View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Friday

12

July 2013

32

COMMENTS

Prospect Report: The Promoted

Written by , Posted in General, Minor League

For the rest of the season, Norm and I are likely going to veer away from the hot/not format a good bit, in large part because we’ve already hit on everyone interesting and we’ve gotten well into repeat territory on that front. On that note, we’re in the middle of the period of the season where we see a lot of promotions within the system. Below I am going to look at several players who were promoted since the middle of June. While we will ignore their numbers since promotion (too small of a sample size to be meaningful), we will look at their numbers in their prior level and attempt to determine if the move was made too soon, should have been made sooner, or the time was just right.

Javier Baez (SS, Age 20)
Assigned from High A Daytona to Double A Tennessee on June 28
High A Stats: 337 PAs, .274/.338/.535, 17 HRs, .310 BABIP, 6.2% BB rate, 23.1% K rate
Timing: Too early

Baez likely reestablished himself as the Cubs’ top prospect in June, but without one huge game and Jorge Soler getting hurt, it’s unclear if that would be the case. Baez’s walk rate (8.9%) and strikeout rate (19.8%) were significantly improved in June. This is particularly true in comparison to Baez’s April, where he only put up a 3.6% walk rate to go along with a concerning 27.7% strikeout rate. The problem was this was just one month. And a lot of Baez’s massive slugging improvement in June was his huge 4 home run game. I would have liked to see Baez continue his progress for one more month before making the jump from High A to Double A, which is well known to be the most difficult aside from a promotion to the Majors.

John Andreoli (OF, Age 23)
Assigned from High A Daytona to Double A Tennessee on June 28
High A Stats: 303 PAs, .318/.394/.405, 0 HR, .400 BABIP, 11.2% BB rate, 18.8% K rate

Timing: Should have happened sooner

Andreoli has never been a big name prospect, but he spent all of 2012 and the first half of 2013 getting on base in 40% of his plate appearances in the Florida State League. He does not hit for any power, but clearly draws walks and steals bases (55 SBs in 75 attempts last season, 23 in 26 attempts this season). Andreoli’s lack of power limits his potential, and definitely could stall out at the higher levels of the minors where better defenses will limit his BABIP somewhat. But the walks, speed and ability to play all over the outfield mean he could be a solid bench option. However, one of his best skills, the speed, is often one of the first things to leave a player as he ages. Andreoli is not going to add power, so there was no reason not to see if his combination of speed and patience could have succeeded at Double A a little earlier.

Pierce Johnson (RHP, Age 22)
Assigned from Low A Kane County to High A Daytona on June 20
Low A Stats: 13 GS, 69.2 IPs, 3.10 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 9.56 K/9, 2.84 BB/9
Timing: Should have happened sooner

Had we been told when the season started that Arodys Vizcaino would not pitch in a real game all season, no one would have been surprised to see Pierce Johnson establish himself as the Cubs’ top pitching prospect, which he quickly did. The problem was that he just wasn’t challenged at Low A, and no one should have expected him to be challenged at Low A. At the very back end of being 21 and at age 22, Johnson should be dominating a league where the majority of good players are the age of college sophomores. No one learned anything about Johnson from him striking out a bunch of 20 year olds. He would have been better off starting the season at High A, or at most getting a half dozen starts to get his feet wet in full season professional baseball at Kane County before being bumped up the ladder.

 

  • Chuck

    Baez in AA at age 20? Wow. That is an accomplishment. I hope they are not rushing him and stunting his development. I am not sure his production warranted that kind of promotion. I would like to see players dominate a level before promotion.

    • Javy’s BABIP tells me that he has been hitting a lot of line drives into the field of play. Vagaries are real sons of bitches.

      • Cap’n Obvious

        It’s not luck. Luck is being the Oakland news anchor with the day off when the gag of the century gets pulled off with amazing efficiency. I’ve never laughed so hard at something not funny ever before…

      • Doug S.

        Saw that. Unreal that nobody caught it before air.

      • Seymour Butts
  • Chuck

    Baez in AA at age 20? Wow. That is an accomplishment. I hope they are not rushing him and stunting his development. I am not sure his production warranted that kind of promotion. I would like to see players dominate a level before promotion.

    • Javy’s BABIP tells me that he has been hitting a lot of line drives into the field of play. Vagaries are real sons of bitches.

      • Cap’n Obvious

        It’s not luck. Luck is being the Oakland news anchor with the day off when the gag of the century gets pulled off with amazing efficiency. I’ve never laughed so hard at something not funny ever before…

      • Doug S.

        Saw that. Unreal that nobody caught it before air.

      • Seymour Butts
  • Doug S.

