Archer and Guyer Earn Top Minor League Honors

The Cubs named outfielder Brandon Guyer their 2010 Minor League Player of the Year and Chris Archer was named the pitcher of the year.

Guyer and Archer are still competing for the Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League champioship that begins tomorrow against the Jackson Suns.

In 410 PA's during the regular season, Guyer hit 13 over the fence with a slash line of 344/398/588. He topped the Southern League in slugging percentage and finished 2nd in batting average. He was a 5th round pick by the Cubs in 2007.

Archer was one-third of the package received for dealing Mark DeRosa to the Indians before the 2009 season. The 21-year old put up a 2.34 ERA between AA and Hi-A in 28 games (27 of them starts). That includes an 8-2 record and 1.80 ERA at AA in 70 IP with 67 K's and 39 BB's. Overall, he ended up 15-3 with that 2.34 ERA in 142.1 IP with 149 K's, 65 BB's and just 6 HR's allowed and a 1.173 WHIP.

For as full of a list as I have been able to compile at this point of minor league players of the year, check out Wiklifield. Guyer and Archer have joined the esteemed ranks of Brian Dopirak, Kevin Hart, Eric Patterson, Micah Hoffpauir, Kyler Burke, Sean Gallagher, Rich Hill and so on (Geovany Soto at least earned one in 2007). If you can assist in filling out any missing info on that page or any other, feel free to drop me a line or throw it in the comments.

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Comments

of the year, check out Wiklified...

Defined: how Elmer Fudd turns solids into water

nice.

silva...right elbow tendonitis according to gordo witty...no elbow "strain"

he could be back by this coming weekend.

thrilling.

c.m. says he's rejoining the team tuesday and they'll figure it out from there.

also,

2b baker, ss castro, cf byrd, 3b ramy, 1b nady, c soto, lf sori, rf colvin, p samardzija

Remember when a lot of people on this site wanted to hang Hendry when he made the Derosa for Archer, Stevens and Gaub trade? Not looking too bad at thes point.

Well, Gaub and Stevens have been pretty useless. I really thought Gaub would do something this year, but he just can't seem to throw strikes and not get lit up.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 5:58pm.
Well, Gaub and Stevens have been pretty useless. I really thought Gaub would do something this year, but he just can't seem to throw strikes and not get lit up.

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REAL NEAL: John Gaub spent most of the past two months at Fitch Park trying to overcome "Steve Blass Disease." He pitched in one AZL game at the end of July and it was pretty sad.

Along with Brian Schlitter and Jeff Stevens, Gaub is a good candidate to get outrighted to make room on the 40-man roster for Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, and Marquez Smith on 11/20. However, none of the three (Gaub, Schlitter, or Stevens) would be eligible to be a minor league free-agent if outrighted to the minors.

On the other hand, because each is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent if not on a 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, Mitch Atkins, James Adduci, Jeff Gray, and Bobby Scales (the four others likely to get removed from the Cubs 40-man roster post-2010) will have to be outrighted sometime before that deadline, so look for the Cubs to outright three or four guys in October (probably sometime before the conclusion of the World Series), and another two or three in November (on or just before 11/20).

Another roster slot will open up when Xavier Nady becomes a FA.

Are you sure there weren't arm issues with Gaub? They seem to pop up every year. He went on Iowa inactive on 7/9, and threw one third of an inning in Arizona after that, in which he walked two batters.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:08am.
Are you sure there weren't arm issues with Gaub? They seem to pop up every year. He went on Iowa inactive on 7/9, and threw one third of an inning in Arizona after that, in which he walked two batters.

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VA PHIL: Gaub has had medical issues related to his shoulder in the past, but not this year. I was at the game he pitched at HoHoKam in July, and he was three balls on every hitter, walking two of them. That was the one and only game action he has had in the last two months.

BTW, the Cubs now employ a sports psychologist at Fitch Park who works with players having problems with various issues.

Submitted by chuck on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 5:35pm.
Remember when a lot of people on this site wanted to hang Hendry when he made the Derosa for Archer, Stevens and Gaub trade? Not looking too bad at thes point.

