Baseball Prospectus Top 20 Cubs Prospects for 2012

The CCO’s look at the top prospects in the Cubs’ system continues with Baseball Prospectus’ list of the top 20 prospects.

Kevin Goldstein views the Cubs’ system a little differently from Baseball America and gave a good overview of the organization. Goldstein shares the views of the CCO … “it’s not a bad system by any measurement but it has far more depth than star power.”

Brett Jackson, Javier Baez, Welington Castillo, Dillon Maples and Matt Szczur make up the top five with Jackson the only five-star prospect in the organization.

The Cubs’ system has shown improvement and despite the recent changes to the draft and international signings, the new regime figures to take a middle of the pack system into the top ten in the near future. Kevin Goldstein summed up the Cubs’ system by saying, “The new collective bargaining agreement adds some challenges to the existing Theo Epstein system of scouting and player development. While there are plenty of future big-leaguers in the organization, most of the players who are going to turn things around are not here yet.”

Here is how the Cubs’ system lines up according to Baseball Prospectus, plus the top players 25 and under at both the Major League and minor league level.

Baseball Prospectus’ Top 20 Cubs Prospects for 2012

Five-Star Prospects
1. Brett Jackson, OF (1)
Four-Star Prospects
2. Javier Baez, SS (NR)
Three-Star Prospects
3. Welington Castillo, C (14)
4. Dillon Maples, RHP (NR)
5. Matt Szczur, OF (NR)
6. Josh Vitters, 3B (4)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B (NR)
8. Trey McNutt, RHP (2)
9. Marco Hernandez, SS (NR)
Two-Star Prospects
10. Junior Lake, SS/3B (NR)
11. Rafael Dolis, RHP (15)
(2011 BP Ranking in Parenthesis)

Nine More
12. Dan Vogelbach, 1B (NR)
13. Jae-Hoon Ha, OF (NR)
14. Chris Carpenter, RHP (6)
15. Tony Zych, RHP (NR)
16. Ryan Flaherty, IF/OF (NR)
17. D.J. LeMahieu, IF (NR)
18. Zeke DeVoss, OF (NR)
19. Reggie Golden, OF (8)
20. Marwin Gonzalez, IF (NR)
(2011 BP Ranking in Parenthesis)

Top Talents in the Cubs’ System 25 and Under
(Born 04/01/86 or later)

1. Starlin Castro, SS
2. Brett Jackson, OF
3. Javier Baez, SS
4. Andrew Cashner, RHP
5. Welington Castillo, C
6. Dillon Maples, RHP
7. Matt Szczur, OF
8. Josh Vitters, 3B
9. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
10. Trey McNutt, RHP

Sleeper Prospect: Gioskar Amaya
The Venezuelan teenager is a plus runner with excellent contact ability that could be a utility player or more.

With a majority of Goldstein’s rundown being by subscription only, here are a few of the highlights on the top 11 prospects …

1. Brett Jackson, OF
Age/DOB – 23/August 2, 1988
Tools Profile – Jackson does not have any monster tools, but is average to plus across the board
The Good - Jackson does not have a below average tool … big, powerful athlete that could hit 20-25 home runs. Has excellent approach at the plate and above average speed. Solid centerfielder and could be even better in the corner thanks to his tick above average arm.
The Bad - There is a lot of swinging and missing in Jackson’s game which does not project for a high average and if he slows down could be pushed to right field which will increase his offensive expectations.
Perfect World Projection – An above average everyday centerfielder
Path to the Big Leagues – Likely begin 2012 in Triple-A but should spend a lot of time in the big leagues in 2012.
ETA – 2012

2. Javier Baez, SS
Age/DOB – 18/December 1, 1992
Tools Profile – Outstanding offensive potential, not a pure athlete
The Good – Can flat-out hit with blinding bat speed and excellent hand-eye coordination. Baez projects to hit for average and plus power once he learns how to drive the ball. Solid defensive fundamentals for his age and an arm that can handle the left side of the infield.
The Bad – Not the type of player normally seen at shortstop. Average runner at best and not especially quick … which leads to the thought he will end up at third base. Needs to develop an approach at the plate and learn how to take pitches.
Perfect World Projection – Excellent hitter that will likely end up at a less prominent position.
Path to the Big Leagues – Baez should start the season at Low-A Peoria.
ETA - 2015

