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Chicago Cubs’ Fact Pack: All-Star Pitchers

October 25th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Theo Epstein promised to add two quality starting pitchers this off-season, and for good reason. From 2010-2014, the Chicago Cubs only had two pitchers make the National League all-star team: Travis Wood (2013) and Jeff Samardzija* (2014, did not participate due to trade to American League).

Claude Passeau is the only pitcher in Chicago Cubs’ history to make five all-star teams as a member of the Cubs (1941-1943, 1945-1946). Bruce Sutter has four appearances (1977-1980). No one else in team history has more than three.

*Stats per baseball-reference.com

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Down on the Farm: Odds Cubs’ Top Prospects Will Make Debuts in 2015, Part 1

October 25th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Yesterday we mentioned a number of the Chicago Cubs’ top prospects who are on the verge of making their major league debuts (or joining the big league squad full-time in the case of Vizcaino): Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, CJ Edwards, Arodys Vizcaino, Pierce Johnson and Albert Almora. All are capable of making an impact for the Cubs in 2015, but just how good are their chances?

Kris Bryant, 3B – 100%

Even if Bryant struggles in the early months of 2015 he will find himself in the big leagues before all is said and done. The hype surrounding MLB.com’s no. 3 prospect has gotten to the point where the Cubs’ can’t possibly hold him down.

Level

Games

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

AA

68

.355

.458

22

58

AAA

70

.295

.418

21

52

Total

138

.325

.438

43

110

However, production shouldn’t be a problem for Bryant, who has excelled at every level of the minor leagues since he was drafted second overall in the 2013 amateur draft. Bryant will be in the big leagues by either May or June and should log more than 100 games for the Cubs. The only question surrounding this kid is what position he will play.

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Fan of the Week: Prospects to Watch in 2015

October 24th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Another week has flown by and it’s already Friday! This week’s Fan of the Week is Sam Griffin. Sam has been on top of his game lately, being the first person to "LIKE" almost all of our articles on Facebook this week! Here is Sam’s paragraph of airtime:

Thank you for choosing me. All I can say about the 2015 cubs is I'm looking forward to the young players like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and the minor league players coming up as well. We need a veteran, starting pitcher. I am real excited about the upcoming season.

There is so much to be excited about heading into the 2015 season! In addition to the two veteran starters that Theo Epstein promised earlier this month, the Cubs should continue to push exciting rookies towards the major leagues. Javier Baez and Jorge Soler were worth the price of admission in 2014, and here are some guys who could electrify the Wrigley Field crowds in 2015:

Player

Position

2015 Age

Highest Level Reached (games)

Org. Rank

Kris Bryant

3B

23

AAA (70)

1st

Addison Russell

SS

21

AA (63)

2nd

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Cubs Send #2 Prospect Russell Home

October 24th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

According to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago, the Chicago Cubs have decided to cut, number two prospect, Addison Russell’s fall short and send him home. Russell had been participating in the Arizona Fall League in a effort to gain valuable experience against some of baseball’s best young talent, as well as make up for missed playing time due to injuries. Russell ends his fall with a final line of .196/.260/.348 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 11 games.

Russell’s departure from the AFL is nothing to be worried about because it is not due to injury, but rather, the Cubs’ think that Russell has had enough baseball for 2014. It is a similar decision to the one the organization made when they opted to leave Dallas Beeler off of the September roster. The hope is that Russell, 20, will be able to take some time to rest and then dive into his off-season workouts. His 2015 campaign will most likely begin at AAA and could turn into a MLB debut by September if he continues to impress. Russell has yet to play more than 110 games in a season since being drafted in 2012 and the Cubs are hoping that the right combination of rest and conditioning will help their young stud last at least 130 games in 2015.

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What Ever Happened to Bryan LaHair?

October 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Back in 2011, the Chicago Cubs thought they had found a diamond in the rough in 28-year-old first baseman Bryan LaHair. He was relatively unproven at the big league level, but LaHair had proven to be one of the best minor league talents in baseball:

Year

Team

Level

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

2009

SEA

AAA

.289

.354

26

85

2010

CHC

AAA

.308

.385

25

81

2011

CHC

AAA

.331

.405

38

109

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

LaHair began the 2012 season as a starter for the Cubs and appeared to be the solution to a struggling offense, hitting .390 with five home runs in the month of April and finishing the first half by hitting .286 with 14 home runs en route to his first career all-star appearance. However, the second half was a different story. All the magic of the first half was gone and he quickly fell out of the Cubs’ starting lineup thanks to his .202 average and two home runs in 109 at bats.

After the 2012 season, the Cubs decided to let Lahair walk. They didn’t need him anymore, thanks to his lack of consistent production and the emergence of Anthony Rizzo.

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