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 Post subject: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:12 pm 
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BP will release their Cubs top prospect list tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:45 am 
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http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... leid=18849

Quote:
The Top Ten
1.     OF Albert Almora
2.     SS Javier Baez
3.     OF Jorge Soler
4.     RHP Arodys Vizcaino
5.     1B Dan Vogelbach
6.     OF Brett Jackson
7.     RHP Pierce Johnson
8.     RHP Duane Underwood
9.     3B Christian Villanueva
10.   RHP Dillon Maples


I don't have a BP subscription so I can't tell you anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:56 am 
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CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18849

Quote:
The Top Ten
1.     OF Albert Almora
2.     SS Javier Baez
3.     OF Jorge Soler
4.     RHP Arodys Vizcaino
5.     1B Dan Vogelbach
6.     OF Brett Jackson
7.     RHP Pierce Johnson
8.     RHP Duane Underwood
9.     3B Christian Villanueva
10.   RHP Dillon Maples


I don't have a BP subscription so I can't tell you anymore.

Nine out of ten added in the last 16 months.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:03 am 
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So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:00 am 
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Tim wrote:
So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?


He wasn't exactly raking. Vitters performed above expectations in AAA this year but he didn't do anything special. Had he, then maybe he makes an appearance. The guy was about 50th in the PCL for OPS. I doubt Jackson would have been much higher if he stayed in AAA and they pretty much had the same ugly start in the majors.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:07 am 
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jersey cubs fan wrote:
Tim wrote:
So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?


He wasn't exactly raking. Vitters performed above expectations in AAA this year but he didn't do anything special. Had he, then maybe he makes an appearance. The guy was about 50th in the PCL for OPS. I doubt Jackson would have been much higher if he stayed in AAA and they pretty much had the same ugly start in the majors.


46th, and all of one guy ahead of him was younger than him (Wil Myers, and Rizzo was the only other guy even the same "baseball age" as him) I believe Iowa is also one of the least hitter friendly of the PCL parks.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:11 am 
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SouthSideRyan wrote:
jersey cubs fan wrote:
Tim wrote:
So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?


He wasn't exactly raking. Vitters performed above expectations in AAA this year but he didn't do anything special. Had he, then maybe he makes an appearance. The guy was about 50th in the PCL for OPS. I doubt Jackson would have been much higher if he stayed in AAA and they pretty much had the same ugly start in the majors.


46th, and all of one guy ahead of him was younger than him (Wil Myers, and Rizzo was the only other guy even the same "baseball age" as him) I believe Iowa is also one of the least hitter friendly of the PCL parks.


You can put in qualifiers all you want, but he wasn't raking. He was doing well for his age and better than expected. But for a guy who most people have little or no interest in, you have to do a hell of a lot more than an ~860 OPS in the PCL to vault back up lists.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:20 am 
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I guess I don't see how it's relevant at all to say he was 50th in the PCL when half the guys ahead of him are Scott Moore

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:54 am 
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Tim wrote:
So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?

You have to really have no problem with risk to have guys like Underwood and Maples ahead of Vitters even now.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:55 am 
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CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
Tim wrote:
So if the Cubs had just let Vitters continue raking at Iowa, anyone think he'd be appearing (or appearing higher) on these lists?

You have to really have no problem with risk to have guys like Underwood and Maples ahead of Vitters even now.

Agreed.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:03 am 
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Surprised they have Almora ahead of Baez. I wonder if that's because they are higher on Albert or lower on Javier than most?

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:05 am 
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illiniguy wrote:
Surprised they have Almora ahead of Baez. I wonder if that's because they are higher on Albert or lower on Javier than most?


A little of both.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:24 pm 
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TarzanJoeWallis wrote:
CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18849

Quote:
The Top Ten
1.     OF Albert Almora
2.     SS Javier Baez
3.     OF Jorge Soler
4.     RHP Arodys Vizcaino
5.     1B Dan Vogelbach
6.     OF Brett Jackson
7.     RHP Pierce Johnson
8.     RHP Duane Underwood
9.     3B Christian Villanueva
10.   RHP Dillon Maples


I don't have a BP subscription so I can't tell you anymore.



