Well-Played Cardinals Fans

From the good folks at Home Run Derby, come these pictures outside of Busch Stadium.

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I would have been more impressed if it was in yellow.

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Comments

First... HA..

That's pretty cool

wow, a crap circle.

Rob G - sent you a message on TCR mail.

Ballparks in the snow are cool.

http://homerderby.com/archives/3176

Thanks for the link.

Bonds' pee agrees to testify against the dick:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/sports/baseball/...

what else are they going to do while on unemployment?

I hope Anderson writes a Tell-All book after Bonds's trial is over. Is it illegal to take payments not to testify? Does anyone in the world not think that's what's going on here?

This Cubs/Red Wings fan thinks Hendry should think more like Ken Holland, who just locked up Henrik Zetterberg for 12/73, but with the last three years of the deal at 3, 1 and 1. Granted, the move had a lot to do with the cap hit being lowered for the Wings, but I'm a big proponent of front-loading long-term contracts to give the team the flexibility it needs to make some moves 8-10 years down the road.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/wings/20...

It's six of one, half dozen of the other. Do you give yourself flexibility now to make a move or add a player that could put you over the top? Or do you restrict your flexibility here and now to give yourself more of it later on? Since more and more managers and GMs are getting the ax every year, the idea of building for the future makes less sense now than it has before, especially for a big budget team like the Cubs. I'm not saying I like how Hendry dramatically backloads contracts, but that doesn't mean he needs to go in the opposite direction.

It doesn't necessarily have to be so dramatically front-loaded as the last two years at just $1M.

This all ultimately stems from my biggest problem with Hendry, that he's never shown himself (at least publicly) to have a clear long-term vision for this team. His strategy appears to be more one of, 'OK, what do we need this winter to make us better next summer?'

This manifests itself in situations like never having the blue-chip prospects to step up and take control of a roster spot, or never seeming to have the right fit for the best free-agent position players on the market.

I'm a believer that those with a clear long-term strategy who stick to it are most likely to accomplish those results. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Hendry if I believed he had one, even if I disagreed with what it was. To follow on what you said, it really does seem like he runs the team like he believes he won't be around very long.

The only baseball team that I'd say has done that consistently in recent history is the Braves, though I'd also put the Red Sox, A's and Angels on the fringe.

Hopefully Ricketts finds a GM who is willing to run the team like he plans to be here 20 years.

Well stated. I think Hendry could do the job if he gets some help in key areas like scouting and player development, neither of which are his strong suit. If he's still failing at producing quality prospects and using the ones we have well (i.e. not selling them for 50 cents on the dollar), then I agree that a change might need to be made. Still, it'd be hard for me to see Hendry get fired after building a divisional winner for the past two years. Neither postseason failure has been his fault.

"Neither postseason failure has been his fault."

Yea, he went out and got players that aren't good October hitters or pitchers. Clearly he doesn't know what he's doing and needs to be fired immediately.

Approved!!! JB

Speaking truthfully,The Cubs outspend everyone in the division by a Wide margin. It doesn't make you a genius if you can beat everyone at the poker table when you stack is 40 million dollars taller from the outset.

And I don't buy the Soto/Theriot arguments as evidence that the farm has produced. AZ Phil can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Soto was ever considered a blue chip prospect. We got lucky that some fat guy who can catch minor league ball decided to lose some weight and turned out to be a decent hitter and nice receiver. Theriot is a nice little player but he's not the kind of blue chipper I think of when I think about great farm systems. Same with Fontenot. Any farm system is gonna produce guys like that.

I think there's something amiss with our minor league development process. Pie really seemed to have the tools and baseball instinct to be a good player. How did they fuck that up? Patterson had no baseball instincts at all, and I wasn't surprised by his failures. But Pie seems like the kind of guy you should be able to develop. The scouts seem to universally say Vitters is the next can't miss. If the guy comes up and looks like Gary Scott re-incarnated, then I say fire Hendry and get someone in who can build the system and actually develop position players. Which is something I've wanted for years. Hendry has done okay. He's done a nice job developing pitchers. But the Cubs remind me a bit of the Bulls before they fired Doug Collins. They need someone, I suspect, to take them to the next level.

