The Chicago Cubs had a banner day retooling their farm system. In a few years, when the Cubs are looking good and have a surplus of power arms in the organization, we can look back on July 2, 2013.
The international signing period opened today, and the Cubs snagged a few inspiring prospects, including shortstop Gleyber Torres, the #2 international prospect according Baseball America.
In Caracas, Torres had an impromptu party and media session in Caracas this evening. Lider was there, took some great pictures, and shared this video (en Español)
In the video, Torres basically just says that he needs to avoid any sense of stardom and continue to work hard every day so that, hopefully, he'll be in position to help the club in four or five years.
Ben Badler at Baseball America provided a comp of Freddy Sanchez for Gleyber Torres. So did John Arguello over at Cubs Den. The Cubs Den piece is truly outstanding. If you haven't read it yet, stop reading this and read it now.
Cubs Den has video of Gleyber Torres actually playing baseball. I won't post it here because the Cubs Den piece is so good, you have to check it out for yourself: click here.
The article includes a comprehensive look at every player the Cubs acquired or lost today through trades and international signings. Cub fans should be excited about the acquisitions of Jake Arrieta and, to a lesser extent, Pedro Strop.
Other great parts of the Cubs Den post are the scouting videos for Jefferson Mejia and Erling Moreno, a couple of very exciting international pitchers the Cubs just signed. Both pitchers have power arms and good change-ups. This has been a trend with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer acquisitions.
It makes sense that there is less damage on young arms that haven't thrown breaking pitches. Over twenty years ago, when I played baseball as a tween, I heard talk that young pitchers shouldn't throw breaking balls until they were 16 or 17 years old. If the pitcher threw a strict, overhand curve, it could be okay, but any type of slider or slurve was completely out of the question. At the time, talk that a kid couldn't throw a curve ball until 17-years of age would be classified somewhere between radical and progressive. Now, it seems downright prophetic as top front offices are suspected of valuing pitchers with that track record.
41 minutes ago