3. Welington Castillo, C
Age/DOB - 24/April 24, 1987
Tools Profile - A catcher with power and a plus arm
The Good – Castillo’s combination of power and plus arm are rare in catchers. He can drive balls from gap to gap and can hit both righties and lefties well. Castillo’s arm is his best defensive tool and is an average receiver.
The Bad - Castillo is aggressive at the plate and can chase pitches when behind in the count. Is extremely slow, grading as a 20 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Perfect World Projection – Castillo could be a 20 home run catcher that slows down the running game.
Path to the Big Leagues – Castillo will compete for a backup job this spring. Castillo will need to wait for Geovany Soto to either be traded or leave due to free agency (two season) before he gets a shot to play everyday.
ETA - 2012

4. Dillon Maples, RHP
Age/DOB – 19/May 5, 1992
Tools Profile - Teenage right-hander has athleticism and upside
The Good - Maples’ upside as a starter is unmatched in the Cubs’ system. Maples already throws in the low to mid 90s with natural movement and most scouts feel he will improve with professional instruction.
The Bad - Maples does not have a changeup, did not need one and his delivery is not “pretty”. Maples needs innings and professional experience.
Perfect World Projection – Maples could be an above average big league starter.
Path to the Big Leagues – Will go to spring training trying to convince the Cubs’ brass he should start his professional career at full-season level and not short-season Boise.
ETA – 2015

5. Matt Szczur, OF
Age/DOB - 22/July 20, 1989
Tools Profile – A weird profile with tools that have little polish
The Good – Szczur is a complete athlete with raw strength that could lead to 15 home runs a year. Szczur is not a burner but has plus speed that allows him to steal bases and cover ground in the outfield. Szczur has an average arm.
The Bad – Szczur’s baseball abilities are behind due to playing college football. Szczur is quite raw with a very poor approach at the plate. In the field, he needs to work on reads and routes to the ball.
Perfect World Projection – Szczur could be an everyday centerfielder, but not a star.
Path to the Big Leagues – Szczur should start 2012 with the Smokies despite his struggles at High-A Daytona.
ETA – Late 2013

6. Josh Vitters, 3B
Age/DOB - 22/August 27, 1989
Tools Profile - Vitters has a pretty swing but his progress has been slow
The Good - Vitters is still well thought of because one of the quickest, smoothest swings from the right side in the minors. Vitters flashes plus power and rarely strikes out and can crush mistakes. Defensively, Vitters has made progress and some think he might be able to stay at third base.
The Bad – Vitters hurts himself at the plate by swinging at bad pitches that results in weak groundouts and pop ups.
Perfect World Projection – Vitters could be an everyday third baseman but his star potential is fading.
Path to the Big Leagues – Vitters should start the year at Triple-A and could earn a September call-up.
ETA – 2013

7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Age/DOB - 18/November 24, 1993
Tools Profile – Candelario possesses a great combination of pure hitting ability and offensive polish
The Good – Candelario has a lot of offensive potential and has been praised for his high-polished approach at the plate. The switch hitter has power potential to all fields and a knack for consistent hard contact. Candelario could end up as an average defender at first base.
The Bad - Candelario has a better swing from the left side than the right side with reduced power against lefties. His defense could move him from third to first or to left field, if he doesn’t slow down too much for the outfield.
Perfect World Projection - Could end up a middle of the order run producer
Path to the Big Leagues – Candelario should be in the states this spring (played last season in the Dominican Summer League) and could see time in Short-Season A-Ball. He has tremendous upside but is a long way from the big leagues.
ETA – 2016

8. Trey McNutt, RHP
Age/DOB - 22/August 2, 1989
Tools Profile – McNutt is a big guy that throws hard
The Good - McNutt’s velocity dropped in 2011 to a fastball more in the low to mid 90s than the mid to upper 90s he flashed in 2010. McNutt’s delivery was bit of a problem but he still has a plus slider with a heavy two-plane break.
The Bad - McNutt struggled with his command last year, fell behind in counts often and became very hittable. McNutt continued to struggle with his changeup (below average pitch) and some would like to see what he could do out of the pen.
Perfect World Projection – McNutt could still be a strikeout pitcher, but it is unknown whether it will be as a starter or a reliever.
Path to the Big Leagues – Should return to Double-A to start the year
ETA - 2013

