Summing Up Sandberg

Jim Hendry says that he is in no rush to settle on and name Lou Piniella’s successor as the Cubs’ manager. Really? Then why travel all the way to Albuquerque to have lunch with Ryne Sandberg as Hendry did last week? Just to break the news gently that Ryno wouldn’t be called up to Chicago to peer over Mike Quade’s shoulder once Iowa’s season ended? I have a feeling that Sandberg believes, whether he’s been told so or not, that his laidbackness as a player has been a perceived weakness while he’s earned his managerial chops, so he’s sought to demonstrate that he can be fiery on an as needed basis. One of the things he may have been working on during his apprenticeship is the art of the timely ejection. As for Quade’s self-serving auditional mystery tour in Chicago, I’d be more inclined to give him points for a grandstand benching of Alfonso Soriano than the recently ballyhooed one of young Mr. Castro…

It looks like The Sandberg Effect was more pronounced on the PCL road than it was at home in Des Moines. The I-Cubs did go over the half million mark for the seventh time in franchise history, but fell well short of their all-time attendance record, partly because of the loss of a few dates to bad weather. The team also drew more than 500K on the road, something it did not do last year, to top the million mark with all games considered. Too bad for the team ownership that there’s no gate split in Triple A as there is in MLB…

How many autographs did the patient hall-of-famer sign? Well, here in Des Moines a fair estimate might be roughly 10,000. Here’s the math:  Approximately 15 minutes per home date while the starting pitcher warmed up x approximately 70 dates = 1,050 minutes [17.5 hours] @ 10 autographs per minute [one every six seconds] = 600 signed per hour x 17.5 = 10,500. Throw in his road show and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandberg’s signing hand needs an off-season scoping to be ready for spring training…

Sandberg told the Des Moines Register that he thoroughly enjoyed his summer here and seemed to leave the door open for a possible encore depending on decisions made elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how much curiosity other teams with managerial openings have about Sandberg if he doesn’t get the job in Chicago. He’s said more than once that the Cubs are his preferred job but not the only one he’d take given other opportunities. It’s fair to say that the body of his work over the last four years stamps him as more than a pretty name. He deserves serious consideration and it would seem inevitable now that he will manage in the big leagues whether the Cubs hire him or not. Given that likelihood, do they dare let him get away now? Besides earning his bona fides as a teacher of young players, handler of pitchers and in-game tactician he also would be a gate draw, the turnstile numbers in Iowa notwithstanding, at a time when sellouts are no longer a foregone conclusion. And he knows the territory in Chicago! The fact that he will never be quoted as saying that he didn’t realize what he was getting into may be decisive in combination with all of his other credentials. If Hendry doesn’t get some back channel smoke signals that Girardi wants to talk when the Yankees are finished I can imagine him moving quickly to name Sandberg after the Cubs’ season finally and mercifully ends so the organization will have maximum time to huddle up and plot a course toward 2011. If he waits on Girardi and can’t get him he may come back to Sandberg and find him already gone to another team. Sandberg isn’t begging for a chance now, as he effectively was when Piniella was hired. He’s managed, if you will, some leverage since then.

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Comments

I don't see why not letting him have a shot.

They are not going anywhere in 2011.

At least we won't have to hear the excuses of not knowing the expectations of the fans, day game, facilities..blah blah.

Thanks again Mikey for all your "remotes" this year.

They keep all of us who do not have a chance to follow the AAA affiliate regularly tuned in. Particularly with eye-witness accounts!

In my opinion, it is a done deal. Regardless of what Hendry says.

The team has nothing next year. You guys see the empty seats. I have not used my season tickets in a month. Can't sell them for half their value now.

So - it will be a typical and time-tested ploy from the underachieving organization to market something other than the actual ballclub: the charming Wrigley Field, Tradition, Its a Way of (losing) Life, Hack Wilson, Hawk, Williams, Banks, Fergie, The Bleachers - Sandberg fits perfectly.

