Cubs Prospect Notes: Prospects as Trade Chips, Martinez, Almora, Playing Ball as Kids, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Prospects as Trade Chips, Martinez, Almora, Playing Ball as Kids, More

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

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Have you prepared yourself for the likelihood of a trade involving some bigger name Cubs prospects this season? I like to think I have mentally prepared for that day, but it’s going to be weird isn’t it? There’s at least a moderately realistic chance that one (or more) of the Cubs’ top prospects are traded to improve the quality of the big league team this season.

I find, when I’m reading through other articles or comments on message boards, that people are resigned to the fact that the Cubs will make one of these trades. Perhaps, sometimes, they even believe they should/need to – “that’s half the reason for the farm system,” they’ll say. But then, when any individual name is proposed, it’s met, uniformly, with a version of “Well, not him.”

Luckily, this front office has done an amazing job of acquiring talent without giving up too much in return (in the form of prospects/players), but that day may one day come, so be prepared.

  • In fact, in an article for CSN Chicago, Epstein says as much to Patrick Mooney: “We haven’t really touched our base of young players …. That does allow us … to be a threat to make significant trades that can help the ballclub.”
  • Later, Mooney discusses the top ten Cubs prospects, according to Baseball America, led by the unanimous top three of Gleyber Torres, Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ. Interestingly, Duane Underwood and Dylan Cease are fourth and fifth on the list and the latter comes in for some nice praise from Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod.
  • Lastly, in that article at CSN Chicago, McLeod dives into Eddy Julio Martinez and what he can be as a player. He is described as a big kid – NFL player type – with plus speed and plus power to the pull side, with a very strong, very accurate through. McLeod isn’t sure if he’ll ultimately play center field, though, but that has to be the hope.
  • Interestingly, McLeod admits what I’ve long suspected by their silence: they’re not entirely sure what they have in Martinez. “We know he competes in his at bats, but we just simply don’t have enough visual on him yet. We’re not really certain about how much contact … or how much the power will play.” It’s odd, but I have a feeling that Martinez, who likely falls at the very end of top 100 lists, can rocket up in value quickly, or recalibrate (downward) our expectations for his future. Good storyline for 2016. There’s much more in that CSN article, too, which is worth checking out.
  • ESPN’s Keith Law, who recently released his top 100, does the chat thing, and touches on a series of Cubs related topics. Namely, he address Eddy Julio Martinez’s absence from his top list (because, “nobody’s seen him play”), the promise of Willson Contreras, the distance Duane Underwood is from cracking the top 100 (hint: he wasn’t close), Albert Almora, Arismendy Alcantara, Ian Happ and more. On Almora, Law mentioned that there were some positive signs from him in the second half last year, so that’s a nice signal.
  • Jaron Madison, Cubs Director of Player Development, is encouraging young kids to play baseball. Specifically, he would like to see more African-American kids involved in the sport that he grew up with and learned from. Obviously, in a city like Chicago, most kids grow up dreaming of being Michael Jordan or Derrick Rose (hey, no jokes down there), but Madison hopes baseball can reemerge as a big part of these kids’ lives.
  • Brett’s going to have more on this later, but BA’s farm system rankings are out, and the Cubs are way down at number 20. Law had them at 4, so quite the discrepancy.
  • I’m not entirely sure why this video of Carl Edwards, Jr.’s impressive performance from the 2014 Fall Stars Game just became available, but it’s nice to be reminded of his great stuff:

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.