Normally, it would be a bigger focus this time of year, but, well, you know.
The prospect-laden Arizona Fall League is in the middle of its season, and the Mesa Solar Sox are partly populated by a handful of Chicago Cubs prospects.
So far, it’s been a successful run for several of the Cubs’ youngsters in the league, including a duo who just made the All-Star roster:
— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) October 31, 2016
— Jimmy Dugan (@heelsonthefield) October 31, 2016
That’s very well-known Cubs outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez, who will have a shot at being a top 20 overall prospect in baseball next year after destroying the Midwest League at age 19. Jimenez is hitting .250/.341/.444 in the AFL so far, through nine games.
You might not be as familiar with pitching prospect James Farris, a senior sign from the 2014 draft, who has rocketed up the Cubs’ system to reach AA last year as a reliever. The 24-year-old righty posted a 2.59 ERA in 2016, splitting time between Myrtle Beach and Tennessee, striking out 74 and walking just 17 in 66.0 innings of work. That the Cubs sent him to the AFL after that season suggests they view him as an option for the big league bullpen in the near-term, plausibly as soon as some point during the 2017 season.
In 5.0 innings of AFL work, Farris has allowed no runs, two hits, two walks, and struck out six.
Ian Happ’s name is also on that list there as a vote-in candidate, though I am not immediately seeing how and when the voting for that spot will be conducted. His numbers so far in the AFL have been mediocre, but Happ remains one of the Cubs’ best positional prospects after he was selected 9th overall in 2015.
UPDATE: here’s how you vote:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 31, 2016