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  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
    Howard seems like Addison Russell with a weaker bat. But Howard seems a lot more mature, which isn't saying much LOL.

    Howard has a major league glove. To be an MLB shortstop you don't have to hit like Albert Pujols, so we'll see. He looks like a potential MLB player but not an all-star.

    He's really calm at the plate, but his swing seems pretty long. His long arms don't help LOL.
    Russell being a crappy (putting it nicely) person really affected him IMO. Dude can play SS and showed potential with the bat. But things went downhill for him after he made bad decisions in his personal life. I dont think he had his mind on baseball for a long time. Even before the suspension.

    I dont think its fair to make comps for Howard yet. He has a TON of work to do with the bat before hes even a thought. Nobody knows what kind of hitter he will be in 3-4 years. Atleast he gets to put his full focus on hitting. His glove would play in the majors tomorrow. He has a strong accurate arm as well. He needs to put major emphasis on his bat. All we can do is watch him progress the next few years and hope he can unlock something.


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  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by CP_414 View Post
    Not gonna speak for him either. But some people are saying things like this...


    https://twitter.com/bnightengale/sta...334912513?s=21

    Lol.
    Bahaha Nightengale is such a moron.


    The real Pride of the Midwest

  3. #243
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    Wow, people actually had a problem with the Howard pick? Sure-fire shortstops with fast hands and bat speed are certainly not bets you should be upset by. He's a cold weather player who didn't get to show out this spring, yeah, so he's one of those guys that you really need out there playing ball ASAP. But this is the kind of risk the Cubs should be taking if they're empowering their R&D and player dev teams. Howard could have been the top prep bat off the board had he gotten a normal spring in.

    And if it makes you feel any better, Longenhagen, Kiley's old partner at FanGraphs, put a 50 on the hit tool.
    Last edited by NoChiInChamp; 06-11-2020 at 03:42 AM.

  4. #244
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    Anyway, in one of his pieces earlier this week, Kiley had TrackMan give him the output of a pitch-grading algorithm to put together a top 20 pitcher list based off the data they had:

    1. Max Meyer, Minnesota
    2. Asa Lacy, Texas A&M
    3. Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech
    4. Garrett Crochet, Tennessee
    5. Emerson Hancock, Georgia
    6. Tanner Witt, Texas HS (2759 rpm average, 2990 rpm peak curveball spin rates)
    7. Tanner Burns, Auburn
    8. Logan Allen, Florida International
    9. Reid Detmers, Louisville
    10. Mason Erla, Michigan State
    11. Bryce Jarvis, Duke
    12. Masyn Winn, Texas HS
    13. Burl Carraway, Dallas Baptist
    14. Christian Chamberlain, Oregon State
    15. Slade Cecconi, Miami
    16. Brannon Jordan, South Carolina
    17. Jared Jones, California HS
    18. Mick Abel, Oregon HS
    19. Cole Wilcox, Georgia
    20. Nate Wohlgemuth, Oklahoma HS
    Looking out for some of these available names in rounds 2-5. Some interesting curveball spin guys not listed: Ohio State LHP Seth Lonsway (highest average spin rate on the curve in the 2020 data), Florida St LHP Shane Drohan, Clemson LHP Sam Weatherly, and Florida LHP Mason Miller (had the highest average and overall curveball spin rate in 2019).

    BONUS EDIT: interesting top exit velo guys in the 2019 and 2020 data reported: Georgia Tech RF Baron Radcliff (116.3 mph), Florida State RF Elijah Cabell (114.0 mph), Cincinnati RF Joey Wiemer (113.8 mph) Arizona St. 3B Gage Workman (112.6 mph). Additionally, in terms of distance, Arkansas SS Casey Martin is reported to have had one of the highest HR distances in the dataset at 442 feet (especially impressive as an 80 runner), and Canadian prep outfielder Owen Caissie had the best high school distance at 428 feet (SUPER interested in this kid given his tools and the fact that he's one of the youngest players in the draft at 17).
    Last edited by NoChiInChamp; 06-11-2020 at 04:13 AM.

  5. #245
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    I'm very disappointed that we passed on Nick Bitsko.

    Any idea why a kid his age, with such a tremendous arm lasted that long?

    I also like the fact that he's a big analytics follower. He is focusing on his spin rate right now.
    Last edited by thawv; 06-11-2020 at 07:38 AM.

