Which farm system is seeing the biggest improvement in baseball this year? Chicago Cubs

“You guys must admit that the infrastructure for displaying ads has already been provided.”

I admit it! People have to be right.

This quote comes from Chicago Cubs owner and CEO Tom Ricketts, which is usually reason enough to deduct it. Anytime an owner talks about inner development, you can be careful enough about how impartial and unsympathetic the appraisal is.

However, in this case, it simply turns on.

I suspect Ricketts was mostly referring to big-league appearances for players like Justin Steel, Keegan Thompson, Brandon Hughes, Hayden Wisinski, and maybe even some of the more edgy/depth arms in spin and percussion. It’s a plethora of useful weapons that have arrived this season for the Cubs, or taken a huge step forward. The team will need more impact next year, but the preliminary steps are in place in front of a successful and deep staff in the major tournaments.

I’m not sure Ricketts meant to quote him on the minor leagues either, but that may be where there has been the most improvement, and the most proof of concept for the marketing infrastructure.

Keep in mind that Kyle Bodey, former Reds Director of Promotion and Key Man at Driveline, assesses changes in promotion across the organization from year to year. It uses secondary league data and major league parity calculations to reach those conclusions, and He says The Chicago Cubs system has been actively linked with the Washington Nationals to make the biggest improvement in baseball this year.

Sure, the Cubs are outside of his top four in the rankings, but they were starting waaaaaay down there just a couple of years ago. we I know they made a big leap last yearAnd if they make another big leap this year, it’s fair to imagine you’re looking at one of the best throwing systems in baseball, at least judging by the guy who knows a little about developing promotions.

Also keep in mind that the top of the Cubs system – and even a lot of quality depth – is not known to be very riveted. The names with the most discussion at system level are defenders Pete Crow-Armstrong and Brennen Davis, and the very youngsters you’re looking for are guys like Kevin Alcántara, Owen Caissie, James Triantos and Cristian Hernández. Even some of the biggest breakouts this year are center players like Matt Mervis, Alexandre Canario and Moise Ballesteros.

I think all of this sort of thing hides how quickly the Cubs put their show up, in both new additions and player development. Bodhi’s data confirms this.

Meanwhile, Patrick Mooney writes about developments on the supply side of the system, with a closer look at a number of the best merchandising possibilities, and quotes from Cubs coordinator of pitcher development Casey Jacobsen:

I’ve been more curious about how the Cubs can – in theory – better align exploration and player development these days, allowing for the best possible selection, and then incorporating player talent. Like, how do you target the right players in the draft, not just for current ability and expectations, but to know that your system will really help make them what they can be? Along the ladder from the educational ball to the major leagues?

Here’s a bit from Jacobsen to Mooney, about the prospect of offering Jackson Ferris, who was picked by the Cubs in the second round of this year’s draft (and went well above the signature slot):

“(Vice President of Promotion for Craig Breslow) had some of us look at different people who were in this amateur group, to integrate what we were seeing on the PD side, basically what an amateur PD report would look like. It can then be shared with the amateur scouts. That’s their specialty, So they should definitely have the loudest voice in all of those conversations.It’s just giving them what our observations are going to be a somewhat distant look at.

“You can certainly make some assessments through video and through some of the high-speed things that we can do. But the scouts who are there to get the firsthand look can probably attest to some things like life on a fastball, which might look a little different in someone What it looks like in the video. Sure, these kinds of things should have a much greater impact on their decision-making than we might be looking at. I can see the data and I can watch the video, but that doesn’t always necessarily match like: Does this ball get On the hitters really?Is there something totally immeasurable at play here?

“We looked at a lot of high school arms that went into rounds one, two and three. He (Ferris) checks a lot of those boxes (from an exploratory perspective). It’s wired. It’s athletic. It’s loose. The ball just flies out of his hand. Really good contact in the His birth. But with a high school student, you’re looking for this projection potential. Not only does he have the qualities of the present, but he also has that projectionability. This was really easy for everyone to go along with.”

Great read from Mooney about this kind of thingand many more specific cubs monument prospects.

This is a long process, and you’ll only get a lot of Miles from “Best Minor League Promotions” awards. (Well, not even “Awards” – just “Blog Posts From Cubs Fans”.) But you have to go step by step to make improvements over a long enough horizon that you’ll finally be pumping big useful periodic arms on a regular basis, and hopefully you’ll get a big impact arm in the future too. Given the last decade of in-house promotional development, the benchmark is pretty low, though. So I celebrate this.