The Future is ... Striking out a Lot

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Future is ... Striking out a Lot

. Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We have returned from our sojourn to New Orleans, and a lot has happened, personnel-wise. Performance wise? Eh. Seven in a row lost, Garza probably shut down, and the stark possibility that Jeff Samardzija's the #1 rotation guy for the remainder of the year.

But all the prospects you were wondering about? Maybe thought they could do better? You're about to find out. In addition to the messianic arrival of Rizzo, more than a dozen other Cubs rookies have taken the field for the big league club during 2012. Let's take a peek at how they're faring.

Anthony Rizzo

What remains to say about last season's big get? He's a clear upgrade over Bryan LaHair, and has an OPS over .840, with 9 home runs and a swing that single-handedly gets some people to Wrigley Field. He's not had a great run during this losing streak, but that'll happen when the team loses 7 games in a row.

Josh Vitters

The case of Josh Vitters really illustrates the insane expectations for high draft picks. Buzzed about as far back as 2008, he found himself slipping down the prospect charts year after year, until he had a weird sort of washed-up reputation coming into this year. All at the ripe age of 22. With the injury to Ian Stewart and the dumping of Jeff Baker, he's finally getting that shot some were starting to doubt he ever would.  In six games, he only has 6 plate appearances and 8 innings of field play. It's translated to 1 hit, 2 RBI, and a .167 batting average. SMALL SAMPLE SIZE! Though if you extrapolate those crappy stats, you get something close to Ian Stewart.

Brett Jackson

You remember when the front office kept saying that Brett Jackson needed some more plate discipline before he'd be ready to roam the outfield in Chicago? Since being called up, he's got 8 strikeouts in 13 plate appearances. Four of those came in one godawful game against the Padres. You might want to hold off on buying the jersey just yet.

Steve Clevenger

The man who got trade talk swirling around Geo Soto has cooled off from early in the year. A lot - .262 OBP with 1 homer and 15 RBI. At least he fields well.

Brooks Raley

The other lefty in the system to start the year - the one who wasn't Travis Wood and who you likely weren't paying attention to - started his first game last night against San Diego. It went ... not good. In 4 innings of work, he gave up 7 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks.  The 89 pitches it took was just the icing on the cake.

Adrian Cardenas

Proof that PCL hitting doesn't necessarily translate to Addison and Clark. Raking in Iowa earlier this year, he's hitting like the next Ronny Cedeno in 28 games in Chicago. He gets on base at .238, a number that seems like it would be higher, if just by accident.

Alberto Cabrera/Jeff Beliveau/Lendy Castillo/Blake Parker

The line on all the pitchers we've brought up to help plug the talent gap - 6+ ERA, WHIP above 1.600 (except Cabrera), no wins, and a feeling of certainty that Theo and Jed are doing the right thing by trying to stock up on system pitching.