Iowa Cubs hitting coach (and former Minnesota Twins catcher/outfielder) Brian Harper was a recent guest on the Omaha Storm Chasers pre-game show and he discussed a couple of Cubs prospects, offering his opinion about whether they are ready for the big leagues.
Jorge Soler / 22 / RF (.369/.462/.769 with 11 HR and 40 RBIs in 43 MiLB games this season)
"His strength is just unbelievable," Harper said. "I think the real strength of Jorge is that he doesn't really chase out of the zone like a lot of young aggressive hitters do. Javy [Baez] for example, would chase out of the zone. Jorge has better discipline in the strike zone and he just needs to stay healthy. As far as I'm concerned he can go to the big leagues at any minute. He needs the at-bats and everything, but if you put his at-bats together over the last couple of years, it's about a full season and he's got 100 RBIs and 25 home runs - pretty good numbers."
Technically, he has 24 home runs as a minor leaguer, but you get the point.
Kris Bryant / 22 / 3B (.341/.446/.685 with 36 HR and 94 RBIs in 114 MiLB games this season)
"He just needs games," Harper said. "Kris is one of the most disciplined, focused young hitters. He's always studying the pitcher's pattern and always making an adjustment. I think it's just a matter of time when the brass and the big guys want to call Kris up. He'll be ready. He's a unique, special kid.
"I had the opportunity to be the catching rover for the Giants when the Giants drafted Buster Posey. Real similar. You saw him after a couple of games and said, ‘He's ready for the big leagues now.' That's kind of the feeling with Kris. You do need the [minor league] experience and I think it's just the experience and the at-bats, but I would have no problem with Kris going to the big leagues and playing right away."