Cubs Prospect Notes: Candelario's Glove, Jimenez's Power, Vogelbach's Confidence, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Candelario’s Glove, Jimenez’s Power, Vogelbach’s Confidence, More

Chicago Cubs

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At the Major League level yesterday, former Cubs prospects Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Albert Almora each hit a home run, while other former Cubs prospects Willson Contreras and Javier Baez hit doubles of their own.

In other words, the ghosts of Cubs farm system past have been fully on display.

But before those guys were killing it in the majors, they were killing it in the Minors. Here are some notes on other, current Cubs prospects who may one day kill it in the Majors.

  • The 2016 MLB Futures Game will be held in San Diego on July 10 and a couple of Cubs made the cut: Jeimer Candelario and Eloy Jimenez. At Baseball Prospectus, the staff previews the exhibition game with a brief scouting report on the rosters. On Candelario, Grant Jones admits that while his glove may not wow you, his switch-hitting bat is pretty exciting, adding that that he may even see time in the Majors as soon as this season. On the other hand, BP calls Jimenez one of the biggest breakout prospects of the season, touting his “immensely improved approach” at the plate that still features “light-tower power.”
  • Baseball America created a similar primer, but comes to some differing opinions on Jeimer Candelario. Most notably, BA calls Jeimer Candelario an above average defender at third base with a powerful arm. Jimenez comes in for equal praise, though, especially about the power potential, that’s already on display in the Midwest League. If you’re looking for information on the Futures Game, these previews are where you start.
  • Speaking of Candelario, both he and Willson Contreras have been named to the MLB Pipeline team of the week at the respective positions. Contreras for hitting .318/.444/.636 with 2 HRs at the Major League level and Candelario for slashing .409/.536/.727 with more walks (6) than strikeouts (5) in his week at Triple-A Iowa. Congrats, fellas.
  • With the trade deadline coming in a month and the Cubs looking likely to be active, rumors are popping up regarding just who Chicago would be willing to deal. Among the names most frequently mentioned (and not just this season) is Iowa first baseman Dan Vogelbach; however, he’s not letting those rumors get to him. Vogelbach is aware of his own defensive limitations (position-wise) and that Anthony Rizzo exists, but that doesn’t stop him from showing up everyday, working hard, and improving at first and at the plate. On the latter improvement, we know he’s been killing it lately, but to the former, he’s been gaining confidence. “I’m confident over there,” Vogelbach told Tommy Birch at the Des Moines Register. “I’m just as confident at first base as I am at the plate and when I step to the plate, I know I’m going to get a hit every single time. So, that’s the way I think in the field now.” The path to the Majors via the Cubs remains unclear, but Vogelbach is still a very good prospect.
  • At Cut4, Gleyber Torres sits down and discusses how he’s tried to model his game after fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera. It’s an interesting comp, as the two have pretty different individual talents overall, but an encouraging one nonetheless. That said, Jake Mintz identifies that each player places a heavy focus on driving the ball the other way and if that’s what Torres is trying to do with the frequency of Cabrera, I say go for it!
  • At FanGraphs, Eric Logenhagen does the prospect chat thing, discussing a myriad of topics about the Chicago Cubs system. Notably, he ranks Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario and Dan Vogelbach in that order (in terms of trade value) calling Happ a “first-division player,” with enough pop to hold a corner outfield spot, if need be. Although they’re not prospects anymore, Logenhagen is also increasingly optimistic about Kris Bryant’s ability to stick at third (which, yeah) and still believes in Addison Russell’s offensive ability.
  • Lastly, Scott Kornberg reports on the growing bromance between middle infielders Ian Happ and Gleyber Torres. It’s not quite #Bryzzo level yet (and Happ has since been promoted to AA), but I can see the seeds being sewn:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami