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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Top MLB GM Candidates: Ranking Potential Hires Entering 2019

With Cubs’ player development issues and with a farm system ranked near the bottom of baseball, is McLeod’s star still on the rise?

JASON MCLEOD, CUBS
Senior VP Of Player Development And Scouting

McLeod, 44, has been the third cog of the Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer leadership team with the Cubs since 2011, and he has been a bit picky in passing on some opportunities for advancement (including the Padres) to keep the band together. But his reputation will continue make him attractive to other teams, and the right opportunity may well arise. McLeod did good work in San Diego and Boston before coming to the Cubs. His primary experience is in scouting and player development, with Epstein bragging at the introductory 2011 media session that McLeod “is the rarest commodity” in the industry as “an impact evaluator of baseball talent.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 03:28 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general managers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 06, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5820801)
A fair question but you can only work with the draft picks and international signees you're given. The Cubs under Theo have had an excellent record of player development. How much credit McLeod deserves for that development is hard to say. My scorecard:

1) Bryant -- the Cubs didn't screw him up.

2) Schwarber, Happ -- these guys were closer to ML-ready than I think most experts thought. Was that scouting success or development success or a bit of both? Not that either has turned out great but they've been solid and in the majors in less than 2 years.

3) Baez, Almora -- Hendry's last pick and Theo's first pick (from Hendry's result). Baez was just 19 and entering A ball when Theo took over and Almora was drafted at 18. Javy has already paid off hugely and may be a star while Almora has been useful and that's full credit to the Cubs' development people.

4) Hendricks, Edwards -- some folks thought Hendricks was a nice get as a solid 4, maybe 3 starter but nobody expected this. Edwards was just an A-ball pitcher when the Cubs got him. For Hendricks in particular, how much credit goes to the Rangers, how much to Cubs' minors development, how much to Cubs' ML coaches is hard to know. Edwards is harldy a major success, converting from SP to RP, but he's successfully contributing in the majors which is more than most teams can say about their A-ball trade pickups.

5) Torres, Jimeneez, Cease -- Draft/signing success, not clear how much development credit the Cubs deserve but clearly not negative ... unless you want to blame internal scouting for under-rating them.

6) Soler -- didn't work out but had some good moments in the majors.

7) Alcantara, etc. -- Guys inherited from Hendry, seemed to have some potential, had moments of success but flops.

Two things missing. In Boston, luck or not, Epstein had a lot of later-round picks do well. That hasn't happened for the Cubs yet and they are at a point where they need some to break out. And they haven't develped their own pitcher yet, not even really anybody useful on the relief side.

But they haven't messed up any serious prospects yet. All the top draftees and signees made the majors and Soler is really the only one that hasn't proven capable of a ML role. The Cubs deserve at least some scouting/development credit for the Dempster and Garza trades paying off so well and the scouts for nabbing Russell. (at least the talent scouts, any psych assessment could have been done better.) Whether any of that success can be replicated and whether such success means you're ready to take over as a GM are another matter.
   2. asinwreck Posted: March 06, 2019 at 07:37 PM (#5820867)
Always good to consider who might run the White Sox when Jerry Reinsdorf shuffles off this mortal coil.

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