FanGraphs Top 10 Cubs Prospects

FanGraphs recently released their list of the top 10 prospects in the Cubs system, the first since the Cubs traded five minor leaguers to the Rays for Matt Garza.

The Cubs system took a hit when Jim Hendry dealt Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer and Sam Fuld to Tampa. But the Cubs picked up a nice package for Tom Gorzelanny from the Nationals … including former supplemental round pick Michael Burgess.

Here’s how the Cubs’ system stacks up according to FanGraphs …

FanGraphs original rankings included Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer in the top 10. All of the movement in the system should result in updated prospects lists being released before pitchers and catchers next month.

FanGraphs Top 10 Cubs Prospects

1. Brett Jackson, OF
2. Trey McNutt, RHP
3. Chris Carpenter, RHP
4. Josh Vitters, 3B
5. Jay Jackson, RHP
6. Rafael Dolis, RHP
7. Hayden Simpson, RHP
8. Robinson Lopez, RHP
9. Reggie Golden, OF
10. Austin Reed, RHP

FanGraphs thinks the Cubs have the 19th best system out of the 30 big league teams.

Brett Jackson
Jackson will be 22 on Opening Day and has the potential to be an All-Star outfielder, as well as a 20-20 threat. According to FanGraphs, Jackson has plus bat speed and gets on base despite a high strikeout rate. Jackson can handle center but may end up in left.

Trey McNutt
McNutt will be 21 on Opening Day. The Cubs 32nd round pick in the 2009 draft has had two very successful seasons in pro ball. McNutt’s strikeout rates were outstanding at both levels and he improved his control as he was promoted up the system. McNutt is working on improving his change-up so he can remain a starter.

Chris Carpenter
Carpenter will be 25 on Opening Day. Carpenter made it to Triple-A for the first time in 2010. Carpenter misses bats (7.52 K/9) but his control has been inconsistent in three seasons in the Cubs’ system. Carpenter has the potential to be a solid number three starter but his health could end up pushing him to the bullpen.

Josh Vitters
Vitters will be 21 on Opening Day. Vitters showed more patience at the plate last season and almost doubled his walk-rate from the year before … but it still low. Vitters has good power potential, good bat speed and can turn on pitches. FanGraphs said, “If a coach can finally get through to him with preaching patience and pitch selection, this former No. 1 pick could really explode. As it stands, he’s one of the more frustrating prospects in baseball.”

Jay Jackson
Jackson will be 23 on Opening Day. Jackson spent his third year in pro ball at the Triple-A level. Jackson has four pitches, a slider, a curveball, a changeup and a high 80s to low 90s fastball. Jackson could end up as a solid three or four in the rotation or in the bullpen.

Rafael Dolis
Dolis is on the Cubs 40-man roster and will be 23 on Opening Day. Another converted position player in the Cubs’ organization, Dolis is still working on his command but when he’s on “he can dominate batters.” Dolis’ heavy fastball sits in the 90s (91-96) and he also throws a slider and a changeup. Dolis keeps the ball down and if he cannot make strides in his second and third pitches he could end up “as a high leverage reliever.”

Hayden Simpson
Simpson will be 21 on Opening Day. Simpson throws four pitches … a 80s to low 90s fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. Simpson could end up in the middle of a big league rotation … but he has yet to throw a pitch in pro ball. After signing with the Cubs, a case of mononucleosis ended his season prematurely.

Robinson Lopez
Lopez was acquired from the Braves for Derrek Lee last season. Lopez will be 20 on Opening Day. Lopez has spent time as a starter and reliever in his two seasons in pro ball. Lopez is raw and has trouble repeating his delivery, which leads to command issues.

Reggie Golden
The Cubs second round pick in the 2010 draft will be 19 on Opening Day. Golden played in just four rookie ball games after he signed last summer out of high school. Golden has a lot of raw tools and has the arm to be “considered a good fit for right field.”

Austin Reed
Reed was the Cubs 12 round pick in the 2010 draft and will be 19 on Opening Day. FanGraphs said Reed is “slowly gaining recognition as a steal in the 12th round. Reed throws three pitches (fastball in the high 80s to low 90s, curveball and changeup) from a three-quarter, almost side-arm slot. Reed showed promise in a short amount of time.

FanGraphs Top 10 Prospects: The Chicago Cubs

Over the next few weeks, the CCO will feature several articles focused on the Cubs’ top prospects and minor league system. An updated prospect list is in the works as well as a look back at how Baseball America ranked the top Cubs’ prospects.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon
  • studio179

    Well, there is work to be done. This upcoming draft is reported to be deep in some areas (RHP, OF). I really hope the Cubs and Wilken can string together very good draft picks to shoot the farm up higher.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Amazing Simpson comes in at number 7 but Lemahieu doesn’t make the list.

  • Tony

    Isn’t amazing that Vitters, who many want to write off already, is only 21 years old. It seems like he has been around along time already.

    • jw

      Hopefully they evaluated well and made an informed decision how to invest that high pick…Nothing is guaranteed in the draft but you have to get value in the top 3 picks. The ones I can remember of recent past are Montanez, Prior and Vitters. I followed Montanez for awhile with excitement only to see him fade from sight without any fanfare, Prior (Selected instead of Mark Teixeira) had the great start but in the big picture was a dissapointment, Vitters…jury is out but there are as many reasons to believe he will be a bust as a high value player at the MLB level.

    • Agustin_Rexach

      I agree, feels as if he were 25-26. Has a very fair shot in 2013

  • endy

    we should all be patient with vitters; adrian gonzalez didnt figure it out until 24 after being traded to the rangers and then SD. Originally drafted by Florida

  • Aaron

    well, we have the 9th pick in the draft. There’s a wealth of pitching depth out there, and decent OF depth, but the gem of the whole draft is Anthony Rendon:

    I kept saying it during the regular season that we needed to blow up this team, and prepare for the draft, playing rookies, and just dealing with the losses, because a player like Rendon doesn’t come along that often. Sure, he’s in college and they play with metal bats, but even so, his stats are cartoon-like. AND, with Vitters struggling, he could end up supplanting him as the 3B of the future. We were 18 games behind Pittsburgh for the worst record, and 14 behind Seattle for the 2nd worst record. With Alvarez already in the fold, it’s likely they might pass up on Rendon for a front-line starting pitcher in that spot.

    As it stands now, a few mock drafts have us selecting Jackie Bradley (last name gives me chills), who is a pretty good OF prospect for next year’s draft:

    Personally, I’d rather the Cubs draft this guy:

    Or, I’d like to see them draft Bubba Starling, who might be the best athlete of the bunch, but is currently committed to play both football (quarterback) and baseball (OF) at Nebraska. He’s a big guy, 6’5″, and everyone raves about his athleticism, but I doubt we’d want another high school project. We need guys to reach MLB quickly, especially with all these contracts rolling off in the next few years.

    • Aaron

      forgot to mention Paul Hoilman of E Tenn. He’s a big 1B, and has big-time power. I like him for us in the 2nd round

    • John_CC

      Are you speculating that Rendon will be a top 3 pick? Who are the other 7 teams after the Pirates and Seattle and before the Cubs?

      • Aaron

        I’m not by my computer now, but I believe the Royals, O’s, D’Backs, Nationals, and Indians are all ahead, plus one of those teams didn’t sign their 1st rounder last yr so I believe they get another top choice

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron, with a name like “Bubba”, this guy has to be a football player. I agree,long way from High School to the bigs,those players are very rare.

      • Aaron

        The thing with Bubba is I’ve seen him anywhere from top 10 to latter part of first round. Some might wonder why, and the reason is simple…..he throws gas on the mound (around 95mph), but he also is a good OF bat too. It’s all a matter of what teams draft him for as to where he gets picked. My guess is latter part if OF and top 10 if pitcher.