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CHUCK: I know I was opposed to the DeRosa trade because I believed then (and still believe now) that trading Mark DeRosa and signing Milton Bradley and Aaron Miles made the Cubs (which had the best record in the N. L. in 2008) a worse team in 2009.

It's a nice consolation prize that Chris Archer has developed into the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in 2010 and kudos to the Cubs scouting department for projecting Archer to be that good, but I still believe the Cubs (unintentionally) sold-out the 2009 season by trading DeRosa and signing Bradley and Miles.

Agreed 10000000000%

I just didn't understand tearing down a 98 win team, just for the sake of getting more "left-handed"?

Whether that was Lou's fault or whomever. Jim Hendry really does need to fall on the sword for that decision.

I think that 100% is all that is ever available.

So, from what I have heard, even 110% is too much.

castro scratched, bruised hip

barney in.

Oh my. May we never see that top of the first again.

Baker, Barney and Byrd to leadoff the game is just sad.

ROB G: 3B Gary Scott was the Cubs "Minor League Player of the Year" in 1990, 3B Pedro Castellano in 1991, RHP Steve Trachsel in 1992, and OF Eddie Zambrano in 1993 (Eddie Z. was also American Association MVP in '93).

I don't know if there was a Cubs Minor League POY in 1989, but there wasn't one in '87 or '88, so it started either in 1989 or 1990.

I'll try and get 1997 for you if I can find the doc, but I seem to remember that Kerry Wood was POY in both 1996 and 1997, or else it was Wood in '96 and LHP Phil Norton in '97 (can't confirm at this time).

Rich Hill was the Iowa Cubs "Pitcher of the Year" in 2005, and Scott Moore was West Tenn Diamond Jaxx "Player of the Year" in 2006 (and he probably should have been the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year, too, except for some reason they gave "Minor League Player of the Year" to Rich Hill and Donnie Veal).

Corey Patterson and Roosevelt Brown both won if I remember correctly? Maybe 99 and 2000?

much obliged my captain

I wonder if there's some disparity between whom the Cubs named their player of the year and Baseball America or some other entity.

Here's the list from Baseball Cube, but they don't cite their sources.
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/awards/Minor_L...

it has Castro in '09, Corwin Malone in '01 and some other discrepancies like Moore and Rich Hill

and then the Wiklifield page, I cited as many Cubs press releases as I can find among other things, so it might be mixing up two different lists.

anyway...thanks for your help again.

Corwin Malone was a White Sox prospect. So that's a big mistake.

Submitted by QuietMan on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 9:49am.
Corwin Malone was a White Sox prospect. So that's a big mistake.

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QUIET MAN: And BQ has Cubs OF prospect Nic Jackson listed as being with the White Sox in that same year, so they apparently mixed-up N. Jackson and Malone.

Shark has wierd wind up

Picks up his foot twice the delivers

Shut out through 5

he's got that "ratcheting up" motion going into his windup. roger clemens used to do it later in his career, but it was a bit toned down compared to how some kids do it these days. it's evolved into this ratchet+rocking thing with some guys...unsettling and deceptive.

shark also keeps a finger outside his glove on the mound. who the f--- was his little league coach? =p

Can t believe they allow it, especially with runners on

It'd be nice if Samardzija had one secondary pitch he could control at all. He is all over the place with both the changeup and the slider. (I know, his fastball isn't exactly pinpoint, either.)

Very true

soto bats 9th the rest of the season...

it's not like i expect him to hit 3rd or 4th, though i wouldn't bitch about it...but he seems like an obvious #5 hitter at worst...hell, he's not a traditional #3 hitter, but he probably wouldn't stink it up there.

And ... the elimination is now mathematical.

RIP 2010.

Sergio Meat Tray relives Chad Gaudin in the bottom of the 11th and promptly gives up a lead-off, walk-off HR to the Rays' Reid Brignac. 1-0 Rays over Yankees in 11 innings. Rays climb into 1st over the Yanks by a 1/2 game. Yankees pitched 3 ex-Cubs in the game (K. Wood, Gaudin & Meat Tray).

