Results tagged ‘ C.J. Edwards ’

MLB.com’s top 100 prospects includes seven Cubs

Baez,-Javy

Cubs prospect Javier Baez ranked No. 7 on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list. (Photo courtesy Tennessee Smokies)

The 2014 baseball season hasn’t yet started, but prospect season is in full swing. Just one day after Baseball Prospectus released its top 10 Cubs prospects, MLB.com has unveiled its top 100 prospects in the game. And the North Siders landed seven on the list, including five in the top 50.

The Cubs seven top 100 prospects tied them for second most with the Astros. Only the Red Sox system boasted more with nine.

The Cubs were the only team with three players in the top 20: No. 7 Javier Baez, No. 9 Kris Bryant and No. 18 Albert Almora. No. 42 C.J. Edwards, acquired last season from the Rangers, and No. 49 Jorge Soler rounded out the Cubs representatives in the top 50. The team also landed No. 89 Arismendy Alcantara and No. 100 Pierce Johnson on the list.

This is an important benchmark for the Cubs system because it provides a sense of how the team stacks up against the best in the game. Every team has a top 10 prospects, but that doesn’t mean any of those 10 rank highly compared to the game’s elite.

Of course, the big question on most Cubs fans’ minds is when these prospects will arrive in the big leagues?

“Ultimately, it comes down to them,” said Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod at last week’s Rookie Development Program. “They’re going to let us know when they’re ready. They have to go out and perform. … We’re not going to rush them up just to pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘Hey look, we drafted the right guy,’ or, ‘We traded for the right guy. We’re in this for the right reasons and for the long haul.”

In Vine Line‘s upcoming February issue, we’ll unveil our annual minor league prospectus, which breaks down the names to know in the Cubs farm system. Next week, we’ll release some of those breakdowns here on the blog.

Baseball Prospectus names Cubs top 10 prospects

Bryant,-Kris

(Photo courtesy of Daytona Cubs)

Inside baseball website Baseball Prospectus has spent the offseason cataloging each organization’s top 10 prospects. This morning, they finally released the Cubs cream of the crop. And if you needed another reason to trust in what the team is doing, this breakdown might just be it.

Prospect guru Jason Parks raved about the impact talent in the system, starting with the organization’s “Core Four” of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.

Through the amateur draft, trades, and the international market, the Cubs have built one of the strongest systems in baseball, with high-impact talent that everybody knows and better depth than people might realize. The farm will rank no. 2 in the minors, just behind the Twins and just ahead of the Pirates,” said Parks in his parting thoughts.

The content is for subscribers only (and if you love baseball, it’s well worth the cost of a subscription). Here’s a brief summary of how Baseball Prospectus ranked the Cubs talent. We list each player’s strengths, but there’s much more good stuff in the article. They also list an estimated time of arrival in the big leagues, and nine of the 10 Cubs prospects are expected to arrive in 2014 or 2015.

1. SS Javier Baez
Strengths: Elite bat speed; elite hands; plus hand-eye coordination; can make hard contact to all fields; natural ability to barrel the ball; raw power is elite; game power could play to elite; arm is plus-plus; actions are easy plus in the field; baseball instincts; superstar profile.

2. 3B Kris Bryant
Strengths: Excellent size and present strength; good athlete; elite raw power; game power could play plus-plus or better; highly leveraged swing built for over-the-fence production; some bat-to-ball ability and hit tool utility; plus arm; glove should play to average; fringe run but good athlete and coordinated for size.

3. CF Albert Almora
Strengths: High level baseball skills and instincts; natural bat-to-ball ability; can make hard contact to all fields; hit tool projects to be plus (or better) tracks well and shows advanced approach; has above-average raw power; swing more gap-to-gap at present but over-the-fence power could show up as he matures; glove in center is easy plus; quick reactions and proper reads help range; arm is solid-average to plus; cocky/confident player.

4. RF Jorge Soler
Strengths: Elite raw power; extreme strength and leverage in swing; game power could play to plus-plus; shows some hit tool quality; could play above average; arm is well above average; glove plays; runs well; looks the part.

5. RHP C.J. Edwards
Strengths: Loose, easy delivery; near elite release; ball just explodes out of his hand; fastball very comfortable in the 92-95 range; can work higher; very good angle and arm-side life; easy release helps secondary arsenal play up; changeup projects as plus offering; very good deception and fade; curveball is bat-missing weapon at present; above-average shape and depth; pitchability; good makeup.

6. SS Arismendy Alcantara
Strengths: Plus athlete with good present strength; excellent hands; creates plus bat speed and above-average power; short, clean path to the ball; makes hard contact; easy plus run; multi-dimensional offensive threat; plus arm; above-average glove at second; five-tool talent.

