Goatriders of the Apocalypse

A slice of Baltimore Pie

It's a sad day in the Cub Fan Nation as yet another former top prospect has burned out and been dealt.  This time, it's Felix Pie, who has been traded to the Orioles for a couple of pitchers, one of whom whose name came up in the Jake Peavy trades.

With apologies to loyal Goat Reader feet69, losing Pie is not a big deal.  Jim Hendry has built a very, very complete team with some very very talented, versatile players while loading up unecessarily in certain positions - center field being one of them.

Even without Departin' Felix Pie, the Cubs outfield is cluster-effed.  You've got the 3 starters in The Fonz, Kosuke, and Ragin' Milton Bradley, and competing for the 2 given backup spots are shoe-in Reed Johnson, and then Micah Hoffpauir, Ambivalent Taguchi, and Royal Joey Gathright.

But I have to say that unless Felix Pie hits the game-winning homerun for the Orioles in the Baltimore-Chicago World Championship, I don't see how this one is going to bite us in the bum.  He's 50-50 at best in becoming a major leaguer, and the Cubs have some talent already in the outfield - in fact, the Cubs outfield is running a No Vacancy sign for the next 3 years.

Has Pie "burned out"?

Can a prospect "burn out" with under 300 Major League at-bats? Unless this move was adding another piece for the Peavy deal, I don't like it. The Cubs continue their history of not being able to handle prospects by not giving them a shot to prove themselves.

He certainly burned out his

He certainly burned out his status as a top propsect and his welcome in the North Side.

Personally, I always liked Pie and I think he's going to be a major leaguer, but I can understand why there was no room for him in Chicago.

All that said ... the Cubs continue their history of not properly drafting and developing for sure ... but if there was a problem with Pie's swing, it should have been fixed oh, I dunno, three years ago. The developmental system of the Cubs has got to go.

Felix Pie

Felix unfortunately does fall into the recycling bin that many of the other cub's so-called prospects have fallen into before him. But at some point you have to wonder if its actually the players in the system or the people choosing the players from the start.

Nearly every team in baseball has had success in some shape or form in drafting and developing players, while the cub's system continues to regress and become more and more dependent on free agency and trades each year. Then look at the players the cubs have developed who are currently at the major league level, where most weren't ever top-rated prospects or really projected to do anything. Soto came up as a 3rd baseman and few would have guessed he'd be an All-Star backstop his rookie year. Marmol's career began as an erratic starter before he found a home in the cub's bullpen as one of the most ferocious relievers in the game. Ryan Theriot was viewed at the start of his career as a backup to Ronny Cedeno, and few thought he'd serve as anything more than a utility man. Zambrano, early in his career was similar to unleashing a wild bull on a baseball field, and many in the organization thought he'd have problems controlling himself and his pitches. The point to all of this is that those evaluating talent within the organization often times don't even know what to expect from the players within their own system, even at times when the player has been in the system for 4 to 5 years - which is something I find to be inexcuseable.

In the case of Felix Pie, I don't know that he should have ever really been a top-rated prospect. The raw talent and ridiculous tools that he possesses are huge, and without question he is an extremely gifted athlete. I would strongly urge anyone that hasn't read the story of how Pie was signed as kid to do so, and that may explain why his development has taken longer than most. Long story short, Pie wasn't a baseball player before the team's scouts found him, but the scouts felt his incredible athletic talent and ability would translate well onto the field. Pie's problem is that he lacks the natural instincts of a baseball player, which is something that talent and ability can't compensate for; and his biggest problem is that instincts can't really be taught at any level of the minor leagues.

My opinion is the cub's player development system is too focused on acquiring players with extraordinary tools/attributes and not focused enough on how those tools actually translate onto a baseball field, on the mound, or in the batters box.

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