Hitting prospects 2011

Here is a list of Cub hitting prospects, ranked according to this formula: total bases + walks + stolen bases – games divided by games, to yield a “score” that determines the ranking.

Notes May 17:
Bour’s score has risen 28 percentage points to 1.74. LaHair has added 55 points to vault to the top of the list, in a dead heat with Jackson.

Notes May 27:
Junior Lake up from 20 to #10 in the rankings.

Notes June 7:
Clevenger down 28 points, from 1.58 to 1.30. Szczur up 19 points, from 1.52 to 1.71.

A couple of players with a small number of games-played have risen dramatically: Luis Flores from 1.33 to 1.80; and Ryan Cuneo, from 0.33 to 1.39! Cuneo has produced 26 total bases in his last 9 games.

Notes June 22:
Tyler Colvin has shot up into the top ten, thanks to 43 total bases in 18 games. Of Colvin’s 21 hits, 14 are for extra bases. I wouldn’t say that he’s ready to slug away in the majors, though, until he demonstrates an ability to hit with two strikes; go deeper into counts; not always get four or five official at-bats in a game.

Notes July 21:
2011 27th-round draftee Taiwan Easterling skipped Boise and hit the ground running at Peoria with 7 total bases in 3 games (actually 12 in 4 games, but his home run yesterday was too late for this compilation). Based on this very small data sample, Easterling zooms to the top of the rankings.

Boise numbers are included in this table, but only for players who have risen to Peoria or higher.

Notes July 28:
Players aged twenty-two or younger in the top 25 this week are Jackson (2), Easterling (3), Crawford (11), Lake (15), LeMahieu (17), Burgess (18), Cerda (19) and Watkins (23). Bour (6) and Jones (7) are twenty-three.

Notes August 6:
At this point in the season, there is not a lot of movement on this list from one week to the next. Easterling, of course, dropped off after getting a few at-bats at Peoria. Brett Jackson was hot enough to rise 15 points (1.45 to 1.60). Flaherty, still slumping after advancing to Iowa, fell off 9 points. LeMahieu dropped 13 points.

The top five middle infielders on the list are Flaherty, Lake, LeMahieu, Watkins and Gonzalez. Prospects who can play second and even a little shortstop and hit like Flaherty and LeMahieu are shoo-ins to make the majors. Watkins and Gonzalez are decent bets. Lake is a huge talent (9 homers, 32 stolen bases) but is still strikeout-prone, so there is a downside.

Three of the top six in the list (LaHair, Jones and Bour) are first basemen, with 29, 19 and 21 home runs respectively. That’s interesting, considering that the Cubs are often alleged to have no prospects at that position. Jones is having the best year among players in the organization that nobody ever mentions. He is not a serious prospect yet, but he has taken the first step.

Notes August 20:
Jackson continues to rise but can’t close the gap with LaHair. Flaherty has stopped falling. Bour loses ten percentage points, as does Burgess.