Yahoo’s Jeff Passan [undertook a study aimed at determining which organizations are the best at developing pitchers]. To do so, Yahoo “tallied the pitchers who debuted between 2008 and 2012 and tied them to the team with which they arrived. Then we compiled their Wins Above Replacement, via Baseball-Reference, with that first team only.”
Within those relatively limited (and potentially misleading, depending on whether a guy was acquired as a AAA top prospect after “developing” in another organization, for example) parameters, the Chicago Cubs fared horribly.
As in, the worst in baseball horribly. And by a country mile horribly.
For the pitchers who qualify under Yahoo’s rules, the Cubs’ total accumulated WAR is negative five. The next worst team is the Angels, at negative 1.8, and then the Astros at negative 0.1. Those are the only teams in the negatives. The top of the leader board has teams like the Dodgers, A’s and Rangers, who’ve accumulated 47.9, 35.7, and 33.4 WAR, respectively from their homegrown pitchers. Let that sink in for a moment, and wrap your head around how nightmarishly bad the Cubs’ “homegrown” pitching has been in the last five years.
A notable bit from Passan:
The teams without a single standout, meanwhile, found themselves buried toward the bottom. It’s inconceivable to think a team could go five years with a negative WAR from all of its homegrown pitchers, but that’s exactly what the Houston Astros (-0.1), Los Angeles Angels (-1.8) and Chicago Cubs (-5) did. Negative WAR essentially means the three teams would have been better off going to Triple-A and getting a replacement-level player – a bum, a scrub, a jabroni, whatever you care to call him – and plopping him on the major league roster. Jeff Samardzija was the Cubs’ only pitcher to post more than 0.2 WAR in the last five years – and he needed 1.6 WAR last year to boost his career total to 1.7.
You can see more of the methodology [in Passan’s writeup], and you may have occasion to take issue with it. But, given how the last five years have played out, it’s hard to argue that the Cubs’ pitching situation – with respect to new pitchers who’ve come up through the ranks – is really ugly. And, sadly, it doesn’t look much brighter in the next two-ish years, either.
I think several conclusions are warranted, at least for the period of the study (which includes a great many current major league players).
I do want to make clear that the above numbers are aggregates and therefore they cannot be used to predict the success of individual prospects. For instance if a first base prospect is currently ranked #15, that doesn’t mean that he has a 59.3% of succeeding in the majors. It just means that similarly ranked players have had that kind of success rate in aggregate. Players in that group have ranged from absolute failure to legitimate star status. But I do think the empirical evidence provides a basis for realistic expectations for various types of prospects. No team is going to have all or even most of their top 10 prospects succeed in the majors. Usually, they’d be fortunate to have a third of them succeed. For an historically good minor league system, you’ve got a realistic chance at half of them succeeding in the majors.
And yet some here mock the attempts to improve the scouting and development process and the club's attempts to stockpile young talent.
Couldn't be farther from the truth Don. In fact, even Boyd (everyone's love-muffin ) never mocked the development of the farm nor the scouting improvementsThat's just not true.
About 70% of Baseball America top 100 prospects fail.Wrong.
.300 in baseball is good enough for the HOF.
Boyd's idea of "doing both" was spending big money on free agents and maintaining the status quo in the minors.100% false.
A flat out lie.
The idea of doing both was fielding a quality major league team while looking to improve the minor league system.
Pretty much what 25 of the 30 MLB teams are trying to do.
Don's way is to ignore the major league team and put all your eggs in the farm system basket and just hope that you can develop enough young talent all at the same time to give the team a chance to be competitive that about 5 of the smallest market teams do in hopes of having a small windows of success every 20 years or so.
The 'Cubs Way' was mocked as useless propoganda.It will be mocked the same as the new "Commitment to the Fans" heaping pile of garbage also.
Im sure Hendry had a computer too,but ony referred to it, rather than put it in charge of everything...I remember my fatther wondering how women would be able to get into cars back in 1950 when running boards disappeared. Things progress...( but they started paiinting cars different colors for womens appeal, and black cars are now very unique).
Every minor league signing is viewed as a cover up for the conspiracy theories that the club has no intentions of winning ever and is just trying to manipulate its fans.
Jim Hendry's regime was vehemently defended even though they had the most archaic scouting development in baseball.
Every time a roll player was traded for prospects it was completely attacked.