As I have stated - nothing else has worked for a pennant or WS in my lifetime - so, WTF?

If the GM on this club does not get replaced after next year with an upper echelon baseball management talent, then Tom Ricketts is just like every other predecessor.

you're welcome!

My preference is that the Cubs go to a first-time manager who is hungry and has something to prove. I don't see the advantage of hiring a retread like Wedge or Gonzalez. They can also save some money for a year or two not having to pay a guy for his big name. On first-timers, I'd say Ryno's background and recent experience makes him as qualified as anybody.

The one "name" guy who's been mentioned who intrigues me is obviously Girardi, but I say it's a pipe dream. Unless he kicks Jeter in the balls as he's lining up to catch the winning pop-up in the World Series, I don't see how he isn't back there next year, win or lose.

I echo E-Man ... awesome job all season, Mike. Particularly what you, AZ Phil and Dr. Hecht do for this site makes it mandatory reading for any true fan.

10 autographs per minute [one every six seconds]

We were 30th in line and barely got ours signed, so I'd say he signs more like one every 20 seconds. The unofficial rule is one item per person, but there were people in line with 3 or 4 things. Plus every other one has to pose for a picture...

Not to bag on you or anything, since your advice got us there in time. A belated thanks!

more like one every 20 seconds. The unofficial rule is one item per person, but there were people in line with 3 or 4 things.,,
---
Rynometrics?

vs Sabermetrics, once again proving the pen is mightier than the sword.

i estimated 10,000 sigs; not 10,000 people - i still say one sig every six seconds is realistic; the night i paid my respects the usher was quoting a 2 item limit and i was way further back than #30 in line & made it to the front in plenty of time...

Very diaappointing performance by Cubs top pitching prospect RHP Chris Archer in the first game of the opening round of the Southern League playoffs tonight, as the young right-hander allows 8 runs (6 ER) in 3+ innings, and the Tennesse Smokies lose to the West Tenn DiamondJaxx 8-3. Game #2 is Friday night.

The 21-year old Archer was one of three pitchers acquired from Cleveland in the Mark DeRosa trade last year, and led all Cubs minor league pitchers in wins (15) and strikeouts (149) and all Cubs minor league starting pitchers in ERA (2.34) and OPP BA (.200) during the 2010 regular season. Also, Archer and OF Brett Jackson (2009 #1 draft pick out of Cal and the Cubs #1 position-player prospect) have been named to the 2010 Team USA roster for the Pan Am Games in October. (Archer was originally set to play in the AFL with B. Jackson and five other Cub minor leaguers, but was replaced by Chris Carpenter).

The Cubs moved four players to Tennessee prior to the start of the series with West Tenn, as RHSP Chris Carpenter, LHRP Luke Sommer, and C Robinson Chirinos were moved down to Tennessee from Iowa (this is allowed because all three players spent most of the 2010 season at Tennessee), and INF D. J. Lemahieu was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee (players assigned to clubs at lower levels can be moved up to a higher-level for post-season play). To make room for the four, RHSP Alberto Cabrera, RHRP Corey Martin, C Mark Reed, and IF-OF David Macias were demoted to Daytona from Tennessee.

The Smokies went into the series minus two of their better arms, as LHP Chris Rusin (2009 4th round pick out of U. of Kentucky) and RHP Ty'Relle Harris (recently acquired from ATL in the Derreek Lee deal) were placed on the 7-day DL last weekend.

AZ Phil-

Does that mean that Archer is skipping out on the AFL? Is Jackson still playing regardless because he can use the extra ABs and not wear down? If you could just elaborate on that a little bit, that would be very beneficial.

Submitted by W Flag on Thu, 09/09/2010 - 10:19pm.
AZ Phil-

Does that mean that Archer is skipping out on the AFL? Is Jackson still playing regardless because he can use the extra ABs and not wear down? If you could just elaborate on that a little bit, that would be very beneficial.

