We are ranking the top 20 prospects in the Chicago Cubs farm system as the 2019 season opens up. A state of the farm system, an introduction, and prospect number 21 are here, prospects 20 through 16 are here, prospects 15 through 11 are here, prospects 10 through 6 are here, prospects 5 through 1 are here, and a big group of guys who just missed is here.
Fourteen pitchers, three shortstops, two outfielders and a catcher in the top spot comprised our BN prospect rankings this year. I wanted to sum things up in one final post, and then we can move on to actual baseball being played in Arizona. Minor league Spring Training games begin this week (and we’ll be there for it!).
So, first, here was the full list:
- Miguel Amaya
- Nico Hoerner
- Brailyn Marquez
- Adbert Alzolay
- Alex Lange
- Cole Roederer
- Zack Short
- Justin Steele
- Aramis Ademan
- Keegan Thompson
- Brennen Davis
- Dakota Mekkes
- Yovanny Cruz
- Jose Albertos
- Riley Thompson
- Cory Abbott
- Tyson Miller
- Richard Gallardo
- Paul Richan
- Erich Uelmen
Your mileage may vary, but I really do agree with Michael’s sentiment – this is the best group of prospects the Cubs have had in a few years:
I can't believe I'm saying this and really mean it, but I'm actually legit excited about the Cubs top 5 prospects right now. Feels like the first time since, idk, 2016? @BleacherNation https://t.co/DofhD8gKg6
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) March 8, 2019
In addition to the specific posts for the list (20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1), I offered some Upside Comps for each guy in a thread on my Twitter feed. Please, remember to take those with the healthiest salt grain you can find. We are also going more than 20 deep on names, albeit not ranking them. So far I gave a write-up for my #21 guy, Trent Giambrone, added 12 names I just feel are too early to rank, and had a post on 11 upper-level pitchers I find hard to sort through.
Today, let’s add a few more to the list, presented alphabetically:
D.J. Artis, OF — College on-base machine that showed a little more pop and athleticism in Eugene than I expected.
Bailey Clark, RHP — When Clark was healthy in 2018, he was deserving of a spot in the top 20. Love his potential as a 2-inning arm, hoping the Cubs let him embrace and run with that role.
Jimmy Herron, OF — Like with Nico, the Cubs see Herron as capable of more power in their system than he showed in college. Shows potential as a do-everything 4th OF type.
Brendon Little, LHP — Really believe a friendly ballpark, better infield defense and better luck will improve Little’s 2019 numbers. But needs some semblance of inning-to-inning consistency.
Christopher Morel, SS/3B — Others are higher on him than I, but he might just be the most quick-twitch guy in the organization.
Jhonny Pereda, C — Still will have to prove that last year’s breakout can survive the move to Double-A, but seems like a really nice future back-up.
Luke Reynolds, 3B/1B — Have sung his praises before, but at his quite advanced age, has to hit like bananas and move up that ladder quick.
Ian Rice, C — I am bullish on an offensive breakout about to happen in the Pacific Coast League. Defense was better in 2018.
Jonathan Sierra, OF — I’d probably have him ranked higher than just about anyone; I still see loads of potential. Just cautiously confused what it means that he wasn’t at instructs.
Nelson Velazquez, OF — Could be a top 10 guy next year if he shows some offensive consistency. Bulked up a lot last year.
Andy Weber, MI — Perhaps the best versatile infield defender in the system. If he can hit — and I’ll admit to some doubts there — I’ll move him up quickly.
D.J. Wilson, OF — All-world defender, but can’t stay on the field long enough to convince me of the offensive upside that others see.
Jared Young, 1B/LF — This would be #22, and I’ll admit to wanting to sneak him to 20 already. More on him before long.
Mark Zagunis, OF — If this bit of pop he’s shown in Spring Training is real, he gets interesting fast. Focus tends to be on what he can’t do, but ignores some real big league skills.
So all told, across the posts that’s 58 names that I think you could comfortably call the top 58 in the system. Some will have slipped through the cracks, but we’ll find them soon!