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Chicago Cubs Top MiLB Tools
With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.
Hit Tool: Javier Baez, SS
Power: Javier Baez, SS
Eye: Zeke DeVoss, CF
Runner: John Andreoli, OF
K-Ability: C.J. Edwards, RHP
Control: Kyle Hendricks, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: The top offensive player at the position in a surprisingly deep prospect class, Javier Baez has the type of power that will play anywhere on the field (see below), but he also combines that with improving pitch recognition and the potential to hit .300 in the big leagues.
Best Power: Javier Baez slugged 37 homeruns in 2013, trailing only the minor leagues leader, Texas’ Joey Gallo, by three. He also added 34 doubles and four triples to finish the year with 75 extra-base knocks. Again, the power will play at any position.
Best Plate Discipline: The bat and power haven’t developed as expected for Zeke DeVoss, a former third round pick, but he continues to show an impressive knack for drawing walks. The Miami Hurricane alum has averaged 81 walks over the past two years and owns a career 15.1% BB-rate.
Best Base Stealer: Outfielder John Andreoli shows a decent hit tool and solid walk rates which allows him to take advantage of his base stealing prowess. The former late round pick out of the University of Connecticut swiped 40 bags in just 45 attempts (88.9%) last season and owns a career success rate just shy of 80%.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: Part of the bounty received for what amounted as half of a season of replacement level pitching from Matt Garza, C.J. Edwards struck out the highest percentage of batters faced this season (33.1%), while averaging 12.0 K/9 in 116.1 innings. Through 183.1 career innings, the former 48th round pick in 2011 has averaged 11.8 K/9.
Best Control: A solid, under-the-radar hurler, Kyle Hendricks won’t miss an enormous amount of bats – he’s averaged 7.4 K/9 throughout his career – but does an impressive job limiting free passes. After issuing just 18 base-on-balls in 2012 the right-hander nearly doubled his total (34) this season, but still managed to average a meager 1.8 BB/9 while splitting his time between Tennessee and Iowa.
Photo of Zeke DeVoss Courtesy of Aldrin Capulong via MiLB.com.