Cubs Prospect List-mania 2011

For the fifth year running I go through the various prospect lists. I'm trying to stick the more established ones and there are even more lists available at Wiklifield. Of course, many of them were made before the Matt Garza trade. Click on the image for the link to the original article.

    4-Star Prospects

  1. Brett Jackson
  2. Trey McNutt
  3. Chris Archer
  4. 3-Star Prospects

  5. Josh Vitters
  6. Hak-Ju Lee
  7. Chris Carpenter
  8. Hayden Simpson
  9. Reggie Golden
  10. Jay Jackson
  11. Robinson Lopez
  12. Brandon Guyer

Nine More: Robinson Chirinos, Marquez Smith, Welington Castillo, Rafael Dolis, Ben Wells, Brett Wallach, Darwin Barney, Austin Reed, Alberto Cabrera

What They Say: While the Cubs' system is a deep one that will produce plenty of big-league talents, the team still needs to look outside the organization for the kind of impact talent to turn their fortunes around.

  1. Chris Archer, SS
  2. Brett Jackson, OF
  3. Trey McNutt, RHP
  4. Hak-Ju Lee, SS
  5. Josh Vitters, 3B
  6. Chris Carpenter, RHP
  7. Matt Szczur, OF
  8. Hayden Simpson, RHP
  9. Rafael Dolis, RHP
  10. Brandon Guyer, OF

What They Say: Life was better down on the farm than it was at Wrigley Field. Righthanders Chris Archer and Trey McNutt went a combined 25-4, while outfielder Brett Jackson pounded Double-A pitching in his first full pro season, establishing themselves as the best prospects in the system. Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee had the best regular-season records in their leagues, and both Class A affiliates had winning marks, with legitimate talent driving all those victories. One pro scout who covered the Cubs opined that they had more future big leaguers than any other organization.

Rankings are preliminary and could have changed in the book that Sickels publishes. He did update his list after the Garza trade though.

  1. Brett Jackson (B+)
  2. Trey McNutt (B+)
  3. Chris Carpenter (B)
  4. Jay Jackson (B)
  5. Hayden Simpson (B-)
  6. Reggie Golden (B-)
  7. Josh Vitters (B-)
  8. Robinson Lopez (C+)
  9. Austin Reed (C+)
  10. Alberto Cabrera (C+)
  11. Marquez Smith (C+)
  12. D.J. LeMahieu (C+)
  13. Rafael Dolis (C+)
  14. Brett Wallach (C+)
  15. Brooks Raley (C+)
  16. Su-Min Jung (C+)
  17. Austin Kirk (C+)
  18. Jin-Yeong Kim (C+)
  19. Ben Wells (C)
  20. Welington Castillo (C)

OTHERS: Jeff Antigua, LHP; Darwin Barney, INF; Matt Cerda, INF, Ryan Flaherty, INF; Micah Gibbs, C; Cameron Greathouse, LHP; Jae-Hoon Ha, OF; Aaron Kurcz, RHP; Junior Lake, SS; Zach Rosscup, LHP, Chris Rusin, LHP; Aaron Shafer, RHP; Kyle Smit, RHP; Matt Spencer, OF-1B; Matt Szczur, OF; Tony Thomas, 2B..

What They Say:
The Cubs system is unbalanced. On the positive side, you have a huge amount of pitching, including a large number of high-ceiling arms: McNutt, Archer, Carpenter, Simpson, the big bevy of arms in the teens. There are some polish/command guys as well, and Jay Jackson straddling the midpoint. The foundation for a strong pitching staff is clearly here.

The hitting is another issue. I love Brett Jackson, and there is plenty of up-the-middle material with Lee having the best potential. But there is a significant lack of power and impact bats, and I'm losing faith in Vitters. Golden could be anything.

The theory is that by being strong on the mound and at catcher, center field, and middle infield, you have chips to trade to fill in your offensive gaps at the corners. It's a good theory, but remember von Moltke's dictum: no plan survives contact with the enemy intact.

Diamond Futures

  1. Trey McNutt (A-)
  2. Brett Jackson (A-)
  3. Josh Vitters (A-)
  4. Jay Jackson (B+)
  5. Hayden Simpson (B)
  6. Matt Sczcur (B)
  7. Michael Burgess (B-)
  8. Ja-Hoon Ha (C)
  9. Chris Carpenter (C)
  10. Alberto Cabrera (C)
  11. Reggie Golden (C)
  12. Matt Cerda (C)

Other Potential Top 300 picks: Welington Castillo, Junior Lake

 It's a great write-up on the system so I recommend reading the entire article. My exceprt though comes from their analysis on the Garza trade, which mirrors many of my own feelings on the deal.

