I’ve gotten a few questions in the e-mail box the last week or two so I figured maybe we should answer them. One I didn’t know the answer to as it deals with Spring Training and I’ve never been. Hopefully out community can help.

“What do you think Jed and Theo see in their infield crystal ball for 2015, 2016, etc?  Assuming Baez can handle SS, then Bryant at 3B and Alcantara at 2B? How far away from MLB-ready do you think Alcantara is?”

~ Mike

Thanks for the question, Mike. There is a lot there. Let’s get right to it. Ideally, I think they’d love to see Starlin Castro break out in 2014 and be the guy they invested in as the long term answer in the middle of the infield. Whether or not that involves him at SS or 2B, I’m not too concern. I think 2014 is going to be a crossroads for Castro. If he struggles again, you’re going to see fans and probably the front office begin to lose faith. I still believe he can be fixed and I hope Renteria and his crew is the regime to fix him. Assuming he pans out, I’d pencil him at SS. Third base is a little bit of a mystery as it all depends on what we see from Mike Olt in 2014. If he plays the way they hope then you have him as your every day 3B and put Kris Bryant in the OF. Should Olt flounder then I think you pencil Bryant in at 3B and Javy Baez in at 2B to go with Anthony Rizzo at 1B. That sort of leaves Alcantara on the outside looking in, but it’s a good problem to have.

To answer your second question, I ran across an interesting article on Fan Graphs that talks a look at the top prospects in the system and projects what they would produce based on their current state of development if they were promoted to the opening day roster and played a full season. The tables below are their projections for both the hitters and the pitchers.

As much as people say our pitching in the system is fairly weak, what we do see is that it appears to be further along toward making an impact with the Major League club than the hitters, with all six names on the list projected for positive WAR. I think Alcantara is close to making some impact at the ML level and we’ll probably see him sometime this season.

“Can one of you please clear up the Cubs Spring Training Facility for me. Internet searches are not giving me the clarity I want. Cubs Park is the new digs? Where is this located? What happened to Ho-Ho-Kam? Any hotels near the new park?

Trying to plan a trip and would like answers. Thank in advance.”

~ Doug S.

Doug, I wish I knew. I’ve never been to spring training. I’m going to appeal to the masses here to help you answer this one so look to the comment section.

Got a question for the mailbag? Please submit it to viewfromthebleachers@gmail.com

FOUL TIPS

  • Fan graphs had a Q&A with one of the top pitching prospects in the system, Pierce Johnson. (Source)
  • Billy Joel was announced as a Wrigley Field performer this summer, with a show on July 18th. I’m a Billy Joel fan and I wish I could go to this.

WHAT’S ON JOE’S IPOD?

No comments on yesterday’s selection, so we’ll go for a different genre today. We’ll go a little old school and end the week with some class. One of my favorite songs to dance to at a wedding. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail