Minor League Musings

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby sneakypower » Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:15 pm

Bertz wrote:If we have the possibility of a ~115 wRC+ from internal 1B options next year

spoiler alert: we absolutely don't
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:54 pm

The 20 hottest prospect in baseball last week: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... dium=email

2. Kevin Alcantara, OF, Cubs
Team: Low-A Myrtle Beach (Carolina)
Age: 19

Why He’s Here: .417/.481/.958 (10-for-24), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 3 BB, 6 SO

The Scoop: A great deal of Alcantara’s week unfolded in a massive effort on Sunday afternoon. The outfielder, who came over to the Cubs from the Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo trade last summer, closed the series against Carolina by going 4-for-6 with a triple and two homers in the Pelicans’ rout of the Mudcats. Overall, the tooled-up outfielder has performed quite well in his first test at full-season ball, hitting .285/.371/.528 in 50 games this year. Alcantara was long known for his exciting upside. This year, he’s beginning to realize some of that potential. (JN)


10. Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee
Age: 22

Why He’s Here: .400/.444/.840 (10-for-25), 2 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Canario understandably went through an adjustment period after being promoted to Double-A in early May, but he broke out in a big way last week. The 22-year-old outfielder racked up 10 hits, including six extra-base hits, in a span of three days at Biloxi. That included the game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning on June 9, a massive three-run homer that cleared the trees beyond the left-field fence on June 10 and the decisive two-run homer to lead Tennessee to a win on June 11. Canario has as much raw power as anyone in the Cubs’ system, and he showed just how dangerous he can be when he gets to it. (KG)
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:13 pm



Oof that doesn't look great. I do wonder if being able to spend the rest of the year on strength and conditioning isn't the worst thing in the world. You don't have to look any further than Kevin Made for a guy who shows the difference an offseason of physical maturation can make.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubinNY » Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:55 pm

Bertz wrote:https://twitter.com/NSideBound/status/1537843907332935680?t=uS7F5AR4Cl3hyu3VP8k_5A&s=19

Oof that doesn't look great. I do wonder if being able to spend the rest of the year on strength and conditioning isn't the worst thing in the world. You don't have to look any further than Kevin Made for a guy who shows the difference an offseason of physical maturation can make.

Looks like Howard will have some buddies in the gym this offseason.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby craig » Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:58 pm

2 thoughts: Preciado has super-skinny legs. The non-braced leg, look how slender that is. He's young, so has lots of time to get stronger as you say. But some guys are just born to have slender limbs? There's a chance that he's one of them?

Made may look more physically put together now than a year ago, I don't have good recall. But performance-wise, he's not looking that much more physically powerful? His walk-rate has vaulted, more than 5-times higher, so that's great. But his slugging has jumped only a trace, from .366 to .390, not much of a jump. (His average is a little lower than last year.). Last year 17 XBH in 235 AB; this year only 9 XBH in 123 AB. So his XBH rate has barely moved at all, although he's turned a couple of doubles into HR.

I'd actually hoped to see a much more noticeable increase in his hitting and power output with an extra year of strength and experience. Still got some season left, so perhaps that might still come. But it doesn't look like his hitting or power has shown any significant jump, only his walking.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:00 pm

craig wrote:2 thoughts: Preciado has super-skinny legs. The non-braced leg, look how slender that is. He's young, so has lots of time to get stronger as you say. But some guys are just born to have slender limbs? There's a chance that he's one of them?

Made may look more physically put together now than a year ago, I don't have good recall. But performance-wise, he's not looking that much more physically powerful? His walk-rate has vaulted, more than 5-times higher, so that's great. But his slugging has jumped only a trace, from .366 to .390, not much of a jump. (His average is a little lower than last year.). Last year 17 XBH in 235 AB; this year only 9 XBH in 123 AB. So his XBH rate has barely moved at all, although he's turned a couple of doubles into HR.

I'd actually hoped to see a much more noticeable increase in his hitting and power output with an extra year of strength and experience. Still got some season left, so perhaps that might still come. But it doesn't look like his hitting or power has shown any significant jump, only his walking.


I think looking at something like XBH rate can be a bit misleading. You can get an XBH from a 78 MPH bloop just as easily as a 114 MPH screamer can be an out. With the limitations we have on minor league data, I think the first place I look is HR/FB rate, and Made's has increased 4x from 2.6% to 11.1%.

Now maybe it's less strength and more better decision making, but in the absence of Statcast data I think that's the most compelling data point we have.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby chi89cubs » Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:50 pm

Anyone like to have a go at Rule 5? Looks like we will lose 1 0r 2 players at least through it.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:00 pm

chi89cubs wrote:Anyone like to have a go at Rule 5? Looks like we will lose 1 0r 2 players at least through it.


I made a post last week in the transactions forum, but yeah it looks like it's gonna be an issue:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4291&p=499439#p498977

The team has enough roster spots that we don't have to worry about protecting the most important guys, but they'll probably have to leave a few guys on the level of a Brendon Little unprotected, which is not ideal. I hope Jed takes some steps this deadline to get ahead of this, rather than being forced into trade(s) at the end of November just to clear up roster room.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:23 pm



3rd in xFIP too so not just dong luck
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby muntjack » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:34 pm

craig wrote:
Made may look more physically put together now than a year ago, I don't have good recall. But performance-wise, he's not looking that much more physically powerful? His walk-rate has vaulted, more than 5-times higher, so that's great. But his slugging has jumped only a trace, from .366 to .390, not much of a jump. (His average is a little lower than last year.). Last year 17 XBH in 235 AB; this year only 9 XBH in 123 AB. So his XBH rate has barely moved at all, although he's turned a couple of doubles into HR.

I'd actually hoped to see a much more noticeable increase in his hitting and power output with an extra year of strength and experience. Still got some season left, so perhaps that might still come. But it doesn't look like his hitting or power has shown any significant jump, only his walking.



He had a good game (2B, HR) since you posted this, but I'm really excited that he went from 1 HR in 235 AB to 4 HR in 130 AB, while increasing his BB % from 2.5% to 13.5%. I feel like that's great progress and I already liked him more than Howard.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:34 pm

Positive reviews on Ryan Jensen’s new shorter arm action, Jake Slaughter, Javier Assad, Matt Mervis and even reliever Blake Whitney. Not so positive about Canario.

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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby sneakypower » Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:48 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:https://twitter.com/aramleighton8/status/1539255540718653446?s=21&t=aUDb2eB-3vALYvzatM8Rsg

20211201_191053.jpg
20211201_191053.jpg (32.07 KiB) Viewed 1456 times
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubinNY » Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:14 pm

The Twins high A team (Ceder Rapids) is 20 games above .500 and sports a +121 RD in 66 games in the Midwest League. That is pretty amazing.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:12 pm

CubinNY wrote:The Twins high A team (Ceder Rapids) is 20 games above .500 and sports a +121 RD in 66 games in the Midwest League. That is pretty amazing.


The Cubs single-A team is 28 games above .500 with a +149 RD in a similar 66 games. They’re tops in wins and RD in all of minor league baseball.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:45 pm

The Athletic has a fairly detailed write up on the state of play with Davis and PCA: https://theathletic.com/3382581/2022/06 ... ign=601983

Noteworthy things from my read:

- Davis barely has more minor league PA than Bryant did when he got promoted to MLB, which combined with his late focus on baseball means he needs more reps. Especially given the way his weaknesses will be exploited, like taking advantage of his size/long levers to create K's up in the zone.

- PCA's injury was quoted as a 2 week rest, and we're almost to that point. He's doing some defensive work and will face live pitching this weekend so a return to the lineup should be pretty soon

- PCA's exit velocities are up 2-3 mph this year, which per Hoyer is a significant jump. Given what was already known about the speed/defense/contact profile, that type of pop really raises the ceiling.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:04 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:The Athletic has a fairly detailed write up on the state of play with Davis and PCA: https://theathletic.com/3382581/2022/06 ... ign=601983

Noteworthy things from my read:

- Davis barely has more minor league PA than Bryant did when he got promoted to MLB, which combined with his late focus on baseball means he needs more reps. Especially given the way his weaknesses will be exploited, like taking advantage of his size/long levers to create K's up in the zone.

- PCA's injury was quoted as a 2 week rest, and we're almost to that point. He's doing some defensive work and will face live pitching this weekend so a return to the lineup should be pretty soon

- PCA's exit velocities are up 2-3 mph this year, which per Hoyer is a significant jump. Given what was already known about the speed/defense/contact profile, that type of pop really raises the ceiling.


Also, we got confirmation he was playing through pain which helped explain at least some of his rough numbers.

