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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:43 am

that said, please tell me more about tyler beede's upside and how the cubs should have drafted him in 2014
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:46 am

David wrote:
Added a lot, the right kind of muscle this winter. I just saw him taking BP yesterday and was mishitting balls out of the ballpark and smoking balls all over the field. The ball is coming off his bat a little bit differently than it has in previous years.


http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2 ... seball.php


I am such a sucker for spring training optimism.


Also DJ Lemahieu was a league average player last year as a +0 2B, so if that bat goes to CF with plus defense...well look at Kevin Pillar's 2015. And that is if we're putting a ceiling of a ~90 wRC on Almora, which while a possible outcome seems more than a little silly as a hard cap, given his pedigree and small sample uptick post-Team USA. When Almora is right he hits everything, so peak years of .300/.350/.450 are not out of the question(or in other words, above his ceiling). With plus D that puts you in poor man's Lorenzo Cain territory, or yes, near Mookie Betts's 2015.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:50 am

David wrote:the excerpt i posted had nothing to do with you and your latest dead horse


Yeah, I took it out when I realized. I got 4-5 guys making the same point to me, it takes a village to slaughter a horse. Still confused about the upside thing, but pushing will mean I am melting down/beating a dead horse/something more nefarious so all plans are to leave it alone.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby craig » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:38 am

Theo wrote:...Great blocker, really strong throwing arm, has a chance to be a force defensively. ....is going to be, I think, a really productive offensive catcher to go along with his throwing arm. Obviously catching development takes time and you need your opportunity. ....

Albert Almora...’s just starting to figure out his approach. Added a lot, the right kind of muscle this winter. I just saw him taking BP yesterday and was mishitting balls out of the ballpark and smoking balls all over the field. The ball is coming off his bat a little bit differently than it has in previous years. ....”


I liked the muscle bit. Would be great if Almora added some strength and some explosion. I've always wondered for some hitters if adding some raw power might change the strategy a bit. Not much point in swinging for long flies if they just end up at the track or less. But if hitting long fly balls instead of line drives or hard grounders starts getting a productive number of HR's, which help batting average and OBP and walks as well as slugging, maybe you situationally swing for lifting the ball more often. So being strong enough to drive the ball could be significant.

Tom's mentioned a Barney ceiling. Almora has hit 6 and 9 HR's as 21 and 20-hear-old. That's not that far short of becoming a 12-15 HR guy with added strength. Barney with 12-15 HR's might have a different career. As might have been Barney with walks. Almora walked reasonably much last year, 32 walks/405 AB isn't great but it's not problematic, an .057 IsoD is pretty OK for a guy who might hit for solid average if he added a few HR-hits to the game.

The positivity about Contreras's defense is also interesting. OK, Theo's an admin, it's his job to pump his guys, I get that. But, I like it anyway. Contreras as a bat-first catcher, and that without real HR-power, that's one thing. Contreras as a defensive force who also hits, that's quite a bit more interesting.

It's spring. I love the happy stories of spring where everybody has added some good strength, or made an adjustment that's going to make them better.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CubsWin » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:55 am

TomtheBombadil wrote:Does upside mean imagined ceiling based on gut feelings and perceptions? :shrugs:

Wouldn't it be more practical to look at his "upside" in terms of his performance through age 21 overall and the scouting reports that have come with it? What's so wise about reacting to the latest mechanical tweak and a few week's worth of new data that's way better than anything else he's done before?

As I've said all along, your assessment of Almora might be accurate. You seem to have your mind made up and I have no problem with that.

The reason why my mind remains open is because I don't think all progression is linear. You are basing your decision by looking at his most recent stats. That's not unorthodox. That makes a lot of sense and often leads to accurate predictions/projections. But there's some evidence that suggests Almora's recent year plus of struggles aren't indicative of his future.

