Cubs Farm System And Prospects Discussion Thread

Adipost

CCS Donator
Donator
Joined:
Sep 28, 2014
Posts:
8,612
Liked Posts:
10,210
Location:
Chicago, IL
Keith Law top 100:

26. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Chicago Cubs​

Age: 21 | 6-0 | 184 pounds
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Drafted: No. 19 in 2020

Last year’s ranking: Unranked

Crow-Armstrong underwent shoulder surgery after just six pro games in 2021, his debut season after the Mets took him in the first round in the pandemic-shortened 2020 draft, and then found himself heading to Chicago as the return for Javier Báez at the 2021 deadline. Coming out of high school, he was a premium defensive center fielder with good feel to hit but not much potential for power, but he’s adjusted his swing and transformed his body so that he’s a double-digit homer guy who will put enough balls in the gaps to make him a potential star. He’s still a plus-plus defender in center and shows exceptional bat-to-ball skills, with just an 18 percent strikeout rate in Low A to start last year, and projects as a throwback sort of hitter who doesn’t walk or strike out a ton. He’s a plus runner who has exploited bad minor-league defenses to gain extra bases, helping him hit 10 triples in 101 games, tied for fourth in the minors. Crow-Armstrong will need to tighten up his approach to stay a 10-15 homer guy going forward, as his aggressiveness won’t let him get to pitches he can drive as he moves up the ladder, but he has that sort of power in him. Combined with his ability to hit for average and premium defense at a position up the middle, he has a very high floor that should let him be a regular for a long time, with the chance to make some All-Star teams if he gets to his power upside.

29. Kevin Alcántara, OF, Chicago Cubs​

Age: 20 | 6-6 | 188 pounds
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Drafted: International signing in 2018

Last year’s ranking: Unranked

Alcántara was the main part of the return for Anthony Rizzo when the Cubs traded the fan favorite to the Bronx in 2021, and since then he’s emerged as one of the highest-upside prospects in the minors. Alcántara debuted in the GCL at age 16 back in 2019, when he was gangly and uncoordinated but also oozed projection. After the pandemic, he came back a different guy, adding probably 20 pounds of muscle and gaining coordination, hitting .345/.423/.588 in 34 games in the two complex leagues. In 2022, he moved to full-season ball at 19, hitting .273/.360/.451 for Myrtle Beach, historically a bad place for power hitters, finishing eighth in the Carolina League in slugging and 16th in OBP. (He hit .306/.368/.508 on the road, which would have led the league in slugging and put him 10th in OBP.) Alcántara has loose hands and a great swing with a strong first move toward the ball, after which he lets his legs do some of the work. He already recognizes spin well for his age and drives the ball to the opposite field, while he’s a plus runner who could stay in center even though he’s likely to add another 20-25 pounds of muscle. He carries some risk, as he’s 6-6 and has long levers, striking out 24.8 percent of the time last year. If he can hold that down, though, he could be a top-5 prospect in baseball in a year or two, a potential superstar with plus-plus power and speed in a solid or better center fielder.

50. Brennen Davis, OF, Chicago Cubs​

Age: 23| 6-4 | 210 pounds
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Drafted: No. 62 in 2018
Last year’s ranking: 28

Davis’ year was a washout, as he had a stress reaction in his back, underwent surgery early in the year, and wasn’t quite the same when he returned ahead of schedule; he had to leave a scheduled stint in the AFL earlier than planned. When on the field, Davis hit .192/.322/.319 in 43 games in Triple A, although he did swing it better in the fall league, going 5-for-18 with a pair of homers and just one strikeout. He’s an excellent athlete who starred in basketball in high school, and while he’d always shown a solid eye at the plate, his power projection started to come through in 2021, with a good, balanced swing that lets him drive the ball to all fields. He’s played center but has lost some speed as he’s filled out, and might end up in right instead. It all depends on the health of his back, though, as stress reactions can be a harbinger of more chronic problems.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
Cubs: Daniel Palencia, RHP (No. 14)
The Cubs asked for Palencia in their 2021 Andrew Chafin trade with the Athletics because of his fastball, which sits at 96-98 mph, peaks at 102 and carries by hitters at the top of the strike zone. He flashes some nasty sliders and knuckle-curves as well, and he put up a 3.94 ERA, .204 opponent average and 98 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings in High-A.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
April 4, 2023
Facebook Share
Twitter Share
Email
Copy Link
SEVIERVILLE, TN - The Tennessee Smokies, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced the initial 2023 season roster. The team features numerous top 30 prospects in the Chicago Cubs organization, and returning faces to Tennessee. The roster is comprised of 15 pitchers and 15 position players to begin the 2023 campaign.

