Without any further ado, here is my Cubs Minor League All-Star Team for 2015.
There were several players, had they been healthy all season, would have made this a much different team. They include: Dan Vogelbach, Duane Underwood, and Tyler Skulina. All three put up great numbers in the time that they were healthy.
Hitter of the Year – Willson Contreras .327 average, Southern League All-Star, 8 HRs, 73 RBIs. Next stop – Arizona Fall League.
Pitcher of the Year – Ryan Williams – 140.2 innings, 2.18 ERA 14-3 record, struck out 98. He did it all by owning the bottom of the zone. Next stop – AAA Iowa.
Biggest Breakout Prospect – Oscar De La Cruz – 2.84 ERA, 73 Ks in 73 innings at short season Eugene. Next stop – South Bend.
Despite losing Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Schwarber off the top prospect list, the Cubs still have a top four farm system. I think this year’s All-Star team reflects that depth, but it’s a better bet that next year’s All-Star team will shoot the Cubs higher up in those rankings. Between now and then, the Cubs could add Eddy Julio Martinez, a first round pick next year, and maybe even a compensation round pick next year. The depths of next year’s draft is well known and deep.
I expect only three of the Cubs’ top 30 prospects to move into the majors next year. One is Carl Edwards, Jr. Another, Albert Almora. However, Almora might not be up until later in the year. The third, Pierce Johnson, might be a longshot to add depending on what the Cubs do in free agency this winter. As a result, most of the Cubs’ top prospects are going to remain in the minors and develop – which is a scary thought for 2017 and 2018. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see the Cubs trade some of their other prospects that have been around a while or are rule five eligible this winter.
The depth of talent at the lower minor-league is a little surreal to me. And the reason why it is this: it’s a mixture of international free agents, high school talent, and late round college picks who have been coming out every night and playing hard. I don’t think anyone expected PJ Higgins to wait until July 17 to sign and then hit .350 for an entire month and move up a level. No one expected that. These kids can play!
So, it’s been a great minor league season and I cannot wait for it to all begin again next year!