It seems that at the end of every minor league season were left with several different “types” or “tiers” of prospects. Among those groups, there are the guys who don’t necessarily perform at an elite level, but are well thought of based on their promise, scoring reports, etc. Of course, there is also a group of guys who are well thought of and who perform at an elite level. Then you also have guys who perform at an elite level in a given season, but hadn’t been thought of as top tier prospects.
While in many cases we’ll find it appropriate to temper reactions/expectations based off single season performances, these players do still have the potential to be impactful pieces. Indeed, while it hasn’t quite worked out for Arismendy Alcantara, for example, after his huge breakout in 2013/14, there are reasons to believe that the 2015 breakout of Willson Contreras is legit.
The problem with following these kinds of recent breakout types, then, isn’t necessarily their future, but instead, it’s finding enough information about their present. Big name prospects get most of the attention whether they’re performing well or not, and guys that unexpectedly grind out good seasons often get looked over.
That’s why when MiLB.com creates a list of Cubs organizational minor league all-stars based on performance, alone, it’s important to pay attention and learn what we can. You can find the article, along with other thoughts surrounding each player, here. Among those thoughts is the list of all-stars:
Willson Contreras – Catcher
Jacob Rogers – First baseman
Arismendy Alcantara – Second baseman
Jeimer Candelario – Third baseman
Javier Baez – Shortstop
Robert Garcia – Outfielder
Billy McKinney – Outfielder
Mark Zagunis – Outfielder
Cheny Young – Utility player
Ryan Williams – Right-handed starter
Justin Steele – Left-handed starter
P.J. Francescon – Relief pitcher
While I don’t doubt that you’ve heard of a number of the players above, there are certainly some lesser known guys sprinkled in. It’s a nice reminder that scouting is just half the battle, and that you have to consider performances, as well. So take a second and read through the write-ups on each individual player, especially if you haven’t heard of them before. We’ve been beating this drum for a while now, but these players can impact the big league roster – in more than one way – sooner rather than later. Get to know them now.