Cubs’ Sunny Disposition

The Cubs wrap up their season this week only games out of first place…twenty-some games. They released some good press about the awards meted out to their noteworthy minor league players. The players of the year for the minor leagues were INF Logan Watkins (23, Wichita) and RHP Nick Struck (22, Damascus, OR) both of whom play for the Tennessee affiliate which is an AA ball club. Watkins finished with the 4th highest OBP in the Southern League and a total of 40 XBH amounting to 113 total bases in 133 games. Watkins was drafted deep in the 08′ selection year, but the signing bonus he was offered by the former GM of the Cubs is paying dividends to Epstein’s player assortment. Watkins can play both infield and outfield up the middle, which is where you’re told to build your team. He’s a demon on the base path and a menace in the field as demonstrated by his .987% fielding, and his penchant for stealing bases which will only grow with confidence. Castro is younger than this kid, and if you threw him in with Watkins and 6th round pick Alberto Almora you’ve got big-time speed and team defense. Another player to remember is OF Jorge Soler, the international free-agent from Cuba who the Cubs signed to a 9 year, $30 million deal.

Logan Watkins is simply a solid piece. With these diamonds as positional players combined with the riches of acquired young right-handed pitching, the Cubs have a glimpse of a team in the making. In June, I look for the Cubs to identify a catcher as their next top-5 selection or try to acquire a sure-fire offensive backstop. The Cubs would love to have a player like Buster Posey or Yadier Molina. Epstein seems very much on track to put together a competitive team.