 But there is another consideration at play here, and that is the concept of perceived value. About a decade ago we wrote a piece about how the Yankees, after bringing Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada to the Majors, went through a period of time where their system produced very little, but they were able to trade their ‘top’ prospects and get quality Major League players in return. This was astonishing to us, as time-after-time these were always ‘winning’ deals for the Yankees. The easy theory would have been an East Coast media bias and the hype of the Yankees media machine. At the time we offered another angle—namely, that teams with few elite prospect talents benefit more from trading their top prospects because they garner more perceived value by being the ‘best prospect in an organization’. Kenny Williams and the White Sox have used this same strategy successfully for a number of years now. We would like to offer up the recent moves by the Brewers and the Cubs as more of the same. Yes, maybe Brett Lawrie or Jake Odorizzi was the best prospect in the Brewers' system. Yes, maybe Chris Archer or Hak-Ju Lee was the best prospect in the Cubs' system. But given the current lack of elite talent in the respective systems that is exactly why now is the time to trade them. The reason that a team like the Rangers--with a much stronger group of top tier prospects--wasn't able to reach a deal with the Rays, can likely be found in the fact that when the Rays wanted the better prospects from Texas' system the Rangers found the price too high because they would be dealing better players. A similar ask by the Rays might have been Jurickson Profar, Engle Beltre, Robbie Erlin and Max Ramirez. So, instead of questioning Jim Hendry and Doug Melvin, Cubs’ and Brewers’ fans should be praising them for some brilliant acquisitions that should make baseball a lot more interesting around Lake Michigan this summer.

  1. Brett Jackson
  2. Trey McNutt
  3. Josh Vitters
  4. Chris Carpenter
  5. Hayden Simpson
  6. Matt Szczur
  7. Rafael Dolis
  8. Michael Burgess
  9. Reggie Golden
  10. A.J. Morris
  11. D.J. LeMahieu
  12. Ryan Flaherty
  13. Jay Jackson
  14. Ben Wells
  15. Austin Reed


Arizona Phil's Top 15

  1. Chris Archer, RHP
  2. Trey McNutt, RHP
  3. Brett Jackson, OF
  4. Brandon Guyer, OF
  5. Josh Vitters, 3B
  6. Jay Jackson, RHP
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Hak-Ju Lee, SS
  9. Chris Carpenter, RHP
  10. Ryan Flaherty, INF
  11. Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
  12. Aaron Kurcz, RHP
  13. D.J. LeMahieu, INF
  14. Reggie Golden, OF
  15. Darwin Barney, OF


And now for the always humorous list of 16 from yours truly (15 in years past). I generally like guys that actually have done something at AA or higher, but that's just a guideline. I tend to favor position players over pitchers that can blow their arm out at anytime. This is nothing more then for entertainment purposes.

1. Brett Jackson (age 22) - He put up an .888 OPS between two stops at age 21 and could very well find himself at Wrigley at some point this season, although more likely he makes his debut in 2012. A K rate of 21% last year isn't great, but acceptable and when coupled with a 12.5% walk rate, it seems he's willing to work the count. Throw in 30 SB's against just 11 caught stealings and he could have a future as a leadoff man. And at just 22 years old, you can definitely envision the doubles power turning into a few more home runs.  Tough call between him and McNutt for the top spot, but I tend to favor position players and some of Jackson's success came at a higher level.

2. Trey McNutt (age 21) - I have no idea if it was even an option for the Cubs, but it'll be curious to see if McNutt or Archer has the better career and did the Cubs trade the right piece away. John Sickels recently did a compare and contrast and had them neck and neck at #20 (McNutt) and #22(Archer) out of his top 50 pitchers. While you can't make too definitive of a judgement on their numbers with such short stops for McNutt, he did seem to do better then Archer at Peoria and Daytona while being a year younger, although he gave a bit back at AA in the 15+ innings he pitched there. So far he's had a better career walk rate, better home run rate, better K rate, better hit against rate and better WHIP then Archer. Whether that maintains as he goes up the organizational ladder is always the great mystery, but that was one helluva a 32nd round pick by Wilkens (he did get 7th round money though).

