TD's Top Prospects-#22 Batter

Posted by Lionel on April 4, 2009.

Rebel Ridling

Rank: #22 Batter (TD), Unranked Prospect (BA)

Age: 22

Position(s): 1B

Team(s): Boise, Peoria

'08 Key Composite Stats: 14 HR's in 236 AB's, .492 total bases per AB, .250 BA

Acquired: Drafted-25th round, 2008

Breakdown: Ridling has the lowest batting average of any of the Top 25 according to TD, but his raw power puts him on the list. His 14 HR's project to 36 over 600 AB's, and despite only having 236 AB's between Boise and Peoria, he was 9th in the organization in HR's. He was 4th in the organization in AB's per HR, behind only Jason Dubois, Micah Hoffpauir, and Jake Fox. Ridling spent the beginning of the '08 campaign at Boise, but after hitting .366, he was promoted to Peoria. He struggled there, hitting only .200, but clobbered 10 of his 14 HR's. Despite the low BA, he managed to have an OPS on nearly .800, thanks in large part to the nearly half a base per AB. For a 21 year old, he's well developed in the power department. Hopefully, he can work on some of the other elements of his craft.

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Spring Training exposes Cubs Draft Success

Posted by Lionel on April 5, 2009.

While most people focus on the final 25 man roster, there is a lot going on on the minor league fields. As the big league teams get ready to break camp, so to do the minor leaguers, meaning that there are some inevitable cuts from the organization. As such, the Cubs made 10 cuts in the past week. Among them...

Ryan Harvey-Harvey was the 6th overall pick of the 2003 draft. An All Star in '04, '05, and '06, he hit a combined .224 last year between Daytona and Tennessee.

Grant Johnson-Johnson was the Cubs 1st pick of the 2004 draft, although it came in the 2nd round. Johnson went 2-7 with a 5.55 ERA last year between Daytona and Tennessee, splitting time between the rotation and the 'pen.

Mark Pawelek-Taken 20th overall, Pawelek was the Cubs 1st round pick in 2005. Recovering from injury, Pawelek only made 13 appearances in 2008, all for Boise, with a 6.20 ERA.

So, for those keeping track, the Cubs managed to cut their top draft picks in three consecutive drafts in a week's time. Between the three, the Cubs have paid a total of over 5 million dollars to see them waste away in the minors.

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How Close was Peavy to Wearing Pinstripes?

Posted by Lionel on April 4, 2009.

Jake Peavy was almost a Cub. We all heard the rumors all winter long. But just how close was it? Well, according to Baseball Tonight, this close (imagine I in holding my thumb and forefinger about about 3 millimeters apart). Buster Olney reported that Kevin Towers told him that the Cubs and Peavy's agent were discussing deferred payments to make the contract work. As in, it was close enough to be discussing contract issues with the agent. JH and the Cubs got up from the table when the Pads refused to pay any of the $64M Peavy was owed and would have to give up 4 players. Given that the Padres have Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez, and a bunch of AAAA players, every expert is predicting that Peavy will be moved sometime during the season.

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TD's Top Prospects-#22 Pitcher

Posted by Lionel on April 1, 2009.

Jeff Stevens

Rank: #22 Pitcher (TD), #19 Prospect in Indians System (BA)

Age: 25

Position(s): RP

Team(s): AA, AAA for Indians

'08 Key Composite Stats: 3.24 ERA, 81 K's in 58 1/3 innings pitched, 1.11 WHIP, 6 saves

Acquired: Trade with Indians for Mark DeRosa

Breakdown: Stevens was the "centerpiece" of the Cubs payroll dump of Mark DeRosa to the Indians. When the trade went down, Cub fans were told Stevens had a legitimate shot of making the team as a reliever. Within a month, the Cubs had acquired two major league relievers and his chances of making the 25 man roster became slim. Stevens biggest plus is his strikeout ability, as he K'd 12.5 batters per 9 innings last year, ranking him 6th in the system. His HIP (hits per inning) was a postive 0.65, but that means he was almost as likely to walk a batter as to yield a hit. But when guys hit the ball, they were likely to touch them all, as he gave up 5 HR's out of the 38 hits he yielded. At age 25 and a half a year of AAA under his belt, it probably won't be too long before we see him in a Cubs uni.

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