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Cubs Prospect Perspective: Kevin Made

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Sometimes, getting the young player is better than signing a free agent with a qualifying offer attached.

Kevin Made
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Recently, several players stumbled over themselves, rushing the microphone to announce they would not be accepting Qualifying Offers. Which, in a very indirect way, leads to my discussion on Kevin Made. How in tarnation can multi-year veterans have anything to do with young players? Funny you ask. Here’s my look at Made.

Kevin Made, infielder.

Born September 10, 2002. Bani, Dominican Republic
Cubs international signing. (Reported signing bonus $1.5-$1.7 million)

The Cubs grabbed three big names in the early stages of the 2019 international signing period. Ronnier Quintero, a catcher was the primary name. Made was the in-between, and Brayan Altuve was the third on the early leader board. Not getting any publicity was Yohendrick Pinango, who has blasted by Altuve and Quintero. However, I’m getting slightly ahead of myself.

If the Cubs were to sign a qualifying free agent this off-season, they would lose a draft pick (their second-rounder) and $500,000 in international spending. Had the Cubs gone over in spending the prior cycle, it would be two draft picks, and $1 million international. Is it that one or the other makes it totally impractical to add an elite free agent? No, not even remotely. However, if you’re reporting (whether on a blog, or to a friend at work or in a less-formal scenario) what the punishments are, for goodness sake, be accurate. It’s not that hard to state both sides of an argument. I’m sure if you’re reading an article on a topic you dig, and someone “on the other side” deliberately leaves out information, you’d consider them a useless hack, and likely a water-carrier.

Made impressed Arizona Phil in Instructs about a year ago. When an 18-year-old is “non-submerged” against older competition, that’s usually a good thing. Sent from Mesa to Low-A Myrtle Beach in late-May, it didn’t take long to flip from “It’s adorable the young guy is playing against older guys” to “Ummmm, this guy might be legit”. Eventually, the Cubs had to decide who their primary shortstop was in Myrtle Beach, between Made and Ed Howard. It wasn’t Howard.

Made’s OPS was .662 in his first games with box scores, and the league OPS was .721. With positionality and being three years-plus younger than the average pitcher he faced, I’ll take it. Made looks like he’ll be the starting shortstop in South Bend in 2022, regardless who gets which spot in Myrtle Beach. He’s been there and done that, and has earned a promotion for next April.

And would have, likely, been lost to the Cubs if they had signed Craig Kimbrel to a contract before the 2019 Draft.

When the pitcher has to do a bunny-hop....