What Would Tyler Colvin Do

It's your first start of the season, chance to impress the manager and the fans...Cubs need a pick-me up. Tommy Hanson, ace-in-training on the mound just struck out the side in the first. He unleashes a 95 mph fastball down the middle of the plate, might be the best pitch you see the entire at-bat. You calmly let it go for strike one. Bravo. Make him think you know something. Next pitch is another fastball but Hanson misses well inside. 1-1 now, and Hanson mixes it up with a slider but it's outside. A hitter's count and you know the fastball is probably coming. The catcher sets up away and Hanson rears back and fires. He misses his target...badly, ball is right in the lefty sweet spot down and low. You bring the hands in, uncoil the swing and *crack*, you know you hit it good. You're a rookie though, put your head down and start running. A muffled cheer and the ump twirls his finger, time to break out the home run trot but don't show up anybody or you'll get one in the ear next time.

Jesus Heyward ain't got nothing on you Tyler Colvin...well other than probably having a much better major league career. As for rookie theatrics, you're neck and neck.

The Good: Randy Wells goes 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and getting one strikeout and 3 inning-ending double plays, twice with a runner on third base and less than one out. That's some pitching magic. The bullpen throws three scoreless including Sean Marshall retiring two more batters and running his total to 13 straight batters to start the season. Carlos Marmol gives up a loud out to Eric Hinske in the 9th, but manages the 4-out save. Marlon Byrd hits his second home run of the season, on the road no less after I bitched about he didn't show much power away from the Ballpark when the Cubs signed him.

The Bad: Ryan Theriot is 0/11 without a walk out of the leadoff spot. Jeff Baker got 4 at-bats.

Minor League Watch: Andrew Cashner strikes out 10 in 4.1 IP giving up 2 walks and a 3-run HR before getting lifted. Starlin Castro goes 2/4 with a triple and an RBI in the same game as Tennessee wins 4-3. Jeff Gray pitches a scoreless inning for Iowa and Sam Fuld gets on-base twice out of the leadoff spot in a 6-3 loss. Daytona only manages a hit by Michael Brenly, but Rafael Dolis goes 5 innings with 5 K's and 0 BB's against 2 hits, but Daytona loses 3-0. Peoria wins 4-3 as Greg Rohan homers and Hak-Ju Lee walks and scores a run but goes 0/4 out of the leadoff spot. Don't forget you can view all the minor league updates clicking on the "Organizational Results" link underneath the Cubs boxscore on the right sidebar. The First Inning recap doesn't get compiled until the morning though.

Next Up: Cubs head to Cincinnati for a three-game set with Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano and Tom Gorzelanny scheduled to go against Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang and Mike Leake.


bus breaks down after the game, team stranded for 3 hours at stadium.

Cashner struck out the first 7 batters tonight.

Colvin flew in and fixed the bus, afterwards he made pancakes and hot pockets for the team.

Caridad really humps it up there. He's my early front-runner for surprise Cub breakout.

Colvin's got a pretty, compact swing and gets a lot of leverage. If Fuku can sprinkle some magic selectivity dust on him, look out.

I endorse this comment. Your choice of words is amusing.

In Atlanta, Jason Heyward fever is in full bloom. Did you know that so far in his big league career, Hayward is hitting better than Ken Griffey, Jr did at the same point in his career? It's true, I saw it on the news.

Will the Chicago media follow that same path with Colvin? I understand he has better stats than Ted Williams had at a similar point in his career.

I won't get excited about Colvin until after he gets his first walk (probably 2014).


So would it have better if he'd walked last night instead of hitting that HR?

...it have been better shocking

He showed a little patience last night--or, at least, he hasn't been swinging at the first pitch over the plate every time. That's the sort of lack of discipline I worry about.

Cool he hit a HR, hope he keeps it up and works to improve his overall game.

But really when you look at him, he won't hit with more power than Soriano, and he won't take more walks than Soriano. He is just a cheaper much less talented version of Soriano.

Well, give him credit where he deserves it at least--he's a far, far better defender than Soriano, and he might be faster at this point too.

