Results tagged ‘ Kevin Goldstein ’

Hot off the presses: November 2011 Vine Line sneak peek

It’s an issue you won’t want to miss. Theo Epstein graces the cover of our November issue, and we begin our offseason coverage with an in-depth look at a new era in Cubs baseball operations. Along with our cover feature—which includes exclusive quotes from our one-on-one interview with Epstein—we also take a look at the example Theo set in Boston and how his tack to modernize the Cubs organization echoes the circumstances in which Dallas Green did so 30 years ago.

We also continue our look from top to bottom of the Cubs organization with a pair of features. Marlon Byrd lends Vine Line readers an introspective look at his 2011 season and place in the game today in a series of blog posts by the Cubs center fielder. For those of you who have enjoyed Doug Glanville’s “The Game From Where I Stand” and other columns, Byrd offers an insight and competitiveness that sets an example worth following.

It’s one you hope is set for the next generation of Cubs, almost 50 of whom were getting one-on-one training in the Arizona instructional league last month.’s Carrie Muskat and Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks give an in-depth look at the work being done with some of the organization’s youngest players.

All that and more in the November 2011 issue of Vine Line hitting mailboxes this week. Be a part of an exciting new chapter at Wrigley Field by subscribing to or giving the gift of Vine Line today.

More inside this issue:

  • Picnic in the park: Fans fill Wrigley Field for a Ferris Bueller Movie Night.
  • Inside Pitch: Addressing the rotation.
  • Glory Days: 9 innings with Todd Hollandsworth.
  • The Profile: DJ LeMahieu.
  • Stretching Out with Martin Sheen.
  • Farm Report: Daytona Cubs win the Florida State League championship.
  • Minors Tracker: 2011 season statistics, plus Future Watch by Kevin Goldstein

Future Watch: Arizona Fall League preview, Part II

Former third-overall pick Josh Vitters hit two first-pitch home runs in the Arizona Fall League opener yesterday. With that, Baseball Prospectus’ prospect guru Kevin Goldstein continues with his second of three Cubs prospects to watch in the AFL. Subscribe to Vine Line today to receive Goldstein’s monthly update and for more coverage from top to bottom of the Cubs organization.

Josh Vitters, IF

The Cubs had high hopes for Vitters when he was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2007 draft, but his development has gone slower than expected, mostly due to an inability to lay off pitches outside the zone. While his 22 walks in 2011 aren’t much, they still represented a career high, and there was progress in his overall offensive game as well. while he no longer looks like a future star, a strong 2012 showing could at least get him back on the map.

And today, in his daily Minor League Update for Baseball Prospectus, Goldstein wrote, “The progress is incremental, but it is in the right direction, and the swing is still awfully pretty.”

Future Watch: Arizona Fall League preview, Part I

With the Arizona Fall League beginning today, Baseball Prospectus’ prospect guru Kevin Goldstein contributes updates on three Cubs prospects to watch for in the AFL. Subscribe to Vine Line today to receive Goldstein’s monthly update and for more coverage from top to bottom of the Cubs organization.

While the major league season ends in October, it never stops for prospect watchers. The Arizona Fall League will be well into its season by the time the World Series has ended, with the Latin American Winter Leagues in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela starting afterward and taking us into next year’s spring training.

The Arizona Fall League is the most prospect laden, as players make a final push to hit the big leagues or make a 40-man roster, and the Cubs are lined up to send seven prospects to the Mesa Solar Sox, who begin play today. Here’s one prospect worth keeping an eye on:

Trey McNutt, RHP

McNutt entered the year as one of, if not the, top arms in the system, but he struggled to keep his ERA under five at Double-A during an injury-plagued year. With a pro body and two plus power pitches, his time in the desert will be dedicated to finishing on the right track in hopes of a bounce-back 2012 season.

October 2011 Vine Line sneak peek

The October issue of Vine Line continues charging forward with its coverage from top to the bottom of the organization, including a can’t-miss feature on Tony Campana and an exclusive first visit with Shawon Dunston Jr. and Trevor Gretzky, two of the blue chips acquired in a big 2011 draft.

