Dylan Cease, Wladimir Galindo, D.J. Wilson, Chris Pieters ranked by Baseball America as four of the top 20 prospects in the Northwest League
Baseball America has ranked the top prospects for each level and every league in the minor league system. And on Thursday, Baseball America released its ranking of the Top 20 Prospects for the Northwest League.
The Eugene Emeralds, the Cubs Short-Season Class-A affiliate, won the Northwest League Championship this past season. It was the first title for the Ems in 41 years.
Jesus Feliciano was the Northwest League Manager of the Year and did a tremendous job leading a team filled with several of the top prospects in the Cubs’ organization. The Ems had the best record (54-22) in the Northwest League in the regular season and continued that success all the way to a Championship.
LHP Manuel Rondon was the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year old southpaw was 6-1 in 12 starts with a 1.10 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Rondon allowed 15 runs, seven earned, on 50 hits with 22 walks and 49 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.
The Emeralds had the Northwest League’s best pitching staff that was led by Manuel Rondon, Dylan Cease, Erling Moreno, Bryan Hudson, Wyatt Short and Jose Paulino before he was promoted to Low-A South Bend.
RHP Dylan Cease was ranked by Baseball America as the third best prospect in the Northwest League. Cease has incredible stuff and can reach triple digits on the radar gun. According to Baseball America, Cease’s fastball sat in the high-90s this season and touched 101 mph. Cease’s power curveball is considered a plus pitch.
Cease has to work do with his command and mechanics but this past season has to be considered a step in the right direction for the 20-year old right hander.
Cease made 12 starts in the regular season and was 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Cease allowed 14 runs, 11 earned, on 27 hits with 25 walks and 66 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.
3B Wladimir Galindo checked in at No. 10 on Baseball America’s list. The 19-year infielder hit batted .243/.337/.462 with 19 doubles, four triples and nine home runs for a .798 OPS. In 66 games, Galindo had 33 walks, 81 strikeouts and drove in 40 runs.
Galindo showed improvement as the season progressed. Over his last 30 games, Galindo hit .264/.382/.445 with 11 doubles and three home runs for a .827 OPS.
Baseball America ranked OF D.J. Wilson as the 13th best prospect in the Northwest League. Wilson hit better on the road this past season than in his home park. Wilson played center field and showed he has the tools to stick there despite an arm that is a “tick below-average.” Wilson batted .257/.320/.371 with 15 doubles, two triples and three home runs for a .691 OPS. Wilson was 21-for-29 on the bases and waked 20 times with 56 strikeouts in 64 games.
Wilson was a different player in the second half of the season. In 33 games, Wilson batted .313/.338/.453 with 10 doubles, a triples and two home runs for a .791 OPS.
1B/OF Chris Pieters doesn’t garner the attention of some of the prospects in the Cubs system. The former pitcher made the conversion from the mound to the field last year and he impressed this past season with his “ability to get the barrel to the ball.” Defensively he has played better in the outfield than at first base and has the ability to play center field.
Pieters is 22 years old and hit .246/.324/.337 with eight doubles, three triples and three home runs for a .661 OPS.
Baseball America’s Top 10 Northwest League Prospects: OF Leody Taveras (Rangers), OF Kyle Lewis (Mariners), RHP Dylan Cease (Cubs), SS Anderson Tejada (Rangers), OF Bryan Reynolds (Giants), OF J.B. Woodman (Blue Jays), SS Garrett Hampson (Rockies), RHP Justin Maese (Blue Jays), OF Heath Quinn (Giants), 3B Wladimir Galindo (Cubs)