It's just real hard to get excited about Colvin who sports a minor league .277 BA and a .320 OBP.

Soriano sports a major league .278 BA and .326 OBP.

Colvin is the Soriano of minor league ball. And we all know how stats tend to trend down in the transition to the majors. So what is he? A .250 hitter with a sub .300 OBP at the major league level? Ohhhh yay let me get excited about that. The Neifi of LF!

Yes Mike...Colvin=the Neifi of outfielders.

He's 24. He's gained a little muscle, and maybe, after a torrid ST, some confidence. Before we label a player, entering what may be his first full season, as some hopeless 5th OF type..or as some type of savior. Lol...

If he put up .280/.330/.480, and played solid defense, I'd take that, certainly. Would he be an All-Star? No. Could he be a solid player? Yes.

Ohh so Colvin is going to put up a better line in the majors than his entire minor league career? I think we expect to much from a guy destined to be a 4th OFer at best.

I was going to type out the list of players who hit better in the majors than they did at the minors, but I stopped at 500 guys.

Ryan Theriot:
Minors .271/.355/.337
Majors: .287/.354/.367

A little better?

I put up .280/.330/.480 as a potential line for Colvin. His minor league #'s are .277/.320/.465
It's not like I said he could hit .320/.370/.530

Is it possible to hit better in the majors than in the minors? Absolutely.

Have people done it? Absolutely.

It is likely? No.

It depends on the player and what they did, and how long they played in the minors. Colvin is definitely a guy who could do better - mostly because he has the physical tools and he didn't hit very well in the minors. Plus he was injured for the majority of his minor league career.

Yea... I don't disagree with you that he could do it, and that there are specific reasons that Colvin may have underperformed in the minors.

But I still don't find it very likely. I hope that I am wrong.

One major massive difference between Theriot and Colvin. Theriot can take a walk which leads to a better transition to the majors. If a guy is walking as much as he strikes out, its a good bet that he can transfer that to the majors. Hitting ability then becomes the wildcard.

Theriot had 260 walks and 264 SO's in the minors over his career. In the majors he sports 191 walks and 224 strikeouts.

Theriot is way more likely to handle the transistion to the majors than Colvin who in his minor league career has 105 walks to 341 strikeouts. Even Theriot doesn't take a walk as well as he did in the minors but he is still close. However if your strikeout to walk ratio is hovering near 3 to 1 in the minors thats probably going to explode to 5 to 1 in the majors. You hope he can just keep it at his minor league levels but even a small drop in the K/BB ratio is catastrophic for a player like Colvin.

Its not impossible he could be a good player, Soriano did it, but the examples of the ones who have succeeded despite this glaring flaw is few and far between. You see more successful players with good strikezone judgement than you do the way Colvin hits.

Ok...Soraino does not equal Colvin.

Colvin may been a solid player. I dunno where the Soriano comp keeps coming from.

I'm just not writing him off until he gets a shot is all.

Can I point out that Soriano had a 3:1 K ratio in the minors and has hit better in the majors than the minors despite being an older player in the minors?

Soriano in the minors hit .284 with a .331 OBP.

His major league line stands at .278, .326.

In the minors Soriano had nearly a 2 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. In the majors it went up to a 3 to 1 ratio. Colvin is starting out at a 3 to 1 ratio which is around the area i would not seriously consider him a major league option.

Someone will eventually mention a Ryan Howard but even despite his massive strikeouts he still keeps his walk to strikeout ration around 2 to 1, from the minors through the majors.

The other case study would be Mark Reynolds who would best resemble a Tyler Colvin style hitter reaching the majors. He was close to a 3 to 1 ratio in the minors and now he is at 3.2 in the majors. What does a 3.2 ratio get you in the majors? It gets you about 220 strikeouts a year.

It doesn't give you a great batting average but you better damn well respond with amazing power, and Colvin doesn't have anything remotely considered amazing power.

So whats the excitement for a deeply flawed player? That his name isn't Alfonso Soriano? Because thats the only reason people are in love with Colvin, if everything was going on perfectly, none of you would give shit about Tyler Colvin or care if he ever made the roster. He isn't a Wieters, or Heyward where you don't care if he has a spot open now, but you deeply await his arrival to the majors.

Call me when the Cubs system produces anything that could be considered better than what is projected from its major league players. The only viable case is for Starlin Castro, and thats mostly on the defensive end. The rest of the system is one big pile of shit and Colvin is cleanest pile of shit we have available, not exactly a good way of trying to win a championship. It sounds a lot like the Pirates way of building a team.

If the facts don't suit your story, you just change them?

Soriano's K to BB ratio was 2.76 to 1 in the minors. Including 3.4 to 1 the year before he got promoted.

Colvins was 2.9 to 1 last year.

Anyway, as discussed with Rob G about Colvin a few weeks back - K to BB ratio is a stupid statisic. Just look at K rate.

HOLY CRAP!!! Whean has anyone considered Colvin a Heyward or Wieters?

My only point has been, that writing off Colvin as "Neifi Perez of an outfielder" is premature.

People are excited about Colvin because he came to spring training a little bigger and stronger than last year, and hit the crap out of the ball.

more Fox News'ing...

Soriano's minor league K:BB Ratio was 2.73 which is a helluva stretch to get nearly 2:1.

people are probably excited about Colvin because he put on a bunch of muscle in the offseason, and showed some more power in the spring.

but comparing Colvin vs. Soriano is just dumb all-around...

if Colvin takes anyone's job it will be Fukudome and they'll probably both put up an OPS around .800 with the added disadvantage of Fukudome being a better defender and his OPS being driven moreso by OBP which the Cubs lineup desperately needs.

more Fox News'ing...

Oh, snap.

Well i used CBS Sportsline stats, and upon further review they included his Japanese stats.

More complete, less complete picture? I don't know but that is the numbers I used.

It's OK - I think Rob included his rehab stints in his stats.

yup, I didn't bother to subtract the 2 walks or 1 k

Well i didn't make them up out of thin air.

yeah, Baseball Cube has Japanese stats and comes up with 2.70 K:BB ratio because it doesn't have the one outlier season in 1995. Both are missing 1996 bb and k totals unless he really didn't walk once or strike out once in 131 AB's. And using the Japanese stats are dumb unless you think Fukudome is going to be an 1.000 OPS player.

BR.com has 2.73 for his actual minor league career including a few ab's on rehab which amount to 2 bb's and 1 k.

Whatever the case its still a worse ratio than Colvin's, and it still went up in the majors.

You hope it doesn't get any worse than 3 to 1 with Colvin, but it will likely increase in the majors.

It's a fine line between being productive with a ratio that bad and being worthless to your team. You better drive in runs and hit for power. I don't see Colvin doing anything like that. Your basically hoping that Colvin at his best can match Soriano at his worst.

Let me further expand upon that last paragraph.

The franchise as a whole gains nothing if the matchup between Colvin and Soriano equals the same end result.

One of these things need to happen...

1)Colvin needs to morph into something he never has been


2) Soriano needs to return to something resembling his old form.

The question then becomes what do you believe? Do you believe Colvin can far exceed expectations to render Soriano useless? Or do you think Soriano even at his worst is still a better hitter than Colvin and that Soriano can bounce back?

I much more confident in Sorianos ability to bounce back than wishing and hoping Colvin can do something far exceeding his reputation.

I know other folks made the comparison, but Colvin isn't battling Soriano for anything.

If he takes anyone's job it will be Fukudome's, followed by Byrd.

Yes I know, but people want to kick Soriano to the Curb ASAP and Colvin is the flavor of the month to do it.

Soriano will be playing for us for a long time, it's in the best interests of the franchise for him to return to form.

I am really arguing over something that won't happen, lol.

And Colvin is kinda like my "Really he is the best we can offer from our minors?" Ughh i am just disgusted with the hitting side of development from drafting to scouting of players. I just think Colvin is the best of the crappy players who can help us now.

It doesn't automatically make him good because he is the best available in this system to help us now. it just means the whole system is a pile of junk at the moment.

