Chicago Cubs: Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson Called Up to Make MLB Debuts
The two players figure to get a long look over the next two months as the team attempts to figure out how they fit into plans for 2013.
Brett Jackson & Josh Vitters headed to LA. It's not a mirage. We'll send pix when they get here. #Cubs
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 5, 2012
Jackson entered the season as the Cubs' No. 1 prospect and the No. 32 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America.
His power-speed combination has always made him an intriguing prospect, and he performed well in his first full season action in the high minors last year, hitting .274/.379/.490, 20 HR, 58 RBI, 21 SB between Double-A and Triple-A.
His numbers have not been as impressive this season at Triple-A, as he is hitting .256/.338/.479, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 27 SB and has struck out an alarming 158 times in 407 at-bats.
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old will get a shot to prove he can be the team's everyday center fielder in 2013, as either David DeJesus or Bryan LaHair appears to be headed for the bench.
For Vitters, the call-up is seemingly a long-time coming, as he is in his sixth minor league season since the Cubs took him with the third overall pick in the 2007 draft.
He's progressed slowly through the system, and has been hampered by injuries along the way, but he enjoyed the best season of his career last year when he batted .283 BA, 14 HR, 81 RBI in a full season at Double-A.
After a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, he has been even better this year with a .304 BA, 17 HR, 68 RBI line in his first taste of Triple-A action.
Still only 22, the Cubs hope Vitters can claim the everyday third base job not only for the rest of the season, but moving forward. It shouldn't be too hard to take the job from Luis Valbuena this season, as he has done virtually nothing at the plate in hitting .198 BA, three HR, 19 RBI in 131 at-bats.
The biggest question mark for Vitters is his defense, as he has made 21 errors at the hot corner already this season for a .913 fielding percentage. The team has played him in the outfield and at first base at times, but it looks as though he will get an extended look at third base.
While the pressure is low in joining a 43-62 team, expectations will be high for both players and the Wrigley faithful will watch the duo carefully over the season's final months as hopes are high that they can join Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to form the offensive core of the Cubs in 2013.
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