Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Who should be the #1 Prospect?

Poll ended at Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:53 pm

Albert Almora
2
4%
Dylan Cease
0
No votes
Willson Contreras
20
36%
Oscar De La Cruz
0
No votes
Carl Edwards
0
No votes
Ian Happ
0
No votes
Eloy Jimenez
1
2%
Billy McKinney
0
No votes
Gleyber Torres
33
59%
Duane Underwood
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 56

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Tim
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Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:53 pm

Make your choice for the Cubs 2016 #1 prospect.

Cast votes for the players you think would be deserving at #1. You can vote for one player at this point, but you can change your vote up to the closing date.

If you want to have a player added to the list, please say so.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:07 pm

Maybe I'm just spoiled at this point, but I feel like this system has a whole bunch of #3-5 prospects instead of a real #1 prospect. I know that is complete nonsense, but I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm not really excited about any of these guys, but I like a whole bunch of them. That doesn't really help me pick one at #1.

Torres is a pretty safe pick, but I hate putting a guy who I view to be a really good bet to be a solid role player at #1 instead of someone who could make a real difference for the team.

I'm tempted to put Contreras at #1 because you don't have to be that exceptional at catcher to be really valuable. I could see him matching some of Soto's good years back there and that would add a lot of value to the team. But there is still so much uncertainty about his value as a receiver and his ability to replicate his offensive performance from 2015.

Happ could go #1 on the recent track record of the Cubs taking college bats at the top of the draft. He's another up the middle player, too. If he had only struck out a little less in A ball last year, I'd feel a lot better about him.

If Almora had put together a whole year like he did in July and August, he'd be an easy pick.

Jimenez is just so far away.

The only pitcher without major warts at this point is the one we know the least about in De La Cruz. Again, so far away.

I guess I'll go Torres for now. I may change my vote on this one before it's over, though.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:42 pm

You better believe that you will very soon be seeing an Eloy vote. But I'll go with Contreras here.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby sneakypower » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:10 pm

Gleyber Torres by a fair margin
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:10 pm

sneakypower wrote:Gleyber Torres by a fair margin

Care to make the case?
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:15 pm

Here's one way to make the case...by Fangraph's KATOH projection system, Torres ranks as the #11 prospect in all of baseball. There's not another Cub until Almora at 46.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby toonsterwu » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:51 pm

I get what Tim is saying, that there isn't a number 1, but someone has to go there, and I have to vote Gleyber on this one. Obviously, there's two ways to look at the kid -

a) a guy who lacks plus tools, and might have to move off short at some point yet hasn't shown power development

b) a broad-based tools kid who has a shot at sticking at short who has shown an advanced feel at the plate so far and showed increased potential for sticking at short last year. A kid who should develop some power as he matures.

Considering age, tools, reputation, and performance, it's easy to believe in B right now.

I can see the argument for Contreras here, but if I were making an argument as to why I'm going Torres, I'd argue that Contreras' positive timeline isn't that much faster than Torres (if all goes well, Torres hits AA late in 2016, and has an outside shot in the bigs in 2017, while Contreras probably has to wait until 2017, which is justifiable as he is still developing behind the plate), and Torres' ceiling seems a bit higher if all goes well. That said, I get a vote for Contreras as well.

With Happ, sort of want to see where his defensive position is and how he hits next year before pushing him ahead of two guys have solid ceilings and performed well this past year.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby sneakypower » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:57 pm

Tim wrote:
sneakypower wrote:Gleyber Torres by a fair margin

Care to make the case?

Willson was great, but last year was his first standout year in 5 tries at full-season ball so you'll forgive me if i'd like to see a little bit more...proof, that he's a changed man

Torres is pretty firmly in the top-25 overall neighborhood; looking at his nearest contemporaries he's a better hitter than Ozzy Albies and has a more well-rounded profile than Rafael Devers, albeit without the power projection ceiling

seems like there's a pretty distinct breakdown at the moment
top-25: Torres
top-50: Contreras
top-75: Happ
top-100: McKinney / Almora / Underwood / EJM
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Bilbo161 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:01 pm

Almost took Almora for the high floor and not so bad ceiling either but I put Contreras 1st. Can't wait to see these guys in ST.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:15 pm

Gimme Contreras. I'm more convinced that his breakout is sustainable(maybe not to his exact AA numbers, but to the extent that he's real) given his tools and peripherals than I am that Torres will do two of 1) add power 2) continue to hit 3) prove to be a MLB SS.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:26 pm

Willson Contreras for me.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:32 pm

Also, please list any guys that should be added to the poll for #2. I think EJM could be added as there is at least one "pro" guy out there who said he'd be 1-1 in the draft.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby vance_the_cubs_fan » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:25 pm

I vote Gleybar.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby davell » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:04 pm

I think it's Torres and not all that close honestly. Outside of a few reports back when he was still an IFA, there's been extremely little(if any at all) questioning as to whether he'll stick at SS. Is he an uber ceiling guy? Of course not. But a solid defense, solid bat at SS is a very valuable commodity. He's super advanced for his age too, I'd liken him to Starlin in a lot of ways(just not as good of contact). With Contreras having actual questions due to him being fairly raw defensively, it's an easy choice for me. Even if I think Contreras is the better pick to actually play for the Cubs at some point.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby philosophizer75 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:26 am

I'm gonna go with Almora. Not because I think he actually gonna be picked as our number one prospect. Rather, I have faith that he is fixed and I think he could very realistically help the Cubs out in a big way soon if he is.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Gilby » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:40 am

Contreras.

