Bailey Clark

Cubs Have More Prospects to Breakout in the Second Half

Posted on

By Todd Johnson

As I have said before, it is hard for a prospect to break out anymore. There is press coverage almost everywhere in addition to photographers and people who can take video. With Mesa and Eugene ready to begin play, here are some names of prospects who I think will grab a few headlines in the second half and propel themselves up several prospect lists.

I did not include top prospects Miguel Amaya and Aramis Ademan on this list. Technically, they should break out, but most people already know about them. For me, it’s just a matter of seeing them do it this summer on him MiLB.TV.

Photo by Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard

Joe Martarano – At 6’3” and close to 240 pounds, Joe is quite the presence in the batters box. I saw him for the first time on opening night at Eugene. The thing I took away from his performance was that he does have a really good eye at plate. He might be a little “roller-coastery” this summer as he gets used to playing every day after not playing for two years.

Delvin Zinn – He is beginning this year in Mesa after missing most of spring training. He’s a great athlete and it looks like he’s gonna play second base. With college draft picks coming, I think he’ll be at Mesa most of the summer.

Bailey Clark – I love this kid. While technically a bearded monster, he also has a 95 to 98 mph fastball. He is starting out at Eugene and should eventually spend most of his time this summer playing at South Bend.

Brailyn Marquez – At 6’6” and only 18 years of age, I look forward to seeing what this young left handed pitcher can do. Last year in the DSL he put up an ERA of 1.48. He struck out 48 in 54 IP in the DSL, I doubt he does that in Mesa. I am intrigued to see how he does stateside.

Faustino Carrera – He’s a bit small, so I don’t think he’s destined to be a starter, but for right now he is. He put up a 1.06 ERA in the DSL last year and, like Marquez, I wonder if he if he can do that in Mesa with the same success.

Jonathan Sierra – He looks like Darryl Strawberry, but does not have Darryl’s skills yet. Then again, Sierra is only 18. He hit .264 in the DSL last year with a .384 OBP. That shows me he has a good eye at the plate. He did not have the greatest spring training, but I am interested to see how he hits in Mesa and whether his power stroke begins to develop. Hopefully, he begins to breakout this year. If not, it could take him 2-3 years to do so.

Gustavo Polanco -Last year, he lead the Mesa Cubs in hitting at .322. He is already off to great start at Eugene. Although he started off as a catcher, the 20-year-old moved to first base and is also a designated hitter. At 6′ and 190 pounds, he is pretty much maxed out physically, but he has a great eye for the ball.

Under the Radar
Image may contain: one or more peopleI am sure there will be other players who do breakout. More than likely, most will be players the Cubs recently drafted. I wrote the following at BP Wrigleyville about two top hitters I think might fit the breakout bill.

3B Austin Filiere (eighth round pick) and OF Chris Carrier (ninth round) both have a lot of potential for power. Carrier comes from Memphis while Filiere comes from MIT—neither of which are powerhouse college programs. Carrier is a sculpted physical specimen at 6’2” and 225 pounds, while Filiere’s experience in the wooden bat Cape Cod League might give him an advantage as they begin their pro careers, most likely in Eugene.

2B Jared Young and OF Brandon Hughes are two other college names who could do the same as Filiere and Carrier.

When it comes to pitchers, the Cubs did pick some relievers. Most notable are Casey Ryan from Hawaii, Sean Barry from San Diego, and Brian Glowicki from Minnesota. The starting pitchers the Cubs draft pitch short stints (40-50 pitches) as they already have thrown a full season.

It Is Opening Day in Eugene – Let the Title Defense Begin

Posted on

By Todd Johnson

The Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs’ short season Class A team, opens up at home tonight to begin defense of its Northwest League title. The roster was released on Tuesday to oohs and ahs throughout the Internet (Well, actually, it was just me and another guy in Louisiana). Still, I find it very exciting as they usually play at 9 Central when most Cub affiliates have just ended their games. They have my sole attention every summer.

