“I’ve only heard of one of these five guys, and I don’t like him, very much.” I don’t know for certain, but for a few of you, that was probably the perception of the return the Cubs received for Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini in December 2020. At that point, it boils to trust. Did you, I ask rhetorically, trust Jed Hoyer to do an adequate job in trading two known pieces of the Cubs’ 2020 success? You had one or two data points, depending on if you included non-tendering Kyle Schwarber. Having a record to go by is important in baseball.
Reggie Preciado, infield
Born May 16, 2003, Boqueron, Panama
Signed internationally by the Padres
Acquired by the Cubs in the Yu Darvish/Victor Caratini trade
When I look at my preference list for the Cubs’ choices at this summer’s seventh pick, six of the twelve names are preps. I’m not more interested in preps than college players, necessarily, for partially the same reason some were unimpressed with the Darvish trade. There is no bit of a film clip that will convince me that a prep is better prepared for pro success than plugging into a college player’s success in a weekend series would. If a college outfielder crushes Vanderbilt pitching over a weekend, the hitter impresses me. One of the hitters on my list (outfielder Gavin Cross from Virginia Tech) went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts against three pitchers in a game against Clemson. That is my primary bit of data points for Cross, and I still need to be convinced, but he’s on my list.
Opening weekend of the D1 season offers James Madison at Florida State. The Seminoles usually provide quality pitching, and this year is likely no exception. The Dukes counter with Chase DeLauter, who is on my list of twelve names. Hearing the FSU/JMU games, including quality pitchers, will give me a much better baseline. For both the pitchers and DeLauter. The more realistic information, the better the assessment process.
Regarding Preciado, I have no realistic information on him, still. His season in 2021 was in the Arizona Complex League. I watched none of those games, nor did I listen to them. He played in 34 games and hit .333/.383/.511. Those are good numbers... but it’s the ACL.
Under no logical justification could I split the difference on Preciado, outfielder Kevin Alcantara, or shortstop Cristian Hernandez. Of that trio, along with Owen Caissie and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, I’ve only listened to games where Caissie played. For the same reason my assessments of DeLauter can be dismissed as ill-informed, the same applies for the other four Cubs teenage prospects.
That doesn’t mean they’ll be good. That doesn’t mean they’ll be terrible. It does mean I’m 97-plus percent reliant on other people’s opinions of them as I craft my own opinions. It’s not very logical for me to aggressively put any hefty weighting on what I haven’t seen or heard in a game. Once players in the Cubs pipeline begin to play games with announcers, it’s much easier for me to trust my opinions on them.
I really appreciate that Preciado is a switch hitter. While that guarantees nothing, most switch-hitters can have an edge on the pitcher if they’re capable from both sides of the plate. Preciado had three triples and three homers in 154 plate appearances in his pro debut season. Expecting him to play a bit of shortstop and a bit of third base for the 2022 Myrtle Beach Pelicans doesn’t seem unreasonable. If that happens, I can start filling you in on what I hear in those games.
Learning from those games seems far more likely than learning something from a game from Wrigley. Learning is the aspect that moves the needle for me, not cheering or being near people. I look forward to baseball games that teach me more about players in the Cubs pipeline, or those trying to join said group through this summer’s Draft.
Reggie Preciado’s first professional hit.— Cubs Prospects - Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) June 29, 2021
Reggie Preciado’s first professional home run.
( : Reggie Preciado’s IG) pic.twitter.com/LSvkqkEGRO