MiLB.com recently ranked the Cubs as having the seventh best group of position player prospects in the game. Baseball America’s positional rankings have included Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Billy McKinney, Eloy Jimenez, Mark Zagunis and Donnie Dewees.
Two of Baseball America’s top 31 Cubs prospects are also considered among the top 40 young centerfielders in the game, Albert Almora Jr. and Darryl Wilson.
Baseball America is not has high on the talent in the Cubs’ organization as other publications or prospects gurus, especially Keith Law who thinks the Cubs still have the fourth best minor league system.
Baseball America listed Albert Almora Jr. sixth and Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson 16th in its Cubs’ ranking. As for the top center field prospects, Almora Jr. checked in at No. 16 and Wilson was ranked No. 27.
Albert Almora Jr.
Baseball America thinks Albert Almora Jr. (6) is the top outfield prospect in the Cubs’ system, just ahead of Billy McKinney (7) and Eloy Jimenez (9).
Almora Jr. reported to camp this spring with a focus his teammates have not seen in the past from the former first round draft pick. While his numbers may not show it, Almora Jr. is having an excellent spring in big league camp.
At the plate, the 21-year old outfielder is 6-for-28 with two doubles, no walks and four strikeouts. His .214/.207/.286 line does not take into account that he has hit line drives all over the Spring Training facilities with nothing to show for the improvement in the stats.
Defensively, Almora Jr. has continued to impress in center field while proving that his glove is ready for the big leagues.
Albert Almora Jr. still has a lot of work to do offensively and is expected to begin the season patrolling center field for Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs think Almora Jr.’s bat will catch up to his defense. If Almora Jr. is able to take the next step in his development, the Cubs could have two of the best defenders in baseball in the same outfield as soon as next season.
Darryl ‘D.J.’ Wilson will play this entire season at 19 years old. The Cubs selected Wilson in the fourth round of last June’s Draft. Wilson has the tools to hit at the top of a lineup, steal more than his fair share of bases and run down a lot of balls in the outfield.
There are a lot of tools to work with and Wilson has plenty of developmental time ahead of him.
Wilson played in 22 games in Rookie Ball last summer and hit .266/.322/.354 with three doubles and two triples for a .676 OPS. Wilson stole five bases in six tries.
The Cubs will likely have Darryl Wilson begin the season with Short-Season Eugene after spending an extended time in Spring Training.