Soto is pretty damn valuable at this point. He spent, what, three years in AAA starting at a young age? Is that not a signal that the organization thought he could be a valuable player?

What about Carlos Marmol?

You put either one of those guys on the trade market, you will get some amazing offers.

Not every system can have a Hanley Ramirez. Then again, if we did have Hanley we would probably be crediting him with his offensive success and blaming the organization for the fact that he's a weak defensive SS.

The fact that the Cubs have traded away two young, toolsy players (Pie and Cedeno) at nearly the lowest point of their value in order to get a 30-year-old reliever (to add to the stockpile of middle relievers) is a little disappointing, though. I'd like to see potential valued a little bit more by this organization.

I get the potential argument but when they're out of options and have proven their inability to contribute at a major league level, you don't have much choice, particularly with a win now team.

The problem is also that if they traded the two when they were more raw (meaning higher trade value) we'd all be complaining about gutting the farm system and not developing players (much like Vitters and Castillo now).

It's really a tough position. Obviously I would have like to see more out of these guys, and I wish them the best at their new clubs, but they didn't have a place on this Cubs team, and without options, they were useless to the Cubs organization.

I certainly see where you're coming from. I think I'd be more convinced that they had no place on the team if the Cubs hadn't signed Gathright and Miles. I definitely don't see Gathright as an upgrade over Pie, and I see Miles as only a slight upgrade of Cedeno as a utility player--not worth the extra money he's earning or the loss in potential. But I don't dislike Cedeno as much as many people on this board do, nor as much as I think Piniella might.

"I think I'd be more convinced that they had no place on the team if the Cubs hadn't signed Gathright and Miles."

Couldn't agree more, but how long do you stick with Pie/Cedeno before you cut them loose? Also, don't you feel you owe Felix some consistent ABs, and he certainly wasn't/shouldn't be getting them at the MLB level.

Cedeno I'd be more okay with keeping on the team, he has some ability to be up here as a utility MI, but Felix has proven he can't do anything up here. I don't see Gathright as any upgrade at all, but I guess they felt the upgrade was marginal to nil, and they could get something for Pie, it was worth it. Like i said, this is the win now cubs, not "lets try to develop out backup CF while hes riding the pine in Wrigley" cubs.

They considered the upgrade they could get from Olson to be worth more than Pie/Cedeno.

I think we disagree on the "prove" part of the Pie statements. I also saw Pie having an opportunity to play when Bradley goes down with an injury.

I think I'd also be less disappointed if I thought we actually needed another optionless reliever. I was more okay with the Pie for Olson trade than the Cedeno and Olson for Heilman trade--Olson could be stashed in AAA. Like someone else said, Heilman's career line looks a lot like Wuertz's, a guy who may not have a spot on the team when Spring Training ends.

I have some issues with "win now," but I do definitely want to see the team win. But I don't see them much closer to winning now that they've traded off Pie and Cedeno, while I do see them losing potential. Again, Heilman could be lights out and then I will clearly be wrong. Or Joey Gathright could be as good as Real Neal think she has the potential to be, and I'll have to reconsider. Or Pie and Cedeno could both continue to put up the sort of numbers they are putting up now and I won't regret having lost them.

Charlie, whats the saying, great minds do something alike?

I was okay with Pie for Olson, at least Olson hasn't reached a ceiling and could be put in Iowa for a while. With Heilman it seems to be you know what you have, and it doesn't seem to be anything worth getting too excited for. At least nothing that the other 6 or 7 relievers we already have can't do.

If you bank on Pie backing up Bradley, and MB does go down, and Pie further proves he can't hit anything with movement, can we even get Olson for him next season? Can we get a bag of bullpen balls if he continues to show his ineptitude? I guess you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..lets hope Hendry has played the cards right.

I put this in a below thread, but it's relevent here as well:

#70 Re: Cubs Trade Ronny Cedeno; Get Living, Breathing Pitcher in ReSubmitted by Dr. aaron b on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 12:26pm.
I know it gets beaten to death. But prime example of what Hendry does with his finances of the team. Which is better in your opinion?

