After seeing the Chicago Cubs win 103 games this year with a roster full of 20-somethings, it’s safe to say that Joe Maddon has a young, talented bunch at his disposal. Well, before Maddon had them, Marty Pevey did. Some of them, anyway.
Pevey is the Cubs’ Triple-A manager in Iowa.
“We have a certain way that we want to do things, and it’s done that way throughout the organization,” Pevey said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It all starts in spring training with Joe. For me personally, in Triple-A, I’m cleaning them up, getting them ready to play for Joe. I have kind of a pretty good idea after spending six or seven weeks with him in spring training what he’s looking for and what he needs to do and already know their potential. But we want to make sure they’re cleaned up, polished up and ready to play in front of a large crowd.”
Pevey certainly helped in that endeavor, as the Cubs reached the World Series for the first time since 1945.
“It’s exciting for everybody,” Pevey said. “Everybody in the Cubs Nation, we’re glad that were there. It’s hard to get there, but now you’re supposed to go out there and have fun, right?”
The Cubs didn’t have much fun in Game 1, losing to the Indians, 6-0, in Cleveland. They’ll have a chance to even the series Wednesday in Game 2.
Pevey managed several Cubs on the current roster. Many were can’t-miss prospects from the start, but there was one who stood out above everyone else.
“Well, Kris Bryant was the guy,” Pevey said. “I looked at his numbers when he came through A-ball and then Double-A. He was there for half a season. They were gaudy numbers – gaudy numbers. His walk-strikeout ratio was off the charts as well. He hit for power, he drove guys in, he had RBIs, but he was still hitting for average. He was a complete package. Not only that, he’s a hard worker and he’s a very, very good defender.”
Bryant, 24, hit .292 with 39 homers, 102 RBIs and a .386 OBP this season.
Pevey also managed 23-year-old Javier Baez, who hit .273 with 14 homers, 59 RBIs and 12 steals this year.
“Javy played for me for a year-and-a-half,” Pevey said. “He came through and he had all this talent. Javy, he’d put a show on (in batting practice). He’s got as quick a hands as anybody.”
He’s also one of the best defenders in the league.
“He’s a fine shortstop,” Pevey said. “He can play shortstop every day no problem, but he’s such a good defender. It’s almost like sometimes he makes things up as he goes. He’s a natural. He’s the guy in the schoolyard that does things you’ve never seen before.”