzny/Hatch/Albertos/Candelario as a group. I can understand tom or others wanting to bump Paredes or Kellogg, for example, into that group.

10-17, Guys I see as possible if unlikely starters, as opposed to role guys: Paredes, Eddy Martinez, Paulino, Kellogg, Hudson, Clark, and Zagunis.

17-21, I've grouped a bunch of long-distance but-who-knows-who-might-work-out Latin guys. Who know which might emerge as a serious guy, perhaps a good or even impact starter someday? Galindo, Marquiez, sierra, Amaya, Ademan.

22-24: Position bench/utility/role guys: Caratini, dewees, Wilson

25-41: Pile of pitchers. Variably distant; variably plausible for relief versus rotation; variably wild; variably good velocity. steele, Rivero, Williams, Pierce Johnson, Underwood, Moreno, Carrera, Miller. Who knows who might emerge? Last year Zastryzny and Pena would have been in that crowd for me; both ended up pitching for the Cubs, and Zastryzny is now probably #6 starter.

Perhaps several of these belong higher. For me I just found it helpful to group "types" of guys, and then try to rank within their sub-group.

Not sure how much star-power there is, outside of the Eloy/Cease. Hopefully one of the far-away Latin kids will emerge with some star-power. But still some guys with opportunity to become useful major-league guys.

I also suspect the Cubs development program may be helpful. May do a better job in optimizing guys compared to the Fleita program.
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

I'm not sure about Kellogg and Paredes in the 6-9 range, maybe since I don't love the system right now (do like it's potential, but they're clearly turning over), but soooooo many pre-injured pitchers at the top of the prospect pitching depth. Cease, de la Cruz, Albertos...I think Caratini needs more top 10 love, he's an age appropriate, steady climbing, switch hitting catcher with no questions about staying at the position and a patient approach at the plate. He seems to get penalized in the site rankings due to his fit on the Cubs' roster being bench/role, but he has a starting catcher's profile. I also believe Wilson has a higher ceiling than role player.

I have serious questions about Clark and Zagunis being starter quality prospects one day. I feel like Clark gets oversold from last year's draft, he's been bad so much more often than good as a pitcher. I don't see what makes him better than a Hockin or Mekkes.
0 x

Post Count Padder
Superstar
Posts: 14646
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2003 8:51 pm
Location: In your dreams
x 15
x 99

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby Post Count Padder » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:59 pm

Here's my hastily made Top 40. Let the hot takes fly.
Attachments
ranking.jpg
ranking.jpg (30.71 KiB) Viewed 2380 times
0 x
formerly known as PriorPower
formerly known as the guy with Huston Street in his sig

:flythew:

User avatar
Transmogrified Tiger
Inner-Circle HOF
Posts: 55189
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:23 pm
Location: Greater St. Louis
x 382
x 5218

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:03 pm

I haven't given a ton of thought to this but Eloy and Happ are 1 and 2 with a bullet. I'm not all that high on Cease but there's also a dearth of players to really claim spots after Happ too. I will probably continue my Ryan Williams crusade by putting him way higher than most everyone else.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:28 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:I'm not sure about Kellogg and Paredes in the 6-9 range, maybe since I don't love the system right now (do like it's potential, but they're clearly turning over), but soooooo many pre-injured pitchers at the top of the prospect pitching depth. Cease, de la Cruz, Albertos...I think Caratini needs more top 10 love, he's an age appropriate, steady climbing, switch hitting catcher with no questions about staying at the position and a patient approach at the plate. He seems to get penalized in the site rankings due to his fit on the Cubs' roster being bench/role, but he has a starting catcher's profile. I also believe Wilson has a higher ceiling than role player.

I have serious questions about Clark and Zagunis being starter quality prospects one day. I feel like Clark gets oversold from last year's draft, he's been bad so much more often than good as a pitcher. I don't see what makes him better than a Hockin or Mekkes.


Fair point. Of course, anybody beyond the first one or two guys, there are serious questions about whether they'll be starter-quality guys. Even if healthy, who knows if de la Cruz will have the command or the diversity of pitches to start? Most good relievers were once variably good rotation prospects.