I think sometimes when a player is asked to make adjustments, he will struggle for a while before it clicks. That may or may not be the case with Almora. One of the main reasons why I think it might be is that when it "clicked" for him, he improved in the exact way he had been asked to. It wasn't just a hot streak where he got a lot of hits that previously were outs by just finding holes. It's that he got more walks while hitting for greater power and average. He started successfully waiting for his pitch, one he could drive. That's the exact result the Cubs asked him to work for back in 2014 in High-A. As you mentioned, he also made a mechanical tweak when he brought back his leg kick right before he started hitting for more power.

There's a lot of anecdotal evidence as well. He's talked about his struggles with the adjustment and it clicking late last year. He's talked about him thinking too much while working on the adjustment and how he felt out of whack because of it. He talked about when he played for Team USA, he stopped thinking so much and started having fun again, and how that carried over when he returned to the Smokies. He talked about how having fun again helped things to click. The Cubs FO talked about asking him to make the adjustment back in 2014. Theo just recently talked about how Almora is just starting to figure out his approach.

That's why I still have an open mind. None of this is said so that you change yours. You don't need to change a thing. I'm just discussing baseball.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:09 am

CubsWin wrote:There's a lot of anecdotal evidence as well.


A more accurate statement is that it's almost all anecdotal. He went on a quest and found himself with Team USA, gave himself a pep talk, remembered his lessons, tweaked his swing, adjusted other stuff, and then kicked ass in August. Now he's added muscle, is in the Best Shape of His Life, and so on. Beyond 140 PAs, with a .387 BABIP, where he hit for high average, some power, and took some more walks, everything else seems to be anecdotal and/or Cubs sourced.

Is it the OF Barney tier starter thing? Barney put 7 rWAR n his first 2.5 years at the ML level, including a 4.6 rWAR season driven by his glove, and 8 from ages 24-28. Certainly it's not radically more or less nuts than a Mookie Betts one, just not as fun. Do I think Almora can contact and defend his way to a quality season or two or three? Sure, he wouldn't be the first. Do I think he will handle AAA well for a 21 year old? Sure, the PCL has always been a nice stop for a young hitter and as a guy who doesn't struggle making contact he should translate his game well. Do I think he's a dramatically different and better hitter than he's always been based on his August and tales of adjustments and muscles? Prooooobably not. Do I think he'll take more walks now? Sure. The power? Not so much, and power is enough of a difference maker where I'm not really moved yet. I honestly don't understand what is so out there about this POV or why not projecting or something lots of optimism means I think I already know and don't want to talk baseball and this or that. Seems like we're making mountains out of molehills here. If progress isn't linear, no claims on either side, then we shouldn't be assuming he found a whole new level of performance anyway.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby jersey cubs fan » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:03 pm

Who is Shute in this quest and did he sleep with Linda Fiorentino?
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:23 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
David wrote:yeah. dj lemahieu or barney as "upside?" wtf lol


Does upside mean imagined ceiling based on gut feelings and perceptions? :shrugs:

Wouldn't it be more practical to look at his "upside" in terms of his performance through age 21 overall and the scouting reports that have come with it? What's so wise about reacting to the latest mechanical tweak and a few week's worth of new data that's way better than anything else he's done before?

Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities. Other than the 144 PA where he was pushed to AA for some reason, he's never had a strikeout rate worse than 11.9%, so he is obviously one heck of a contact hitter. From there, it's pretty easy to say that it is within his ceiling to add some plate discipline to what he's shown and to add a bit more power as he matures. Again, we're talking the 90th percentile projection here for a guy that was able to put up a line of .329/.376/.466 in the MWL as a 19 year old.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:28 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
CubsWin wrote:There's a lot of anecdotal evidence as well.


A more accurate statement is that it's almost all anecdotal. He went on a quest and found himself with Team USA, gave himself a pep talk, remembered his lessons, tweaked his swing, adjusted other stuff, and then kicked ass in August. Now he's added muscle, is in the Best Shape of His Life, and so on. Beyond 140 PAs, with a .387 BABIP, where he hit for high average, some power, and took some more walks, everything else seems to be anecdotal and/or Cubs sourced.

