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Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
Poll ended at Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:22 pm
Jose Arias 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Steve Bruno 6%  6%  [ 5 ]
Marcelo Carreno 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Willson Contreras 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Shawon Dunston Jr. 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Reggie Golden 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Jae-Hoon Ha 11%  11%  [ 9 ]
Michael Jensen 8%  8%  [ 7 ]
Justin Marra 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Trey Martin 6%  6%  [ 5 ]
Ryan McNeil 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Trey McNutt 12%  12%  [ 10 ]
Hector Rondon 26%  26%  [ 22 ]
Jose Rosario 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Tayler Scott 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Nick Struck 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Tony Zych 19%  19%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 85
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 Post subject: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Please vote for the Cubs #26 prospect (serious votes only, please!). Please post your rationale below.

If someone convinces you that someone else should be higher, please feel free to change your vote anytime between now and Monday.

For this vote, you should select the players you feel should be #26, #27 and #28. If we end up with multiple players having similar vote totals at the end of the voting period, there will be a run-off with just those players.

Results so far:

#1: Javier Baez
#2: Jorge Soler
#3: Albert Almora
#4: Arodys Vizcaino
#5: Dan Vogelbach
#6: Brett Jackson
#7: Juan Paniagua
#8: Christian Villanueva
#9: Dillon Maples
#10: Josh Vitters
#11: Pierce Johnson
#12: Junior Lake
#13: Jeimer Candelario
#14: Duane Underwood
#15: Matt Szczur
#16: Arismendy Alcantara
#17: Ronald Torreyes
#18: Marco Hernandez
#19: Gioskar Amaya
#20: Alberto Cabrera
#21: Logan Watkins
#22: Rob Whitenack
#23: Barrett Loux
#24: Ben Wells
#25: Paul Blackburn

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Bruno, Jensen, Rondon.
Maybe flip the fist two. Rondon is a rule five that may turn out well.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Rondon / Zych / Ha

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:47 pm 
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CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
Rondon / Zych / Ha

I went Rondon Zych Arias


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:17 am 
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Rondon and then I decided to go with Jensen/Ha. Still debating the last two spots, though.

It was either Ha or Zych for my last vote here, and I just couldn't pull the trigger on Zych. I keep wondering, why should Zych be ahead of McNutt as a pen arm? And I can't come up with a great reason for it - both should be around the same range, and Ha's age/level/2nd half performance/tools should get some credit, even if I'm not sure I buy it as some sort of sign that a transformation has definitely occurred.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:24 am 
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Jensen: like the ceiling. Has already had some success
Golden: because I still like him
McNutt: 2 years removed from being a top 50 prospect: gets another year before being written off.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:49 am 
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Rondon-Jensen-Zych. Arias would be next on my list.

toonsterwu wrote:
.It was either Ha or Zych for my last vote here, and I just couldn't pull the trigger on Zych. I keep wondering, why should Zych be ahead of McNutt as a pen arm? And I can't come up with a great reason for it - both should be around the same range....


I like Zych better for a number of reasons:
Fastball velocity
Fastball movement
Movement on primary breaking ball
Control on primary breaking ball
Projection for development of a good third pitch
GO/AO
HR (this is huge. Anti-HR versus HR-oriented...)
Age
Developmental trajectory.
Health

Zych is on a very healthy trajectory, IMO. He's younger, has been successful wherever he's gone and has yet to hit a bump. He's got a big arm, he's got a sharp slider, it's too early to say that his splitter might not become good, he's got good GO/AO and K/BB and anti-HR record. AA at 21 is fast movement, but there's lots of projection left. Has a chance to be a high-ceiling pitcher with two plus-plus pitches. There have been no red flags thus far.

I'm not super high on McNutt. He had a reputation for being fast, but I'm not sure that his fastball is really that good or projects as a plus big-league pitch. Movement and location as well as velocity determine fastball effectiveness, and I'm not sure the combo is that plus. And my sense is that the package of movement/location/consistency for his breaking stuff has been effectively sub-average. So he's flashed some red flags for sure, and has kind of been plateaued in AA. Zych's K/BB/HR were win-win-win; McNutt's have been lose-lose-lose. Fortunately development isn't always linear. For a while Samardz wasn't that fast, and didn't seem to have any go-to breaking pitches or any K-stuff. But then somehow his velocity stepped back up a notch, and he came up with several good, K-quality breaking pitches, and control got better besides. So I'm hoping McNutt is just about ready to surge forward after kind of getting stuck for a while. Although I have no reason to expect that.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Craig, I have to question the idea that Zych would definitely have better fastball velocity than McNutt. The few reports I had of McNutt out of the pen last year had the velocities for the two at a fairly similar range. I also think that the quality of McNutt's breaking ball is a bit better than Zych's, with far better action and break. Zych does have a big advantage of being more groundball oriented, so there is that factor. The third pitch doesn't matter that much, but and at times in the last 2 years, McNutt has flashed a decent changeup. Health is another notch in Zych's favor, as health (the blisters, some back issues that I can't recall exactly right now), as much as anything else, was what knocked McNutt apart (though I always felt he got over-hyped 2 years ago when compared to Archer).

