View From The Bleachers

June 13, 2012

Farm Leaders – Extra Bases

Filed under: Featured,Minor League — Norm @ 12:00 pm

This week the Cubs finally added Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler to the organization and he brings with him a much needed infusion of power. Soler hasn’t seen a pitch, but once Anthony Rizzo graduates to the majors later this year, he’ll be in the discussion for the best power hitter in the system. The leaders in ISO (basically, how good is he at getting extra base hits? .250 is usually considered ‘excellent’, .180 is ‘above average’):

“Not much” is the theme with the farm system.

Anthony Rizzo is just a beast in AAA. In 650 AAA plate appearances, he has 46 homers and 49 doubles.

At his current pace, Brett Jackson, in 650 plate appearances, would strike out 198 times. Remember, that’s against AAA pitching. He might have a hard time just hitting the ball.

Nelson Perez and Luis Valbuena are non-prospects, so that leaves Josh Vitters and Paul Hoilman as the only others in the “above average” range. Vitters will be a big leaguer one day, but he might only be a Jeff Baker replacement.
Hoilman had a long hitting streak earlier in the season and tops the list in doubles. But he’s a bit old for the league he plays in and strikes out in over 30% of his plate appearances. Not going to go too far.

When Rizzo joins the Cubs, he leaves the farm system barren of a true power hitter. A year from now, I think we’ll see two new names at the top of this list, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez (who is at .191 right now after 54 PA).

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  • Cubsfan

    Why didn’t the CUBS draft Mark Appel? I thought Theo and Company were all about pitching?

  • Noah_I

    The Cubs’ problem is that they lack high ceiling players who are likely to contribute at the Major League level throughout the system.  That problem does not just extend to the pitchers, and the Cubs may have just liked Almora more than Appel.  The Cubs may also have had concerns regarding Appel’s signing demands and potentially his health as well (Stanford has a reputation for not being concerned at all about pitch counts or the health of its players generally).  The Cubs added some high ceiling pitching talent in the next several rounds, but they may not have been able to afford all of those players if they chose Appel instead of Almora

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    So around the bottom half of our power hitters top twenty we are already below average? 

  • Cubsfan

    Thank you for that information, I just thought it was strange that everyone was talking about how was the best pitcher in the draft and was passed on by several teams including the cubs.

  • Norm Bothwell

     In terms of players getting extra base hits….yes. Not much power in the system.

  • Noah_I

    That was in large part a result of the new CBA.  I wouldn’t be shocked if Appel somehow informed the Astros he wanted what would be above slot for the number 1 pick, or at least whatever the slot amount was.  By picking Correa, who they were able to sign well under slot, they saved money for later picks.  But Appel has a year of college eligibility left, and may have still demanded similar money from other teams in the Top 5, which would have decimated their ability to do anything but sign way under slot players for the remainder of the draft.

    By the time he reached Number 8, though, the Pirates were in a good position to take a flier on him.  They will offer him what they can, and see how much he wants to play pro ball.  Appel will only have less leverage as he moves forward, if he decides not to sign.  In my opinion, that would essentially be betting on the draft rules in the CBA being tossed after this year.  That is very unlikely, despite the disaster rounds 6-10 of the draft were.

  • bonesinis

    This just ges to show the sorry state of affairs Theo and Co inherited from Henry. Just imagine if Rizzo and Sappelt was not on that list! Geezz. This also shows me it is going to take 3 good drafts to get this farm system where it needs to be. Three GOOD drafts!

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