    • Mccarth2

      Aaron…this guy was my friend in high school and I have heard very mixed resluts from friends about where he could go in the draft…freak athlete, fast strong tall quick, OF…what do you think? Hes a huge white sox fan, I would love for the cubs to draft him somewhere…

      • Aaron

        I believe the baseball cube has him listed as a junior. Your buddy will likely get drafted after the 20th round….if you’re still friends with him, tell him to go back for his senior year. The first stats on his page suck ass, while he all of a sudden jumped last year. For hitters like that, if they’re juniors, they’ll often be “draft-and-follow” unless they’re seniors, in which case they’d likely be picked near the end of the draft, except if their #’s as a senior are off the charts. Pitchers, for whatever reason, are all across the board even with inconsistency like your friend has.

        I was projected as a junior to go anywhere after th 25th round, but the mlb draft is so unpredictable that had I not been injured, I very well could’ve been drafted in the top 15 rounds just as my friend was in the same draft (8th round) and my other buddy (13th round…though I could be wrong on this…I’d have to look it up…for some reason I think it was later in the teens like 17) and both had similar stats to me and similar velocity. Ironically, my buddy drafted in the 8th round was told he’d get selected around the 15th and later and my other buddy was told prior to the draft that he’d be in the top 3 rounds (mainly b/c he was 6’10”). It’s really a crapshoot, and many articles I’ve read have stated the Cubs are the most unpredictable drafter out there….so who knows. There have been PLENTY of picks throughout the years that surprised the hell out of me.

        • Mccarth2

          this has him 36th pick overall, first round

          • Aaron

            If he gets drafted that high, call him IMMEDIATELY and tell him to take the money, which for supplemental will likely be $900k.

            His stats, overall, while good….aren’t first round and/or supplemenatl worthy….let’s see what he does this spring….maybe he bests last year’s totals. If he does that, which that site is obviously predicting, then he’ll be a first rounder. My money is he won’t. Baseball cube has his contact rate at something like a 45, which is also around his patience rate.

            I hope for his sake, he gets drafted high….but personally, nothing really jumps at me except his speed…and even that 17 SB in 56 games, while above average, isn’t 1st round type if speed is your game. Now if he had a Desmond Jennings-esque 30+ SB in the same games played then I’d take notice.

            I’m no expert though, so who knows? Like I said….both of my friends were told they’d be drafted in a certain round, and were completely surprised on draft way for good and for bad in their respective situations.

    • BillyFinT

      Aaron, do you think the Big 10 (where Alex Dickerson plays)_ is a better league than the SEC league (Jackie Bradley)?

      ‘cuz that’s what i’ll consider 1st, the strength of the league (the oppononets), and their realtive stats…

      • Aaron

        This is baseball we’re talking about…..NOT college football. Yes, it’s true, your warm weather schools produce a high volume of top prospects, but northern schools do too…they just don’t get as much publicity.

        If you hit .400+ and .450+OBP in general, you’re doing pretty well, but in college? That’s in an elite league of players right there and that’s where Dickerson is.

        Just from U of M there have been these notable MLB players:
        Sabo, Jeter, Larkin, Abbott, Putz, Clayton Richards, Getz, Rich Hill, Jake Fox (the latter 3 aren’t all that good but since they were with the Cubs and White Sox, I thought i’d throw them in).

        From Indiana U, guys like Ted Kluszewski, Morandini, and our own Kevin Orie came out of there.

        From NU, guys like Girardi, Loretta, and JA Happ came out of there.

        MSU had Robin Roberts, Garvey, Kirk Gibson, and Mark Mulder as notables.

        OSU has plenty that made MLB but only 2 notables in Frank Howard and Nick Swisher

        PSU had Scioscia and Aardsma (though he finished at Rice)

        Anyway…..I could go on and on. Fact is, MLB is so great because they find players ALL over the place from po-dunk small-town high schools and large high schools to community colleges, JUCOS, NAIA, D-3, D-2, and D-1 schools along with Puerto Rico (b/c of US territory designation, they’re eligible for the draft). Some of the most obscure schools you’ve never heard of have produced some really good ballplayers. It’s the polar-opposite of the NFL and NBA. Fact is, as I’ve said a billion times it seems….you either have “it” or you don’t. You either have hand-eye coordination or velocity or you don’t. You can refine those skill sets, and that’s where coaching comes into play in pro ball, but the players that have “it” can be found anywhere, unlike football and basketball where a great deal of coaching goes into producing successful players. Baseball is an individual sport masked as a “team” sport.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Please sit down, and grab yourself a very stiff glass of Coca-Cola, because this article compares Garza and Tom Gorzelanny.

    Here’s a quote:
    “As the chart shows, despite throwing roughly 70 fewer innings, Gorzelanny was actually more valuable in 2010 than Garza. Gorzelanny recorded a higher strikeout rate, had stronger peripheral numbers overall and, when looking at Fielding Independent Pitching, actually pitched better in the areas that were under his control.”

    And another one:
    “the public perception of the difference of the two pitchers is not reflected in what happened on the field in 2010.”

    Shoot, I compared him to Randy Wells, and Wells isn’t very much worse statistically than Garza. Gorzelanny actually out performed him WAR.
    INcredible, isn’t it? And we threw in a few suspects, er, prospects, too.

    • John_CC


    • Theboardrider

      Garza threw in the toughest division in baseball. No hit the Yanks…the guy is going to dominate the NL…

      • Ripsnorter1

        Garza no hit the Detroit Tigers on Jul 25, 2010. He did not no hit the Yanks.

        Here is Garza’s stats vs. Yanks in 2010:

        3 GS …0-1 record …8.10 ERA…16.2 IP … 22 h …17 runs, 15 earned…5 hr … 7 BB . . .14 k … 1.740 WHIP

        These are John Grabow type numbers. In fact, Grabow pitched better than that, as his ERA was 7.38.

        Garza was 3-0 vs. the Orioles, a team that was 27th in MLB’s 30 teams in runs scored, and 22nd in MLB is slugging percentage.

        Vs. Red Sox in 2010: 6 GS . .. . 2-2… 5.14 ERA…35 IP…8 hr…38 hits …8 BB …22 k Still awful.

        Blue Jays (the other team in the AL East):
        3 GS 0-3… 3.72 era…19 IP…22 hits…8 ER…6 BB…13 k . .. 1.448 WHIP. Not so hot at all.

        How do ya’ll figure he’s going to rake in the NL because he was so tough vs. the AL East? Sure, he shut down the 66-96 Orioles, but that was it.

        So how did he win 15 games?
        Orioles 3-0
        Seattle 2-0
        Red Sox 2-2
        Texas 2-0
        Everybody else was just 1 win. Or none.

        Lifetime vs. Yanks:
        12 GS…1-4…4.48 ERA…1.402 WHIP… 66 IP…. 69 H….11 HR . . .
        Not stellar.

        Vs. Orioles
        12 GS…9-1…3.03 ERA…

        Fact: 2010
        Teams over .500 7-7 …4.26 ERA
        teams Under .500 8-3… 3.47 ERA

        • John_CC

          Now go ahead and do that for Gorzellany’s career. It is not a comparison, Rip. You toss out a column comparing some stats on a single season, ok fine, but that is not a solid assessment of either pitcher.

          In the same four seasons, ’07 – 2010, the pitcher stats are:
          ERA // INN // WHIP // H/9 // K/9 // K/BB
          TG: 4.70 // 490 // 1.50 // 9.5 // 6.9 // 1.65
          MG: 3.84 // 675 // 1.28 // 8.5 // 7.1 // 2.29

          You cannot argue that pitching in NL is the same as the AL.

          What I read in these lines are:
          Gozelanny’s WHIP is bad, he has a decent K rate, gives up too many hits and walks too many batters. He is not, in my opinion in the same discussion as Garza. He is very servicable #4 – 5 starter.

