Those of us who follow prospecting closely – which I suspect is most of you reading this post! – knew this moment was coming. The Chicago Cubs had a great couple years adding significant prospects, and then have had a great developmental season so far this year. An increase in “top 100” Cubs prospects was always coming.
First, it was Pete Crow-Armstrong, who broke out at Low-A and has already been promoted to High-A, getting top 100 love in every re-rank over the past month, joining Brennen Davis and Cristian Hernández on most top 100s.
Now, we can add a fourth Cubs prospect to that kinda arbitrary categorization of “top 100 prospect”: righty Caleb Kilian.
We have a fully updated Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list for June. We consulted scouts, scouting directors, analysts, front office officials and coaches to fully revamp the list. Eight new players joined the 100.https://t.co/oRg1HDROdi
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 2, 2022
Baseball America did a pretty deep re-rank for the start of June, moving guys significantly and also moving a number of guys in and out. Kilian, whose 25th birthday is today, shows up there at number 100:
Previously a command-oriented pitcher with average stuff, Kilian has added significant velocity since the Cubs acquired him in last year’s Kris Bryant trade. With a fastball that sits at 94 mph and three secondaries he can locate in any part of the strike zone, he projects to be an efficient, durable starter in the middle to back of a rotation.
With the Cubs still content to keep Kilian working at Triple-A Iowa for now (2.06 ERA, 2.95 FIP, but only 9 starts and 36.1 innings for now), he’ll probably climb the prospect ladder a bit more before all is said and done and he fully graduates.
Kilian joins Hernández (holding relatively steady at 85), Crow-Armstrong (who jumps all the way to 48 – told you he would be top 50!), and Davis (who falls to 41 from 13 because of his slow start at Iowa this year and then his back injury, which seems like way too far to drop him, but maybe BA was a little too aggressive having him at 13 before the season in any case).
When the bigger re-ranks come later this summer, it’ll be really interesting to see where the Cubs wind up. They could add another top 100 with the 7th overall pick this year, but that is a reminder that the draft will bump down a lot of others. Will guys like Kevin Alcántara, D.J. Herz (you see his game last night?), James Triantos, Owen Caissie, or others be able to get serious consideration?