Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking Towards the Future: Cubs Prospects Ratings

Instead of talking about how the Cubs are a very average team without Aramis Ramirez, lets look at the future for one night. I don't claim to be any sort of minor league expert, and honesty I could be completely wrong about these guys. I've been reading more about some prospects, and I feel like I can put together a decent top-10 list.

1. Josh Vitters 3B, 19 years old. Current Class- Low-A. Vitters was the reward for a bad 2006 season and remains the Cubs top prospect and also their top trading chip. He is hitting .308 in Peoria this season, and I've read that his defense at third is improving. He needs to learn to walk more, but I think he has the potential to be a solid player in the big leagues.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept 2010-or 2011

2. Starlin Castro SS, 19 years old. Current Class- High A. Castro was put in Daytona a little early in the hopes of making him more of a prospect. It has worked so far, as Castro is hitting .302 and stealing some bases. This is a name to keep you're eye on,
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept 2011

3. Jay Jackson RHP, 22 years old. Current Class- AA. Jackson is "my guy". I really think this guy is going to be a stud starter for us down the line, and his pitching since May 1 has been off the charts. 1.11 ERA in 40.2 IP. I'll be keeping my eye on Jackson and I'm really hoping this guy sticks with the Cubs and has a nice future.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- June 2010

4. Andrew Cashner RHP, 23 years old. Current Class- High A. Cashner was last season's first round pick, and currently the Cubs don't know if he should be a starter or a relief pitcher. He has been good as a starter this season (1.66 ERA), but his innings are limited and I believe his future is as a closer or set-up man.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- April 2010 (relief pitcher), Sept 2011 (starter)

5. Jeff Stevens RHP, 26 years old. Current Class- AAA. The most major league ready guy from the DeRosa trade, Stevens has a future as a set-up man, and potentially a good one. A 2.62 ERA and 33 K tell me that he can get outs, but 19 walks is a bit too much. He will never be a star, but he can be effective.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept 2009.

6. Jeff Samardzija RHP, 24 years old. Current Class- AAA. Already having been in the bigs twice, The Shark hardly qualifies as a prospect, except that he obviously isn't major league ready. He is trying to be a starter in Iowa and is finding mixed results. He needs to get better at his off speed pitches or he won't make it.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept 2009 (relief), June 2010 (starter)

7. John Gaub LHP, 24 years old. Current Class-AA. Another guy who came over in the DeRosa trade, Gaub fits the same high walk, high K, relief pitcher mold that Stevens is in. Gaub being a lefty helps him in an organization that has a fetish for left handed pitching. 
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept 2010

8. Chris Carpenter RHP, 23 years old. Current Class- Low-A. OUR Chris Carpenter will hopefully bring the talent of his namesake without the injury problems. He still walks a bit and is a bit behind age-wise, but a 2.60 ERA is impressive and this isn't the greatest minor league system ever.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- Sept. 2011

9. Steve Clevenger C, 23 years old. Current Class- AAA. Clevenger is adjusting to AAA right now, and he looks like he can be a nice backup to Geovany Soto in the future. He needs to improve on defense and maybe find some power. Certainly he can compete with Koyie Hill next spring,
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- April 2010

10. Tony Thomas 2B, 22 years old. Current Class-AA. Thomas has some pop at second and can steal the occasional base. He has gotten better at taking walks, and is on a nice track to make the bigs. He needs to keep developing his patience and strikeout less. Obviously nobody is perfect on defense either.
Justin's ETA to the Bigs- April 2011.

There you have it. Odds are 6 of these guys are traded or bust out before making the bigs. Hopefully Vitters and Jackson make it, or bring us a player that gives us a World Series.

Did I miss anybody? Rate someone too high or low?


  1. I like how Shark is making so much money (relative to the minors) and toiling around...ehhh just the major league team!

  2. I have no clue on this topic, but they way you have it it looks like the Cubs will have 25 brand new guys on the roster on this day 2 years from now. I believe these guys are good, but I don't think they can all come up that soon.

  3. Well the Cubs have high roster turnover. Contracts running out, and a number of them are bullpen arms which changes every year. Not to mention September 2011 means a 40-man call up.

  4. Ah, ok that makes sense. Acceptable.