Will be interesting to see how other people place guys. Everybody has their own views, of course.
1. I don't have Caratini as high as you because I perceive him as a 2nd-catcher. Little power, and I don't get the sense that his defense is excellent or above-average. Obviously starting catchers sit more than other players, though; so being a 2nd catcher can be a very important guy. A 50-start second-catcher, that's still a lot of games. So, perhaps I am undervaluing him on that basis. I just struggle to envision him being an above-average starting catcher.
2. Clark, I don't know that much. I'm interested in Clark because he throws hard and has excellent stuff; but also largely because IMO he hasn't failed yet. Maybe just a novelty factor, but I tend to rank guys up a little bit who are too new for me to know their faults. Clark may well have some, at which point he'll drop on my chart. But for now I'm not sure he does, and until they manifest I'm ranking him up some.
*My understanding is that Cubs thought his 2016 college season was compromised by injury. (Was it his ankle or knee ? Don't remember, but it was NOT his arm.) So I'm kind of passing off his mediocre college season to health rather than concluding that he's prohibitively wild and always will be.
*Maybe the "hasn't failed yet"/"hasn't shown his limits yes" is dumb. But until a guy fails or shows what he can't do, it gives the possibility that his ceiling is higher.
0 x

davell
Hall of Fame
Posts: 20993
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:55 pm
x 1598
x 2034

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby davell » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:53 pm

I read somewhere that Caratini's D regressed to below average. That said, he's still got time. I THINK he's in my 7-10 range, with Zastryzny, Paulino, and Zagunis.

My 11-15 currently has Albertos, DeWees, Paredes, Hatch, and Ryan Williams if his shoulder is still attached.

16-20 is Wilson, EJM, Young, Kellogg, and Pena

21-25 is Moreno, Underwood, Rondon, Ademan, and Marquez


But this WILL change fairly often, as 7-25 seems interchangeable, but I'll probably stick with 7-10 as my actual top 10 long term.
0 x
Additional rule: you have to have one or the other.The only exception is you have an amazing board name. davell, I'm looking at you; put up a [expletive] avatar or something if your name only sounds like somebody tried say Dave as they lapsed into a coma.

User avatar
Tim
Hall of Fame
Posts: 44101
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: Naperville, IL
x 65
x 1808
Contact:

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby Tim » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:16 pm

In this system, I'm probably higher on Zagunis than most. I think he'll hit enough to have at least some kind of a role. He could probably step in for Szczur today and do just as well with those 200 AB. I could see him as a respectable starter for a second division team, so someone that will carry at least a little trade value.
0 x
Spoiler: show

Image

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:57 pm

I'm thinking maybe something like....After the first four I am thrown off and will have to reshuffle and rethink:

Jimenez - Outright

Happ - I'm most concerned about swing and miss.

Candelario - Strong approach, great makeup, but something is missing (power) that this guy is not an outright awesome prospect.

Hatch - Hatch over Clifton since he profiles better as a strike thrower and starter. Edge over Cease for the same reasons plus no surgery.

Cease - Improved delivery and some strong periphs in Eugene, but durability, command, control, and injury history limit ceiling more than I think gets acknowledged.

Caratini - Switch hitting C lacks the arm and power to be an elite prospect, but does more things right than wrong.

Zastryzny - Impressive during callup, good velocity for a LH, healthy, shouldn't really be this high.

Pena - Failed starter logged ~130 innings with >K/IP at AA in 2015 before converting to relief and posting some strong numbers in Iowa and striking out 13 over his first 9 ML innings. If Grimm were to be traded, this guy or Zastryzny are the obvious in-house candidates for that spot.

Clifton - How much did he benefit from pitching MB all year? He wasn't so much better than last year when hitters were league average against him. So far I think of him as a possible Justin Grimm type RP.

Wilson - Showed off surprising power as well as outstanding speed/defense in a tough stop for hitters. Rivals Cease as the best prospect on the 2016 Emeralds, I might lean him because horsefeathers pitchers. Kept his K rate below league average, his 3 HRs were tied for 4th on Eugene but he and Galindo were the only teenagers to hit more than 1.

de la Cruz - JMHT - injury risk is understated and ceiling is overstated. More control than command with the fastball, mostly two pitches. More in the mold of an Ivan Nova or tall Matt Garza (the MLer, not the prospect - I'd love if he became prospect Garza soon) than an ace.

Paredes - Understated star potential going off early returns, arguably the best performer in the system after Jimenez relative to age and league. If he's not a SS that's fine, force feed him Jason Kipnis video.

Kellogg - I think it's clear I'm a fan. Got better during the season in relevant areas (more Ks, fewer walks, fewer HRs), projectable, healthy and conditioned to be a starter, improving tempo in delivery, arguably the best command and control on the farm...all the ingredients are there and if I had balls, I'd rank him above de la Cruz and even Clifton. I can always reshuffle this offseason anyway.

Martinez - Another one I like more than the spot indicates. Showed power/speed/defense and patience with SB this year after the expectation was a SS assignment for the first year Cuban. Had not played a pro season in some years. Has a starter's ceiling, but needs reps.