A) Hudson,Fontenot,Cedeno,Koyie Hill,Pie

Or

B) Miles,Fontenot,Uribe,Bako,Gathright

With a little bit of planning. Jim could have had either/or for about the same money

__________________________

Rooting for Laundry since 1987

edit reply

A minor nitpick in that Cedeno definitely and Pie a little bit, did contribute.

Contribute at a level that isn't replaceable with Gathright/Miles I should have said.

There really is no good reason the Cubs should not be able to come up with a Hanley Ramirez or any sort of blue chip prospect that will star in the major leagues. Pie was kind of an odd case because he was truly a very raw talent signed at age 17. Let's just go back 10 years: how do they explain Montanez, Pawelek, Christiansen, Harvey? All 1st rounders. What about drafting Bobby Brownlie in the first round knowing he had a bad arm in college? An injury that ultimately derailed his career? The explanation is bad talent evaluation. I don't have the time or means to see who was drafted after them but obviously several all stars were.

Soto was a prized prospect even as he could not hit. When it clicked for him, or rather, when he made it click, the trust was justified. Carlos Marmol is a failed catcher who converted. The Cubs have a history of moving position guys to the mound with some degree of success (Bullinger, and this year, Josh Lansford).

One common thread, through good and bad drafts, going back to the end of the Dallas Green era is lack of development of their minor leaguers. What percentage of Cub prospects over the last 20 years or so have shown baseball presence and instinct? And turned that into major league success? You could probably count the number of players on one hand.

Tim Wilken was highly respected in Toronto and has had three drafts (I believe) under his Cub belt, so in three or four more years you'll be able to judge his acumen. Since most see the Cubs' best prospects in single and double A at this point, so far it seems he's done better than his predecessor.

Every team has busts in the draft. The Cubs have had a slightly higher rate over the years on first round picks, for various reasons, but the at the end of the day the Cubs system does the two things you want a minor league system to do:

1. Give your team solid and star caliber players.
2. Provide ammunition for trades.

Hanley Ramirez, it should be pointed out, did that for the Red Sox, just like Eric Patterson did for the Cubs.

Yes, first rounders more often than not don't do a thing. My contention was there is no good reason for a rich organization like the Cubs, who can afford to pay for the best scouts, and more of them, not to be able to assess, draft and sign premier, top round talent. Unless the staff is not able to do so....and there's the rub I would guess. Especially if you peruse past first rounds and see names like Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman who the Cubs passed up in favor of busts.

Aside from Prior, they have consistently crapped out first rounds for about 10 years. And as a Wilken defender, I have to say the jury is still out on Colvin.

The Cubs have drafted plenty of players to trade for established players, and since they are "win now" for at least a couple years that helps. But really, isn't a draft supposed to be "keep the best trade the rest"? Aside from the Wilken drafts, I don't see a whole lot of "best" since Woody was picked.

As for solid and star players, the current 40 man boasts a grand total of 2 home grown stars (Zambrano and Soto), one I would call solid based on a short tenure (Marmol, who was drafted as a catcher), and 2 who've made contributions to the big league team (Shark, Marshall). And the jury remains out on the latter three. The rest of the Cub Kids on the roster are "we'll see" and "hurt".

I take a look at solid talent-producing organizations like Boston and Tampa and I just can't see any excuse for not having more help at home, especially when you are like the Cubs on the cusp of something special. OK, Tampa had the benefit of high picks in each round for several years, but they sure drafted a lot of good players past the first 3 rounds. Boston hasn't had a high pick in several years.

There's a reason BA rates the Cubs system 26 out of 30. And it's not a good reason.

Dude - citing Tampa is ez. They were in last place every year for years, so they got top pics regularly.

I don't really think the Cubs would be so low ranked as far as BA is concerned if the team finished last every year for the last ten years.

Eventually, their draft choices came through for the GM. It happens Even Paxson finally got a good player, with Derek Rose. Of course, his first round picks have been pretty pathetic.