9. Marco Hernandez, SS
Age/DOB - 19/August 6, 1992
Tools Profile – Hernandez is a legitimate shortstop with some hitting ability
The Good - Hernandez is a true shortstop with above-average speed, quick reactions, range to both sides and a strong arm. Hernandez is a switch hitter with a line drive swing from both sides and has shown flashes of being able to drive a ball into the gap.
The Bad – Hernandez does not have a projectable frame (6-foot, 170 pounds) and may not develop much power and improve his on-base skills in order to keep from hitting at the bottom of the lineup. Defensively, Hernandez is prone to errors on routine groundballs when he rushes in the field.
Perfect World Projection – An everyday big league shortstop
Path to the Big Leagues – Could start the season in Low Class-A but likely short-season Boise
ETA - 2015

10. Junior Lake, SS/3B
Age/DOB – 21/March 27, 1990
Tools Profile – Lake is big, athletic and toolsy
The Good – Lake has always had impressive tools … above-average power and speed to go with an 80 arm.
The Bad - Lake’s game can be ugly. He is a complete mess at the plate and has shown very little discipline … same can be said about his defense. Lake has the upside but “there is so much work to be done that several teams who want to turn him into a power reliever have approached the Cubs.”
Perfect World Projection – A player with some power and speed at a yet to be determined position
Path to the Big Leagues – Lake will return to Double-A and could move up quickly or be one of those players that gets stuck in the upper levels of the minor leagues.
ETA – Late 2013

11. Rafael Dolis, RHP
Age/DOB - 23/January 10, 1988
Tools Profile – Dolis is a traditional right-handed reliever with a plus sinker/slider combination
The Good – Has two plus pitches: A fastball that sits in the mid 90s with natural sink and a slider with late, explosive movement.
The Bad - Dolis can get violent with his delivery and when he does he losses the strike zone and he adjusts by taking too much off his pitches.
Perfect World Projection – Set-up man on a good team or a closer on some teams
Path to the Big Leagues – Probably will not break camp with the Cubs but should return next season
ETA – 2012
______________________________________________________________

Baseball America ran their list of the top 10 prospects in the Cubs’ organization last week. BP went a little deeper into the Cubs’ system than Baseball America and provided a pretty accurate assessment of the top players in the organization.

In the coming weeks, the CCO will revisit our list of the Cubs’ top prospects from last season and release our list for 2012.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO


  • Tony_Hall

    Here is the easiest breakdown of Type A Free Agents who will cost their team a 1st round pick.

    From mlbtraderumors “List Of Free Agents Who Will Cost Draft Picks
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [November 24, 2011 at 3:33pm CST]
    In case the fine distinction between Type A and Type B free agents wasn’t confusing enough, MLB has added a new level of complexity to this offseason’s class of ranked free agents. This year’s Type A free agents have been divided into three groups and teams will only have to surrender draft choices for signing players from one of the the sub-groups. You can read about the details here and follow the arbitration offers with MLBTR’s tracker, but if you’re only concerned with the bottom line, look no further. Here are the six remaining players for whom teams will have to surrender a top draft pick this offseason:

    Prince Fielder
    David Ortiz
    Albert Pujols
    Jose Reyes
    Jimmy Rollins
    C.J. Wilson

  • Tony_Hall

    Nice breakdown of players.  It’s nice to see an analysis, that isn’t all positive, but actually talks about the negatives.  Let’s face it, all players have deficiencies in their game, even All-Star’s.  

  • Ripsnorter1

    “The Cubs system has more depth than star power….there are plenty of future big-leaguers in the organization, most of the players who are going to turn things around are not here yet.”

    What a damning sentence! “Thanks, Jim Qlueless!” 

    Now to clean up the mess…..
    1. The next draft is June. Oh, I know the Rule V draft is coming, but you aren’t going to get a ML starter there. SO FORGETABOUTTHAT! Let’s see….draft a star in June, and take four years to develop him….that means he’d arrive in a Cubs’ uniform in 2016–PROVIDED THE CUBS ARE CAPABLE OF DEVELOPING HIM!  (Under Jim Qlueless, we had a lot of trouble with that). And most teams are fortunate to draft one star per draft. And it takes more than one to make a winning team. Conclusion: no quick turn around via the draft. It’s way too slow. We have to have a quicker solution to our problems.

    2. Theo says we are going to be competitive every year. I believe him. That means the Cubs have to sign Free Agents, and they have to be very judicious about it. 

    The only real solution is to spend money acquiring free agents. Theo will have to be so very careful here. The big contracts mess with the mind. Most players can’t handle it. And look at these holes he needs to fill:3 starting pitchers! Cashner may not be able to start anymore, or at least this year. Zambrano is gone? Dumpster is going to start, but he’s been on a steep decline for two years. Wells? Will he show up sober? His work ethic is destroying his career. Garza pitched well enough last year, but Casey Coleman isn’t a ML pitcher. Lopez is a free agent and unlikely to return. And there are no starters ready in AA or AAA. There just isn’t. AND YOU ALL SAW THE DISASTER LAST YEAR WHEN BOTH WELLS AND CASHNER WENT DOWN. Theo simply cannot afford a repeat of last year’s fiasco. He needs three–count ‘em, THREE!–starters. I want Edwin Jackson in the worst way. But then the saying is, “If you want it bad, you get it–bad! And if you want it REAL BAD, you’ll get it–REAL BAD!”  

    3B
    Blake DeWitt is your front runners. Can’t field. Has no power. No speed. Hits a middling .250. Wow. He’s Darwin Barney at 3B–ie, a utility player starting. Your minor leagues are void of ML starting 3B for 2012. Oh, you want DJ LeMeihu? Might hit .275 with 1 HR and 35 RBIs. Not gong to win very many games with that kind of offensive power.

    1B
    I consider it a lock that Carlos “Mr. .196″ will be your starting 1B for 2012. Why? Pujols and Fielder cost too much, and the Cubs offered Pena arbitration. He’ll be back. LaHair? IF**IF he makes the team, he gets 150 AB–maybe. He can’t play OF, and I just don’t see the Cubs letting him play for 500 AB. We shall see…..

    LF, CF, RF
    Soriano will have to play–we haven’t anyone else. Marlon Byrd is your starting CF until Jackson gets a chance, but his bat doesn’t make enough contact. RF? We don’t even have Funko now! WHOA!! This is getting real ugly, real fast!

    • Tony_Hall

      This isn’t going to be a quick turn around, and Theo and Company will build through  their own system, but it will take some years to produce new players that they sign.  There are quite a few players that are already on the big league team, and more that are coming up this year and next.  They will also use free agency to keep the team competitive, as much as possible, each year. 

      3B – I see Lemahieu as an option, and Baker is most likely the front runner over Dewitt.  If they can find a 1 year stop gap, that would be good.  Long term we have a lot of 3B options, Vitters, Lake, Castro, Baez to name a few. I see Lemahieu as holding 3B, until Vitters is ready, then moving to 2B, putting Barney in the utility role he is better suited to play.

      1B – I don’t see Pena taking arbitration.  He is a much cheaper alternative than Pujols and Fielder for teams looking for a 1B, and think someone will give him a 2-3 year deal.  Arbitration is no guarantee of more money for 1 year.  Unless they go after Fielder, I think Lahair will be at 1B this year.  Another position that has players getting closer to the majors, none that will match Fielder and Pujols though.

      OF – Until Soriano is gone, I am going to keep assuming he will be in LF.  Byrd, I believe will be traded, before the trade deadline, and until then he will be patrolling CF.  Brett Jackson will take over for him, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

      I see a roster (as of now) of 

      C – Soto, Castillo (there’s no way Hill stays…right?)
      IF – Lahair, Barney, Castro, Baker, Lemahieu, Dewitt (Flaherty?)
      OF – Soriano, Byrd, Colvin, Campana, R Johnson (if they re-sign him)

      The 27 Yankees they are not.

