How's the Future Looking?

The major league team is going through the motions of a 100-loss season and is frankly, boring as hell right now. There's plenty to keep our eyes on if we need a baseball fix, will Castro and Rizzo rebound/improve, is Olt a legitimate starter or just a platoon-mate, can Barney, Schierholtz and Hammel do enough to get some trade value in return and what exactly will Samardzija's trade value be in June/July? But the answers to those questions aren't coming for awhile and neither are the future questions in Baez, Bryant and the rest of the minor leaguers, but I find the hope in their bats and arms far more interesting than the reality of the Chicago High Draft Picks currently playing in Milwaukee.

Javier Baez - early DL trip probably not helping, but currently at 164/207/327 with 21 K vs 2 BB's along with 4 errors.

Kris Bryant - 312/442/597 with 5 HR's, 7 2B and a surprising 5 SB vs 0 CS... 25 K  in 77 AB's about the only blemish at this point.

CJ Edwards - 20.2 IP/20 K/8 BB/0 HR and a 2.61 ERA before the injury lightning strike hit with some shoulder issues. No structural damage but in the midst of a 2-week rest period and then probably another 2-3 weeks before seeing the mound barring any setbacks. See him in June hopefully...

Albert Almora - 284/299/405 with 7 K vs. 0 BB's...kind of boring right now.

Jorge Soler - what did he have? A double of Mat Latos and immediately to the disabled list...currently shagging groupies in Arizona I think.

Pierce Johnson - late start to the season and was making his second start of the season as I write this...checking boxscore...8 BB in 4 IP...moving on.

Arismendy Alcantara - 301/310/554...6 SB vs 0 CS, but 20 K vs. 2 BB's.  Just one error so far on the season.

Jeimar Candelario - 174/296/290, not really justifying that #8 spot on the BA Top 10 list.

Dan Vogelbach - 234/314/338 - 2 HR's, 9 BB vs 10 K is encouraging.

Arodys Vizcaino - 7 IP/8 K/3 BB/ 0 HR/1.29 ERA and hitting high 90's.

Honorable Mentions

Kyle Hendricks - last outing in Colorado was a bit rough as was his first start of the season, but overall a 4.11 ERA and 29 K in 30.1 IP against just 8 BB's and 0 HR's on season. In-season call-up seems to be looming...

Corey Black - had a great start his last time out (6 IP, 8 K, 0 H) and overall with 16 K in 17 IP and a 2.65 ERA, but 12 BB's to go with it.

Overall, a bit of a disappointing start to the minor league season for the Cubs, but the path to the majors is rarely straight up.

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Comments

Jason Hammel doing something through 5 innings in Milwaukee.

Gomez double with one out in 6th.

Collin McHugh following up his unlikely 12 K performance with a 7 IP/6 K/ 1 H performance so far vs. Oakland.

#baseball

Great start by Hammel, Strop a nice inning, Rondon with 3 Ks and the save; Castro 2 HR, good ABs by Rizzo and Olt. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If only the chances of seeing a good performance like this was better than say 1 in 5, sigh.

though he only projects for middle-end rotation at best, and he's a junkballing lefty...

e.jokisch 24.2ip 24h 3bb 18k (2hr), 3.65era 1.10whip

even if he finishes the season well he probably won't crack anyone's top100 prospect list and maybe not even the cubs top10 prospect list, but he's worth keeping an eye on given his years of consistent production.

So is Castro our new cleanup hitter?

He will be at least once. Everyone gets a try!

Who was the last Cub shortstop to bat cleanup?

There is a Dusty/Neifi joke in there somewhere.

Does anybody know if firstinning.com is gone for good, or are they just going through extended server problems like they were last year?

did they ever come back after the late-june/july shutdown last year?

Mlbfarm.com is your new friend

Thanks! I guess that'll have to do. Liked having my own list, though.

Crunch, I'm not sure. I know they had some problems and then returned, but I'm not sure if that was June/July or earlier in the season that I'm remembering.

heard. i just remember them putting up a "we're down for now" notice in june, not being around for a chunk of july, and then forgetting to check back.

I think one thing that gets lost in all the hoopla over how great the Cubs prospects are supposed to be is that, for one thing, the product on the field is embarrassing, more so than it should be at year three, and for another thing, the Cubs are hardly the only team with interesting prospects. This franchise will survive another horrible year, but if it isn't turned around pretty drastically in year four, the franchise will start bleeding fans. Young kids aren't going to gravitate to a team with moldy ivy. I was won over in '69, despite the collapse. If there's nothing for kids to watch, they will go to the White Sox, who are at least consistently competitive, and Wrigley will become a tomb. The clock is really ticking here. We honestly could see a complete collapse of this franchise if the Jedstein plan doesn't work out.

I seriously doubt there are many kids excited about this team right now. You need to grow your fan base, not depend on idiots like us who have been suckered into the whole Wrigley thing all these years. Add to the current team's woes the financial situation of the Ricketts, which seems pretty precarious, and I'm not an optimist.

Cripes, O&B... what did you expect this season? :)

In the final years of the Hendry regime, the Cubs had neither a farm system nor a big-league team. The organization was in shambles. So when you talk about the hoopla over the prospects, it's not that the Cubs prospects are supposedly so much better than other systems (although many websites have the Cubs system in the top 5), it is that the Cubs didn't have a farm system in the past, but now they do. That's an interesting development.

I don't think a club with a history like the Cubs is worried about their fan base. The first time they return to the playoffs, all the lukewarm fans will come out of the woodwork.

It's a great development, but it may not be enough.

As for what I expected this season? Not much, at the beginning of this year. When the gents were hired, I expected a little more progress in year 3, however. It may still come. The season is young, Starlin seems back, and Rizzo would be putting up better numbers if they weren't pitching around him so consistently.

I know all about the history of the Cubs' farm system. And I'd have to disagree about the fan base. Fan bases are created at a young age. What kind of kid is rushing to his iPad to watch the Cubs on MLB.TV right now? Sure, the die hards will come out if they ever start winning, but they'll lose their future fan base if it doesn't turn around.

you mean the White Sox that had a worst record than the Cubs last year?

a couple of years of winning will cure all, Pirates are packing the park.

Let me just be a naysayer. It's more fun that watching this drek and saying, "Go Cubs"

It's the Cubs, they have been bucking marketing and common sense trends for decades.

And, what the hell IS going on with Soler, anyway? Are they hiding him from the human traffic smugglers?

Submitted by Arizona Phil

 

CARMELO: Jorge Soler is taking "live" BP at Riverview but he is not yet playing outfield or doing any baserunning.

Nice, thanks Rob

If you're looking for positive signs, here's something. At least in the last week, something has been going on down on the Cub farm. Tennessee may still be scuffling, but Iowa has won its last five games, KC its last six, and Daytona seven of its last eight. And while the big-name prospects may have started slowly, some of the second- and third-tier prospects are doing rather well--guys like Logan Watkins at Iowa and Andreoli and Rafael Lopez at Tennessee and this Rademacher guy and also Marco Hernandez at Daytona. In theory at least, the franchise is moving toward having a critical mass of guys who know how to get on base and also hit some.

Watkins always has a good OBP but this April it's .433. He can play defense and he can run a little. He would be an improvement at second base over what we have now, but several players on the big-league team are being marketed, which does get in the way of putting your best team on the field. So we wait a little longer.

Free Logan Watkins!

There's also the other Baez - AZ seems pretty pumped about that guy

rain delay in Cincy...

Baez hits HR #3 in Iowa, 3-run shot in first...Jokisch pitching

C. Black goes for Smokies

Zastryzny going for Daytona, 3 IP, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HR so far, opposing pitcher not doing well either though, tied 6-6; Candelario HR

Blackburn going for Kane County

rained out in Cincy

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