====================================

W FLAG: The Cubs do not want Chris Archer to throw any more innings beyond what he will be throwing in the SL playoffs and for Team USA in the Pan Am games (he threw 142 innings between Daytona and Tennessee in the regular seson), but there is no such concern about Brett Jackson because he is a position player, and the more ABs he can get, the sooner he might be ready for the big leagues.

Archer threw 68 pitches tonight and might pitch again Monday on three days' rest. Carpenter is scheduled to go tomorrow. Saturday and Sunday: Muschko and McNutt?

I didn't realize Rusin was hurt but I now see that he came out of a game on August 19 after two innings and hasn't seen action since.

Not too many pitches considering he was getting knocked around.

Yeah, he had an oblique injury. Muschko is also out hurt.

Carpenter went yesterday and McNutt today.

Sorry, I was wrong. Muschko isn't hurt (Rafael Dolis and Ty'Rell Harris are).

Muschko starts tomorrow as the Smokies look to close out the series.

Thanks for the update, AZ Phil. I am wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, whether or not you will be attending any of the Fall Instructs down there? I think any Cub faithful that takes an interest in the minor leagues is chomping at the bit to get some kind of non-biased scouting report of both Hayden Simpson and the new Korean, something-something Kim. I am also interested in hearing how Ben Wells does.

Carpenter, Chirinos & Sommer all came up big for the I-Cubs in the recent showdown series w/ Memphis; at least THEY made the playoffs!

nice article

thank you!

Maybe they should move RYNO to the Smokies for the playoffs. Unheard of, but the more umps he intimidates the better his reputation later on. It worked for Lou (who?) for a while...

Then there's the slogan for '11 - 'One Goal!' OR 'The first order of business is to beat the Green Bay Pirates.'

Remember what the big issue was at ST last March: Will the Cubs move to Naples?

Let Sandberg loose with the kids! That's LOOSE, not lose...

i hate everything

I beg to differ. Not with the post in itself, as such, but with the little *new mark in red off to the side.

Check this out, someone snuck a fake press release into the media packet for tonight's Cubs-Brewers game:
-----------
"The rivalry between the Cubs and Brewers isn't what it was a couple years ago, but it could get ugly now.

The Cubs aren't going to like hearing that a fake press release was inserted with the game day press notes in the Miller Park press box describing a fake book which was supposedly authored by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.

Under a headline that said "A new book certain to be a best seller" was the fake book title: "How to Finish Near Last Place with the Highest Payroll in the League."
-----------

Full story here:
http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/09/...

The fake press release goes on to rip Hendry in detail.

too awesome.

Hard to defend hendry these days

lol!

via rotoworld, via CM's mlb blog...

Cubs interim manager Mike Quade said he hopes to start Jeff Samardzija against the Marlins on September 18, though plans are not "set in stone."

Starting Samardzija instead of Coleman, right? Basically trading some control for some velocity. Don't see any good reason why not, as long as the Cubs know they are paying him and have to keep him at the big league level for 2011.

...and Z's ERA drops below 4.00 after 6ip

neat.

Aroldis Chapman in the 11th for Cincy, per MLB gameday...

3. Garrett Jones strikes out swinging.
Pitch 5  Swinging Strike (89.9 mph Cutter)
Pitch 4  Ball (103.4 mph Fastball)
Pitch 3  Ball (103.3 mph Fastball)
Pitch 2  Swinging Strike (90.1 mph Cutter)
Pitch 1  Foul (102.1 mph Fastball)

That guy (Chapman) throws some serious heat -- especially for a lefty. In the mold of Koufax/R. Johnson... and I don't know if Johnson ever topped 103 mph.

Holy balls!

baker/castro/byrd/soto/nady/fuku/sori/dewitt

Soriano batting 7th again...hmmmm.

Soto bats cleanup.

No argument from me.

Same manager that was batting Soto 8th two weeks ago? Schizophrenia must be one of the things Hendry looks for in a manager.

