Minor League Musings place holder.

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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:17 am

The Cubs have a horsefeathers ton of players with prospect potential under 20 playing throughout the short season levels. In no order:

Nelson Velazquez
Brailyn Marquez
Christopher Morel
Jose Albertos
Faustino Carrera
Fernando Kelli
Jonathan Soto
Luis Vazquez
Jonathan Sierra

Luis Verdugo
Henderson Perez
Jose Gutierrez
Jonathan Bruzual
Carlos Ocampo
Didier Vargas
Yovanny Cuevas
Yonathan Perlaza
Josue Huma
Orian Nunez
Reivaj Baez
Fidel Mejia
Ezequiel Pagan
Kohl Franklin
Brennan Davis

Alex Ovalles
Carlos Morfa
Fabian Pertuz
Pedro Martinez
Saul Vazquez
Luis Rodriguez
Jorge Remon
Nestor Heredia
Bryan Mancila
Roughly another couple dozen more

Then there's Amaya and Ademan in Low and High A at 19.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Brian » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:06 pm

Regular Show wrote:Not sure where to put this, but I guess it fits here:

https://syndication.bleacherreport.com/ ... h.amp.html

This makes no sense to me and is another reason to hate Dayton Moore. I hate him for even saying the team is exploring the possibility of signing him.


I hadn't even heard of this guy until I read this post, and now today the New York Post with another one of their excellent headlines

"One bad inning sinks convicted child molester at College World Series."

https://nypost.com/2018/06/27/one-bad-i ... ld-series/
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CyHawk_Cub » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:28 am

"Porn is evil & wrong, but let's take a long look at signing a convicted child molester." horsefeathers the Royals.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:25 am

2:25
Navin: Seems to me like Miguel Amaya is breaking out this year. Has he become the Cubs best prospect?
2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: He was already a dude last year (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-22-p ... cago-cubs/) so I wouldn’t ‘say he’s breaking out, people are just noticing now because it’s on paper. Tools are still about what they were, maybe er’re all a little more confident in it now that he’s performing. He’s an advanced, 18 y/o everyday catching prospect.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby davell » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Some interesting comments from Longenhagen, with live look ins.....

Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Chicago Cubs (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 19 Org Rank: 14 FV: 40
Line: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 8 K

Notes
Marquez has a 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Eugene. I saw him up to 96 last year, but he was 88-93 in extended spring training, and his body had matured and gotten somewhat soft pretty quickly. It didn’t affect his advanced fastball command, though, or his arm-side command of his breaking ball, which comprise a large chunk of Marquez’s current plan on the mound. He projects as a No. 4/5 starter with several average pitches and above-average control.


Notes from the Field
There are lots of interesting players in the AZL right now despite the current inactivity of several early-round draftees. The Cubs have two impressive Mexican middle infielders on one of their two AZL teams. One, Reivaj Garcia (Reivaj is a palindrome of Javier), is still just 16 and will be until mid-August. He has advanced bat-to-ball skills for an AZL hitter, let alone for a 16-year-old, and has been fine at second base and shortstop in my looks. He shares middle-infield duties with 17-year-old SS Luis Verdugo, who is the best defensive shortstop I’ve seen at a complex since extended began. Smooth, rangy, and acrobatic, he projects a plus defender pretty comfortably. Verdugo’s bat is light, though he has added lots of good weight just over the last several weeks, which scouts and I have eyeballed at about 8-10 pounds. He was tied up by a ball inside last night and I noticed him shaking his hand in pain several times throughout the rest of the night while taking weaker swings than he had earlier in the game, so if there’s more power on contact thanks to the added weight, it wasn’t on display last night for circumstantial reasons.

The Cubs also have an interesting teenage arm in Yovanny Cruz. He sat 90-93 with natural sink, which pairs well with his diving, plus-flashing changeup. The shape and quality of the movement on Cruz’s pitches vary significantly, but there’s workable stuff here, and pitchers like Cruz, whose stuff dictates they work down in the zone instead of up, are becoming an endangered species. Lots of high-spin fastball/curveball guys who work up in the zone are in the Arizona right now.

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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Cubswin11 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:07 pm

We’re gonna have a top 10 system within like 18 months, aren’t we? Lol
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Duke Silver » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:46 pm

Good stuff. Thanks, davell.