          Garza is definitely not an ACE, not yet. But a 3.84 ERA over almost 700 innings in the AL and as a young pitcher is good. His K/BB rate is pretty good, he needs to miss more bats. If he does that and raises his K/9, he’ll look really good. As a matter of fact he would look a lot like

          Player Z: 3.35 // 860 // 1.25 // 8.1 // 2.03

          Yeah, that’s Zambrano between 2004 – 2007, easily his best four seasons and when many fans where sure he was developing into an ace.

          • Aaron

            I don’t know about all this MG vs TG discussion. MG is no worse than a #3, while TG is no better than a #4….at least right now. While with the Pirates several years ago, he was actually a pretty solid #3.

            The thing that skews his stats big time the past few years is the shuttling between the pen and rotation, while Garza hasn’t dealt with that during the same time period.

            I guess I agree with both of you guys for those reasons. If TG played in the AL East, then you could do an apples-to-apples comparison.

            I guess, for the sake of argument, the best approach might be to throw TG’s stats out there against elite teams, but also for MG’s sake, it might be beneficial to see how he stacks up against elite pitchers in his own division such as:

            How did his stats compare with those guys, who were regarded as the best starters on their respective teams? Price would be an excellent test to see how good he really is, because they were backed by the same offense.

            The one thing about the MG trade is, I don’t believe there are many people out there that didn’t think we gave up far too much for a #3 starter, which he currently is.

            My personal feeling, just going off historical and current stats is that this will go down in infamy as the second coming of the Brock-for-Broglio trade. I hope I’m wrong but Broglio was almost the exact same age as MG, and their stats were eerily similar prior to joining the Cubs. Brock and Lee were also very similar players, both relying on speed and slap hits early in their pro careers.

            I believe MG has one good season for us, then flames out. As the saying always goes…..develop your own pitching, and use the excess to fill other holes. We did NOT have a hole int the rotation, but Hendry tried filling a fictitious one anyway. Archer, Guyer, and even Lee sure would’ve been nice to see even as early as this season. Hell, even Chirinos in favor of Hill would’ve been great. I just don’t understand why some people love this trade for the Cubs when evidence points to the contrary.

            Again, I hope I eat crow, but history says I won’t

          • John_CC

            I am just trying to point out that Gorzelanny does not compare to Garza, as Rip tried to do by referencing that one column that did it based on isolated stats during a single season.

            I agree that Garza is not an ace and that Hendry probably gave up too much for him. I also agree that Gorzelanny would make a really nice #5 starter for the Cubs. But I’m not going to listen to complaining about Hendry because they are basically the same pitcher. It’s just not so.

            I think you are right that to try to make the comparison between the NL and AL that it might help to look at TG vs. the best teams. But never having said that Garza is an ace, why compare him to the elite in the AL. He is not yet an elite starter.

            I do think that with the NL bump he could improve his K/9 by 1 and up it to 8, reduce his H/9 by 1 and drop it to around 7, this could lower his WHIP just around 1.20, and his ERA to around 3.60. That would be a pretty nice line for #3 starter.

          • Aaron

            It’d be a great line for a #3 starter….problem is, as you acknowledge and I referenced….we gave up way too much for him. In fact, we paid for him as if he were an Ace. As a lot of baseball pundits out there pointed out, it would’ve been far better for the Cubs to sign Harang vs trading that much for Garza.

            The reason I said compare him to elites is b/c Hendry not only said he was elite, but paid for him as such. So why don’t we test the premise?

            I believe we paid just as much as the Phillies did to get Halladay

          • Ripsnorter1

            I would agree that the Cubs paid as much for Garza as the Phils did for Halladay. That is shocking, to say the least.

          • Dakeller80

            Umm. . . I just have to chime in here at that last suggestion. The Phils gave up Cliff Lee to the Mariners to get Halladay from Toronto. Cliff Lee! Ace for ace. . .plus a bunch of prospects.

