Top 20 Chicago Cubs PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Mike Harkey autographed baseball.
1) Mark Pawelek, LHP, Grade B+
Just activated from extended spring training. Allowed two runs in four innings in his first start for short-season Boise.
2) Felix Pie, OF, B+
Hitting .256/.321/.404 in 70 games for Triple-A Iowa. Disappointing. The tools are still here but his baseball skills have stalled out against better competition. Still young enough to improve though.
3) Ronny Cedeno, SS, B
Hitting .280/.303/.377 for the Cubs. Good batting average, but lack of patience is a serious issue and cripples his OBP.
4) Eric Patterson, 2B, B
Patterson is at Double-A West Tennessee, hitting .284/.346/.444 with 21 steals, not spectacular but solid enough.
5) Jae-Kuk Ryu, RHP, B
2-6, 3.79 in 74 innings for Iowa, with a 57/28 K/BB. Command still an occasional problem but overall he is doing OK.
6) Donald Veal, LHP, B
5-3, 2.69 in 14 starts for Class A Peoria, 86/40 K/BB in 74 innings, just 45 hits allowed. Needs to improve his control, but has just a .179 opposition batting average. Doing well and should rise up the lists as the season progresses.
7) Sean Gallagher, RHP, B
4-0, 2.30 in 13 starts for Daytona, with an 80/21 K/BB in 78 innings. Just promoted to Double-A, won his first start (two runs in five innings). I still like him.
8) Angel Guzman, RHP, B-
0-2, 5.68 in four starts for the Cubs, 29/20 K/BB in 25 innings. Great stuff, control is still a problem obviously.
9) Rich Hill, LHP, B-
0-4, 9.31 ERA in four starts for the Cubs, undone by control problems. He has a 2.12 ERA and an 86/12 K/BB in 64 innings in Triple-A, but has been unable to show the same kind of command in the major leagues.
10) Carlos Marmol, RHP, B-
1-2, 4.98 in 22 innings for the Cubs. Has passed Guzman and Hill on the depth chart due to more consistent command. I really like Marmol and I think he deserves more attention.
11) Sean Marshall, LHP, B-
4-5, 4.97 in 14 starts for the Cubs, flashing potential but erratic. Is doing pretty well considering that he skipped Triple-A and has just a handful of Double-A starts under his belt.
12) Scott Moore, 3B, B-
Hitting .276/.342/.500 with 12 homers, 20 walks, 76 strikeouts in 246 at-bats in Double-A. Good power, but strikeout rate is high, walks lower than ideal. Shouldn't be rushed and will need more time.
13) Ryan Harvey, OF, C+
Hitting .209/.252/.347 for Daytona, with 13/62/239 BB/K/AB ratio. Poor strike zone judgment is inhibiting his production. At this point I am skeptical about his chances.
14) Mark Holliman, RHP, C+
Solid year, 5-4, 2.88 in 14 starts for Daytona, 75/35 K/BB in 81 innings, just 54 hits allowed (.189 BAG). Needs to tighten up his command a bit but he is having a fine campaign and will move up the list.
15) Mike Phelps, RHP, C+
Combined 2-0, 2.45 between Peoria and Daytona, with 19/6 K/BB in 22 innings. Decent year in middle relief, which will be his role at higher levels as well.
16) Brian Dopirak, 1B, C
Hitting just .259/.349/.296 at West Tennessee, but 16-game sample size is too small to be meaningful as he has missed most of the year with a broken foot.
17) Brandon Sing, 1B, C
Hitting a combined .182/.306/.318 between West Tennessee and Iowa. Is drawing walks but that's about it. . .production is way down this year. Not sure what to think here.
18) Rich Rohlicek, LHP, C
Now in the Brewers system, 4.64 ERA in 23 games for Double-A Huntsville, 32/16 K/BB in 33 innings. Still might have a career as a LOOGY.
19) Randy Wells, RHP, C
4-2, 1.59 in 12 starts in Double-A, 54/13 K/BB in 62 innings. A fine campaign, throwing strikes. Deserves a shot in Triple-A soon.
20) Grant Johnson, RHP, C
Struggling with his command at Daytona, is 4-5, 5.17 in 10 starts with a 29/22 K/BB in 54 innings. Not living up to expectations at all. I have a report that his velocity is down substantially.
A mixed bag. I'm starting to wonder if Rich Hill will ever put it together, at least for this organization. I like what Marmol has done. Guzman still has a lot of potential but is starting to remind me of Juan Cruz. There are some interesting pitchers on the way up...Wells, Phelps, Gallagher. Veal was on my major sleeper list entering the season. But what's up with the hitters? Why have Pie and Sing stalled out so badly?