Lots of interesting stuff going on in the lower levels. I'm fine with the farm sucking for another 12 months or so, since we don't really need the help. Give me a bullpen arm out of Mekkes or Maples and I'll be fine. But after that, hopefully some of these young guys breakout.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Hrubes20 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:54 pm

davell wrote:Some interesting comments from Longenhagen, with live look ins.....

Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Chicago Cubs (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 19 Org Rank: 14 FV: 40
Line: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 8 K

Notes
Marquez has a 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Eugene. I saw him up to 96 last year, but he was 88-93 in extended spring training, and his body had matured and gotten somewhat soft pretty quickly. It didn’t affect his advanced fastball command, though, or his arm-side command of his breaking ball, which comprise a large chunk of Marquez’s current plan on the mound. He projects as a No. 4/5 starter with several average pitches and above-average control.


Seems like Mr. Longenhagen needs to catch a game in Eugene. Marquez is SITTING 94-96 in his 3 starts so far.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:55 pm

Hrubes20 wrote:
davell wrote:Some interesting comments from Longenhagen, with live look ins.....

Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Chicago Cubs (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 19 Org Rank: 14 FV: 40
Line: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 8 K

Notes
Marquez has a 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Eugene. I saw him up to 96 last year, but he was 88-93 in extended spring training, and his body had matured and gotten somewhat soft pretty quickly. It didn’t affect his advanced fastball command, though, or his arm-side command of his breaking ball, which comprise a large chunk of Marquez’s current plan on the mound. He projects as a No. 4/5 starter with several average pitches and above-average control.


Seems like Mr. Longenhagen needs to catch a game in Eugene. Marquez is SITTING 94-96 in his 3 starts so far.


Arizona Phil had similarly disappointing velocity of Brailyn in Extended. It's nice to see the jump, hopefully it's real and sticks.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Hrubes20 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:16 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
Hrubes20 wrote:
davell wrote:Some interesting comments from Longenhagen, with live look ins.....

Brailyn Marquez, LHP, Chicago Cubs (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 19 Org Rank: 14 FV: 40
Line: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 8 K

Notes
Marquez has a 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Eugene. I saw him up to 96 last year, but he was 88-93 in extended spring training, and his body had matured and gotten somewhat soft pretty quickly. It didn’t affect his advanced fastball command, though, or his arm-side command of his breaking ball, which comprise a large chunk of Marquez’s current plan on the mound. He projects as a No. 4/5 starter with several average pitches and above-average control.


Seems like Mr. Longenhagen needs to catch a game in Eugene. Marquez is SITTING 94-96 in his 3 starts so far.


Arizona Phil had similarly disappointing velocity of Brailyn in Extended. It's nice to see the jump, hopefully it's real and sticks.


That's why I was certain it was just a hot gun in his first start. 2 more starts later, combined with no other known or reported velocity outliers in other prospects, has me believing that Marquez is legitimately the mid-90's version right now. As you said, let's hope it sticks.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:15 am

Cubswin11 wrote:We’re gonna have a top 10 system within like 18 months, aren’t we? Lol


Pretty much, though who the worthwhile guys actually are is up in the air. I still like Ademan, Amaya's right there with him, then there's a giant pool some 100+ deep and growing of low rep pros.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:31 am

Seems like most of those in the industry aren't ranking Amaya #1 yet:
Troy (Chicago):

Is Miguel Amaya a legit prospect? Stats are great for the level he’s at and sounds like he’s a decent catcher. But haven’t heard much buzz

Josh Norris: Yes, yes he is. In fact, he's among the best prospects in the system. His plate discipline has taken a big step forward, as noted by a walk rate that has nearly doubled. That improved eye has allowed him to get to his power more often, and he's hit 10 home runs in 71 games this season after hitting just four over the first 116 games of his career. He's one to watch.


And an FYI, since we're talking about our top 10s, BA has their midseason list coming out in the next week:

Tommy N. (San Diego):

Does Weathers crack the Padres top 10 for you?

