Don't Trust Any Prospects Over 30

By Chris Rewers on Friday, August 6, 2010

It's been a foregone conclusion that the Cubs' season will end in Houston on Oct. 3 for some time, but there are plenty of reasons to follow the Cubs for their final 53 games of this season and to be optimistic about the 2011 season.

It's been a pleasure to watch the continued development of rookies Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin. The name of the 20-year-old Castro - who entered Friday's game hitting .432 with 13 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, a home run, 10 RBI and 13 multi-hit games since July 10 - is popping up in Rookie of the Year discussions. Colvin, 24, leads National League rookies with 17 homers.

The newly-acquired Blake DeWitt is just 24 and a young crew of relievers includes 23-year-old fireballer Andrew Cashner, 24-year-old James Russell, 23-year-old Casey Coleman, and 24-year-old Mitch Atkins

When active rosters expand in September, we should expect to see 24-year-old infielder Darwin Barney and 23-year-old catcher Welington Castillo. Will these guys be part of the Cubs' long-term future. The final weeks of the season may offer some clues.

Bring on the young guys, but please Jim Hendry, unless we have a Roy Hobbs somewhere in our minor-league system, spare us the old guys.

The Tribune's Paul Sullivan speculated earlier this week that other potential callups could include 30-year-old first baseman Micah Hoffpauir, and outfielders Brad Snyder (28) and Bryan LaHair (27).

I sense a clamoring for Hoffpauir among some Cubs fans and chalk it up to the fact that he is not Derrek Lee. Not only is Hoff's age working against him, but his performance this year at Triple-A Iowa has been less than awe inspiring. He's hitting .261.

Last year, Hoffpauir was given plenty of opportunities to stick, but managed to hit just .239 in 234 at-bats. His time has passed. He is the reincarnation of Scott Moore.

A better first base option down the stretch would be Colvin, who played some first base at Clemson. If Colvin demonstrates he can play first, the Cubs will be shopping for an outfielder this offseason instead of a first baseman.

My stance on lineups down the stretch is that unless a player has long-term potential to help the team, it behooves the manager to put his best team on the field. Derrek Lee is a better player than Micah Hoffpauir.

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