The Cubs have an odd system to rate. They have a lot of good picks from last year’s draft and a few guys that have yet to reach their twenties coupled with guys that had setbacks last year and a lot of power arms that project as relievers rather than starters.
Another odd thing with this system is that there are few potential power bats that also display good patience but good patient bats that display little power.
Below are my top 16 prospects with 2012 opening day age, position, and comments on each player. Below the top 16 is a small list of additional notable names. Enjoy.
|1||Brett Jackson (23-OF)||He has easy 20-20 potential while being able to stay in CF with above-average range. Some scouts don’t see a star but I see a guy who has an outside shot at stardom if he can reach his potential. He does strikeout a bit much but he walks a lot too. I absolutely love him as a prospect.|
|2||Javier Baez (19-SS/3B)||He has incredible bat speed and huge power potential. I don’t see him staying at SS but his bat will play almost anywhere and he has the arm and instincts to be a well above-average 3B. He could easily be #1 in this system but I want to see more pro ball data do gauge his approach at the plate better.|
|3||Dillon Maples (19-RHP)||A late round high bonus player who has #2 starter potential but is a ways off. He has a fastball that reaches mid-90s a curve and a change up. He will need to refine his secondary pitches and command but has huge potential. Great gamble by Cubs to take him.|
|4||Trey McNutt (22-RHP)||His stuff didn’t regress but also didn’t progress and his stats took a hit. He already has a solid two-pitch combo but needs to develop the change up if he wants to remain a starter. I still a solid starter and that’s why I rank him here.|
|5||Chris Carpenter (26-RHP)||Reports out of the AFL had him hitting 100mph and he can sit 95-97 and has a devastaing slider but lacks command. He has no 3rd pitch and most see him in the pen but he has the build to start and if he gets healthy I would ease him back into the rotation and that’s why I rank him here.|
|6||Welington Castillo (24-C)||A lot of mixed views on him but he is a solid all-around player. No glaring tools but is above-average on defense and has potential 20 homerun power and a solid hit tool. Probably runs the bases worse than Paul Konerko, though. Could make Geovany Soto trade bait.|
|7||Matt Szczur (22-OF)||He has plus speed and incredible work ethic. Some scouts see potential for average power but I don’t see it yet. He is raw but seems to be a fast learner and has the tools to be a regular but I see a 4th OFer right now.|
|8||Josh Vitters (22-3B)||I still love the swing and power potential but, man, will he ever learn any discipline? He will have to hit .290+ to have a respectable OBP and right now that looks unlikely. Pitchers will exploit him if he does not learn some discipline. If he does, he could still at least a regular with potential for more.|
|9||Dan Vogelbach (19-1B)||Huge, huge raw power and solid approach but very bad body. Conditioning will be an issue but it’s a little beyond simple conditioning right now. He would be best served on an AL team so he can DH because I don’t see good range there and if he lacks even basic conditioning he will definitely be a DH that needs a pinch runner.|
|10||Jeimer Candelario (18-3B)||I need to see much more from him but reports say he has the chance to be a plus hitter who makes hard contact regularly and has an approach mature for his age. His defense is below-average and could move off third. He could rank higher but I really want to see some video and what he can do in the states.|
|11||Benjamin Wells (19-RHP)||Gets a ton of groundballs with a sinker/slider combo and has solid control but lacks a real swing-and-miss pitch. Needs a 3rd pitch to keep left-handed hitters from killing him. Has a good frame and could be a solid innings eater with potential to be a #3 starter.|
|12||Rafael Dolis (24-RHP)||Dolis can reach the high-90s with the fastball but lacks control and a third pitch. He could be in the Cubs bullpen this year.|
|13||Junior Lake (22-3B)||No discipline and the upper-levels proved that. But he has an incredible arm and chance for above-average power and hit tool. A move a corner outfield spot is possible.|
|14||Marco Hernandez (19-SS)||The glove is there, the range and arm are there also. He can play SS but he is small and looks like a singels hitter with speed. Will need to prove he can hit for a decent average but has the chance to be at least a big league regular due to defense.|
|15||Pin-Chieh Chen (20-OF)||Can play a legit CF and has a good approach at the plate with tons of contact. He can work the count and should hit a lot of line-drives. He has little-to-no power and will need to prove he can hit for AVG to keep pitchers from pounding the zone against him.|
|16||Dae-Eun Rhee (23-RHP)||He is moving slowly back from TJ surgery and has seen his stuff progressively come back. His ceiling is not very high but if he is healthy he could be a #4-5 starter.|
Filed under: On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | 2012 Top Prospects, Ben Wells, Brett Jackson, Chicago Cubs, Chris Carpenter, Dae-Eun Rhee, Dan Vogelbach, Dillon Maples, Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Josh Vitters, Junior Lake, Marco Hernandez, Matt Szczur, Michael Burgess, Pin-Chieh Chen, Prospects, Rafael Dolis, Reggie Golden, Tony Zych, Trey McNutt, Welington Castillo