    Speaking of prospects (at the low A level) saw the baby Boise cubs play the baby Jays yesterday. Of note, Shawon Dunston Jr. looks good. Trevor Gretzky got heckled by the fans each at bat. Kid’s OK but really needs to put some weight on. Saw hitting coach Bill Buckner as well, no chance to speak with him. Wanted to ask him about some of the kids. Going to another tomorrow.

    • Doc Raker

      Tell Buck I said hello. We met briefly back in the 70’s. He was coming out of the Cubs locker room, I was standing at the fence surrounding the players parking lot. He was wearing wooden clogs. I mentioned the wooden clogs didn’t fit his persona very well. He gave me a dirty look. I was eating a hot dog so I guess you can say we had a post game meal together. After my disapproval of his wooden clogs the conversation got awkward. He then drove off without even leaving a too for the hot dog man. Let Buck know I say hello and someday we will dine again and laugh about the wooden clogs. Buck was a great Cub.

      • Doug S.

        Good story. Maybe a chance to speak with him tomorrow. Shame that way too many people remember him only for ‘you know what.’

      • Doc Raker

        I agree, he deserved better from those chowder heads in Boston. He was the only bright spot on some very bad Cub teams. I think he hit .878 off the Dodgers and I witnessed some of that- I remember sitting in the left field bleachers and he hit a line drive in the left center gap and the ball skipped to the wall in one hop, it was as if the ball was shot out of a cannon- I will never forget how fast that ball was moving. He was a bit bitter after the Cubs traded him in 1984 just when the team got better. After the 84 playoffs the Tribune quoted Buckner as saying he would of caught the ground ball that went under Durham’s legs- ouch- be careful the baseball Gods are always listening.

  • Doug S.

    Speaking of prospects (at the low A level) saw the baby Boise cubs play the baby Jays yesterday. Of note, Shawon Dunston Jr. looks good. Trevor Gretzky got heckled by the fans each at bat. Kid’s OK but really needs to put some weight on. Saw hitting coach Bill Buckner as well, no chance to speak with him. Wanted to ask him about some of the kids. Going to another tomorrow.

    • Doc Raker

      Tell Buck I said hello. We met briefly back in the 70’s. He was coming out of the Cubs locker room, I was standing at the fence surrounding the players parking lot. He was wearing wooden clogs. I mentioned the wooden clogs didn’t fit his persona very well. He gave me a dirty look. I was eating a hot dog so I guess you can say we had a post game meal together. After my disapproval of his wooden clogs the conversation got awkward. He then drove off without even leaving a too for the hot dog man. Let Buck know I say hello and someday we will dine again and laugh about the wooden clogs. Buck was a great Cub.

      • Doug S.

        Good story. Maybe a chance to speak with him tomorrow. Shame that way too many people remember him only for ‘you know what.’

      • Doc Raker

        I agree, he deserved better from those chowder heads in Boston. He was the only bright spot on some very bad Cub teams. I think he hit .878 off the Dodgers and I witnessed some of that- I remember sitting in the left field bleachers and he hit a line drive in the left center gap and the ball skipped to the wall in one hop, it was as if the ball was shot out of a cannon- I will never forget how fast that ball was moving. He was a bit bitter after the Cubs traded him in 1984 just when the team got better. After the 84 playoffs the Tribune quoted Buckner as saying he would of caught the ground ball that went under Durham’s legs- ouch- be careful the baseball Gods are always listening.

  • Smart Cubs Kid

    I think the Cubs should bring Baez up, (when he is ready) and trade Starlin for some prospects or another veteran.

    • Jedi

      The grass isn’t always greener.

      • Eddie Von White

        Over the septic tank.

    • PLCB3

      Trade Starlin!? How about send him to AAA for a bit instead

      • Jedi

        I know you don’t watch the games, but he’s .303/.346/.487 since Dale gave him a day off (roughly 3 weeks ago now).

        But by all means, demote him.

  • Smart Cubs Kid

    I think the Cubs should bring Baez up, (when he is ready) and trade Starlin for some prospects or another veteran.

    • Jedi

      The grass isn’t always greener.

      • Eddie Von White

        Over the septic tank.

    • AC0000000

      Trade Starlin!? How about send him to AAA for a bit instead

      • Jedi

        I know you don’t watch the games, but he’s .303/.346/.487 since Dale gave him a day off (roughly 3 weeks ago now).

        But by all means, demote him.

  • Smart Cubs Kid

    Im excited for Albert Almora as well he will bring some pop to the outfield

  • Smart Cubs Kid

    Im excited for Albert Almora as well he will bring some pop to the outfield

  • Buddy

    Uh oh. The old Kevin Gregg is back.

  • Buddy

    Uh oh. The old Kevin Gregg is back.