Baseball Prospectus Top 20 Cubs Prospects

Baseball Prospectus recently published their list of the top prospects in the Cubs system. Kevin Goldstein said the Cubs system doesn’t really have any impact talent but has a lot of depth. According to Goldstein, “While the Cubs’ system is a deep one that will produce plenty of big league talents, the team still needs to look outside of the organization for the kind of impact talent to turn their fortunes around.”

No doubt the Cubs system has improved over the past two years, but many agree with Kevin Goldstein, that the Cubs lack prospects that can be projected as superstars … but isn’t that why they play the game?

To no surprise Brett Jackson leads the list, but Chris Archer is third with Josh Vitters falling to fourth …

Baseball Prospectus did not rank any of the Cubs players as a “Five-Star Prospect” … but do not have any below the Three-Star level. Here is how the Cubs’ system lines up, plus the Cubs top talents 25 and under:

Four-Star Prospects
1. Brett Jackson, OF
2. Trey McNutt, RHP
3. Chris Archer, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Josh Vitters, 3B
5. Hak-Ju Lee, SS
6. Chris Carpenter, RHP
7. Hayden Simpson, RHP
8. Reggie Golden, OF
9. Jay Jackson, RHP
10. Robinson Lopez, RHP
11. Brandon Guyer, OF

Nine More

12. Robinson Chirinos, C
13. Marquez Smith, 3B
14. Welington Castillo, C
15. Rafael Dolis, RHP
16. Ben Wells, RHP
17. Brett Wallach, RHP
18. Darwin Barney, IF
19. Austin Reed, RHP
20. Alberto Cabrera, RHP
The Sleeper – Tony Thomas, 2B

Top Talents in the Cubs’ System 25 and Under
(Born 4/1/85 or later)

1. Starlin Castro
2. Andrew Cashner
3. Brett Jackson
4. Trey McNutt
5. Chris Archer
6. Tyler Colvin
7. Josh Vitters
8. Hak-Ju Lee
9. Blake DeWitt
10. Chris Carpenter

With a majority of Goldstein’s rundown being by subscription only, here are a few of the highlights.

Brett Jackson
Perfect World Projection – Jackson could be an everyday outfielder with above-average (but not star level) power and speed.
Path to the Big Leagues – Jackson handled Double-A just fine last year and will get an opportunity to move up to Triple-A Iowa with a strong spring. He should have a big league job secured by the following season.
ETA – Late 2011

Trey McNutt
Perfect World Projection – McNutt could be an above-average rotation piece.
Path to the Big Leagues – After plowing through three levels in 2010, McNutt will slow down a bit by beginning of 2011 with a return to Double-A Tennessee
ETA – 2012

Chris Archer
Perfect World Projection – Archer could be a good third starter with better stuff than results, or a late-inning reliever.
Path to the Big Leagues – Archer is ready for Triple-A and could be one of the Cubs’ first pitching call-ups during the year.
ETA – Late 2011

Josh Vitters
Perfect World Projection – Vitters could be an everyday third baseman who still has an outside shot at stardom.
Path to the Big Leagues – Vitters has a track record of improving during his second crack at a level and he’ll likely begin 2011 back in Tennessee. There are scenarios where he tops this list next year and those that have him falling completely off of it.
ETA – 2012

Hak-Ju Lee
Perfect World Projection – Lee could be an everyday shortstop with good defense and enough bat to hit toward the top of the order
Path to the Big Leagues – Lee made excellent strides in 2010 but he’s still one-level-at-a-time-talent. Lee will spend most, if not all, of 2011 at High-A Daytona.
ETA – Late 2013

For more details on the Cubs system from Kevin Goldstein, click here and give yourself the gift that keeps giving all year long.

The CCO’s Top 15 Cubs Prospects

The future is looking bright …

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  • stormyweather

    Looks to me like the Cubbies system has a lot of depth, just not a lot of star power. One of my questions for pitching for example, is how do they stack up better as, a Sp or a RP? right now, for example, in AFL Carpenter was throwing absolute lightning bolts out of the pen. Consistenly in the high 90s ,occasionally above 100. Best MLB comparison I can make right now is Mark Wohlers/Jose Valverde, cant quite see him in the same category as the smokethrower with the Tigers whos been hurt the last 2 years. same with Rafael Dolis, throws hard, but his frame doesnt seem to stack up as a starter. Jay Jax has the frame, but not the stamina(yet). Right now, McNutt and Archer seem to be the only who rate as potential 1-2 MLB starters, and both of them are at least a year away.

  • stormyweather

    Right now, Golden is a Matt Kemp type. More athlete than ballplayer. lets give him 2 years and see where hes at. Dont forget, we had a Golden type in the 80s named Cunningham. Turned out to be an absolute disaster.

  • stormyweather

    Chirinos offensive production was certainly awfully good. And most of that was in AA Tennessee, with the Southern league being considered more of a pitchers league. I realize the American Assn is a hitters league with all its high altitude parks, but Chirinos Perps were really good last yr(I beleived he walked more than he SO at both levels), so he likley deserves a shot. Maybe this guy can turn out to be a late bloomer like Casey McGhee was with the Brewers.

  • stormyweather

    Indeed-this is likely there best prospect list overall since the Dallas Green/Gordy Goldsberry era. No Mark Priors on this list, but more than a few solid prospects. Odds are one or two of these guys can mature into a all star caliber player. After all, BP never rated Greg Madduz that highly. I can remember how the Wizards of smart rated Mike Harkey with the words”there are 2 pitchers in the eastern league-Mike Harkey and everyone else”. Too bad they never considered Harkey might get hurt. Could you have imagined if the Cubbies had Maddux, Morgan , and Harkey in there rotation in 92 when Mad Dog won his 1st Cy Young and Morgan lead in NL in ERA while going 16-7?

  • stormyweather

    Rip-castro is very quick once he gets started. He seems to leg out a lot of 3bs. Just seems not to be a burner out of the box.

  • stormyweather

    Bumster-Z needs to stick with his 88-92 2 seam FB. Hes much more effective when hes getting grounders than Ks. Save his 4 seamer for occasions that call for the k or Popup.

  • stormyweather

    Agreed-Philly just better hope no one gets hurt. Theyve basically gutted there farm system in getting Halladay and Oswalt. Not to mention no players who are ML ready at AAA other than Brown, and hes already taking Werths place.