If we are judging by their names, that is. And I definitely am. We’re still a couple of months away from the beginning of the signing period, but this fanpost over at the Minor League Ball/ MLB Bonus Baby juggneraut is well worth your attention, at the very least to bookmark now so you can convincingly scoff at Cub signings when they happen. (Smaykin Gonzalez? Pfft, no way does that guy stick at shortstop). The wonderful collection of names there makes me even more upset at the spending limits imposed on international free agents. How great would it be to receive daily updates from Dmick and company on Obispo Aybar-Lara, Micker Adolfo Zapata, and Yeltsin Gudino?
TheAncientMariners had this to say about Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres, whom Kiley McDaniel previously reported as connected to the Cubs (potentially for over $2M of their allotted $4.6M in available funds):
Torres is a polished player with a high floor, and though he doesn’t offer much projection, what he is right now is already pretty good. A smooth defender with above average arm strength and innate natural instincts on the infield, Torres is exactly what you would want in a shortstop prospect. Offensively, he has a clean swing and shows patience and a good approach at the plate. Scouts see Torres as being the type of hitter who could hit for average while adding 15-20 homeruns a year. Torres only below-average tool is his lack of pure footspeed (7.02), but he has much better range than one would expect from a player with that kind of 60-time.
This is becoming a theme with this front office, targeting polished players who lack flash (Alberto Almora, Frandy De La Rosa, Gerardo Concepcion, etc…). Not that surprising, as the A’s and Red Sox have famously employed this kind of strategy for years.