Among the heralded Cub prospects in the last 10 years we see these names: Wood, Prior, Patterson, Guzman, Pie. Impact players in the past week have included unheralded players like O’Malley, Theriot, Murton, and Zambrano (an unheralded prospect in his day). Obviously this is a selective list; I’m sure I’ve left off a few heralded prospect successes and cast aside the hundreds of unheralded guys who went nowhere.
All the same, it makes me wonder what’s in management’s head that they keep picking the wrong guys to get excited about. Felix Pie is a dead man if he doesn’t learn to get selective at the plate (he’s no Vlad Guerrero). He can look to C-Pat for his future. Guzman and Wood are big question marks and, well, Prior is just bad luck. BUT…
O’Malley, juco product and undrafted, maintained a more than 2:1 K/BB ratio in AA and AAA(although 9+h/ip), rare among starters on the Cubs. Does he have a future? Could he throw 6 innings and give up 3 runs 20 to 25 times a year? Unlikely.
Theriot never gets a breath of hype — and rightly so, given his inability to hit for power OR average, but he takes walks and appears to have a little speed. How much worse can he be than Delino DeShields’ cub days, or — DARE I SAY — Neifi?
I still believe in Rich Hill. He’s gotten some hype recently, but mostly he’s been ignored over the years. Give him time and he’ll make us forget lefties like, um, let’s see….Steve Trout? Greg Hibbard? Not much tradition here.
Since we’re 16 below .500 and only hard math gives us even a possibility of making something of this season, here’s for giving a shot to these unheralded players:
1) Mike Fontenot. .374 OBP in Iowa. Now 27, but again, if Neifi and Ronny are the baseline, how can you go wrong?
2) Micah Hoffpauer. Crap, it’s not like Nevin’s our future. 26 years old — past prospect level — but .362 OBP/.594 SLG in AA and .350/.450 in AAA means he’s not Nevin, but just as productive.
3) Mike Restovich. He’s only 27? He seems like he’s 35. Anyway, if he can play LF and RF he should be a major league backup. .371/.550 in AAA. Why not?
I, for one, would like to see Dusty flouder with a roster made up of these guys:
C: Barrett, Blanco
1B: Hoffpauer, Nevin
2B: Theriot, Fontenot
SS: Izturis because there’s no other option (Neifi)
3B: Ramirez (Neifi)
LF: Murton, Pagan
CF: Pierre, Pagan
RF: Restovich/Jones platoon
SP: Z, Marmol, Hill, Mateo, O’Malley/Marshall
RP: Wuertz, Aardsma, Williams, Howry, (EYRE DL), Ryu, Dempster (can’t get rid of him)
With this club you’ll see what you have. Take the other crapsuckers I don’t have on the roster and sell them for scrap metal. If they don’t help next year, they don’t play. The Cubs have already avoided being the worst team in history. If they play .333 ball the rest of the way they win 66 games. Good enough.