Every month of the regular season, Baseball America creates an All-Prospect Team of the best prospects at each position (across leagues and levels), based on their performance for that month. The All-Prospect Team for April is out, and no one should be shocked to learn that Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach made the “team,” at catcher and first base, respectively.
During the month of April, Kyle Schwarber hit .375/.471/.714 with 12 walks vs. 15 strikeouts. He led the Southern League in on-base percentage and slugging, all while playing catcher for 15 of his 20 games (5 at DH). Schwarber has done nothing but hit, since he was drafted by the Cubs last year, and he has been among the very best in most offensive categories at his level. Now that Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are all playing at the highest level, Kyle Schwarber will soon be the top prospect of one of the best Minor League systems in baseball.
Dan Vogelbach’s production in April was what we prospect fanatics have been waiting for since he was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft. Marketed as a bat first slugger with no true position, his numbers and progression through the minor leagues, until now, have been modest. In April, though, he displayed the power, patience and advanced approach at the plate that scouts have been identifying for several years, now. Over 83 PAs, Vogelbach hit .362/.470/.594 with 14 walks vs. just 10 strikeouts. We’ve written about Vogelbach a lot here at Bleacher Nation, over the past month, most recently because he was named the Cubs’ Player of the Month for April. If Vogelbach continues his hot start, he may yet hit his way onto a major league lineup, despite his lack of position.
At a time when the major league team is demanding our attention more than ever, it’s important to remember how the youth movement started in the first place: prospects. Many of the key players on the Cubs roster right now – Castro, Rizzo, Bryant, Soler, Russell, Castillo, Hendricks, et al. – spent some or all of their time as professionals in the Cubs’ minor league system. And, whether or not Schwarber or Vogelbach ever play a single inning for the Cubs, they are building and maintaining some serious value – be it on the diamond or via trade. It’s likely that both of these sluggers see time in Iowa in the not so distant future. From there, they’re just a phone call away from making a difference in the major leagues.