I don’t normally spend a great deal of time in-season pontificating on prospects of Pie’s stature, but pre-season is the right moment to discuss them and their future for it’s all too easy later on.
Quon On Pie – April 2003 – "If Pie’s 2002 season is an indication of things to come, Corey Patterson might want to consider getting it in gear pretty soon. Because at age 17, it doesn’t look like Pie is wasting much time in his quest for the Major Leagues."
December, 2003 – "Questions have arisen about his long-term power potential, but he’s too young, too athletic, and too gifted to ignore or draw conclusions on. Low-to-High-A should be the stops in 2004."
March 2004 – "He’s a very raw, toolsy player, whose power is questioned. Personally, I’m not convinced he won’t hit for power. A change in his swing plane could result in bigger hits as he improves in strength, but his speed is top drawer although he still needs to learn base running and the art of stealing."
May 2005 – "I’m higher on him than many, feeling the stigma of a flat plane swing was ridiculous in a teenager. He helped me prove the point in the Florida State League in 2004, and I’m looking forward to his Double-A campaign in 2005, hoping he can build and begin to exhibit more discipline."
Quon on Pie – March 27, 2006.
He had an injured 2005 season, recovering slowly from an ankle injury, but it was not without its promise. In his first Double-A test, he posted a 304/.349./554 performance striking out 53 times in 59 games, and went 13 and nine in the stolen base department. He’s a free swinger who gets caught far too often on the base paths, and is still raw and in need of tutelage. Whether he finds that within the Cubs system is a point of contention at present, but we could see him in the majors this year with an extended injury to Juan Pierre.
Pierre signed a one-year deal making it possible for the 21-year-old to take over the role in 2007 if he pushes the envelope in Triple-A this year. Cubs manager Dusty Baker isn’t known for patience with his type, there are still issues with the strike zone and learning when to run. But I’ve been higher on him than most throughout his minor league career and remain so. I’m not surprised he tops the list of Cubs prospects but am concerned whether the team will continue to teach him once he reaches the majors. There are organizations that understand — or maybe more accurately, are forced to embrace — the principle of on-the-job training at the major league level, but I’ve seen no evidence to date it exists at Wrigley in the present.