This year’s team, for now,  is a mixture of international players and some of last year’s draft picks. Most of the players played in Mesa in Rookie League last year where they made it the AZL playoffs. There are a few players who played in the Dominican Summer League and skipped Mesa this year. There is a lot of talent on this roster. The Emeralds begin their title defense with the following players.

Pitchers: Luis Aquino, Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo, Holden Cammack, Bailey Clark, Enrique de los Rios, Andin Diaz. Elvis Diaz, Hector Alonso Garcia, Yapson Gomez, John Michael Knighton, Mark Malave, Junior Marte, Manuel Rodriguez, Jhon Romero, Andry Rondon, Matt Swarmer

Catchers: Miguel Amaya and Gustavo Polanco

Infield: Aramis Ademan, Jhonny Bethencourt, Joe Martarano, Rafael Narea, Edgar Rondon

Outfield: Zach Davis, Jose A. Gonzalez, Kwang-Min Kwon, and Connor Myers

It is worth noting that short season rosters can contain up to 35 players with 25 active per night. Most of those inactive for a game are pitchers.

Here are a few key players to keep an eye on over the the next 70 games.
1. Bailey Clark – I don’t know how long he will be at this level. He missed spring training finishing up his degree at Duke. He showed up in EXST in May and has been getting ready for the season. To be honest, his upper 90s fastball should be too dominant for this league. I wrote about him last year and I expect to see him in South Bend quickly.

2. Javier Assad – He was the ace of the 2016 Cubs rookie league team that made the playoffs. He struck out 42 in 37.1 IP last year with a 2.87 ERA. John Arguello said that he is more physically mature this year. His unofficial stats from EXST (courtesy of the Cub Reporter) were impressive. He had a 2.55 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 24.2 IP. He struck out 26 and batters hit only .229 versus him. At the tender age of 19, expect him to be an Em all season.

3. Miguel Amaya – He’s just 18 and he drew rave reviews this spring for his catching abilities and his developing power. Amaya was signed by the Cubs in 2015 as a 16-year-old and he also is still growing. In EXST this year, he unofficially hit .350 with 4 HRs and was on fire as camp ended hitting .531 with a .600 OBP over his last ten games. I am extremely excited to see him play!

4. Aramis Ademan – Aramis is also a member of the 2015 IFA class and he is already considered the top defensive SS in the Cubs system. He will be skipping rookie ball and going right to Eugene. This spring, he proved he his bat is more advanced than previously thought. He hit .270 over 28 games with 1 HR. He’s not going to be a power guy. It is all about defense for him.

5. Joe Martarano – The former Boise State linebacker is now 100% committed to baseball. I like that. I like that he is 6’3” and 235-240 lbs. I like that he can hit for average as well as power. He did play some for the Cubs in the summer after being drafted in 2013. He did not play at all in 2016. He showed no signs of rust in EXST hitting .324 with a .448 OBP. I find that plate discipline to be amazing with how little he’s played after focusing on football for so long. The kid can hit.

6. Rafael Narea – Another IFA, he came on strong this spring. The 19 year-old-shortstop hit .290 and showed a deft bat and plate discipline as he only struck out a 4% rate.

The roster is also notable for the one player not on it. Pitcher, and top young prospect, Jose Albertos is staying behind in Mesa to work on his grip on his curve, which he keeps spiking in the dirt. Eventually, he will make his way to the great northwest.

Last year, over 50+ players flowed through Eugene. Once the draft picks sign, many more players will be coming. Expect to see the college position players arrive in late June. I doubt you will see first rounder Alex Lange as he is in the CWS for the next two weeks. However, top pick Brendon Little should be in the bullpen or making short starts of two innings. It will be exciting to see who all shows up!

Draft Picks Who Should Be in Eugene by July

The list could include OF Chris Carrier, 3B Austin Filiere, P Cory Abbott, P Erich Uelmen, P Ricky Tyler thomas, IF Austin Upshaw, OF Brandon Hughes, 2B Jared Young, P Brandon King, and closer Brian Glowicki. There might even be a few more.

 

Fangraphs’ Prospect List Is the One Your Parents Warned You About

Posted on Updated on

If you are looking for a Cubs prospect list that is aggressive, balls to the wall, and different from every other list, I have found it for you. Surprisingly, it is not Baseball Prospectus. It is not Keith Law who ranks someone abnormally high this time; This year, that award goes to Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen.