Tenn Smokies ahead 6-1 in top 5th

McNutt 3 hits in 4 IP. Only run scored on a wild pitch

Campana started the game with an inside the park HR and is 4-4 thru 5.

Canzler and Spencer homer in the sixth, 9-1.

We all hear projections of Brett Jackson as the Cub leadoff hitter and CF of the future. What are the chances that a "waterbug" (I heard Oneri Fleta call him this) like Tony Campana becomes a better choice for leadoff hitter and CF pushing Jackson to LF/RF?

Submitted by Cubster on Sat, 09/11/2010 - 7:00pm.
We all hear projections of Brett Jackson as the Cub leadoff hitter and CF of the future. What are the chances that a "waterbug" (I heard Oneri Fleta call him this) like Tony Campana becomes a better choice for leadoff hitter and CF pushing Jackson to LF/RF?

========================================================

CUBSTER: If Brett Jackson wasn't the Cubs #1 position-player prospect, I suppose Tony Campana would have a shot at being the Cubs future lead-of hitter and CF. But B. Jackson will play CF and hit lead-off when he arrives in Chicago.

While Jackson has the range and enough arm to play CF, I don't think he has the arm to play RF at the MLB level, and he won't be moved to the #3 slot in the lineup until he becomes an established big league player.

Campana right now probably profiles as an MLB 4th OF, although he could be given a shot at more playing time if he were to get traded to another organization.

Campana's biggest negatives are a lack of SLUG power (he's basically a slap hitter), and a tendency to be hyper-aggressive on the bases such that he runs himself into outs at inopportune times.

Campana will likely play CF and hit lead-off at Iowa in 2011, replacing Sam Fuld on the organizational depth chart. (Fuld will be out of minor league options next season, making him a likely candidate to get traded during the off-season).

Phil
In the previous thread you listed a lineup wth Byrd leadding off. I was thinking that if Dunn does in fact become a Cub, this lineup would be Red Sox-esque in terms of pitches seen and wearing down an opposing starter:
DeWitt
Castro
Dunn
Ramirez
Soto
Byrd
Colvin
Soriano

Feel free to flip Soto/Ramirez, Colvin/Soriano

I didn't realize that Jackson would lead off, even until his power comes in. Don't you think when he is called up next year they might break him in at the 7 or 8 spot like they did with Castro?

I also considered Castro could be a good leadoff candidate next year if DeWitt isn't seen as the answer at 2B. Thanks for your comments, as always

Players like Campana always profile as 4th OF, but they end up getting more playing time than respect.

When Jackson moved up to Tennessee, they had three solid outfielders with pop, Jackson, Guyer and Spencer. Did Campana become the 4th OF?

No, Spencer did. The franchise's "leadoff man of the future" and "CF of the future" batted second and played right most days, yielding to Campana in center and at leadoff.

Jackson also was new to AA and Spencer flat out isn't that good.

Phil is talking about the players Campana will be competing with at the MLB level, not the AA level.

I'm sure if Campana could maintain an OBP over .370 he would get plenty of playing time at any level. If he can't do that, then he'll definitely need to cut down on those CS. The 48 stolen bases look nice, but he was also caught 20 times this year, which means AA pitchers and catchers are nailing him 29% of the time.

He's also two years older than Jackson.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 6:23am.
Players like Campana always profile as 4th OF, but they end up getting more playing time than respect.

When Jackson moved up to Tennessee, they had three solid outfielders with pop, Jackson, Guyer and Spencer. Did Campana become the 4th OF?

No, Spencer did. The franchise's "leadoff man of the future" and "CF of the future" batted second and played right most days, yielding to Campana in center and at leadoff.

======================================================

VA PHIL: Campana right now probably profiles as an MLB 4th OF, although he could be given a shot at more playing time if he were to get traded to another organization.

Campana's biggest negatives are a lack of SLUG power (he's basically a slap hitter), and a tendency to be hyper-aggressive on the bases such that he runs himself into outs at inopportune times.