Nine out of ten added in the last 16 months.


Not to mention that two scrap heap signings ultimately turned into our top pitching/4th overall prospect. Maybe this Epstein guy kinda-sorta knows what he's doing.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Is that a mild shocker (Almora over Baez)? I feel like every list or projection I've seen has Baez #1, and then you consider Baez is likely closer to the bigs and has a better track record of producing in the system, BP would have to think Almora's ceiling is a bit higher than Baez's or that Baez is definitely going to end up at 3B, no?

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Also, love the Blue Jay Way reference in their State of the Farm quote

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:31 pm 
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UMFan83 wrote:
Is that a mild shocker (Almora over Baez)? I feel like every list or projection I've seen has Baez #1, and then you consider Baez is likely closer to the bigs and has a better track record of producing in the system, BP would have to think Almora's ceiling is a bit higher than Baez's or that Baez is definitely going to end up at 3B, no?


I think they just think Baez is riskier.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Parks also said on twitter that "Easy case that all three are Top 50", referring to Almora, Baez, and Soler.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:59 pm 
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David wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Is that a mild shocker (Almora over Baez)? I feel like every list or projection I've seen has Baez #1, and then you consider Baez is likely closer to the bigs and has a better track record of producing in the system, BP would have to think Almora's ceiling is a bit higher than Baez's or that Baez is definitely going to end up at 3B, no?


I think they just think Baez is riskier.

Across all prospect evaluations, Baez is considered a higher risk (with a higher reward). Parks feels the risk outweighs his numerous pluses. I disagree and can't help but think Parks will be in the minority in preferring Almora to Baez.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:02 pm 
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CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
David wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
Is that a mild shocker (Almora over Baez)? I feel like every list or projection I've seen has Baez #1, and then you consider Baez is likely closer to the bigs and has a better track record of producing in the system, BP would have to think Almora's ceiling is a bit higher than Baez's or that Baez is definitely going to end up at 3B, no?


I think they just think Baez is riskier.

Across all prospect evaluations, Baez is considered a higher risk (with a higher reward). Parks feels the risk outweighs his numerous pluses. I disagree and can't help but think Parks will be in the minority in preferring Almora to Baez.

I'm positive BA will have Baez first. Still it's exciting that Almora is in the discussion with him.

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:57 pm 
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UMFan83 wrote:
Is that a mild shocker (Almora over Baez)? I feel like every list or projection I've seen has Baez #1, and then you consider Baez is likely closer to the bigs and has a better track record of producing in the system, BP would have to think Almora's ceiling is a bit higher than Baez's or that Baez is definitely going to end up at 3B, no?


Quote:
1. OF Albert Almora
The Tools: Shows all five; plus projections on hit/power

Strengths: Well-rounded tool collection; feel for the game is outstanding and allows tools to play above grade; 5 arm; 5 run; 6 glove; future hit could be easy 6; excellent bat speed; gets into zone quickly and efficiently; power has above-average potential; shows advanced game skills; lauded for work ethic/makeup; now talent that could move fast.

Weaknesses: Range in CF is tied to read/react skills and instincts, not plus raw speed; lacks high-end physicality; lacks elite tools; upside isn’t as sexy as teammate Javier Baez; aggressive approach has yet to be tested; small professional sample

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; more polished than the average teenager; shows advanced feel and instincts for the game; high floor; respectable ceiling; most likely falls short of star status.

Fantasy Future: .290/.350/.450 from premium defensive position, with 10-15 home run pop, plenty of doubles, and a chance to steal 15-20 bases at a high success rate.

Major league ETA: 2016

2. SS Javier Baez
The Tools: Hit tool could be elite; easy plus-plus raw power; 7 arm

Strengths: Bat speed is off-the-charts; hands are incredible on both sides of the ball; electricity in the bat; very loud contact ability; hit tool could develop into monster status; raw power is at least a 7 and could end up playing that high at full maturity; arm is a 7; actions at shortstop are fluid and easy.