Underwood - He's still only 22 in 2017 and has managed to avoid the knife. I like basically nothing about his pro performance, but he's not officially dead yet.

Zagunis - Possibly a RH Coghlan? Another one where the ranking maybe undersells him, but also I might like him more than I thought.

Marquez - Top rated 2015 7/2 LHP, one of the class' hardest throwers, one of the handful youngest players in the system, and was arguably the top performing DSL pitcher for the Cubs with lots of Ks and groundballs. High ceiling

Steele

Sierra - Showed more speed than maybe expected, solid performance, big and athletic

Jose Gutierrez - SH CF was less raw than advertised, showed power/speed/defense while avoiding heavy Ks

OK I'm short and still pondering....Most of these names would be on the 25, just haven't thought it out
Last edited by TomtheBombadil on Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:57 pm

Tim wrote:In this system, I'm probably higher on Zagunis than most. I think he'll hit enough to have at least some kind of a role. He could probably step in for Szczur today and do just as well with those 200 AB. I could see him as a respectable starter for a second division team, so someone that will carry at least a little trade value.


Yeah I rethought of him as a Coghlan type and he now makes sense to me.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:57 pm

Tim wrote:In this system, I'm probably higher on Zagunis than most. I think he'll hit enough to have at least some kind of a role. He could probably step in for Szczur today and do just as well with those 200 AB. I could see him as a respectable starter for a second division team, so someone that will carry at least a little trade value.


Zagunis career .836 OPS with .401 OBP. In five minor league stops of >2 games, his worst OPS is Myrtle at .818; the other four have all been .846 or higher. This year he slugged .469 with 10 HR in 101 games. He's 23, so not old for an AAA guy. Don't see why he might not project to potentially have enough bat to be a starter in the majors.

I'm still curious how the power will go, up or down. Better pitching in majors, it goes down for lots of guys. (Baez thus far, for example.) But quite a few guys get stronger after age 23.
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:57 pm

Tim, I can neither use the ranking page on my iPhone or iPad.
0 x

User avatar
Tim
Hall of Fame
Posts: 44101
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: Naperville, IL
x 65
x 1808
Contact:

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby Tim » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:00 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Tim, I can neither use the ranking page on my iPhone or iPad.

Yeah, javascript drag and drop doesn't work nearly as well on IOS.
0 x
Spoiler: show

Image

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:38 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:I'm thinking maybe something like....After the first four I am thrown off and will have to reshuffle and rethink:
...Happ - I'm most concerned about swing and miss.....


I'm hugely concerned about that. He's K'd a ton at every level, just as he K'd a lot in college. No hint that this is a correctable problem. Huge red flag for me. Statistically, not sure he's got the HR power to justify so many K's. But even more than the K's as a number, I wonder if that isn't just a manifestation of a scouting/tools problem. You don't continuously K that often without there being a reason, or perhaps several reasons. Sometimes the higher you go, the more the reasons get exposed or perhaps taken advantage of. Without either a strong defensive position or a strong HR rate, I'm pretty cautious on his ability to work around the contact problems that cause the high K-rate. I've got some Brett Jackson concerns, honestly.

That said, I'm hopeful I'm just paranoid, and that somehow the problem will be somewhat correctable. Scouts and stuff don't seem to view his contact problem as being acute and prohibitive; he still ranked shockingly high in the Southern League BA rankings, for example, and smart Cub fans like you still have him as high as #2. So perhaps my concerns are misplaced in some way.
0 x

ddwyer
Role Player
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Onalaska, WI

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby ddwyer » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:50 pm

I tried to rank the prospects but my browser does not allow the drag and drop. I tried using Explorer, Edge and Firefox. Maybe I have a setting goofed up? thanks for any help.
ddwyer
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:55 pm

craig wrote:I'm hugely concerned about that. He's K'd a ton at every level, just as he K'd a lot in college. No hint that this is a correctable problem. Huge red flag for me. Statistically, not sure he's got the HR power to justify so many K's. But even more than the K's as a number, I wonder if that isn't just a manifestation of a scouting/tools problem. You don't continuously K that often without there being a reason, or perhaps several reasons. Sometimes the higher you go, the more the reasons get exposed or perhaps taken advantage of. Without either a strong defensive position or a strong HR rate, I'm pretty cautious on his ability to work around the contact problems that cause the high K-rate. I've got some Brett Jackson concerns, honestly.