3. Josh Vitters (age 21) - As Diamond Futures points out, it usually takes him 250-300 PA's to warm up to a new league and then as soon as he has success the Cubs move him up. You do get a sense that the Cubs are much higher on him then the rest of the prospecting world. And he's still way too young to have any notions of being a bust.

4. Jay Jackson (age 23) - His K rate went way down (6.8 from above 9) and his HR rate up with the move to AAA. Nonetheless, he's still pretty young and stands the best chance of seeing Wrigley this year out of most of the top Cubs prospects.

5. Chris Carpenter (age 25) - Despite the great reports on him in the AFL, his minor league numbers aren't too fantastic - 7.7 K/9, 4.0 BB/9 and a 0.5 HR/9 coupled with a 1.3551 WHIP and none of it seems to be improving much from year to year. 

6. Matt Szczur (age 21) - I don't know how much you can draw from just over 100 PA's last year, but Baseball America is sure high on him as the Cubs obviously are. He didn't get to show off any of his speed last year, but puts the ball in play and seems willing to take a walk.

7. Michael Burgess (age 22) - A legit RF arm, legit power, decent walk rate north of 10% and still young. The negative is a career K rate over 25% and although it dipped to 21% in Hi-A last year, that was his third attempt at that league. Could be Tyler Colvin, could be Kyler Burke...

8. Welington Castillo
(age 24) - (Repeated from last year) This is mostly based off Arizona
Phil's recommendations and observations, but he seems like he could be a
plus defensive catcher with 15-20 HR power. ~snip~

That being said, I recall a time when everyone couldn't figure out why the Cubs put Soto on their 40-man and what they saw in him and he found his way in AAA at age 24. Now Soto always had better walk and K rates then Castillo, so don't think I'm saying Castillo will be just as good. But Castillo started finding his power last year and he does seem like a guy the Cubs believe in, at least more then they ever did in Robinson

9. Marquez Smith (age 26) - He's shown much more power then Casey McGehee did in the minors and while he K's more then McGehee did, it's still acceptable at 18.7%. Hard to see him as much more then a fill-in/bench guy, but plenty of guys in baseball that turned the opportunity into a starting gig for a few years. It should be a race between him, J. Jackson and Castillo for who makes the majors first this year.

10. Ryan Flaherty (age 24) - Flaherty's OPS numbers dropped 78 points but his walk (9.1%) and strikeout numbers(15.4%) stayed consistent. What happened was a bunch of HR's turning into doubles and I'm choosing to believe that's the fault of the FSL. He didn't have much success in 84 PA's at AA, but hopefully we're all more patient then that.

11. Darwin Barney (age 25) - I really don't like Barney's future as a useful major leaguer, but it appears his glove will get him and keep him on major league rosters and that's a better career then most prospects end up having.

12. D.J. LeMahieu (age 22) - Hopefully Camp Colvin will get him power because so far the numbers aren't too exciting. He does keep his K's down and hits the ball over the field which has led to a nice batting average. The walk rate is non-existent and he seems to be a terrible base-stealer and for the moment, no home run power.

13. Austin Kirk (age 21) - 9.2 K/9 rate, 3.0 BB/9 rate and 0.9 HR/9 rate so far for the third rounder and a south paw. I'll leave it to the more informed prospect guys to tell me why he's being ignored at this point.

14. Reggie Golden (age 20) - Not much to go off on here other then the scouting reports. Diamond Futures put him and Burgess as two peas from the same pod.

15. Matt Cerda (age 21) - Another too young to give up on type of guy. A walk rate of 12.5% to go with a K rate of just 13% so far for his career. Now if he can just find some power in his game...and a position.

16. Chris Rusin (age 24) - 7.9 K/9 rate, 1.9 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9 rate in 146 innings so far, a 4th round pick and a lefty. I find him and Kirk far more interesting then Cabrera, Dolis and Rhee at the moment.

Honorable Mention:  Hayden Simpson (just don't know much about him yet), Aaron Kurcz (15.9 K/9 rate last year in 27.1 IP)

After the top 5 guys on my list, you can shake them around Yahtzee style and re-arrange the bottom 11 depending on what you value in a prospect (ceiling, stats, certain tool, what Baseball America says, so forth). As Baseball Prospectus and Diamond Futures notes, a lot of guys that should see the majors but no true elite talent at the moment (discounting Castro and Cashner). Vitters(based on just scouting reports at this point) and maybe McNutt seem like the only real potential All-Stars on the list and I guess if Brett Jackson starts hitting some over the fence. It's good to have depth in the system, that's how you land guys like Garza(assuming you think he's good) and stay afloat when Aramis and Soto find the disabled list this year. It's also how you justify signing Albert Pujols next offseason.


twitter sez Quade gave Castro a talk about "bearing down defensively" and on the bases before game.

