By Todd Johnson
Baseball America released their Top 100 prospects on Friday night. Four Cubs made the list – Dylan Cease at 97, Albert Almora at 64, Ian Happ at 63, and Eloy at 14. I don’t think there are any surprises. The list got me thinking, though. “Which Cubs could enter the Top 100 later this year?” That question sounds like it could be a full-fledged post in the near future.
Chesny Young – With the winter he’s had, don’t be surprised if Chesny Young gets a lot of at-bats with the big league club this spring. His ability to play four positions in the infield enhances what he can do with his bat. He might not be left-handed, but he can still get on base at a high clip
John Lackey – I doubt John Lackey can remain healthy for a full year at 38 years old. Last year, we saw him get skipped a couple times down the stretch as he went from being a number three starter down to a number four. I think the Cubs will look to improve the rotation for this year and beyond throughout the year by acquiring more pitching. Lackey could be a casualty of that search. Anderson, Butler, and Mills are just the start.
The 2013 IFA class – Last year we saw three players in this class break out a little bit. I think we’re going to see that same three break out some more. Erling Moreno and Wladimir Galindo will both be in South Bend this year. Looking back, that class might be seen as the biggest high-end talent grab in the Theo era. The 2015 class should be getting started in the United States this summer at Mesa and Eugene.
Breakout posts – I am trying to do a breakout post of prospects that should surprise in the first half. The problem is most prospects get a lot of press coverage online, including from myself. I am really looking forward to just seeing what names I can come up with. That post should be out in the next couple of weeks.
Eloy at Tennessee – There’s been some chatter on Twitter about Mr. Jimenez getting a crack at making AA Tennessee coming out of Spring Training. I don’t know if he’s fully ready yet, but I think it would be interesting to find out how he does. I think the Cubs want to challenge him and he wants to be challenged. At the end of last year, Eloy questioned why he was never promoted after pretty much destroying the Midwest League all summer long. He did go to Myrtle Beach for the playoffs after South Bend was eliminated. However, that was a very small sample size.
Good luck to Donnie Dewees as a Kansas City Royal. I am sure Royals’ fans will appreciate his hit tool and hustle.
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