That said, I'm hopeful I'm just paranoid, and that somehow the problem will be somewhat correctable. Scouts and stuff don't seem to view his contact problem as being acute and prohibitive; he still ranked shockingly high in the Southern League BA rankings, for example, and smart Cub fans like you still have him as high as #2. So perhaps my concerns are misplaced in some way.


I think it's a serious concern, enough that it's literally all I noted. This is the perfect example of why I don't care much for rankings and prefer the writeup. That #2 offers no relevant context by itself. There's maybe shades of Brett Jackson, the potential is there, but he has some outs for now. Jackson did strike out relatively more while Happ offers both infield and switch hitting features that add to his profile.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:31 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:I'm thinking maybe something like....After the first four I am thrown off and will have to reshuffle and rethink:
[#10]. Clifton - How much did he benefit from pitching MB all year? He wasn't so much better than last year when hitters were league average against him. So far I think of him as a possible Justin Grimm type RP.....


Not sure I'm tracking the MB logic here. Are you arguing that hitters were league average against him at SB, and that he isn't really much different/better now, his reputation/stats have just gotten deceptively padded by park/league effects? You've got him only #10, behind guys like Pena. I've actually got him higher, I had him 3rd on my list (behind Cease, in front of de la Cruz/Happ).

Couple thoughts:
1. You may be right. His numbers are as nice as they are in part because he allowed only 4 HR's, despite having only a 0.68 GO/AO ratio. May have gotten park/League lucky/protected, and it's a lot easier to pitch when you're not scared of HR's.
2. I thought his SB season showed considerable improvement. My recall is that he was wild and wildly inconsistent early, but that during July/August he was much more consistent. So even if his SB season was hitters-league-average, I think his late-season was probably much superior. And I think that continued and further-improved at MB.
3. One of the late scouting reports evaluated him as having 3 solid-to-plus big-league pitches, in the fastball, the curve, and the change. Can't remember, was that an announcer or manager, so perhaps baloney? Or perhaps the BA Top-20 or something?
4. His K-rate is solid. More than K-per-inning. So, good stuff seems to be there.
5. HIs 2016 couldn't have all been park/league. He was league pitcher of the year, and led that league in WHIP, BA-against, ERA, and was 3rd in K's. So, the league saw him as unusually good relative to the league.
6. I think his consistency and control improved as the year progressed. Over his last ten starts, he was 63K/10BB. That is VERY good. His stuff was good enough in SB, but he was too inconsistent. If the good-stuff 3-solid-pitches guy is able to fairly consistently access those pitches, there's potential there.
7. Young. He'll still be only 21 for first quarter of next season. So there's still time to continue to work on consistency and control. Obviously younger than Hatch (who I like very well) and de la Cruz and Kellogg and guys like that. So, young enough that there may still be a little more physical optimization and delivery optimization/consistency-improvement left for him.
8. One advantage as a starter is that he's got some interesting splits, or lack thereof. He was actually better versus lefties. May be coincidence, but doesn't appear that he'll get killed by the higher volume and quality of lefty hitters that big-league teams can stack against RHP.
9. He's had control issues in past. Those seemed to diminish a lot late last season, but that control/consistency is really a key question. Easy to have it when you're in a groove, when everything is going well, and when you're facing crummy Carolina-League hitters where even if you make a mistake they won't hit it over the wall. I think it will be huge question whether his control/command will be good enough going forward, and consistent enough. Easy come, easy go, I think.... That's where your Justin Grimm analogy may prove true. Grimm can look terrific on days when he can locate and throw strikes; but that ability can vanish in an instant, it seems. We'll see with Clifton, whether the strong control he showed 2nd half this year will be the steady thing from now on, or whether he'll be off-and-on.
10. The curve and the change, those are two very hard pitches to control and command. Easy to envision those being hard to consistently throw for strikes.
11. Clifton is now a pretty well built guy. I'm not sure there's any inherent reason why he'll be physically unable to sustain a rotation workload. Plenty of 6-inning starters around.
12. To my knowledge, he's pretty much fastball/curve/change. Don't think he's added the cutter yet. Sometimes when a guy finally adds the cutter, a pitcher can significantly improve his arsenal and effectiveness. So, it's possible that he's still got another positive step to take.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:43 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:....Jackson did strike out relatively more ....


You are correct. Happ is >22% K-rate; Jackson was <24% K-rate through AA. <2% difference through the comparable levels, but maybe even that is significant. It wasn't really till Jackson hit AAA that his K's went nuts.
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:50 pm

craig wrote:Not sure I'm tracking the MB logic here. Are you arguing that hitters were league average against him at SB, and that he isn't really much different/better now, his reputation/stats have just gotten deceptively padded by park/league effects? You've got him only #10, behind guys like Pena. I've actually got him higher, I had him 3rd on my list (behind Cease, in front of de la Cruz/Happ).

