The Daytona Cubs (High-A) were the first to drop their tentative roster, but the Kane County Cougars (Low-A) have followed suit today with their “preliminary” roster. That just means it’s subject to change before the season actually kicks off on Thursday.
Roster first, comments after:
Shawon Dunston, Jr.
Jake (not Jacob, apparently) Hannemann
The first name you probably notice is recently-hyped Taiwanese righty Jen-Ho Tseng, who does indeed get the full season assignment in his first real season with the organization. That’s a great sign for the 19-year-old.
Other pitchers of note include Paul Blackburn (supplemental first rounder in 2012, and borderline top 10 guy), Tyler Skulina and Scott Frazier (big, strong college arms from the 2013 draft – interesting not to see Trey Masek with them), Juan Paniagua (the Cubs’ big international signing in 2012), and Daury Torrez (big 20-year-old righty out of the DR). This is really a strong group of arms, and that’s without Duane Underwood (second rounder in 2012), whom I believe could join Kane County at some point in the early going.
Then there’s Gerardo Concepcion, whom the Cubs signed for around $6 million before the 2012 season, but he struggled upon coming to the States from Cuba. He also dealt with mono, and he hasn’t really put much of anything together in his two years with the organization. It’s frustrating, obviously, as this was a young man who was pitching well at the highest level in Cuba when was just 19. Still just 22, there’s a theoretical future for him, but it’s gotta start this year.
Everyone in the outfield is a legitimate, if less-discussed, prospect. The one you’ve heard most about is Jake Hannemann, the Cubs’ overslot third rounder from 2013. He hasn’t played a lot of baseball in the last three years, but he’s a physically-gifted dude who could move up quickly if he hits.
In the infield, Carlos Penalver is an interesting shortstop who doesn’t turn 20 until May. Daniel Lockhart gets some back-of-the-top-30 type love.
Will Remillard has gotten a fair bit of love since he was drafted last year, and will be one to watch behind the plate.
All in all, it’s a quality roster, if you’re looking for prospects, especially on the pitching side. Plenty of good reasons to make the slight trip out west from Chicago to check them out this year.