Cubs Prospect Notes: Herz, Franklin, Alcántara, Ballesteros, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Herz, Franklin, Alcántara, Ballesteros, More

Chicago Cubs

I do love all the Cubs prospect information and visuals we’re getting this year. Feels like a *LOT* more than usual, which is probably accurate for a number of obvious reasons.

Some bits …

⇒ I mean, his fastball was nearly unhittable at Low-A last year thanks to the ride, angle, and extension. If he added a couple clicks, too? LOL:

⇒ More from Lance Brozdowski here at Marquee, including bits on a ton of Cubs prospects. A little section on Kohl Franklin, who will finally face hitters tomorrow for the first time in over a year:

The 2018 6th-round pick will throw 15 pitches live to hitters Saturday, March 5, for the first time in over a year after an injury-riddled 2021 season. His last extended stretch of games came in 2019 when he posted a 2.31 ERA with the Class A short-season Eugene Emeralds. He told me his mix will still be fastball-curveball-changeup.

Franklin also raved about the yoga he and many other Cubs prospects who stayed with the organization for their extended offseason camp have done. He mentioned Ryan Jensen, Joe Nahas, Brandon Hughes and Koen Moreno specifically when asked who partakes. Recently, the group moved into pilates.

⇒ Kevin Alcántara is such a large young man:

⇒ It’s nearly impossible to say which of the many young Cubs hitters has the highest offensive upside because you can make the argument for about five of them. If you absolutely REQUIRED ME to pick someone, though, I’d probably go with Alcántara. I just love the swing so much, especially at his age. He’s huge. And he’s got those extra long levers that *IF* he can avoid getting long and being exploitable inside and up, then he could have uncommon power. There are a lot of similar things you could say about Owen Caissie – again, it’s just about impossible to pick! – but for today, I just like Alcántara’s swing a touch more. (I tend to think Caissie is MORE LIKELY to reach his ceiling, by the way. It’s just that I think Alcántara’s offensive upside is a touch higher right now.)

⇒ Maybe a teeny, tiny positive byproduct of the lockout is that these guys and others can really focus on the minor league crew and help with that currently-very-important process:

⇒ The Cubs’ other big IFA signing in the Cristian Hernández class, not to be forgotten:

⇒ The early read on Ballesteros was that he was a bat-first catching prospect, who may not ultimately be able to stick at catcher (which would be the big dividing line on his potential long-term value). For now, when a guy is barely 18 and is getting his first taste of action in the States, you worry less about that stuff. Just see if the bat plays and has potential. Although he didn’t hit for a lot of power, the then-17-year-old Ballesteros walked more than he struck out in the DSL last year.

⇒ A walk? I’ll still take the highlight:

⇒ Brennen Davis looking strong:

More visuals:

⇒ Inside of the base or you get nailed by the pole:

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.