Meat Tray!

haha!

the good:
5.2 IP, 0 ER, 8 GB - 4FB

the not-so-good
4 BB - 1 K

nice effort, even if against a struggling team

The box score does not accurately reflect his utter lack of control of anything but the fastball. I mean, wow on some of those off-speed pitches.

It's still nice to see him have some success, of course.

hater.

Look, I'm rootin' for the guy. I really am.

That said, fuck him. Fuck him hard. Go get me a veteran pitcher. And a left-handed bat. And Koyie Hill.

All the more reason his future is in the bullpen. Why the cubs couldn't have just accepted that and ran with it 2 years ago is?

cause he's sucked out of the bullpen too and pitchers that can throw 6 or more innings are very valuable and much harder to find.

The 1 1/2 pitch arsenal is the much bigger problem. It always seemed to me that the cubs were square pegging/round holing Samjay to justify the ridiculous contract that they gave him.

Marshall,Marmol,Guzman,Stevens and even a Todd Wellemeyer were shifted to pen duty much quicker than Jeff Samjay was.

The one he threw to strike out Pujols? was about as good as it gets.

To be clear, I was only looking at gameday--I couldn't watch the game live. But it looked like he was losing at least 3/4 of his offspeed pitches way out of the zone, often up and in to right-handed batters and up and away to lefties. Missing with your changeup up and out of the zone usually a sign of having a feel for it.

If the success continues, I won't care. I'm just being cautious right now.

(I've been hurt before.)

Xavier Nady has $2M in potential performance bonuses in his contract, and he isn't going to reach very many of them, but two he can reach fairly easily are $100K for 70 GS (he has started 59), and $125K for 300 PA (he has 285 after tonight). So there is a good chance Nady will make another $225K on top of his $3.3M base salary.

Even though it costs them money in added payroll, the Cubs usually try (if possible) to help their guys get to their bonuses. For instance, last year John Grabow was used the last weekend of the season so that he could get to 75 Games (Appearances), when if he hadn't been used, the Cubs would have saved $25,000.

Isn't there a difference between $25K for a guy one wants to bring back (and they did) and $225K for a guy who likely will be gone in a few weeks?

I'm not necessarily saying they should bench Nady and deny him his money, especially if the org feels he's been a good troop this year. But at first glance these would appear to be quite varying situations.

I think maybe the organization wants to make it known to potential free agents that they won't turn into cheapskates once they have someone under contract. (Hence Hendry's fear of going to arbitration, as well.)

Sure, I could see how the Cubs might wrongfully project an image of being cost-savvy and frugal. Next thing you know, JH might not be able to keep NTCs in his seven-day-a-week pillbox next to his ACE Inhibitors.

Sometimes I think Kim Ng has bigger nuts than Jim Hendry. Is he a jock sniffer or just a coward?

Submitted by John Beasley on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:05am.
Isn't there a difference between $25K for a guy one wants to bring back (and they did) and $225K for a guy who likely will be gone in a few weeks?

I'm not necessarily saying they should bench Nady and deny him his money, especially if the org feels he's been a good troop this year. But at first glance these would appear to be quite varying situations.

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JOHN B: If they wanted to make it look like they weren't trying to avoid paying him any part of his bonus, the Cubs could have just released Nady on September 1st once it became clear that no other MLB clubs were interested in acquiring him in a trade, and then announce that they were releasing Nady to give Micah Hoffpauir a chance to play everyday or that they were going to move Tyler Colvin to 1B immediately.

Or they even could have released him prior to August 31st so that he could have made his own deal with a contender prior to the 8/31 roster deadline, and then the Cubs would have saved both one month of pro-rated MLB minimum salary (about $65K) while also not having any liability for his performance bonus.

I just think Hendry wants to always do what's best for the player, even if it costs the Cubs more money. That's probably why Hendry is so popular with player agents. He's even friends with Scott Boras!

Which then begs the question, "Why didn't Nady ask for his release at the end of August so that he could at least sign a minor league deal with a contender prior to the 8/31 deadline?" Maybe Nady is one of those guys who just doesn't care much about whether he plays in the post-season or not, he just wants to play somewhere where he can be more sure of reaching at least a part of his performance bonus (which apparently will be the case with the Cubs, at least about $225K of it).

