Minor League Musings

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:54 pm

Bill: Nico Hoerner is only player from the 2018 draft in the AFL. He was hurt mid-season so he needs at bats. How is he holding up against upper level competition?

Keith Law: Smart player but didn’t make much hard contact and he’s smaller than I thought. I think maybe a high-average/high OBP second baseman?
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:41 am

https://www.milb.com/milb/news/eugene-e ... -299680052

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball announced today that the Eugene Emeralds of the Short Season Class A Northwest League are the recipients of the 53rd annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball.

The award has been presented since 1966 and is named after Hall of Famer Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail Sr., who introduced innovations such as night baseball, airplane travel, pension plans and batting helmets. The Emeralds will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Emeralds are the first Northwest League team to win the award since its inception.

"The Larry MacPhail Award is the most sought-after achievement in Minor League Baseball and we are so proud of our great staff led by Allan Benavides," said Emeralds Owner D.G. Elmore. "Winning this award is not just an award for the Emeralds and the Elmore Sports Group, but also for what is possible in a smaller market and Short Season baseball through creative thinking and hard work."


I hope the Cubs stick with Eugene for a long time. I feel it’s a great spot for players whose next step is the big bad world of full season ball. One of the best logos in baseball too with the Bigfoot thing
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:19 am

Bertz wrote:
Bill: Nico Hoerner is only player from the 2018 draft in the AFL. He was hurt mid-season so he needs at bats. How is he holding up against upper level competition?

Keith Law: Smart player but didn’t make much hard contact and he’s smaller than I thought. I think maybe a high-average/high OBP second baseman?


I think Keith Law saw him early during the AFL when he was scuffling a little bit?

I think he's actually well-built and pretty muscular... He's not tall, but I wouldn't call him small. He's definitely not Altuve or Pedroia or Nick Madrigal.

I agree that he can be a high-average/high-OBP guy, but I also think he could stick at SS. He will play 2B for us because we have Baez, but I think he's capable of playing SS. He might develop power as well, but I'm less certain of that because of his approach and how he uses his hands. He adjusts to the ball in mid-air really well, but he hits line drives and doesn't really get under the ball or hit it at a high launch angle from what I've seen. Yeah, I definitely think he'll hit for a good average. Just not sure about the power right now. That's just my opinion.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:08 am

10/25:

SS N. Hoerner 2/4, SB (1)
SP E. Leal 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 5-3 GO-FO, 47-29 pitches-strikes

Nico is now at .326/.347/.457/.803 in 49 PA.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:15 pm

Bertz wrote:
Bill: Nico Hoerner is only player from the 2018 draft in the AFL. He was hurt mid-season so he needs at bats. How is he holding up against upper level competition?

Keith Law: Smart player but didn’t make much hard contact and he’s smaller than I thought. I think maybe a high-average/high OBP second baseman?


Yeah, I noticed the size thing here:



He’s short and compact, maybe even a little stiff, with shorter arms and legs. Kinda caps his defensive ceiling as a 2B for me as well, don’t believe he’d do so well with a full time ML SS gig. I believe that build lends to good straight line speed and helps explain why the Cubs see a little more power (strong core), but also think it would hurt how his agility and arm play defensively at SS. There’s not alot of projection either, lower body will fill out costing defensive quickness but maybe gaining some power

Other things like his shiny new toy-ness, athletic conditioning, and on field awareness make SS in the minors and earliest MLs plausible enough but my guess is he’s more a Mark DeRosa type 2B/OF/SSinapinch as a ML.

BTW I’m a big fan of how aggressive the Cubs have been with prospects since the farm dropped in the rankings. Hoerner getting a debut season AFL assignment, Ademan in High A, Paredes skipped Eugene, Gutierrez skipped Eugene, and Marquez pitching some for South Bend are some examples. Seems like a nice way to keep the farm in play during a downturn and prep the survivors for the even more grinding ML grind.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:26 pm

Also ran into this:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fut ... was-black/

and want to say this is cool. I too have noticed seemingly more and more young black athletes are picking baseball and thriving in recent years. Last year’s draft as a banner year of sorts - a year after a black HS RH went 2 - with lots of highly relevant names, a couple first rounders, and the top ranked freshman in the nation. When’s the last time the #1 incoming freshman in the nation was a black kid?