Weaknesses: Wild approach at the plate; swings with violent intensity; taking hacks is putting it mildly; will expand his zone and chase; pitch-recognition skills have been called into question; needs to slow the game down; overplays; range at shortstop only catalyst in down-the-line position change; fringe 5 runner at present who could end up a 4 at physical maturity

Overall Future Potential: 7; all-star level player

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; plays the game with reckless approach; needs to mature to reach potential; could be very special or very frustrating.

Fantasy Future: If everything clicks, Baez could hit for both a high average and high power (30-plus HR) from a position on the left side of the infield. He could be a monster.

Major league ETA: 2015

3. OF Jorge Soler
The Tools: Big raw power; plus arm

Strengths: 7 raw power; easy bat speed; loud contact off the barrel to all fields; plays with strength and athleticism; solid approach at the plate; recognizes early; will work counts; plus arm; good carry; runs very well for a right fielder; shows some overall feel for the game; assimilation has been smooth (so far).

Weaknesses: Questions about the future utility of the hit tool based on a few mechanical hitches that could limit his ability to stay inside of quality stuff; defensive profile puts pressure on bat to achieve first-division value; unknown hurdles associated with assimilation process; small professional sample.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; shows some now skills and a mature approach, but the bat hasn’t been tested enough; still early in assimilation process.

Fantasy Future: Could develop into a prototypical first-division right fielder; the hit tool might only play at average, but secondary skills should allow for some on-base ability and game power (25-20 HR). Shows good speed for his size and good game awareness, so he could also swipe 10-15 bases a season.

Major league ETA: 2015

4. RHP Arodys Vizcaino
The Tools: Plus-plus fastball; plus curve

Strengths: Easy cheese from an explosive arm, working comfortably in the 92-95 range as a starter and touching the high-90s in bursts; very lively offering with good, late action; hard curve is another money pitch, with a tight rotation and two-plane movement; good control.

Weaknesses: Lacks size; when he slips under the ball, the lack of plane hurts him; more control than command; lives loose in the zone; changeup has more flash than fire; profiles as low-5 offering at best; injury history; delivery features some effort.

Overall Future Potential: 7; late-inning reliever (frontline setup).

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; injury history; likely to end up in bullpen.

Fantasy Future: Could be frontline setup arm in bullpen; closer for some teams; will miss bats in any role.

Major league ETA: 2011

5. 1B Dan Vogelbach
The Tools: Enormous raw power; plus potential hit tool; big makeup

Strengths: Light-tower power; 80 raw; generates tremendous bat speed with fast hands and fluid hip explosion; stroke is shorter than most power hitters; quick and easy to the ball; doesn’t have to sell out for power stroke; ball naturally explodes off the bat; loud contact to all fields; makeup is championed by every source contacted for the report; big personality.

Weaknesses: Bad body; lacks defensive value; profiles as bat-only first baseman or designated hitter; limited range; poor speed; below-average defender at first; can be beat with pitchability, particularly spotted balls off-middle or quality velo under the hands; immense pressure on the bat for success; will have to prove it at every level.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk because of bat-only profile; plus makeup and natural hitting ability give him a chance.

Fantasy Future: Power could play above 6; .280-plus batting average is possible; won’t steal bases and won’t provide defensive value of any kind.

Major league ETA: 2016

6. OF Brett Jackson
The Tools: Can show all five tools; four tools grade at avg-to-plus

Strengths: Average defender in center field; can play all three outfield spots; run is plus; raw power is above-average; has on-base skills and will make a pitcher dig into the arsenal; shows a feel for the game; big work ethic.

Weaknesses: Lacks a loud tool; hit tool is fringe-average at best; plays lower; arm is only average; defensive profile in center is only average; game features too much swing-and-miss; overmatched by quality stuff; hasn’t progressed much since college; profile closer to fourth outfielder than role 5 projection.

Overall Future Potential: 5; major-league regular

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; already achieved major-league level; works hard; competes; good chance to carve out major-league career.

