I will work hard not to put EXTRA stock in a top prospects list just because it is loaded with Chicago Cubs prospects. It is but one of many lists coming this offseason, and the Just Baseball group is newer to the rankings game. I follow their prospect material, and I’ve generally found it to be enjoyable and informative.
The first post-season prospect list is out, and, like I said, it’s loaded with Cubs:
That list features five Cubs prospects, which is not the most on the list (the Orioles have seven and the Padres have six), but ALL FIVE of the Cubs’ prospects are in the top-51:
18. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
21. Cade Horton, RHP
29. Owen Caissie, OF
46. Kevin Alcántara, OF
51. Matt Shaw, INF
Yes, I had to go to 51 instead of the clean 50 because of Shaw. But that’s almost five top-50 prospects, which is nuts.
Those are the five, by the way, who are likely to be consensus top-100s this offseason, with a few other guys maybe getting love on a list or two (Jordan Wicks, Ben Brown, Moises Ballesteros, Jefferson Rojas, and James Triantos probably have an outside shot).
The Just Baseball list has a pretty extensive scouting report on each of the prospects, and I highly encourage you to read. Because they may wind up the high mark on Caissie, I want to share a little of what they had to say on his offensive profile:
Caissie has found more consistency with his pre-swing moves as he has compiled at-bats, syncing his upper and lower half more effectively. This has not only helped him hit the ball harder, but also in the air more consistently, cutting his ground ball rate by nearly 10% while seeing his HR/FB rate jump from 12% to 30%. More fly balls and a larger percentage of those fly balls leaving the yard is of course what the Cubs want to see from Caissie.
When everything is in sync for Caissie, you can see flashes of a potentially special power bat. His long levers which help him create his massive power can also result in a bit too much whiff, but the 21-year-old consistently cut down the swing and miss as the Double-A season progressed (and the tacked baseballs were taken out of circulation of the Southern League).
His average exit velocity of 94 MPH would rank among the top-15 in Major League Baseball, and his 90th percentile exit velocity of 110 MPH is one of the best figures in the entire Minor Leagues. There is foul pole-to-foul pole power potential for Caissie, who may even have more pop in the tank.
I also really enjoyed the take on Matt Shaw, getting into how variable he is at the plate (we’ve seen those huge variations in his leg kick), and how very few players have the athleticism and timing to be able to do that.
Great reads across the board in the piece.