If you set an age limit of 24, and you didn't reward work done in low-A ball, you would have a better list of minor league players/pitchers of the year since 2004: Guyer, Archer, Coleman, Atkins, Soto, Hart, Pinto.

Burke, Patterson (both Pattersons, actually), Gallagher and Dopirak earned their awards in low A ball. Veale's season was split between low and high A.

Hill was 26 when he had that big year at Iowa. Hoffpauir was 28. Brad Snyder is 28 this year, and didn't win the award, which is good. AA players are better bets.

if you selectively change your criteria to match whatever point you're trying to make, you'll always get better results.

Guyer is the only AA hitting prospect I saw in that list going back to 2004. As Neal points out indirectly, there are no Daytona prospects (high A) there either. The point is simply that it's about time that the Cubs had prospects who could hit well above low A.

I was answering your point, which I understood to be: here are two more in a long list of bums.

So a 24 year old in the Florida State League could win it, but not a 25 year old in the PCL - got it.

That kind of assumes that Minor League Player of the Year is meant to indicate who is the best prospect. Maybe it's meant as an award to hold up a guy who has improved drastically, done what the organization/coaches asked of him, and worked his ass off?

Submitted by Charlie on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:42am.
That kind of assumes that Minor League Player of the Year is meant to indicate who is the best prospect. Maybe it's meant as an award to hold up a guy who has improved drastically, done what the organization/coaches asked of him, and worked his ass off?

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CHARLIE: The Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Minor League Player of the Year are awarded to the Cubs minor league pitcher & player who had the best years. It is not the Cubs Best Prospect Award, or Best Tools, or Most Likely to Succeed.

Those eligible for the awards include older players at AAA (even a 4-A minor league free-agents at Iowa could win the award), although I suspect the Cubs give greater weight to younger prospects who are still progressing up through the system (especially those who "Get with the Program"), but the awards do not exclude older guys. There is also apparently an element of "Good Citizen" (Lady Bing) implied in the awards, though it's mainly based on performance on the field.

Since when do you care about age?

You are the one that continues to praise minor league players for the success, often completely ignoring that they are old for their league.

I'm always talking about young players. Maybe that rings a bell.

Compared to the thirty-something mutts that have populated this team lately, twenty-eight can be young, and more importantly, hungry.

Certainly being a veteran minor leaguer doesn't make you a better prospect. (Nor does it disqualify you.)

I am sure glad to see Archer develop nicely, hope it translates to higher levels. At the time of the Derosa trade, I sure thought Gaub would be the most useful of the three, a lefty reliever that can get lefties out, Cubs really haven't had one since Will Ohman.

Wasn't Archer hurt when the Cubs got him from Cleveland?

The other thing I notice with Cubs prospects reports is, it is approaching the time that we call Josh Vitters a bust, another wasted #3 pick by the Cubs. I know Vitters is still young, but he has yet to post an impressive line at any level above A ball, and he seems to get hurt every year. Add in his lousy defense and from what I've read, questions about his dedication, and he sure looks to have bust written all over him at this point.

Living in Kansas City, I am painfully aware that the HS player and 3B taken right before Vitters (Mike Moustakas) has absolutely dominated minor league ball all the way up to the AAA level, he could be the overall minor league player of the year for 2010. He'll be in KC for 2011. Of course, David Price (#1), Matt Wieters (#5) and Jason Heyward (#14) are in the big leagues now and performing well.

Is Vitters even one of the top three Cubs hitting prospects at this point? Ugh.

If I wanted to defend Vitters, I would point out that he had a nice AFL season last year and then started this spring at Daytona hitting a quiet .290, which was an improvement over last year at Daytona. Then something possessed the Cubs to promote him to Tennessee. You might recall the inanities about putting him in an environment where he would be challenged. He certainly was challenged at AA.

At the time, I thought that the Cubs were pushing Vitters in order to help their poker hand with Ramirez, who was expected to declare free agency at the end of the season, or at least threaten free agency while driving a hard bargain with the Cubs.