Campana will likely play CF and hit lead-off at Iowa in 2011, replacing Sam Fuld on the organizational depth chart. (Fuld will be out of minor league options next season, making him a likely candidate to get traded during the off-season).

The player I would compare Tony Campana to is Nyjer Morgan, who has been an everyday CF and lead-off hitter with both Pittsburgh and Washington, but probably would be just a 4th OF elsewhere.

Additionally, I believe Matt Spencer will likely play 1B at Iowa in 2011, with Wright-Campana-Adduci LF-CF-RF, and Guyer the 4th OF (although he'll play regularly), and occasionally some 1B-3B, too, so he can get experience at as many positions as possible. (Guyer was a 3B in HS, but was bumped to LF at UVA because Ryan Zimmerman was the Cav 3B).

I suspect Brett Jackson will begin the 2011 season playing CF and hitting lead-off at AA, and (like Castro) he could go directly to MLB from AA. BTW, B. Jackson played 62 games in the OF at Daytona in 2010 (all 62 in CF), and then he played 55 games in the OF at Tennessee (20 in CF, 18 in RF, and 17 in LF). So he did NOT play RF "most days."

I also would not be surprised if Ryan Flaherty moves to LF at AA next season (with Ridling-Lemahieu-Lake-Vitters 1B-2B-SS-3B), although he would also play some 1B-2B-SS-3B as he morphs into a super-sub. The big negative with Flaherty is that he really struggles versus LHP (even in "A"-ball), so that when and if he does make it to MLB, he'll probably be a platoon "supersub" and LHPH.

LIKELY 2011 AAA IOWA CUBS OPENING DAY STARTING LINEUP:

Tony Campana, CF
Tony Thomas, 2B
Brandon Guyer, LF
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, 1B
Welington Castillo, C
James Adduci, RF
Matt Camp, SS
Jay Jackson, P

LIKELY 2011 AA TENNESSEE OPENING DAY STARTING LINEUP

Brett Jackson, CF
D. J. Lemahieu, 2B
Josh Vitters, 3B
Ryan Flaherty, LF
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Michael Brenly, C
Kyler Burke, RF
Junior Lake, SS
Chris Archer, P

Phil,

Is it still unlikely that Burke would convert to LHP? His future as a batter looks pretty questionable after he failing to follow up what some had said could be his breakout season (2009). If he's not converting, do you think it's because Burke doesn't want to or because the organization isn't asking him to?

Thanks, as always, Phil!

Submitted by Charlie on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 8:46am.
Phil,

Is it still unlikely that Burke would convert to LHP? His future as a batter looks pretty questionable after he failing to follow up what some had said could be his breakout season (2009). If he's not converting, do you think it's because Burke doesn't want to or because the organization isn't asking him to?

Thanks, as always, Phil!

=================================================

CHARLIE: The Cubs never convert a position-player to pitcher or to catcher unless the player agrees to the switch. (For instance, Ryan Harvey was asked, but refused). While Burke probably SHOULD be a pitcher, he apparently doesn't feel that way (yet). But if he shows up at Instructs as a LHP, I certainly would not be surprised. All he needs to do is look at where ex-OF Luke Sommer is right now.

That said, if he does remain an OF, I believe Burke will almost certainly get promoted to AA next year and will play RF everyday there, mainly because there just aren't any other obvious in-house candidates to play RF at Tennessee next season, and partly because there are too many other outfielders (Evan Crawford, D. J. Fitzgerald, Jae-Hoon Ha, Nelson Perez, and Jose Valdez) who need to play at Daytona in 2011. As it is, either Smaily Borges or David Macias (both release candidates) will probably survive another year, just because there will need to be a 4th OF at Tennessee. And if Burke converts to LHP, then both Borges and Macias will likely begin the 2011 season at Tennessee.

len references fangraphs.com

ha...awesome.

cubs win...awesome game

Final Tenn 9, WTenn 2

W-McNutt
L- Grube

HR's- Campana, Canzler, Spencer

Campana 4 for 6

Tenn takes 2-1 lead in this best of 5 series. Clinch possibilities in either of the games which go back to the Smokies Park.

