Continuing our pre-season prospect list reviews, we turn our attention to the Chicago Cubs.
Please remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST.
This is not a new list.
These are pre-season grades.
Discuss 2016 Cubs prospect events in the comments section.
1) Gleyber Torres, SS, Grade B+: Age 19, traded to New York Yankees in Aroldis Chapman deal; hitting combined .261/.351/.414 on the season in High-A with 28 doubles, 10 homers, 20 steals, 56 walks in 454 at-bats while playing shortstop, extremely credible numbers given age/level, could be a star.
2) Ian Happ, OF-2B, Grade B: Age 22, 2015 first round pick from University of Cincinnati, hit .296/.410/.475 in High-A then .260/.313/.389 after moving up to Double-A, combined 28 doubles, 12 homers, 15 steals, 64 walks; Double-A has been more of a challenge but broad skills are evident.
3) Billy McKinney, OF, Grade B: Traded to Yankees in Chapman deal, hitting combined .240/.336/.318 in Double-A between the two systems; just three homers; 53 walks in 387 at-bats is a nice marker but otherwise disappointing, particularly lack of power. Stock down a peg.
4) Willson Contreras, C, Grade B-/B: Crushed Triple-A at .353/.442/.593; promoted to majors and has performed well at .270/.352/.455 while catching and playing outfield too; wish I had gone with a higher grade as 2015 breakout has been sustained.
5) Duane Underwood, RHP, Grade B-: Fighting injuries again; 4.45 ERA in 65 innings between Double-A and lower level rehab work; 55/33 K/BB; inconsistent, excellent at times but can get hammered when command is spotty; needs health/innings.
6) Carl Edwards Jr, RHP, Grade B-: Very solid in major league pen, 3.52 ERA in 23 innings, 31/9 K/BB, seems sustainable to me and could take larger role in time.
7) Oscar De La Cruz, RHP, Grade B-: Eight starts in short-season ball and Low-A since being activated from extended spring training, 2.65 ERA in 34 innings, 48/9 K/BB, 26 hits; reports on both stuff and command are quite positive, stock rising.
8) Eloy Jimenez, OF, Grade B-: Outstanding season in Low-A, hitting .335/.375/.542 with 40 doubles, 14 homers, 25/90 BB/K in 424 at-bats; power developing nicely along with general hitting skills, elite prospect at this point with performance now matching tools and still just 19 years old.
9) Albert Almora, OF, Grade B-: Hit .309/.323/.429 in Triple-A, .265/.291/.422 in the majors; MLB slash line seems like his true level of ability despite small 83 at-bat sample size, can improve from here.
10) Pierce Johnson, RHP, Grade B-: Horrendous season in Triple-A, 6.87 ERA in 56 innings, 66/40 K/BB while fighting injuries and control problems; strong K/IP ratio gives hope that he can rebound next year; likely fits best in relief.
11) Dylan Cease, RHP, Grade B-/C+: 35 innings in the Northwest League, 2.86 ERA, 48/21 K/BB; command needs work but reports on stuff are excellent and he has the strikeouts to back it up; breakout candidate for 2017.
12) Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Grade B-/C+: Hitting combined .270/.366/.446 between Double-A and Triple-A, 32 doubles, 12 homers, 64 walks in 433 at-bats; blocked by other players here but still just 22 years old and hitting well in the high minors.
13) Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Grade B-/C+: Traded to Seattle Mariners in mid-July, hitting .296/.417/.505 with 20 homers, 87 walks in 426 at-bats in Triple-A; power/patience combination ready for an MLB trial soon.
14) Ryan Williams, RHP, Grade C+: Sleeper prospect made nine starts in Triple-A (3.27, 30/12 K/BB in 44 innings) before going on disabled list in late May with "undisclosed but minor injury" but hasn't returned.
15) Victor Caratini, C, Grade C+: Hitting .294/.378/.409 in Double-A with six homers, 52 walks in 401 at-bats in Double-A; has thrown out 25% of runners but glove is otherwise reliable; can also play first base, good strike zone judgment a positive but more power would be nice.
16) Donnie Dewees, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick from University of North Florida hitting .281/.337/.412 between Low-A and High-A with 21 doubles,13 triples, five homers, 29 steals; speed and gap power are large positives but may be a tweener long-term.
17) Trevor Clifton, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, impressive season in High-A with 2.87 ERA in 113 innings, 122/41 K/BB; 94 hits, can hit 95 and curveball is plus, command has improved, stock up.
18) Carson Sands, LHP, Grade C+: Difficult season in Low-A, 5.91 ERA in 75 innings with 51/42 K/BB; has spent time on disabled list and went on "temporarily inactive" list yesterday. still just 21.
19) Bryan Hudson, LHP, Grade C+: Age 19, huge 6-8 lefty from Illinois high school drafted in third round in 2015, 11 starts in Northwest League with 4.62 ERA in 49 innings, weak 31/38 K/BB; was supposed to be raw and he is.
20) Ryan Kellogg, LHP, Grade C+: Age 22, Canadian lefty was fifth round pick out of Arizona State, I felt his fastball would take a large leap forward this year. That hasn't really happened but he has been solid in Low-A with 3.23 ERA in 120 innings, 95/26 K/BB and plenty of polish.
OTHER GRADE C+ (more or less interchangeable with spots 14-20): Corey Black, RHP; Eddy Martinez, OF; Justin Steele, LHP; Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP; Mark Zagunis, OF
OTHERS OF NOTE: Pedro Araujo, RHP; David Berg, RHP; Paul Blackburn, RHP; Wladimir Galdino, 3B; Preston Morrison, RHP; Jake Stinnett, RHP; Kyle Twomey, LHP; Christian Villanueva, INF; Darryl Wilson, OF; Chesny Young, 2B
Discuss the Cubs system 2016 events in the comments section.