      SP – They need to figure out the rotation, as it needs to be rebuilt as well.  

      Right now – Garza, Dempster, Zambrano (??), Wells………………

      Samardzija might get a chance, Cashner might be tried again…..

      The bullpen looks to have some good arms, they need to get Marmol figured out, or move him.

      RH – Marmol, Wood, Samardzija, Cashner, Carpenter, Dolis
      LH – Marshal, Russell, Beliveau, Maine, Gaub

      With no additions, that’s it.  Not a playoff team, and needs more power, and starting pitching at a minimum.

    • Tony_Hall

      Now add in B Jackson and Josh Vitter, not as superstars, but as upgrades to what we have, by mid-season or sooner.  IF, they added Fielder at 1B, we would a start to have an offense that can be productive.

      Infield – Fielder, Lemahieu, Castro, Vitters – bench Barney, Flaherty
      OF – Soriano, B Jackson, Colvin, Campana, R Johnson
      C – Soto, Castillo

      Still not a top 1/3 lineup, which is what Theo and Jed are trying to figure out, if signing Fielder would make sense, can they build a team around him, while he is still productive.  The next step would be who protects Fielder.  No one on this roster in 2012.  

      You have to give it to Theo and Jed, if they wanted a new challenge, they got it.

  • Anthony

    I expressed my take on this in the previous thread. One other angle is that I don’t think fake talent people/journalists have gotten their head out of the sand yet and are still stuck in the Roid Era using those numbers as a MLB performance standard. The weening off performance-enhancement is almost complete, and the new NORM almost set.

    For example, in 1997 when eveyone was “looking the other way”, MLB delivered the following:

    The average age of a hitter was 28.9. The statline for the league was .267/.337/.419 with 35 hitters batting .300 or better. Gwynn led at .372, and HR’s were hit a frequency every 33.5 at bats. Hitters struck out 30:15 KBB.

    As the Roid era started peaking, in 2001, the average age of a hitter was 29.1 and the statline was .264/.332/.427 while 46 players hit .300 or better, and HR’s were hit at a frequency every 30.5 at bats and hitters striking out in a similar 32:16 KBB ratio.

    Fast forward to 2011. The average age of a hitter at 28.7 and a statline of .255/.321/.399 for the ML average. There were 26 players who hit .300 or better with a high of .344. HR’s were hit at a frequency every 36.4 at bats and struck out 34:15 KBB ratio, much higher than the Roid era.

    What this tells me is that nobody should compare current prospects against fabled, tainted, or otherwise false standards. Hitting .300 now means more than 15 years ago, and seeing stupid Bonds-like video game numbers are a thing of the past, and that is good.

    As many warts that these experts point out in top prospects, it really is a slap in the face to every other prospect because these rags give certain readers the false impression that every other prospect is just filling space, have no tools, nor talent. That is plain buulllshiiiit.

    Hey, if our top prospect hits .275 with 10 HR,s, well, that exceeds the current league averages. Get to used to the new math!

    • Tony_Hall

      Where do you see them say that the other prospects are no good? They aren’t going to do a recap of every player.  It’s their list of the Top XX players, that each one puts out.  I think you are reading into it a lot more than you need to.  

      If they said nothing but the positive, someone would say how they don’t give a good view of the prospect, because it’s all positive.  If they say something negative, it’s a slap into the face of the other prospects, not listed.  

      It’s a list, nothing more and some ones opinions, just like yours and mine.

      The best list of Cubs prospects is still to come, and will be done right here on the CCO.

  • Rbmercer

    Something intrigues me and call me a dreamer…but what about signing Jose Reyes and playing him or Castro at second base? Would be a great middle infield and quite a daily double hitting in the 1-2 spots!

    I know, I know…Reyes has been injury prone and maybe either Reyes or Castro would balk at playing second….BUT, still an enticing thought IMO

    • Calicub

      i just don’t think Theo wants to loose a first round draft pick…

      • J Daniel

        I don’t think Theo wants to spend that type of money on Reyes who is not certain to stay healthy.  Reyes is probably better than a first round pick they can get – this is way different than basketball and football.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Man, did you speak the truth! Reyes is much better than any 1st rounder the Cubs will draft, and he’s available NOW, too. 