Fantasy Future: If Jackson achieves his ceiling, he could start up the middle, with a low batting average (.~250) and lots of strikeouts, but enough secondary skills to have value (on-base, 15-20 HR, 15-20 steals).

Major league ETA:

7. RHP Pierce Johnson
The Tools: Plus fastball; plus potential curveball

Strengths: Good size and wiry strength; fastball works in the 90-93 range, but he can get more when he needs it; good angle to pitch; good sinking action; can get ahead with the pitch; curveball is hard breaker; 81-84 mph, with late break, good shape, and depth; deep arsenal; will also show a cut fastball and a changeup; knows how to miss bats.

Weaknesses: Hasn’t been able to stay healthy; delivery has some effort; deliberate with secondary arsenal; changeup is inconsistent; doesn’t play as average offering yet.

Overall Future Potential: High 5/Low 6; no. 3 starter at the major-league level

Explanation of Risk: High risk; injury history with the arm; behind the developmental curve.

Fantasy Future: Has bat-missing ability and a deep arsenal; has mid-rotation ceiling; body needs to prove it can hold innings, but should be able to produce good counting stats like wins/strikeouts if healthy and in a rotation.

Major league ETA: 2015

8. RHP Duane Underwood
The Tools: Easy plus velocity in fastball; plus potential curveball

Strengths: Huge arm strength; electric fastball that has the potential to be special; will work in the plus velocity range with some sink; has touched higher; arm is very fast; ball explodes from the release; it's easy velocity now and projects to work even higher; changeup shows some maturity for his age; plays well off fastball, with fastball arm speed and slot consistency; good action to the arm-side; plus athlete; curveball has plus potential

Weaknesses: Limited professional sample; arm works well, but low pickup and drag force it to go a long way; secondary arsenal is immature; delivery is athletic, but inconsistent, and control is below-average at present.

Overall Future Potential: High-6/low-7; no. 2 starter at the major-league level.

Explanation of Risk: Extreme; only 18-years-old; wide gap between present and future; ~10 professional innings under his belt.

Fantasy Future: Electric arsenal could produce high strikeouts totals; has the potential to be a 15-plus game winner (based on ultimate upside).

Major league ETA: 2017

9. 3B Christian Villanueva
The Tools: 7 glove; 6 arm; 5 power potential; big makeup

Strengths: Plus (to plus-plus) defensive profile, with an ultra-slick glove, strong arm, and solid range; excellent feel for the position; soft hands in the field; quick reactions; good instincts for the ball; fast hands at the plate; can square velocity and stay inside pitches; shows the ability to hit for some power; works the gaps; mature approach; isn’t fast, but runs the bases well and plays with intelligence; hard worker.

Weaknesses: Lacks typical offensive profile for third base; shows impressive bat speed, but overall hit tool utility is average at best; struggles against quality breaking stuff; power most likely limited to 10-15 home runs; body is physically mature and could lose a full speed grade if he adds bad weight.

Overall Future Potential: 5; solid-average regular at major-league level

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; mature player with mature skill-set; doesn’t need big grade jumps to compete.

Fantasy Future: Not an ideal offensive third baseman, but could hit .260-plus, with good secondary skills (on-base/power); can surprise people and swipe a few bases; plays defense at a very high level.

Major league ETA: 2014

10. RHP Dillon Maples
The Tools: Big arm strength; plus fastball/curveball potential.

Strengths: Plus-plus fastball potential; can work the pitch in the 92-96 range, and has touched higher; has good plane; pitches taller than 6’2’’; natural weight makes the ball difficult to lift; curveball is power breaker, thrown as hard as 82-84 mph, with 12/6 movement; projects as plus pitch; good overall athlete.

Weaknesses: Delivery isn’t fluid or repeatable; doesn’t finish; doesn’t make it look easy; command is well below-average; fastball velocity is inconsistent; changeup is still underdeveloped; limited on-the-field experience at the professional level

Overall Future Potential: High 6; no. 2/3 starter at the major-league level.

Explanation of Risk: Extreme risk; injury history; mechanical red flags; needs big grade jumps.