Bobby browlie
Matt clanton
Luke haggarty
Chadd blasko
Ryan Harvey
Mark pawelek
Tyler colvin
Josh vitters
Andrew cashner

Have been the cubbie first rounders since mark prior. Pretty bleak if you think about it. 9 busts a guy you drafted past the 20th round the year before and a kid with hype who hasn't been past short season ball in 2 pro seasons.

that's why they're prospects.

brownlie/clanton/haggarty/blasko made the cubs the darlings of that draft year...and umm...well, that's why they're called prospects.

pawelek was criticized by some because he played in a very uncompetitive highschool league along with his unusual mechanics. tyler colvin was criticized by some for being a "safe/quick-rising" pick with a lower ceiling than a chunk of players picked behind him.

still, it blows that the cubs can't get more of those high-pick prospects to pan out...they seem to do okay with international scouting, though.

Ryan Harvey may still have a future as a pitcher. And in the Home Run Derby.

wonderful athlete with a good arm and amazing batting practice power...stupid batting practice power :(

Even given that most 1st round picks crap out, this is really bad. I mean these guys are spectacular failures. Only Harvey offered a season of hope. The hurlers all blew out arms - coincidence or not. I hold out hope for Vitters and Cashner, maybe Colvin although he is quite the free swinger. Look past the first round and it doesn't get much better from 1999 through 2006. Zambrano, Marmol, Theriot and Soto were key contributors in 2008 and should be this year too. But as we now know, the Cubs' minor leagues are in no position to offer real support to the 25 guys on the big league team should something happen. Maybe a handful of Mitch Atkins starts, or pinch hitting from Hoffpauir, that's about it.

Your basic understanding of how the draft works and turning prospects into players is incorrect.

Pitchers in every organization get hurt and don't pan out. Some organizations happen to have a few more that pan out than others, but that is more likely to be explained by luck than anything the organization does.

If you take 30 teams and give them each 30 pitching prospects, odds are you're going to have 300 players who blow their arms out. Just because one team has 15 and one team has 5, doesn't mean that one team is necessarily doing something right and one team is doing something wrong. It means one team had bad luck and one team good luck.

Everyone swore up and down, for instance, that Prior had perfect mechanics. Every scout, would have told their team to draft him.

On hitters, though, I do think we have had a flawed drafting philosophy. We have gone for athletes first, and ballplayers second. It needs to be the other way around.

No, I think I have a pretty good grasp of draft and develop. Sorry you disagree. While I grant you that you can't judge a pitchers physiological makeup with a lot of accuracy, one thing you can and should be able to get a read on is the history of a player's injuries and use (or overuse). The Cubs did not do that well for a few drafts.

And I believe that organizational instruction and development should, if it doesn't already, take into account the same conditioning and use philosophies. You can tell by an organizations tendencies. The White Sox, for example, have blown out more young pitchers's arms in the last 20 years than many other teams: from Scott Ruffcorn and Jason Stumm and Kris Honel to Brandon McCarthy. That tells a story, whether you can stick stats and percentages on it or not. There are all the intangibles involved as well, such as a player hiding an injury or masking a hurt when it comes time to sign the bonus check. But a tendency still says something.

Yes, me, and everyone who has ever studied it disagree.

You have anedecotal evidence only, and you harp on the teams you're most familiar with. Check with any fan of any team, and they can give you a list of top 20 prospects for their teams who blew out their arms.

Pitchers get hurt. That's all there is to it.

I'll try. You check with that "everyone who has ever studied it", I am sure all those pros will back you up. Who are they by the way?

Most articles at Baseball Prospectus dealing with it refer to previous articles done before BP's time.

I haven't read anything that suggest otherwise, and trust me, if someone had found something that did it would be as widely distributed and read as Moneyball.

I subscribe to BP as well. It is a great information tool. I read Baseball America and MLB and ESPN several blogs used on this forum as reference. I think I know the stuff pretty well. Each contributor has his/her own angle on the subject of good drafting and bad drafting, successful development and unsuccessful development. The people at BP recognize and note this in practically every piece they do related to drafting and assessment, and give proper respect to other writers' opinions. Perhaps we just disagree on the subject of how well one team has drafted over a period of time compared to another team. To say I am incorrect is.....incorrect. We just assimilate the data and judge it differently.

But you still haven't been able to provide one itsy bitsy shred of evidence to disprove anything I've said. Agreeing to disagree is fine and all, but when you're sailing off the edge of the map, maybe it's time to get a new compass.