Josh Norris: I'm sure I'm going to repeat this a lot in this chat, but we are releasing updated Top 10s for every organization next week. Draftees and J2 signings will be included among those lists.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:08 pm

Jared Young was the June Minor League Player of the Month. Duncan robinson was the June Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:55 pm

BA is doing a midseason Best Player and Biggest Leap Forward for every team: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... ed-skills/

The Cubs best player is Miguel Amaya:

Catcher Miguel Amaya isn’t as athletic as Willson Contreras or hyped like Eloy Jimenez. But Amaya is ahead of where the Cubs catcher was at this point in his career. And Amaya is performing in the Midwest League at the age of 19, just like the prized prospect the Cubs traded to the White Sox last summer for Jose Quintana.

"I don’t want to put him in the pantheon of Gleyber Torres and Eloy,” said Jason McLeod, the senior vice president of scouting and player development. "But when you just look at the age for level—and especially when you factor in the position as well—(he’s hitting) for average. He’s hitting for power. He’s controlling the strike zone fairly well.

"We absolutely think that he’s got the skill set and the intangibles to be a frontline catcher. He’s got the arm strength. He sets well. At this juncture in his career, I’d say we’re all really pleased with what he’s doing defensively back there.”


Trent Giambrone took the biggest leap forward:

Second baseman Trent Giambrone is a completely off-the-radar name as a 26th-round pick out of Delta State (Miss.) in 2016.

But the Cubs see similarities between the 24-year-old Giambrone and Triple-A Iowa third baseman David Bote. Bote is a versatile, well-rounded, overlooked player who made his big league debut this season and fits Joe Maddon’s style of managing.

"The numbers don’t jump off the page,” McLeod said. "But he’s hitting for power. He’s leading the team in stolen bases. He’s playing the middle of the field. He’s kind of like my Bote 2.0 a little bit.”
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:25 pm

BP previews the World roster for the Futures game: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... eam-world/

Miguel Amaya, C, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend)
Amaya has been the breakout prospect for the Cubs this year. Still a teenager, the Panamanian has developed a power stroke, hitting 11 home runs at South Bend. He’s raw behind the plate, but he has a strong arm and the physical ability to stick at catcher. —NG
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Hrubes20 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:36 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:BP previews the World roster for the Futures game: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... eam-world/

Miguel Amaya, C, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend)
Amaya has been the breakout prospect for the Cubs this year. Still a teenager, the Panamanian has developed a power stroke, hitting 11 home runs at South Bend. He’s raw behind the plate, but he has a strong arm and the physical ability to stick at catcher. —NG


I wonder if Amaya is one of those extremely inconsistent defenders, because I've seen both a report that he's raw behind the plate, as well as a report that he's advanced defensively as a catcher. Both from this year. I haven't been able to catch enough games to form an opinion on my own yet.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:43 pm

Hrubes20 wrote:
Transmogrified Tiger wrote:BP previews the World roster for the Futures game: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... eam-world/

Miguel Amaya, C, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend)
Amaya has been the breakout prospect for the Cubs this year. Still a teenager, the Panamanian has developed a power stroke, hitting 11 home runs at South Bend. He’s raw behind the plate, but he has a strong arm and the physical ability to stick at catcher. —NG


I wonder if Amaya is one of those extremely inconsistent defenders, because I've seen both a report that he's raw behind the plate, as well as a report that he's advanced defensively as a catcher. Both from this year. I haven't been able to catch enough games to form an opinion on my own yet.

Maybe it’s both? He’s still raw overall but advanced for age/level??
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Hrubes20 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:56 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:
Hrubes20 wrote:
Transmogrified Tiger wrote:BP previews the World roster for the Futures game: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... eam-world/



I wonder if Amaya is one of those extremely inconsistent defenders, because I've seen both a report that he's raw behind the plate, as well as a report that he's advanced defensively as a catcher. Both from this year. I haven't been able to catch enough games to form an opinion on my own yet.

Maybe it’s both? He’s still raw overall but advanced for age/level??


Certainly possible, I suppose. Also possible that the reports of him being advanced behind the plate were exaggerated due to him throwing out a million potential base stealers.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CubsWin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:58 am

Cubswin11 wrote:
Hrubes20 wrote:
Transmogrified Tiger wrote:BP previews the World roster for the Futures game: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... eam-world/



I wonder if Amaya is one of those extremely inconsistent defenders, because I've seen both a report that he's raw behind the plate, as well as a report that he's advanced defensively as a catcher. Both from this year. I haven't been able to catch enough games to form an opinion on my own yet.