            And just to throw my two cents into the speculation. .. Garza is going to do fine. Hendry had a chance to deepen a good rotation so he jumped on it. I say it was a good use of some somewhat above average prospects.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I stand corrected. What I should have said was that the Blue Jays received LESS for Halladay, than the Rays did for Matt Garza.

            Here’s what Toronto received for Halladay:
            Kyle Drabek (RHP), Michael Taylor (OF), Travis D’Arnaud (C)

            Drabek was the #2 pitcher in the Phils organization at the time, and #25 in all of MiLB at the time. He had undergone Tommy John surgery. In 2010 he subsequently went 14-9 … 2.94 in AA. (Compare to Archer’s 2010 8-2…1.80 in AA, and 15-3…2.34 in A and AA combined.

            Michael Taylor: OF Taylor has been a fascinating case study over the last few seasons. He was terrible in his half season debut, then took off in 2008. Still, most scouts were doubting him after his 2008 breakout and questioning whether it was real, or whether he was just dominating younger competition. He put up a ridiculously good 2009 at AA/AAA, yet still it seems that people are doubting him, and it seems like his biggest doubters are in the Phillies front office, as they seemed to have no trouble trading him the first chance they got. And in a funny twist, it appears the Blue Jays are going to immediately trade him to Oakland for 3B prospect Brett Wallace. Taylor hit a lousy .272 with 6 lousy HR in 523 PA for A’s. Wallace did better: 18 HR, 61 RBI, .301 at 3B.

            Travis D’Arnaud: plays in A ball, hit .259 6 HR…38 RBI in 292 PA. Compares with Chirinos, in my book.

            So the Cubs gave up more.

          • Theboardrider

            Either way I’m excited about Garza. He’s 27 years old so we could probably expect to het 7-8 years out of him. He seems to have it between the ears so that fact alone tells me he can continue to improve until he’s 32-33 years old. If he does continue to improve he’s probably a #2 starter on most teams by the time he’s 30…maybe even a 1. Neil where are you on this?

          • joejoed

            you can’t compare the trade markets and relative positions of the blue jays and rays in two different years and with two different players. baseball doesn’t exist in a vacuum

          • joejoed

            you can’t compare the trade markets and relative positions of the blue jays and rays in two different years and with two different players. baseball doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

          • joejoed

            One big difference between this trade and the Brock-for-Broglio: Brock had played in the Bigs. HJLee hasn’t breeched single-A….

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,I’m just starting to get comfortable with Garza,and then your post. I was never a fan of trading Gorzo, liked watching him pitch,oh well he’s gone and we need another lefty. If indeed its a wash,then we do need another arm, preferably a lefty,can’t have too many of those wrong-arms.

    • Richard Hood

      If you actually agree with most of the BS that comes from any of the people that are at Bleacher Report you have issues. Most of them are on the hate every GM bandwagon who think they are smarter than most guys in baseball. It does not matter the team look at some of the reports for other clubs. LOL the same sight for TB said that Garza was stolen in the middle of the night by the cubs. So I think that you really need to take the stuff they say worth a grain of salt.

  • Ripsnorter1

    And Gorzelanny is cheaper . . . .

  • cubtex

    Ripsnorter…That is why stats are so misleading!!!! To compare a pitcher like Garza who has far superior upside and pitched against AL East competition and against a DH is ridiculous! Garza is a top of the rotation starter and Gorzellany will NEVER be more than a 4 or 5.

    • Agustin_Rexach

      Exactly. Besides the article is a week old and ridiculously forced. Gorzo is fish chum compared to Garza! A blind man could easily see that.

      • Aaron

        Don’t know about that just yet….let’s see what he comes up with for the stats I asked about above with the other elite pitchers in the AL East….let’s also see how TG did against elite teams. It might be close

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Gorzellany pitched well last year, BUT he had a hard time making it to the 7th inning. By the 5th and 6th innings he was starting to get knocked around almost every time.
          What makes Ryan Dempster so good is that he can pitch 7 or 8 innings almost every start.
          Garza averaged 6 2/3 innings per start last year, while Gorzelanny averaged 5 2/3 innings per start.