"If you take 30 teams and give them each 30 pitching prospects, odds are you're going to have 300 players who blow their arms out. Just because one team has 15 and one team has 5, doesn't mean that one team is necessarily doing something right and one team is doing something wrong. It means one team had bad luck and one team good luck."

This hypothetical falls a part the more drafts we do. Let's say - for super simplicity - that each draft can be considered "good" or "bad" based on the number of arms blown or something else as discussed above. And if it is luck we say that each team has an equal 1:2 chance of having either a good or bad draft. Now let's say we do 20 drafts. The odds of a team having a "bad" draft even 16 times out of 20 years is effectively ZERO. If we only do 10 drafts the chances of having 9 "bad" ones is 1%.

This is obviously a much more difficult statistical question that outlined above, but it should illustrate the point. Some teams seem to draft well and some teams seem to draft poorly on a consistent basis. At some point, we can say that there is more going on than just luck - the probabilities would tell us that very easily. If we look at a decade of drafts and 3 teams have had 9-10 bad drafts in a row while 3 teams have 9-10 good drafts in a row, there is absolutely something going on there besides luck.

I have an analysis of Cubs draft picks since the beginning of the draft until now, and what percentage of each year made the majors that I am working on for Wiklifield. I just have to finish the charts. So I can see where the Cubs success has changed over time, but I have no way of comparing to other teams. I'm guessing someone has to have written about this though somewhere.

But again, you're basing your entire perspective by looking at one team. You've got Socrates's cave going on.

Who are these organizations that have a history of drafting good, healthy pitchers?

Someone mentioned the Rays in this post or another.

Since they started drafting in 1996 here are the pitchers that reached the majors with their WARP3

Drafted Player Pos| WARP3
Andy Sonnanstine RHP| 6.6
Chad Orvella RHP| 0.4
Jason Hammel RHP| 3.2
Mike Pelfrey RHP| 6
Dewon Brazelton RHP| 0.2
Jon Switzer LHP| 1
David Bush RHP| 19.1
Chris Seddon LHP| -0.3
Jason Hammel RHP| 3.2
Chad Gaudin RHP| 10.3
James Shields RHP| 18
Nick Blackburn RHP| 3.8
Doug Waechter RHP| 5.6
Seth McClung RHP| 6.3
Jeff Ridgway LHP| 0
Joe Kennedy LHP| 18.5
Jason Standridge RHP| 1.7
Heath Bell RHP| 11.3
Kyle Snyder RHP| 4
Dan Wheeler RHP| 18.3
20 players total WARP3 137.2

Over the same period the Cubs:
Drafted Player Pos| WARP3
Sean Gallagher RHP| 1.3
Jerry Blevins LHP| 1.3
Sean Marshall LHP| 6.7
Billy Petrick RHP| 0
Rich Hill LHP| 7.8
Rocky Cherry RHP| 0.7
Mark Prior RHP| 23
Andrew Sisco LHP| 4
Ricky Nolasco RHP| 9.7
Sergio Mitre RHP| 4.7
Todd Wellemeyer RHP| 9
Dontrelle Willis LHP| 34.2
Jon Leicester RHP| 1.3
Carmen Pignatiello LHP| 0
Will Ohman LHP| 7
Jon Garland RHP| 38.6
Scott Downs LHP| 12.2
Michael Wuertz RHP| 8.9
18 players 170.4

So, when it comes to pitchers, the Cubs have outperformed the vaunted Rays. Actually BR is missing Price, so 21 and 137.5

Actually, my initial point has been lost in the big quest for studies on whatever the subject has morphed into. There is no good reason the Cubs should not be able to draft and develop big ticket star players. Their first round picks have sucked, their other picks have sucked only a little less. There is no excuse for this, as they are an organization with loads of money, and they should have access to some of the finest scouts and instructors. And they have failed to reach their goal of providing a stream of home grown talent that would enable them to win a World Series. They have consistently had to import featured players. And it's a damn shame that I am hoping Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita et al have turned around so that we'll see the fruits in the next 3-4 years. I was hoping back when the Trib bought them that they would mirror the Atlanta organization before Time-Warner gutted them. And they may have had Schuerholz chosen to come here back when MacPhail was hired instead.

