Coming into this year, I thought the this Top 21 Prospect List would be pretty volatile. I thought there would be a lot of movement in and out and up and down the list. Some players on the list have yet to make their season debuts this year, some are injured, while others are in slumps after wonderful starts, and some prospects just now began clicking at the plate.
I also used to think that Gleyber Torres should be the top prospect on the list. In that thought process, I also thought that after today’s list, all bets were off for him staying atop come September. After his horrid April, he bounced back nicely in May with .301 average and 6 HRS. June is not going so well for him. Willson Contreras, on the other hand, is just plain raking and easily makes a case that he should be the number one prospect in the system. Things could be all messed up in September, especially if Eloy Jimenez or Dylan Cease’s performances have anything to say about it.
I did not put any of the recent draft picks on the list either. I thought about Hatch, Zinn, and Rivera, but none of these three, or the rest of the picks, have even signed to be Cubs.
As a result, the list in September could look extremely different as players from two draft classes get to play. I am really looking forward to it.
Who Fell Off
Justin Steele and Pierce Johnson fell off the list. They could easily rejoin later this fall, especially Johnson, but his injury history is not helping his chances. Steele just needs to find the plate when he pitches. He has the pitches, he just needs to work on throwing down in the zone. He also needs to work on avoiding the big inning.
Who Could Join Later
Position Players: Wladimir Galindo is the position player with the best chance to join the list this fall. All he has to do is stay healthy because I know he can hit. Draftees Michael Cruz, Delvin ZInn, and Rey Rivera are possible picks from this year’s class to get on the list this fall depending on their signing and performance in the short season leagues. Hatch could easily make the list if the Cubs would allow him to pitch more than three innings a game this summer, which I doubt they will do. I think Cubs fans are going to like him a lot next summer. He’s a gamer.
Pitchers: Carson Sands was poised on the precipice of the list. He almost made it. In fact, for about a week he was on it in early planning. He is still improving every outing and I like the maturity he shows on the mound.
Paul Blackburn just missed too. Blackburn is much improved this year. After a scintillating April (0.29 ERA), he has settled in with an ERA in the mid 2’s. I think he will be on the list in September if he maintains and sustains his development.
The Next List
Right now, the next list is scheduled for September 10. That could change if there is a trade or a major league promotion.
So, without further adieu, here it is.