Fangraphs is one of my favorite prospect lists because it releases a lot of information about the prospect and includes video. This year Longenhagen went 23 deep with Cub prospects. There are several inclusions in the list that some may consider stunning, but I have talked about all of them at some point over the past six months. The names sound familiar, but their placement should not.

eloy 77 2016 futuresThe Normalcy

Eloy came in at number one. Ian Happ was at number two. Trevor Clifton, Mark Zagunis, Dylan Cease, Jeimer Candelario, and Albert Almora also made the top 10.

What is different is they are all over the top 10. We are used to seeing Candelario somewhere around number four and Almora in the top five for the past year. Trevor Clifton ascended into the top five on many other lists. For Fangraphs, he comes in at number eight.

After that, all hell breaks loose

Oscar de la Cruz came in at number three while Jose Albertos shook things up at the number five slot. The sight of de la Cruz it number three I find strange because he missed half the year last year. What I think Longenhagen is doing is projecting out how that prospect will be doing in the future. In that sense, I think Oscar could be a top-five prospect at the end of the year, but he has top three talent now.

As for Albertos, this is his highest ranking on any prospect list. I also find that interesting because he only pitched four innings last year. However, he did dazzle man throughout spring training and extended spring training last year, including Arizona Phil, Jim Callis, and John Arguello. With upper 90s heat and excellent command, if Jose is healthy, he might be the one pitcher to watch. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be in Eugene to limit his innings and exposure coming off an injury that caused him to miss most of the year. Even though I know he has all this talent and command, I don’t know yet if he’s that much better than Dylan Cease who is ranked a little lower.

And I think that’s going to be the true nature of any prospect list for the Cubs the next couple of years. There’s gonna be a lot of movement up-and-down the list as players begin to develop and, even more importantly, begin to produce at the minor-league level.

Other surprises: We are not done yet

Jose Rosario made the top 10 as well. That caught my eye because he’s only a reliever. If he was a starter, I might find it more plausible. I don’t disagree with the selection because the arm is at an elite level.

As for other prospects on the list, DJ Wilson just missed the top 10 at number 11. Eddy Martinez got the number 12 spot. Even Felix Pena made the list at number 15. Thomas Hatch and Isaac Paredes came in at 16 and 17, respectively. Duane Underwood dropped all the way to 22 and Bailey Clark, who I have sung the praises of for the past six months, taps in at number 23. 

I think the biggest surprise in the second 10 is Aramis Ademan at number 13. The young 17-year-old shortstop has yet to even play one inning in the states.

Photo by John Arguello
Photo by John Arguello

What I find most interesting is that Fangraphs’ list is much more about projection than it is about production and current skill levels. For example, here’s what Longenhagen said about Aramis Ademan.

His hands and actions are smooth in the field and quick and angry in the batter’s box. Ademan takes aggressive hacks and makes surprisingly loud contact for a player his size. His patient approach and advanced pitch recognition have allowed him to avoid excessive strikeouts so far. He has the bat speed to become an above-average hitter if things get polished up; given that he’s just 18, that’s really all I care about. He likely won’t ever have more than 40 game power, but an above-average hitter with below-average power who plays an average shortstop is a good everyday player. I think there’s a chance for that here.

I truly like that brashness of how Longenhagen compiled this list. I completely understand it, I just don’t know if I would have the cajones to rank some of these players that high this early in their career. It’s clear he values projection more than production. After all, isn’t that what a prospect list is for?

Sometimes, I wonder if some lists should be more about production and development. And that is the crux of the matter as a prospect list is supposed to evaluate talent in the system and assign a value to that talent. It’s not about what they do in the minor leagues, it’s more about what they could do in the majors.

Organizational Breakdown: Cubs Getting Flooded with Right-Handed Starters – Part One

Posted on

By Todd Johnson

cropped-mission-control-31.jpg

The tide is turning. By the end of the 2018 season, there will be a wave of starting pitchers hitting the shores of Chicago. It’s going to be unlike anything Cubs fans have seen. To date, only one drafted player, Rob Zastryzny, made it to Chicago and made one start. By the end of next year, as many as six starting right-handed starting pitchers could easily be ready.

