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  1. #1
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    2018 Cubs Minor League Thread

    Cubs 2018 Minor League Thread



    Minor League Affiliates:


    Iowa Cubs (Triple-A)


    Tennessee Smokies (Double-A)


    Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Single A-Advanced)


    South Bend Cubs (Single A-Low)


    Eugene Emeralds (Short Season)


    AZL Cubs (Rookie)


    DSL Cubs 1 (Rookie)


    DSL Cubs 2 (Rookie)

    #FlyTheW
    2016 World Series Champions!!!


  2. #2
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    Gleyber Torres was ranked 5th on KLaw's list, Eloy Jimenez was 6th, Aramis Ademan listed at 78th, and Adbert Alzolay at 84.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    This has to be the most boring NRI list I've seen in awhile.

  5. #5
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    KLaw ranked the Cubs farm system #25.

    Trades for Aroldis Chapman, Jose Quintana and Justin Wilson have taken a toll on this system, as did the lack of a first- or second-round pick in 2016, though I doubt Cubs fans are complaining (yet). Six of the Cubs' top 10 prospects come from the international market, plus one more from a trade, but they lack the depth they once had or the high-end position-player prospects to match the Gleybers and the Eloys, now both top 10 in the game.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi-Town Cubs25 View Post
    KLaw ranked the Cubs farm system #25.

    Trades for Aroldis Chapman, Jose Quintana and Justin Wilson have taken a toll on this system, as did the lack of a first- or second-round pick in 2016, though I doubt Cubs fans are complaining (yet). Six of the Cubs' top 10 prospects come from the international market, plus one more from a trade, but they lack the depth they once had or the high-end position-player prospects to match the Gleybers and the Eloys, now both top 10 in the game.
    I anticipate this is the high-end of this farm's rankings prior to the start of the year. The top talents in the system are short on track record and pedigree. Everyone else of note is a semi-interesting projection, but it's tough to bank on them living up to everyday roles at the big league level. There are plenty of those guys, however, so wouldn't be surprised if there were a few guys having pop-up years in 2018.

    I'm guessing this is the valley and that the system will at least be on a slight upswing in years to come. Would be great to see Albertos and a couple of the recently drafted college pitchers take a real step forward.
    Last edited by NoChiInChamp; 01-28-2018 at 12:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    KLaw:

    Winning is a tough business, as the Cubs have strip-mined their system for three straight NLCS appearances and a world championship, leaving a system that's shallower than it has been since the new regime took over and also lacks any prospects in the global top 50.

    1. Aramis Ademan, SS/2B (ranked No. 78)
    2. Adbert Alzolay, RHP (ranked No. 84)
    3. Jose Albertos, RHP (Just missed)
    4. Brendon Little, LHP
    5. Thomas Hatch, RHP
    6. Oscar de la Cruz, RHP
    7. Alex Lange, RHP
    8.Victor Caratini, C/1B
    9. Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP
    10. Miguel Amaya, C/1B

    Non-top 100 prospects

    Brendon Little and Alex Lange were the Cubs' two first-round picks last year, boasting two of the best breaking balls in the draft class but also bringing questions about whether they will be starters long-term. Little, the lefty, is up to 96 with some feel for a changeup, but he is only 6 feet tall without plane or life to the fastball, and his stride is probably on the short side for a starter. Lange had three years of success for LSU and his curveball misses bats in the zone, but the delivery is going to be very tough for him to repeat as a starter. He's the more likely of the two to end up a reliever.

    Thomas Hatch was the Cubs' first pick in the 2016 draft, coming in the third round, and held his stuff all year after injury problems in college. He'll pitch at 92-95, using a sinker and now a four-seamer, and while his slider regressed, he did show an above-average changeup that will flash plus. He can get ground balls and miss enough bats to profile as a fourth starter. Oscar de la Cruz would be a top-100 prospect if he could stay healthy for a full year, but he's thrown just 96 innings the past two years around elbow and pectoral injuries. When healthy, the nearly 6-foot-6 right-hander is 92-94 with heavy life, average command and off-speed stuff that varies from average to plus. He was pulled from the Arizona Fall League before it began, but is expected to be healthy(ish) for spring training.

