Cubs Top Prospects by Position
I think this is about the time of year they start coming out with lists, so I'd throw my $.02 out there
Wellington Castillo(AA) - could be at AAA next year at the age of 21, kind of pulled a Soto this year and is already an excellent defensive catcher. Could be good trade bait.
Some nice players, Marquez can play 3b too, nobody outstanding, more Hendry 2b-fetish I guess
Ryan Flaherty (R)
people think he'll move to 2b, which wouldn't suprise me (Hendry)
Obviously Vitters is the cubs #1 prospect, hopefully he can have a big year at A. Either Rosa/Vitters might have to move to 1b.
Guyer was probably the Cubs break-out player out of the year offensively. I think enough has been said about Colvin. Johnston had a good year after his injury and moving to the OF. Rundle and Burke need to step it up a notch, but they are still only 19/20. People at BA and BP love Guyer because he's toolsy, but I think cub fans have heard enough of those words to describe 'can't-miss' OF prospects (Patterson,Harvey, Colvin,Pie)
Jay Jackson (A)
Chris Carpenter (R)
Aaron Schafer (R)
Nothing really solid except for Shark. Jay Jackson had a great half-year. The Cubs are expecting big things from Schafer and Carpenter. Ree was awesome before he went out with shoulder problems. Good numbers for a 19y/o in his first pro season at A.
Obviously one of the Cubs strengths in the minor leagues, which is both good/bad. Alot of guys like Estrada, Parker, Blackford, McDaniel, are good, but I just listed the obvious 2, since minor league RP are even more suspect than other propects.
My top ten would be
Samardzija (I believe he still has prospect status)
Not exactly a great group to choose from. The Cubs have too many prospects with tools(Defense, Athleticism) that just can't hit. Joshua Lansford is a very talented defensive 3B. He has a very strong arm with a good glove. He just can't hit for his life. At the age of 24 he has just 48 games of AA ball under his belt. ... Kyler Burke is a natural athlete with a cannon arm. But in A ball he barely hit above .200. He is just like a Colvin, Pie, and Harvey. ... Tony Thomas is a player who's MO was his ability to hit for average. He was also a top 10 prospect for the Cubs prior to this year. But this season all he did was strike out 113 times to just 34 walks. He's got some speed. But only hit .266 at A+. He's 22 years old and his window in closing fast. ... The Cubs system is full of players who aren't very well rounded. They don't have many prospects that can hit. Vitters is what the Cubs will hang their hat on. He has a ton of talent. And with Aramis at 3B for the next few years he has planty of time to develop. ... In the pitching department the Cubs don't have many starters to get excited about. James Russell could be a sleeper. He struggled at AA last season. But he's a lefty with a good changeup, and could develop as a pitcher. ... In the reliever department the Cubs have a good one in Jose Ceda. Thankfully the Cubs stopped trying to push him to be a starter. Andrew Cashner isn't as ready as the Cubs thought he would be. I think in Casey Lambert the Cubs have a sleeper. Casey is a lefty with a good curve. He also doesn't give up many homers. ... Lately the Cubs seem to be able to develop cathers. With Soto playing so well this past season at the major league level. Then Josh Donaldson being highly regarded and eventually traded in the Harden deal. The Cubs now have Wellington Castillo. Castillo is very good defensivly. And his offense continues to improve. He has a chance to be a starter in the majors. But with Soto around his future probably isn't with the Cubs.
yea there were some other guys that I didn't mention
Veal - his stock has really dropped, I'd guess they'll move him into the bullpen with his control problems. Anyway, I think he's definitely out of the top 10.
Huseby - Cubs paid alot of money for this guy, and he can't seem to get out of Rookie league/Extended spring training
Nagel - see if he can be as good as people say he can be after surgery
Muldowney/Russell - like Huseby the Cubs paid high $ for where they were drafted, they haven't exactly set the world afire.
This probably belongs in a trade speculation and hopes-and-wishes thread.
This is something of another odd SkullKey post and I'm making it because it involves a guy I've wished the Cubs would take a look at. The last time I ranted about such a guy was Jeff Niemann ( http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...iemaje01.shtml - 4th in ROY voting - won 13 games in 2009). The Cubs missed that opportunity when Niemann was in a similar position to this guy. The player is, of course another Tampa Bay Ray Minor Leaguer: why? Well they're my 2nd favorite team (my American League team), I get actually see them play (I live less than 90 minutes form the park) and know a little about their talent, Tampa is loaded which makes for excess talent and excess talent likely can be had cheap. I love cheap talent.
I've made clear (I assume) my wonderment that the Cubs keep Theriot a SS where he is mediocre and don't move him too his natural (IMO) position at 2B where he likely would be of greater value. So who to replace him at SS?
7. Reid Brignac, SS
DOB: 1/16/86 [he's 24]
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2004, St. Amant HS (LA)
2009 Stats: .282/.327/.417 at Triple-A (96 G); .278/.301/.444 at MLB (31 G)
Last Yearís Ranking: 5
Year in Review: A talented shortstop, Brignac seems stuck at Triple-A due to the emergence of Jason Bartlett. [And the presence of Tim Beckham.]
The Good: Brignac has above-average power for the position and fits the mold as the new breed of big, athletic shortstops. He's come leaps and bounds as a defender, possessing good range to both sides and a strong arm with good accuracy and carry.
The Bad: Many scouts are bothered by the fact that Brignac has morphed into a completely different player over the last few years. Once a California League MVP who few thought could stay up the middle, he's now a defensive wizard who brings little to the table other than occasional power. He's always been an impatient hitter, looking to attack fastballs early in each at-bat.
Ephemera: The 45th overall pick in the draft has not been a kind one in baseball history, as Jeff Branson (1988) is the all-time leader in home runs with 34, while John Dopson (1982) leads in the win category with just 30.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a good everyday shortstop with plus defense and 15 home runs annually.
Path to the Big Leagues: Itís completely and utterly blocked. [read: cheap, cheap, cheap]
Timetable: Brignac played in Mexico this December, leaving some to wonder if he was being showcased for trade possibilities. The Rays might be trying him out at other infield positions this spring to use him in a bench role, but it would be hard to see him get many at-bats there.
This guy would seriously push Vitters at 3rd and we'd see if Vitters is up to the challenge. The Cubs need depth and Reid can play all 4 infield positions and probably outfield. He's much more advanced than any Cub middle-infield prospect and is Major League ready. Higher ceiling than any Cubs prospect. Baseball Prospectus rates him a 4-star Prospect like Beckham (who was the 1st over-all pick in the draft !).
A post like this brings up a question I occasionally have which is: which player(s) would other fans most like to see as a Cub? Considering only realistically available players. For example: everyone wants Pujols; is he really available? Very unlikely.
My top choices are:
Joe Mauer - likely free agent this time next year or trade material mid-season 2010.
Hanley Ramirez - as soon as he becomes expensive he's available. Move him to 3rd and he's almost Alex Rodriguez.
Adrian Gonzalez - maybe already available.
I like Mauer alot too, just scared of his injury history, especially for a younger player who's only going to get more banged up behind the plate. He could become a 1b, but he is going to get alot more $$$$ on the FA market as a catcher.
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