When I look at the Cubs’ right-handed starting pitching prospects, they seem to be in tiers. The first tier contains players who are at AA and AAA. The second tier is at low and high A ball, and the third wave is at Eugene, the rookie level in Mesa, and in the Dominican. Some are more ready than others. The others, however, could be ready and just as equal in performance.

Initially, I just wanted to do one post. Once I completed that post, I decided to split into two parts. Today, I will look at five pitchers on the fringe who could make it to Chicago by the end of 2018 but are not considered to be in the top 5 of RHSP prospects in the system.

stinnett 86 2016 mb11. The first pitcher profiled today is Jake Stinnett. If you ever watch Jake pitch, you know that he gets massive movement on all his pitches. He just has not been able to control the quality stuff that he has. Last year at Myrtle Beach, he got off to a great start and then began to fizzle in July before recovering in August. I am beginning to wonder if the pen is for him. 2017 will tell.

10. Preston Morrison is another pitcher who is blessed with immaculate control but not overpowering pitches. He gets a lot of movement and is able to command his pitches to do what he wants. The question is whether those pitches have enough giddy up on them to succeed at the major-league level. Last year he moved to the third-base side of the rubber and his career really took off at South Bend and again at Myrtle Beach.

9. Erling Moreno pitched his first full season of A ball after 2 injury plagued seasons. The young 19-year-old was dominant at short-season Eugene as he flashed a plus curveball to go with his low 90s fastball. He was pretty much devastating all year long and is one of my favorite pitchers in the system. Still, I’d like to see what he can do in South Bend in 2017. He will still only be 19 and I think that his arm strength will return more and we might see more on his fastball than what we saw in 2016.

clark 70 2016 eug8. Out of all the arms the Cubs drafted in the 2016 draft, Bailey Clark might have the most special arm. In terms of talent, he can throw in the upper 90s and he was excellent in five starts for Eugene after completing a full college season. Even though his college season at Duke was not what one would have hoped for, Clark came in, took some direction, and took off as a member of the Emeralds. I think after a full spring training, he is going to be ready to shine in South Bend.

7. Ryan Williams – What I love most about Williams is that he attacks the bottom part of the zone relentlessly. He has a closer’s mentality in a starter’s body. Although he missed most of the last year, I am still very high on him even if he only has one full year in the system. I think he could have made it to Chicago last year. Although he starts, he does have the experience in the bullpen from college when he was a closer. He’s not overpowering, but he has great command and control of his pitches.

6. Zach Hedges – Hedges, in my opinion, could make it to Chicago, if needed, in 2017. Wow! That was totally strange typing that. After an impressive offseason of conditioning before the 2016 season, Hedges gained 3-4 mph on his fastball. This put him consistently in the 92-95 mph range to go along with a plus slider and what hopes to be a developing change. He works deep into games, he works off contact, and he works quickly to keeps hitters off balance. He is a groundball machine. And he’s close. He should be at AAA to start the year. Working in the Pacific Coast League this summer will present Zach with challenges not seen as the league is predominantly a hitter’s league, especially the mountain range teams in the west.

Bonus Section
markey 71 2016 tennDon’t sleep yet on Jen-Ho Tseng, Jake Buchanan, Erick Leal, or Brad Markey. All have had their moments. To me, Leal and Markey could surprise the most. Leal is a tall, lanky pitcher who seems to improve slightly every year. Markey is a command specialist. Last year was a good year in terms of stats, except he gave up a lot of solo home runs. I am sure correcting that is at the top of his to-do list for 2017.

Buchanan is actually, believe it or not, someone who could spot start in Chicago before any other starter currently in the minors. As for Jen-Ho, he’s the only starting pitcher left from the vaunted Kane County team who has a viable shot of making it as a starter. The problem for him is that they have made so many changes to him, I don’t even know if he knows who he is as a pitcher anymore. We shall find out once more in 2017.

