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Friday

18

July 2014

50

COMMENTS

How the Astros are falling, and the Cubs thriving

Written by , Posted in General

Fast-forward to the 2017 World Series, as Sports Illustrated did. They predicted that the Astros would win the World Series over the Cubs. Now, obviously, a ton has to go right for just one of these teams to be in playoff contention. Each team has picked in the top 5 of the draft the last two years. It looks like 2015 will see those two teams up towards the top of the draft board again, as both teams could finish in last place again. These two teams have been often compared to each other during their respective rebuilds. The rebuild has been acquire minor league talent by drafting high and trading major league players for more minor league talent. For the Cubs that is looking pretty good. For the Astros, it is not working out so much.

Both the Cubs and the Astros ranked in the top 5 of farm systems in baseball at the beginning of the season, according to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus. The top prospects on the lists for each team was Javier Baez for the Cubs and Carlos Correa for the Astros, both shortstops. Baez’s stats are known throughout Cub land. Through the first half, Baez has a .240/.305/.449 slash line in AAA Iowa with incredible bat speed and power that has led to 14 home runs so far this year. To go with those solid numbers, Baez also participated in the Future’s Game and got two at bats. One of which, off of Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito, he took a curveball the other way for a home run. Correa, however, hasn’t had the luck that a top prospect usually has. The former number one overall pick was hitting .325/.416/.510 at High A Lancaster in 62 games. Unfortunately, the 19 year fractured his fibula in late June and has been lost for the season. Who knows in Correa will come back the same; regardless, he has lost a year of development.

In the 2013 MLB Draft, the Astros picked number 1 and the Cubs picked number 2. Houston selected a right handed pitcher from Stanford, Mark Appel. To follow, the Cubs selected a third baseman from San Diego University, Kris Bryant. Appel was the sought after top pick. He failed to sign with the Pirates the year before after being drafted 8th overall by Pittsburgh. The right hander had a decent start to his professional career in 2013, compiling a 3.79 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 10 starts that covered 38 innings. 2014 has been a complete disaster for Appel. The 2013 top pick has pitched all year in High A Lancaster. In 38.1 innings, the right hander has been shelled to the tune of a 10.80 ERA, 69 hits, and 49 runs (46 earned). In Appel’s last two starts, he has pitched a combined 6 innings while giving up 20 hits and 14 earned runs. On the other hand, Kris Bryant has flown through the Cubs system up to AAA Iowa. The third baseman has played 128 games and 463 at bats in his professional career and compiled a slash line of .343/.430/.698 to go with 40 homeruns and 113 RBIs. In 2014, Bryant has spent time in AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa while hitting .346/.444/.701 with 31 home runs and 81 RBIs. Keith Law of ESPN has ranked Kris Bryant the number 1 overall prospect in all of baseball in his midseason rankings.

Now in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Astros again picked number one overall and the Cubs picked 4th. While the Astros took the top talent available, high school lefty Brady Aiken, fears about his elbow have made negotiations between the two sides very tense. As the deadline for signing draft picks approaches, it is possible that the Astros lose Aiken, and possibly other picks that were signed with the savings they thought they would get by signing Aiken. It could turn into a complete mess with the Astros getting a compensation pick in next year’s draft. As for the Cubs fourth overall pick, Kyle Schwarber has made his way all the way up to High A Daytona in just 28 games. Through those 28 games and one game with Daytona, in which he went 0-2 with two walks, he has hit .400/484/.733 with 8 home runs and 9 doubles.

As the rebuilding efforts continue for both teams, the Cubs seem to have the upper hand. The Astros have been that Cinderella story earlier in the season with George Springer and Jonathan Singleton coming up and getting on Sports Illustrated, but that magic has faded as they have come back down to the second worst team in baseball. As for the Cubs, they would pick 5th in the draft next year. They probably have the top farm system in the game and the talent is close to the big leagues. The Astros on the other hand have talent, but it is in the lower minors. Sports Illustrated was correct with their pick of the Cubs to represent the NL in the 2017 World Series, but the Astros might be a few more years after that.

  • Eddie Von White

    Very good report. The future looks bright (for the Cubs).

    • Buddy

      Good news! Ian Stewart is available again!

      • Hot damn! You know how much I enjoyed ol Ian.

  • Eddie Von White

    Very good report. The future looks bright (for the Cubs).

    • Buddy

      Good news! Ian Stewart is available again!

      • Hot damn! You know how much I enjoyed ol Ian.

  • PLCB3

    McJedEp said 2015 when they took the job. I’m going to say there’s an outside chance at 2015, but 2016 is the year. But if the Cubs sneak into the playoffs in 2015, you never know. Anyone can win once the playoffs start.

  • AC0000000

    McJedEp said 2015 when they took the job. I’m going to say there’s an outside chance at 2015, but 2016 is the year. But if the Cubs sneak into the playoffs in 2015, you never know. Anyone can win once the playoffs start.

  • Dork

    You can really see it coming now. Baez Bryant Soler Russell and Vogelbac all homered last night.

    • yogiIsSickofCreatingNewLogins

      The commenters of this site’s unbridled enthusiasm of Vogelbach is the reason I continue lurking here. (and finally figured out my old disqus password)

      • Eddie Von White

        Lurkers are welcome here.

      • Doug S.

        Poor Dan’s been out of the spotlight a bit with all these other promising prospects hogging the stage.

      • Noah_I

        He’s shown good a good approach throughout his minor league career, but he hasn’t shown more than above average power since moving up from the hitter friendly Northwest League after 2012. If you’re going to hit like Jon Olerud or Mark Grace, you better field 1B like Olerud or Grace, and Vogelbach does not.

  • Dork

    You can really see it coming now. Baez Bryant Soler Russell and Vogelbac all homered last night.