And the surgery continues to sound like a best case scenario for a back surgery.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:06 pm

When are we going to get a database that tracks Minor League things like contact rate, EV/LA, spin, etc? Or is there one already? I've seen articles referencing these things and not just from interviews with FO execs.

I know several years ago minorleaguecentral used to track contact rate but the site went defunct a few years ago.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:29 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:When are we going to get a database that tracks Minor League things like contact rate, EV/LA, spin, etc? Or is there one already? I've seen articles referencing these things and not just from interviews with FO execs.

I know several years ago minorleaguecentral used to track contact rate but the site went defunct a few years ago.


I believe ~half of minor league parks have Statcast installed, and you can scrape data from the Baseball Savant website. And it's I think league by league, so like the PCL has it but the International League doesn't. I'd imagine the big boys like FG and BR won't spend the effort building out a process to add the data until it's available for all or at least most games.

So what you've got now I believe is either sourced from teams, or is fairly piecemeal. Like I'm pretty sure Eno Sarris did a "best Stuff+ ratings in the PCL" article a bit ago, and the reason it was just the PCL was clearly the limits on data availability.

Contact rate is an annoying thing that we should have though. FG has swinging strike rate available, so like the raw data should be there for contact rate.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jun 25, 2022 12:00 am



Prospect or filler?
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby UK » Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:32 am

CubinNY wrote:https://twitter.com/pelicanbaseball/status/1540401102910361602?s=21&t=H7WoN5qTRbq2--RugjpiYA

Prospect or filler?


Filler.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby UK » Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:58 am

I'm trying to figure out Narciso Crook at Iowa.

I doubt he'll make the major league roster before September given Nelly is currently there (should be starting at Iowa, IMO), Suzuki should be back soon, Ortega proving ok as a 4th, and they'll never cut Heyward.

He was drafted at 17 yo out of a small JUCO in the 23rd rd and signed for 100k. He was mishandled by the Reds, rushed to Low-A at 19, and struggled to progress and eventually granted FA.

Plus raw power, probably won't hit for avg, corner defense OFer with a below avg arm strength. It does appear that his BP power is finally translating to the game.

He's probably some type of RH'ed OF platoon/PH (who hits righties better than lefties) at his best and a minor league filler at his worst.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:05 pm

BA’s hottest 20 prospects this week: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... dium=email

17. Matt Mervis, 1B, Cubs
Team: Double-A Tennessee (Southern)
Age: 24

Why He’s Here: .333/.385/.905 (7-for-21), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: A two-way player at Duke, Mervis signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 draft and has exploded with his focus solely on being a position player. Mervis had his latest big week at Double-A with five extra-base hits in six games against Chattanooga and is now batting .323/.371/.647 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs in 62 games on the season. Though he’s older, Mervis is ascending the minors quickly and asserting himself as one of the Cubs’ best pure offensive prospects. (KG)
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:36 pm



Lots of Cubs info here
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:29 pm

BP has a (free) scouting report for Canario: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pros ... nario-hit/

More at the link, but this is the overall summary:

There’s a huge amount of variance in Canario’s profile, all of which are dependent on the bat. I’m encouraged by the improvements that I witnessed this spring, especially the approach, and I think he’ll hit enough to be a second-division regular. However, there is the positive risk that his talent and continued instruction coax out an above-average major league outfielder.
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Re: Minor League Musings

Postby Bertz » Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:48 pm

From a Sahadev article this AM on Narciso Crook

What exactly did the Cubs see with Crook and how did they correct it? That’s information they’re holding close to the vest for now. It’s an area they believe they still have a competitive advantage in, but it’s something they helped correct with Nelson Velázquez last year, felt they could leverage in the minor-league free-agent market and have now accomplished a similar achievement with Crook.

Stone was willing to share what was adjusted in a more general form, though.

“His previous setup, the way that he would load allowed for a lot more swing-and-miss and maybe more mis-hits,” Stone said. “He’d make contact, but he’d just clip balls, balls he should be doing damage on and mis-hitting them straight up or down. It was a complete adjustment and overhaul of his upper-body mechanics. It’s night and day, if you look at him now against where he was a year ago. A complete upper-body overhaul and pattern change allows him to keep his barrel in the zone longer but also in a position that’s going to create more solid contact.”


The Cubs have been cheeky about whatever this change is, so you have to wonder if they have a 'One Weird Trick' for fixing certain swings, and if that is what the heck is happening with any of the other less heralded bats that have blown up like Mervis and Slaughter.
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