The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series with contributions from all kinds of players.
They had a combination of homegrown draftees, players they traded for, players they signed, young guys, old guys, and everything in between. They were, undoubtedly, a well-rounded team in 2016.
That said, their outlook for the future – the dynasty they’re hoping to begin – will be built on the backs of the young core of position players they’ve been bringing along for years. Having a solid group of players perform admirably so quickly upon reaching the Major Leagues is what has given the Cubs one of the most enviable rosters in the league, and it doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon.
To that end, MiLB has been acknowledging the minor league players – regardless of age or prospect status – who had the best seasons in their respective organization. So let’s take a look at the Cubs’ list and check in on some of the top performers from the Cubs Minor League system.
The full MiLB rankings can be found here alongside short write-ups on each player. The list is, in simplest terms, the Chicago Cubs Minor League Organizational All-Stars.
- First Base: Yasiel Balaguert (Myrtle Beach)
- Second Base: Ian Happ (Tennessee)
- Third Base: Jeimer Candelario (Iowa)
- Shortstop: Gleyber Torres* (Myrtle Beach)
- Outfield: Donnie Dewees (Myrtle Beach)
- Outfield: Eloy Jimenez (South Bend)
- Outfield: John Andreoli (Iowa)
- Designated Hitter: Dan Vogelbach* (Iowa)
- LH Starting Pitcher: Ryan Kellogg (SB)
- RH Starting Pitcher: Preston Morrison (SB)
- Reliever: Ryan McNeil (Myrtle Beach)
*Players no longer in the Cubs organization.
All in all, the Cubs’ group shows a nice variety of well-known top prospects and some lesser known guys with huge performances. All things considered, you want the guys with huge pedigrees (e.g., Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario, Eloy Jimenez) to perform the best, because it indicates that they are right on track with their projections. But every now and then, someone like Willson Contreras can pop out of nowhere, so it’s important to be on the lookout for talent and production of all types.
The Cubs, as I’ve stated, have a good collection of both.
Gleyber Torres and Dan Vogelbach were among the Cubs’ top prospects, but both exited the organization this year as part of trade packages that netted the Cubs Aroldis Chapman and Mike Montgomery. Jimenez, Happ, and Candelario then, are likely the remaining top three prospects in the Cubs organization, so it’s nice to see each recognized for their performance.
Other interesting names – Donnie Dewees, John Andreoli, and Ryan McNeil – are names with which were familiar, and also guys that figure to play a supporting role on the Major League team in the future.
You can read about every Cubs organizational all-star here, and even vote on which you believe had the best 2016 season (hint: it’s Eloy Jimenez). Right now, Jimenez is leading the pack, but I bet you’d be surprised who’s come up second.
With a World Series victory finally in the rearview mirror, the Cubs future looks as bright as ever. Go take a look at the guys you might be rooting for (in the proverbial) tomorrow.