The past two days the Cubs were on the road playing in Scottsdale against the Rockies, and Surprise against the Rangers. That meant I didn’t have to announce at Hohokam Stadium. Instead of heading out the those games, I decided to visit Fitch Park where the Cubs minor league pitchers and catchers had just reported for the start of their spring camp. Many of these guys had already been here working out for weeks or months. The pipeline of arms in the Cubs minor league system hasn’t exactly been flowing in recent years. Which is why after drafting outfielder Albert Almora with the #6 pick of the first round in the 2012 draft, the Cubs tapped pitchers with the next 7 selections.
Like many of you, I enjoy evaluating talent. Which is part of why I enjoy spending time at the minor league camp. This was the first draft of the Theo Epstein regime, so it will be interesting to see how this young crop of pitchers develop over the next few years.
I also went to a baseball game where my 9th grade nephew Connor was pitching. Or so I thought. Turns out he hadn’t been feeling well all day, so instead of pitching they started him in center field. He hit an RBI triple before being taken out with flu like symptoms. He’s been one of the better pitchers at each level so far, and played on club teams nearly year-round for many years now. He turned 15 years old a few months back, and is about 6’1″ 160 lbs right now. He’s got a live arm and pretty good command, we’ll see if he gets called up for any varsity games this year. P.A. Announcer and scout, an unlikely combination…maybe not.
Here’s a cool shot of Anthony Rizzo today sporting his team Italia uniform. Photo by John Antonoff.