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Cubs System Sonogram Introduces 'BigIvy'

Sometimes I work best on a deadline. With two days until minor league opening day, I've finally figured out how I'm doing my Cubs minor league data project, BigIvy.

David Banks

I've thought a cool way to have a sports party (where everyone is cheering for the same team) would be to give everyone a player's name. You can cheer for whoever you want, but if you draw Edwin Jackson, and he pitches out of a bases loaded, none out situation without giving up a run, you'd better be really audible.

With that as a backdrop, here is how BigIvy, my Cubs minor league system database, will work. Any information I run into regarding Cubs prospects (defined very loosely) will be stored under that player's name. For instance, Thursday night, I plan to follow the Daytona Cubs (High-A in the Florida State League) game. If Javier Baez goes 0-for-4 facing only five pitches, I will note that. If Jorge Soler extends an at-bat ten pitches before grounding to third, I'll note that. If Zeke DeVoss one-hops the wall with a triple to right-center, I will note that.

Let's assume for a second that someone is listening to the Kane County Cougars (Low-A in the Midwest League) game. They are otherwise occupied much of the time, but they hear Trey Martin make a sensational catch in right-center, and he recovered to double a guy off of first. Since I'm listening to another game, and the 8-6-3 twin-killing merits being mentioned on Big/ivy, I want to know about it.

As I mentioned, my threshold for being a prospect is rather low. If a guy in the pipeline makes a play Cubs fans ought to know about, let me know. Add it to Josh's update as well, but keep me in the loop, as well. Information is knowledge, and I'm not going to be horribly choosy where my intel comes from.

BigIvy will be freely available for any Bleed Cubbie Blue contributor that wants access. However, I want a bit of proprietary control as well. If you want to check out my project, I'm all over Facebook, Twitter, and usually check my e-mail five times a day, at least. Round me up, and if I know you through BCB or another part of my life, I'll send you the four links. You'll be welcomed to use whatever you find there, though I would appreciate an occasional mention of Big/ivy, so people unaware wonder what it is.

Every participant will get a two character moniker. Keith Law, for instance, will be KL. Not that he will ever visit (though he might), but I want to give credit where due to all the contributors to BigIvy. (Yeah, one word; two capital letters.) Obviously, Al, Josh, and Erik will all get free passes, and if you chip in on BCB, even if we disagree at times, you're welcome to join. If you are a stranger to me in the real or virtual world, I would appreciate you representing your source if you post my stuff.

Find me wherever, send me an e-mail, PM, or whatever, and let me know what you want your characters to be. And yes &, #, and % are in play. If I have no idea who you are, but you really want to be included, tell me what happened in the game you were listening to last night. For instance, "The Fort Wayne announcer had Pierce Johnson at 93 MPH on his FB in the sixth inning" would be info that gets you included right away -- if he were pitching in the sixth inning, of course.

As this is the internet, some of the communicated info may be (gasp) wrong. That said, this is the best way I could think of to share Cubs system news with anyone who is interested.

Why would this be of importance? Assume, for a second, the Cubs call up a starting pitcher in late August. Maybe, just maybe, it's a guy you, or Al, aren't totally familiar with. For example, Barret Loux. You could ask Josh. You could do a google search. Then, you could check BigIvy. I will have notations for anything actionable I have heard that Loux has done all season, with most recent stuff at the top. BigIvy won't be for everyone, but if you've read this far, it might be for you.

Once a player passes the 30-inning or 50 at-bat major-league limits, I'm planning on stopping recording them. By that time, they should have enough general familiarity that anything else is unnecessary. Any help you can provide would be appreciated, as I can only do one game at a time.

By the way, for those nights when I'm out watching a game, I just bought a speed gun on eBay.