  6. #246
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    I guess I can throw a couple of names out there from Ole Miss who I watch very closely. Tyler Keenan and Anthony Servideo. Keenan is a power bat and has hit for average throughout college. Not sure if he sticks at 3b because hes a big guy. Kind of reminds of a Mike Moustakas. He was rolling before our season got cut short already hitting 7 homers and driving in 33 runs while slashing .403/.488/.791 in 17 games. The kid is going to hit but may project as a 1b/DH guy in the majors although he handles 3b really well in college. Servideo is a guy that played out of position until this year. He was stuck behind a legacy guy (Grae Kessinger - drafted round 2 (?) by the Astros last year) but looked way more at home playing his natural position (SS) this year. He wanted to hit for more power this year and was well on his way with 5 HRs and 17 RBI to go along with 9 steals and slashing .390/.575/.695 out of the leadoff spot this year. Hes a smooth SS that can play anywhere and has a strong accurate arm. Hes a lefty bat that really showed he can hit lefties this year in SSS. I believe he had 2 hits off Detmers when we faced him this year. They are both projected as late 2nd round early 3rd round guys. Just threw them out there because Im really familiar with them.


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  7. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChiInChamp View Post
    Anyway, in one of his pieces earlier this week, Kiley had TrackMan give him the output of a pitch-grading algorithm to put together a top 20 pitcher list based off the data they had:



    Looking out for some of these available names in rounds 2-5. Some interesting curveball spin guys not listed: Ohio State LHP Seth Lonsway (highest average spin rate on the curve in the 2020 data), Florida St LHP Shane Drohan, Clemson LHP Sam Weatherly, and Florida LHP Mason Miller (had the highest average and overall curveball spin rate in 2019).

    BONUS EDIT: interesting top exit velo guys in the 2019 and 2020 data reported: Georgia Tech RF Baron Radcliff (116.3 mph), Florida State RF Elijah Cabell (114.0 mph), Cincinnati RF Joey Wiemer (113.8 mph) Arizona St. 3B Gage Workman (112.6 mph). Additionally, in terms of distance, Arkansas SS Casey Martin is reported to have had one of the highest HR distances in the dataset at 442 feet (especially impressive as an 80 runner), and Canadian prep outfielder Owen Caissie had the best high school distance at 428 feet (SUPER interested in this kid given his tools and the fact that he's one of the youngest players in the draft at 17).
    Good to see you.

    Lots of great names on these lists. The round 2 pitching depth is really impressive this year.

  8. #248
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    2020 MLB Draft Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by thawv View Post
    I'm very disappointed that we passed on Nick Bitsko.

    Any idea why a kid his age, with such a tremendous arm lasted that long?

    I also like the fact that he's a big analytics follower. He is focusing on his spin rate right now.
    I would have been happy with Bitsko. Im not unhappy with Howard either. Lots of teams barely saw Bitsko pitch. He reclassified up a year so he wasnt on the radar as much last season and then this year was lost. He only had 2 years of HS baseball. His showcase was about 3 innings long. I think its pretty impressive he made himself into a first rounder despite all that. His stuff is very good, but Im not shocked he lasted to pick 25. There was a lot of talk that hed go in the comp round. Im more surprised Kelley wasnt picked last night.
    Last edited by CP_414; 06-11-2020 at 10:02 AM.

  9. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by CP_414 View Post
    I would have been happy with Bitsko. Im not unhappy with Howard either. Lots of teams barely saw Bitsko pitch. He reclassified up a year so he wasnt on the radar as much last season and then this year was lost. He only had 2 years of HS baseball. His showcase was about 3 innings long. I think its pretty impressive he made himself into a first rounder despite all that. His stuff is very good, but Im not shocked he lasted to pick 25. There was a lot of talk that hed go in the comp round. Im more surprised Kelley wasnt picked last night.
    Right now, I'm a fan of velo. This kid could see upper 90's as his sitting point.

    I also realize that a HS pitcher is the least likely to succeed of the 4 options. I just really liked him.

  10. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by CP_414 View Post
    Good to see you.

    Lots of great names on these lists. The round 2 pitching depth is really impressive this year.
    Haven't had a reason to head over here in a while! And yeah, the Cubs could be able to land an arm comparable to Jensen's quality last year. Really intrigued by Logan Allen. The velocity is middling and he didn't throw a ton in 2019, but he was excellent in college (11.92 K/9, 2.21 BB/9, 2.86 ERA, much of that coming as a freshman and put up especially dominant numbers in limited action in 2019 and 2020) and while he only pitched 15 innings there, he was great on the Cape too (14.40 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, no earned runs). Combined with his top-10 appearance on that TrackMan list, I am all in if he's there in round 2.

  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChiInChamp View Post
    Wow, people actually had a problem with the Howard pick? Sure-fire shortstops with fast hands and bat speed are certainly not bets you should be upset by. He's a cold weather player who didn't get to show out this spring, yeah, so he's one of those guys that you really need out there playing ball ASAP. But this is the kind of risk the Cubs should be taking if they're empowering their R&D and player dev teams. Howard could have been the top prep bat off the board had he gotten a normal spring in.