Castro starts 1st inning with 2-run HR off Gallardo (Fukudome BB).

-edit- linkage

Carlos Slim gives the 2 runs right back in the bottom of the first

Ramirez E5 on a pop-up. According to Gordo, 10 E's in 4 games by 8 different players.

McGehee goes yard off Carlos Slim to make it 4-2 Brewers.

make that 11 errors...

that talk worked out well

make that 12 errors...

male that 13 errors...


That's 2 errors, 1 out, 4-2 Brewers... Great start, Silva! Way to back him up guys!

Z on Thursday, Garza on Friday, Cashner on Sat and he'll be followed by Wells that day.

Looper gets his first appearance tomorrow.

Marty Brennaman on 2011 Cubs.

He's right but he still is a miserable prick

Cubs melting down. Fight erupts in dugout after ugly inning. Hard to see which players. Quickly broken up.

god hope that wasn't Z involved...

Silva removed from game, Jay Jackson in

"Silva leaving field with strength coach. Still jawing with someone on way out of dugout."

maybe castro? hehe..

It begins....

i blame dusty, milton bradley, todd hundley, Z, and mike barrett...mostly barrett.

Where the hell is Koyie Hill to intercede when this was going on?

Giants considering releasing/buying out Zito.

not much new info, but an article is already up on silva...

silva to address media soon according to CBS writer...that's odd.

maybe he's gonna retire. =p


btw...Z isn't even at the park today...fwiw. hehe.

via Carrie M.

"Carlos Silva tells #Cubs official he doesn't want to talk about what happened"

...also via Paul S....silva has returned to the field and is running in the backfield. evidently he's chilled out.

Sullivan reporting that Silva came back in dugout and saw Soto taking a bite out Silva's meatball sandwich.


I'm wondering when it's going to dawn on Starlin Castro that Q-Ball is using him as a scapegoat for the general rotten defense of the Cubs. Frankly it's getting tiresome reading about Quade chewing Starlin out in public.

Have to agree with you. Kid is still 21 years old. Should be getting on Aramis Ramirez...

not very hard, but fun

I got all 20.

Defense is kind of important, isn't it?

it may be early, but k.hill isn't doing himself any favors this first 4 games...

they may not want to re-start welington c's clock too early in 2011, but it might be time if k.hill can't show something in the next few weeks.

If his defense was something significant to me but from what I see it's not. He needs to actually prove himself for this team same as Castillo would.

w.castillo's D is pretty solid, plate blocking and arm. hitting consistency is his biggest knock.

that said, it's too early for me to be complaining about k.hill anyway.

It's not too early for me. I feel like last year's abysmal CS% is all I need to say Hill isn't worthy of holding down a backup spot because of his supposed impeccable defense.

yeah, im still amazed they gave him a 850K deal...anything over near-league-minimum seems generous. a few hundred grand isn't much to the cubs, but he's not worth the 300+K he got overpaid, imo.

He certainly isn't when you factor in relative depth. There are guys in the system who could easily take his spot without much if any negative impact.

What about the extra mph he adds to pitchers pitches?

How can you forget that?

We won't know what passive bonuses the other catchers add unless we give them a shot!

From real Paul Sullivan-

PWSullivan tweets "Silva left the building on cart w/o comment. Cubs have no comment either. "

On cart?

Does anyone else have the mental picture of a manatee being returned to the sea?

What is "Sunk Cost" Alex

tee-hee; like that image...

Damn it, he was riding in the front-


I'd like to take this opportunity to draw attention to the website "Paula Deen Riding Things". Yes, it is real.

Sullivan saying it was Silva vs.....Aram.

Aram says it was "misunderstanding" not "a trouble maker"

Time to move Aram.
Like now. He's regressing to the putz he was when he was with Pirates.

comments from aram with a game in progress?

that's some neat damage control...even for a spring game.

It's ST dude, he was probably out after the 5th inning.

a dugout fight in spring game #4!?! where is the love mr. q? honeymoon over?

More from Sullivan

Silva was upset about the errors.