I will be back next week with part two as I examine the top 5 RHSP in the Cubs’ system and some dark horses in the lower parts of the system for 2017.

Thanksgiving Day and Some Light Reading

Posted on

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope this post finds you well and with those you love this morning. It is my first holiday without my father. He was the first thing I thought of this morning. I hope today will be a joyous one of remembrance.

I do not have a new post for you. But what I do have are some links to posts that have been pretty popular this year here at Cubs Central. If you need a fix of Cubs this morning, then you came to the right place.

I never know which posts are going to get the biggest hits, but these were this year.

1. The Eugene Emeralds Preview of their Preview

2. Donnie Dewees Exceeding Expectations

3. Jake Arrieta’s Post Season Mastery

4. The recent “Top Pitching Storylines for 2017”

5. Preston Morrison Making the Jump

6. Trevor Clifton Making the Jump Little by Little

7. Bailey Clark: Better, Faster, Stronger

8. Seven Prospects Getting Their Name in the Paper

9. How Well Have the Cubs Done in the Draft Lately?

10. Kyle Schwarber Is Out for the Year

Special Thanks to the Eugene Emeralds, Deborah Dewees, Tim Clark, Mr. Morrison, Clark Lorensen, and Duane Pesice who helped spread the word.

Cubs Top MiLB Pitching Storylines for 2017

Posted on

By Todd Johnson

cropped-cropped-mission-control-61.jpg

It is getting to the point that the Cubs will soon be producing some starting pitchers for the major leagues. In 2016, Rob Zastryzny became the first pitcher drafted in the Theo era to start in the big leagues. For 2017, there are a lot of storylines which could play out involving pitchers advancing through the system. Today, let’s take a look at some of the possible top pitching storylines for 2017.

hatch-77-2016-instructsTom Hatch – I was impressed that the Cubs shut him down after the College World Series. I think showing care for the arm actually might endear Hatch more to the Cubs than first previously thought. I like that he has a four pitch mix in the three games I saw him pitch this year. I would like to say that I know where he’s going to start 2017, but I honestly don’t. Logic dictates that South Bend would be the perfect landing place, however, Myrtle Beach might be the best place. I thought that about Preston Morrison, too, in 2016, but that didn’t happen. On the other hand, Hatch has a bit more zip on his stuff than Morrison does.

Jose Albertos – He only threw four innings this year, yet he was the toast of spring training and extended spring training. He’s just a 17-year-old right-hander. He was throwing in the mid to upper 90s and impressing everyone who saw him. It’s too bad that he only got to pitch in one game in the Arizona Rookie League. With his stuff, he might move a little faster next year to Eugene if he is healthy.

Duane Underwood –  I like that he pitched very well in his rehab at South Bend and Myrtle Beach. He still is not all the way back and it has been a strange year for him. He went to the Arizona Fall League and struggled in just two appearances. Sometimes, I wonder if the Cubs are going to put him in the bullpen. On the other hand, there’s nothing structurally wrong with his arm and keeping him a starter who can throw in the mid to upper 90s is something the Cubs can use. The issues are that he lacks command and just keeps going on the shelf every two or three months the last two years. I am 99.9% sure that he starts next year at Tennessee for at least two months. If he can get stabilized, he’s not that far from Chicago. That would be pretty exciting news! Then again, Reliever Town is close by.

hedges 71 2016 tennZach Hedges – He was the biggest surprise to me in 2016 when it came to pitchers. The fact that he pitched very well at Tennessee leads me to believe that he’s going to start next year at AAA Iowa. When he can keep his fastball at 94 to 95, like he did this year, his slider becomes extremely hard to hit. The slider is his plus pitch but it really works off of contact. He’s not a strikeout pitcher yet he didn’t do too bad this year. He’s not necessarily crafty but he has good command to keep the ball down in the zone. Right now, I see him as a back-end starter or reliever. He’s much better than anybody expected and I was one of the few who liked him a lot and I didn’t even see 2016 coming.

Trevor Clifton – I don’t think Clifton is far away from Chicago. I think it’s just a matter of him commanding his plus arsenal and getting out of the first inning alive that are going to determine the rate at which he heads towards the Windy City. This past year, his walk totals plummeted. I’d say he is close.