    Victor Caratini is a bench player but a valuable one because he can hit with some pop, control the zone, and also can back up at catcher, first base and possibly third (which he played more as an amateur) or a corner-outfield spot. Few reserves can match his versatility and ability to get on base, so while he's probably not a good enough defensive catcher to start there, he's an asset in this era of three-to-four-man benches. Jen-Ho Tseng added a cutter last year to help him against left-handed batters, and that could help keep him a back-of-the-rotation starter rather than pushing him to the bullpen.

    Miguel Amaya didn't hit at all this summer as an 18-year-old in the advanced short-season Northwest League, posting a .266 OBP but tying for 10th in the league in doubles. He does project to really hit with at least good extra-base power though. He's a catcher now with a plus arm and chance to be at least solid-average in other aspects behind the plate, although if he hits like scouts expect, he could move off the position to get him into the lineup every day. Right-hander Dillon Maples (11) was a forgotten man in this system after years of injuries and ineffectiveness, but last year everything came together. He started working in the upper 90s with a wipeout slider, punched out 36 percent of the batters he faced in the minors, and even got a brief call-up to the big leagues. He's a one-inning reliever but there's the potential here for him to be among the best in that specific role if he can gain even a half-grade of control. Second baseman David Bote (12) opened a lot of eyes in the Arizona Fall League by hitting .333/.395/.536 in 19 games. He makes a lot of hard line-drive contact, projecting more to doubles than homers, and can play adequate defense at the keystone, enough that he might be a second-division regular.

    The Cubs took Nelson Velazquez (13) out of Puerto Rico in the sixth round last year, betting on his huge raw power and bat speed despite a crude approach right now. He's a 60 runner but will probably lose a step as he fills out and move to an outfield corner full-time. It's an all-or-nothing sort of bet -- if he gets to enough of a hit tool to get to the power, he's a regular.

    Right-hander Erling Moreno (14), who signed for $650K in the same international class as Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez, has continued to be plagued by arm trouble, throwing only 64 innings in 14 starts around shoulder soreness after missing most of 2014-15 due to Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he's 94-97 with huge sink, generating a 60 percent ground-ball rate over the past two seasons. He's one to watch if he can just get on the mound for a full year. Michael Rucker (15) was the Cubs' 11th-round pick in 2016 out of Brigham Young and started 2017 in the low-A South Bend bullpen, but earned a quick promotion to high-A and ended up in Myrtle Beach's rotation, where he posted a 2.49 ERA in 15 starts, with 17 unintentional walks and 76 K's in 83 innings. He's up to 93 with an average breaking ball, getting results with some of the best fastball command in the system. His ceiling is low, but if he passes the Double-A test he's very likely to end up logging some starts in the majors.

    The Cubs' sixth-rounder last year, Jeremiah Estrada (16) is an undersized high school right-hander with a quick arm and an advanced feel for pitching, lacking much projection for more velocity. Keegan Thompson (17), a top prospect out of high school, went to Auburn, where he blew out his elbow before coming back last spring as a redshirt junior with average stuff and improved command, occasionally touching the mid-90s or flashing a plus breaking ball. He looks like a back-end starter as well. Lefty Justin Steele (18) is yet another possible back-end starter, with some reliever potential because he shows an above-average breaking ball and has been effective against left-handed hitters. Mark Zagunis (19) is a below-average defender in an outfield corner, but his history of high OBPs should get him time as a major league reserve. The Cubs tried to hit the reset button with outfielder D.J. Wilson (20) last summer, and he was better after an injury and stint in extended spring where coaches tried to rework his swing. He hit .245/.325/.462 after returning to low-A, showing some progress, but is not where he needs to be entering his age-21 season. Outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez (21) has been a huge disappointment, getting over-rotational at the plate to try to hit for power he probably doesn't quite have, resulting in way too many groundouts to the left side when he should be using the whole field. His contact rate is fine, but it's the wrong kind of contact.

