Yesterday we covered milb.com’s Sox all-organization team. Now it’s time to take a look at who they picked in the Cubs’ organization.
As we said in the Sox piece, this isn’t a prospect list – there will be plenty of those later on. This is a rundown of who put up the best numbers at each position. So you get a AAA lifer like Jim Adduci on there instead of …(looks at Cubs farm system)…shit, they have nobody even _remotely_ resembling a prospect at first base, unless Jake Slaughter becomes as awesome as his name somewhere down the road. But you get the idea.
Still, the much-maligned* Cubs farm system looks like there might actually be some budding after years of dormancy. As we’ve already covered here, Nico Hoerner has arrived in the National League, but since he’s just dipped his toe in the water he’s still considered a prospect.
But there are some actual guys on the list who will start appearing on various top 100 prospect lists as early as this spring, and that’s enough to give Cub fans hope for the future.
Brennan Davis was the Cubs’ Minor League Player Of The Year, playing a solid center field in South Bend, posting a 305/381/525 slash line. At first blush, you can see a toolsy center fielder who doesn’t walk too much and strikes out a fair amount and have Corey Patterson or Felix Pie flashbacks, but this guy is different. He’s tall.
Seriously, he’s always been a two-sport guy up until the Cubs drafted him in 2018. So he’s still very much a work in progress. For now he can get by on sheer athleticism, but we’ll see how his bat develops in 2020 as he’s hoping to split the year between high A and AA.
Miguel Amaya is one of the sexier prospects for the Cubs, who currently boast an embarassment of riches when it comes to catching within the organization. More on that whenever Oleg gets to it. Amaya’s still very young – his current headshot features a mouth full of orthodonture.
Unlike late-bloomer Willson Contreras, Amaya’s already getting raves as both a catcher and hitter. With Hoerner moving up to the Cubs, possibly for good, Amaya will become the Cubs’ top prospect, and will most likely appear on everyone’s Top 100 lists, along with Davis. He’ll probably start the year in AA, where he’s going to have a very sore left hand, wrist and forearm compliments of…
Brailyn Marquez became the talk of Cub fans who watch the minor leagues last season, as he was able to combine his fastball which could hit triple digits with a suddenly dependable breaking ball and offspeed pitch. This resulted in his becoming dominant in South Bend before moving up to Myrtle Beach, where he posted a 1.06 WHIP in 26 innings over 5 starts.
The Cubs are being very cautious with Marquez, as young arms generating that kind of power usually wind up In operating rooms. But he’s starting to show the stuff that can project to him not only being a top of the rotation arm, but an elite one. AA is usually where you really start seeing the cut of a pitcher’s jib, so we’ll see what happens with him in 2020.
Vimael Machin is on the list as well, a guy who is a little older (26), but has been able to gradually rise through the farm system after being drafted in 2015. He got a brief look in Iowa in time for the playoffs, and he’ll probably be their starting second baseman next season, depending on what happens with Trent Giambrone.
The one other bat that might be worth keeping an eye on from this list is Edmond Americaan. Americaan was a low-round 2018 draft pick, and he did OK at Eugene. He struck out a lot more than you’d like to see someone do at that level, but a 785 OPS in the Northwest League is downright gaudy.**
The one other pitcher listed of note was Cubs “Minor League Pitcher of the Year” Cory Abbott. Abbott was drafted in 2017, and has been really good at each level. This year in AA, he posted an 8-8 record with a 3.01 ERA. Fairly impressive, but then you add in his 166 strikeouts in 146.1 innings and a tidy 1.12 WHIP, and you can see a guy who will be in Iowa next spring, with a shot at being an injury fill-in with the big club. He’s working off a fastball that is in 90-93 MPH range, and a pretty nasty cutter. He also throws a curve and change, but those need some work. Let’s see what the Cubs’ new pitching lab can do with those. But for now, his ceiling is a number 4 or 5 starter in the bigs.
So while there’s not much listed here that can provide immediate help unless they are traded, there is at least light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s just hope it’s not an oncoming garbage truck.
*They’ve actually developed some good players, they’re just playing somewhere else.
**Most hitters in the Northwest League who are any good don’t stay there very long.