Plato wrote the cave allegory; Socrates was just part of the fictional dialogue in it. And it does not really apply here at all. Just because we know the Cubs better doesn't mean we don't understand what a draft is for other teams.

I don't think anyone claimed the Rays were better at drafting healthy pitchers. Someone else above was saying that they had made solid high draft choices over all. Also, your comparison above is going to bias towards which team did better drafting in the earlier period of your analysis. Two good pitchers (Garland, Willis) drafted early will outweigh two even better pitchers drafted later since WARP3 is cumulative.

In reality, we'd have to find an accurate way to measure draft results. Then do all of the teams over the same period of time. I am sure either a) it has already been done and we can find it, or b) it would take too much time for us to do and thus we can never really settle the debate that some teams draft better than others and it is not just luck.

I will try to figure out a few teams this weekend for shits and giggles and see what I come up with. Maybe A's or Braves as "good" drafting teams and Pirates or some other shit team as a "bad" drafting team.

"Plato wrote the cave allegory; Socrates was just part of the fictional dialogue in it."

It's not clear which of Plato's ideas were his own, and which were ones he expanded on and on which he was parroting Socrates.

"Also, your comparison above is going to bias towards which team did better drafting in the earlier period of your analysis. Two good pitchers (Garland, Willis) drafted early will outweigh two even better pitchers drafted later since WARP3 is cumulative."

But this is my point. Take a large enough sample size and all this shit evens out. If you cut the sample size too small (like one draft) then one or two injuries or exceptional careers throws your perspective out of whack.

At the end of the day, the Cubs haven't done any better or worse drafting and developing pitchers than anyone else. The Rays - the darlings of the first round used a 3rd overall on Dewon Brazelton and an 8th on Wade Townsend. The Braves tend to draft position players with their first picks, but when they draft pitchers they get guys like Macay McBride and Jacob Shumate. The A's? Bradley Sullivan was their first pick in 2003, a year before they grabbed the ironically named Ben Fritz with the #30 overall pick.

HS pitchers are the riskiest picks in the draft. One Greg Maddux can make up for a couple Todd Noel's though. All pitchers are more risky than hitters. It's not a Cubs specific curse that causes these guys not to pan out.

Lol, so you just decided to attribute the allegory to Socrates because Plato might have been expanding on an idea of his, despite the fact that virtually everyone, with any knowledge of the subject, associates it with Plato's Republic. Ok...

I did your WARP-3 exercise for the A's and they kill the Cubs. They had more pitchers make the big leagues over the same period 28-18 and had a 221.8 WARP-3, led by Zito, Mulder, Harden, Bonderman, Blanton, Street, Gregg, Cotts, and Yates.

No, I was thinking of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Caverns-Socrates-Dennis-L-Mc...

Again, nice try. Why are you being such an ass?

"I did your WARP-3 exercise for the A's and they kill the Cubs. They had more pitchers make the big leagues over the same period 28-18 and had a 221.8 WARP-3, led by Zito, Mulder, Harden, Bonderman, Blanton, Street, Gregg, Cotts, and Yates."

Thank you for proving my point, yet again. The A's over those 12 years have definetly been the better drafting team because they drafted Barry Zito, and the Cubs took Ben Christensen?

Edit - Harden-Hudson brain fart.

That book is about virtual reality gaming. I'm not sure what your point is.

Proving your point? What is your point? YOU SAID over this time period it should even out. Now you are trying to explain it away by looking at one or two choices? YOU made the claim that looking at drafts over 10-12 years that teams would naturally experience the same rate of pitchers who make and pitchers who blew out their arms. Read above. When I tried to critique your comparison of the Cubs vs. Rays because of a few picks (Garland, Willis) YOU said that things evened out over this time period. So I do a comparison of the Cubs and another team over the same time period and your response is to say that well a couple of picks one way or the other made the difference? Seriously?

Also, thanks, I missed Tim Hudson. That puts the A's at 287 compared to the Cubs 170. That is a HUGE difference.

The fact of the matter is that some teams draft and develop better pitchers.