I do like the way they give home field advantage to the top ranked team. The only home game for West Tenn was tonight, game 3.

oh and Marmol gets save #30, 1-0 Cubs winner for Dempster on a Nady HR

The Marshall vs Fielder matchup in the 8th was fantastic (Fielder K'd on 4 pitches) with the last pitch a Marshall fastball after 3 big curves. That was the at bat where Len mentioned the fangraphs article that Marshall is pitching "backwards" more than ever before.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/sean...

dumpster's 100th win, too.

I was just going to link to this article.

They also had another on Soto (possible 3/44) that was really good. The nutshell version:
Soto is really good, especially at identifying balls and strikes
Koyie Hill sucks and Lou was a jackass for playing him so much
Soto should be hitting middle of the order instead of 8

All stuff you guys know already, but the article contains a lot of interesting stats.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/soto...

Aramis talks about his option:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/09/...

Ramirez said the naming of the new manager won't factor into his decision.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "I don't think a $6 or $7 million manager is going to make any difference. You've still got to have good players. That's the key."

------

...snap. good HEALTHY players helps, too...just saying...snap...

that said, i dont see him walking way from a near sure-thing 16m payday season where he's only on the hook 1 year (after a down season).

"good HEALTHY INTERESTED IN PLAYING players"

/fixed

colvin/quade...first base thoughts...aka, not now

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/09/91...

also, via CM

#Cubs Carlos Marmol didn't keep game ball from Sat nite for his 30th save but gave it to Ryan Dempster, who picked up 100th win. Nice

castro with his 25th error...should be 30+ if not for some official scoring, imo.

at least he can smack the ball around...though he only has 5 walks out of that #2 slot in about 250ab (28 Ks).

I'm confused by what he was doing on that play. There were two outs, but he set up like he had to catch and snap the ball over to second in one motion like he was trying to turn a double play. I wonder whether he forgot how many outs there were, or tried to make a difficult play toward second in order to avoid throwing the ball across the diamond.

If he forgot how many outs again, I have to wonder what is distracting him.

he rushes almost every single play he goes into. part of it is not thinking or knowing how fast a lot of these guys can run.

youth gets a pass...inexperience gets a pass...he's expected to take a bit of time to learn this.

it's just hard to watch a guy field and throw a bullet to 1st on a guy like mcgeehee who runs slow as dirt only to pull the 1st baseman off the bag 3+ steps before mcgehehehehe even arrives...this didn't result in a charged error yesterday, btw.

Luckily he's learning in a meaningless season.

and marlon "i'm not injured, seriously, quit asking" byrd limping back to the dugout.

CarrieMuskat: #Cubs Carlos Silva out with strained right elbow; Jeff Samardzija to start Mon vs #Cardinals
---
I'm thinkin' why not get the Tommy John surgery now and call it a contract?

Maybe Shark beat Carlos in an Arm Wrestling deathmatch.

Smokies Win series from WTenn, 3-1. They won tonight 5-2, Muschko 6 IP, 2 runs. Hold-Smit, Save-Sommer

2-run HR - Clevenger
Spencer 3-4

Not to mention Brett Jackson, who was 3 for 5 with 3(!) doubles in his first 3 ABs.

Yeah...but he strikes out too much....? Lmao..

Go ahead and list all the 150 K doubles machines playing in the majors, hahahaha.

Please list all seasons where Brett Jackson struck out 150 times... I dunno..I'd take a player who puts up a
.297/.395/.493 Neal. He struck out 126 times, and walked 73. 32 doubles, 14 triples, and 12 HR's..30 steals in 41 attempts.

In the top 10 leaders in doubles this season:
Evan Longoria: 118 K's
Jayson Werth 139 K's
Andres Torres: 122 K's

Would you rather have a guy hitting .270/.340/.420 who only K's 60 times, but puts up lesser numbers?

