’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects

Jonathan Mayo recently took a look at the top prospects in the Cubs’ organization. has ranked each system with players who still maintain rookie status entering 2011 being eligible.

Brett Jackson topped the Cubs list once again, like he did on a majority of the off-season prospect rankings. Mayo also provided ETAs for each of the prospects and was very complimentary of Darwin Barney’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects

1. Brett Jackson, OF
2. Trey McNutt, RHP
3. Chris Carpenter, RHP
4. Hayden Simpson, RHP
5. Josh Vitters, 3B
6. Jay Jackson, RHP
7. Rafael Dolis, RHP
8. Matt Szczur, OF
9. Reggie Golden, OF
10. Darwin Barney, SS (INF)

Under the Radar

Alberto Cabrera
D.J. LeMahieu

Jonathan Mayo also predicted that Matt Szczur would be the hitter of the year in the Cubs system and Trey McNutt would win the honor of pitcher of the year … an award McNutt could have won in 2010.

When Will They Arrive?

Brett Jackson – 2012
Trey McNutt – 2012
Chris Carpenter – 2012
Hayden Simpson – 2013
Josh Vitters – 2013
Jay Jackson – 2011
Rafael Dolis – 2012
Matt Szczur – 2013
Reggie Golden – 2014
Darwin Barney – 2011
Note: The year next to each player is an estimated arrival time to the big leagues according to Jonathan Mayo of

Several of the Cubs’ top prospects have been on display this spring. Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, Jay Jackson and Josh Vitters received non-roster invitations to big league camp. Each of the prospects had a good start to their year while playing against Major League, or near Major League, competition.

Alberto Cabrera and Rafael Dolis had solid outings before being optioned down to minor league camp as well.

Reportedly the Cubs view D.J. LeMahieu as their second baseman of the future. LeMahieu did not receive a non-roster invite to big league camp but did appear in a couple of the games. LeMahieu made headlines with his two-run walk-off homer against the Dodgers on March 6.

The Cubs’ system is in better shape that it has been in recent memory. From the draft to international signings, the Cubs have a lot of depth down on the farm.

Click here for Jonathan Mayo’s full report on the Cubs top prospects

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney
  • Tony

    In 2 or 3 years, this could be our team. So what would it look like.

    1. Szczur CF
    2. Castro SS
    3. Jackson RF
    4. Vitters 3B
    5. Colvin 1B
    6. LeMahieu 2B
    7. Golden LF
    8. Castillo C

    1. Cashner
    2. McNutt
    3. Garza
    4. Simpson
    5. Jackson
    6th option – Carpenter or in the pen

    Closer – Marmol
    Set-up – Carpenter/Dolis/Cabrera

    Now, I know ALL of these guys won’t make it. But we will also have some not on the this list make it, but that is one athletic team.

    The part that you need to laugh at, otherwise you will cry, is that Soriano will still be making $18M.

    • BillyFinT

      Not trying to take anything from you here, but just to remind that Dempster is signed through 2012, so are Soriano and Zambrano. The latter also has a vesting “player option” for 2013.

      So by 2012, the Cubs rotation might look like this:

      1. Cashner
      2. Zambrano
      3. Garza
      4. McNutt
      5. Dempster

      I have the feeling that Z will bounce back and earn himself a spot two years from now. He’s not going anywhere. Dempster will retire the end of 2012 and be donned as a life-long Cubbie (without looking back to his Florida days).

      Fonzi blocks Golden and stays at LF batting 7th. Soriano is signed through 2014.

      • Tony

        I started by saying 2 or 3 years, so I am talking 2013/2014, so only Soriano is left, and Z has a vesting option, that has, almost no chance.

      • Tony

        Now, I will go back to scouting my upcoming moves for my Bill James roster :)

      • JasonPen

        Ryan Dempster won’t retire after 2012, are you joking? Dempster is only 33, who has pitched a large part of his career in the bullpen. He still has plenty of miles left. Chris Carpenter (STL) has a similar history, and is 35 and no one is saying he’s close to retiring.
        No offense, but if the Cubs throw that team and rotation on the field in 2012 or 2013, we will be sitting at the bottom of the NL Central, if not the entire National league. We always need to mix in about 30-40% home grown, young talent, with 60-70% veterans/free agents. The Cubs’ minor league system isn’t the best around (or even close) so it’s definitely nothing to build an entire team around-
        You need to move to Iowa if you want to watch a team with that talent, cause it’s not even close to the level it needs to be to contend.

