MLB Pipeline moved to the hot corner Tuesday and ranked the top 10 third base prospects in the game. Jeimer Candelario had a very good season a year ago that continued in the Arizona Fall League. Candelario landed in MLB Pipeline’s top 10 as the seventh best third base prospect.
Jeimer Candelario began last season with High-A Myrtle Beach. The 22-year old switch hitting third baseman put together good numbers at the plate over 82 games while showing improvement in the field. Candelario hit .270/.318/.415 with 25 doubles, three triples and five home runs for a .733 OPS.
The Cubs promoted Candelario to Double-A Tennessee and he excelled at the higher level. Candelario played in 46 games and hit .291/.379/.462 with 10 doubles, a triple and five home runs for a .841 OPS.
After struggling in 2014, Candelario finished his 2015 campaign with a .277/.339/.431 line that included 35 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and a .770 OPS. Candelario walked 42 times with 83 strikeouts in 525 plate appearances.
Jeimer Candelario opened more eyes in the Arizona Fall League. Candelario played in the Fall Stars Game and hit .329/.371/.610 in 21 regular season games with eight doubles, five home runs and a .981 OPS.
MLB Pipeline thinks Candelario “has all the necessary tools to stick at third base, including soft hands and above-average arm strength.” Offensively, Candelario “makes consistent contact from both sides of the plate, leading scouts to project him to hit for average and power.”
MLB Pipeline’s Top 10 Third Basemen: Joey Gallo (Rangers), Rafael Devers (Red Sox), Ryan McMahon (Rockies), Brandon Dury (Diamondbacks), Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates), Austin Riley (Braves), Jeimer Candelario (Cubs), Richie Shaffer (Rays), Jomar Reyes (Orioles) and Renato Nunez (A’s) … Next up: Colin Moran (Astros) and Eric Jagielo (Reds).
The Cubs added Jeimer Candelario to the 40-man roster this off-season. Candelario will spend at least the first half of Spring Training in big league camp before he’s optioned to the minors.
Based on last year’s progression, Jeimer Candelario should begin the year at Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs may decide to start him back with Double-A Tennessee, and let him pick-up where he left off against Double-A pitching before bumping him up a level.
Shortstops are next for MLB Pipeline. It will be interesting to see how Gleyber Torres ranks in the top 10.