          Theo’s record is that he has hit on the first round, and almost nothing after that. Think about that.

    • ChadAudio

      I like that Reyes would shore up the defense… something our infield needs desperately… but, yeah, he’s SO expensive, and very injury prone.  It’s probably not worth it.  I’m hoping we get a good deal on JJ Hardy (but only if he comes crazy cheap).

  • bpot92

    Neil, 
    Does a team lose their first round pick if they are in the top 15 still? I’m confused as to if the new agreement took away the protected picks.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      No, they would not but starting next year it is the top 10.

      Here is the part of the new CBA:

      Starting in 2012, “Type A” and “Type B” free agents and the use of the Elias ranking system will be eliminated.

      The current system of draft pick compensation will be replaced with the following system:

      Only Players who have been with their Clubs for the entire season will be subject to compensation.

      A free agent will be subject to compensation if his former Club offers him a
      guaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125-highest paid Players from the prior season. The offer must be made at the end of the five-day free agent “quiet period,” and the Player will have seven days to accept the offer.

      A Club that signs a player subject to compensation will forfeit its first round
      selection, unless it selects in the top 10, in which case it will forfeit its second highest selection in the draft.

      The Player’s former Club will receive a selection at the end of the first round beginning after the last regularly scheduled selection in the round.

      The former Clubs will select based on reverse order of winning percentage from the prior championship season.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • daverj

      He’s the guy were going to lose in Rule 5.  A team could hide him in their bullpen for 2012.  I can’t see us losing anyone else.

  • paulcatanese

    According to the posts, the Cubs wont be competitive for another three years,
    I’ll be 80 years old, guess I’ll have to buy a remote for the TV.

  • Rbmercer

    To go a step further with my original idea of signing Reyes and having him or Castro move to second base.

    If we start BJackson in center, top of order looks like this:
    1. BJax
    2. Reyes
    3. Castro
    4. Lahair or ????

    At least a good start to a future…

    • daverj

      I don’t like the idea of signing Reyes … the $90-$100 million it will take to sign him is too much for a guy with his injury history.  Also, I’d prefer to see Jackson in AAA until June in order to avoid Super 2 status.

      I do like the idea of giving 1B to LaHair if Pena declines arbitration.

  • Nathan

    Interesting Idea,

    I’m not for trading Garza but if the Cubs do, the reds are shopping yonder Alonso for a number two type pitcher. I think the cubs could get Alonso and a top high level prospect for Garza.

    Any thoughts?

    • cubtex

      I think Garza is worth a lot more than Alonso and a top prospect. I have been preaching all along on how difficult it is to get young, relatively inexpensive pitching good starting pitching. First baseman are one of the easiest positions(if not the easiest) to field on the entire team. I would not trade Garza unless someone blows them away. Yonder Alonso and a top prospect wouldn’t do that for me. Now…..if the Yankees offer Banuelos,Betances and Jesus Montero….I would have to consider that pretty quickly.

    • ldsteam2001

      I like it.  Alonso at first base of course.  He was just brutal in the outfield.  I would give Garza for Alonzo and a top level pitching prospect.  We gave up a lot for Garza, so we need to get about the same in return, but getting Alonzo would be a great trade, but would the Reds trade them to a team in their division?

    • Vivid_Reality

      They are in the market for a closer also. I’d rather see if they would do Alonso for Marmol straight up. Its doubtful but worth kicking the tires on.

    • cubtex

      Have you really looked at Yonder Alonso’s minor league numbers? Although I think he is a decent prospect….there is nothing in my mind where he could bring back a #2 starter in return. He has a career high of 15 HR’s in the minors. The last 2 years he hit 12 HR’s in AAA Louisville(nothing eye popping) and not a ton of RBI’s. No way I give up a #2 or even a #3 for Alonso.

      • paulcatanese

        How expensive is Furcal?Age? I know very little about him except when the Cubs played against the Cards and then the World Series. And do you think he would be worth bringing in? Thats a guy who could mentor Castro.

