Earlier this month, we celebrated as the Cubs’ top prospect Eloy Jimenez was ranked as the 5th best prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. Although Cubs fans had grown accustom to having some of the league’s best youngsters over the years, it had been a little while since one of the Cubs’ own was ranked in top five.
And, of course, we were equally thrilled to see that long-time project-prospect Dylan Cease, who underwent Tommy John surgery just after being drafted, joined him on the list for a top 100 ranking of his own.
However, things have changed a lot since then, haven’t they? Both of those prospects were traded to the White Sox as part of the package for Jose Quintana, leaving me with this sad realization:
Well how about that … the Cubs have no top 100 prospects. https://t.co/hTZNcG4m9C
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) July 13, 2017
Of course, that was according to just one publication, Baseball America, when in fact there are other, perfectly notable prospect ranking channels out there. Like, for example, MLB Pipeline.
According to their midseason update, the Cubs do have one prospect in the top 100 prospects of baseball, and it’s Jeimer Candelario at number 92! The lonesome ranking of Candelario comes not only because of Cease and Jimenez’s exit, but also because of Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr.’s graduation from eligibility. See, it’s not necessarily bad news!
To be sure, even Candelario has gotten a few tastes of Major League action, but is still down in Triple-A with his prospect status for now. So far this season, Candelario’s numbers have been really solid, but arguably unspectacular: .260/.357/.491. The switch hitter posted a 155 wRC+ in his first stop at Triple-A last season, but has followed it up with a 116 wRC+ this year.
The biggest difference I can see at a glance is that Candelario is striking out a lot more this season (22.2%) than last (17.2%). Fortunately, he’s actually improved his walk rate up to 12.5%. You can read a lot more about his season and his ranking right here at MLB.com.
The Cubs are not the only team with just one (or fewer) top 100 prospect, by the way. The Marlins, Angels, and Royals have no prospects in the top 100, while the Diamondbacks, Giants, Orioles, Mariners, and Rangers join the Cubs with just one. Though, in terms of prospect points (100 points to the number 1 prospect, 99 to the number 2, etc.) the Cubs’ 8 points rank fourth from the bottom and lowest among the teams with just one guy. Shrug. You’d still take the Cubs overall organizational roster over MANY teams above them.
In any case, Candelario it is – the last of the Cubs top 100 prospects … for now.