    And if it makes you feel any better, Longenhagen, Kiley's old partner at FanGraphs, put a 50 on the hit tool.
    Longerhagen certainly is on the high end of where Howard falls, as he put him as a 45+ FV and the 11th best in the class. Not everyone is that high on Howard. Questions on his pitch recognition, his ability to handle high velocity (as he's hardly ever seen that) and power projection all exist.

    Now, where I think I feel more confident are some of the readings coming off his bat. His max barrel speed and impact momentum sit at 98%. So he does have quick bat speed. He's also 95% in max acceleration. These come from PG. So if there's one thing you want to point to his ability to handle things like velocity, you can show he's got some great bat speed. Whether this manifests into game power or not, though, will likely still fall on that pitch recognition skill that is questionable. But my guess is that Justin Stone saw these types of numbers and got excited. That's really where I feel the most comfortable...that we've got some great peripherals on his swing that should indicate ability down the road.

    That said, we're talking a lot of theorheitcals with Howard. He's incredibly raw across the board and he's got one of the biggest gaps from where we are today versus where his ceiling is. Just about everyone has his current bat in the 20's across the board, and the overall bat is across the board a bit.

    My disillusionment with the pick comes from not really loving this type of profile, glove over bat. He's got premium position and the likelihood to stay (though some of the way people talk, make him seem plus-plus at SS when he'ts far more plus). I'm fine with the risk, but wish the risk was placed more towards a HS arm than glove over bat SS. I know many read the Howard profile and see a Lindor, or a Barry Larkin, but his profile reads almost identical to someone like Jio Mier from 2009, as well. I know it's a game we can play with any prospect, so I'm not trying to say he's somehow unique here...but it's just that I think it's perfectly fine, especially where the Cubs were sitting, to be less than excited about this pick.

    It's...meh for me. I said it was gross off the bat, and that might have been a bit harsh, but I still don't love it. It's a cold weather player who's super raw with the bat. Bat speed seems great, pitch recognition is a relative complete unknown, defense is good. Would rather have hit on one of the HS arms, a Cavelli, Soderstrom an Austin Wells, maybe even a Garrett Mitchell (though I think I prefer Howard to Mitchell as I just don't believe the power's in that kid's swing). I'm happier with Howard over someone like Crow-Armstrong, Tucker, Shuster or especially Yorke (though I think he was only a 1st rounder in Boston's board) who also went in the 1st. So that's where I sit. I wish the Cubs had gone a different route. I'm not super jazzed about Howard. I get it, I see why some are, but I'm not. He sounds like a great kid, I hope he's Barry Larkin or Francisco Lindor.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 06-11-2020 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Autocorrect decided that Mier was Miller. Thanks.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by thawv View Post
    Right now, I'm a fan of velo. This kid could see upper 90's as his sitting point.

    I also realize that a HS pitcher is the least likely to succeed of the 4 options. I just really liked him.
    Yeah, he would have been a fun follow. When it was reported the Cubs were making a "splash" with their pick, I assumed it meant Bitsko or Abel. Plenty satisfied with Howard, though.

  13. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChiInChamp View Post
    Anyway, in one of his pieces earlier this week, Kiley had TrackMan give him the output of a pitch-grading algorithm to put together a top 20 pitcher list based off the data they had:



    Looking out for some of these available names in rounds 2-5. Some interesting curveball spin guys not listed: Ohio State LHP Seth Lonsway (highest average spin rate on the curve in the 2020 data), Florida St LHP Shane Drohan, Clemson LHP Sam Weatherly, and Florida LHP Mason Miller (had the highest average and overall curveball spin rate in 2019).

    BONUS EDIT: interesting top exit velo guys in the 2019 and 2020 data reported: Georgia Tech RF Baron Radcliff (116.3 mph), Florida State RF Elijah Cabell (114.0 mph), Cincinnati RF Joey Wiemer (113.8 mph) Arizona St. 3B Gage Workman (112.6 mph). Additionally, in terms of distance, Arkansas SS Casey Martin is reported to have had one of the highest HR distances in the dataset at 442 feet (especially impressive as an 80 runner), and Canadian prep outfielder Owen Caissie had the best high school distance at 428 feet (SUPER interested in this kid given his tools and the fact that he's one of the youngest players in the draft at 17).
    Sign me up for Caissie. He's Canadian Joey Gallo. The Cubs have some interesting premium position prospects in the system right now, heavily in the SS/CF/C positions but they really lack the high end, exciting power prospects. They could really infuse some of that with Caissie here.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 06-11-2020 at 11:04 AM.

