Guest Column

A Hawk Sighting

by Darrel Rade

According to a number of reliable and trusted sources, the Chicago Cubs will be seeing a familiar face back in uniform. It appears that Andre Dawson will be back on the Cubs payroll for the upcoming season, which is thrilling news for fans. The Hall of Famer has been working with the Marlins for the past few seasons as a special assistant. Dawson was fired from the Marlins and that decision was quickly rescinded. However, Dawson has made bigger and better plans and will be coming back to join the Cubs.

Extending Mr. Hendricks

by Moshe W.

Kyle Hendricks will be aggressively targeted by the Cubs for an extension this offseason. 

Hendricks was not a top draft pick (8th round, 2011) and only received a $125k signing bonus. His career earnings to date are a respectable, but not life altering, $2m. As a pitcher, Hendricks knows he is always one bad injury away from losing everything. Combine that with the low career earnings total, and Hendricks is likely interested in some serious guaranteed money, even if it does entail giving the Cubs a little discount. 

The Top 10 Vintage Cubs Baseball Cards of All-time

by Ross Uitts

If you’re like a lot of baseball fans, then you’re also a fan of vintage baseball cards. Some of us collected as kids and have a nostalgic soft spot for them. Others just like the way they look and the history they represent. Whatever the reason, there’s no question they have their place in the game.

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of the best vintage Cubs baseball cards of all-time. And it was fun, but man it was much tougher than I thought it would be. 

Soler vs. the Cubans

by CubsfaninCA

There have been a lot of opinions on the floor and ceiling for Jorge Soler since he started his career. Most agreed that he had a solid floor, but opinions on the ceiling varied and he was even described as “possibly the best in the organization, might be better than Bryant.”  I think it’s safe to say that’s not going to be the case. (If it is, he’s got some catching up to do this year already.) With most players you could easily pull up some players for comparison, but Cuban players generally have different developmental paths than most major leaguers do.

Soler has passed the 300 PA mark, so it’s typically safe to say a lot of his numbers are stabilizing to some point. He’s been heating up lately so maybe he’d fare better if I waited a couple more weeks, 300 is a nice round number. We can thus take some similar Cuban players over their first 300 PA--I actually used their first 72 games, in most cases about the same--and see how they worked out. Obviously there are some apples to oranges, especially considering the advanced age of players like Jose Abreu, but these are the 12 other significant Cuban players still in the league compared against Soler. The left side of the chart is their career numbers (thus far) and the right side is how they fared after their first 72 games, ranked by their OPS after those 72 games.

Do the Cardinals Really Know How to Draft Pitchers Better?

by CubsfaninCA

Much has been made over the Cardinals “voodoo” that suddenly takes no-name pitchers and makes them stars. They seem to do the same with some hitters on occasion, but it’s mostly the pitchers that seem to come out of nowhere.

I wondered if it’s luck or voodoo, or do they really just know how to draft and/or develop pitchers better than other teams.  So I went through the last 10 drafts and pulled out the pitchers drafted by 4 teams—the Cards, our Cubs, the Braves (who also seem to have an abundance of young pitching) and the Phillies (who lately as an organization don’t seem to be doing anything well). I listed the pitchers who got to the majors and to eliminate the cup of coffee guys, used 20 Ks as a minimum threshold.   

There were a few interesting anomalies: the Cards drafted Michael Stutes but he didn’t sign and later signed with the Phillies, the Cubs originally signed Sonny Gray but he also didn’t sign, and it was fun seeing our own Brian Schlitter’s name in another team’s column.

Best Cubs Drafts

I was intrigued by the recent ESPN article that proclaimed the 1968 Los Angeles Dodgers draft to be the best ever. The Dodgers picks that year were exceptional. All told across the various January and June drafts, the Dodgers drafted and signed EIGHT players that would go on to have successful major league careers. They are listed below with their career WAR according to Baseball Reference: