A nice prospecting nod for your baseball-less afternoon, as two of the Cubs’ big-time prospects get love from Baseball America.
Rolling out this month, BA is ranking the top prospects in each minor league, which is often a nice way to receive an outside take on a prospect who might not otherwise make a national top 100 type list. For example, the just-released Midwest League Top 20 features two Cubs prospects in the top ten, and another who made the list. No wonder the South Bend Cubs won the league.
Cubs lefty Brailyn Marquez, he of the triple digit fastball and the promotion to High-A before the season was up, dominated at Low-A with South Bend once he really started letting that fastball eat. And he shows up on the list ranked third in the Midwest League, behind only consensus top 50 prospect LHP Matthew Liberatore, and top overall prospect in baseball, SS Wander Franco. That’s, uh, not a bad trio to be a part of.
Among BA’s comments on the 20-year-old Marquez:
“Even in today’s game, a lefthanded starter who can touch 100 mph is notable. Marquez is one the most electrifying southpaws in the minors, though he faces plenty of work ahead. At the end of the day, he has the pure stuff to be a solid major league starter—or dominating reliever.
‘The stuff has always been there,’ a scout said. ‘He sits upper 90s, averaging nearly 96 (mph). His curveball has come on and he’s working on his changeup. He’s still working on consistency and growing into his body. He’s not fully coordinated yet and still mastering his mechanics.'”
Outfield prospect Brennen Davis, a 19-year-old who tore up the Midwest League in his first full professional year, and who lands as Bryan’s top Cubs prospect, came in at only number 10 on the list.
“Davis quickly sped up his timetable. He made it to South Bend in late May and proved to be one of the best hitters in his team’s lineup. Despite playing just 50 games—he missed a month with a finger injury— he still finished second on the team with eight home runs.
Davis impacts the ball, with the potential to deliver average and power.”
Davis has a chance to stick in center field, and with his bat, I have a hard time seeing him not as a consensus top 100 overall when those rankings come out after the new year.
The other South Bend Cubs prospect to make the list is righty Riley Thompson, who came in at number 19. At 23 years old, Thompson was among the older pitching prospects in the league, but he also had a lot to work on mechanically, so the Cubs have been taking it slow. A scout’s comment to BA: “[Thompson] has an easy plus fastball that sits 92-96 mph. He has a curveball and changeup that have a chance to be solid-average with enough command and control that he could be in a rotation. His curve is average around 3,000 rpm. There are enough strikes there, and the command will continue to get better.”
For the rest of the list and more on the Cubs’ prospects, head over to Baseball America.