Cubs Prospect Notes: The Special Prospects, Upper Level Arms, Changing Pitching Approach, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: The Special Prospects, Upper Level Arms, Changing Pitching Approach, More

Chicago Cubs

Thanks to significant transportation problems and concurrent site issues, I missed one of the best panels at Cubs Convention this morning, ‘Down on the Farm.’ It’s where we get to hear from Cubs execs in the scouting and player development machine about the state of things in the farm system, various prospects, and where things can go from here on that front.

Thankfully, although I couldn’t take it in live, plenty of lovely chunks of information trickled out to share with you fine folks.

  • The big names to keep an eye on, as offered by the panel, should not be a surprise to you:

  • Some hard truths from scouting and player development chief Jason McLeod, but also some optimism and process change:

  • Some of Jordan Bastian’s takeaways, and more on the pitching prospects:

  • Robinson was a quick-riser last year, so it’s not a surprise that he might already be considered a depth starting option. With Alzolay having missed most of last year, it’s also not surprising to see him getting bullpen consideration – for example, I could see him starting out at AAA Iowa as a starter, and then transitioning to the big league pen later in the year in order to (1) save his arm a bit, (2) get him exposed to the big leagues, and (3) take advantage of that arm.
  • To the extent Cubs pitching prospect come up to make an impact, it’s very likely going to be in the bullpen this year, given that Mike Montgomery and Tyler Chatwood already exist as probably the 6th and 7th starting options for the big league team, which has a rock-solid-locked-in-place first five.
  • Relatedly, someone like James Norwood establishing himself at the big league level would be huge for the bullpen:

  • Ah, the trade that’s probably going to sting the heart even more this year:

  • And, of course, we’ll see how they do when they reach the big league level. I sure liked the Jose Quintana trade at the time, even as I knew it was going to suck to watch Eloy Jimenez develop into an offensive monster in another organization.
  • It’s been a very mixed development process for the Cubs’ two first-round pitching prospect selections from the 2017 draft:

  • Of course, even Brendon Little’s season looks like a Cy Young effort compared to the utter disaster of 2018 for former top Cubs pitching prospect Jose Albertos:

  • It seems like there is always at least one hilarious story at the panel, and this year’s is fantastic:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.