Cubs Place Just Two Prospects in Keith Law's Top 100

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Cubs Place Just Two Prospects in Keith Law’s Top 100

Chicago Cubs

It’s the final major top 100 prospect list of the rankings season, and it comes at The Athletic this time around, and Keith Law has moved his prospecting to their shop.

Generally speaking, and with periodic exceptions, we’ve seen Nico Hoerner in the 40 to 70 range this offseason, Brailyn Marquez in the 40 to 90 range, Brennen Davis in the 60 to 90 range, and Miguel Amaya in the 80 to 120 range. For Law’s list, however, Davis comes in at 55, and Marquez at 80. That’s it for the Cubs.

Law has always tended to have a more unique list among the rankings services, and Hoerner’s omission is not a huge surprise in that regard (Law is low on a whole bunch of higher-floor types – he tends to go for upside). Thus, a guy like Davis, whom everyone would agree has a higher offensive ceiling than any other Cubs prospect right now, is ranked considerably higher by Law than Hoerner, even if it’s more or less a lock that Hoerner spends several years in the big leagues (and it is not a lock yet for a young guy like Davis).

I do want to share a little of what Law had to say on Marquez, because it squares with a whole lot of scouts’ thinking on what the long lefty can be: “His delivery is tough to repeat and points towards a closer’s profile rather than a starter’s; he spins off his front heel, his arm is late relative to his landing, and he tends to drop his arm a little and sling the ball. Some guys overcome these issues and remain starters, and he has top-of-the-rotation stuff if he can.” Even if you buy the changeup as a big league third pitch (to pair with the elite fastball and excellent slider), the pitches aren’t what give you questions about his ability to stick as a starter. It’s repeating the long, complicated motion consistently enough to work effectively for 6+ innings every five days.

As for Amaya’s absence, again, Law isn’t alone on that front. The ZiPS system adores Amaya, but most leave him to the back of the top 100 range if he’s there at all, and I can’t totally ignore what must be SOME scouting and organizational input from a lot of sources. But I also know that Amaya’s league-adjusted performance was incredibly impressive for his age and position, and I also know that he pairs excellent discipline with good power. I’m not sure what else you could ask for from a 20-year-old catcher, but with a loaded crop of catching prospects in baseball right now (it’s just a stacked position), I think it’s easy for Amaya to fall into the background when he doesn’t have the kind of superficial performance numbers that blow you away. Maybe he’ll have that this year at AA Tennessee, and folks will also start talking about what a good defensive catcher he is, too.



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.