With the rumor season ramping up, do you know where your top prospects are?
Well, if you’re looking for Eloy Jimenez, the Cubs’ consensus #1 prospect, you might start your search at the top of Baseball Prospectus’ Midseason Top 50 Prospectus update … like really close to the top:
- Yoan Moncada, 2B (White Sox)
- Amed Rosario, SS (Mets)
- Francisco Mejia, C (Indians)
- Victor Robles, CF (Nationals)
- Rafael Devers, 3B (Red Sox)
- Brendan Rodgers, SS (Rockies)
- Gleyber Torres, IF (Yankees)
- Eloy Jimenez, OF (Cubs)
- Alex Reyes, RHP (Cardinals)
- Lewis Brinson, OF (Brewers)
Indeed, Jimenez has been ranked as MLB’s eighth best overall prospect and second best outfield prospect, according to Baseball Prospectus. Indeed, he falls in right behind the former Chicago Cub shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres (who was traded as part of the package for Aroldis Chapman last July). It’s one hell of a ranking for Jimenez, but is certainly well-deserved.
After starting the season late with a shoulder injury, Jimenez has continued to dominate at the dish. Through his first 39 games at High-A (the highest level he’s yet reached), Jimenez has slashed .276/.356/.510. And at roughly 20.5 years old, Jimenez is a full two years younger than the average player at that level (while hitting 37% better than the league average player). Which, wow.
At Baseball Prospectus, each player in the Top 50 Midseason Update gets their own brief writeup on why they might succeed and why they might fail, and Jimenez’s is plenty exciting:
While he’ll succeed: Jimenez is the first prospect on our list that is likely to end up pretty far right on the defensive spectrum. So you’d expect a hell of a bat. Jimenez looks like he will deliver with thirty home run pop and more hit tool utility and approach than you’d expect from the still-accurate-descriptor “classic right field profile.”
If Jimenez really has 30-homer power with the ability to deliver more than just slugging at the plate, the Cubs will have stumbled into a ridiculously useful player – one they’ll move other guys around to accommodate (though we have plenty of time before it comes to that);
But I’m sure you’re wondering what the flip side is. Well, according to BP, the reason Jimenez might fail is because his defense isn’t necessarily a strength (to put it kindle). In other words, if his bat doesn’t succeed he won’t have anything to fall back on, like many other top prospects do. In fact, his defense is considered worse than any of the seven prospects ahead of him … but, honestly, that isn’t all that discouraging (and it’s not like we haven’t seen him make fantastic defensive plays before).
By any measure, this is a wonderfully high ranking for the Cubs best prospect and a positive sign for the future. If he manages to stick with the Cubs through the trade season, you might even expect him to finish the year at Double-A Tennessee. It would be an aggressive promotion for Jimenez, but he’s done nothing but mash everywhere he goes. Let’s see if he can make the jump and inch closer to Chicago.