Maybe it’s both? He’s still raw overall but advanced for age/level??

That's my sense. He simply hasn't had the reps behind the plate to be consistent yet. He's 19 and has played just under 1200 innings behind the plate in 3 pro seasons. While that may sound exhausting to a 49-year-old like me, we all know getting consistently excellent at that position takes time.

In the games I've watched over the last two seasons, he's looked raw on some nights and smooth on others. I've seen him crossed up by some pitches and beautifully frame another for a strike. I've seen improvement from this year to last but he's far from a finished product. He started off this season for some reason really struggling to throw out base runners. But then the Cubs catching co-ordinator (Tim Cousins? They didn't say who) came through on a trip visiting each level and Amaya's CS% skyrocketed.

By all accounts, he has the quickness and athleticism (though I wouldn't say either of those are on the same level as Contreras) to be an above average receiver in time while perhaps posting above average to elite CS numbers.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:24 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:BA is doing a midseason Best Player and Biggest Leap Forward for every team: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... ed-skills/

The Cubs best player is Miguel Amaya:

Catcher Miguel Amaya isn’t as athletic as Willson Contreras or hyped like Eloy Jimenez. But Amaya is ahead of where the Cubs catcher was at this point in his career. And Amaya is performing in the Midwest League at the age of 19, just like the prized prospect the Cubs traded to the White Sox last summer for Jose Quintana.

"I don’t want to put him in the pantheon of Gleyber Torres and Eloy,” said Jason McLeod, the senior vice president of scouting and player development. "But when you just look at the age for level—and especially when you factor in the position as well—(he’s hitting) for average. He’s hitting for power. He’s controlling the strike zone fairly well.

"We absolutely think that he’s got the skill set and the intangibles to be a frontline catcher. He’s got the arm strength. He sets well. At this juncture in his career, I’d say we’re all really pleased with what he’s doing defensively back there.”


Trent Giambrone took the biggest leap forward:

Second baseman Trent Giambrone is a completely off-the-radar name as a 26th-round pick out of Delta State (Miss.) in 2016.

But the Cubs see similarities between the 24-year-old Giambrone and Triple-A Iowa third baseman David Bote. Bote is a versatile, well-rounded, overlooked player who made his big league debut this season and fits Joe Maddon’s style of managing.

"The numbers don’t jump off the page,” McLeod said. "But he’s hitting for power. He’s leading the team in stolen bases. He’s playing the middle of the field. He’s kind of like my Bote 2.0 a little bit.”


Mooney once again some good quotes about Amaya, this time in the Athletic. It’s clear the organization views Amaya as easily their top prospect: https://theathletic.com/428979/2018/07/ ... ures-game/

“This kid [is] not as good an athlete as Willson is and probably never will be as good an athlete as Willson is,” Eljaua said. “But if you draw up a catcher, he’s almost like the prototypical guy — the body, the makeup, the intelligence for the position, the game-calling skills, all that stuff. And he’s got power and he can hit.

“We felt this is a guy that could be a force on both sides — offensively and defensively — and have a lot of leadership qualities and smarts and intelligence for the game. We felt he was going to be able to grasp things a little more quickly than the typical teenager from a Latin country who has to [learn] that position.”

“He’s awesome,” said South Bend lefty Brendon Little, a 2017 first-round draft pick who pitched at the University of North Carolina and a Florida junior college. “The crazy thing is he’s only 19 years old. One of the places where he shines the most for me is I’m a high-fastball pitcher to play off a curve. The way he can frame those high pitches — that’s what’s impressed me the most and really stood out. He does a good job of bringing it back into the zone. That’s been the one thing that’s really helped my game. The framing — it’s incredible.”
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby CubsWin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:59 am

Some insight as to what Brendon Little has been going through in his first full pro season from Patrick Mooney at The Athletic today. It confirms what I think at least most of us are aware of, that the Cubs are process-oriented in the early going of a player's development and less concerned with production (to which we as stats geeks and box score followers have the most access and thus have a tendency to place too much importance on and can overreact to).

“I guess on a bad day, when I get absolutely ripped on the field, then I’m like, ‘You know what, it’s part of the process,’” Little said this week. “As long as I was developing a changeup, as long as I was hitting spots, then it’s still comforting. But I definitely still have a long way to go. I don’t think about it too much.”