Couple thoughts:
1. You may be right. His numbers are as nice as they are in part because he allowed only 4 HR's, despite having only a 0.68 GO/AO ratio. May have gotten park/League lucky/protected, and it's a lot easier to pitch when you're not scared of HR's.
2. I thought his SB season showed considerable improvement. My recall is that he was wild and wildly inconsistent early, but that during July/August he was much more consistent. So even if his SB season was hitters-league-average, I think his late-season was probably much superior. And I think that continued and further-improved at MB.
3. One of the late scouting reports evaluated him as having 3 solid-to-plus big-league pitches, in the fastball, the curve, and the change. Can't remember, was that an announcer or manager, so perhaps baloney? Or perhaps the BA Top-20 or something?
4. His K-rate is solid. More than K-per-inning. So, good stuff seems to be there.
5. HIs 2016 couldn't have all been park/league. He was league pitcher of the year, and led that league in WHIP, BA-against, ERA, and was 3rd in K's. So, the league saw him as unusually good relative to the league.
6. I think his consistency and control improved as the year progressed. Over his last ten starts, he was 63K/10BB. That is VERY good. His stuff was good enough in SB, but he was too inconsistent. If the good-stuff 3-solid-pitches guy is able to fairly consistently access those pitches, there's potential there.
7. Young. He'll still be only 21 for first quarter of next season. So there's still time to continue to work on consistency and control. Obviously younger than Hatch (who I like very well) and de la Cruz and Kellogg and guys like that. So, young enough that there may still be a little more physical optimization and delivery optimization/consistency-improvement left for him.
8. One advantage as a starter is that he's got some interesting splits, or lack thereof. He was actually better versus lefties. May be coincidence, but doesn't appear that he'll get killed by the higher volume and quality of lefty hitters that big-league teams can stack against RHP.
9. He's had control issues in past. Those seemed to diminish a lot late last season, but that control/consistency is really a key question. Easy to have it when you're in a groove, when everything is going well, and when you're facing crummy Carolina-League hitters where even if you make a mistake they won't hit it over the wall. I think it will be huge question whether his control/command will be good enough going forward, and consistent enough. Easy come, easy go, I think.... That's where your Justin Grimm analogy may prove true. Grimm can look terrific on days when he can locate and throw strikes; but that ability can vanish in an instant, it seems. We'll see with Clifton, whether the strong control he showed 2nd half this year will be the steady thing from now on, or whether he'll be off-and-on.
10. The curve and the change, those are two very hard pitches to control and command. Easy to envision those being hard to consistently throw for strikes.
11. Clifton is now a pretty well built guy. I'm not sure there's any inherent reason why he'll be physically unable to sustain a rotation workload. Plenty of 6-inning starters around.
12. To my knowledge, he's pretty much fastball/curve/change. Don't think he's added the cutter yet. Sometimes when a guy finally adds the cutter, a pitcher can significantly improve his arsenal and effectiveness. So, it's possible that he's still got another positive step to take.


The 10 thing doesn't matter, those rankings are unofficial at best and again I prefer words. The bold is correct. Clifton throwing three pitches wasn't news to me, he's thrown the changeup since HS.

----

On the Jackson/Happ thing, there's a baseball book on finding that 2% difference. Plus there's the league contexts - Happ's leagues struck out more than Jackson's.
0 x

craig
All-Star
Posts: 4117
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:52 pm
x 40

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby craig » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:19 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
craig wrote:... Are you arguing that hitters were league average against him at SB, and that he isn't really much different/better now, his reputation/stats have just gotten deceptively padded by park/league effects? ..


..The bold is correct. ....


Tom, is this primarily a park thing, as opposed to a league thing? If it's a league thing, shouldn't all pitchers have received those league benefits?
0 x

User avatar
TomtheBombadil
5-Time All-Star
Posts: 5020
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:35 pm
x 264
x 349

Re: NSB Cubs Top 25 Prospects 2017

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:50 pm

craig wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
craig wrote:... Are you arguing that hitters were league average against him at SB, and that he isn't really much different/better now, his reputation/stats have just gotten deceptively padded by park/league effects? ..


..The bold is correct. ....


Tom, is this primarily a park thing, as opposed to a league thing? If it's a league thing, shouldn't all pitchers have received those league benefits?


Park
0 x


Return to “Minor Leagues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: NorthsideAvenger and 4 guests