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Cubs promote top prospects Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson

Aug 5, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

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The 43-62 Cubs are turning things over to the kids.

According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, third base prospect Josh Vitters and outfielder prospect Brett Jackson are headed to Los Angeles, where they’ll be added to the active 25-man roster before the Cubs’ series-finale Sunday against the Dodgers.

Vitters, the third overall selection in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, has registered a cool .304/.356/.513 batting line, 17 home runs and 68 RBI in 110 games this season for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. The 22-year-old from Anaheim, California will take over starting third base duties from Luis Valbuena.

Jackson, 24, was the 31st overall pick in ’09. He was batting .256/.338/.479 with 15 home runs, 27 stolen bases and 47 RBI in 106 games this summer at Iowa and will presumably play all over the Chicago outfield.

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Josh Vitters top prospect? He’s been a massive failure up until this season. He’s hasn’t been ranked in the top 100 for 2 years, and isn’t a top 10 Cub prospect going into this year. Those “cool” #’s still only translate to a 119 wRC+. Hopefully for the Cubs he has figured it out and this is the begin of him being the Cubs 3B for a long time. But lets be real, if he had another below average season again this year he would most likely been given up on by the Cubs.

    • Uncle Charlie - Aug 5, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      You do realize that a 120 wRC+ is pretty awesome, right? However, Vitter’s K% is pretty high.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 6, 2012 at 1:30 AM

        “awesome”? no 120 is not awesome

    • istillbelieveinblue - Aug 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      Remember, Vitters is still only 22 years old. Yes, he has been in the organization for a long time, but he was just 17 when the Cubs drafted him. He’s slowly, steadily worked his way through the system. This is baseball, not the NFL where new draftees are expected to contribute right away. When a team drafts a 17 year old, 3 – 5 years in the minors is nothing unusual. Guys like Bryce Harper and Mark Trout are rare exceptions. Has he been spectacular in the minors? No, but he has shown steady progress, and has earned a shot given his play over the last season and a half.

  2. jeffbbf - Aug 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Jackson’s .256/.338/.479 line at AAA looks scary – as in I’m afraid he’ll be the next Felix Pie. FTI – he’s struck out 158 times in 467 plate appearances against 47 walks. Yikes. Hopefully Vitters will be able to blossom.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      I was a little surprised Jackson got the call, mainly because of his obscene strikeout rate. He’s supposedly a very good defensive outfielder, but time will tell. I guess at this point they are in full on rebuild, look-to-next-season mode, so why not give him a shot?

  3. holleywood9 - Aug 5, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Vitters is 22! So let’s not call him as being a disappointment now. Some kids need more time in the minors to grow up and develop. Don’t get me wrong I still think they should have drafted Matt weiters with that pick. But he was outta high school. And 22 is still young!

    • istillbelieveinblue - Aug 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      I had forgotten they passed on Weiters. I guess hindsight is always 20/20! I still believe Vitters will be a good major leaguer. Len Casper mentioned on the broadcast yesterday that he expects Vitters to platoon at third with Valbuena. I certainly hope not. His lefty/righty splits at AAA this year are respectable (about .330 vs LHP, .290 vs RHP) so I see no reason to promote him then only play him 3 days a week. Rizzo, Jackson, and Vitters need to be out there every day for the rest of the season so Sveum, Theo, and Jed can get a real good look at them.

  4. gmsingh - Aug 6, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    I think the plan is that if you get players that are young enough they will have never heard of the Billy Goat curse. But they will.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Aug 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      That particular “curse” was cast in 1945. I hope the Cubs aren’t signing prospects in their 90’s. :) I don’t think the players buy in to that stuff much, but it’s fun for us fans to talk about! :P

      • gmsingh - Aug 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        See if you can get Lou Pinella to agree with you.

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