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I know Hoyer/McLeod get knocked a bit for building back the Padres system primarily through the Gonzalez trade but look at this year's draft - that's just as big a catalyst. Despite being burned by Whitson, they took a chance on a bunch of tough signs and got them.

 

It's not really a knock. It's just that really the Padres' farm system isn't anything special, but because we brought over their GM and minor league guy their system gets extra points now.

 

They also went and did alot of what the Red Sox do and picked the fallers. Joe Ross was considered a tough sign, but also a more talented pitcher than his MLB pitching brother. Michael Kelly was one of the non-Bundy top tier HS arms in the draft also, and had a ton of fans. Hedges was arguably the best HS catcher in the draft...Props to them for getting it done, but it doesn't sound like an impossible task if the owner is willing to spend.

 

So when Callis, Law and Goldstein were praising the Padres system as a possible top 5 system when the Cubs were initially showing interest in McLeod and Hoyer, it was just because the Cubs were interested in those 2?

 

You're certainly right, it's not an impossible task to spend and build up the farm system. Nevertheless, Hoyer and McLeod did a good job bringing in talent this year and quickly turning one of the worst farm systems in baseball to one of the best.

 

I don't understand how you can say their system isn't anything special:

 

Fuentes

Rizzo

C. Kelly

Spangenberg

Ross

M. Kelly

Gyorko

Hedges

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I think their system is really good, but a bit over-hyped right now. That said, it's great depth puts them in the top 10 easily. I'm not all that big on Spangenberg or Gyorko, to be honest (at least, relative to some of the hype out there - I think both are solid assets, but some folks have really hyped them up). I've never been as in love with Casey Kelly as many folks out there.
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I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on Spangenburg, but you've got to be encouraged by his start to proball.

 

.316/.419/.418

25 steals (72 games)

45:57 BB:K

 

 

He might be unique given his lack of power so far, but it seems like he might make up for it in other areas. His 13 errors surprised me though...wasn't he touted as a defensive wiz predraft? Or am I getting him confused?

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Spangenberg only got drafted as high as he did because he made it very well known that he'd be willing to sign cheaply and quickly so that he could get started immediately. He was more of a mid-late first rounder on talent, if memory serves.
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I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on Spangenburg, but you've got to be encouraged by his start to proball.

 

.316/.419/.418

25 steals (72 games)

45:57 BB:K

 

 

He might be unique given his lack of power so far, but it seems like he might make up for it in other areas. His 13 errors surprised me though...wasn't he touted as a defensive wiz predraft? Or am I getting him confused?

 

Mostly just a good athlete with good instincts really, but I don't think anyone raved about his D.

 

He's a solid talent. By that I mean I could see him making it to the big leagues.

 

I don't understand how you can say their system isn't anything special:

 

Fuentes

Rizzo

C. Kelly

Spangenberg

Ross

M. Kelly

Gyorko

Hedges

 

It's a good group of names, but I'm not ready to call it special. I'm a big fan of Kelly and Fuentes, Spanenberg is solid, Rizzo is solid with some good upside, and then far off upside. Even amongst their big guys there's plenty of questions...Plus, if a team spends money on the draft and before that trades a star and a set up man, I'd expect some names to be thrown into the system. It's good for them that it happened, but I don't think it took a stroke of genius or anything.

 

To be completely honest, I don't find their system any more impressive than the Cubs system last year before the Garza trade, which also got love (though probably not from Law). There's no true elite in the system, which takes it down a peg. I actually think we'll pass them fairly quickly in perceived value right after the 6th pick in the draft is made, and IMO the gap between their system now and the Cubs' now isn't that big in the first place. Hell, I think the Cubs system is a few tweaks and a couple breakouts away from being elite...If it helps, I trust McLeod and Hoyer to do a good job there and guide the system towards being elite.

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KKvG, i'm curious as to why you think our No. 6 pick in next year's draft will shoot us (general idea seems to be that Cubbies system is in the 18-24 range, certainly not top half) past the padres (they are getting some top 5/top 10 love), given that the padres have the No. 7 pick. They also have harang as a type B and bell as a type A that could nab them another first rounder and two sandwich picks. I personally agree with you and/or whoever else has opined that the pads system may be overrated a bit right now, but that seems like a lot of perception ground to make up.
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KKvG, i'm curious as to why you think our No. 6 pick in next year's draft will shoot us (general idea seems to be that Cubbies system is in the 18-24 range, certainly not top half) past the padres (they are getting some top 5/top 10 love), given that the padres have the No. 7 pick. They also have harang as a type B and bell as a type A that could nab them another first rounder and two sandwich picks. I personally agree with you and/or whoever else has opined that the pads system may be overrated a bit right now, but that seems like a lot of perception ground to make up.

