Jim Memolo of WGN mentioned Sunday (on his Sports Central show) that giving up Chris Carpenter to Boston was like giving up the 6th most valuable Cub. He also included names like Darwin Barney and Geovany Soto in his top 5 of most valuable Cubs to the organization.
Naturally, we didn't agree with that opinon. We set out to make our own list of who we thought were the most valuable Cubs.
We comprised the list by creating our own top 20 lists independently and then averaging out the choices to create a final, combined top 10. There were some similarities but a few major differences in opinion on a few players. In fact, we each had a player in our own top 10's that didn't make the final cut overall.
Here's the final 10...
- Starlin Castro: Who else? Both Tom and I had him rated first. He's 21. He's cost-controlled for 4 more years. He plays a premium position and, well, he's the Cubs best player.
- Matt Garza: Garza has value as either the ace of a staff that is about to get a lot younger in the next couple of years or as a trade chip that could bring in a few more building blocks.
- Brett Jackson: Jackson figures to patrol CF for the Cubs for the next decade and provide OBP, athleticism, and solid to good tools across the board. He's not going to be a star, but he'll be a mainstay as the Cubs transition from a slow aging team to a younger, more athletic one.
- Anthony Rizzo: This was actually a tie between Rizzo and Baez but I went with Rizzo first because he's a safer bet to make it and should provide a middle of the order bat for at least the next 6 years.
- Javier Baez: The argument for Baez is that he'll play a position, 3B, where he can provide more value with his glove. Not that there's a problem with his bat. Some think he may be the best pure hitter in the Cubs minor league system.
- Trey McNutt: He is both the best and most advanced Cubs SP prospect. McNutt is a possible #2 starter down the road but first he has to fix his delivery and command. His athleticism makes him a good bet to improve the former, which should help him with the latter.
- Matt Szczur: Opinion is split on the former star WR, but there's no question he can provide great value if he improves his approach at the plate. His bat will decide if he eventually bumps Jackson to a corner or backs him up in CF. The other tools are there as he should provide speed and defense to go with average power and an average arm.
- Dillon Maples: The Cubs considered him a 1st round talent and he and McNutt are the Cubs two best SP prospects by a pretty wide margin right now. Maples, however, is not nearly as advanced at this point.
- Carlos Marmol: Like Garza, Marmol can provide some value as trade chip later but don't rule out a comeback where he stabilizes the bullpen and buys time for flame-throwing prospects like Rafael Dolis and Tony Zych to develop in lesser roles.
- Travis Wood: He may not be an ace in the making, but 25 year old LH starting pitchers with 4 years of cost control are a nice commodity. If everything goes right he can be a #3 starter, but even at the 4th spot, he should provide great value over the next few years.
Bonus: Two who missed the cut.
As mentioned Tom and I each selected a player in our individual top 10s that did not make the final list. These are the two players
- Tom: Dan Vogelbach
- John: Welington Castillo
Vogel-bomb has one major tool: Potential Game-Changing Power. He should also hit for a decent average, but if he reaches his potential, he could be a 40 HR guy that hits cleanup and mashes balls over the beer patio. If Rizzo doesn't make it, Vogelbach is next in line.
I liked Castillo because he plays a premium position. His defense continues to improve and his throwing arm can control an opponents running game. He also could hit 15-18 HRs as a bonus. Castillo's development could also allow the Cubs to trade Soto for prospects.
Do you agree with our list or did we miss somebody? Or maybe your list would be completely different.
Let us know what you think.