The Cubs Prospect List – Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Part 2

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Prospect Lists about the Cubs have changed quite a bit in the past few months. Gone off those lists are Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Bryant, and Russell.

Yesterday, Baseball Prospectus released their mid-season top 50. Only two Cubs made the list. Kyle Schwarber came in at #8 and Gleyber Torres snuck in at #50. Eloy Jimenez just missed the list.

Schwarber 86Then today, Baseball America released its mid-season top 50. They had three Cubs on the list with Schwarber at #6, Torres at #28, and Billy McKinney at #30.

It is not uncommon to see those two lists so different as well as’s. Yesterday, I explained why these lists are changing so much on Cubs Insider. It got me thinking about what the Cubs’ list might look like in a year. Then deja vu hit me.

A year and a half ago, I tried predicting who might be the Cubs top prospects in 2016. Looking back at that list, it seems a little foolish in many aspects. It was somewhat foolish to try and predict that list as there would be two drafts and two international free agent signing periods in between, not to mention trades; plus, you never know how players are going to develop. Two and a half years is a long time in the development of a prospect. However, I think I got a couple correct….at the top.

With many of those players having a year and a half of development since that first list, I think my predictive skills are much better now. Let’s give it another shot – here are my predictions on who the top ten prospects will be in the Cubs organization in 2016 before the draft, before international free agency.

First thing you will notice is that there are some familiar names missing. Schwarber should be in the majors by then. Carl Edwards, Jr. and Pierce Johnson should be on the 25 man roster as well. I doubt if Dan Vogelbach will be in the organization at this point and Albert Almora has some things to work on. I haven’t soured on Albert. He is still my odds on choice to start CF on opening day in 2017. I think it is likely Jeimer Candelario will either be gone in a trade or taken in the Rule 5 draft along with several Cub prospects who don’t get protected.

The first thing you will notice is that the list is filled with picks from the 2014 draft and International Free Agency from 2013 – two periods when the Cubs acquired high quality talent.




cruz 73 2015

Sands 67 2015

cease 62

I admit, this is a long shot. However, I have liked what I have seen from him. Last Thursday, he pumped it out for six innings while striking out nine. There is something there and is is still a bit unrefined. Clearly, he is my sleeper pick of the summer.

Likely spot: South Bend

Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Sands is not going to win any points for flash. But he will get all the points for dependability. I have listened to three of his starts this year and he is pretty even keeled. He doesn’t get rattled and is quite polished at his age.

Likely spot: South Bend

 The selection of Cease in 2014 is turning on to be a steal. While other teams were scared off by potential TJS, the Cubs picked him and are currently nursing him with kid gloves. He is responding with 96-97 mph heat. He is on a short leash and will likely not go more than 3-4 innings a start this year.
Likely spot: South Bend




Zagunis 61

steele 74 2015 2

happ 66 15

 I don’t think anyone expected Mark Zagunis to be as good as he is. He controls the zone, walks, hits for some power, hits for average, has some speed, and has converted to being an outfielder seamlessly.
Likely spot: Tennessee
 I got to see him pitch last week on MiLB.TV. I was really surprised at the tightness he already has on his curveball. It has a really sharp break on it. He just baffled hitters with it. The other pitches need some work, but you have to remember he just turned 19.
Likely spot: South Bend
 His reputation is preceding him. Currently, he has more walks than hits at Eugene as teams are pitching around him. Here are some wacky stats – He is hitting .241 but has an OBP over .400 to go with 4 HRs in 10+ games.
Likely spot: Myrtle Beach




underwood 69 15

McKInney 62

Eloy 2015 65 2

 Currently on the DL with elbow inflammation, his injury gave everyone quite the scare. Underwood has clearly placed himself as the top starting pitcher in the organization on just two plus pitches. He will need a third and/or a fourth to truly develop into a top of the rotation type starter.
Likely spot: Tennessee
 OK, this kid just can just plain rake. He will hit for occasional power, but first he will hit for average. His defense is improving and he’s only 20 at AA!!!! I think that next summer he could push the discussion of him being at Wrigley.
Likely spot: Iowa
 So far, we have a snippet of what Eloy can do at Eugene. He hits for power and is showing he can hit for average too. On the base paths, he has some speed and is a pretty decent in the field. I can’t wait to see him every day at South Bend, whether that is this year or next does not matter.
Likely spot: South Bend


 gleyber 65

I have seen or listened to most every game of his this year and one word I would use is “SMOOTH.” He makes everything look effortless. He’s only 18 and has some issues in the field and on the base paths, but he still looks good in making those mistakes. At the plate, he has it all. Everything goes to center and right center. It is rare to see him pull a ball. Most amazing to me is that from the #2 spot in the lineup  he leads the team in RBIs.

Likely spot: Myrtle Beach

Honorable Mention

Wladimir Galindo, Chesny Young, Donnie Dewees, Jeremy Null, Ryan Williams,,

Improving Quickly

Rashad Crawford, Erling Moreno

Have Yet to See

Bryan Hudson, Aramis Ademan, DJ Wilson,  and Jonathan Sierra


And when Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus come out with their lists in the middle of 2016, you might see 5 or 6 names instead of 2 or 3.


2 thoughts on “The Cubs Prospect List – Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Part 2

    […] Here is an updated version one and a half years later […]


    […] Here is an updated version one and a half years later […]


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