Is it the OF Barney tier starter thing? Barney put 7 rWAR n his first 2.5 years at the ML level, including a 4.6 rWAR season driven by his glove, and 8 from ages 24-28. Certainly it's not radically more or less nuts than a Mookie Betts one, just not as fun. Do I think Almora can contact and defend his way to a quality season or two or three? Sure, he wouldn't be the first. Do I think he will handle AAA well for a 21 year old? Sure, the PCL has always been a nice stop for a young hitter and as a guy who doesn't struggle making contact he should translate his game well. Do I think he's a dramatically different and better hitter than he's always been based on his August and tales of adjustments and muscles? Prooooobably not. Do I think he'll take more walks now? Sure. The power? Not so much, and power is enough of a difference maker where I'm not really moved yet. I honestly don't understand what is so out there about this POV or why not projecting or something lots of optimism means I think I already know and don't want to talk baseball and this or that. Seems like we're making mountains out of molehills here. If progress isn't linear, no claims on either side, then we shouldn't be assuming he found a whole new level of performance anyway.

Are you talking Darwin as a median projection? Because that would be fine. Stating it as a ceiling is the silly part we're all arguing with.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby jersey cubs fan » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:32 pm

Tim wrote:Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities.


No it isn't. There's a lot of guys with extremely high end physical capabilities and very limited baseball abilities and their ceilings are tied to the baseball abilities. Generally speaking, guys don't do what they've never done before.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:33 pm

Tim wrote:Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities. Other than the 144 PA where he was pushed to AA for some reason, he's never had a strikeout rate worse than 11.9%, so he is obviously one heck of a contact hitter. From there, it's pretty easy to say that it is within his ceiling to add some plate discipline to what he's shown and to add a bit more power as he matures. Again, we're talking the 90th percentile projection here for a guy that was able to put up a line of .329/.376/.466 in the MWL as a 19 year old.


Are upside and ceiling interchangeable words and that's why one got swapped for the other here? I'm legitimately confused, feel like if I went in knowing they were the same thing I would have chosen more carefully and gone with neither word. A .137 IsoSLG from your best offensive season, in the lower minors, isn't something to hang your hat on. The most promising thing about that performance is probably the contact skills, which no one will be denying anytime soon. I'd like to work with more of what he's been most often rather than what he might be if he gets way better.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:34 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:
Tim wrote:Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities.


No it isn't. There's a lot of guys with extremely high end physical capabilities and very limited baseball abilities and their ceilings are tied to the baseball abilities. Generally speaking, guys don't do what they've never done before.

Fine...ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities within a reasonable projection of your baseball skills.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:36 pm

ceiling is a really subjective high end projection based off a combination of scouting and stats based analysis. there's no way to give an exact answer on what it is or what a given player's is.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:37 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Tim wrote:Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities. Other than the 144 PA where he was pushed to AA for some reason, he's never had a strikeout rate worse than 11.9%, so he is obviously one heck of a contact hitter. From there, it's pretty easy to say that it is within his ceiling to add some plate discipline to what he's shown and to add a bit more power as he matures. Again, we're talking the 90th percentile projection here for a guy that was able to put up a line of .329/.376/.466 in the MWL as a 19 year old.


Are upside and ceiling interchangeable words and that's why one got swapped for the other here? I'm legitimately confused, feel like if I went in knowing they were the same thing I would have chosen more carefully and gone with neither word. A .137 IsoSLG from your best offensive season, in the lower minors, isn't something to hang your hat on. The most promising thing about that performance is probably the contact skills, which no one will be denying anytime soon. I'd like to work with more of what he's been most often rather than what he might be if he gets way better.

They're pretty interchangeable within this context.

It's pretty silly to suggest that a 21 year old with his pedigree has very little chance to improve his power or discipline, which is what you are suggesting when you say that even his upside/ceiling is that limited.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:42 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Tim wrote:Ceiling is based off of maxing out your physical capabilities. Other than the 144 PA where he was pushed to AA for some reason, he's never had a strikeout rate worse than 11.9%, so he is obviously one heck of a contact hitter. From there, it's pretty easy to say that it is within his ceiling to add some plate discipline to what he's shown and to add a bit more power as he matures. Again, we're talking the 90th percentile projection here for a guy that was able to put up a line of .329/.376/.466 in the MWL as a 19 year old.


