Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicago Cubs Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Chicago Cubs here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 29, 2011.

1. Matt Szczur, OF - 337 AB, .306/.354/.436, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 24 BB, 37 K, 20 SB 5 CS (A/A+)

A top level athlete and a gamer on the field, if Szczur can improve his power numbers he can become a real impact star rather than a top-of-the-lineup centerfielder.

2. Brett Jackson, OF - 301 AB, .252/.365/.445, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 53 BB, 96 K, 17 SB 7 CS (AA/AAA)

Hasn't been at his best all year but still a great power/speed combo and hasn't been anywhere near as disappointing as the other prospects in this system.

3. Javier Baez, 3B - 83 AB, .771 AVG, 46 R, 64 H, 20 2B, 6 3B, 22 HR, 52 RBI, 28 SB (HS)

Will take a lot of time to make his way through the minors but has great bat speed and plus power potential along with the athleticism to play above-average defense at third.

4. Josh Vitters, 3B - 323 AB, .279/.316/.449, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 13 BB, 37 K, 4 SB 6 CS (AA)

I still believe Vitters can make it as a solid everyday 3B and although it will take still more patience from Cubs fans, he could easily be worth the wait.

5. Trey McNutt, RHP - 1-4, 4.82 ERA, 56 IP, 70 H, 23 BB, 34 K (AA)

An injury riddled season has set McNutt back a little, but I think we can give him a mulligan for this year.

6. Junior Lake, SS - 338 AB, .275/.305/.426, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 12 BB, 83 K, 29 SB 6 CS (A+/AA)

Lake has been a very nice surprise, starting to tap into his raw power potential and utilizing his speed on the bases. Now he needs to work on his plate discipline and cut down on those strikeouts.

7. Wellington Castillo, C - 239 AB, .301/.367/.552, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 24 BB, 57 K, 0 SB 0 CS (AA/AAA)

Currently on the disabled list, Castillo was having an excellent year at the plate and earned a brief stint in the big leagues. Could push the Cubs to move Geovanny Soto at some point.

8. D.J. LeMahieu, 2B - 289 AB, .343/.371/.450, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 14 BB, 31 K, 6 SB 5 CS (AA/AAA)

Not a very exciting player who is struggling to find a defensive home, but has the best hit tool in the system and he turned that into a promotion to Chicago.

9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B - 85 AB, .459 AVG, 40 R, 39 H, 6 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 5 SB (HS)

Although he has worked hard to lose some pounds, Vogelbach is a LARGE kid but he also hits the ball with unmatched authority for a high schooler.

10. Aaron Kurcz, RHP - 5-4, 3.39 ERA, 66.1 IP, 60 H, 31 BB, 71 K (A+)

A little surprisingly, Kurcz was moved to the bullpen and has the stuff to succeed in that role.

11. Chris Carpenter, RHP - 3-3, 5.31 ERA, 39 IP, 38 H, 24 BB, 31 K (AA/AAA)

Pitched well in a few appearances in the big leagues and has all the stuff to be a great asset in the bullpen and if he figures out his command, can close ML games as well.

12. Reggie Golden, OF - 122 AB, .238/.350/.352, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 20 BB, 40 K, 5 SB 1 CS (SS)

One of the rawest players in the 2010 draft, Golden shows good speed and on-base tools, but really needs to work on those strikeouts.

13. Ryan Flaherty, 3B - 354, .288/.365/.497, 15 HR, 70 RBI, 44 BB, 71 K, 4 SB 6 CS (AA/AAA)

I'm not sure what the future will hold for Flaherty and I would love to see him make it as a 2B, but he still has work to do to make it to the Majors.

14. Ben Wells, RHP - 2-2, 4.54 ERA, 41.2 IP, 44 H, 14 BB, 30 K (SS)

A nice mid-round pick from the 2010 draft, Wells hasn't been overly impressive but I still like his 3-pitch repertoire as an 18-year old.

15. Robert Whitenack, RHP - 7-0, 1.93 ERA, 60.2 IP, 43 H, 14 BB, 47 K (A+/AA)

Was pitching like a top prospect at the beginning of the year showing a great sinker/slider combo, but has fallen victim to TJ surgery. Unfortunate injury for a guy who could have seen a call-up in September.


Evan Crawford, OF - 342 AB, .330/.390/.430, 1 HR, 44 RBI, 21 BB, 71 K, 26 SB 5 CS (A+)

Came over from the Giants in the Fontenot trade, Crawford has quick wrists and plus-plus speed in the outfield. If he can improve his approach at the plate he could see time in the bigs and make an impact as a 4th OF.

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