        • cubtex

          He is 34 and I think the Cards would like to bring him back. He had 2 down years in a row but I don’t think he would come here to backup Castro. I think the Cards will try and bring him back on a 1 or 2 year deal.

          • Chadaudio

            Furcal is old and is always hurt (but still gets some one to over -pay for him)… the Cards won despite him… not because of him.

      • Tom U

        Cubtex, when you look at the players that hit a lot of homers in the minors, they usually fall into two categories. They are either over-aged prospects or all-or-nothing types. Rarely do you see a young prospect that can hit for a high average and power. When you do, they’re usually not in the minors for long. I prefer seeing young power hitters have 15+ homers and an average around .300. You know as they mature, the power is there. Let them develop good hitting skills.

        • cubtex

          I understand what you are saying…..but if you look at Alonso’s power numbers he is not someone who will translate to 25 plus HR’s in the pros right away. Look at Joey Votto’s minor league numbers. .300 plus 20 plus. Anthony Rizzo .300 plus 20 plus and Mark Trumbo…same thing. I don’t see where Yonder Alonso would warrant a number #2 starter in a trade. That is my argument.

  • Aaron

    I’m a little concerned that the Cubs haven’t made a single move yet in free agency, trades, or signing someone like a Brackman or van Mil off the waiver wire. 

    I guess I understand it somewhat, given the Rule 5 is December 8th, so there’s a chance you could see the Cubs making several selections (via their own pick and trading for others), and they could be looking at several players to add via free agency which would then add more guys to the 40-man roster….so that could be one reason.

    I’m just a little curious why they seem to be in a holding pattern with soooooooooooooo many holes to fill:
    -at least 2 starting pitchers
    -at least 1 veteran reliever
    -1 back-up catcher (could be filled with Clevenger or Castillo)
    -possibly 2 back-up infielders if DeWitt or Baker don’t return (once again, could be filled from within with LeMahieu, and Flaherty or M. Gonzalez, assuming neither are selected in the Rule 5, which is VERY likely they will be selected)
    -starting 1B
    -starting 3B
    -starting RF
    -back-up OF
    -starting CF (to replace Byrd who was VERY disappointing)
    -starting LF (if they can trade Soriano as rumored)

    • carmelo

      Be careful what you wish for with Brackman—-I’ve seen him pitch, poor control and even worst command.  The NYY have spent millions on him as a #1 round pick—-they need starting pitchers—and they cut him.  Notice no one else has signed him yet, and he was cut a few weeks ago.  We an do better .

      • Ripsnorter1

        Is he worse with his control than McNutt? 105 MPH fastball, and not a clue where it’s headed, except he expects it to stay in the same state. 

    • Joey U

      Be patient Aaron..They some trades on the table . Don’t be surprised if this Epstein compensation issue dosen’t  turn into full blown trade on both sides. Stay tuned.

      • Aaron

        Where did you hear trades were on the table?

    • Ripsnorter1

      My take:

      Soriano is untradeable. Somebody has been drinking too much eggnog.

      Byrd: who wants him? Nobody in their right mind. He’s your CF for 2012.

      RF: Colvin? AHAHAHAHHAHA! FORGETABOUTIT! Funko is better. And NOBODY in the system is ready. Don’t give me that Brett Jackson talk. He’ll hit like Colvin: .150 BA with 1,000,000 k’s.

      3B: Baker cannot catch a ball at 3B. FORGETABOUTIT. Can’t hit RHP, either. Flaherty?  Idunno. 

      Backup OF: Reed Johnson

      Jim Qlueless left the Cubs in HORRIBLE shape!!!

      And we need 3 starters!! And nobody in the minors is ready!!! AND–get this–some say that I’m too negative!AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!

      • Anonymous47701

        Maybe you should go to Youtube and listen to some prank calls to cheer you up.

        Just Sayin’.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I took your advice, and the FIRST–and I mean the VERY FIRST—prank call I listened to had a very familiar voice. I listened to it again, and then it hit me: 

          IT WAS JIM QLUELESS TALKING!

          It made my day even worse…..