"That was the only thing that happened, so it was obvious he was kind of upset," Ramirez said. "Nobody wants to make errors. Nobody feels worse than an infielder or an outfielder when they make errors. We talked about, and everything's cool."

I don't understand why a pitcher would get so pissed off about errors in a Spring training game in the first place.

Because the Cubs have pretty much said that he is fighting for a job. Last ST I paid $23fr the privilage of watching him throw BP to the Sux, so not sure what he's all worked up about. Wouldn't it be great if the position players started yelling at the pitchers everytime they gave up a BB or a homer?

23 Francs? I didn't know Arizona accepted French currency :)

only if you show government issued ID and your birth certificate, first...

$ = USD.

Lighten up.

Ironically enough ESPN posted this article earlier today of the Cub clubhouse watching Charlie Sheen's antics-

And Charlie reciprocates

BP has them at #24 and haiku'd

Garza plunders depth
Wasn't so good to start with
Sign more football stars!

Diamond Futures had them at #20 as did Keith Law

Anyone have Baseball America's rank on them?

BP Top 101

sorry if a repost

B. Jackson, #47
McNutt #68
Archer #70

Archer #4 on Rays Top 11, Lee #8, Guyer #10, Chirinos #11. They were 3,6,11 and Chirinos was just off the list of Cubs.

Pre trade they were number 8 /w BA. 20 seems about right, trading 3 sure fire MLB players and your #2 positional prospect for a nice #3 starter...

Spring Training 2010-2003

Here are the final standings for Cactus and Grapefruit leagues 2003-2010.

2010 San Fran
2009 Angels
2008 Oakland (Angels .5 behind)
2007 Arizona
2006 Angels
2005 Angels
2004 Seattle
2003 KC (Cubs, 2nd Pl., 2.5 behind)

2010 Tampa
2009 Yankees
2008 Tamps
2007 Detroit
2006 Reds
2005 Cards, Mets, Jays
2004 Twins
2003 Cleveland

Brad Snyder HR in 9th. That's good, I don't think Quade has seen him hit a long ball before. The fellow he homered off of, Jim Henderson, was a Cub prospect not too long ago if I'm not mistaken.

Marquez Smith subbed at second today, made some plays.

make it Silva vs. Wells for the last spot or really just Wells.

love how the article frames it that Cubs decided in November that starting is what he should be doing. Jeebus, he was cruising in the minors last year until Papa Lou bitched about the pen and they wasted more then half a season with him in the pen.

Anyway, says his changeup is looking good so far in spring.

paul sulivan on mlb network talking about silva vs. aram...says aram don't really care and is over it...says silva will bear the brunt of it and doesn't bode well for him unless he shapes up quickly...says silva may-have-to/should appologize

ladies & gentlemen: in tonight's performance of damn cubs, carlos silva will play the role of carlos zambrano & aramis ramirez will play the role of derek lee...

no action will be taken against silva...quade quote "boys will be boys"

and in over his head managers will chew out the 20 year old stars for physical errors.

yeah, that time he beat castro down with a belt in front of chris archer was quite embarrassing. matt garza laughed like hell, though.

You know, I don't put a hell of a lot of meaning to Spring Training performance by veterans. That being said, you would have to hope (1) the Cubs are actively trying to trade Silva without eating all his remaining $6M + the $2M buyout; (2) Quade and his coaches would take off the rose-colored Koyie Hill glasses and take an honest look at Castillo or Max Ramirez for the backup catcher; and (3) Hendry is reminding Aramis that 2011 performance results and attitude/hustle would go a long way in deciding to pick up his 2012 option.

I don't have a great deal of high hopes for this year's team (really out on a limb, I know), but would it kill attendance and performance to work Wellington Castillo into the lineup once in awhile, give Marquez Smith a backup role instead of Jeff Baker, and work B. Jackson into CF after the All-Star break if his minor league performance merits?

I'm not of the school of thought that all these current prospects lack star or all-star potential. I, for one, wouldn't get hung up on that if I were Hendry/Quade. In addition to the guys I listed above, I would start 2011 with Cashner in the rotation and would be ready to add McNutt as well if his results merit a promotion. You (1) find out if these guys can perform/compete, (2) get potentially similar performance at less payroll than the current under-performers, and (3) have club-controlled players at affordable payroll dollars.

It's not like what they've been doing for the past 103 years has worked any better.

I have a different take, though I respect your view. I fully expect a work stoppage in 2012. I don't venture a guess as to strike or lockout. But guys on the 40-Man are often kept out of games, maybe even practice.

