Baseball America released its midseason ranking of the top 50 prospects in the game. And even with the promotions of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell to the big leagues, the Cubs have three of the top minor league players in its system.
Baseball America ranked C Kyle Schwarber as the sixth best prospect in the game. SS Gleyber Torres checked in at No. 28 and OF Billy McKinney ended up two spots behind the 18-year old shortstop. Baseball America thinks McKinney is the 30th best prospect in baseball.
The Dodgers’ Corey Seager topped Baseball America’s ranking with RHP Lucas Giolito (Nationals), 3B/OF Joey Gallo (Rangers), LHP Julio Urias (Dodgers) and SS J.P. Crawford (Phillies) rounding out the top five.
Kyle Schwarber started the season with Double-A Tennessee and batted .320/.438/.579 in 58 games with 10 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs for a 1.017 OPS. Schwarber walked 42 times with 49 strikeouts before he was called up to the majors last month.
During his pit stop in The Show between Double-A and Triple-A, Schwarber was 8-for-22 in six games with a triple and a home run (.364/.391/.591/.982).
The Cubs optioned Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa on June 22 to continue his development as a catcher while the media and fan base stated the case for leaving Schwarber in the big leagues to let him hit and play left field.
The Cubs are committed to Schwarber being the team’s catcher in the not too distant future.
Schwarber is continuing to hit while working on his defense. In 15 games with the I-Cubs, Schwarber is batting .358/.414/.642 with seven doubles, a triple and two home runs for a 1.055 OPS. Combined between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, Schwarber is batting .328/.433/.592 in 73 games with 17 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs for a 1.025 OPS.
Gleyber Torres has quickly moved up the prospect rankings as he continues to produce for Low-A South Bend. The 18-year old shortstop is putting together an excellent season in his first full year of pro ball. Reports have been very positive about his defense and he is performing rather well at the plate.
Torres is batting .314/.386/.411 with 15 doubles, three triples and two home runs for a .797 OPS. Torres is 12-for-18 in stolen bases and has driven in 44 runs.
Billy McKinney started the season with High-A Myrtle Beach. The lefty hitting 20-year old outfielder performed quite well in the Carolina League. McKinney batted .340/.432/.544 in 29 games with five doubles, two triples and four home runs for a .976 OPS. McKinney walked 17 times in 125 plate appearances with only 13 strikeouts.
McKinney has not slowed down with Double-A Tennessee. In 45 games, McKinney is batting .303/.351/.441 with 13 doubles, a triple and two home runs for a .792 OPS. McKinney has 13 walks and 20 strikeouts in 169 plate appearances.
Between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee, McKinney is hitting .318/.386/.482 with 18 doubles, three triples, six home runs and a .868 OPS in 74 games.
Due to the Cubs being competitive at the big league level for the first time in six years, the focus on the organization has shifted and less attention is being paid to the prospects this season. The Cubs have a deep system and it is good to see three of the top position player prospects continue their development the way Kyle Schwarber, Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney have this year.