        • BillyFinT

          Yeah, that’s wishful thinking from my part. But if not, I doubt the Cubs would find Dempster fitting to the team at that point (2013).

          I guess we can consider other factors, the market, the contributions… Chris Carpenter was a much better pitcher (check his WAR* or career ERA, FIP, etc.) than Dempster of the same age when Carpenter signed that extension with the Cards.

          And there’s the career thing. What would you rather be remembered as? If a player like Dempster wants to be respected in this phase of the economy and public distrust against the post-steroid age, there is no reason why he would want to find another team, unless overpaid him, other than the Cubs.

          As Tony and many others had pointed out: The younger, more cost-effective pitching talents are surely there with the Cubs. The problem is simply space, or roster spot, for them. I hope Dempster, if required, will then step down.

          • studio179

            “Yeah, that’s wishful thinking from my part. But if not, I doubt the Cubs would find Dempster fitting to the team at that point (2013).”

            If Hendry is still the GM, don’t rule it out. As always, a lot can happen between now and then. I would not be suprised if the Cubs try to extend Dempster after this year or Hendry lets him go free agency and see what his market holds before resigning him. Dempster and Hendry have an almost Hendry-Wood like relationship. Dempster is selling his Wrigleyville home and building a bigger place not that far away from the other place. Sure, those two things do not mean he is a certain to be resigned or extended, but it plays a part. It depends if Dempster does well, is injury free, if Hendry is coming back after 2012, some kids step up well enough, a new GM comes in and goes another direction…too much to predict. I am not saying it is a done deal or I would make it a priority. All I am saying is don’t rule it out if Hendry is around.

          • BillyFinT

            You reminded me of another factor: it’s actually up to the owner, i.e. the Ricketts. Hendry’s contract will end after 2012. He will be hold accountable for the performance on the field this coming season. We as fans can already see how fundamental the Cubs have been, one of the many things like hitting and, oh well.

            If the owner group lives up to its word, go young, and rebuild a winning team, then they should be reluctant to resign Dempster, or any veteran past his prime and blocking a young, good talent like Cashner or McNutt.

            Of course, anything can happen with Hendry. He’s too good to be true.

        • paulcatanese

          What veterans are you refering to? You can have the one’s we have now. We are liable to end up at the bottom anyway. Of the players that you see 2012-13, some will be veterans at that timeand should be a good lineup. Then again we could let JH loose and he could bring in more Johnsons,Ojedas, Penas,Perez. Is that a solid veteran base? I don’t think so. All of this would have been a moot point had the rookies had more playing time last fall. The route that JH is programing now will put us in touch to lament with Mary Melberg(over 100 years and still counting).

      • BillyFinT

        *Here’s a WAR comparison, with raw data I picked up at fangraphs.

        Carpenter signed extension 12/2006. By then, at age 31, he accumulated a career WAR of 27.6, with 15.2 in three years for the Cardinals alone.

        Dempster, on the other hand, was resigned 11/2008, at age 31 as well. By then, his career of 15.7 and 8.5 in five years for the Cubs are, if I may speak the truth, marginal compared to an ace like Carpenter.

        Even if Carpenter would have regressed after he past age 32, his way-above average prowess would have kept him more valuable than Dempster.

        And I love Ryan Dempster. I drafted or kept him for all my fantasy teams this year. But there’s the fact, and I hope Dempster will see that, evaluate his options, and act with pride as a Cubbie Blue, at the end of his career.

      • studio179

        I take it you are just listing 5 starters for next year in no order. You have this year’s opening day starter in Dempster as next year’s #5. Now that would be fantastic if Cashner could elevate himself to a frontline pitcher during this year. That would mean his change up is now great and became deadly as the year progresses. He has the stuff. While I do not get totally caught up in who is #1 or #2. That day’s pitcher is #1. It will be fun watching Cashner elevate his game to become that much better.

    • Richard Hood

      If you believe some sources we were real close to trading Soriano this winter to the Angels before they got Wells. Not saying I believe it but some said that it was happening.

      That being the case I believe that the closer we get to 2013/2014 either he will be moved to the AL to be a DH for the last couple years of his contract. That being said I think that Colvin being our long term solution at any position is premature. He reminds me more and more of a Fontenot type player. The more exposed he is the more his value will be less.

  • Redlarczykg

    I like Jae-Hoon Ha over Golden. He may be fools gold in that he has a small problem hitting the ball. Ha is only 20 an hit .317 at Peroia with 7 homers in a short season there. And he has yet to fill out his frame.

    • GrantJones7

      Hes a great player, maybe the bext hitter of the 2010 Cheifs that i saw