Cubs’ farm director Jaron Madison gave an indication Sunday on where two of the organization’s top prospects will begin the 2016 season.
Madison told Carrie Muskat that SS Gleyber Torres will begin the year with High-A Myrtle Beach and OF Eloy Jimenez will start the season with Low-A South Bend. Torres and Jimenez took steps forward in their development last year and were expected to begin the upcoming season with the Pelicans and SB Cubs.
Players will be assigned to affiliated teams at the end of Spring Training.
Gleyber Torres is considered the No. 1 prospect in the Cubs’ system. The 19-year old shortstop had a tremendous season with Low-A South Bend before he was promoted to High-A Myrtle Beach for the end of the regular season and playoff run.
Torres played 119 games for South Bend and hit .293/.353/.386 with 24 doubles, five triples and three home runs for a .739 OPS. Baseball America named Gleyber Torres the best prospect in the Midwest League at the end of the season.
Torres played shortstop during the Pelicans’ Mills Cup Championship run and helped Myrtle Beach take home the Carolina League Championship.
Torres could be paired with first round pick Ian Happ as the Pelicans’ double play combination when the season starts.
Gleyber Torres hit a combined .287/.346/.376 between Low-A South Bend and High-A Myrtle Beach with 24 doubles, five triples and three home runs for a .722 OPS. Torres played 126 games in his first full season of pro ball.
Eloy Jimenez really turned things around last season. Jimenez played in 57 games for Short-Season Class A Eugene and batted .284/.328/.418 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and a .746 OPS. Jimenez turned 19 years old in November (Nov. 27, 1996).
Jimenez projects as a right fielder but has spent more time in left (48 games) than in right (30 games) over his first 99 games in pro ball.
Eloy Jimenez has been compared to Jorge Soler due to the tools and skillset.
South Bend’s Opening Day outfield could feature Eloy Jimenez, Eddy Julio Martinez and Donnie Dewees.