We’re into prospect rankings season, with FanGraphs having released an updated Cubs top prospect list, and now Baseball America enters the fray.
- Nico Hoerner, SS
- Miguel Amaya, C
- Brailyn Marquez, LHP
- Cole Roederer, OF
- Brennen Davis, OF
- Adbert Alzolay, RHP
- Paul Richan, RHP
- Cory Abbott, RHP
- Justin Steele, LHP
- Aramis Ademan, SS
Right away, you see some significant departures from what we’ve come to expect in these lists at this time in the farm system. Although most of the names are recognizable, BA is much higher on the Cubs’ 2018 draft than I suspect most outlets will be. Hoerner was the Cubs’ top pick, and he gets top billing. Then the Cubs’ pair of early-selected high school outfielders slide all the way up to 4 and 5, and then college righty Paul Richan, whom the Cubs selected in the second compensatory round, is the third highest-rated pitcher in the entire system. While that says a lot about how BA thinks the Cubs may have unearthed a quality arm, it also says a lot about what BA thinks of the other prospects in the system.
To that end, you won’t see words like “breakout potential” or “front-of-the-rotation” or “projectability” in the Richan writeup. Instead, the Cubs’ third best pitching prospect, according to BA, is maybe going to be, “a classic innings-eater toward the back of a rotation.” Kay.
Even lefty Brailyn Marquez, whom I think most evaluators would agree is the one remaining Cubs pitching prospect about whom you could dream in the future as a front-of-the-rotation type, projects only as a middle-of-the-rotation type to BA.
BA is clearly much more down on Aramis Ademan after his challenging 2018 season (by which I don’t just mean the results, which were brutal, I mean the fact that the Cubs sent the 19-year-old shortstop to High-A). I tend to trust the Cubs on that one, though – I don’t think they would have let Ademan suffer through that season at such a high level unless they felt like he was going to be better for it next year.
You can and should read the full write-ups at BA for much more on these prospects. I’ll leave you with one nice bit, though, about a guy with serious breakout potential in 2019 and beyond, as the Cubs plucked Cole Roederer away from a college commitment just as he was physically coming into his own: “Scouts saw a short, compact swing with plenty of bat speed and hands skilled enough to find the barrel often to project a plus hit tool with above-average power ….. Scouts on both the amateur and pro side saw hints of the same type of skill set that made Andrew Benintendi a star for the Red Sox.”
On Cubs prospect Cole Roederer…
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) December 17, 2018