7. RHP Pierce Johnson
Strengths: Prototypical starter’s body; long, lean, and athletic; very good arm strength; fastball is plus; low-90s velocity that routinely pops the mid-90s on the gun; breaking is easy plus and could end up even better if the command improves; low-80s hammer curve with serious snap; some feel for an average changeup that has some projection.

8. 1B Dan Vegelbach
Strengths: Big boy strength; big boy raw power; doesn’t sell out swing for game power; generates impressive bat speed with quick, strong stroke that is short to the ball/long through it; projects to hit for both average and power; makes pitchers work and doesn’t give away outs.

9. 3B Christian Villanueva
Strengths: Broad-shouldered with good present strength; hands are exceptional in the field; fluid actions; excellent backhand pickup; easy plus arm; can make every play in, side, or back; fast hands at the plate; shows bat speed and some power potential; very heady player with plus makeup.

10. 3B Jeimer Candelario
Strengths: Good present strength; fluid swing from both sides of the plate; shows excellent bat speed and quick path to the ball; very mature approach; tracks the ball well; has a plan at the plate; power could play above average; arm is strong; work ethic to refine with the glove.

BP also lists three prospects that are on the rise in the Cubs system (pitchers RHP Paul Blackburn and LHP Rob Zastryzny and catcher C Mark Malave) and three prospects that could potentially contribute to the Cubs this year (3B Mike Olt, RHP Arodys Vizcaino and RHP Neil Ramirez).

Edwards named MiLB’s best starter

Edwards,-C.J.

(Photo by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

Though the minor league season finished more than a month ago, the Cubs organization keeps picking up accolades. Daytona Cub C.J. Edwards is the most recent farmhand to receive praise, as he was named Starting Pitcher of the Year by MiLB.com Wednesday.

Edwards started the 2013 campaign as a relative unknown, though that changed quickly. The 22-year-old former 48th-round pick was 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 93.1 innings for Texas’ Class-A Hickory Crawdads of the Sally League.

On July 22, “String Bean,”—a nickname given for his 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame—was sent along with Justin Grimm, Mike Olt eventually Neil Ramirez to the Cubs in exchange for Matt Garza. And the right-hander did not disappoint when he got to High-A Daytona, a club in the midst of a title race.

“The transition [to the Cubs] is going great,” Edwards told Vine Line prior to the postseason. “I had one goal with my last team, and that was to have a playoff run. Once I got traded, I found the same mentality here. I’m here to help them.”

In six starts for the D-Cubs, Edwards recorded no decisions, but posted a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings, fanning 33 batters. His efforts were good enough to help lead Daytona to a Florida State League championship. On the season, he finished 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA, 12.0 K/9, a 1.01 WHIP and just one home run allowed over 116.1 innings.

Fellow farmhand and Cubs pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks was also among the 12 finalists.

SS Baez, RHP Edwards among Baseball America’s best

BAEZ-J-022613-SG-07

Javier Baez was one of two members of the Cubs organization on Baseball America‘s 2013 Minor League All-Star team. (Photo by Stephen Green)

In the last few years, the Cubs farm system has gone from the bottom of the rankings to one of the best in baseball. Many of the top farmhands improved their stock with solid play this year, and three clubs—Double-A Tennessee, High-A Daytona and Short-Season Boise—reached the postseason in their respective leagues.

And it’s not just Cubs fans taking notice of the success within the organization. On Thursday, Baseball America unveiled its 2013 Minor League All-Star Team , and a pair of Cubs prospects, SS Javier Baez and RHP C.J. Edwards, made the first team. Triple-A Iowa right-handed starter Kyle Hendricks was named to the second team after finishing 2013 with a 13-4 record and a 2.00 ERA with 128 strikeouts over 166 innings. Below is what BA had to say about the Cubs All-Stars.

DH Javier Baez • Cubs
Double-A Tennessee (Southern)

Baez slammed 20 homers in 54 Double-A games to catch and tie George Springer for second place in the minors with 37 bombs. Baez stands all by himself, however, with minor league-leading totals for extra-base hits (75) and RBI (111). The 20-year-old stepped up his game with runners on base this season, hitting .325/.384/.654 with 19 homers in 231 at-bats at Tennessee and high Class-A Daytona. While Baez possesses the raw tools to play a big league shortstop, he needs to clean up his fundamentals and improve his efficiency after committing 44 errors in 123 games, a performance good for a .932 fielding average.

