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BA's Top 10 Cubs Prospects


1. Archer

2. Jackson

3. McNutt

4. Lee

5. Vitters

6. Carpenter

7. Szczur

8. Simpson

9. Dolis

10. Guyer

 

Best Tools

 

Best Hitter for Average: D.J. LeMahieu

Best Power Hitter: Brett Jackson

Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Matt Cerda

Fastest Baserunner: Matt Szczur

Best Athlete: Matt Szczur

Best Fastball: Chris Archer

Best Curveball: Trey McNutt

Best Slider: Chris Archer

Best Changeup: Chris Rusin

Best Control: Chris Rusin

Best Defensive Catcher: Robinson Chirinos

Best Defensive Infielder: Darwin Barney

Best Infield Arm: Junior Lake

Best Defensive Outfielder: Brandon Guyer

Best Outfield Arm: Kyler Burke

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Surprising list. I am a big fan of Brett Jackson, but it's pretty damning of our system, if he's considered our best POWER hitter in it, if you ask me.

 

Would of thought Dolis' stock was down personally from where it was last year at this time. Not really surprised to see Jay Jackson miss out, but I still think he's one of our top 10 guys for sure.

 

Kind of surprised BA had Simpson make the list. They had him as something like the 192nd ranked prospect from the 2010 draft and yet he makes our top 10 over a guy like Golden, who they had in their top 100 or so? On top of that, Simpson hasn't done anything but catch mono since he was drafted, so what kind of new info could they even have to change their opinion on him, other than they must trust Wilken? Lost some respect for BA here, just doesn't make sense as to why they changed their ranking to me. If they were high on Simpson before, I'd understand this better, but they weren't.

 

Shocked with Szczur's ranking as well. Through BA's eyes, we may be in for a rude awakening as far as final system rankings go, if you ask me. Of course, Szczur at least played last year and played well, so maybe they moved him in after seeing what he's capable of at least.

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Surprising list. I am a big fan of Brett Jackson, but it's pretty damning of our system, if he's considered our best POWER hitter in it, if you ask me.

 

Would of thought Dolis' stock was down personally from where it was last year at this time. