As it tends to happen, the Cubs’ unique abundance of blue chip prospects often overshadows their equally impressive minor league depth. Just because a system has a great deal of depth, though, doesn’t mean that the players in the 20 – 40 range of prospect rankings are any less impressive simply because they are in the Cubs’ system than they would/should be in a more shallow pool of talent.
With that said, meet (or reacquaint) yourself with the newest member of the Cubs top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, Daniel Lockhart.
Lockhart, 22, has been playing middle infield (primarily second base) and hitting from the left side of the plate for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans this year. After Jorge Soler lost prospect eligibility early this season, a spot opened up at the back end of the list and Daniel Lockhart was selected to fill it. Lockhart, the son of ten-year MLB veteran – and current Cubs scout – Keith Lockhart, is currently hitting .232/.290/.304 (8.1% walk rate and 14.5% strikeout rate) in just 62 PAs in A+ ball. Here’s part of what MLB Pipeline had to say on the 22 year old infielder:
Much like his father, Lockhart stands out more for his instincts and savvy than his tools, and he profiles more as a utilityman than a regular. He makes line-drive contact with ease, though he has yet to show more power. Lockhart has fringy speed, but he runs the bases well and can steal on occasion.
Though he comes in at the back end and profiles as just a utilityman, this isn’t Lockhart’s first appearance on a Cubs’ top prospect list. Earlier this year, Luke Blaize ranked Lockart as the 33rd overall prospect on the Bleacher Nation Top 40 list. The ranking was made when Soler still maintained his eligibility, so the vacancy would (presumably) bring Lockhart up to 32nd overall, just a few spots behind MLB Pipeline. Here’s part of what Luke had to say at the time of the ranking:
If you said Lockhart was a left-handed hitting [Gioskar] Amaya, you wouldn’t be far from the truth. As a second baseman for Kane County last summer, Lockhart drew plenty of walks (9.0% rate), avoided the strikeout out (12.8% rate), stole some bases (12 in 17 tries) and was generally what you would expect from young second baseman prospect in the low minors…..As a left handed hitting infielder with utility potential and a patient approach at the plate, I like his chances to emerge as a nice complement to a very right-handed hitting group of Cubs infielders in a few years.
Daniel Lockhart isn’t an impact player and isn’t likely to become one any time soon, but teams are mostly made up of non-impact players. As far as utilitymen of the future come, you could do a whole lot worse than a left handed middle infielder who hits line drives, has some speed and has a decent approach at the plate. For now, though, his placement at the end of the Cubs’ top 30 on MLB Pipeline is a nice reminder of how deep and talented the Cubs system is.