Are upside and ceiling interchangeable words and that's why one got swapped for the other here? I'm legitimately confused, feel like if I went in knowing they were the same thing I would have chosen more carefully and gone with neither word. A .137 IsoSLG from your best offensive season, in the lower minors, isn't something to hang your hat on. The most promising thing about that performance is probably the contact skills, which no one will be denying anytime soon. I'd like to work with more of what he's been most often rather than what he might be if he gets way better.


would it be reasonable to argue that there's a decent chance that someone with great contact skills could maintain those contact skills and hit for significantly more power as he grows into his early mid 20s and adds muscle?
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:55 pm

Tim wrote:They're pretty interchangeable within this context.

It's pretty silly to suggest that a 21 year old with his pedigree has very little chance to improve his power or discipline, which is what you are suggesting when you say that even his upside/ceiling is that limited.


What's the context here and why this context? It's also pretty silly to assume a player will improve either of those things just because he's pretty young but not especially so.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:56 pm

David wrote:would it be reasonable to argue that there's a decent chance that someone with great contact skills could maintain those contact skills and hit for significantly more power as he grows into his early mid 20s and adds muscle?


I couldn't say for sure, but I assume the safe answer is no.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:59 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
David wrote:would it be reasonable to argue that there's a decent chance that someone with great contact skills could maintain those contact skills and hit for significantly more power as he grows into his early mid 20s and adds muscle?


I couldn't say for sure, but I assume the safe answer is no.


the safe answer is that no, a player who has no issues making contact wouldn't have a decent chance of hitting the ball harder as he gets bigger and stronger?
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:01 pm

David wrote:the safe answer is that no, a player who has no issues making contact wouldn't have a decent chance of hitting the ball harder as he gets bigger and stronger?


What happened to signficiantly more power? How much more power are we talking?
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:02 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
David wrote:the safe answer is that no, a player who has no issues making contact wouldn't have a decent chance of hitting the ball significantly harder as he gets bigger and stronger?


What happened to signficiantly more power?


ok, fixed
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby jersey cubs fan » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:03 pm

David wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
David wrote:the safe answer is that no, a player who has no issues making contact wouldn't have a decent chance of hitting the ball significantly harder as he gets bigger and stronger?


What happened to signficiantly more power?


ok, fixed

he's not going through puberty and steroids aren't as easy to come by so I think the safe answer is he's shown his power abilities.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby davell » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:05 pm

Gato-I don't have an issue with what you think Almora winds up being. But haven't you been using the same small sample people are excited about for him, on your guy?(Caratini)
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:06 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:
David wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
What happened to signficiantly more power?


ok, fixed

he's not going through puberty and steroids aren't as easy to come by so I think the safe answer is he's shown his power abilities.


hey sweet post that isn't an answer to my question

and the notion that steroids are the only way to add significant strength and muscle for a 21 year old is horsefeathering hilariously laughable
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby David » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:11 pm

davell wrote:Gato-I don't have an issue with what you think Almora winds up being. But haven't you been using the same small sample people are excited about for him, on your guy?(Caratini)


right.

it's not necessarily the evaluation of this one player. i don't terribly love almora (though i think calling his ceiling darwin barney is pretty absurd). it's the inconsistent way he applies his reasoning to the development of guys he likes vs guys he doesn't.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby jersey cubs fan » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:12 pm

David wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:
David wrote:
ok, fixed

he's not going through puberty and steroids aren't as easy to come by so I think the safe answer is he's shown his power abilities.


hey sweet post that isn't an answer to my question

and the notion that steroids are the only way to add significant strength and muscle for a 21 year old is [expletive] hilariously laughable


What was your question then?

What's the history of non-steroidal significant power being added after 21. Sure he'll eventually get old man strength which will help him when wrestling younger nieces and nephews who think he's old. But that's not the same as adding power to your profile as a hitter at 22 and beyond.
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