12/4 The youth movement

The Cubs used 20 rookies last season, the most since they used 20 in 1974. During his media session on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, Dale Sveum mentioned that they can only use youth as an excuse for so long. GM Jed Hoyer agrees.

“If we’re doing things right, at all times, we’ll have young players in the big leagues who are going through the maturation process,” Hoyer said. “On an individual level, we have some guys in the big leagues who can’t use youth [as an excuse] forever. There’s time for some of those guys to take that leap forward to ‘established big leaguer’ mode. I think the Braves in the ’90s were the best example. They always had a young guy they were bringing in who they were cycling through. If that guy had growing pains, it was OK because he had other guys around him. We’ll always have guys going through their struggles because that’s the nature of it. … Individually we have some guys who need to step forward.”

– Carrie Muskat

11 Comments

So….with that said by Hoyer what better year (and circumstance) to play Vitter FULL TIME at third base and at the end of 2013 depending on his performance either sign him long term or cut him loose right? No more excuses right? There are hardly any third base options anyway. Think 2014, find out in 2013.

With Vitters only 22/23 y/o, is it fair to force him in the line up if he is just not ready? Chase Headly had his coming out year last year at 27/28, he has a few years on Vitters. Even though Vitters has not shown much, I dont know if I would be ready to force him in a full time job.
My hope is they give him at least one more year. Valbuena can handle it for the year, if no one is signed or traded for.

Youth = 22/23. What I got from Hoyer’s remark is “put up or shut up” type of reasoning. I wouldn’t consider Vitter’s being forced to play third base at all, instead I would consider it Hoyer being good on his comments and AFFORDING a YOUTHFUL, next in line prospect an OPPORTUNITY eliminate the excuse of being young. Hell, a LOT of players including Castro have eliminated the excuse of being young by PLAYING WELL. Now may be Vitter’s only window of opportunity to shed the youth excuse or he may turn into a “youthful” 29 year old….headed to japan like Lahair….

Could be we read it differently.( “On an individual level, we have some guys in the big leagues who can’t use youth [as an excuse] forever.)
I am looking at that comment wondering who he is talking about? I guess I dont see Vitters in there at his age. Vitters is still very young.
I do see Marmol at 30, Barney and his bat at 27 or 28, Wood at 26 or 27, A few of the Bullpen guys used last year. Rusin 26/27 made a few starts last year, Castillo is 25, Campana is 26 and Sappelt 25.
My thinking is these are the kind of guys he is talking about. Its time to show what you got, because their youth is is no longer an excuse.
I guess it depends on what the youth cut off age is.

watch out you say something about barney on the blog and people start ranting….

Its not a knock on Barney. He hits very well in the two spot, I dont know his average difference from the two spot to the bottom of the order difference. It seems to me he was much better and more productive in that spot though.
Great guy, great fielder.

Jasper, I understood you were not knocking Barney but instead just explaining our different view of what youth is. To me Vitters is the youth, the other players you mention are not, not old but not the young guys anymore. Just a difference in our take on youth as you said. I’m a big Campana backer and him being 26 already is making me realize (sadly) he may not become the player I want him to become because he is running out of time. I agree with you completley about Barney…great guy, great fielder. The Cubs do not have many great fielders to hang their hat on.

Joey, I think Campana still has plenty of time to become the player you want him to be. It seems to me that too much importance is put on a player’s age rather than his dedication and determination to become a great player. Age may eventually be a factor but the league has many older players who are still outstandingly good players. I think we put too much emphasis on age rather than ability. Being as old as I am anything under 40 looks pretty darn good!

Nice post Joey. I think my view on youth is around 25 to 26. Yes you have some players that develop very early, Castro & Rizzo are examples on the Cubs now. You have some that really get it later like Chase Headly. Maury Wills was a rookie at 27, I think. Some people will tell you it takes alot of LH pitchers until there around 27 to 30 to put it all together. Its really all on how you view it I guess?

just wonder besides alfonso,rizzo whweres our power

You’re a little late to the party….

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