2010 Chicago Cubs Top 20 Prospects in Review
Here is a review of the 2010 Cubs prospect list, originally published December 29, 2009. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST. The 2011 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.
1) Starlin Castro, SS, Grade B+: .318/.364/.458 in the majors. I liked him a lot pre-season, but was worried that he might be a bit overhyped and was being rushed. I was wrong about that; he's been excellent, far better than could reasonably have been expected given his age and experience level.
2) Josh Vitters, 3B, Grade B+: .291/.350/.445 in 28 games for Class A Daytona, but just .223/.292/.383 in 63 games for Double-A Tennessee. Young for the level at age 20. I'm not sure what to make of him at this point. On the DL with a broken hand.
3) Brett Jackson, OF, Grade B: .316/.420/.517 for Daytona, .284/.391/.466 for Tennessee, 61 walks total, 23 steals. Love the speed/OBP combination, and his power is coming along. Strikeout rate is high, but that's the only real negative. Stock up with me.
4) Jay Jackson, RHP, Grade B: 4.19 ERA, 86/37 K/BB in 118 innings for Iowa, 105 hits. Has pitched brilliantly at times, but erratic. Looked great in brief relief trial. I still like him.
5) Andrew Cashner, RHP, Grade B: 2.05 ERA, 59/15 K/BB in 57 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. 5.83 ERA, 19/16 K/BB in 29 innings in the majors with command issues. Nothing wrong with the stuff.
6) Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Grade B: .286/.359/.361 for Low-A Peoria, 29 steals. Not a lot of power, but making contact and holding his own at age 19. Defensive reviews from scouts remain good despite rather high error rate.
7) Chris Carpenter, RHP, Grade B-: 3.21 ERA, 82/42 K/BB in 101 innings, 105 hits in Double-A, 1.69 GO/AO. I still think he can/will sneak up on us.
8) Kyler Burke, OF, Grade B-: .227/.297/.361 for Daytona, 36 walks, 105 strikeouts in 410 at-bats. I thought he made real progress last year but it looks like I was wrong about that.
9) Ryan Flaherty, INF, Grade B-: .183/.286/.254 in 23 Double-A games, then .286/.348/.459 in 79 High-A games. Will try again in Double-A next year. See him as more of a solid player than a future star.
10) D.J. LeMahieu, INF, Grade C+: .298/.333/.370 in 106 games for Daytona, 14 steals. Just one homer. College concerns about level swing/lack of home run power with wood look justified.
11) Brooks Raley, LHP, Grade C+: 4.29 ERA, 73/39 K/BB in 105 innings for Daytona, 121 hits. Tale of two seasons, 5.93 ERA with 26 walks in 55 innings pre-All-Star Break, then 2.50 ERA with 12 walks in 50 innings afterward.
12) Logan Watkins, 2B, Grade C+: .253/.337/.321 in 88 games for Peoria, 17 steals, 41 walks in 336 at-bats. No power.
13) Esmailin Caridad, RHP, Grade C+: Has missed almost entire season with elbow injury.
14) Blake Parker, RHP, Grade C+: 4.58 ERA, 46/29 K/BB in 53 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. I thought he was a nice bullpen sleeper, but held back by command problems.
15) John Gaub, LHP, Grade C+: Another guy with command problems in Triple-A, 6.52 ERA with 38/25 K/BB in 29 innings. Lots of strikeouts, too many walks.
16) Matt Spencer, OF, Grade C+: .281/.333/.486 in 92 games between Daytona and Tennessee, 16 homers. Plate discipline is mediocre and he's already 24 but he's got some pop.
17) Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Grade C+: 4.25 ERA, 65/33 K/BB in 104 innings, 99 hits for Daytona, 1.58 GO/AO. Not great, but at least he's healthy after recovering from Tommy John. Would like to see higher strikeout rate.
18) Casey Coleman, RHP, Grade C+: 4.07 ERA, 59/35 K/BB in 117 innings for Iowa, 106 hits. Throws strikes, but poor K/IP is not a good sign for his future.
19) Tyler Colvin, OF, Grade C: .258/.319/.535 with 17 homers for the Cubs. I clearly underrated him here, thinking that major league pitchers would carve him up due to impatience.
20) Jeff Beliveau, LHP, Grade C: 2.77 ERA, 78/25 K/BB in 52 innings between Peoria and Daytona. Love the strikeouts. Relief sleeper.
Castro has been awesome, Colvin has been a lot better than I'd thought he'd be, and Brett Jackson has had a great breakout, three things for Cubs fans to be very happy about.