Keep Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt in the minors, unless their performance is needed to win a division. That way, in Spring 2012, they aren't on the 40 Man.

If you need to infuse talent later in the season, use Jay Jackson and Chris Carpenter. They will both be added to the 40 Man over the winter anyway. Also, run the Iowa shuttle as needed with Coello and whoever else.

I'd like to see Q Smith make the roster and start for Rami if he forgets to hustle. It would make it easier also for Quade to plug him in mid-game (a la Bobby Cox to Andruw Jones).

Hopefully Silva has a nice long talk with his mom, pitches well until mid-June, and maybe we can trade his contract for a 22 year old in the Northwest League with an ERA in the mid 4's. I can dream, no?

It's a question of consistency. Have you ever had a job (sic) where your manager treated some employees differently than others? How did that make you feel? Did it make you think your manager was doing a good job?

Has anyone ever had a job where the manager treated all employees exactly the same?

Or are good managers more hands-on with new employees, let those who have proven they can work independently work more independently, let some employees take more risks than others depending on their track records, etc.

OR...will Quade not taking vets to task for stupid errors show the team that, as long as you're a veteran player, it'll be A-ok. If you're a rookie or less established, you'd better not make mistakes.

and in over his head managers will chew out the 20 year old stars for physical errors.

That is a strange post. If Quade DIDN'T chew out Castro for what is essentially sloppy play, I would be extremely disappointed.

Quade should have chewed out Castro. Yes. He should also take Ramirez...Soriano...Colvin.....anyone who makes repeated errors..

Just jumping on the 21 year old second year guy won't accomplish anything.

I am not saying that I personally agree with this, but the argument could be that talking to the vet who isn't going to change won't have an impact, but 21-year-old second-year players are just the types that jumping on will impact. You have a chance to make an impression early on when they are still forming and impressionable that could have long-term consequences.

And risk alienating that young player...who sees that veterans can get away with stupid mistakes....

A player makes an error...fine. A player makes repeated errors, then no matter who they are, there should be some action.

a young player without a contract can only alienate himself. it's not a pissing contest. it's about castro and castro needs to worry about what castro is doing. he already knows he's made the team.

Put yourself in his shoes crunch.
Castro needs to focus defensively....and make the routine plays. Pull him aside privately, and talk to him. It's really not that difficult to do. You don't need to make a public example of every player, every time. Just be consistent.

I love seeing Casey McGhee hit two home runs for the opponent. It is so comforting to know that Hendry chose to stash David Patton over him.


Yeah - I remember the uproar on this board when McGehee was released. Everyone here thought it was a terrible idea because we were certain that he would go on to be an all star.

yeah, he was DFA' one even wanted to give up anything for him.

it would help if he could actually play 2nd or 3rd worth a damn...he's playing 3rd for MIL, but he's better suited for 1st/DH.

good pickup for them, though.

"it would help if he could actually play 2nd or 3rd worth a damn."

McGehee's fielding percentage last season was .954, about the same as Wright or Zimmerman.

His fld pct at third in the minors was .960. Marquez Smith last year was .938. Russ Canzler was released after the 2010 season in spite of 21 homers and a .938 OPS at Tennessee, apparently because he can't play 3rd worth a damn: his FP at third was .878.

yes, he can't play 3rd well. him and his knees. watch him a bit. he ranges like an average 1st baseman.

I hope you're right. Range is a big deal in a 3B and it doesn't show up in fielding pct.

UZR, imo, paints an unfair picture of him (just about intolerably bad), but his arm is the only thing that makes him an option...well, that and he makes a hell of a small amount of money to play the position.

as slow as he is to react he's pretty good on stuff hit in front of him, though.

when it comes time to pay him "real" money he'll probably need to move to LF (RF if his legs will let him) or 1st/DH.

He loses value the minute you move him off third. They already have a left fielder. It's not a hard position to staff unless you're looking for an elite $18 million hitter.

The Brewers are not a defense-first outfit and they may be satisfied with McGehee at third. If McGehee is seriously range-challenged, as you contend, I would not have wanted him to succeed Ramirez. My preference would be somebody a little more cat-like this time.

yeah, it's a "hit" they can take given the makeup of the team and their needs.

Really, if McGehee keeps hitting relatively close to his first 2 seasons.....288/.370/.470...they'll be more than happy to deal with his not Gold Glove defense yeah?

