Cubs Prospect Notes: Extreme Upside, Top 40, Davis, PCA, Alcántara, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Extreme Upside, Top 40, Davis, PCA, Alcántara, More

Chicago Cubs

The lockout ending, the CBA details, and the flurry of signings (including FOUR from the Cubs yesterday) has really pivoted my top-of-mind brain energy from minor league spring training to the big league roster. I mean, that’s how it SHOULD be this time of year, but you understand why the Cubs’ farm system was getting a disproportionate amount of my attention during the late stages of the lockout.

Which is not to say it should be off any of our radars! I am still very much of the belief that the most important thing for the Cubs organization in 2022 is seeing a large volume of steps forward among the many, many high-upside, high-risk prospects the Cubs have. To that end, I have had so many tabs built up over the past week, and it’s really good stuff! So I just gotta get it out while I have a window. Thus, lots and lots of Cubs prospects goodness …

⇒ Speaking of the extreme volume of high-upside, high-risk prospects we want to see break out this year, BA’s Ben Badler sums it up:

⇒ As for that top 40 (it’s actually 40), it’s premium stuff, so I don’t want to spoil too much. There are full scouting reports on all 40 prospects. A few notes, though: (1) BA is higher on Kevin Made than Reggie Preciado, mostly because Made can be a plus defender at short, while Preciado is more likely to be average or better at third (and Ed Howard is behind both because of the pitch-recognition concerns); (2) BA is way down on Greg Deichmann in the updated scouting because they believe injuries have sapped his previously big power (and presumably they believe it’s not coming back); (3) BA is *NOT* down on Yeison Santana yet, which is definitely an outlier among the services after his rough 2021 season – they still see, from a scouting perspective, all the tools to be a quality defender at shortstop and an above-average bat with a little power (very interesting take).

⇒ By the way, my sense from the landscape of reactions and projections is that, *IF* Seiya Suzuki were considered a prospect (he should not be), he would be second in the system, behind Brennen Davis, but would be in that top 25/30 range pretty close to Davis. Suzuki is obviously more of a sure thing, but Davis still has more upside. (So the Cubs’ farm system is, let’s say, 12th to 15th in baseball if you count Suzuki. Which you shouldn’t. I’m just being silly.)

⇒ This is just so full of fantastic stuff:

⇒ Among the maaaaaaany great anecdotes in there, this one should put a huge smile on your face about Alcántara, who also gets huge marks for his makeup:

Alcántara seems to be adored by the organization and appears mature beyond his years. He’s 6-foot-6 and clearly has a lot of room to fill out. He also has become a must-watch, even in batting practice. While I was wrapping up a conversation with a front-office member, the person said they were headed to a meeting with David Ross. They then turned their head, saw that Alcántara was wearing a helmet and holding a bat, confirmed with me that he hadn’t gone yet, then decided to stay and watch his BP round. After that session, a minor-league coach saw me, walked right up and whispered, “That kid’s a monster,” then gleefully laughed as he headed toward another field.

It makes me very excited that Kevin Goldstein brought up Pete Crow-Armstrong in response to a question that could’ve been about almost any prospect in baseball:

Beignet and the Jets: It’s the time of the season for backfield “buzz” on teams’ youngest prospects. I saw the Bleis writeup last week on the Red Sox list. Any other prospects immediately spring to mind as impressing evaluators enough to shoot up boards?

Kevin Goldstein: Peter Crow-Armstrong making some buzz in Cubs camp.

⇒ That matches what we’ve been hearing from Cubs sources since December (though you like it even better to hear from third parties). Goldstein later responded to a PCA-specific question:

Sirras: Re: Pete Crow-Armstrong – watched him in Mets spring training a year or two ago. Very fun player to watch, especially in center. He’s a golden retriever, chases down everything! Hope he pans out and we all get to enjoy some highlights for years to come

Kevin Goldstein: He’s completely re-engineered his swing, and early results are good.

⇒ Perhaps not surprising that PCA is getting a start in the first Spring Training home lineup. Nice reward for a great offseason.

⇒ Brennen Davis (also starting in today’s home lineup) hype:

⇒ Davis, by the way, just ranked as the third best outfield prospect in baseball over at MLB Pipeline, behind only uber prospects Julio Rodriguez and Riley Greene.

⇒ Bryan offering up some specific pitch love (are people still underrating D.J. Herz’s fastball?! If so, stop):

⇒ More on how the Cubs are working to develop their pitching prospects:

⇒ Pretty easy to guess one guy that makes this list, eh:

⇒ About Cristian Hernández, BA writes:

The Cubs’ premier signing of the 2020 class has a sky-high ceiling and put a strong foot forward in the start to his career in 2021. His slash line of .285/.398/.424 was impressive enough, but all five of his tools rating as at least average or better—with potential pluses for his power and throwing arm—is even more notable. His bat path, which gets into the zone quickly and stays there for a long while, also leads some evaluators to project an above-average hit tool. He should be one of the best prospects in the ACL.

⇒ Don’t forget about Moises Ballesteros:

⇒ Marcus Stroman knows what’s up:

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.