Two Chicago Cubs prospects are in ESPN’s Keith Law’s re-ranking of top prospects here as we head toward the end of May, and each got a bump this time around. We discussed Law’s preseason rankings here.
High-A Myrtle Beach shortstop Gleyber Torres moved up from number 15 to number 14, and AAA Iowa catcher Willson Contreras moved up from 27 to 18.
Torres, 19, has continued to play solid defense, and, although he found his bat challenged at High-A (especially given his youth), he’s exploded in May (87 PAs) to the tune of a .304/.345/.506 with a 20.7% K rate and a 5.7% BB rate. Those numbers are truly fantastic for a shortstop of his age. While he won’t rank quite that high to most prospecting services come mid-season, if he keeps hitting like he is, you can expect he’ll be a top 25/30ish prospect across the board. And the Cubs will be asked about him a lot.
Contreras, 24, is getting his first taste of AAA after a breakout at AA last year, and he hasn’t blinked. He’s hitting .328/.423/.496 with a 12.9% BB rate and a 12.3% strikeout rate. He remains plenty athletic behind the plate, but continues to work on his receiving game. That part, especially for a catching convert, takes time, and is probably the primary reason there aren’t more calls to see him up in the big leagues sooner than the second half of this season.
Given the Cubs’ catching situation in the near term, although they’re going to also be asked about Contreras a lot, it’s extremely difficult to see them seriously entertaining any entreaties.
Check out the rest of Law’s updated list here, which includes top Cardinals and Pirates pitching prospects Alex Reyes and Tyler Glasnow, respectively, ranking in the top seven.