Results tagged ‘ Minor-League Prospectus ’
With the injury carousel spinning at Wrigley Field, the Cubs selected the contract of infielder DJ LeMahieu on Monday and made him the first player from their 2009 draft class to make the big leagues. The former second-round pick stood out even among the big-leaguers, boasting a large, 6-foot-4 frame that looked even more striking for how much weight he appears he could add to his 196-pound list weight.
Here’s what Vine Line’s Minor League Prospectus said this past February:
A versatile athlete, LeMahieu’s power might not be apparent in his home run total, but his large frame, .314 batting average and 24 doubles at high A in 2010 indicate power to come. His long arms offer good plate coverage, he knows the strike zone, and his quick hands allow him to drive the ball to opposite fields. As LeMahieu grows, his body will dictate where he plays, though he manned three positions last season. (more…)
The Daytona Cubs, the Chicago Cubs’ high Class-A affiliate, haven’t just started well this season—they’re pacing all of baseball in several categories through two months. With 34 wins in 46 games, the team has baseball’s best record and just played to its second consecutive four-game sweep.
First baseman Justin Bour, who turns 23 on Saturday, leads the team with 39 RBIs, 12 home runs and 60 hits. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Bour has slugged .626 and shown a good approach at the plate.
Junior Lake, the athletic 21-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, has paced the Florida State League with 18 stolen bases and is currently on a ten-game hitting streak. He’s hitting well—boasting a .314 AVG/.337 OBP/.481 SLG line—but is walking less and striking out more in his second go-around with Daytona.
Here’s what our Minor League Prospectus, issued in Vine Line every February, had to say about Lake:
“Lake continues improving in the minors. His physical talent is a given, but refining his baseball skills remains paramount. He made huge strides at the plate, cutting down on his strikeouts from 138 in 2009 to 99 in 2010 and increasing his walks from 18 to 35. He possesses the strongest infield arm in the organization and, with added power, might eventually fit best at third base instead of shortstop.”
Every February, Vine Line releases a Minor League Prospectus that covers the top farmhands in the Cubs organization. With Tony Campana having his contract selected by Chicago on Tuesday, we opened up the scouting report on the 5-foot-8, 165-pound outfielder.
Small in stature but big in heart, Campana is a “prove it” kind of guy—climbing the minor leagues one rung at a time. He pilfered 48 bags in 2010; more important was his .378 on-base percentage. His 44 walks in Double A were a career high, and his plate discipline continues to improve so he can effectively use his speed on the bases. He covers lots of ground in centerfield, although his arm rates slightly below average.
|2008||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||25||98||0||0||0||22||3||9||14||.267||.340||.267|
|2009||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-A||126||531||9||3||0||66||18||39||84||.284||.336||.315|
Year after year, Vine Line readers — not to mention Cubs minor-league instructors and staff — tell us that one of their favorite features is our annual Minor-League Prospectus. Nowhere else will you find so much depth on 50 of the organization’s most intriguing players.
We do that by talking to our player development staff, including those in the front office and on the field. And we’ll give you key components of their scouting reports and stats to tell you what development path these players are on.
It was an exciting year down on the farm, too: A number of hitters flourished, giving the system its most promising set of athletic position players in years.
Here’s a preview of two players who can be expected to make a “splash” in 2010.
Though Cubs fans probably won’t see LeMahieu in Chicago that quickly, it won’t be long either. After a stellar prep career at Brother Rice (Mich.) High School, the former Michigan “Mr. Baseball” continued his winning ways at LSU, helping lead the Tigers to a national championship in 2009.
An elite hitter, LeMahieu shows terrific plate coverage, a selective eye and hits lots of line drives with a smooth level swing. While he hasn’t hit for much power, LeMahieu still is growing into his 6-4 body. Cubs brass is convinced his power will come later. They also are not worried about whether LeMahieu will stay at shortstop or move to third base.
“He’ll tell us himself when or if he needs to move by his performance. And so far the kid’s been great,” said VP of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita.
— Michael Huang
While the hype for Lee hasn’t exploded lit it has for fellow shortstop Starlin Castro, Lee might reflect the state of the Cubs system best. He’s not only ridiculously athletic but also a left-handed hitter signed out of South Korea, where the Cubs have built a stronghold.
As a raw 19-year-old at short-season Boise, Lee hit for average, got on base and stole bases efficiently. He might gain some power when he fills out his 6-2 frame, but his swing uses the entire field. Boise manager Casey Kopitzke praised Lee’s ability to battle deep into counts and take walks.
In the field, Lee’s fluidity and style are unmatched, but it is his instincts and plus-plus speed that make him seem more like a one-man infield. Kids with his size, ability and flair don’t come out of the Pacific Rim very often.
“He’s got his own style,” Fleita said. “Always in the right place, always in the center of all hte action.”
— Sean Ahmed
See the full list of 50 Cubs prospects as well as coverage of Andre Dawson’s trip to the Hall of Fame and the start of spring training by subscribing to Vine Line.
Photo by Jason Wise
This month marks the annual Minor-League Prospectus, introducing 50 names from the Cubs farm system. It’s the most thorough coverage you’ll find on the next faces of the cubs. Based on interviews and surveys sent to every coach, scout and administrator in our minor-league operations, we provide information on the top players in the organization and rank the top players in various baseball categories.
Who is considered to have the best raw speed in the system? Outfielder Tony Campana. Who has the best footwork behind the plate? Welington Castillo. Who has the most power? You’ll have to read the February issue to find out.
This issue of Vine Line also provides the who, why and how on the team’s five big off-season acquisitions. Learn about why switch-hitting outfielder Milton Bradley was the last piece of the lineup puzzle this off-season.
And you can’t miss the exclusive coverage and photography of the Winter Classic — the first hockey game ever to be played at Wrigley Field. It’s a stunning sight with a centerspread you’ll want to hang on your wall. You can see more of what’s in this issue by clicking the thumbnail to the left.
We’re hard at work planning for the March issue of Vine Line. … Can you believe baseball season is just around the corner?
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