Dylan Cease – I think once Dylan Cease realizes he can get a strikeout in the zone, he’s gonna rocket through the system as well. Right now, he’s still trying to get hitters to chase his stuff out of the zone. It was getting to be a known thing in the Northwest league that if you get to two strikes, you probably could coax a walk. Then Cease disproved that by striking out ten in his last regular season start. I hope he moves two levels in 2017. The interesting thing to watch will be how many innings he pitches. In 2016, he only threw 40+.

Oscar de la Cruz – It is not that Oscar de la Cruz had a bad year, but he was injured for three out of the five months. His velocity was still not quite back where it needs to be. He threw in the low 90s when he was in the mid-90s all of 2015. Still, he was able to command all of his pitches and pitch to contact and rare back and get a little extra when he wanted.

Erling Moreno – Moreno, on the other hand, was the second most impressive pitcher on the Emeralds’ roster this year after Dylan Cease. Right now, Moreno has a plus 12 to 6 curveball that can freeze a lot of hitters when thrown  in the right count. He missed nearly 2 years due to Tommy John surgery. This was an exciting year to watch him progress. At just 19-years-old, he had a 0.72 ERA Eugene. Opponents only hit .156 off him and probably the most unique of his unbelievable stats was his WHIP of 0.68 while getting 2.2 ground balls to every fly ball. He was just amazing and yet not many people are talking about him. They should. If not soon, then next year.

clark 70 2016 eugBailey Clark – Clark was one of my favorite players to watch last summer in Eugene. His fastball was anywhere from 92 to 98. I am really looking forward to watching him develop at South Bend. The key word is develop. The Duke product could be quite the steal from last year’s draft. In 2015 at Duke, he drew rave reviews and was viewed as a possible first-round pick. Then he struggled mightily in 2016. He was relieved of his starting duties. I think professional coaching is what he needed. He looked almost unhittable in most innings at Eugene before he was shut down for the year.

South of the Border – There are several pitchers who were outstanding in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. As many as six of them could come up and start in Arizona or Eugene next year. Two tall lefties, Brailyn Marquez and Andres Bonalde, are both under 19 years old and had a very good August for team number one in the DSL. Elsewhere on the island on team number two, there were several outstanding starters. Faustino Carrera had an ERA of 1.06 in 13 starts. Hector Garcia had a 1.67 ERA and struck out 62 in 75 innings. Alfredo Colorado got off to a great start in June and July but cooled in August. If the Cubs just hit on one of these pitchers, that would be pretty cool. But I think they’re going to hit on a few at Arizona and Eugene next year.

Young Guns – There were several pitchers drafted in the 2016 draft who have not really shown what they can do yet. This year, they will be unleashed. Names like Michael Rucker, Tyler Peyton, Stephen Ridings, Tyson Miller and others will have no restrictions in 2017.

Honorable Mention

Manny Rondon – Was his 2016 season for real?

Preston Morrison  – How does his whiffle ball arsenal translate to AA?

Ryan Kellogg – Could he be much better as a full-time pitcher?

Jose Paulino – How will he do at age 22?

Casey Bloomquist – He began developing a cutter in 2016. Will that destroy lefties in 2017?

Kyle Miller – Long and lean, he has a nice cutter. If he can add about ten pounds, Myrtle Beach fans will love him.

Kyle Twomey – He was filthy at times last year. He was almost unhittable in relief.

I think it’s impressive that there are so many good young arms just waiting to develop. I think it’s also cool that there really is a lot of competition for spots from low A to advanced A to Tennessee and Iowa for next year. Jed Hoyer said that the Cubs wanted waves of pitching. Those waves are getting pretty close to Chicago right now.

The Weekly – Eloy Puts Up Zeroes, Farris Shines, IFA List Released, and a Draft Report from BA

Posted on Updated on

By Todd Johnson

The Eloy AFL Watch
farris 71 2016 mbAfter Eloy got off to a great start in his first three games in the Arizona Fall League, there was not much to watch this week at all. In fact, Eloy went zero for 11 on the week. Fellow prospects Victor Caratini and Ian Happ did not fare much better at the plate. Pitcher Duane Underwood’s second outing was better than his first, yet there is still much room for improvement. He went 3.1 IP while allowing 2 runs.

