MLB Network ranked the third basemen in the game and based on results from “The Shredder” the reigning NL Rookie of the Year is the top third baseman in the Senior Circuit.
Kris Bryant was ranked as the second best third baseman in baseball, behind AL MVP Josh Donaldson. The order of the top 10 third basemen in the game was generated by “an algorithm based on player performance that accounts for both offense and defense” plus past track records and future projections called “The Shredder” that was developed by MLB Network … click here for the full explanation of the algorithm.
MLB Network’s Top 10 third basemen: Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays), Kris Bryant (Cubs), Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Manny Machado (Orioles), Justin Turner (Dodgers), Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Jung Ho Kang (Pirates), Matt Carpenter (Cardinals), Kyle Seager (Mariners) and Todd Frazier (White Sox)
Brian Kenney and Mike Lowell also provided their lists of the top 10 third basemen. Kenney ranked Bryant second and Lowell had Bryant fourth on his list. Buster Olney had Bryant as the fifth best third baseman in the game back in November when he ranked the position.
Kris Bryant made steady improvement defensively at third base last season and also saw time at all three outfield spots and first base. Offensively, the numbers speak for themselves.
Cubs Non-Roster Invitees
The Cubs released the list of players Friday that will be in Major League Spring Training as non-roster invitees. The Cubs invited 18 players to big league camp and five are among the top minor leaguers in the system.
Albert Almora Jr., Duane Underwood Jr., Armando Rivero, John Andreoli and Taylor Davis will have a chance in the spring to show Joe Maddon and the coaching staff what they are capable of. Almora Jr. and Rivero will be in big league camp for the third straight spring. This is the first Spring Training in Major League camp for Underwood Jr., Andreoli and Davis.
Pitchers invited to Major League camp: RHP Stephen Fife, RHP Brandon Gomes, RHP Jean Machi, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Jonathan Pettibone, RHP Armando Rivero, RHP Drew Rucinski and RHP Duane Underwood Jr. as well as LHP Luis Cruz and LHP Jack Leathersich.
Infielders invited to Major League camp: Jesus Guzman, Munenori Kawasaki and Kristopher Negron.
Outfielders invited to big league camp: Albert Almora Jr., John Andreoli and Juan Perez.
Catchers invited to big league camp: Taylor Davis and Tim Federowicz
Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa on Feb. 19, the first on-field workout is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20. Position players have to report by Feb. 23. The first full squad workout is on tap for Wednesday, Feb. 24.
- ESPN Chicago: Cubs set spring roster, including 18 invitees
- Comcast SportsNet: Cubs invite Albert Almora and Duane Underwood to big league camp
The Cubs included a numerical roster with the Non-Roster Invitee list and there are a couple of other number changes beyond the ones that have been reported.
Adam Warren will wear No. 43. Eric Jokisch was previously assigned that number. Jokisch changed his number to 45.
Several minor leaguers were assigned numbers for Spring Training. Willson Contreras will wear No. 76 in the spring, Jeimer Candelario No. 75, Duane Underwood Jr. No. 71, Dan Vogelbach No. 74 and Armando Rivero was issued No. 81 for his third big league camp.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Sean McAdam reported lookalikes, the Red Sox and Cubs are loaded with young talent.
• With the Royals officially signing Ian Kennedy, MLB.com posted an updated draft order … the Cubs first pick is currently in the third round, pick No. 104.
• Tony Andracki reported Dan Vogelbach can’t worry about the DH or Anthony Rizzo.
• According to multiple reports, the Dodgers agreed to terms with 2B Howie Kendrick on a two-year contract. Jon Heyman reported Kendrick received a two-year, $20 million deal, $4.2 million more than the $15.8 qualifying offer he rejected. The Dodgers were hoping to receive a compensation pick when Kendrick signed with another team. His contract likely reflects the loss of the pick, which teams value in the $5-8 million range. Ken Rosenthal pointed out, “Kendrick’s contract is most striking evidence yet that the qualifying offer system needs to change in the next CBA.”
• The Dodgers did the right thing for a legend of the game, Vin Scully. The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to change the name of Elysian Park Avenue, the road leading to Dodger Stadium, to “Vin Scully Avenue.” Mr. Scully is set to begin his 67th and final season broadcasting Dodgers’ games. It will take 30 days for the change to become official according to a report from Hardball Talk.
• Chase Utley’s appeal hearing will likely take place during Spring Training according to a report from Bill Shaikin.
• The Phillies designed LHP Jesse Biddle for assignment. Biddle is recovering from Tommy John surgery in October. Biddle is expected to clear waivers, once he does, Biddle will continue his rehab in the Phillies’ organization.
• Jon Heyman tweeted a reminder … there are still 19 arbitration cases left unsettled, and Jake Arrieta is one of them. Arbitration hearings begin Monday, a date for Arrieta’s hearing has not been leaked yet.
• Jesse Sanchez reported Friday the showcase for Cuban INF Jose Miguel Fernandez that was scheduled for next week has been rescheduled. Fernandez has dengue fever. Sanchez did not provide info on when his workout was rescheduled.
• Cubs nutrition consultant, Dawn Jackson Blatner, had the best diet plan on ABC weight-loss show according to a report from the Tribune.
And last, but not least, Jim Callis was asked about RHP Dylan Cease during the prospects show on MLB Network. And Callis thinks Cease could be included in the Top 100 next year if he continues on the same path coming back from Tommy John surgery.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agents Trever Miller and Matt Tolbert
2011 – Cubs signed free agents OF Rubi Silva and C Yaniel Cabeza
2006 – Cubs and Jerry Hairston Jr agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.3 million contract to avoid arbitration. Hairston Jr. was acquired from Baltimore along with Mike Fontenot and David Crouthers for Sammy Sosa and cash on Feb. 2, 2005.
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Rich Garces
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Jim Clancy
1987 – Cubs traded Ron Cey to the Athletics for Luis Quinones
1947 – Matt Alexander, born
1943 – Davey Johnson, born
1888 – Vin Campbell, born
1885 – Doc Watson, born