          You have to bring that into consideration can this guy get me to Sean Marshall / Wood and Marmol. or are we going to have to bring in a Grabow or Stevens for an inning or two everytime he pitches.
          Gorzelany taxes the bullpen.
          Garza does not.
          There’s a lot of value right there, and Garza has been facing DH’s and getting through almost 7 innings each time out, While Gorzelany faces pitchers and can’t make it to the 6th inning.
          Garza is a much more valuable pitcher, there is no comparison.

          • paul catanese

            Rick,I agree the point is to get seven innings out of the starters so Marshall,Wood ad Marmol can take over. But I think one of the problems the Cubs have is more managerial than the pitchers going seven. Too many times I have seen Dempster,Gorzo,Wells and starters lose it quickly and no one warming up,before you know it were out of the game. I think they do not see ahead enough to have someone ready and when they bring that person in usually they are not warmed up enough and it continiues to deteriate at a fast pace. The value of course would as you say have someone who can go the seven innings and if Garza is that guy great.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I do not think stats are misleading at all. All the stats do is prove what a player did. The stats say A-Rod is a better hitter than Aaron Miles. If one were to say Aaron Miles were better, the stats would offer the proof that A-Rod is a better hitter.

      We shall see how Garza performs in the NL Central. I just posted the proof that Garza did not tear up the AL East. The facts say that the AL East tore him up.

      BTW, this article from the Bleacher Report was not written by me. I did write a post here on the CCO comparing Garza to Randy Wells, and they are not very far different pitchers. Some here at the CCO are calling for Wells’ demotion to AAA.

      Can we agree that 2011 will prove how good Garza is against the NL Central? Can we agree that his NL Central stats will be the proof that demonstrates how good he is?

      • Gary J

        We can agree that 2011 will tell how good he is… personally I think he’s going to show #2 stuff with growth. We’ll see though.

        We can also agree that the article you posted ignored anything that didn’t support the writer’s premise (such as WHIP) :-)

      • cubtex

        Of course stats are misleading!!! You can spin stats any way you want to try and make a comparison between 2 players of unequal ability. For instance…comparing Garza to Gorzellany is ridiculous because one is a top pitcher and the other is average at best. There is something called the “human eyeball test” that will tell you a great player from a not great player. If for instance Brett Jackson has the same stats as Sam Fuld….does that mean they are the same player???? Would any GM in baseball take Sam Fuld over Brett Jackson???? See how idiotic stats are? Quit comparing players with unequal abilities…It is stupid!

        • Ripsnorter1

          Wow. You may be hard to convince, but I’ll try anyway.

          Let’s say you have a guy who hits .300 30 HR 120 RBI, and a guy who “has potential” who hits .222 1 HR and 15 RBI. Can’t you tell me that the first guy is better in that time frame than player 2?

          Stats simply record what a player ACTUALLY did, not how he looked doing it. Therefore stats record reality. The reality is that Garza won 15 games, but only 5 against the AL EAST, of which 3 of those 5 wins were against the Orioles.

          • Aaron

            I agree completely with your post. You’ll always come across people that will say it’s not a snowstorm when 10 feet is pile up outside their door. You’ll also have the same type of people look at a glass that’s about a quarter full, and say that it’s half full.

            The point is, they don’t want to look at the obvious….they want to see things in their own way, because that’s what helps them sleep at night. In the sporting world, I could care less what other fans think. usually it’s the same people that are easily influenced by the media anyhow…but I digress.

