Have you ever wondered just how accurate and/or successful those many top 100 prospect lists are? Of course you have. You’re a Chicago Cubs fan in the throes of a rebuild.
We tend to look at that question only from the perspective of the guys who make the lists: did they become stars? Did they flame out? Where are they now? It’s an interesting and useful exercise, but it really only addresses half of what we actually want to know. The other half? What about all of the guys who never made a top 100 list?
Conor Glassey, formerly of Baseball America, takes on that half of the equation in a long, deep look at the blind spots of the top 100 lists over the years. If you’re into the prospecting game at all, set aside 10 minutes and give it a read. The article is well worth it for the background knowledge, alone.
Glassey reviews each position, notes successful big leaguers who were never considered top 100 prospects, and tries to discern a harmonizing reason (or reasons) why certain types of players at certain positions are overlooked. Generally, college draftees who were undersized and/or were not high profile draft picks can surprise, despite not being considered top prospects. Guys without a clear position, but who can hit. Guys without devastating stuff, but with excellent control.
Of particular interest here, Glassey tries to identify current minor leaguers who could fit the various profiles he comes up with, and he includes several Cubs prospects: Dan Vogelbach, Arismendy Alcantara (but he’ll probably make some top 100 lists), Stephen Bruno (I think he would have had a much higher profile if he hadn’t missed most of this year with an elbow injury), John Andreoli (Luke’s been on him for a while), Matt Szczur, and Kyle Hendricks. It’s an ample group of Cubs prospects, and it’s not like Glassey included that many guys.
It’s nice to see the Cubs with some possible under-the-radar types that could break out, in addition to their numerous top 100 types.