Chicago Cubs’ top ten prospects announced by Baseball America


On Friday, Baseball America released its top ten prospects for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. There were some interesting names, and not-so-surprising names as well. These are the players who will either help in the Cubs’ pursuit of  World Series title by playing at Wrigley, or facilitating a deal to get someone else who could.

From the moment Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over reins of the Chicago Cubs, their philosophy was to rebuild the farm system from the ground up. They tore everything down, then built it back up, and now is one of the top, if not the top, system in baseball.

More proof came on Friday when the most prestigious magazines that covers baseball, Baseball America, released its 2016 top ten Chicago Cubs prospects list.

After the Cubs’ historic rise with four of its rookies, their minor league system would certainly get a good look.

There could be some players on that list who may help in the Cubs’ pursuit of that elusive World Series title. They could do it by either using their skills at Wrigley Field, or being a trade chip that could bring in another player who could.

It is important to note that this list is not as impressive as the one with Kris Bryant, Addison Russel, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. Repeating that would be very difficult. Looking at the list without on its own, however, it is still pretty impressive.

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Of the players on this list, Wilson Contreras is slated as the one most likely to play with the Cubs in 2016, but I think Almora also has a chance to do so.

Contreras is rated as a better catcher than Schwarber defensively. He may not be as gifted a hitter, but he did hit .333 with 34 doubles in Double-A Tennessee. He will start in Iowa in 2016, and will make his Chicago Cubs debut sometime during the season.

Almora was ranked the #7 Cubs prospect starting the 2015 season. He is listed as the team’s best defensive outfielder. If the Cubs go with Schwarber and Soler as their corner outfielders, they will need a center fielder who can cover a lot of ground, and that is Almora. He will be fun to watch.

Torres may be the Cubs’ biggest trade chip. Cubs’ executive say he has the ability and “it” factor that Bryant and Russell have, but he may not have a place on the major league roster. If he does have the abilities, perhaps he can go to second base if Starlin Castro is indeed traded and Baez is moved to the outfield as some have predicted.

With the first wave of prospects, the Cubs concentrated fully on hitters. There are some pitchers on this list.

Underwood is probably the one closest to making it to the majors. He is projected to be a middle of the rotation pitcher, someone like Kyle Hendricks.

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Cease has thrown just 24 innings and already had Tommy John surgery, but he can still hit the upper-90’s on his fastball. Besides, these days it seems every young pitcher has that surgery.

The one to look out for is de la Cruz. He is just 20 years old, and according to Baseball America, he is still growing. He is already hitting 97 on his fastball, so if he does grow a couple of inches and can improve on his mechanics, he could be an amazing pitcher.

The Chicago Cubs’ front office has done a great job of scouting and acquiring young talent. Even after hitting on four prospects in the 2015, expectations need to be tempered. No team goes perfect on its prospects, but I think most of these players will have an impact on the team…eventually.

Next: Chicago Cubs Free Agency: Top Players To Go After

As I stated, some will be traded, but I believe Epstein and Hoyer will keep most of them. They will try to use the formula of the Atlanta Braves of the 1990’s. They mostly used their prospects, and acquired veteran help around the youngsters.

Whatever the case, the future is bright for the Chicago Cubs.