Episode 8 of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast features Joel Henard and I breaking down the Jason Heyward/Shelby Miller trade from both the Cardinals and Braves perspective. Also, was the Russell Martin signing going to take the Blue Jays pitching staff to the next level? Can the Mets swing a deal for Starlin Castro? We even find time for a little craft beer talk. No interviews this week, but it allowed us to record back-to-back episodes and make up for lost time. Enjoy our 5-star rated podcast and share with a friend or 10.
It wouldn’t be a Cubs off-season without Starlin Castro trade rumors to the Mets. Last winter, the question was if Chicago would sell low to clear space for a plethora of near ready shortstop prospects. For New York, Zack Wheeler was the clear cut second fiddle to Matt Harvey and destined to become a star in his own right. 12 months later and every scenario discussed prior to the 2014 season has proven wildly misguided at best and sheer idiocy at worst.
The minor league season has concluded, but we are far removed from the days of baseball being confined to the summer months. Next week marks the beginning of the six week long Arizona Fall League where top prospects will compete against one another. The six teams form like Voltron with each Major League organization sending seven representatives; players will shuffle on and off of the roster from there. The Arizona Fall League is often the stepping stone from which prospects in the lower minors transition into Double-A the following year.
When shopping pitcher Jeff Samardzija earlier this season, the Chicago Cubs hoped to fill organizational holes with quality young players. It didn’t take the Cubs long to find a trade partner, trading Samardzija and pitcher Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for a prospect package centered around 20-year-old shortstop Addison Russell.
The 2014 season was a successful one in terms of baseball prospects scouted. Today’s players include a pair of young Phillies, a Red Sox third baseman hoping to establish himself in MLB and two, 25-year old’s working to rebound from injury-induced struggles at the upper levels. Add these players to watch lists and monitor their progress closely. Each has strengths and the ability to “click” if things break right, although none are a finished product.
Few would argue shortstop as the hardest defensive position to play without wearing the tools of ignorance. In the past day or two, baseball WAR has been a popular topic of discussion on Twitter, fueling another piece on the subject Tuesday. In the comments section, a reader challenged the idea of Andrelton Simmons being much better than Jason Heyward in right field just because he’s a shortstop. But for me, it’s not about what other positions a shortstop can play, it’s about the positions other players can’t. In the coming years, the Cubs have a chance to turn baseball WAR on its head by shifting a glut of up the middle players to other positions, causing a number of young players to slide down the defensive spectrum. The statistical fall out will be fun to watch.
Coming in at just short of an hour, episode two of the ROTOscouting baseball podcast is packed with information on Pirates, Cubs and September call ups, among other things. Chris Blessing also makes an appearance to discuss a number of players scouted this season in the South Atlantic and Southern Leagues. Subscribe to the Podcast on ITunes and never miss an episode. If not an ITunes user, listen here.
Chicago Cubs pitching prospect CJ Edwards is an unlikely prospect. Selected in the 48th round by the Texas Rangers in the 2011 draft, the Mid-Carolina High School (SC) product was a long shot to reach Double-A. Instead, Edwards became the centerpiece of a prospect package which landed the Rangers Matt Garza. His slender build (6-foot-2, 155 Ibs.) screams reliever unable to withstand the rigors of starting pitching. Yet, Edwards is a consensus top-100 prospect and the Cubs top pitching prospect. Can CJ Edwards overcome an injury plagued 2014 and reach Chicago in 2015?
Kris Bryant answered critics with a dominant 2014. Between stops at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, the slugging third baseman compiled a .325/.438/.661 triple slash, good for a 1.098 OPS. Showing both power and speed (43 home runs and 15 stolen bases), Bryant laid claim to the title of the best prospect in baseball. ROTOscouting’s Chris Blessing scouted the offensive juggernaut in Tennessee earlier in the year. Has the profile changed as Bryant adds the finishing touches?
The Cubs called up Jorge Soler on Monday, bringing the talented outfielder to Wrigley for the last six weeks of the season. Across three levels, the Cuban compiled a triple slash of .340/.432/.700, more than enough to warrant a big league look. Unlike Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara, Soler was already on the 40-man roster and is signed to a Major League contract. Recalled midway through the I-Cubs’ matchup against Tacoma, Soler provided a brief glimpse into his potential. What will the future star be working on during his time in the north side of Chicago?
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?