FanGraphs Names Two More Cubs Prospects as Potential Top-100 Types in the Near Future

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FanGraphs Names Two More Cubs Prospects as Potential Top-100 Types in the Near Future

Chicago Cubs

When FanGraphs released their Top-100 (really top-114) prospect rankings for the 2022 season yesterday, the Chicago Cubs landed an impressive five players on the list. Because of their age and distance to the majors, most of the Cubs representation was at the very back-end of the rankings, but it was good to see nonetheless.

Here’s a quick reminder of those results:

25. Brennen Davis, RF, 55 FV
87. Kevin Alcantara, CF, 50 FV
104. Owen Caissie, LF, 50 FV
106. James Triantos, 2B, 50 FV
114. Reginald Preciado, 3B, 50 FV

But the staff at FanGraphs isn’t done yet. This whole week is full of glorious prospect content, and their latest should be of particular interest to Cubs fans: Picks to Click: Who We Expect to Make the 2023 Top 100. I don’t think that takes much explaining, but basically the staff at FanGraphs has identified 46 more prospects — that were not already among their top-114 — who could crack the top-100 rankings next season.

The prospects are broken down into nine groups, featuring (1) promising backstops, (2) buying the bat, (3) swing change breakout candidates, (4) the “This is what they look like” group, (5) epic bounce backs, (6) well-rounded up-the-middle prospects, (7) just outside, (8) deep cuts, and (9) late-inning relievers.

The Chicago Cubs landed two prospects on the list, shortstop Christian Hernandez and outfielder Pete Crowe Armstrong.

Those two choices are particularly unsurprising, as both have been identified as the Cubs second best prospect in the recent past. Hernandez, of course, is the Cubs 18-year-old shortstop, whose 45+ future value just narrowly cut him off from making FanGraphs top rankings in the first place (everyone at 50 and above made the cut, and 45+ is just a half-step below that). Generally speaking, his upside is considered among the highest in the system, but without any stateside experience, a cautious approach is understandable. FanGraphs has Hernandez as the Cubs sixth best prospect right now, behind the five players above.

By contrast, Pete Crow-Armstrong, acquired in the Javy Báez trade mid-summer, didn’t even crack the Cubs top-10 according to FanGraphs (No. 13 overall). That’s due, in part, because of how little he’s played over the last two years (pandemic in 2020, injured in 2021 before being traded to the Cubs). But PCA is already considered an “incredible” center fielder, and was only available in trade to the Cubs because of the injury.

Because he was drafted in the first-round (2020) and was the center piece of the deal for Báez, PCA is very much on the radar of most prospect rankers. And at just 19 years old, he is just one more example of the extreme talent (and also risk) the Cubs have at the lowest levels of their system.

So all told, right now, the Cubs have about seven players (the five listed above, plus the two mentioned in this post) identified as potential future top-100 types for FanGraphs. And that doesn’t include the Cubs’ first round picks from 2020 (Ed Howard) or 2021 (Jordan Wicks), and it doesn’t include DJ Herz, who set strikeout records last season as the Cubs minor league pitcher of the year, or Caleb Kilian, who exploded late last year and figures to contribute to the big league team this season, or their former top prospects, Miguel Amaya and Brailyn Marquez, who’ve been slowed by injury, and on and on. Point being, this system really is loaded, it’ll just take time to see who actually emerges as an everyday or star-level talent.



Author: Michael Cerami

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