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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Felix Pie

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 2/8/85, Age: 17, Bats/Throws: L/L, Height: 6í2íí, Weight: 165. Acquired: Cubs - Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001. 2001 Stats: Played in the D.R. 2002 Stats: (Rookie - Az. Cubs) .321 AVG, 218 AB, 16 2B, 13 3B, 4 HR, 17 SB, 21 BB, 47 K, .385 OBP, .569 SLG; (Rookie+ - Boise) .125 AVG, 8 AB, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 1 K, .222 OBP, .250 SLG.
    First things first: pronunciation. Pie is pronounced P-ay, not like the dessert. Felix Pie is a scrawny kid with obvious raw ability, fresh out of a Cubs tryout camp in the Dominican Republic. Transferred from the Cubsí Dominican team before the start of the Arizona Summer League campaign, Pie started out hot and never looked back. He projects to be above average in all five tools, but his best tool is his speed. Although the steal numbers donít show it due to his inexperience on the basepaths, Pie can run with the best. That speed is readily apparent in his center field play, as his range is well above average. His arm is also a plus tool, with both strength and accuracy evident. At the plate, Pie has shown characteristics of both a leadoff and a cleanup hitter. He makes contact, takes pitches very well for a 17 year old, and has incredible speed, so he could be groomed as a leadoff man. However, his wiry frame will likely fill out significantly over the next few years, and he already hits a lot of balls to the gaps with authority, as illustrated by his 34 extra base hits in 226 at bats this season. At the very least, I would expect him to develop Kenny Lofton-type (10-20 homer) power, but he could end up being quite a bit stronger than that. The areas that Pie most needs to improve on immediately are his strike zone judgment, which is already quite good for his age, and his base stealing tactics. Everything else ought to come with time. He is still incredibly raw both on the field and off (he still requires an interpreter, like many young imports), but Pie has the makings of an exciting young player.
    The Cubs were one of my sleeper picks this season, and though they were disappointing this year, they have the makings of a franchise on the way up. (finally, might I add) Except for catcher, where they might be stuck with Joe Girardi and his rings, the Cubs have a top prospect or solid veteran earmarked for practically every spot on the team. Choi, Hill, Montanez, and Kelton or Bellhorn can handle the infield, while Sosa, Patterson, and Jackson or Pie can take the outfield. Prior, Wood, Cruz, Clement, and Zambrano have live arms that could fill out a rotation, while Farnsworth still looks like a future bullpen ace. I might dare to predict a Cubsí dynasty by 2006, if I had some faith in their front office, but they should be good at the very least. For Pie, I would actually liken him to Kenny Lofton, but he is still a long way from Chicago. I would expect him to begin next year back in the Northwest League, with an eye toward a full season league later in the year. I donít expect him to compete for a major league position until 2006 at the earliest. We always have to remember that there are hundreds of players down in the low minors with four or five plus tools, and we canít be enamored with merely the few that happened to start out hot. 


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