By now, we have heard all of the scouting experts weigh in on the Cubs farm system, including player rankings.
With that in mind, I went to a scout contact of mine, who was kind enough to share his own thoughts notes on said system.
Here is his Cubs top 25 prospect list:
1. Javier Baez SS
Baez has the highest ceiling of any of the Cubs prospects. Elite bat speed with elite power. Gets a bad rap on defense at SS, more than capable of handling.
Future Hall of Fame type player or .235 hitter that hits 35HR? A lot has to do with how his approach develops from this point on.
2. Kris Bryant 3B
Very interesting player in both his ceiling and floor very high. The difference is can he cut down the strikeouts? No doubt can be a 35+ HR but is he a .265-.275 hitter or .285-.295 hitter?
Saw in Daytona last year and really didn’t understand the concern about him at 3B. Moved very well for his size and there is no doubt he has the arm strength. Others will have more to do whether he stays there or goes to the OF.
3. Albert Almora OF
Almora is my favorite on this list, doesn’t have any plus offensive tools but all of them are above average. Hit tool could even be a plus when all is said and done. Defensively, see a lot of hardware sitting on his shelf in a few years.
4. CJ Edwards RHP
Top of the rotation potential with an outstanding fastball and his slider isn’t too far behind. He showed improved control last year and a better feel for his change. The concern is inability to put on weight, but not as concerned because others have been able to overcome this problem.
5. Jorge Soler OF
Soler is biggest question mark of the Big 4. Shows plus raw potential but will that translate to game power? Defensively, shows the ability to handle RF with no problem at all. Concerned about his makeup, could be more of a culture thing than anything.
6. Arismedy Alcantara 2B
Alcantara to me is the most underrated on this list. Shows good hit, surprising power, good speed and exciting defensive possibility. He also has outstanding makeup. Could be one of those players that sneak up on the league next year.
7. Pierce Johnson RHP
Johnson is another underrated player that doesn’t get enough attention. He is most likely a #3 but he shows the moxie of a #1. Very good fastball, an above average curveball and an outstanding changeup. He could become a #2 if everything clicks.
8. Daniel Vogelbach 1B
Big bat but no position. I love him him in the batter’s box; when not, things get a little scary. He shows the ability to be an outstanding hitter with power. Very slow on the bases and has hands of stone in the field. He is most likely trade bait or hope NL gets the DH.
9. Paul Blackburn RHP
Blackburn shows great potential and doesn’t really get a lot of play for the most part. I can see him hit mid 90s with good breaking ball and an excellent feel for a changeup. This year is going to be a big year for him and he could turn into TOR.
10. Mike Olt 3B
Olt was a tricky one to rank because no one is sure if he is completely healthy. I am not even sure he knows. If healthy he could be the Cubs starting 3B for a long time. Could be a gold glove with 25 HR.
11. Jeimier Candelario 3B
Hasn't really taken next step yet. Can see the potential offensively, especially for a switch hitter. Can he stick at 3B? Very soft body and doesn’t seem to have the quick twitch that is needed for 3B. Can hit for a good average and shows above-average power.
12. Duane Underwood RHP
Forgotten man in the 2011 draft, this kid (and he was a kid when he was drafted at 17) has exploitive stuff. Can hit high 90s with his FB and shows a curveball that can be plus, plus.
Negatives: needs to develop at least an average changeup. Can he develop the command he need to reach his potential? If he can, you are looking at a TOR. At least could be a power arm out of the bullpen.
13. Arodys Vizcaino RHP
Vizcaino stuff is without question elite, but can he stay healthy? Plus fastball and a plus curveball, but I don’t see him ever being in the rotation.
14. Christian Villanueva 3B
Not a big fan of Villanueva at 3B, don’t think he will ever have the power to justify him staying there. Would like to see him at 2B where his bat plays much better.
15. Jen-Ho Tseng RHP
Tseng, I haven't seen in person. As for the scouts that have, every one of them believed he is very underrated. Fastball that hits 96, potentially plus curve, potentially above-average slider, and a change that shows flashes of being a plus, plus pitch.
If everything goes right, he could turn into a pure #1 but, may take some time.
16. Neil Ramirez RHP
Once a top 10 prospect in the Rangers system with a ceiling of a #2. His command never got to the level experts thought it would get to. He still has the potential to be a #4 or a power arm out of the pen.
17. Rob Zastryzny LHP
Has been clocked at 94, consistently changes speeds to keep off hitters off balance. He showed good command in college but hasn’t translated to his pro career yet; could ceiling out to be a #2.
18. Dillon Maples RHP
Maples and Underwood are very similar, but Underwood ahead due to age. Maples has a mid-90s Fastball with good movement and a plus curve, still needs a changeup and has problems with his command.
He could be a top-of-the-rotation starter or a back-end reliever. It all depends on command.
19. Tyler Skulina RHP
Power arm that still has projection. Fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s and a breaking ball that is an above-average pitch. Still needs a changeup, has a very good feel for pitching and could still end up SP.
20. Corey Black RHP
5’11 pitcher that has a power arm. The question is will his size stop him from becoming a SP? Some pitchers have overcome this before. He has a mid-90s FB and a plus slider with a feel for a changeup. At very least could become a backend reliever.
21. Kyle Hendricks RHP
Hendricks is a pitcher you really wish you could love. He has outstanding command but only OK stuff. This limits his projection to a back-of-the-rotation pitcher or reliever. He knows how to pitch, so believe he will end up in the rotation.
22. Trey Martin OF
Under-the-radar type player. Excellent raw tools and ability to stick at CF. Shows average to above-average tools across the board.
23. Eloy Jimenez OF
He was the big international signing this year. A ton of potential and could be an above-average player across the board. Should be much higher on board next year.
24. Shawon Dunston Jr. OF
A speed demon with a great approach at the plate. Shows the ability to work counts and plus speed. Lacks power and that may keep him from becoming an everyday player. Shows plus tools in the OF that would make him an excellent 4th OF.
25. Scott Frazier RHP
Got to see him a couple times in college over the last 2 years. Power arm with average secondary pitches. As he improves mechanics, could make him a force out of the pen.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Uncategorized