Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Randy Winn or Marlon Byrd
I had to take a break from the series last week cause of that annoying paying job that I jeopardize every day spending way too much time here on TCR. So I'm gonna double up the efforts and today we look at some more potential center field candidates. Let's start with Randy Winn.
|TBD (5 yrs)||519||2047||1836||264||513||94||28||24||182||80||46||165||347||.279||.342||.400||.743||95|
|SFG (5 yrs)||666||2799||2533||343||735||169||18||51||262||73||20||209||367||.290||.345||.432||.776||100|
|SEA (3 yrs)||416||1799||1612||233||462||96||11||31||193||56||18||131||259||.287||.345||.417||.762||104|
|AL (8 yrs)||935||3846||3448||497||975||190||39||55||375||136||64||296||606||.283||.343||.408||.752||99|
|NL (5 yrs)||666||2799||2533||343||735||169||18||51||262||73||20||209||367||.290||.345||.432||.776||100|
It's gonna be hard to get excited about a guy with a .262//318/353 slash line last season. You can't even attribute it to an unlucky BABIP as it was .314 last year. No, his power disappeared hitting just two home runs after a healthy stretch of double digits. He did hit a measly 1.4% of HR/FB which is Ryan Theriot 2007/2008 low, so maybe there's a little bounceback (7.8% in his career albeit steadily declining).
Defensively, his UZR remains excellent over the last few seasons, as does his Rate2 and the Fan's Scouting Report considers him above average. Unfortunately most of that has been in right field and with the declining stolen base numbers you have to think he may not have the range for center, even in the cozy Wrigley Field confines.
While the novelty of a reunion between the player the Rays traded to get Lou Piniella and Lou would be a neat angle for the papers, I assume the Cubs will pass on the soon-to-be 36 year old. Despite his switch-hitting ability and potential leadoff qualities, his stolen base numbers are merely okay and he only walks 8% of the time and sees well under 4 pitches per plate appearance, so I don't think this would be much of a match for the Cubs.
|PHI (4 yrs)||256||982||889||136||241||43||6||13||79||13||5||68||173||.271||.332||.377||.709||86|
|TEX (3 yrs)||377||1515||1364||196||402||88||14||40||212||20||9||107||248||.295||.352||.468||.820||112|
|WSN (2 yrs)||152||472||413||48||101||23||3||7||44||8||4||40||94||.245||.318||.366||.683||82|
|NL (5 yrs)||408||1454||1302||184||342||66||9||20||123||21||9||108||267||.263||.327||.373||.701||85|
|AL (3 yrs)||377||1515||1364||196||402||88||14||40||212||20||9||107||248||.295||.352||.468||.820||112|
The rumors flooded the TCR newsroom yesterday (i.e. Google Reader) with the Cubs targeting Marlon Byrd as their potential new center fielder. When I made a cursory list of guys I might look at it in this series, Byrd was on the radar as a potential 4th outfielder, but leave it to Jim Hendry and the Cubs to make him a top priority.
Anyway, Byrd was a top prospect in the Phillies system, one of the top prospects in the game at the time, but fizzled out before the Phillies gave up on him and moved him to the Nationals for Endy Chavez. It didn't go much better for him there, but then Texas gave him a shot and whether it was Rudy Jamarillo or the Ballpark or fate, he bounced back with three solid, albeit unspectacular seasons in Texas.
Home: 309/375/522 with a HR every 27.20 AB
Road: 281/321/414 with a HR every 45.60 AB
vs. LHP: 277/336/462 with a HR every 28.93 AB
vs. RHP: 302/359/470 with a HR every 36.89 AB
It isn't like Wrigley isn't friendly as well, but those home/road splits have to be a little worrisome. His lefty vs righty splits aren't too pronounced, actually showing a bit of a reverse split so the Cubs need not worry about matchups too much.
Now one of the things the Cubs are said to be looking for is a run-producer/RBI guy and Byrd did have some decent RBI totals the last 3 years, particularly relative to his plate appearances. That included driving in 17.9% of the runners on base when he got up in 2009 which is an above average mark along with 18.4% in 2007, but just 12.5% in 2008, so you can see how volatile and unreliable hitting with runners on can be.
Defensively, he had a UZR/150 of 10.9, 10.9 and -2.8 over the last three years while bouncing around all three outfield spots, so it's tough to say from that if he'll be much of an improvement in center field. BP is kinder to him in LF and RF (109 and 107) then in CF( 95) for his career using Rate2, but it all suffers from small sample size issues as does UZR. The Fan's Scouting Report seemed to consider him as just a bit above average over the last three years.
He did walk an abysmal 5.5% of the time in 2009 which isn't too far off from his 7.5% career mark...both of which are below the standards I'd like to see the Cubs employ. The Cubs pursuit of Byrd shouldn't come as too much of a shock as they tried to acquire him for Matt Murton last season but were rebuffed, so obviously they've believed in skills for awhile. I guess we'll see how this unravels, but I'd probably prefer Mike Cameron on a one year deal (if that is in the cards) over Byrd and a likely multi-year deal, but I don't think we know the market yet for either player.
Check out Arizona Phil's Top 15 Cubs Prospects and enter our TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.