It was his first really good season, but he did it in his first taste of Double-A, which is huge to me, and is still only 23. 140 games with a ~.900 ops, combining Double-A and the AFL, as a 23 year old catcher is more than enough to be #1 in this system.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby toonsterwu » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:29 pm

sneakypower wrote:
Tim wrote:
sneakypower wrote:Gleyber Torres by a fair margin

Care to make the case?

Willson was great, but last year was his first standout year in 5 tries at full-season ball so you'll forgive me if i'd like to see a little bit more...proof, that he's a changed man

Torres is pretty firmly in the top-25 overall neighborhood; looking at his nearest contemporaries he's a better hitter than Ozzy Albies and has a more well-rounded profile than Rafael Devers, albeit without the power projection ceiling

seems like there's a pretty distinct breakdown at the moment
top-25: Torres
top-50: Contreras
top-75: Happ
top-100: McKinney / Almora / Underwood / EJM


I voted for Gleyber, but one could argue that Willson accomplishing it against double A pitching somewhat mollifies concerns that he's a one year wonder. I think that concern still exists, but his breakthrough didn't come against A ball pitching that often lacks something ... breaking balls, changeups, consistency, command, etceteras.

___

That said, I think this one is done. I'm curious, outside of perhaps a few votes for Happ/Eloy/Almora, I'm assuming we can get 2 done fast, as I think Contreras would take that.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby CyHawk_Cub » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:09 pm

I went w/ Contreras, though for me it is a virtual coin-flip between he & Torres. I totally understand the concern over lack of track record, but given his position, and relative lack of AB's until 2015, I'll cut him some slack.

I want to believe in Almora, but I need to see more than a two month stretch of good numbers as he hasn't done much since he was in Peoria in 2013.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby David » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:38 pm

CyHawk_Cub wrote:I want to believe in Almora, but I need to see more than a two month stretch of good numbers as he hasn't done much since he was in Peoria in 2013.


He was in the Cardinals system? :-k
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby Duke Silver » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:10 pm

I'm a little late on this. I went with Gleyber. It's pretty much a toss-up and I go back and forth on this myself. My choosing Gleyber is no knock on Contreras; I really like Contreras. I am fine with him only having a single year of stand-out numbers offensively. I certainly would like to see him do the same thing again, but I think the changes were real. Strikeouts down, walks up, etc. He hit in the AFL, too. I think he is for real. I would have him in my top-25 in all of baseball. I understand why he's not, and it's on him to prove that last year wasn't a fluke. I'm not sure what to expect from him defensively, but he has a nice arm and I'm hoping he is able to be a decent backstop.

Gleyber is another player I really like, though. It's easy to mark him down a notch for how he finished off the season. But, I keep forgetting just how young he is. After seeing him in person, I was taken aback by how impressive he is with the bat. He has a really nice stroke and has a great feel for hitting. I think the power will come -- at least double-digit homers. He hits the ball hard, but it's all on a line. I think there is power there already and that it will come out with time. Regardless, I think he is a pretty safe bet to hit for a high average. The strikeouts are concerning, sure. But with his feel for hitting, I think he will be just fine. I also am not too concerned with him about sticking at short. I like his arm a lot. And I think he has good instincts.

It's close. They are both borderline top-20 to -25 guys in baseball, in my mind. But, I am going to go with Gleyber because of his age. There is definitely a little there to dream on with him being so young. Sure, he doesn't have elite potential or any elite tools, and he is praised for being advanced. So that dampers those hopes a little. But, it doesn't take much offense for a legitimate big league shortstop to be really good. And I think he can fit the bill.
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Re: Cubs 2016 #1 Prospect

Postby craig » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:25 pm

Torres. My understanding is that there are zero questions about his SS defense, that he safely projects as a big-league SS, and will probably be a plus big-league defensive SS. My understanding is that he's much like Russell defensively; he's really good, really smooth/coordinated/polished/instinctive, even though he may not have a Dunston arm or look super fast.

With Contreras, he's my definite #2.I think questions remain whether he can become above-average or average as an overall big-league defensive catcher, when framing and blocking and pitch-calling and pitcher-handling and all of those things get considered.

So for me it's the defensive no-worries-excellent versus the defensive-not-so-sure-yet that distinguished Torres and Contreras.

That said, with Russell at SS, I won't be surprised if Torres ends at 2nd, where he'll be a big defensive asset just as Russell was at 2nd. Not because he's not a good defender who'd be good at SS, just because SS is blocked. Think "might end up at 2B" sometimes implies defensive limits, maybe-not-good-enough-for-SS. Doesn't apply here at all in Torres case.
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