    • yogiIsSickofCreatingNewLogins

      The commenters of this site’s unbridled enthusiasm of Vogelbach is the reason I continue lurking here. (and finally figured out my old disqus password)

      • Eddie Von White

        Lurkers are welcome here.

      • Doug S.

        Poor Dan’s been out of the spotlight a bit with all these other promising prospects hogging the stage.

      • Noah_I

        He’s shown good a good approach throughout his minor league career, but he hasn’t shown more than above average power since moving up from the hitter friendly Northwest League after 2012. If you’re going to hit like Jon Olerud or Mark Grace, you better field 1B like Olerud or Grace, and Vogelbach does not.

  • Doc Raker

    Which is why I support this front office. They have made a lot of good acquisitions both at the prospect level and the major league level. One more roster change in the broadcast booth and the future of this team can be very enjoyable.

    • Doug S.

      Note to self – try to be on Doc’s good side.

    • PLCB3

      I miss chip carry and the stone man Steve stone.

      • Dork

        Slow down the Tv on the DVR and listen to Pat and Ron.

      • Doug S.

        No on Chip. No!!
        Go watch a Braves game.

      • Doc Raker

        Steve Stone was great with both Harry and Chip. I miss them all. firelenkasper.thoughts.com

      • PLCB3

        At the Cubs convention Len Kasper said his favorite game was in 2007 when aramis hit a walk-off HR over the brewers to cap a huge comeback and someone brought up that that was the #1 play on SC that day and they used his call. Why would ESPN do that?

      • Doc Raker

        What I find confirming about my opinion of Len Kasper’s monotone vanilla un-insightful style is the highlights of the Cubs I see on MLB Network have Pat Hughes call, not Len’s call.

        Does anyone ever stand up at the Cubs convention and ask the Cubs brass about getting more insightful announcers? Maybe I should consider going to the Cubs convention.

      • PLCB3

        You’d shell out 700 bucks just for that? You should also ask about Soriano playing 3B if you’re going to blow that much dough.

      • Doc Raker

        What costs $700?

      • PLCB3

        Flight hotel and pass for the cubs convention.

      • PLCB3

        Ramirez also got a rectal exam after hitting that HR.
        http://m.liveleak.com/view?i=f9e_1183420047

      • PLCB3

        I asked some tough questions at the convention. I asked why Ricketts can’t buy out the rooftops and why the trash don’t have the restrictions we have.

  • Doc Raker

    Which is why I support this front office. They have made a lot of good acquisitions both at the prospect level and the major league level. One more roster change in the broadcast booth and the future of this team can be very enjoyable.

    • Doug S.

      Note to self – try to be on Doc’s good side.

    • AC0000000

      I miss chip carry and the stone man Steve stone.

      • Dork

        Slow down the Tv on the DVR and listen to Pat and Ron.

      • Doug S.

        No on Chip. No!!
        Go watch a Braves game.

      • Doc Raker

        Steve Stone was great with both Harry and Chip. I miss them all. firelenkasper.thoughts.com

      • AC0000000

        At the Cubs convention Len Kasper said his favorite game was in 2007 when aramis hit a walk-off HR over the brewers to cap a huge comeback and someone brought up that that was the #1 play on SC that day and they used his call. Why would ESPN do that?

      • Doc Raker

        What I find confirming about my opinion of Len Kasper’s monotone vanilla un-insightful style is the highlights of the Cubs I see on MLB Network have Pat Hughes call, not Len’s call.

        Does anyone ever stand up at the Cubs convention and ask the Cubs brass about getting more insightful announcers? Maybe I should consider going to the Cubs convention.

      • AC0000000

        You’d shell out 700 bucks just for that? You should also ask about Soriano playing 3B if you’re going to blow that much dough.

      • Doc Raker

        What costs $700?

      • AC0000000

        Flight hotel and pass for the cubs convention.

      • AC0000000

        Ramirez also got a rectal exam after hitting that HR.
        http://m.liveleak.com/view?i=f9e_1183420047

      • AC0000000

        I asked some tough questions at the convention. I asked why Ricketts can’t buy out the rooftops and why the trash don’t have the restrictions we have.

  • lol

    Yes, this example of a farm system rapidly and suddenly declining should make Cubs fans EXCITED….

    lol…..

  • lol

    Yes, this example of a farm system rapidly and suddenly declining should make Cubs fans EXCITED….

    lol…..

  • PLCB3

    The Astros were unable to sign their top pick

  • AC0000000

    The Astros were unable to sign their top pick

  • Doc Raker

    Edwin Jackson actually left a game in the 6th with the lead, that was more amazing than Rizzo’s 2 jacks. What was even more amazing were the flashback highlights of Edwin Jackson’s no hitter when he was with the DBacks. The DBacks broadcast featuring ex Cub broadcaster Bob Brenly talked about Edwin’s less than artful no hitter with 8 walks and 145 pitches.

    I was amazed Edwin Jackson threw a no hitter, I did not know.
    I enjoyed the DBacks broadcast but it wasn’t as good as when Mark Grace was in the booth. What was the best part of the DBacks broadcast?………..No Len Kasper.

  • Doc Raker

    Edwin Jackson actually left a game in the 6th with the lead, that was more amazing than Rizzo’s 2 jacks. What was even more amazing were the flashback highlights of Edwin Jackson’s no hitter when he was with the DBacks. The DBacks broadcast featuring ex Cub broadcaster Bob Brenly talked about Edwin’s less than artful no hitter with 8 walks and 145 pitches.

    I was amazed Edwin Jackson threw a no hitter, I did not know.
    I enjoyed the DBacks broadcast but it wasn’t as good as when Mark Grace was in the booth. What was the best part of the DBacks broadcast?………..No Len Kasper.