The Northsiders used everything in their arsenal to even the series at one.
It was 54 degrees on October 3rd in Milwaukee, and the Cubs were bunched around the batting cages, working on their bunting. Manager Joe Maddon, who spent years as a nuts-and-bolts minor-league instructor, and whose mantra this year has been “Do Simple Better” was convinced that his players would need to come up big in a bunt situation come playoff time, and wanted to drive home that message on the penultimate day of the regular season. Maddon’s decision took just a week to pay off. The Cubs did simple better Saturday night in St. Louis, beating the Cardinals 6-3 in their own ballpark and taking the series back to Chicago knotted at one.
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The Cubs call up another of the most exciting prospects in the minors, as Jorge Soler takes his place in front of Wrigley's ivy.
The situation: The rebuilding Cubs find themselves in need of an outfielder as Justin Ruggiano is likely headed to the disabled list. Top prospect Jorge Soler has been mashing at Double- and Triple-A and has earned a callup that will likely last the rest of the year.
From Xander Bogaerts to Gary Sanchez and everyone in between.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2014, our second-annual prospect book, which will collect all of BP's offseason prospect content (plus exclusive prospect and fantasy offerings) in book and e-book form. Here's a look at last year's book; expect an even more meaty offering this time around.
In an age where there’s more statistical information available on players than ever before, you’ve come to the right place to differentiate yourself from your league-mates. Even if you don’t play in a keeper or dynasty league where you can own minor leaguers without wasting roster spots, the importance of reading scouting reports and knowing who these players are becomes obvious when a few years later you are faced with the dilemma of choosing them for your roster.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
The latest on the prospects playing in the desert, including Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Byron Buxton.
Games of October 25
Hitter of the Day: Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, 3B, 2 K. You’d think it would get tiring talking about the same prospects over and over again, but when it’s a prospect like Bryant, it doesn’t. Friday was a great sign for Bryant, who had a dynamic game despite not hitting a home run. Despite his .429 fall batting average, he still has 13 strikeouts in 10 games, so that’s something to keep an eye on, but if the production continues, no one will care about the strikeouts.
The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
Albert Almora earned the top spot on the Cubs' Top 10, but not before the prospect team discussed some other options.
As Jason Parks noted in his prospect rankings primer, this year’s rankings are the product of a collaborative process. Before each system’s prospect list is finalized, members of the BP prospect team trade emails about the players involved, enriching the rankings with their own opinions and perspectives. We’ll be publishing excerpts from the best of those discussions throughout the offseason, generally the day after the prospect lists in question appear. Some exchanges have been edited for language or trimmed to stay on topic.
These guys are so good, they cut glass. They're razor sharp.
The 2012 minor league season has lived nearly half its life, and over the course of the last two and a half months, provided us with the sensational sights, sounds, and smells of the player development machine. We follow closely to monitor the progress of the supermen of tomorrow, their triumphs celebrated and their failures analyzed in graphic detail, a highly invasive process in which we so eagerly participate. The storylines are vast highways of entertainment, often too complex to appreciate in proper detail, but tantalizing enough in their abstract form to keep us content with snapshots. The following are snapshots of the first-half, painted with a wide and often clumsy brush, as I lack the time or the tools to document the blow-by-blow accounts of the campaign with an ultra-fine point. However, along those same lines, I’m going to use quotes from one of my favorite movies in order to set the scenes of the season, and hopefully add some insight through the vehicle of entertainment. “Too many things too many things too many things... I wanna go for a walk. Let's go for a walk.” -Amber Waves
“Start down low with a 350 cube, three and a quarter horsepower, 4-speed, 4:10 gears, ten coats of competition orange, hand-rubbed lacquer with a huplane manifold….Full f*ckin' race cams. Whoo!”
It’s only taken half of a season, but Dylan Bundy has quickly emerged as one the top prospects in the game. Seen by many as the best player available in the historically stacked 2011 draft, Bundy fell to the Orioles with the number four overall pick, and has shoved it ever since, using a plus-plus fastball, a nasty cut fastball, a curveball, and a very promising changeup to carve up the competition. In his first 11 starts in the minors, the 19-year-old native of Oklahoma has only allowed 18 hits in 45 innings pitched, sending 58 down on strikes and issuing an anemic 6 walks. “Aces” are the blue diamonds of the game, and it doesn’t take a keen scouting eye or a Rolodex full of industry sources to realize that Bundy has all the necessary characteristics to reach the lofty ceiling.
The Cubs signed Jorge Soler today, and here's what to expect.
When Jorge Soler was declared a free agent last week, agent Barry Praver sent an email to all teams to inform them that the deadline for initial bids was June 7. That indicated a quick negotiation window, and that window closer on Monday afternoon with Soler closing a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.