The Second Coming of Bill Madlock?
This topic doesn't really merit a full post, but the site won't allow me to reply directly to inquiries aimed my way about Marquez Smith so I took another route in.
I've assembled a hodgepodge of data about Mr. Smith and pasted it below. He's been on a tear of late and helped keep the team afloat at the top of the PCL standings while many of his teammates have been called up to sink their parents toward the bottom of the NL Central. There's a link to a recent feature in the Des Moines Register, a clip from a recent edition of I-Cub game notes summarizing his hot streak, an excerpt from those same notes that shows the team has a much better record with Matt Camp at 3rd than Smith [FWIW], a "scouting report" from his former coach at Clemson [wasn't he a teammate of Colvin's there?] who extols his defensive abilities and a stat line from his brief demotion to Tennessee in the spring where he really did nothing to merit a recall to Triple A. I can't remember the circumstances of his return to Des Moines, but he has certainly capitalized on the renewed opportunity. As for AZP's estimation of former third-sackers Smith might ultimately equate to, why not shoot for the moon and invoke the memory of Bill Madlock? He's built along the same lines as I remember Madlock, although Mad Dog's listed in stat archives at a mere 180 lbs., substantially fewer than Marquez is pulling around behind him. Smith is a low center of gravity guy which might lend itself to the dives so often called for at the corner. When I've seen him he has impressed at the plate and not really done anything one way or another to draw my scrutiny as a fielder.
Will Clemson have the Cub infield cornered in 2012?
ON THE MARQ: With two more hits last night, 3B Marquez Smith extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games and has hit safley his last 12 starts. In those 12 games, Smith is batting .512 (22-for-43) with 15 runs scored, five doubles, nine home runs and 20 RBI. He has hit nine home runs in his last 14 games. For the month of August, Smith leads the league in batting (.429), home runs (9), slugging (1.00), and OPS (1.492). He is tied for the league lead with Mat Gamel of Nashville with 14 extra-base hits and tied with Jason Lane of Las Vegas with 56 total bases. He is second in the league with 21 RBI (Bret Pill of Fresno has 22) and in on-base percentage (.492).
Marquez Smith Tennessee 5/15-6/3 .182 16 44 8 8 2 0 3 5 5 13 0 0 1
Smith 58 (31-27), Camp 34 (23-11),
"Marquez is one of the better third-baseman, certainly in the ACC and maybe in the country. He played a lot last year as our third-baseman. His fielding percentage, consistency, and accuracy are all outstanding. He has great hands and is going to hit in the middle of the order. He's a great team player, and he's one of the keys to our success."
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.