Would you rather have:

A) Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Harden, Bonderman, Blanton, Street, Gregg

B) - Hamels, Eaton, Wolf, Turnbow, Myers, Madsen, Geary, Buchholz, Floyd

C)- Garland, Willis, Prior, Nolasco, Marshall, Hill

or

D) Jake Peavy, Brian Lawrence

I did the same exact analysis for the Padres. Over the same period they have a WARP-3 of about 85, with 45 of that Peavy and 19 for Brian Lawrence. Shawn Camp is at 7, but of the other 20 pitchers who have made the bigs no one else is even above a 2.2 WARP-3.

If random shit like injuries and bad luck should even out over 12 years, then what explains a 200-point WARP-3 difference in pitching developed in thees drafts from a team like the A's to a team like the Padres? One clearly drafts and develops players well while the other sucks balls. The Cubs appear so far, with only 5 teams analyzed, to be about in the middle.

"That book is about virtual reality gaming. I'm not sure what your point is." Well, since I you know, read the book and the title is The Caverns of Socrates... maybe you can put one and one together for yourself here.

A. When was Hudson drafted? Gregg is the only guy who wasn't a first round pick. Whereas the Cubs, for instance, can get good guys in other rounds.
B. It's like talking to a wall. It's LUCK, it's LUCK, it's LUCK, it's LUCK. Do you not understand what the word means?

Random shit like injuries and bad luck do even out over 12 years.

You've got one team that drafted the best pitcher (10 first round picks)
You've got one team that got the most guys in the majors (13 first round picks)
You've got one team that drafted the best pitcher, who got hurt (10 First round picks)
You've got one team that has the best bet going forward (5 first round picks)

How is that possible?

If the A's are so fucking smart, why did they draft Keith Surkont, Darin Moore, Mario Ramos, Justin Sobchuk and Jason Pomar instead of taking Peavy?

Because some virtual reality gamer is incorrect that makes you correct for citing it? Still don't get it. Congrats, you found someone else who doesn't understand it.

You apparently don't understand what luck means. Luck and randomness even out over time. We've gone over this. It was your own argument. It's like taking to a wall. SKILL SKILL SKILL.

This is what you do in every debate on this website. You just try to find some way, no matter what, to argue that you are correct. Now you are going to talk about one draft and one pitcher (Peavy) to show that an organization is not smart? Seriously? I mean we just fucking went over this. We are looking at many picks over many drafts - not one particular selection. And OVER TIME, some teams have PROVEN to be BETTER at drafting than others. It DOES NOT mean that they made EVERY pick correctly. That is a stupid argument. If you want to strawman everything that has been said here into a Surkont over Peavy argument, then do it if it makes you feel better. But the reality is that consistently the A's have drafted better major league pitchers than the Cubs and the Cubs better than the Padres. Scouting and drafting matter.

Good lord. I haven't heard this much bitching since that time I watched " the view"

Gov. Rod should be logging in any time now to add his 2 cents.

Like I said, Tampa got high picks every year. But the way the Cubs used theirs, I'd propose to you that they'd have had a less successful track record picking in the same position. They just have not picked good players in the draft, simple as that, and I can cite several other teams who have done better.

They had a tremendous season in 2008, winning 97 games. The fact that they did so with mostly imports says a lot about their draft talents. It's lacking. But as I mentioned earlier Wilken seems so far to have done pretty well and in a few years maybe he'll have them back to producing big league talent like Dallas Green's crew did.

"Pie really seemed to have the tools and baseball instinct to be a good player."

Pie's minor-league accomplishments are routinely exaggerated, often to make the point that players don't develop into major leaguers with the Cubs.

In his first full year in the organization at 18, Pie hit .285 in 500 at bats at Lansing. He's been somewhere between .285 and .300 ever since. It looks like he hit .362 one season at Iowa, but that was a split season between Iowa and Chicago. His real Iowa batting average, over three seasons, was .300.

That's not good enough, because hitters routinely drop forty to fifty points in the leap from AAA to the majors. Soto dropped 68 points and still was ROY and an all star, because he started at .353.

What happens if Pie drops 68 points? Actually, we saw what happens.

It's fairly clear that Lou came in and watched a few of Pie's at-bats and his reaction was, Who else do you have?

