MLB Pipeline has been rolling out their positional rankings this week, ahead of the Top 100 reveal this Friday. If you recall, the Cubs have been extremely well represented so far, with the top catcher (Willson Contreras), third best second baseman (Ian Happ), and seventh best third baseman (Jeimer Candelario).
The latest edition is shortstops, and the Cubs’ own Gleyber Torres made the cut.
Coming in at ninth overall, the lowest among the rankings listed above, Torres’ relative positioning is misleading. Shortstop prospects are always among the highest rated players in the minors, and this particular crop of young shortstops is staaaaacked. Consider some of the company he’s surrounded by: Corey Seager, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, Brendan Rodgers, Alex Bregman and more. These are very solid, very top prospects.
And, despite being ninth on this list, I suspect Torres will be ranked above both Jeimer Candelario (seventh best third baseman) and Ian Happ (third best second baseman), once the Top 100 is revealed. Contreras might give him a run for his money as the highest rated Cubs prospect. They both play premium positions, but Contreras is a good deal closer to the majors.
Torres is extremely talented, possibly with his best years ahead of him, but he also has areas of his game yet to develop. His power, for example, will be interesting to track in the coming years. Torres uses the whole field, and the gap power is there – but once he fills into his body a bit more, pull-side homer power should come along. Some question whether Torres will stick at shortstop long-term, as folks always do with younger shortstop prospects, but he’s got the arm and the quickness necessary.
We recently learned, according to Director of Player Development Jarod Madison, that Torres will begin 2016 at High-A Myrtle Beach. From there, it’s possible he makes his way to AA Tennessee before the year is up, and before his 20th birthday.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.