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Chicago Cubs Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

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Chicago Cubs PRE-SEASON Top 20 Prospects in Review

1) Brian Dopirak, 1B
Ugh. Hit .235/.289/.381. He did hit 16 homers in the difficult Florida State League, but all of his other numbers were way off compared to '04. Plate discipline is an issue. At age 21, he still has time to rebound, but obviously his stock has to drop. I would be very interested in any observations from people who have seen Dopirak play this year.

2) Felix Pie, OF
Limited to 59 games for Double-A West Tennessee by a leg injury, but hit .304/.349/.554 when he played, showing very good power development. Tool-laden player with developing skills, but the Cubs should be patient with him and avoid rushing him too quickly, ala Corey Patterson.

3) Billy Petrick, RHP
Went 1-4, 5.59 in nine starts for Class A Daytona, 25/19 K/BB in 37 innings. Went down with shoulder injury, had to have surgery. Status in doubt at this time.

4) Angel Guzman, RHP
Another season spent trying to stay healthy, appeared in just two games for Peoria. Status unchanged. He has a great arm but if he can't stay on the mound it doesn't matter much.

5) Reynel Pinto, LHP
Clobbered in Triple-A, 9.53 ERA in six starts. Demoted to Double-A and recovered, going 10-3, 2.78 in 21 starts, but he was repeating that level so good performance there doesn't tell us much.. Not sure what to make of him at this point.

6) Jason Dubois, OF
Hit .239/.289/.472 in 52 games for the Cubs, then traded to Cleveland. Has good power but plate discipline is a major issue.

7) Bobby Brownlie, RHP
6-7, 4.74 in 27 games, 14 starts for Triple-A Iowa. Pitched better after converting to relief, so perhaps he has found a niche. Still not as good of a pitcher as the Cubs thought they were getting when they expended a first-round pick on him.

8) Carlos Marmol, RHP
Split season between Daytona and West Tennessee, going a combined 9-6, 3.34 in 154 innings, with a 141/77 K/BB. His command needs to improve, but he's a solid overall prospect.

9) Ryan Harvey, OF
Hit .257/.302/.484 in 117 games for Peoria. Hit 24 homers and 30 doubles, but posted a 24/137 BB/K ratio in 467 at-bats. Has to improve his strike zone judgment to produce at higher levels.

10) Sean Marshall, LHP
Strike-throwing lefty pitched well for Daytona and West Tennessee, going 4-5 but with a 2.68 ERA and 85/31 K/BB in 94 innings. Main question is durability.

11) Matt Murton, OF
Hit .343/.405/.499 between West Tennessee and Iowa, then hit .321/.386/.521 in 51 games for the Cubs. May not duplicate those numbers in a full season, but I expect he will be a productive player for a long time.

12) Ricky Nolasco, RHP
Went 14-3, 2.89 in 27 starts for West Tennessee, 173/46 K/BB in 162 innings. Solid across the board, main problem was that he was repeating the league, but I do like him.

13) Mark Reed, C
Hit .135 in 14 games to start the year at Peoria. Sent to short-season ball, he hit .250/.310/.370. I thought he would do a lot better than that, based on high school performance and scouting reports. Still young at 19.

14) Grant Johnson, RHP
3-8, 3.82 in 14 starts for Peoria, 52/26 K/BB in 73 innings. Live arm, but needs better command. Not especially polished for a college product.

15) Matt Craig, 1B
Hit .275/.340/.459 in 99 games for West Tennessee, repeating the league at age 24 and posting weaker numbers compared to 2004. Hard to see how he fits into Chicago's plans.

16) Brandon Sing, 1B
Hit .276/.404/.538 in 127 games for West Tennessee, 26 homers, 91 walks, 110 strikeouts in 409 at-bats. Power and patience are impressive. An older prospect at 24, but might sneak up on people if he can find the playing time.

17) Bear Bay, RHP
Traded to Cleveland. Went 9-8, 3.86 in 23 starts between Class A Kinston and Double-A Akron, 125/28 K/BB in 131 innings. Effective control pitcher, with a good strikeout rate for a guy who doesn't burn radar guns.

18) Jermaine Van Buren, RHP
1.98 ERA, 25 saves, 65/22 K/BB in 55 innings for Iowa. Control is still a problem at times, but he has enough stuff to help out in the bullpen and close in an emergency.

19) Jon Connolly, LHP
Limited to 26 innings for West Tennessee (4.44 ERA) by shoulder trouble. Status will depend on health.

20) Richard Lewis, 2B
Hit .217/.277/.300 for Iowa. Has had one good year in a five-year career.

This is another team that will have a very different list in 2006. Sean Gallagher and Rich Hill plus some '05 draftees will knock some of these failures off the list. The Cubs farm system looked great a few years ago, but they have lost momentum.