A video published on the Cubs online community Bleed Cubbie Blue has caught my attention. It isn’t of the best quality, so you have to look at it a few times to get a proper image, but it does show some batting practice footage of Cubs 2011 2nd round draft pick 1B Dan Vogelbach
– or somebody claiming to be him.
If you didn’t know of him, Vogelbach is a big boy touted for his power. In his short career through the Arizona Rookie League and Northwest League as a Boise Hawk, the twenty-year-old has compiled a ridiculous stat line of .320/.406/.632 with 44 extra-base hits – 18 of which have been homeruns – in just 310 at bats. Scouts love his power to all fields and also suggest he has a feel for hitting, as the numbers suggest; Vogelbach isn’t a guy who’s up there hacking at everything as he’s presented some plate discipline with a respectable 37:50 BB-to-strikeout ratio.
Vogelbach is also already ranked as the Cubs’ 11th best rated prospect according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, plus has made appearances in the top 10 MiLB first basemen rankings two years in a row (10th pre-2012, 8th pre-2013).
Listed at a disproportionate 6’0″ 250 lbs, Vogelbach has also received some ridicule suggesting he is a future Designated Hitter or a guy you place at first base for lacking a better spot – therefore of no use to the Cubs barring any major changes.
I have heard much about Vogelbach’s athleticism (his older brother is a quarterback, hails from Florida so he was active year round, and claims to have played basketball as a point guard for his whole life). Combine that with his excellent makeup and leadership, and we’ve got a guy who is probably dedicated enough to drop bad weight and prove to scouts that he can handle his position.
Without further adieu, here’s the new video of Vogelbach and his seemingly weight reduction. If I were to estimate, I’d say he looks twenty pounds lighter.
For comparison, here’s video from this past Summer at the AZL. You can see Vogelbach in seconds 1:10 – 1:20, 1:46, extended focus at 3:37, and again at 6:30.
With the only question thus far being his weight, how great would it be to see a physical improvement from Vogelbach this season? The guy has the potential to be a big bat in the middle of an order. Let us hope for the best!