      • ChadAudio

        I agree with most of that, except, I do think Byrd has trade value to any team that hit him #5 or below in their order.  Also, I don’t remember Baker being as bad defensively at 3B… DeWitt was terrible, but…
        Finally Colvin:  I hate to say it, but I think we officially ruined him.  He seems like a guy that will do better after going to another team.  So, yes, I do think B Jax will hit a bit better then Colvin (maybe .250?)
        Look, we have a LONG way to go, and too many holes to be fixed in one offseason – but we are moving in the right direction.

        • J Daniel

          They did not ruin him – just can’t hit.  Another guy that desperate fans grab on to quickly hoping . . . but he can’t hit.

          • Anonymous47701

            No…He was neglected by Quade, but he still couldn’t hit, despite the Fukudome trade.

          • J Daniel

            EXACTLY – he can’t hit.  No question they can contribute to the demise of a player but if said player is good enough it really does not matter.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Baker, in 2010, made 7 errors all year–all at 3B, and in just 72 chances. His .903 fielding % at 3B was the league’s lowest…..

          In 2011, he was so bad in the OF that he’s rated to give up an additional 64 runs over the average RF.

          NOW THINK ABOUT THAT STAT:
          in 2011, the Cubs were 18th of 30 teams in scoring with 654 runs. Play a guy like Baker–and he would give the opposition an additional 64 runs per 135 games played! That’s an additional 10% to the opposition’s scoring–again, in just 135 games. WOW! This guy is terrible!

          But he’s also “untouchable” as per Jim Qlueless.

          Star dust in that glove of his, isn’t there? 
          And QQuade played him in the OF and his lousy defense cost us games. 

          He hit .200 vs RHP, up from .106 vs RHP in 2010.

          Look at his awfulness here:
          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bakerje03.shtml

          • Ripsnorter1

            BTW, all the fans clamoring for Josh Vitters to be our new 3B….

            His fielding in AA Tennessee last year was EXACTLY the same as Baker’s awful 2010: .903 fielding percentage!

            AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
            http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=vitter002jos

            Okay, okay, so Vitters cannot field.Vitters cannot run.4 SB, 10 CS. Funko was better…..
            Vitters hit .283 with moderate power. He doesn’t walk. 

      • Joey U

        The only way Sori gets traded is for another bad contract  or  they decide to eat the majority of his contract. Bryd is nothing more than 4th or 5th outfielder. No reason to rush Jackson……..Flaherty AAA player at best.The next few weeks should  prove to be very interesting  for Theo and  Co,

    • J Daniel

      Aaron,

      I am with you in that I am a bit surprised of no moves yet, especially a FA signing.  Trades, on the other hand, with this roster, hahaha, a bunch of GARBAGE that nobody wants.

      Back to the reality of a horrible team!  Good luck Theo, Jed, and company solving this mess.  I am sure that you figured out it is worse than you initially thought.

  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Compensation Solution?

    Tyler Colvin-RF
    Jeff Baker-INF
    Marquez Smith-3B/SS
    Steve Clevenger-C
    Marcos Mateo-RHP
    John Gaub-LHP
    Jay Jackson-RHP

    for

    Lars Anderson-1B
    Ryan Lavarnway-C
    Andrew Miller-LHP
    Michael Bowden-RHP
    Will Middlebrooks-3B

    • Demitri

      The Red Sox without Epstein are still smart enough to trade there prospects for another star, not players of lesser value

    • Aaron

      I actually like that idea, but it’d NEVER happen. Furthermore, Selig wouldn’t sign off on it anyway, even though it doesn’t involve major prospects. The problem is the volume in this case. If they came out and said that the compensation was monetary (nudge nudge, wink wink) and then consummated that deal, then I think it could work. But you also have to understand that Lavarnway to them, is like Brett Jackson to us at this point…there’s no way they deal him…and the Cubs would likely have to include Vitters as well

  • Rjw1207@hotmail.com

    Not quite sure how you could leave Robert Whitenack out of the top 5 . , for me top 2 . He went 7-0 with a 1.93 era whip under 1 allowed 1 homer in 61 innings before Tommy John surgery ended his season . Sure could use that at Wrigley