"You hope it doesn't get any worse than 3 to 1 with Colvin."

Pre-elbow surgery, Colvin spent a season at AA. That was two seasons ago. 44 walks, 101 strikeouts. That's not 3 to 1.

I was never a fan of Colvin's minor-league numbers. I rooted for him for the Cubs' sake and Wilken's sake: a first-round pick is a terrible thing to waste.

But I noticed he had 36 hits in spring training (plus a couple more, I think, in Arizona last weekend), and that Lou kept saying he looked like a major leaguer, and now he's taking starts away from guys making $31 million between them. On the telecast I was watching last night, Jim Kaat was talking about a conversation with Piniella where they were comparing Colvin to Paul O'Neill, whom Kaat said had the most beautiful swing he ever saw.

I don't remember Lou saying that about Felix Pie, whom he never liked at all with a bat in his hand. Your stuff about "flavor of the month" doesn't apply to Piniella. He hasn't liked any young Cub outfielder before.

Funny, Paul O'Neil came to mind recently.

But he eventually took walks.

It's kind of unfair to compare Colvin to Soriano, I mean Soriano is making 18 million dollars this year, and he was given that contract for a reason. I suspect the only reason we're making the comparison is because Colvin played LF yesterday and hit an awesome home run.

The real question is, is Soriano ever going to produce meaningfully in the Cubs lineup again? I would be very very surprised if Soriano doesn't go on a tear at some point. When that happens, it will answer the Soriano/Colvin comparison.

As for Colvin and minor league stats, I've said it before, some guys will hit 320 in AAA and come to the big leagues and hit 210... other guys can hit 275 in the minors and come up and hit 270 in the majors. Any guesses why?

A big league off-speed pitch is completely different than what you see in the minors. This is what happened to Felix Pie, he has a long, absurd swing that he has to start before he picks up the pitch. The result? A bunch of Ks. You all remember me bitching about Felix Pie back when everyone was drinking the koolaid...

Colvin has a nice, powerful, compact swing going for him. He keeps his head in the ball and doesn't load up. What he has going against him is he's a free-swinger, but hey, the big leagues have a lot of free swingers that seem to make it work.

What do you mean by "his entire minor league career"? His cumulative numbers?

Colvin's best minors numbers were his most recent, at Tennessee last year: .300/.334/.524/.859.

I wouldn't compare a guy to Soriano unless I saw him swing at bad pitches frequently.

Soriano's minor league line according to baseball cube: .270/.312/.429

Not saying the comparison makes sense, just using somebody that has been defended as an example.

If I sparked this (not sure I did or not) I'd like to point out that I was just saying Colvin should be given credit for his D (and to some degree his speed) when being compared to other players.

I think you would be wise to stop comparing Colvin to Soriano. It is true that he has not done the same things at the major league level as Soriano. At this point in Soriano's career, however, I am not sure that Colvin isn't the better all-around player. That is NOT saying much. And I am not suggesting that Colvin is going to be a great player. All you have to be in order to be better than Soriano at this point is average...

Colvin did stop a gapper from going to the wall last night with a dive, which I would imagine Sori would have Byrd waved over to go get.

That was an interesting play. A seasoned veteran who hits a ball in that spot will trot to 2nd base knowing it was a double... a seasoned left fielder would trot over there assuming it was a double and let it roll to the wall.

Yet, the runner was busting ass to second base and the left fielder was busting ass to get to the ball. It's still turned out a double, but much more fun to watch.

You can get excited now, Cubster!

".well other than probably having a much better major league career."

You can tell this after three games?

You truly are magical, ROB G.

Nice lede today, anyway, and terrific re-cap.

You can tell this after three games?

No... but you can guess (and he did say probably) based off of their minor league careers.

Heyward is an infinitely better baseball player than Tyler Colvin.

Heyward is an infinitely better baseball player than Tyler Colvin.

I might be wrong, but haven't you spoken out against hyperbole on these boards?

He meant "infinitesimally".