 

Cubs system has breakout candidates all over the place...I think Vitters and McNutt will step up, particularly Vitters...then there's guys like Szczur, Ha, Baez, Ben Wells, DeVoss, even a hopefully healthy Hayden Simpson...then there's the really young guys who have talent like Candelario, Penalver, Vogelbach, Dunston Jr. etc...there's plenty of talent here it's just finding a way to get them to break out...there's only so few names here because that's alot of extra typing.

 

I'll put it this way...the Cubs before the Garza trade were ranked something like 8th...top 10...after the Garza trade they were in the 16-18 range...They dropped from a top 10 system to bottom quarter of the top 20 after trading a 5th/gimmicky OF prospect, a 27 year old former IF turned C prospect, a guy who could be a 4th OF or maybe even start one day, an A ball speed/defense SS who might have a bat, and a SP prospect who doesn't throw enough strikes in AA. Teams and players fly up these kinds of lists.

 

I'm actually more worried I spoke too soon because maybe the Cubs make a trade (which would be a compliment to the farm system). To me this is a farm system that is on the cusp of being awesome rather than a project or something that needs to be completely overhauled. What needs to be done is stuff like improving facilities, getting philosophy together with coaches and trainers, and getting more coaches and trainers in. All that while obviously bringing talent in and out...

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My issue with Spagenberg is with the over-hype. Again, not saying he's a bad talent. He's an intriguing talent, potentially useful if he can stick at 2nd long term (the reports were mixed). He was excellent in Northwest League. The reports out of the Midwest League weren't as high. Still positive reports, but a lot more lukewarm than the effusive praise out of the NWL.

 

I want to see

 

a) Can he stick at 2nd? I had some mixed reports on his defensive ability there? His fallback is assumed as CF, but the pre-draft reports that I recall seemed to question his ability to go there.

 

b) How his discipline rates hold against tougher pitchers? Was he simply tired in MWL? Perhaps. But he's not going to have a lot of power, so he's going to need to have a strong approach.

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KKvG, i'm curious as to why you think our No. 6 pick in next year's draft will shoot us (general idea seems to be that Cubbies system is in the 18-24 range, certainly not top half) past the padres (they are getting some top 5/top 10 love), given that the padres have the No. 7 pick. They also have harang as a type B and bell as a type A that could nab them another first rounder and two sandwich picks. I personally agree with you and/or whoever else has opined that the pads system may be overrated a bit right now, but that seems like a lot of perception ground to make up.

 

I could see us pass the Padres after 2012. It's obviously really tough to project right now. I'm assuming we're talking system ranking-wise. Both systems are likely to lose some key assets at the top, Brett Jackson for us, and Anthony Rizzo for the Padres.

 

The advantage for us, IMO, which gives us a chance to pass them at this ridiculously early speculative stage, is the higher number of higher upside talent in the lower levels that are hitting the A ball ranks to start next year. The chances of a few more breakouts seem likely, while some of the top Padres lower level guys have had breakouts or good years this year, or are recent draft picks so may be a year or two from a breakout (but then again, you never know). That said, some would argue that the Padres lower levels are well-stocked with upside talent, with guys like Rymer Liriano and Edinson Rincon.

 

Anyhow, here's my issue with the Padres system, not that we should get too deep into them.

 

1 - I tend to think some of their hitting talent gets overhyped off of Lake Elsinore and Tuscon numbers. Neither are great HR parks, to the best of my recollection, but both have good gaps, allowing fringe/average power guys to look better than expected. Guys like Jon Galvez, Jason Hagerty are guys that I have high doubts will look anywhere as good offensively, in AA, as they did in A+. Logan Forsythe took advantage of Lake Elsinore.

 

2 - Who really, really excites in that system? There's Rizzo. There's Keyvius Sampson. There's Rincon, who lacks a defensive position. There's Rymer Liriano, who is far away (he may be a monster in A+). I'm not nearly as high on Fuentes' upside package as a lot of folks seem to be. Is there any reason to be superbly high on Casey Kelly right now? Donovan Tate was suspended for drug use. James Darnell may have to move to a corner OF role. Jedd Gyorko and Cory Spangenberg have limited power. I think they are ahead of the Cubs, as a system, right now because there's a few more intriguing pieces in the upper levels, and Keyvius Sampson looks like a potential top level pitching talent, and when you combine that with their depth, it's a top 10 system (the gap from, say, the 5th/6th system to the 21st-23rd system, IMO, doesn't feel like much.

 

If I had to go a top 5 in that system entering 2012, I think I would go, hmm, this isn't that easy as I just realized Rizzo isn't eligible anymore.