Fantasy Future: Has the potential to pitch in the middle of a major-league rotation, and maybe more if he reaches his ceiling. He will have the stuff to miss bats, and could emerge as a rotation horse if he can stay healthy and find arsenal maturity. High ceiling, but extremely high risk.

Major league ETA: 2017



Quote:
Prospects on the Rise
RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua
SS/2B Marco Hernandez
3B Jeimer Candelario

Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013)
RHP Tony Zych
RHP Trey McNutt
IF Junior Lake


Quote:
Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

1. Starlin Castro
2. Anthony Rizzo
3. Albert Almora
4. Javier Baez
5. Jorge Soler
6. Arodys Vizcaino
7. Dan Vogelbach
8. Brett Jackson
9. Pierce Johnson
10. Duane Underwood


Quote:
...The biggest thing for the Cubs next year will be the development of their lower-level talents. The big-league team will continue to suffer, but the Cubs have a valuable asset in the trade market with Matt Garza, who will be a free agent after the season. The high-upside talent at the bottom of the system should be supplemented with a nice package of prospects if and when Theo Epstein and company decide to pull the trigger on a Garza deal.

A Parting Thought:….With a casual glance, the Cubs system might appear to be top heavy, with a partisan lean towards high-ceiling bats. But the deeper you dig, the more raw talent you discover on the mound, and even though it’s immature and a sizeable journey away from legitimacy, the talent is there to develop high-ceiling arms to match the high-ceiling bats.


If that was against site policy I can take it down. It's not all the info or the full article...I cut a lot of it out.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:14 pm 
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NYCF, thanks for posting that. I guess Parks loves upside obviously. Never would have thought Underwood or Maples would have made this list. I asked if top 5 syatem is realistic at this time next year and he said thats very optimistic, but possible. He actually likes the way next years draft is shaping up.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:05 am 
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I also would like to thank NYCF for posting that.

This feels like a strangely non-BP list for me. I think part of it is the change from Goldstein to Parks, and I kept anticipating a Goldstein-ish list, which, IMO, would've looked a tiny bit different.

I can't say I'm all that supportive of putting Underwood/Maples on the back end of the top 10 ... but I get it (that said, for an article that went with Almora ahead of Baez because he was less risky, I found it interesting that they put two highly risky arms in the back 10 ... granted, I guess they could view a significant ceiling gap thereafter).

Fascinated on the Soler comment as it pertains to his swing. Curious if this shows up in A ball next year (A or A+). Wonder if that impacts where he is placed next year, but a long way until Spring.

I've always been a touch bothered with Maples' mechanics ... and those comments sure don't help me feel better.

Curious that Parks has Lake in the bigs next year ...


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:09 am 
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Quote:
The Cubs just aren’t very good right now. Coming off a 61-101 season, the team lacks high upside talent at or near the major-league level. Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Brett Jackson are the only players on this list who appeared in big-league games in 2012. Castro and Rizzo are monsters, and Jackson could still become a solid contributor down the road. 2013 will be a great season for fans of the Daytona Cubs and Kane County Cougars, with multiple toolsy, high-upside bonus babies coming to town.


Also from the article. That's the last thing I am going to post from it.

ETA: Added it for the bolded. Nothing we don't already know, but I still like seeing it.


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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:45 am 
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Prospect roundtable (Almora, Baez, Soler and Vogelbach): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... leid=18860

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 Post subject: Re: BA, BP, etc. Cubs Top Prospects List
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:20 am
Posts: 79581
Location: Pasadena, CA
toonsterwu wrote:
This feels like a strangely non-BP list for me. I think part of it is the change from Goldstein to Parks, and I kept anticipating a Goldstein-ish list, which, IMO, would've looked a tiny bit different.

I can't say I'm all that supportive of putting Underwood/Maples on the back end of the top 10 ... but I get it (that said, for an article that went with Almora ahead of Baez because he was less risky, I found it interesting that they put two highly risky arms in the back 10 ... granted, I guess they could view a significant ceiling gap thereafter).


Totally agree on both points.

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