Outfielders for the Smokies are headlined by Cubs’ #1 prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, who had 132 hits and 61 RBI in 101 games combined with Class A Myrtle Beach and Class High A South Bend last year. Owen Caissie, Cubs’ #13 prospect, is coming off of a 96 hit, 58 RBI, and 11 home run season in 2022 with Class High A South Bend. Joining them will be Jordan Nwogu, and Smokies returners Zach Davis and Cole Roederer.

The infield flaunts Cubs’ #25 prospect and returner to Kodak, Chase Strumpf. The 2019 second round pick had 181 total bases, 57 RBI, and 21 home runs in 116 games for the Smokies last year. Other infielders will be Bryce Ball, Nelson Maldonado, BJ Murray, Luis Vazquez, Luis Verdugo, and Andy Weber.

Catchers for Tennessee will comprise of Cubs’ #15 prospect Miguel Amaya. In just 28 games played last year with the Smokies, the Panama native had 27 hits and 19 RBI. Behind the plate will also feature Pablo Aliendo and Caleb Knight.

The pitching staff is fully loaded with top prospects, with five in the top 30 of the Cubs organization. The staff is highlighted by Cubs’ #6 prospect Jordan Wicks, #8 prospect Ben Brown, #14 prospect Daniel Palencia, #21 prospect Porter Hodge, and #29 prospect Ryan Jensen. Cubs’ 2021 first round pick Jordan Wicks returns to Tennessee after striking out 35 batters in just 28 innings at the Class AA level. Ben Brown is coming off of a 3-0 record in seven games started with the Smokies last year. Hunter Bigge, Ben Hecht, Bailey Horn, Chris Kachmar, Riley Martin, Michael McAvene, Walker Powell, Jake Reindl, Dalton Stambaugh, and Cayne Ueckert round out the staff.

The Smokies will commence their 2023 home campaign against the Birmingham Barons on Thursday, April 6. The full schedule for this season and season ticket information can be found online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.

ABOUT THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES

The Tennessee Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the eight-team Southern League, Smokies baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America’s national pastime in the East Tennessee region for over 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
Brown is rounding out his arsenal with a change and sweeping slider in process. So I see his as a potential pen arm this year.

Starting I don't see it unless the season spirals.and they go into sell mode. Then yes Aug would be the optimal time frame for him to pitch in meaningless games.

But he is looking like a gem from last trade deadline.
 

JP Hochbaum

Well-known member
Joined:
May 22, 2012
Posts:
1,995
Liked Posts:
1,263
I like looking at K rates for the minor leaguers as I think that is a large indication of success at the major league level. This combined with power.

A few really stand out right now:
Triantos age 20
Ballesteros age 19
Pinango age 21
Rojas age 18
Made age 20

We keep thinking that are farm is deep but not top heavy. I think this is largely because our system is very young, and top 100 MLB prospects are usually MLB ready guys. The 5 guys above can be top 100 prospects in a year or two and our top heavy weakness can become a strength.


There are also guys that are like Morel, with high K rates but amazing power. We have a few more of those as well:
Caissie age 21
Roederer age 23
Alcantara age 21
Canario age 23

What I am getting at here is that we have built a decent hitting farm system that has balance potential, where we can have that mix of high contact rate guys and low contact high power guys. Where our previous build from Theo was very high power and low contact.
And the breakdown shows that our high contact guys are all very young, and high power guys are close to being MLB ready. So if the Cubs want to build with this in mind they ought to go into the off season signing guys long term with more contact, even though we are low on power, I see our power contracts being more short term.
 