Javier Baez- .282/.341/.578, 130 G, 517 AB, 98 R, 146 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 37 HR, 111 RBI, 20 SB

SP C.J. Edwards • Cubs
High Class-A Daytona (Florida State)

A 48th-round pick by the Rangers out of high school in Prosperity, S.C., two years ago, Edwards is the scouting and player development success story in the minors. He quickly refined his mechanics and added velocity during his 2012 debut before utterly dominating low Class-A competition for the first half of 2013. Edwards didn’t allow a home run in 18 starts for Hickory prior to his July 22 trade to the Cubs as part of the bounty for Matt Garza. He breezed through another six starts afterward, finishing with a minor league-best 12 strikeouts per nine innings and ranking fourth in the ERA race at 1.86. He then added 10 shutout, one-hit innings as Daytona won the Florida State League championship.

C.J. Edwards- 8-2, 1.86 ERA, 24 GS, 116 IP, 76 H, 1 HR, 41 BB, 155 K, .182 OBA

Cubs deal Garza to Rangers for Olt, Grimm, Edwards and PTBNL

Olt2

Mike Olt was listed as the No. 1 prospect in the Rangers system by MLB.com. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty)

The Chicago Cubs today acquired infielder Mike Olt, right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm, right-handed pitcher C.J. Edwards and two players to be named from the Texas Rangers for right-handed pitcher Matt Garza.

Olt, 24, was the 2012 Texas Rangers Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .288 (102-for-354) with 17 doubles, one triple, 28 home runs and 82 RBI in 95 games for Double-A Frisco prior to his major league debut with Texas last August. Olt was named a Texas League midseason and postseason All-Star, and led the league in home runs and OPS (.977) despite missing the final month of the season due to promotion.

A right-handed hitter and fielder, Olt owns a .269 batting average with 65 doubles, two triples, 64 home runs, 205 RBI and a .375 on-base percentage in 305 minor league contests since he was selected by Texas in the supplemental first round (49th overall) of the 2010 draft out of the University of Connecticut. He played on the United States squad at the 2012 MLB Futures Game in Kansas City and entered this season tabbed as the Rangers second-best prospect by Baseball America.

Olt made his major league debut with Texas last season, hitting .152 (5-for-33) with a double and five RBI in 16 games following his promotion on August 2.  This year, he is hitting .219 (53-for-242) with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and 34 RBI in 68 games between Double-A Frisco (three games) and Triple-A Round Rock (65 games), including a .247 mark with 10 home runs since June 3 at Triple-A.

Grimm, 24, was originally selected by the Rangers in the fifth round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Georgia. He has spent nearly the entire 2013 season at the major league level, going 7-7 with a 6.37 ERA (63 ER/89.0 IP) in 17 starts. He was named the American League Rookie of the Month for April this season after going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA (3 ER/17.0 IP) in three starts, fanning 15 and walking only four.

Among major league rookies, Grimm trails only St. Louis’ Shelby Miller in wins and is tied for second among American League rookies with six quality starts. He leads AL rookies with 89.0 innings and ranks third with 68 strikeouts.

The right-hander made his big league debut last season after posting an 11-6 record with a 2.81 ERA in 25 appearances (22 starts) between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. He earned Texas League midseason All-Star honors last year.

Grimm is 8-8 with a 6.73 ERA (77 ER/103.0 IP) in 22 big league appearances, 19 as a starter, covering the last two seasons.  Overall in his minor league career, Grimm is 19-9 with a 3.07 ERA (96 ER/281.0 IP) in 51 appearances (48 starts).

Edwards, 21, has gone 8-2 with a complete game and a 1.83 ERA (19 ER/93.1 IP) in 18 starts for Single-A Hickory this season.  He has struck out 122 batters in 93.1 innings pitched, good for an average of 11.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, while walking just 34. A South Atlantic League midseason All-Star, Edwards has held opponents to a .186 batting average and has not surrendered a home run.

A native of Newberry, S.C., Edwards is 13-5 with a 1.68 ERA in 32 games (31 starts) since he was selected by Texas in the 48th round of the 2011 draft. He has not surrendered a home run in his professional career while averaging 11.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.  All told, he has struck out 207 batters compared to just 59 walks in 160.1 innings pitched.

According to GM Jed Hoyer, the team will also acquire either one or two players to be named (depending on who the Cubs choose), and the additional players will be pitchers.

Garza, 29, went 21-18 with a 3.45 ERA (143 ER/372.2 IP) in 60 starts for the Cubs after he was acquired by the club in an eight-player deal with Tampa Bay on Jan. 8, 2011. He owns a 63-62 major league record with eight complete games, three shutouts, one save and a 3.80 ERA in 181 career games (178 starts) with the Twins (2006-07), Rays (2008-10) and Cubs (2011-13).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,078 other followers