Obviously the Cubs need better prospects. That's Tim Wilken's job now. We'll know in a year or two if he's succeeding. I don't think he would have drafted Pie. If Vitters is hitting at or below .300 in two years, that will be bad news and a strike against Wilken.

My internet says that Pie hit .304 .349 .554 in his first shot at AA, at the age of 20. Yours may be broken.

That is the uncomfortable truth. The Cubs have become the Yankees of the NL Central, although they are still viewed as the "Cubs" by MLB.

the difference between what the Cubs outspent the Cards and Astros is nothing compared to the Yanks and RSox and the AL East

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id...

if anyone wants to bitch about overspending, check the Dodgers versus the rest of NL West....

When was the last time the Dodgers made the playoffs?

2004, 2006 and 2008....

but if it's just about outspending, they should be making it every season since they have a much larger advantage over their competitors than the Cubs do....

In a breaking story from yesterday, Bruce Levine reported that (3/44) the Cubs are weighing offers for Rich Hill (WHAT offers, he did not say). Apparently, Hill as contracted the rare pitcher disease: "Yips". I will defer to our Doc on Staff, CUBSTER, to see if this is curable.

From BL's blog (who correctly nailed that the Cubs would sign Bradley, and Bako, way early in the Hot Stove season):

"The Cubs have also been weighing offers for left-handed pitcher Rich Hill. Hill, who has the yips (continually walks batters), tried to correct his problem with a stint in winter ball this season. After a couple of encouraging starts, Hill went back to walking a batter per inning."

Players routinely drop 40-50 points in BA from AAA to MLB. Ok...I am using minor league stats, as i am not going to figure the avg/obp/slg for more than one season in AAA:

Derrek Lee AAA: .283/.345/.516 MLB: .282/.367/.497

A-Ram minors:.304/.402/.515 MLB: .284/.341/.502

Theriot minors: .271/.355/.337 MLB: .290/.362/.369

DeRosa minors: .274/.345/.374 MLB: .279/.348/.422

Jim Edmonds minors: .297/.375/.441 MLB: .284/.377/.528

Geo Soto minors: .279/.359/.426 MLB: .291/.365/.507 1 season

Other players:
Hanley Ramirez minors: .297/.352/.430 MLB: .308/.379/.527

Carl Crawford minors: .295/.336/.400 MLB: .293/.330/.435

Carlos Quentin minors: .312/.427/.526 MLB: .262/.359/.505

Do we expect Pie to hit .350 like he did in a partial season at Iowa?? Not likely at all... could he hit .270/.340/.450? With 450-600 at bats? We'll find out...

The 270 might be doable. But the secondary numbers would be more along the 270/300/400 range.

IF there was a way one could 100% quantify that success in the minors=success in MLB, or, analyzing a number of years of Minor league stats across the board, then, there would be more weight to the "drops 40-50 points" argument.

Bill James has stated that a hitter's success in the minors can indicate that this will translate to the Major Leagues, but there is nothing he mentioned stating that it is conclusive.

Good point...the problem is that it's still a crapshoot sometimes. Some players can make the jump, some can't.

I'm still hoping Pie gets that shot to prove himself in a full- time role..450-600 at bats or so...in one season.

It's extremely rare that a player dominates AAA and isn't successful in the majors. And when I say 'dominate' you have to take out things like park effects and BABIP luck. I think both of Pie's good AA and AAA seasons had a pretty good chunk of BABIP luck (as I remember). But given a chance I'm sure he'd be a .270 .320 .420 guy. If he gets that chance remains to be seen.

On hitters, though, I do think we have had a flawed drafting philosophy. We have gone for athletes first, and ballplayers second. It needs to be the other way around.
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that's positively un-toolsy

Where does scrap and grit fit into our drafting philosophy, Cubster?

45% scrap, 45% grit, 8% ability, and 2% being white and under 6 feet...

I love short and scrappy

does that takes us back to the drafting/trading for 5'7" to 5'9" second basemen that eat grits for breakfast.

CPH2133-

You're still missing 10% at a minimum, since scrappy guys ALWAYS give it at least 110%.

OK girls, who ordered the tuna fish sandwich.

See if you can split the check (not a Stan Mikita reference)

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