The Cubs have five players who are in their age 25 season or younger who have accumulated at least 350 plate appearances. So, the idea that the Cubs could stand to add more young, impact talent is eye-opening.
Both Baseball America and Yahoo! Sports have classified several Cubs as minor league all-stars. Southern League batting champion Willson Contreras made both lists, as did do-it-all infielder Javier Baez.
Contreras got the nod as Baseball America’s top Double-A catcher and the Yahoo!’s top overall minor league catcher, hitting .333/.413/.478 in a season in which he doubled 34 times, drew 57 walks and struck out only 62 times. Luke had a more detailed write-up on Contreras’ incredible season, and Brett recently gave his view, each of which is worth your time as a reader.
Baez was tabbed as the top Triple-A second baseman as he slashed .324/.385/.527 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI in 70 games. Some of his success in the minors is starting to show up at the big league level, and in the heat of a pennant race, no less. Baez has shown off his defensive prowess all over the infield and some improved plate discipline in his return to The Show.
Shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Billy McKinney and pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. joined Baez as Honorable Mentions on Yahoo!’s All-Minor League Team. That trio represents MLB Pipeline’s top three Cubs prospects.
Torres is currently taking cuts at High-A Myrtle Beach during the Pelican’s postseason run, while Edwards Jr. recently pitched a scoreless inning in his big league debut. McKinney’s season ended with a hairline fracture on his knee, but he did slash .300/.371/.454/.825 splitting time at Myrtle Beach and Tennessee.
Ian Happ, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2015 amateur draft, made Baseball America’s Short Season All-Star team as an outfielder. Happ slashed .283/.408/.491 in 108 at bats over the span of 29 games. The switch-hitting outfielder, who finished this season spending some time with South Bend, racked up a .259/.356/.466/.822 slash line in 251 minor league at bats this season.