Little is concentrating more on developing a routine, stabilizing his mechanics, understanding pitch sequencing and sharpening that changeup. The overall line through 14 games (13 starts) is 3-6 with a 5.03 ERA. The game-by-game log shows five scoreless outings – and five outings with five or more runs allowed.

“Just get innings, start throwing my pitches more often, throwing curveballs more in the zone and start using stuff to set up hitters rather than just to put them away. I’ve learned the hard way a fastball can only take you so far if you can’t throw other stuff for strikes.”
This is essentially the opposite of the fast-track college hitters who rocketed from one minor-league affiliate to the next and immediately started producing in Joe Maddon’s lineup. The Cubs are looking at Little, who will turn 22 next month, as a longer-term investment, while Lange skipped South Bend and has put up a 3.52 ERA through 15 starts at advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach.

“We felt both of them had upside and impact,” amateur scouting director Matt Dorey said. “Lange with his background – pitching at LSU, being the Friday night starter for at least two of those years and in the rotation all three years – he had just proven it. His body of work suggested that he was just more advanced at this same stage.

“Where Little – with his background – didn’t have a ton of collegiate innings. He essentially had one full year off his first year at North Carolina and [came] out of a cold-weather area [in high school]. We knew the learning curve was just going to be slower, longer.
“We expected some early-season road bumps. We’re happy that we faced them early. Just knowing the kid, we knew he was going to [follow] his plan of development and not be chasing the next level after every good start.”

Little needed this kind of foundation and structure.

“It’s been huge because every year I was somewhere else,” Little said. “Every team, I had a different pitching coach. Every pitching coach had a different philosophy. I was almost – not trying to please every different pitching coach – but I would always be constantly making adjustments, making adjustments. I’m so used to it, which is probably why I tinker so much on the mound.

“But getting with the Cubs, getting with [Lawrence] and having just one thing to focus on has really simplified things. It’s been good. I love where they are or where they want me to be. Just forget all the tinkering and now it’s working on pitch location. Don’t focus on anything else except that release point. It’s really simplifying everything and getting away from changing so much stuff. Now let’s just focus on executing.”


That all makes sense. The most concerning part for me was him talking about "learning the hard way" that his fastball won't get the job done if he's unable to throw his other pitches for strikes. This isn't an uncommon thing for pitchers, but it seems to put to rest the notion that his velocity was diminished on purpose as a part of his developmental plan or will magically return at some point.

As his mechanics get refined and his confidence in his ability to locate his FB improves, perhaps he'll regain a few ticks on it, but his apparent drop in velo from 92-94 in the first two innings to 88-91 the rest of the way is still baffling and concerning.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:45 am

Here's a changeup Alex Lange threw in his July 3rd start:

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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Regular Show » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:41 pm

https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/ ... gley-field

Hoerner was able to spend time with the Cubs during batting practice this afternoon, mentioning the conversations he had with the players, in particular, Anthony Rizzo who made a lasting mark on the young Cub prospect.

"Rizzo pulled me over and introduced me to the group. He actually clumped everyone into guys who were drafted in the first round and guys who weren't."


Really? That seems kinda weird to me, especially since Rizzo himself was not a first rounder.
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Re: Minor League Musings place holder.

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:48 pm

Regular Show wrote:https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-first-round-pick-nico-hoerner-makes-unexpected-visit-wrigley-field

Hoerner was able to spend time with the Cubs during batting practice this afternoon, mentioning the conversations he had with the players, in particular, Anthony Rizzo who made a lasting mark on the young Cub prospect.

"Rizzo pulled me over and introduced me to the group. He actually clumped everyone into guys who were drafted in the first round and guys who weren't."


Really? That seems kinda weird to me, especially since Rizzo himself was not a first rounder.


I would guess that since all he knows about Nico is that he's a first rounder, Rizzo tried to highlight that commonality with all the first rounders in the clubhouse.

On the other hand, of the 10 regular position players, the only non-first rounders are Contreras(IFA), Rizzo(6th), and Zobrist(6th). Even Caratini was 65th overall. Schwarber, Happ, Almora, Heyward, Bryant, Russell, Baez, all 1st rounders.
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