Last edited:

JP Hochbaum

Well-known member
Joined:
May 22, 2012
Posts:
1,995
Liked Posts:
1,263
THere is so much good going on with our youth right now. Great outing by Assad. Steele is just incredibly solid and a legit TOR.
Wesneski is looking better and better with each outing. Killian is doing pretty solid in AAA. The Taillon contract has become a lot better the past month. We have a great problem with pitching right now in that we don't have to rush guys like Horton or Brown up, even though they are likely ready. Let the rest of the league see what Wesneski and Killian are doing, while also getting another TOR in free agency next year. Some of these guys will stay our guys and some will get traded for prospects to a team that is in need of depth.

Next year:
Steele
Taillon
Stroman if he opts in
Free agent TOR (dreaming I know)
Then let Wesneski, Killian, Brown, Assad, Wicks and Horton fight there way into the rotation.
 
Last edited:

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
Owen Cassie jumped up to #69 on the top 100 and #3 on the Cubs.

Holy crap big break out season.
 

Castor76

Active member
Joined:
Nov 2, 2018
Posts:
983
Liked Posts:
239
I want to talk a little about Matt Mervis and what is change on the Cubs prospects list means to me. At the beginning of the year he was #6 and now is down to #13. His time in the majors was horrible, but it was also only like 90 ABs. But look at what he's done since going back down. His BA is almost the same as the year before at AAA. His OBP is up while his SLG is down but still above .500. I think it's a strong testament to the strength of the system that a guy can still be the same good level of production yet drop so many spots.
 

knoxville7

I have the stride of a gazelle
CCS Hall of Fame '22
Joined:
Jul 12, 2013
Posts:
16,311
Liked Posts:
12,663
Location:
The sewers
My favorite teams
  1. Chicago Cubs
  1. Chicago Bulls
  1. Chicago Bears
  1. Tennessee Volunteers
I want to talk a little about Matt Mervis and what is change on the Cubs prospects list means to me. At the beginning of the year he was #6 and now is down to #13. His time in the majors was horrible, but it was also only like 90 ABs. But look at what he's done since going back down. His BA is almost the same as the year before at AAA. His OBP is up while his SLG is down but still above .500. I think it's a strong testament to the strength of the system that a guy can still be the same good level of production yet drop so many spots.
Lol he dropped in part due to his MLB showing
 

JP Hochbaum

Well-known member
Joined:
May 22, 2012
Posts:
1,995
Liked Posts:
1,263
And the Cubs recent draft pick, Shaw, might get a bump to AA already. Which would mean he is getting promoted faster than BRyant/Schrawbs.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Joined:
Apr 16, 2013
Posts:
17,929
Liked Posts:
2,776
Location:
San Diego
And the Cubs recent draft pick, Shaw, might get a bump to AA already. Which would mean he is getting promoted faster than BRyant/Schrawbs.

Hoerner is the bar.

2018 49 AB
2019 288 AB then 78 in the majors. He never played at Iowa. Went Tenn directly to the ML. Even on his DL rehab in 21 never went there.

as of now Shaw has 45 AB under his belt. What I read is Shaw and Jed want him to struggle before the year ends. That is when hitter have to adjust to talent. A ball he has been wrecking and AA seems to be logical choice to find a struggle point for him to take into the off season.

He is very advanced but smart as he knows that moving to pro ball is not a easy thing to do. Finding a struggle point will cause growth.

We can say the same for other hitters like Mervis but struggling on a contender is not smart.
 

JP Hochbaum

Well-known member
Joined:
May 22, 2012
Posts:
1,995
Liked Posts:
1,263
Hoerner is the bar.

2018 49 AB
2019 288 AB then 78 in the majors. He never played at Iowa. Went Tenn directly to the ML. Even on his DL rehab in 21 never went there.

as of now Shaw has 45 AB under his belt. What I read is Shaw and Jed want him to struggle before the year ends. That is when hitter have to adjust to talent. A ball he has been wrecking and AA seems to be logical choice to find a struggle point for him to take into the off season.

He is very advanced but smart as he knows that moving to pro ball is not a easy thing to do. Finding a struggle point will cause growth.

We can say the same for other hitters like Mervis but struggling on a contender is not smart.
Hoerner was promoted more for desparation to replace Zobrist than anything.
 

Top