Chicago Cubs News

Another Cubs System Review

By Editorial Staff
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As the off-season rolls on, we have another review of the Cubs minor league system to consider. This one is a short video from the Around the Minors series by MLB.com. Take a listen to the thoughts of Jonathan Mayo first, and then come on back for a wrap-up.

The video stressed Chris Archer and Brandon Guyer, rightfully so. They were the players of the year in the Cubs system last year, and we know that Archer will very likely have a shot to compete for a starting job next season. Brandon Guyer also had an excellent season, as we’ve talked about before.

The talk around Cubbies Crib has been concerning the Cubs lead off hitter. Guyer had 30 stolen bases last season, and an on base percentages .398. Could he be the leadoff hitter the Cubs are looking for?

I’m usually suspicious of putting a guy with power in the leadoff slot, and with an slugging percentage of .588, Guyer has shown some power. In his case, however, I think the more important number is his strike outs. You might need a magnifying glass to see them. In 369 ABs, Guyer struck out just 51 times in 2010. When a batter strikes out just 14% of the time and has low strikeout numbers across his career, I know he seeing the ball well. Guyer’s walks are lower than I’d like in a lead off hitter, but everything else appears to be there.

But what about 2011? Guyer was just in Double A last year. He won’t be fighting for a big league job yet… will he? Well, Starlin Castro spent very little time in the high minors and is doing OK. Tyler Colvin never played for Iowa and still won a job out of spring training. Guyer is on the forty man roster, so he will have a chance in the spring to show his stuff. If he puts up a Colvin-like spring… who knows? His low strike out number to me implies that he will have an easier time adjusting to major league pitching than a more power centric guy who strikes out a lot. Of course, I’m saying that before he has to hit major league breaking pitches. We might have our answers in spring training.

For Guyer to take a job in the outfield, someone has to be traded. If Fukudome can be moved, we might have an outfield of Soriano in left, Guyer in center, Colvin in right, with Byrd coming off the bench. And that’s leaving Snyder and Jackson out of the picture entirely and assuming the Cubs don’t get any outfielders back in a trade. Anyone else excited for spring training to begin yet?

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