I'm not exactly fighting for McNutt these days, but as a pen arm ... he definitely has closer potential.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:01 pm 
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I went with Zych, Rondon and Scott. I ended up leaving Trey Martin out.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Rondon
McNutt
Ha

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:43 pm 
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toonsterwu wrote:
.... I also think that the quality of McNutt's breaking ball is a bit better than Zych's, with far better action and break. ....
I'm not exactly fighting for McNutt these days, but as a pen arm ... he definitely has closer potential.


That's interesting scouting, toonster. How do you reconcile those scouting evaluations with the statistics? If his fastball is as fast and his breaking ball has far better action and break, why is his K-rate poor while Zych's is excellent? And why is his HR rate very high while Zych's is very low?

Seems to me that if McNutt has a better breaking ball, his K-rate should be more than 2/3 of Zych's. And he shouldn't be giving up 12HR to Zych's 1.

Maybe McNutt's stuff is just as good or better, and it's just that Zych has better control?


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:01 pm 
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I'm guessing it's less than 50/50 that Rondon sticks.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:35 pm 
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KyleJRM wrote:
I'm guessing it's less than 50/50 that Rondon sticks.

At this point in the list, 50/50 is probably better odds than anyone else has.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:26 pm 
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craig wrote:
toonsterwu wrote:
.... I also think that the quality of McNutt's breaking ball is a bit better than Zych's, with far better action and break. ....
I'm not exactly fighting for McNutt these days, but as a pen arm ... he definitely has closer potential.


That's interesting scouting, toonster. How do you reconcile those scouting evaluations with the statistics? If his fastball is as fast and his breaking ball has far better action and break, why is his K-rate poor while Zych's is excellent? And why is his HR rate very high while Zych's is very low?

Seems to me that if McNutt has a better breaking ball, his K-rate should be more than 2/3 of Zych's. And he shouldn't be giving up 12HR to Zych's 1.

Maybe McNutt's stuff is just as good or better, and it's just that Zych has better control?


Actually, I don't find it that hard to reconcile. I think McNutt's breaking ball has better quality but he lacked the consistency on it. As it pertains to the K rate, a lot of McNutt's problems as a starter resulted in the fact that teams knew he would overthrow the fastball (again, I only said that the fastball velocity wasn't an issue to me in comparing the two, I would agree that Zych's fastball probably has better action to it), flattening it out, allowing teams to sit and wait. Anyhow, when I was initially talking about fastball velocities, I was talking about McNutt's velocity out of the pen this past year, which the few reports I got, puts him at about the same range as Zych. Take a look at McNutt's K rate out of the pen last year. It was actually pretty solid. Short of it is, I believe, at this moment in time (well, at the end of this past minor league season), that McNutt's breaking ball has better potential than Zych's, but Zych is a bit more consistent with it.

Don't get me wrong, this shouldn't be a comparison of McNutt vs. Zych as it pertains to this vote. Furthermore, I always felt that McNutt got over-hyped 2 years ago, when he made his burst up. I think I would probably have Zych a tiny bit ahead of McNutt, but it really should be, for my, Zych vs. Ha. A pen arm with an inconsistent breaking ball or a a young toolsy CF who has questionable offensive potential. Both large enough question marks, but I went with Ha ahead for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the #26 Prospect for the Cubs?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:50 pm 
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toonsterwu wrote:
.. it really should be, for my, Zych vs. Ha. A pen arm with an inconsistent breaking ball or a a young toolsy CF who has questionable offensive potential. Both large enough question marks, but I went with Ha ahead for now.


I can see that. For me, I'd put Zych well ahead of Ha. But that's probably because I value a reliever a lot more than a utility outfielder. Relief pitchers throw over 1/3 of the innings, but backup outfielders don't usually get nearly 1/3 of the AB's. Ha looks like a 5th outfielder prospect to me, until/unless he shows some hitting and power tools. He had a .737 OPS this summer, with 96K/6HR. This winter, 26K/1HR/73AB in Venezuela. Doesn't look like enough bat to become a big-league starter to me. Kind of a shame he didn't work out at catcher, where the hitting standard is lower.


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