  14. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChiInChamp View Post
    Haven't had a reason to head over here in a while! And yeah, the Cubs could be able to land an arm comparable to Jensen's quality last year. Really intrigued by Logan Allen. The velocity is middling and he didn't throw a ton in 2019, but he was excellent in college (11.92 K/9, 2.21 BB/9, 2.86 ERA, much of that coming as a freshman and put up especially dominant numbers in limited action in 2019 and 2020) and while he only pitched 15 innings there, he was great on the Cape too (14.40 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, no earned runs). Combined with his top-10 appearance on that TrackMan list, I am all in if he's there in round 2.
    Allen is one of the guys Im hoping makes it to 51. FB and Change rate well, control is a plus, breaking ball could be average. High performer. Seems likely to stick as a starter. Id be very happy with him at 51.

  15. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    Longerhagen certainly is on the high end of where Howard falls, as he put him as a 45+ FV and the 11th best in the class. Not everyone is that high on Howard. Questions on his pitch recognition, his ability to handle high velocity (as he's hardly ever seen that) and power projection all exist.

    Now, where I think I feel more confident are some of the readings coming off his bat. His max barrel speed and impact momentum sit at 98%. So he does have quick bat speed. He's also 95% in max acceleration. These come from PG. So if there's one thing you want to point to his ability to handle things like velocity, you can show he's got some great bat speed. Whether this manifests into game power or not, though, will likely still fall on that pitch recognition skill that is questionable. But my guess is that Justin Stone saw these types of numbers and got excited. That's really where I feel the most comfortable...that we've got some great peripherals on his swing that should indicate ability down the road.

    That said, we're talking a lot of theorheitcals with Howard. He's incredibly raw across the board and he's got one of the biggest gaps from where we are today versus where his ceiling is. Just about everyone has his current bat in the 20's across the board, and the overall bat is across the board a bit.

    My disillusionment with the pick comes from not really loving this type of profile, glove over bat. He's got premium position and the likelihood to stay (though some of the way people talk, make him seem plus-plus at SS when he'ts far more plus). I'm fine with the risk, but wish the risk was placed more towards a HS arm than glove over bat SS. I know many read the Howard profile and see a Lindor, or a Barry Larkin, but his profile reads almost identical to someone like Jio Miller from 2009, as well. I know it's a game we can play with any prospect, so I'm not trying to say he's somehow unique here...but it's just that I think it's perfectly fine, especially where the Cubs were sitting, to be less than excited about this pick.

    It's...meh for me. I said it was gross off the bat, and that might have been a bit harsh, but I still don't love it. It's a cold weather player who's super raw with the bat. Bat speed seems great, pitch recognition is a relative complete unknown, defense is good. Would rather have hit on one of the HS arms, a Cavelli, Soderstrom an Austin Wells, maybe even a Garrett Mitchell (though I think I prefer Howard to Mitchell as I just don't believe the power's in that kid's swing). I'm happier with Howard over someone like Crow-Armstrong, Tucker, Shuster or especially Yorke (though I think he was only a 1st rounder in Boston's board) who also went in the 1st. So that's where I sit. I wish the Cubs had gone a different route. I'm not super jazzed about Howard. I get it, I see why some are, but I'm not. He sounds like a great kid, I hope he's Barry Larkin or Francisco Lindor.
    As far as Eric and Kiley go, you're not going to get present value on the hit tool that's more than a 25 for prep bats. Too much projection having not seen pro or even college pitching. Howard hit the pitching on the showcase circuit last summer, so I'm not particularly concerned? I think the glove-over-bat stuff is a bit of an oversimplification and his defense has been highlighted because he's a legitimate shortstop when there are often questions about future fit at the position for most guys. And nobody should be expecting any draft pick to be a Hall of Famer or MVP candidate. Just look at him relative to the cohort of first round shortstops. And there consensus is that he stands as a perfectly fine fit at 16, though with some added variance on the bat due to cold weather and no 2020 looks.

    The names you mentioned being more interested in have their own issues. Cavalli with some injury stuff and, looking at what's public concerning pitch data, not having standout characteristics among the top pitchers in the draft. Soderstrom is a high school catcher, a demo that almost always fails, though his bat probably makes him a decent candidate for a corner infield or outfield spot. Austin Wells probably won't catch. Mitchell has questions around diabetes and needs his swing reworked to reach his upside. You're making bets on guys who carry some elevated degree of risk relative to the top of the draft when you're picking at 16. All of these guys are perfectly fine in that range, as is a no-doubt shortstop with the hands, bat speed, and physical projection to be a good bat as well.

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