Worried about who the Cubs might give up for compensation? This is the summary of all the prospect lists I have done so far and will give you an idea of the prospects in the Cubs system. I'm not a big fan of ranking prospects, but I do understand that it gives people some idea. Please understand, though, that while Ben Wells is 7th and Chris Rusin is 25th, Rusin has a far better chance of reaching his potential than Wells does. It's just that his potential is much less.
Some pitchers, Dae Un Rhee or Jeffrey Antigua, are ranked lower because of their high risk factor but they each have the potential to be at least a #3 starter -- the same as Trey McNutt who ranks 6th. The same goes for a position player like Junior Lake, who has a lot of natural ability but is much less likely to be a solid regular than say, Josh Vitters. Prospects who still have big questions to answer were generally ranked lower but could move up quickly once those questions are answered.
Pitchers with starting potential are generally valued higher than relievers, since relief is always a fall back for prospects that don't make it as starters.
So, for all those reasons, lists are difficult to make. There are so many variables. This list is compiled from a combination of personal observations, research, and outside opinions. In the end, though, lists are made to be up for debate...so debate away.
- Brett Jackson, CF (AAA): All-around skills, Good OBP, strikes out too a bit too much
- Javier Baez, SS-3B (A-): Tremendous bat speed, power potential, good defense despite throwing yips
- Matt Szczur, CF (A+): Among fastest in system, developing power and defense, needs more patience
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B-1B (DSL): Ranks with Baez among the top hitters in the system, defense a concern
- Reggie Golden, RF (A-): Ron Gant type potential, good power, arm for RF, contact an issue.
- Trey McNutt, SP (AA): Righty, Mid 90s fastball, hard breaking ball, needs to regain command
- Ben Wells SP (A-): Righty, A heavy 93-94 mph sinker is legit out pitch, rest of repertoire still raw
- Josh Vitters, 3B, IB, OF? (AA): Natural hitter but relative lack of defense, power, and discipline hold him back. Has the arm to play RF if Cubs decide to try him there.
- Rafael Dolis, RP (AA): Upper 90s fastball, filthy slider, mediocre command
- Chris Carpenter, RP (AAA): See above, though Carpenter throws even harder.
- Dan Vogelbach, 1B, (A-): Top power potential in system, short stroke, weight a concern
- Dillon Maples, SP (hasn't played) : Righty, potental power front line starter but needs to work on delivery and command before he gets rated higher.
- Marco Hernandez, SS, (A-): Athletic SS with good bat, good speed and 15 HR potential
- Logan Watkins, SS-2B-OF (A+): Gritty, athletic player who may stick at SS, Good OBP skills with speed.
- DJ LeMahieu, 3B-2B (AAA): Contact hitter with improving defense. Needs to develop OBP skills and/or power
- Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF (AAA): Intelligent, super-sub type with decent OBP skills Long swing could be an issue. Already 25 years old.
- Welington Castillo, C (AAA): Solid defensive skills, excellent arm and improving offense
- Zeke DeVoss, 2B-OF, ( A-): Extremely fast player with outstanding OBP skills and potential for some gap power. May stick at 2B.
- Gioskar Amaya, 3B-2B (A-): Outstanding hitting prospect, one of the top 5 pure hitters in the organization, has gap power, defense needs work, possible tweener
- Pin-Chieh Chen, CF(A-): Another very fast player and hitter who makes hard contact, small frame, no power potential. Lots of range in CF.
- Jeffrey Beliveau, RP (AA): Tough lefty reliever with good chance to make team this spring
- Dae Un Rhee, SP (AA): TJ survivor with great change who’s throwing in the mid 90s again. Has been inconsistent with command. Breakout candidate for 2012.
- Junior Lake, SS-3B (AA): Toolsy player with less discipline than Vitters. Has boom or bust potential.
- Jae-Hoon Ha, OF (AA): Excellent arm and solid tools across the board, lacks plate discipline
- Chris Rusin, SP (AAA): Finesse lefty with great command, more of a 4th, 5th starter.
- Nick Struck, SP (AAA): Bulldog mentality, average to above average stuff but locates well
- Eric Jokisch: SP (AA) Another finesse lefty, similar to Rusin in size and command
- Jeffrey Antigua: SP (A+) Young lefty with better stuff than Rusin or Jokisch, plagued by inconsistency
- Steve Clevenger: C (AAA) Solid contact hitter. Lefty bat likely ensures him a long career as backup.
- Dustin Geiger: 3B (A) Good bat and has power potential. Very solid defense at 3B. Still growing, will need more discipline at higher levels