2016, the Cubs arrive?

Jim Callis, formerly of Baseball America, and currently of MLB.com appeared on the David Kaplan Show on Tuesday night (Listen to the whole interview here) and couldn’t say more good things about the Cubs system, specifically their bats.  During the interview, Callis said that he can’t remember a minor league system having four high level position players all at once.  Callis has been around a long time, and is an expert when it comes to minor league baseball, and Major League baseball prospects, so hearing that should get a lot of people excited.

Many Cubs fans have this notion that Javier Baez is the Soler Daytonabest all around player in the history of ever, while I like that enthusiasm, he is just as bad defensively as Castro.  Fans thinking Baez will supplant Castro at short could be mistaken and Callis touched on that as well.  He thinks Baez can be an okay short-stop but a great third baseman.  The same thought was shared in regards to Bryant he can be an okay third baseman, or a great right fielder.  Bottom line, guys are going switch positions and most likely play wherever allows their bat to get in the lineup.

When asked which Cubs prospect would be the one that Callis trades for pitching he responded with Jorge Soler.  Some scouts feel that Soler has not given 100% effort during his time in the minor leagues.  I think I can agree, but I can also see why they could be saying tha.  Soler is being paid like a major league ballplayer, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s becoming disinterested with the Minor League lifestyle, competition, etc.  I don’t think that Soler is lazy but I understand what Callis is saying, the effort supposedly isn’t there and could translate to different levels so the Cubs could trade him for arms.

Finally, Kaplan asked Callis about when the Cubs will contend, and when will we stop hearing about the Cubs prospects and hear more about winning at the Major League level?  Callis agreed that this upcoming season could be pretty ugly, but you never know when you have a young team.  The middle to end of 2014 is when we will start seeing some of these prized prospects hit the North Side and by 2016 he feels the Cubs can become legit contenders.  He doesn’t rule out 2015 necessarily and he thinks the 2015 team is when the Cubs start becoming an “interesting” ball club, that’s usually a good thing.  Spring training can’t get here soon enough.

George header

2 Comments

I like the article and I think the timeframe being 2016 is legitimate and realistic. I don’t think during the next two seasons that many teams have a shot to get past St. Louis, LA, Atlanta or Pittsburgh in the National league. By the time these teams begin to weaken somewhat I think the Cubs young talent should have enough major league experience behind them to start doing some good things. I don’t want to see Soler traded for pitching. Soler has power to all fields and good pitch selection and is a very athletic young man. I think he does some really good things in the minors this season with a fresh start. Last year the injury and incident he had going after the other team’s dugout hurt his development but the talent is there. He was highly sought after by many teams before the Cubs landed him and scouts where very high on him. HIs tools didn’t disappear, he just didn’t play much last year.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Nick! I agree with your thinking, and I like Soler more than some of the publications do as well. Once he is able to develop, I think he could be scary good.

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