Touche. :)

But I still say that Heyward is much better than Colvin.

not a lot of folks comparing Colvin to Arod or Ken Griffey Jr.

just sayin'

Fun fact... Tyler Colvin is older than Jason Heyward.

Ty Colvin has a sweet swing.

So I've pretty much gone from "Colvin is probably just another Cub bust" to "Colvin is the best thing ever" pretty much in one day. Yeah, I'm THAT fickle.

I knew it all along because he was picked by Teflon Tim Wilken.

I'm not going to put any more emphasis on Colvin's minor league efforts than I am on this one home run. I'm pretty sure Colvin was hurt some in the minors, right? I think he has a pretty sweet swing, and putting some meat on his bones was a nice plan of attack for his mediocre minor league numbers. I do think you can teach a kid some patience at the plate to a limited degree -- if nothing else just insist he not swing at the first pitch so he can just watch it come in. But Rudy isn't the type that teaches patience at the plate from what I've read. He's into aggressive hitting.

At this point in his career, if he can hit a slider, he's already better than Soriano. The real comparison we'll never be able to make is with Heyward, who looks, so far, pretty special.

Still, my Cubs history tells me not to get excited about Colvin, just because the Cubs list of successful prospects is small enough to write down on a Dusty Baker toothpick.

I'm not going to put any more emphasis on Colvin's minor league efforts than I am on this one home run.

Actually, you should put a LOT more emphasis on Colvin's minor league efforts than anything that he has done this year.

Maybe I should, but I'm not going to. I'm just gonna watch it all play out and see what happens.

Best post of the day.


Sure - I don't disagree with that. Maybe you don't want to have expectations.

My point is just that if you want to be able to have realistic expectations, you can look at past performance. Many seem to want to believe that Colvin is much better than he is because they are ignoring his mediocre minor league numbers.

Sox fans keeping it classy.


Got to hand it to the Trib editor who got the word taint into the headline of a story concerning nasty sex. And really, is there any better sex than stadium toilet stall sex? Reaction of fellow Sox fans also classy. I'm glad they're just there for the baseball unlike us clueless Cub fans at Wrigley Field.

That 500 level is scary. The white trash up there don't have wheels on their mobile home unlike the classier one's in the 100 levels.

What?! Where are TCR's "racism" police?

Then a second person left the stall, someone Nemeth described as apparently female, "scurrying" out of the restroom with a shirt or coat over her head.

you never can tell at Comiskey

I bet he'd kick an ass or two, that's what Tyler Colvin'd do.

I am Tyler's inner rage.

The Bad: Ryan Theriot is 0/11 without a walk out of the leadoff spot. Jeff Baker got 4 at-bats.

But on the positive side, 2B Andres Blanco is 0/4 with a fielding error.

Hey hey, leave him alone.

Interesting, but my god, how did this guy pass high school english class?


and now for the rest of the story...

Eri Yoshida, an 18-year-old pitcher who played pro ball in Japan last year, signed with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League. The team said she will report to spring training next month.


video looks like it's barely a good one...she's got a feel for it, but kinda lobs it in there. does it even break 60mph?

I would hit it.


~stunned silence~


Now that's the kind of sexism I could get behind.

You know, sexism expressed through wordplay.

Maybe Mike C will be happier if the Cubs draft a couple girl hitters.

Whatever, dude... it was a flat 60mph knuckleball. You would hit it, too.

SP Chris Young to miss next start with "tightness" via twitter and Tracy Ringolsby, not sure where the tightness is..

awesome. scott lee cohen does not approve.

Minor League Splits has daily recaps as well


now I have to choose one...

-edit- wrong comment reply

I believe the most important statistic on Colvin is that he's 24 years old. Who the hell knows what he's going to do in the show this year or next 2-3 years. Most (emphasis on most) players hit their peak around, what 27? Colvin supposedly put on 24 lbs. of muscle this off-season. Let's assume for the moment that's a legitimate weight gain and he hasn't been drinking from the Albert Pujols magic fountain. TRN hit it on the head - minor league stats are not definitive in predicting MLB results.