 

1. Keyvius Sampson - Before anyone says SNTS, I think his stuff is simply that notch better than Kelly's that I'm willing to overlook the 2 level difference and difference in readiness.

 

2. Casey Kelly - Close to ready, but upside isn't nearly as good as once hoped.

 

3. Rymer Liriano - I don't know I really like him here, but boy, he looks like a potentially exciting OF talent.

 

4. Michael Kelly - I think I like what I've read about his stuff moreso than Joe Ross.

 

5. Joe Ross - Looks like an intriguing upside arm.

 

The top of the system isn't great, IMO, and I think Brett Jackson would, for me, easily rank 2nd in their system, if not first, but their depth is a factor here and pushes them up.

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So, what's everyone's early opinion on 6 overall? I doubt Appel falls that far, short of injury, so he's probably not an option. Giolito would be awesome, but I doubt he's there either. I do NOT want Marrero, not enough upside. Buxton? Upside galore, personally I don't prefer another OFer, especially if we sign Soler between now and then. For me, I guess Gausman or Zunino are my guys for now. Hoping another pitcher or 2 really amps up there value, so we can assure ourselves of getting a possible "ace" type.
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So, what's everyone's early opinion on 6 overall? I doubt Appel falls that far, short of injury, so he's probably not an option. Giolito would be awesome, but I doubt he's there either. I do NOT want Marrero, not enough upside. Buxton? Upside galore, personally I don't prefer another OFer, especially if we sign Soler between now and then. For me, I guess Gausman or Zunino are my guys for now. Hoping another pitcher or 2 really amps up there value, so we can assure ourselves of getting a possible "ace" type.

 

it's way too early to say, especially with the high school guys. some guys start out as top 10 picks and then fall because they have a lousy senior year or get hurt, and others who are barely on the radar come out throwing low to mid 90s and suddenly they're first round options.

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I want no part of Marrero. I know it's not a fair comparison (AZ st verses HS, more talent etc), but whenever I think of Marrero I have "I'm Matt F--g Bush!!" pop in my head". For the 6th pick I would much rather go the other way. There's too much talent there, for me, to get a no-power but good hit tool SS at 6.
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Yeah, it is way too early still, especially on the HS arms, but there are enough of them that I can be hopeful the Cubs will get a TOR type with the 6th pick. Obviously, Appel and Giolito are the top two arms at the moment, but that can all change come June. After them is Lance McCullers, Max Fried, Kevin Gausman, Chris Beck, Walker Weichel and whoever else might emerge before the draft. If for whatever reason, there isn't a legit TOR prospect there at 6, then I hope the Cubs go with best talent available, but I've got my hopes set on a potential ace and, at this point, it looks like there are enough of them to have one fall to the Cubs at 6..
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Yeah, it is way too early still, especially on the HS arms, but there are enough of them that I can be hopeful the Cubs will get a TOR type with the 6th pick. Obviously, Appel and Giolito are the top two arms at the moment, but that can all change come June. After them is Lance McCullers, Max Fried, Kevin Gausman, Chris Beck, Walker Weichel and whoever else might emerge before the draft. If for whatever reason, there isn't a legit TOR prospect there at 6, then I hope the Cubs go with best talent available, but I've got my hopes set on a potential ace and, at this point, it looks like there are enough of them to have one fall to the Cubs at 6..

 

Yes, please.

 

Like most anyone I like Zunino too...

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As of now, the Cubs three picks before 2nd round are 6, 42 (Ramirez) and 53 (Pena).

If only Pena's wasn't going to drop. Still, it's the best draft situation the Cubs have had since '02 when they had 6 picks in the top two rounds.

 

Sorry, I shouldn't have brought up the '02 draft. I just went from feeling optimism about this year's picks to crashing with the memory of the fact that none of the guys selected with those 6 picks ever fulfilled their promise.

 

Luke Hagerty

Matt Clanton

Bobby Brownlie

Chadd Blasko

Justin Jones

Brian Dopirak

 

In my head, I hear a bell chime after reading each name.

 

The only player from the '02 draft to contribute significantly to the big league club was a catcher drafted in the 38th round. Randy Wells.

 

Justin Jones did help the Cubs net Nomar...

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These 2 comp picks have gone unnoticed by the casual fan.(not us) but, it really signifies a huge change in philosophy, as Hendry probably would have kept Aramis and definitely wouldn't have offered Pena arb. These 2 picks will be guys that immediately slot into our top 10, or close anyway. And may even be guys that have fallen, due to signability concerns. The bottom line is this draft and the next are of the utmost importance to us, and it's great to have the extra picks this year.
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