I’m still looking forward to the Cubs - who play in Chicago for Jah’s sake - to land a black star (superstar would be nice). Not so secretly I thought Heyward would be that guy (in some ways yeah it worked), I partially love Stroman’s fit with the org because he’s from a black middle class family and went to Duke, but yeah I do think it would be a nice touch for the city and franchise if the Cubs kinda snuck in as a leading org for this little movement.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:08 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Also ran into this:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fut ... was-black/

and want to say this is cool. I too have noticed seemingly more and more young black athletes are picking baseball and thriving in recent years. Last year’s draft as a banner year of sorts - a year after a black HS RH went 2 - with lots of highly relevant names, a couple first rounders, and the top ranked freshman in the nation. When’s the last time the #1 incoming freshman in the nation was a black kid?

I’m still looking forward to the Cubs - who play in Chicago for Jah’s sake - to land a black star (superstar would be nice). Not so secretly I thought Heyward would be that guy (in some ways yeah it worked), I partially love Stroman’s fit with the org because he’s from a black middle class family and went to Duke, but yeah I do think it would be a nice touch for the city and franchise if the Cubs kinda snuck in as a leading org for this little movement.


It's kind of surprising that this is happening, since some of the underlying factors that have led to lower participation rates in baseball (fewer scholarships than Basketball and Football, youth travel ball being hella expensive) are not getting any better. and actually are probably getting worse. You kind of have to assume that RBI and other similar inclusion initiatives are working, which is fantastic news. There are a lot of bad things we can say about MLB as an organization, but it's really cool that this isn't one of the things that they have horsefeathered up.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:57 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote: I partially love Stroman’s fit with the org because he’s from a black middle class family and went to Duke

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:51 pm

I horsefeathering hate Duke and can't stand their fanbase...

I really don't understand why he mentioned that like it's some kinda perk or bonus for acquiring Stroman.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:10 pm

Bertz wrote:It's kind of surprising that this is happening, since some of the underlying factors that have led to lower participation rates in baseball (fewer scholarships than Basketball and Football, youth travel ball being hella expensive) are not getting any better. and actually are probably getting worse. You kind of have to assume that RBI and other similar inclusion initiatives are working, which is fantastic news. There are a lot of bad things we can say about MLB as an organization, but it's really cool that this isn't one of the things that they have horsefeathered up.


Maybe RBI and other programs are working, but seems to me right now most of these guys are coming from middle+ class families. I think it’s super healthy for the sport and even ‘Merica either way
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TBS Playoffs Insider » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:19 pm

Jesus christ
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:42 pm

https://www.mlb.com/news/do-the-padres- ... =151437456





Two questions about the Cubs' first-round pick! He's the only hitter from the 2018 Draft in the Arizona Fall League (and was the focus of our Cubs AFL overview. I don't think there's any question that Hoerner can move quickly. He's the type of college performer at the plate where his bat should allow him to advance rapidly. Even though he got hurt to greatly curtail his summer pro debut, he had already reached full-season ball.

The missed time won't help in terms of that timetable, but the fact the Cubs sent him to the AFL shows just what they think of his ability to handle a challenging assignment. Looking at previous college bats they've drafted can help. Kyle Schwarber began his first full season in Double-A, albeit after 72 games in his first summer. So did Kris Bryant and both he and Schwarber ended in Triple-A. Ian Happ started in the Class A Advanced Carolina League and earned a midseason promotion to Double-A.

I don't think Hoerner is quite as advanced as those guys were. If I had to guess, he'll start the year in Myrtle Beach (where Happ started) and I could see him advancing to Double-A at some point. Primarily a shortstop, he'll also likely be working on other positions -- he's started one game at second this fall -- and the Cubs will want to make sure he can handle things defensively as well as offensively as he moves up the ladder quickly.


Not sure where Hoerner will start next season. He's doing really well in the AFL and I think he could handle starting the year at AA.



Count me among the Evan White fan club. I'll even take a shift as the vice president or treasurer. Assuming the coach you heard was talking about his defense, yes, he is outstanding there. There's a reason why we gave him a 70 fielding grade on the Mariners' Top 30, where he's currently No. 2. That's also a reason why there's been no talk of giving him a look in the outfield, where his speed and athleticism would play very well and there'd potentially be a bit less pressure on him to be a power-hitting run-producer type. He plays first like a third baseman and that could be a tremendous asset. He also can flat-out hit and has a pretty left-handed swing. There is extra-base thump in there, but he's definitely hit over power. That could be fine at first if a big league lineup makes up for the power at other positions. I see White as a Cody Bellinger type, but with less power, or maybe a John Olerud type, but with more speed.


Not Cubs related, but I wanted to include this Q&A. So I'm not a big fan of Jonathan Mayo. He's okay. He makes a pretty bad blunder here when talking about 1B prospect Evan White. Says he has a "pretty left-handed swing"... umm, the dude bats righthanded. Like that's a pretty well-known fact.

I like Evan White and think he would be a good player under someone like Maddon because he's a plus-defender at 1B and also capable of playing the OF, sort of like Cody Bellinger. Their swings are very different and I think Cody Bellinger is by far the better hitter. I believe Cody Bellinger is the better defender as well.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:10 pm

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:43 pm

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:28 am

Tommy: Thoughts on Nico Hoerner’s quality AFL?

Eric A Longenhagen: He looks good, the same as he did in the spring. You still have to be okay with the throwing to project him at shortstop but I think he’s functional enough in that regard to be a 45 or 50 there.

Francis: Tell me I’m really stupid for falling in love with the Cubs AZL teams and Eugene roster. I can’t help it.

Eric A Longenhagen: Not stupid, I like a lot of those guys, too.

KW: Erick Leal has yet to give up a run in the AFL. What’s your take on him? Should the Cubs protect him on the 40-man from the Rule 5 draft?

Eric A Longenhagen: Jeez, I did not know that. Up/down guy for me.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:57 am

So he has his velo back, if not higher? than pre injury, is throwing a new pitch and getting results. Damn, he’s becoming incredibly intriguing.

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:15 pm

Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs' No. 6

The Cubs' 2018 first-rounder's inexperience has been a non-factor in the AFL, where he's hit .321 and looked like a player straight out of Double-A, and one possibly even on the cusp of the Majors. That's not to say that Hoerner will springboard up the ladder in such fashion in 2019 -- but he certainly could. At the plate, he has a knack for barreling the ball to all fields, can handle velocity and adjust to secondaries, and he has more juice in his bat than you'd expect. His arm stroke is a little stiff at shortstop, but it plays up because he creatively finds ways to achieve a good slot, has sound footwork and consistently follows his throws with his body. He's a very, very solid ballplayer.


https://www.mlb.com/news/prospects-who- ... -300694858
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:08 pm

KW
2:03 What's currently keeping you from hanging a 50 FV on Nico Hoerner? Would you need to see more power out of his bat to justify him inevitably moving to 2B?
Eric A Longenhagen
2:03 He might move up when we do the Cubs list
The power he's shown here in AZ has been surprising
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Hrubes20 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:10 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:KW
2:03 What's currently keeping you from hanging a 50 FV on Nico Hoerner? Would you need to see more power out of his bat to justify him inevitably moving to 2B?
Eric A Longenhagen
2:03 He might move up when we do the Cubs list
The power he's shown here in AZ has been surprising


Also from that chat:

KW: Has Trent Giambrone shown you anything in the AFL to move him up your prospect list?
2:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I kinda dig him. He’s an above average athlete with a swing I love, he can play a bunch of different positions.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Post Count Padder » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:00 am

MORE DAVID BOTE CLONES
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:18 am

Kieran Lovegrove is a minor league free agent and the Cubs should sign him.

I have more faith in him as a late inning reliever than Dillon Maples.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:57 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:Kieran Lovegrove is a minor league free agent and the Cubs should sign him.

I have more faith in him as a late inning reliever than Dillon Maples.


He's mentioned in an article on fangraphs:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sunday- ... available/

“My fastball is a four-seam, but something about the way I pronate makes it two-seam at times,” explained Lovegrove, who sits 95-96 and flirts with triple digits. “When it’s down, it registers as a sinker at 2,500 (RPM). I wish I knew why it does what it does, but it’s working for me right now, and that’s what matters.” -- K. Lovegrove
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Regular Show » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Lots of good stuff in the latest UMP podcast on Fangraphs. Eric and Kiley talk about a bunch of different topics. Eric gives his take on Cubs prospects Erick Leal, Trent Giambrone and Nico Hoerner.

Not big believers in Leal and think his stuff won't be good enough to get big-league hitters out consistently. They mention how he has a really good breaking ball.

They talk about Giambrone and Eric says he is a good multi-positional prospect with a good athletic swing. He likes Giambrone more than Bote last year. Says he is better defensively, but doesn't have as much power as Bote.