Seems that the only Cubs prospects having success in the AFL are Stephen Perakslis, who’s only pitched in one game, and James Farris, who has yet to allow a run in three appearances. The other Cubs prospect in the AFL, reliever Ryan McNeil, has struggled with an ERA over 10. There are still six more weeks in the AFL with a little over 30 games left. We will keep you posted on their progress.


In other news…

Baseball America released articles on every team’s draft class from 2016. They didn’t necessarily give each team a grade, but they did break down each draft class into categories such as the best pure hitter, fastest runner, closest to the majors, and several other categories. Here is the link to the whole article (subscription required),

To sum it up for the Cubs, Baseball America is high on the bat of Michael Cruz, the young catcher from Bethune-Cookman. Not only do they like his potential to hit for average, they also like his potential to hit for power. When it came to pitching, Baseball America liked several of the arms the Cubs selected in this year’s draft. They loved Thomas Hatch, the potential of Michael Rucker, the curveball of Duncan Robinson, and the fastball of Bailey Clark.

In addition, writer John Manuel echoed my sentiments about the potential of 19-year-old Delvin Zinn. Although Zinn was a little late to the game last year, I think his potential will start to blossom in 2017 at Eugene. I still don’t know if the Cubs know where he will play. He played SS before he was drafted and saw some action in rookie league and fall instructs at 2B.

zinn-85-2016-fall


1219651The Cubs also released their international free-agent signing list from this summer. The Cub signed a mixture of 17 players from six different countries. I don’t know anything about most of them. It’s a mixture of 16-20-year-old position players and pitchers. The one name we do know is Manuel Rodriguez from Mexico. He’s pitched in the Mexican League for Leonis de Yucatan the last three years. Although in 2016, he missed most of the season due to an injury and only pitched and 16 games. However it 2015, the then 19-year-old reliever posted an ERA of 1.84 in 50 games where he struck out 46 in 49 IP.

The list comes courtesy of The Cub Reporter.

Oswaldo Pina, SS (VENEZUELA) – R/R – 5’10 170 – Age 18
Ricardo Verenzuela, OF (VENEZUELA) – L/R – 6’0 175 – Age 16
Carmelo Alfonzo, OF (VENEZUELA) – L/R – 6’0 177 – Age19
Keiber Arredondo, RHP (VENEZUELA) – R/R – 6’0 178 – Age 19
Jonathan Bruzual, LHP (VENEZUELA) – L/L – 6’1 172 – Age 16
Kleiber Carreno, RHP (VENEZUELA) – R/R – 6’2 165 – Age 18
Yovanny Cruz, RHP (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) – R/R – 6’1 190 – Age 17
Denmy Sanchez, RHP (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) – R/R – 6’0 190 – Age 18
Jose Gomez, RHP (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) – R/R – 6’2 165 – Age 19
Vicente, King, SS (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) – R/R – 5’7 160 – Age 16
Jeinser Brete, 3B (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) – R/R – 6’0 190 – Age 16
Danis Correa, RHP (COLOMBIA) – R/R – 5’11 155 – Age 17
Manuel Rodriguez, RHP (MEXICO) – R/R – 5’11 205 – Age 20 – spent three seasons with Yucatan (Mexican League) – $100K bonus
Ferrol Heredia, LHP (MEXICO) – L/L – 5’11 200 – Age 17 – $50,000 bonus
Carlos Pacheco, OF (MEXICO) – R/R – 5’11 195 – Age 17
Chi-Feng Lee, RHP (TAIWAN) – R/R – 5’11 155 – Age18 – $30,000 bonus
Didier Vargas, LHP (PANAMA) – L/L – 6’0 175 – Age 17


Upcoming Posts
NLCS Playoff Recap(s)

World Series Preview (Fingers are Crossed)

World Series Recaps (Fingers are Crossed)

640x360_2016_ws_se879847