Minor League Ball released its ranking of the prospects in the Cubs’ organization. And to no surprise, SS Gleyber Torres topped John Sickels list of the young players down on the farm.
One thing that sticks out about John Sickels’ list is that 10 of the top 20 prospects in the system are pitchers, seven right-handers and three left-handers.
Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ, Billy McKinney, Willson Contreras and Duane Underwood Jr. comprise Sickels’ top five with Carl Edwards Jr., Oscar De La Cruz, Eloy Jimenez, Albert Almora and Pierce Johnson rounding out the top 10.
The focus shifted from the minor league system to the big league team last season. The front office has not changed its plan however and will continue building and developing talent throughout the organization.
With the possible exceptions of Willson Contreras, Carl Edwards Jr., Pierce Johnson, Albert Almora and Billy McKinney, the next wave of talent is at least a couple of years away from the big leagues. Gleyber Torres is expected to start the upcoming season with High-A Myrtle Beach. Duane Underwood Jr. should headline a very good starting staff for Double-A Tennessee on Opening Day. Ian Happ has a good chance to be Torres’ double play partner with the Pelicans. And Eloy Jimenez is on track to start the season with Low-A South Bend.
Triple-A Iowa’s Opening Day roster should consist of Pierce Johnson, Carl Edwards Jr., Willson Contreras, Albert Almora and Billy McKinney.
On his overview of the Cubs’ organization, John Sickels said, “Graduations have thinned the upper levels of this system, but I still like what the Cubs have done down on the farm. Many of the B- guys have breakout upside potential, notably Oscar De La Cruz, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. Carson Sands, Bryan Hudson and Ryan Kellogg, along with Justin Steele and Kyle Twomey give five legitimate southpaw prospects at the A-ball level who could develop into Major League starting pitchers.”
Minor League Ball’s Top 20 Cubs Prospects for 2016
(2015 Minor League Ball’s Ranking in Parenthesis – NA – Not Available, NR – Not Ranked)
Key – Player, Position, Minor League Ball Grade, 2015 Ranking
- Gleyber Torres, SS, B+ (11)
- Ian Happ, 2B/OF, B (NA)
- Billy McKinney, OF, B (8)
- Willson Contreras, C, B/B- (NR)
- Duane Underwood, RHP, B- (9)
- Carl Edwards Jr., RHP, B- (5)
- Oscar De La Cruz, RHP, B- (NR)
- Eloy Jimenez, OF, B- (14)
- Albert Almora, OF, B- (6)
- Pierce Johnson, RHP, B- (7)
- Dylan Cease, RHP, B-/C+ (NR)
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B, B-/C+ (NR)
- Dan Vogelbach, 1B, B-/C+ (13)
- Ryan Williams, RHP, C+ (NR)
- Victor Caratini, C, C+ (15)
- Donnie Dewees, OF, C+ (NA)
- Trevor Clifton, RHP, C+ (NR)
- Carson Sands, LHP, C+ (12)
- Bryan Hudson, LHP, C+ (NA)
- Ryan Kellogg, LHP, C+ (NA)
Other Grade C+ Prospects
- Corey Black, RHP
- Eddy Julio Martinez, OF
- Justin Steele, LHP
- Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP
- Mark Zagunis, OF
Other Top Prospects
- Pedro Araujo, RHP
- David Berg, RHP
- Paul Blackburn, RHP
- Wladimir Galindo, 3B
- Preston Morrison, RHP
- Jake Stinnett, RHP
- Kyle Twomey, LHP
- Christian Villanueva, INF
- Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson, OF
- Chesny Young, INF
John Sickels did not include prospects such as OF Jeffery Baez, RHP Armando Rivero, RHP Jonathan Martinez, LHP Rob Zastryzny, OF Charcer Burks, OF Jacob Hannemann, OF Kevonte Mitchell, RHP Jeremy Null, OF Bijan Rademacher and RHP Daury Torrez in his look at the Cubs’ organization.