Submitted by DavidP on Wed, 03/02/2011 - 11:26pm.
Yeah - I remember the uproar on this board when McGehee was released. Everyone here thought it was a terrible idea because we were certain that he would go on to be an all star.


DAVID P: Nobody here was "certain that he would go on to be an all star," but what the Cubs did was really stupid roster management.

In September 2008 the Cubs wanted another RH bat on the MLB roster. The two realistic in-house options at AAA Iowa were veteran 1B-LF Jason Dubois (who was hitting 307/399/664) or 25-year old 3B-1B-2B-C Casey McGehee (who was hitting 296/345/429).

Dubois was going to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent") post-2008 anyway, so adding him to the 40-man roster (and MLB Active List) for the month of September and then dropping him from the 40 once the season was over would have been no big deal. (McGehee was not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA until after the 2009 season).

But let's say the Cubs wanted the defensive versatility provided by McGehee over the Dubois power (McGehee played 3B-2B-1B and even logged 17 games at catcher at Iowa in 2008). Fine. So then if you add McGehee to the 40-man roster, just leave him there. Because McGehee was a Draft-Excluded Player (added to a 40-man roster after August 15th), the Cubs needed to secure waivers no later than the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series if they wanted to outright him to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, or else they would not have been able to send him to the minors (by optional or outright assignment) any earlier than 20 day prior to 2009 MLB Opening Day.

But here's the point... The Cubs did NOT need to outright McGehee in order to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for a future Rule 5 Draft pick.

The Cubs claimed OF Brad Snyder off waivers from Cleveland in late September just before the end of the regular season, and they DFA'd RHP Adam Harben to make room for Snyder on the 40-man roster. But then the Cubs should have immediately placed Snyder back on Outright Waivers. And why should the Cubs have been fairly certain that they could get Snyder through waivers?

1. When the Cubs claimed Snyder, they had the second-best record in MLB (only the Angels had a better record). So it should have been obvious that there wasn't any interest in Snyder from at least 28 other MLB clubs, and there was no indication that the Angels would have had an interest in him either, since their 40-man roster was full.

2. Since there was no interest from any MLB club in claiming him off waivers for $20,000 at that time, the Cubs should have been secure knowing that nobody was going to select Snyder two months later in the December Rule 5 Draft for $50,000 either.

3. Snyder was not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA (Six-Year FA) post-2008, so he could not have refused an outright assignment.

4. Outrighting Snyder immediately after claiming him would have cleared the roster slot for (ultimately) Rule 5 Draft pick David Patton.

There should have been no need for the Cubs to try and outright Casey McGehee when they did, not because everybody was certain that McGehee was going to be an all-star or because it was obvious that he would get claimed off waivers or because the Cubs should have known that David Patton would prove to be a stiff, but rather because it wasn't necessary to take the chance that he might get claimed.

It was just plain tone-deaf roster management by the Cubs.

And I said so at the time, too.

wait starlin castro is a star already? whew and i was afraid expectations were out of line with reality.

the fact is he does need to buckle down on defense. he needs to learn that sometimes the best throw is the one you dont make. i know its gonna piss people off but he still isnt playing the position better than theriot not even close. all that range and speed dont mean squat if you cant make consistent throws and field the ball. if he keeps playing like that the of is his future.

"wait starlin castro is a star already? whew and i was afraid expectations were out of line with reality."

When you are asked to start at shortstop for a major league ball club, you are expected to make routine plays consistently and you are expected to make a few of the tough plays. Batting average is nice and all, but defensive holes actually lose games.

Maddux in background?


Check front page of site, better picture you can see his face.

Not quite a commitment to excellence but Sully reports

"Mike Quade held his team meeting Thursday morning, asking the players for a "recommitment to cleaning up some of the mistakes we've made"

Bruce Levine chat about to start

and cuts it short to chat with Silva

says Ninja has been okay and says a team would need to absorb $3.5M of his salary to claim him off waivers, otherwise Cubs could option him.

Silva unlikely to get cut with teams looking for pitching.

Sully: In the wake of the team meeting: "The Cubs have made 14 errors in four games. Starlin Castro will sit Thursday, though Quade said not to read anything into the decision."

you should be writing alarmist headlines for the tabloids...

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  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 7 hours 52 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 8 hours 26 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 11 hours 50 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 14 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 12 hours 38 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • crunch 16 hours 48 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 20 hours 41 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago view