It’s tough to find bright spots with this team right now. Watching the games day in and day out, it’s easy for me to get roped into looking at the team through a microscope without stepping back and looking at it from a macro (full organizational) view. Let’s force ourselves to do that for a second and focus just on the outfield. It’s a promising and very encouraging position of strength of this organization and that has me excited. Take a look at a table of guys in the system and how they are performing so far this year.
Tyler Colvin – The biggest issue I’ve seen with Tyler so far in his career is the strikeouts. He’s striking out over 25% of the time he comes to the plate, which is a little alarming. Just to compare that to his numbers in AA-Tennessee, he was at roughly 17%. Also, just to add a little strength to my argument, Ryan Howard (a guy who strikes out at record clips) averages a pace of 24.7% so far this year. Maybe increased playing time with help him get more consistent grooves working, but it might just magnify his holes even more. Time will tell, but I like how he plays.
Brad Snyder – He’s an older player, a former 1st round pick in 2003, that has never sniffed big league action. He’s getting to the point where his window is closing. He’s got to do more to get a chance to show he deserves a shot. He’s not on the 40 man roster, so it’s doubtful that shot will come even when the rosters expand in September unless some players are shipped out before then. He’s probably not a part of the future, but deserves a chance somewhere.
Brett Jackson – There were a lot of people who weren’t all that excited about him when the Cubs picked him in the first round last year. He’s done great things with the bat and is going to be playing in the Future’s game this year during the All Star festivities. He’s the guy they’re counting on to play center field for this team in the future. He’s got to get a little better in the SB dept. He’s under the usual 70% minimum success rate that is considered positive for a team.
Tony Campana – I included a note on him just because I’ve seen him play this year for the Smokies and he is lightning fast. I watched him streak down the line so fast that the Mudcat’s staff that was in the press box at the time (high school kids with a summer job at the ballpark) took noticed and ooh’d and ahh’d about his speed. He doesn’t hit for power, but his speed and ability to make contact is enough to keep his OPS close to .800, despite a slugging under .380. That’s impressive.
Yes, the future in the OF department has me feeling a little better. These bad contracts and aging veterans won’t be around forever. Thankfully it looks like the system will be able to produce talent to replace them going forward. It could be real fun to watch.