  • Live for speed: Bruce Miles writes that Tony Campana has shown the drive to overcome challenges his entire life.
  • Scout’s view: New contributor Jason Parks explains what a scout looks for in the speed tool.
  • The People of Wrigley Field: A day with Len Kasper and profile on Home Clubhouse Manager Tom Hellmann
  • Glory Days: 9 innings with Randy Myers.
  • The Profile: John Gaub.
  • Stretching Out with Larry King.
  • Farm Report: Shawon Dunston Jr. and Trevor Gretzky step out of the shadows.
  • Minors Tracker: An all-new way of tracking the system, including Future Watch by Kevin Goldstein
  • Minor league notebooks and more!

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Future watch: An early look at a pair of Cubs prospects

Kevin Goldstein, who covers the minor leagues and player development for Baseball Prospectus, joins Vine Line as a contributor in September. He brings decades of experience distilling scouting reports from scouts and front-office types all over the game. Here’s an excerpt from his first Future Watch column:

Interest in prospects continues to grow, and we’ve reached the point where even the casual fan knows something about players like Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Andrew Cashner by the time they arrive at Wrigley. So while known quantities like Brett Jackson get closer to the big leagues, here are a couple players who are years away but could become more recognizable names if their development continues as planned.

Hunter Ackerman, LHP

A 2010 fourth-round pick out of a North Carolina junior college, Ackerman doesn’t have the kind of velocity that lights up radar guns, but he gets as much movement on his 88-91 mph fastball as any pitcher in the system, and has been a groundball machine for the Cubs’ complex-league team in Arizona. He has a surprisingly advanced change-up, and could be in line for a full-season debut next year at Low-A Peoria if he can refine his breaking ball.

Reggie Golden, OF

A second-round pick last year, the Cubs knew that the 19-year-old Golden would be a project when they signed him, as he’s arguably the best athlete in the system but doesn’t have much baseball experience against top competition. After being held back in extended spring training this year to refine every aspect of his game, he’s been one of the most pleasant surprises at Short-Season Boise. His .253 batting average might not impress, but scouts see big progress in the translation of his tools into baseball skills.

From the pages of Vine Line: Debuting the Minors Tracker

The following editor’s letter is from the September issue of Vine Line, announcing a new recurring feature. Subscribe today for exclusive coverage all year.

You’ve spoken, and we’ve listened: The Cubs’ future matters to you. Starting with the September issue, Vine Line will be covering the next generation in a big way.

We’re answering the call from longtime subscriber Dean Adams of Parkersburg, W.V., who wrote, “I really looked forward to the minor league teams’ individual player performances as the year progressed, and trying to spot the next ‘Starlin Castro’ or ‘Kerry Wood.’” Same for Gary Holte, Paul Fisher, Orrin Worth and everyone else who made their voices heard.

To the right, you’ll find our brand new Minors Tracker, an improved way to follow the Cubs organization from month to month. We’ve returned the statistics while improving on our display in several prominent ways. It joins our existing coverage with The Farm Report and Minor League Notebooks from the organization’s top four levels.

Click here for a full-size preview, and read below the jump for more on the improvements: (more…)

September 2011 Vine Line sneak peek

The September issue of Vine Line takes a distinctly homegrown look at the Cubs, including a cover feature on left-handed relief ace Sean Marshall and expanded minor league scouting reports by Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein.

  • Role play: Willing to do anything for his team, Sean Marshall has grown into a bullpen leader.
  • When baseball returned to Wrigley Field: A decade after 9/11, reflections on how the Cubs and their fans bounced back
  • Come together: Paul McCartney plays historic Wrigley Field.
  • Heart of bronze: Ron Santo‘s passion and play on display in newest statue.
  • Glory Days: 9 innings with Jody Davis.
  • The Profile: Reed Johnson.
  • Stretching Out with Tom Felton.
  • Farm Report: An international flavor at Short-Season Boise.
  • Minors Tracker: An all-new way of tracking the system, including Future Watch by Kevin Goldstein
  • Minor league notebooks and more!

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