Yeah, but the kid doesn't really love baseball

Do you not know that the major league season is longer than the minor league season? Do you not know that it's easier to get doubles in the minors because the fielders are not as good? Do you have no understanding of the BABIP concept?

The one good comparison on your list of players is a guy who didn't get a starting gig until 8 years after he hit the majors and guess what? He's not going to keep it for long. Wanna know why? Because if you don't hit HR's, you can't be striking out 150 times a season. Write it down, put it on your mirror, internalize it.

Again, I'll take the guy putting up numbers, who strikes out more...as long as he continues to walk, hit, and flash some power....Jackson has done all of those things Neal....he's shown no reason to doubt his hitting..it's not like he's put up huge numbers in the California League, then nowhere else...Jackson hit well in Daytona and Tennessee. He has 32 doubles, 14 triples, and 12 HR's, and he's only 22. If he comes to MLB...and strikes out 150 times, but puts up .275/.350/.440 as a rookie....I'd take that too. Let's not damn Brett Jackson to being a failure just yet.

Jayson Werth age 21 season:
.271/.382/.472, 26 2B, 1 3B, 20 HR, 83 RBI, 60 runs, 14/17 steals, 80 walks, 112 K's

Jackson:.297/.395/.483, 32 2B, 14 3B, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 103 runs, 30/41 SB, 73 walks, 126 K's

Werth has more power, Jackson projects more speed. I do apologize I can't find 3,456 exact matches for the style of player Jackson projects to be....

Matt Kemp might be a good comparison, especially since he plays center. Kemp averages 149 Ks. No offensive number in particular is high, but when you add them all together, including SBs, you can't get him out of the lineup. In an off season, he's leading the league in games played.

Of course, the more I look at Kemp's numbers, the more I hope that Jackson is a better player. Maybe what is keeping Kemp in the lineup is the Dodger-prospect hype machine.

Kemp didn't strike out nearly that much in the minors though, at least not as he progressed.

Neal's being kind by saying Jackson will only strikeout 150 times in the majors. His K rate is 22% per PA in the minors which is something that tends to get higher up the ladder.

Hee Seop Choi had similar K rates if you want a cautionary tale.

Carlos Gonzalez had similar K rates in the minors, but more home runs. Austin Jackson might be a better comparable.

Neither Austin Jackson nor Matt Kemp walked quite as much as Brett Jackson does either. I don't know if that's significant, but it's something I'm keeping an eye on.

I keep thinking of him as sort of a Jim Edmonds type, albeit one who will probably strike out more and not hit as many homeruns (I doubt we'll see him approach 30 except perhaps in a career year). That wouldn't be terrible, at least in the years before he becomes a free agent.

Brett Jackson strikes out more than we'd like. Of course, but to ignore all the other positives and harp on that?

Other than OF at AA, the Cubs are fairly solid and deep at most positions at AAA and AA headed into 2011, but I think one area the Cubs will look to address by signing a minor league FA from outside the organization is SS, someone with AAA and MLB experience who will compete with Darwin Barney for the Cubs back-up middle-infield job in ST, with the loser being the #1 SS at Iowa (and then with Matt Camp moving back to an IF-OF supersub role at AAA).

Also, if the Cubs outright James Adduci to AAA post-season (and I think that's fairly likely), Adduci can be a Rule 55 minor league FA (6YFA), and I suspect he would take the opportunity to leave the organization and try his luck elsewhere where he might have a better chance to get to the big leagues as a back-up OF. If that happens, then I think Matt Spencer would probably play mainly RF (rather than 1B) at Iowa in 2011, with Blake Lalli playing 1B. Otherwise Lalli will likely return to AA in 2011, even though he has definitely earned a shot at AAA. Lalli is a VERY good hitter (albeit with just occasional HR power), and he can also catch or play 3B in a pinch.

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