Tuesday, January 23, 2007

FASTFORWARD Chicago Cubs Roster Analysis Part One

As many in the GAP have noticed, Chicago is undergoing a nearly complete rebuilding effort. Here is a basic rundown of what the Cub's management has accomplished for the future. We'll start with the Pitching Staff this week, and go into the lineup a little later on.


SP1: Richard Hyun (28)

Already a dominant force in the Majors, Hyun has monumentally improved from the start of Season 1 to the end of Season 2. His Season 2 line was really the only reason the Cubs were able to finish .500 and not sink to the NL cellar. After posting a 12-5 record with an ERA of 2.96, Hyun is ready to take the reigns as the staff ace come Season 3 and beyond. With Travis Seabol and Geronimo Olivares out of town, and Louie Foster and Edgardo Pena leaving after Season 3, Hyun will be the staff vet, at a whopping age of 28.

SP2: Johnny Buck (22)

Buck's meteoric rise to the ML fringe have been well documented in the Windy City. Although he may still be a couple years from attaining true phenom status, Buck is certainly impressing in AAA, going 14-6 with a 3.22 ERA in Season 2 in his first full stint with the I-Cubs. This former 18th overall pick is surely proving his place among the top picks in the Season 1 draft.

SP3: Willie Ordonez (20)

Chicago won the international bidding war on the 20 year old Cuban-defect when they offered him a 10mil bonus towards the end of Season 2. The 10mil seems like a steal after Ordonez immediately paid dividends in High A then AAA, going 5-2 with an ERA of 3.45 in 10 starts combined at the two stops. He may only be 20 years old, but Ordonez could be ready to make his ML debut in a year or two. One thing's for sure, the big wigs in Chicago are going to be keeping a close eye at the Iowa rotation come September call-ups.

SP4: Pete Frascatore (19)

With the 20th pick in the season 2 draft, the Chicago Cubs selected this little known Paterson, NJ soft-tosser. But after a dominating second half of Season 2, the comparisons to Jamie Moyer are simply deafening. Pete proved a steal with only a 2.2mil bonus, going 10-1 in 17 mixed A starts, compiling an ERA of only 3.08 and a OAV of only .232. He'll start the season at HighA, but look for Frascatore and his nasty Forkball to climb up the Minor League ranks fast.

SP5: Carl Upshaw (19)

Acquired in the off-season for aging Cubs closer Cooper Hoffman, Upshaw has all the makings of a staff ace come season 6 or 7. This Deerfield Beach, FL product boasts all kinds of upside that has Cubs management licking their chops. With a plus Split Fastball to compliment his dominant 4-seamer, Upshaw will most likely be eating up hitters in LowA to start the season, but could be up to AA come September.

SP6: Rich Allen (22)

Although he's technically already hit the Major's with the Rays, Allen looks to see some time in the Cub's farm system before he's really ready to contribute with the big league team. With a wicked Sinker and an extremely accurate Slider, Allen looks only a year or so off from being near the top of the Chicago rotation.

LR: C.J. Tatum (26)
LR: Anthony Randolph (23)

SU: Moises Gabriel (23)
SU: Dave Roosevelt (21)

CL: Luis Molina (22)
CL: Carlos Marin (23)

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