I hope Colvin has a helluva season. Hell, I hope he wins Rookie of the Year, but I'm not going to hold my breath or lament the rain if he doesn't and spends the summer in the PCL. I will say compared to Soriano's numbers (let alone Fukudome) - how far off would Colvin be if he got 500 AB's?

The Cubs brass are saying money won't determine who plays or who doesn't. Well, Colvin could be a real barometer for that couldn't he?

The Cubs brass are saying money won't determine who plays or who doesn't

Where did they say that? and more importantly, why would you believe it if they did say it?

Supposedly Ricketts said it but I don't have a link.

Nothing is definitive in the world of baseball. You just look for what is most likely to happen based off of past experiences and trends to produce major league talent.

I am gonna stick to looking at the strikeout to walk ratio of minor leaguers as compared to the rest of their skills and decide who has a better chance in the majors. It's a hell of a lot better than the Cubs drafting of their athletes, and then praying they morph into something they are not.

The Cubs should start by drafting baseball players.

CarrieMuskat: #cubs lineup vs #reds ss theriot, cf colvin, 1b lee, 3b ramirez, rf nady, lf soriano, 2b fontenot, c hill, p silva

hill again? okay, sure.

Couple interesting items in that lineup. Colvin replaces Byrd right after Byrd hits a home run. Looks like Piniella means to keep Colvin circulating in the outfield, no matter what.

And Hill behind the plate for the second time in four games. If you think who's catching makes a difference to the pitcher [Wes--that's your cue], then I can see where you want Hill in there for Silva. But doesn't that apply to Zambrano tomorrow? Or every time Marmol comes in? When doesn't it apply?

they said they'd give Colvin 2-3 starts a week, best thing to do is make it continuous. Seems he wanted Nady to get a start as well since I can't even think when the first lefty is set to go against the Cubs (probably next week against the Brewers).

Hill does have an astounding W-L record as a starter, although the link to him starting and the Cubs winning is tenuous at best. I don't know how well Silva holds runners, but the Reds are middle of the pack at stealing bases, so maybe that's the connection. Teams usually don't run on Z and Gorz is a lefty.

Or Lou's already tired of Soto like Barrett...

"...he'd make a plan and he'd follow through, that's what Tyler Colvin'd do."
keeps running through my head.

Also, my parents aren't coming to Seattle afterall for the Mariners-Cubs series. If anyone needs (they's the pricey ones) tickets, I'm your man.

WWTCD bracelets on sale at www.FireEveryCub.com

colvin...a mid-power (20hr/30double type), low ob%, high average, good D, contact hitter.

marlon byrd...repeat.

there's not a lot to hate about colvin except the fact that he swings so much might make him a bit streaky. he's still capable of hitting doubles/homers, but it's not like he projects to be a top performer with his power.

he can play CF/LF...

thing is it looks like anyone he may replace could be just wheels spinning this year...there's a lot of similar-level talent with their own pros/cons. it'd be nice for colvin to see more ABs, but at the same time it's not like he's being blocked from greatness while he scraps for those limited ABs.

when nady is 100% it's going to get even more interesting. nice problem to have, imo. hehe.

It's not that nice a problem, imo. There'd be no nice problem here if it weren't for the underperformance on Soriano's part and the fairly replaceable quality of our other outfielders. Lots of "meh" in the outfield, especially for the money.

But that's not news.

The reason I get more excited about Colvin than Byrd, for instance, is really just that he is a relative unknown, so I can at least hope that the extra muscle and his youth means he could improve.

Kevin Gregg got his first save for Toronto, in a 7-6 win vs Baltimore.

3 up/3down, 2 K's, including Markakis and Tejada.

Naaawww...I won't miss him EVEN if he gets 50 friggin' saves.

damn u larry rothschild.

Did Teflon Tim Wilken have anything to do with this? He drafted him, right? - I mean he IS in Toronto.

*Gasp!* Tyler would walk! Unbelievable.

Colvin WALKS and scores on an ARam SF

Wooooooooooooooooooooooo.....Colvin OBP to the Moon, Alice!

how can one hate a guy nicknamed "smiley"

(put a Kevin Gregg mask on him)

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