            The way I see it, the Cubs, beginning with the McDonough era, really started the PR machine the way we see it today….speaking of which…anyone know what the origins of PR were? Propaganda was the original term, actually….funny how it’s been changed throughout the years, eh? But, it’s funny, because if you think of PR in those terms than basically everything that has come out of the mouth of Hendry and everyone else at the Cubs Conventions has been propaganda…or, in other words, lies to get you to keep coming to games. How do they do that? One word:

            For instance, we had a drastically overrated (but solid) 1B in Lee, who I never really liked on this team….but here were his stats last year:
            .260/.347/.428 slash line, 80 runs, 142 hits, 35 doubles, 19 hr, 80 RBI

            and we replaced him with:
            .196/.325/.407 slash line, 64 runs, 95 hits, 18 doubles, 28 hr, 84 RBI

            How does that make us better exactly?!?

            Or we take…

            4.09 ERA, 1.496 WHIP in 136 IP, 23 starts (5.91 IP/start)

            and replace with:

            3.91 ERA, 1.251 WHIP in 204 IP, 32 starts (6.375 IP/start)

            So…basically Garza was better than Gorzelanny in ERA by .18 He was better in WHIP by .245

            But what does all of that really mean? Well, over the course of 23 starts, it means that Gorzelanny would give up about 4 more runs than Garza would during that time period.

            The WHIP means that Gorzelanny will give up 5.635 more walks/hits than Garza during the same 23 starts he had.

            I might be off on all my math, but at least that’s my take on it. I’d love for someone to tell if I’m off base, or if I’m right on…I really don’t know if that’s an accurate use of stats or not, as that’s the first time I’ve tried doing it that way.

            You get ERA by taking earned runs, multiply by 9, then divide by IP.

            WHIP is just walks and hits per IP. Add up the walks and hits, and divide by IP.

            Therefore, I think my analysis seems spot on…but, again, I could be wrong.

            When you start analyzing in those terms, it puts Gorzelanny in an entirely different light, right?

            I’m just doing all this for the sake of argument (not because I actually believe Gorzelanny is a better pitcher than Garza…which he’s clearly NOT) and, because I hate the package we gave up for Garza……oh, and because I just loathe Hendry, in general…LOL

          • joejoed

            Do you think the Cubs should have tried to extend Derrek Lee’s contract with a pay decrease? Doesn’t Pena cost less than Lee did last year?

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Randy Wells averaged 6.22 innings per start.
    Matt Garza averaged 6.66 innings per start.
    Tom Gorzelany 5.63 innings per start.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s some stats: it’s the results of the 1982 draft. Here’s a link to the entire page that lists who actually signed, and the results of their major league careers (if they even made it to the majors at all).

    You’ll notice that player #2 Bryan Oelkers, who was originally drafted by the ChiCubs in 1979, signed in 1982 for a $2.5 million bonus. He was drafted right in front of Dwight Gooden. He looked so good. He passed the eye test. His major league totals: 3-8 …6.01 ERA…1.77 WHIP…45 games and out of baseball.

    Meanwhile . . .draftee #815: Kenny Rogers 762 games, 219-156, 4.27 ERA.

    My point: the stats state the reality: Kenny Rogers was a better pitcher than Bryan Oelker.

    Shawn Dunston was taken #1. He had a career .269 BA. Of the next 70 picks, not one hit as much as .252. Mike Greenwell hit .303, and he was pick #72.

    SUSPECTS. THEY ARE ALL SUSPECTS UNTIL THEY PROVE IT AT THE ML LEVEL. And the N.I.V. eye test may be just your N.I.V. imagination. Just ask ole Byran Oelker. Spike Owen was taken #6. He was one of the best ones at .246 BA and no power and little speed.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Of all the players that the Cubs picked in the 1982 draft–including 3, count ’em, 3!–first rounders, only Shawn Dunston and Gary Varsho got as many as 100 AB. Varsho was never more than a reserve. .246 10 HR 84 RBI in his career that covered several years. Had a very smooth and nice LH swing. But all of the others were complete busts.

    • daverj

      There is no way Oelkers was given a $2.5 million bonus … contracts like that weren’t given to draft picks in those days.