Baseball America ranks RHP Trevor Clifton, 2B/OF Ian Happ among the top 20 prospects in the Carolina League
Baseball America released its ranking of the top 20 prospects in the Carolina League for this past season. And three Cubs prospects, two current and one former, made Baseball America’s list.
Trevor Clifton earned Carolina League Pitcher of the Year honors with an outstanding season with High-A Myrtle Beach. Clifton spent the entire year with the Pelicans and helped Myrtle Beach repeat as league champs.
Ian Happ started the season with High-A Myrtle Beach and put together excellent numbers before he earned a promotion to Double-A Tennessee.
Baseball America ranked 2B/OF Ian Happ the 10th best prospect in the Carolina League. RHP Trevor Clifton checked in at No. 12 and former Cubs’ top prospect, SS Gleyber Torres landed on BA’s list as the fourth best prospect in the Carolina League this past season.
Ian Happ, 22, batted .296/.410/.475 with 16 doubles, three triples and seven home runs for a .885 OPS in 69 games for the Pelicans. Happ had 48 walks with 69 strikeouts in 293 plate appearances. Happ had his ups and downs offensively for Double-A Tennessee.
Happ hit .262/.318/.415 with 14 doubles and eight home runs for a .733 OPS in 65 games for the Smokies.
In 134 games combined between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee, Ian Happ hit .279/.365/.445 with 30 doubles, three triples and 15 home runs for a .810 OPS in his first full season in pro ball.
Trevor Clifton earned all of the post-season accolades he’s received. The 21-year old right-hander made 23 starts for the eventual league champs. Clifton was 7-7 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Clifton allowed 42 runs, 36 earned, on 97 hits with 41 walks and 129 strikeouts in 119 innings.
Clifton was the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year and the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Gleyber Torres hit .275/.359/.433 with 23 doubles, three triples and nine home runs for a .791 OPS in 94 games for High-A Myrtle Beach. Torres, the top prospect in the system, was the headliner in the deal with the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman that also included RHP Adam Warren, OF Billy McKinney and OF Rashad Crawford. Torres batted .254/.341/.385 with six doubles, two triples and two home runs for a .726 OPS in 31 games for the Tampa Yankees.
Baseball America’s Top 15 Carolina League Prospects: 2B Yoan Moncada (Red Sox), OF Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox), OF Victor Robles (Nationals), SS Gleyber Torres (Cubs/Yankees), C Francisco Mejia (Indians), 3B Rafael Devers (Red Sox), 1B Bobby Bradley (Indians), RHP Michael Kopech (Red Sox), RHP Erick Fedde (Nationals), 2B/OF Ian Happ (Cubs), LHP Justus Sheffield (Indians), RHP Trevor Clifton (Cubs), C Zack Collins (White Sox), SS Mauricio Dubon (Red Sox), SS Yu-Cheng Chang (Indians)
Dylan Cease, Wladimir Galindo, D.J. Wilson and Chris Pieters were ranked by Baseball America as four of the top 20 prospects in the Northwest League. And Eloy Jimenez was ranked as the second best prospect in the Midwest League.