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Tuesday

8

May 2012

13

COMMENTS

Positional Snapshot: Third Base

Written by , Posted in General

The other day we took a look at the breakdown in the system that is the Catcher position. If you missed the exciting news, that’s a shame because you missed all the great names that are performing so well in our system at the catcher position. If only that statement was true. The fact is that the system, from a performance standpoint in 2012, is sorely lacking at Catcher.

Today we look at a position that has been a bit of an eyesore at the Major League level to see what is on the horizon should Ian Stewart not become the man Theo and Jed planned for when they conceived him.

Josh Vitters is the name we routinely hear about as the heir apparent at third base. The problem is that we’ve been hearing his name year after year after year. People have grown frustrated with his development and are sick of waiting on him to hit the majors. What I would draw your attention to is the fact that he was selected in 2007 out of high school. The first round of that draft, when you factor in compensatory picks, included 30 high school players. Of those 30, only 10 have made it to the Majors in anyway. Of those 10, my guess is that you’ve only heard of a few. Here are the names of the guys that have made it that have done anything remotely meaningful:

So, essentially that list of 10 gets trimmed to five. It’s not unreasonable that Vitters hasn’t seen the Majors yet and the fact that he’s making decent progress this season in AAA is encouraging to me. He still has a long way to go, but time is definitely on his side. Next time you get frustrated, remember the fact that he’s only 22. If we’re seeing the same numbers and he’s been in AAA for a few years, then worry. Until, patience is the key.

Overall, from a system standpoint, it’s a position we’ve actually gotten fairly decent production from. However, before you go gaga over Greg Rohan’s numbers, make sure you note his age and level of the minors.

Age PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Stewart, Ian* 27 MAJ 102 6 3 1 2 10 9 22 .204 .275 .323 .597
Vitters, Josh 22 AAA 93 10 3 0 1 10 5 16 .241 .280 .310 .590
Mota, Jonathan 25 AA,AAA 64 8 4 0 3 10 5 16 .288 .344 .508 .852
Samson, Nate 24 AA 79 11 7 0 1 4 8 12 .268 .342 .408 .750
Cerda, Matthew* 22 AA 44 5 4 1 1 4 8 11 .286 .419 .543 .961
Rohan, Greg 26 H-A 132 19 8 0 5 30 14 13 .291 .364 .487 .851
Harrington, Dustin 23 H-A 46 4 2 2 0 3 2 11 .227 .261 .364 .625
Darvill, Wes* 20 L-A 121 11 2 2 1 10 12 23 .259 .333 .343 .676
Zapenas, Brad 22 L-A 83 11 3 0 0 3 13 16 .275 .390 .319 .709

 

  • Cubs Future

    I appreciate the more in depth analysis of the minor leagues as it helps us get an idea of life on the farm. Do they have organizational rankings by position or just overall vs other teams? It would be interesting to see how we are progressing as time goes along. We all know there is a lot to be done in the minors. Just some thoughts if at all possible. We are definitely with middle of the lineup type guys in Jackson and Rizzo, but always harder to gauge lower level. Keep up the good work and look forward to learning more about the Cubs.

    • Joe Aiello

      Any stats I pull are from Baseball Reference. They are broken down by organization so there really isn’t a good way to compare vs. other teams.
      I appreciate the feedback though

  • Cubs Future

    I appreciate the more in depth analysis of the minor leagues as it helps us get an idea of life on the farm. Do they have organizational rankings by position or just overall vs other teams? It would be interesting to see how we are progressing as time goes along. We all know there is a lot to be done in the minors. Just some thoughts if at all possible. We are definitely with middle of the lineup type guys in Jackson and Rizzo, but always harder to gauge lower level. Keep up the good work and look forward to learning more about the Cubs.

    • Joe Aiello

      Any stats I pull are from Baseball Reference. They are broken down by organization so there really isn’t a good way to compare vs. other teams.
      I appreciate the feedback though

  • chuck

    Wow. 3B is a black hole for the entire organization. The only guys who are either young or age-appropriate for the level they are playing at are Vitters and Cerda. Possibly Darvill. Does anybody know anything about Cerda? In limited playing time in AA he seems to be hitting well. Maybe he is in the plans for 2014?

    • Joe Aiello

      Cerda has progressed through the system nicely after being selected in the 4th round out of H.S. He hasn’t shown much power to date but has shown some versatility in the field. He’s seen 136 games at 3B, but also 93 at 2B and 17 at catcher.
      The scouting report on him out of h.s. was:
      Matthew Cerda is a 2008 IF with a 5’9”, 155 lb. frame from Oceanside, CA, who attends Oceanside HS. Compact frame with present strength and an athletic look. Defensively he stays low through the ball with plus actions and a strong arm. He was one of the best middle infielders at the event with smooth fielding skills and an excellent ball transfer. At the plate he is a left handed hitter who its from a straight away stance. He has an advanced approach at the plate with good bat speed through the hitting zone. Cerda has nice swing mechanics with a line drive swing plane and a smooth stroke. Keeps his hands inside the ball well with a short bat path. Cerda even showed power in his bat when he smoked a home run to right field during one of the showcase games. He is a young player with great upside to his overall game. Cerda is a must follow, and is a good student as well.
      http://www.perfectgame.org/Players/Playerprofile.aspx?ID=36602

      • Chuck

        Based on that he should be in the conversation for 3B of the future. It would be nice if he could hit for some power, but anything is better than Ian at this point.

      • Chuck

        Based on that he should be in the conversation for 3B of the future. It would be nice if he could hit for some power, but anything is better than Ian at this point.

    • Norm Bothwell

      I don’t think he’s in any long term plans

  • chuck

    Wow. 3B is a black hole for the entire organization. The only guys who are either young or age-appropriate for the level they are playing at are Vitters and Cerda. Possibly Darvill. Does anybody know anything about Cerda? In limited playing time in AA he seems to be hitting well. Maybe he is in the plans for 2014?

    • Norm Bothwell

      I don’t think he’s in any long term plans

  • Sinnycal

    This list isn’t particularly encouraging, but I’d also argue that it’s missing most of the best long-term 3B prospects. Baez, Candelario, and Lake are all superior prospects who project as likely third basemen in the future even if they either haven’t been moved there yet or are still in the very low minors.

  • Sinnycal

    This list isn’t particularly encouraging, but I’d also argue that it’s missing most of the best long-term 3B prospects. Baez, Candelario, and Lake are all superior prospects who project as likely third basemen in the future even if they either haven’t been moved there yet or are still in the very low minors.