Funny how things turn out. Vitters' season went to hell, and the Cubs can't get rid of Ramirez.

Vitters probably needed to be in AA this year to be expected to take over for 2012.

No problem going from AA in 2011 to the majors in 2012. Colvin and Castro both skipped AAA. It's why I thought the timing of Vitters' promotion to AA was peculiar. They seemed in a hurry to get Vitters ready for 2011--not necessarily to use him in 2011, but to be able to say to Ramirez this fall, "We're comfortable at third. Don't bother threatening us, we're not sweetening your deal."

Vitters would be fine--maybe Samardzija as well--if the Cubs just forgot about where they drafted him and how much they paid, and said what they say to everyone else: Earn your promotions!

The problem is that Vitters needs to hit 285 or better to get on base 30% of the time.

Just isn't acceptable plate discipline in modern baseball.

Hitting .223 at Tennessee, he would need a lot of plate discipline to get on base 30%.

I just noticed the 69 points separating Vitters' BA and OBP at Tennesee, which would have to be attributable to his 13 walks and 7 HBP in a mere 228 plate appearances.

In terms of plate discipline, what's wrong with that spread?

Doesn't Vitters have other problems, like "the ability to hit," for lack of a better phrase?

Vitters biggest issues are staying healthy and not even being 21 in AA.

13 walks in AA is really bad. He'd get exposed BIG TIME at the MLB level.

He should get a walk every ten at-bats or so, to be in line with the better hitters in the Southern League. He's more like a walk every 16 ABs. But those 7 HBPs are interesting, and maybe they tell a story. He must be crowding the plate, trying to pull outside pitches. Give him a couple of years to figure out how to orient himself at the plate. Maybe he'll get some ball-calls on inside pitches and also learn to lay off the outside ones.

His positioning at the plate might also be the reason he has trouble staying healthy. Hasn't Vitters had a couple of season-ending HBPs?

cubs interviewing bob melvin according to espn 1000

Haven't seen any mention of this here but----Baseball America" posted their "all Prospect teams" comprised of 8 position players, a DH, 5 Starting pitchers and 1 relief pitcher. Archer was a first team choice and Jackson and McNutt were second team choices. Could Archer help us next year? Howa far behind are Jackson and McNutt? And I saw Carpenter in Des Moines registering a lot of 95's on the speed gun....which is thought to be 2-3 mph slow. Could we have the possibility of some real #1 starters in the offing?

Submitted by chuck on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 10:17am.
Haven't seen any mention of this here but----Baseball America" posted their "all Prospect teams" comprised of 8 position players, a DH, 5 Starting pitchers and 1 relief pitcher. Archer was a first team choice and Jackson and McNutt were second team choices. Could Archer help us next year? Howa far behind are Jackson and McNutt? And I saw Carpenter in Des Moines registering a lot of 95's on the speed gun....which is thought to be 2-3 mph slow. Could we have the possibility of some real #1 starters in the offing?

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CHUCK: Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt, and Chris Carpenter are all Cubs Top Ten Prospects right now (actually probably Top 7, with only Brett Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, and Josh Vitters in the mix among position-players), and Chris Rusin is probably a borderline Top 10, and Casey Coleman is a Top 15. And Jay Jackson is one of the best-hitting pitchers in minor league baseball (possibly a future Silver Slugger candidate), and that would add to his value as a starting pitcher in the National League.

All six pitchers are starting pitcher prospects, and all six could conceivably be ready in 2011. (Well, I guess Casey Coleman is apparently ready right now, but he's only 6th-best among the Cubs top starting pitcher prospects).

The Cubs are loaded with starting pitcher prospects right now, with Archer and McNutt potential #1's, J. Jackson and Carpenter both probably a #2 or #3, Rusin a #4, and Coleman a legitimate #5 starter... IF THEY STAY HEALTHY!!!!

Always appreciate your input. Saw Jackson a couple times in Des Moines and I have trouble getting excited about him---but then I'm a fan, not a scout. And yes, he can swing the bat.

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