Jared Banner picture courtesy of Ministry of Supply

Jared Banner, the Cubs Director of Player Development, appeared on 670 The Score’s “Inside the Clubhouse” this morning to talk about Cub prospects. Here are some highlights from that discussion.

On what has changed the past few seasons…

“I think eliminating short season has had a somewhat of an impact. It’s just a pretty large jump from complex baseball where you are playing during the day mostly where there are many fans and jumping to full season baseball. The competition is better, there’s more fans in the ball park, there’s more travel. It’s like going from high school to professional baseball, it can be a pretty big jump. So, that really stands out to me. Otherwise, I think it’s just more competition. The timeline is a little shorter. You have to prove yourself in short order. There’s fewer players, fewer teams. There’s fewer opportunities across the board. It’s something every team deals with, it’s not just us. But our players are up to the challenge at all times.”

On Player Development – Is there some uniformity in the approach to development?

“It’s the same in the sense that we try to care for each and every player equally. We want to make sure we put time in and invest in every single player we bring into our organization. I think the difference is the attention. Certain players have attention on them from the day they arrive. Other players are allowed to operate under the radar until they go out and hit 36 home runs. Mervis is someone, for example, that we always really like and we prioritized in the sense of acquiring him. We aren’t quite as surprised as everyone else. There are a lot more guys like him in the organization that will hopefully become household names before long.”

As for More on Mervis in 2023…

“There’s always that balance between what is best for the major league team versus what’s best for any individual player’s development. I can’t answer that for Mervis this time. We’ll have to see how things play out for him personally and for the team. Our goal is to make sure he is getting better each and every day. So that when his number is called, he’s ready to contribute and help the Cubs win games.”

How close is PCA to Chicago?

“Like Mervis, we just want to prepare him for whatever’s next and whatever’s coming. He’s obviously a really dynamic player and unbelievable athlete but most importantly, he works incredibly hard at his craft. Guys like that you cannot put any limits on. We expect he’s going to have a great season ahead. He expects that of himself. When you’re playing good baseball, anything’s possible and the sky is the limit.”

Health Updates on Howard, Davis, and Canario

*Ed Howard is just starting to hit in the cage. He should be ready to go for spring training without limitations.

*Brennen Davis – Will be a full go for spring training. He has been hitting with Cody Bellinger out in Arizona.

*Alexander Canario – Will be out a little longer

Other Blurbs….

*Swing decisions and ability to do damage are important to development and moving players up just as much as statistical performance.

*Collaboration is a key part to pitching development between management, pitching department, scouting, coaching, and drafting