    2018 impact: Victor Caratini should start the year as the Cubs' backup catcher/first baseman, and Dillon Maples should log some innings in the major league bullpen if his control allows it.

    Sleeper: Miguel Amaya 's 2017 line doesn't indicate what kind of hitter he is, or at least is expected to be, and a strong 2018 would launch him up the global list given the possibility that he's a catcher too.

    The fallen: Trevor Clifton was the Cubs' organizational pitcher of the year in 2016, but his command of average to fringe-average stuff wasn't enough for him in Double-A as the slight right-hander posted a 5.20 ERA as a result of more hard contact.

  8. #8
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    I found it odd what a big difference there was in scouting Amaya's defense between KLaw and Longerhagen from Famgraphs. KLaw made it sound like there was a legit possibility he may not stay at catcher and didn't seem to like his defense as much while Log made it seem like Amaya was a top defensive catcher.

    Here is the Fangraph take on him:

    Amaya, who is wearing braces in his 2017 headshot, hit just .228/.266/.328 this year, and scouts universally love him. He’s a projectable 6-foot-1 with terrific athleticism for a catcher. Twitchy and quick, Amaya is an advanced receiver and already able to steal strikes on the edges of the zone. He has a quicker transfer than is typical for a catcher his size and above-average raw arm strength. He could be a plus defensive catcher with a plus arm at maturity, and he already exhibits many of the general qualities teams covet in a catcher.

    Offensively, Amaya’s approach to hitting is geared for contact. He expands the zone too often right now but has promising hand-eye coordination and bat control. He often finds a way to get the bat on the ball, making sub-optimal contact rather than no contact at all. He has the physical tools to hit but needs a refined approach, and his frame suggests there might eventually be some power here, too.

    Scouts with whom I’ve spoken have firm everyday grades on Amaya. Some thought he was the best catcher they saw during the year. Teenage backstops are volatile and take forever to develop, but when you start lining up Amaya’s tools with some of baseball’s upper-echelon catching prospects, they clearly belong.

  9. #9
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    No Cubs prospects listed on FGs top 100. Adbert Alzolay was the only one listed for under consideration.

  10. #10
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    ZiPS has Aramis Ademan ranked 18th on the top 100.

    Aramis Ademan, SS, Chicago Cubs: ZiPS' No. 18, Law's No. 78. ZiPS has a strange thing for Cubs infielders with alliterative names, also liking former Cub Arismendy Alcantara better than most prospect observers. That didn't quite work out, but maybe the second time's the charm and Ademan's seven homers in 68 games as an 18-year-old is more impressive than it sounds with both the Midwest and Northwest Leagues being pitcher-friendly environments. Keith thinks that Ademan could hit 20 homers a year in his prime; ZiPS agrees.

  11. #11
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    I believe Alzolay took the last spot on Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects List

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    2016 World Series Champions!!!


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubsRule08 View Post
    I believe Alzolay took the last spot on Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects List
    I thought he was 95th.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcal10 View Post
    I thought he was 95th.
    Yeah you’re right. I heard someone mention he was last on the list.

    My mistake

    #FlyTheW
    2016 World Series Champions!!!


  14. #14
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    https://sports.yahoo.com/report-cubs...030332238.html
    Report: Williams Perez arrested in Venezuela after accidental fatal shooting

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoCubsGo617 View Post
    https://sports.yahoo.com/report-cubs...030332238.html
    Report: Williams Perez arrested in Venezuela after accidental fatal shooting

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk
    Wow...I guess he won’t be invited anymore.

    Tragic story but must have a thorough investigation of the situation

    #FlyTheW
    2016 World Series Champions!!!


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