Normally, I am not someone who wants to rush players to the big leagues. I wasn’t a fan of bringing Corey Patterson up so quickly. I didn’t even love it when Kerry Wood and Mark Prior were brought up so fast. I usually want players to develop skills in the minors that will be harder to learn while under the pressure of the big leagues.
But that was when I was young and had delusions that the Cubs minor league instructors might be good for something. I thought that there was actual development going on. It turns out that was pretty much a fallacy.
The big league team had need for a lead-off man, and apparently believed that was Corey’s role in the big leagues, but never seemed to teach Corey those skills while down in the minors. He came up acting like a middle-of-the-order player but without the power or discipline to ever thrive in that role, and he was completely unable to master the art of getting on base.
So while I would fear a similar fate befalling Brett Jackson after only a total of 212 games in the minors since 2009, he seems like he is probably as good as he is going to get against minor league talent. I don’t trust the minor league instructors to actually teach him to cut down on his strikeouts, make him a better baserunner, or improve his defense. I think he pretty much is who he is and right now that is a guy who is probably the best outfielder the Cubs have in their entire system including the major league roster. He’s certainly one of the three best. I don’t even think that can be argued.
The Cubs are now having trouble selling out games against the Cardinals when the weather is 80+ degrees, sunny and they are selling $3 beers. Clearly interest in the current roster is low. Really low. Phenomenally low.
Top 10 Things Lower Than Interest in the Cubs
10. Ryan Theriot’s approval rating
9. The Marianas Trench
8. Ratings of the Paul Reiser Show
7. Average temperature of a winter on Pluto
6. Alvin’s tolerance for use of the term “dick-high”
5. Todd Ricketts’ IQ
4. Koyie Hill’s batting average
3. Koyie Hill’s defensive skills
2. Koyie Hill’s running speed
1. Koyie Hill’s ability to work a table saw
We are talking low, people.
So what would breathe life into this walking dead corpse of a team? How about some youth and vitality? How about some baseball talent? How about a guy who may be a bit crazy, but in a likable way?
He’s got a line of .288/.416/.514/.930 so far at AA. He is 12 for 14 in stolen base attempts. His career slash line is .301/.404/.494/.898. That ain’t bad.
Like I said, he might need more seasoning, but the Cubs instructional capabilities are like seasoning with tap water, so this is probably as good as he’s going to get at that level.
People have said they need to trade an outfielder to make room for him, but since they are barely playing Colvin anyway, just send him down to get some real playing time. Maybe he’ll accidentally learn some things down there. Then stick Brett in centerfield and rotate in Byrd against the tough lefties.
That won’t sell out the stadium, but it sure would make things interesting. Watching veterans lose is boring. There are no moral victories. This is as good as they are going to get and they suck, so who cares? You inject some youth in there with actual talent and room to improve and suddenly there is something to matter besides the final score.
Or the Ricketts can keep giving away t-shirts. Either way. We’ll see what happens.