This post is going to be about both the Cubs and White Sox. So to all my Chicago fans out there, if you don’t give a shit about the Cubs, then scroll down to the bottom. If you agree that the White Sox is a plain ass team name that describes your laundry then don’t read the bottom.
Now let’s begin…
Well, the second half of baseball is officially in full swing and what better time to look at the future of our sport.
The Cubs have started off the second half to a 3-1 record after getting some sweet revenge back on the Pirates with a weekend sweep.
But then we lost to the Reds last night….Brad Brach sucks. Even though he wasn’t the one who lost us the game, I still wonder why we continue to put him out there. It just feels like every time he’s out there he’s letting runs score.
The Cubs did end up making some moves after the game though trading Mike Montgomery to the Royals for Martin Maldonado.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 16, 2019
Now deals like this usually confuse some people (sometimes even me) cause of how minor the swap is, but let’s break this down a little.
The Cubs have typically liked carrying three catchers on their roster when entering the stretch run and if Willson’s second half struggles from last year are any indication, it’s probably wise to allow him some extra rest by either resting him or getting him a few more games in the outfield.
Let’s dig a little deeper than that though…Willson is about to hit the 10 day DL, but he’s not expected to be on much longer than the minimum so this move wasn’t really made for that purpose. The Cubs have two main struggles right now that need to be addressed before the postseason. The most important in my opinion is the bullpen. We still need help in that area, and I think the best target for the Cubs is the Giants lefty closer Will Smith, who is currently 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA, 0.804 WHIP, and 54 Ks in 37.1 IP with 23 saves. Pretty good numbers especially considering that he’s in the final year of his deal with a pretty attractive salary ($4.23 Million). The Brewers have also engaged in trade talks for Will Smith so it’s always a good feeling to snag him away from one of our rivals. This Martin Maldonado trade actually makes Will Smith a little bit more of a possibility because it potentially opens up the door for a major-league ready player looking for more consistent playing time to be made available…Victor Caratini. There’s a higher likelihood now that we see Victor moved for a move like this, or to address our second biggest weakness….clutch hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Cubs right now have one of the leagues worst averages with runners in scoring position so adding an impact bat would defintely help shake the lineup up a bit, which probably needs to happen if we want to keep momentum up in the second half.
Now it’s time to talk briefly about why the Second Great Chicago Fire may happen sooner than we thought. I’ve always said that if the Cubs and Sox ever squared off in the World Series, the city will burn. Not everyone is going to be able to handle that kind of loss and it could happen soon. In fact, I predict that the 2021 season is going to be the best time for a Cubs vs White Sox World Series to take place.
Here’s why from the Cubs prospective:
- Most of our core doesn’t hit the Free Agency market until after the 2022 season.
- Most of that core will be (hopefully) smack in the middle of their baseball prime still.
- The Cubs have their own global network set to launch at the beginning of next year that theoretically should make the Cubs a boat load of money that could allow us more money to spend in Free Agency.
So with all things in consideration, the Chicago Cubs are looking like they’re going to remain a good team for a few more years. We just need to make smart moves with the pitchers we invest in…..I’m looking at you Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood.
Now for the other half of the city…
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about what’s happening on the South Side. One, they don’t lick bootyhole as much as they did last year, and they’re only going to get exponentially better in the coming years. I think they actually compete for a playoff spot next year, especially when you consider that the AL Central is arguably one of the weakest divisions in baseball, but this will also make it easier for them to win an AL Central title.
To breakdown this team, I’m going to say a little bit about the players that are going to make an impact in 2021…
He has improved pretty dramatically from last year. He still strikeouts a fair amount, but he’s cut that down drastically and has made himself a more complete player. He’s not the superstar that the city hoped he would be, but there’s definitely an All-Star bat in this guy.
So the start to his Rookie season wasn’t as glorious as people had hoped it would be (I was one of them/ former Cubs prospect 🤷🏻♂️), but he’s starting to find his groove up in the majors and that power is starting to show. Give it two more years and I think you’ll be looking at a MVP Giancarlo like player with far less strikeouts. That’s pretty juicy to think about…
Pro Tip: Start the video at 2:03
Shaky mechanics used to plague this guy, but he’s since cleaned that up and is starting to look like the budding all-star that many people thought he could be. He could be an ace on other teams, but for the White Sox, I actually believe he’ll be there number 2 guy.
This guy will be a pillar of consistency for the Sox. I think he’ll have some growing pains his first year and a half in the league, but when it finally clicks, he’s going to be a solid #3 guy who will basically be as consistent for the Sox as Jose Quintana was when he wore the White Sox uniform, and if you know baseball, then you know that Q was very good at that time.
This guy has all the makings of a DOMINANT stud ace and he should be that in the next couple of years when he works his way back from Tommy John next year. The only thing that he needs to fix are his mechanics which is what I believed caused his injury. He has that old-school Texas fire-baller form when he pitches and that causes way too much stress on the elbow so hopefully he avoids injury because he’ll be the type of ace you tell your kids about. Yeah, he’ll be that good when he’s healthy.
Now for some of the minor leaguers to be excited about…
This guy is legitimately an animal. A 5 tool player that only comes around every so often…
Can anyone stop this man?#WhiteSox No. 1 prospect Luis Robert singled in his first at-bat, extending his hitting streak to nine games, then promptly stole his 31st base of the season.
Live stats for all the @WhiteSox top prospects: https://t.co/NGqFPz3ypb pic.twitter.com/FTDU0RADNB
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 15, 2019
WELCOME TO CHARLOTTE!
In his Triple-A debut on Thursday, Luis Robert crushed a grand slam for his first hit with @KnightsBaseball. pic.twitter.com/k0YBs0GzYR
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 12, 2019
Few guys in the game can put the bat on the ball as well as this guy. HE JUST DOES NOT STRIKEOUT! In 516 minor league at-bats, he has struck out only 14 times! He reminds me a lot of Dustin Pedroia, a scrappy player who plays the game at an extremely high level. Size doesn’t matter to a player like this.
He was just drafted this year by the White Sox, but mark my words…ANDREW VAUGHN WILL BE THE FIRST PLAYER FROM THE 2019 DRAFT TO MAKE THE BIG LEAGUES and I think you’ll see him up in the bigs by the second half of NEXT YEAR. He has one of the most gorgeous swings I’ve seen from a right handed hitter, and that shit will play at the highest level.
B3 | Andrew Vaughn LAUNCHES his first home run as an Intimidator over the left field wall!
GBO 4 | KAN 2 pic.twitter.com/JYr4CrSuHh
— Kannapolis Intimidators (@Intimidators) July 9, 2019
So yeah, baseball’s future is looking really good in the city. I just hope the fans don’t kill each other in the next couple of years.
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