Prospecting at Cubs Park

Christian Villanueva at third

Christian Villanueva game face at third

Over the past week of Cubs camp I’ve been watching a lot of the organization’s top prospects, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, and Arodys Vizciano, to name more than a few. These young kids (and others I didn’t mention) have been quite impressive. They appear very focused and hard working, and so far have shown the ability to shatter car windows with batting practice HR’s. Okay, that last part was only one bomb from Javy Baez. The point remains, these prospects are exciting to watch, and they are potentially the core players who will finally lift the Cubs to a World Series title.

Working in a group together for infield practice have been: At 3b base – Kris Bryant and Christian Villanueva, at ss – Javier Baez and Jeudy Valdez, at 2nd base – Logan Watkins and Arismendy Alcantara, and at 1st base – Mike Olt and Mitch Maier. Some observations on this group: Watkins and Villanueva both look noticeably stronger this camp; Olt, with his well-documented eyesight situation, has no issues with the glove at first, he’s very slick with the leather; and for being 5’10″ tall, Alcantara seems built low to the ground, he’s quick and powerful in his fielding.

Matt Szczur Chicago Cubs

Matt Szczur

Besides the Javy window shattering bomb, there’s plenty to get pumped up about these prospects. Seeing (and hearing the pop) of a 98 mph Vizcaino fastball. Watching Almora put the ball everywhere it’s supposed to be, in situational bp hitting. The power bats of Soler and Olt.  We’ll get to see plenty of Rizzo, Castro, and the starters as we get into the spring games later this week, but I’m enjoying the prospecting.

All these young position player prospects can hit, or they wouldn’t be here. However, hitting at the Major League level is a whole different ballgame. The ability to rise up the ranks and continue to hit at each higher level, is what will make or break these players. Expectations do need to be tempered, after all, these guys are prospects, and the burn/failure rate is high. It’s just great to finally see a minor league pipeline that is flowing with high quality talent, not the small trickle of one hyped Felix Pie, or Corey Patterson at a time.

Here’s some of my photos from the weekend at Cubs Park. As always, click photo to see it larger. T

Cubs Alcantara and Watkins

Alcantara and Watkins

Cubs Arismendy Alcantara

Arismendy Alcantara

Cubs Albert Almora signs

Albert Almora signs

Cubs Logan Watkins

Logan Watkins

Cubs Jorge Soler

Jorge Soler

Cubs Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant

Coach talks to infield

Coach talks to infielders

Cubs Christian Villanueva

Christian Villanueva

Cubs Josh Vitters

Josh Vitters

Jeudy Valdez

Jeudy Valdez goes high but can’t snag it

Cubs pitching prospect Armando Rivero

Pitching prospect Armando Rivero

Cubs Manager Rick Renteria has a good laugh

Rick Renteria cracks em up

Rick Renteria keep an eye on Almora

The Manager and Almora

Cubs Albert Almora signs for young fan

Albert Almora signs for young fan

 

Tim

Tim

Tim Sheridan is a Cubs fanatic who also happens to be the Cubs spring training public address announcer at Sloan Stadium and your tour guide here at boysofspring.com.
Tim

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