Lots of interesting stuff on Hoerner. Mentioned the divisive opinions on whether he can stick at SS because of the throwing/arm. Hoerner didn't run as well in the AFL. Eric said he was a "plus plus runner in the spring". Thinks the Cubs tweaked his swing and is showing way more power now.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangrap ... ject-ep-6/
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:11 pm

Cool find, yes please
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubsWin » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:59 pm

The Cubs released their list of AAA and AA protected players. These lists posted by AZ Phil are always an interesting insight as to how the Cubs think of some lesser known "prospects" within their system. Guys who are on the AAA list can only be selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.

There are some interesting names on the AAA list. Obvious ones who didn't make the 40-man like Trevor Clifton and Craig Brooks are expected. The list is mostly populated with guys who are solid minor leaguers that the Cubs would like to retain for depth purposes, but it's the names you don't recognize that interest me. Eury Ramos debuted his mid-90s FB in Eugene this season. I hadn't heard he had velocity like that until AZ Phil made a comment about it last spring. He's on the list as expected, but there are a few names, that I've bolded, that we haven't had reports on. It likely means they have some upside the Cubs see that the rest of us aren't privy to. Being named on the AA list is less important, but the few bolded on the AAA list are intriguing.

IOWA RESERVE LIST
Luis Ayala, OF
Alberto Baldonado, LHP (signed 2019 minor league contract on 11/20)
Corey Black, RHP (signed 2019 minor league contract on 11/5)
Andres Bonalde, LHP
Craig Brooks, RHP
Charcer Burks, OF
Roberto Caro, OF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Trevor Clifton, RHP
Scott Effross, RHP
Emilio Ferrebus, RHP
Johnny Field, OF (Article XX-D player - outrighted to AAA Iowa 11/20)
Wladimir Galindo, INF
Jacob Hannemann, OF (Article XX-D player)
Zach Hedges, RHP
P. J. Higgins, C-INF
Danny Hultzen, LHP (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Erick Leal, RHP (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Vimael Machin, INF
Brad Markey, RHP
Ivan Medina, RHP
Jordan Minch, LHP
Kevonte Mitchell, OF
Erling Moreno, RHP
Rafael Narea, INF
Eugenio Palma, LHP
Yeiler Peguero, INF
Jhonny Pereda, C
Eury Ramos, RHP
Ian Rice, C-1B
Manuel Rondon, LHP
Jake Stinnett, RHP
Jerry Vasto, LHP (Article XX-D player - outrighted to AAA Iowa 11/20)
Chesny Young, INF
Rob Zastryzny, LHP (Article XX-D player)

In addition to the 35 players listed above, 39 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft were placed on either the AA Tennessee or Hi-A Myrtle Beach reserve list and so they are eligible for selection in the AAA Phase:

TENNESSEE RESERVE LIST (see NOTE below)
Anderson Acevedo, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Tyler Alamo, C-1B
Gioskar Amaya, INF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Luis Aquino, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Yasiel Balaguert, 1B-OF (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Wynton Bernard, OF (Article XX-D player - signed 2019 minor league contract on 11/12)
Casey Bloomquist, RHP
James Buckelew, LHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Erick Castillo, C (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Alfredo Colorado, RHP
Yan de la Cruz, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Enrique de los Rios, RHP
Wander Feliz, RHP
Riger Fernandez, LHP
Hector Alonso Garcia, RHP
Robel Garcia, INF (signed 2019 minor league contract on 10/29)
David Garner, RHP
Dalton Geekie, RHP (Second-Contract Player signed for 2019)
Yapson Gomez, LHP
Eric Gonzalez, C
Jose Alejandro Gonzalez, RHP (ex-OF)
Jesse Hodges, INF
Ryan Kellogg, LHP
Junior Marte, RHP
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C
M. T. Minacci, RHP
Preston Morrison, RHP
Richard Nunez, C-1B
Pablo Ochoa, LHP
Tyler Payne, C
Henrry Pedra, INF
Chris Pieters, OF-1B (signed 2019 minor league successor contract)
Will Remillard, C
Ruben Reyes, LHP (ex-OF)
Andry Rondon, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP (signed 2019 minor league contract on 11/13)
Franklin Tineo, C-!NF
Sucre Valdez, RHP
Ryan Williams, RHP
NOTE: 37 of the 39 players listed above were assigned to the AA Tennessee reserve list and two (A. Acevedo and Y. de la Cruz) were assigned to the Myrtle Beach reserve list, because there wasn't room for everybody on the Tennessee roster (AA roster limit is 37).
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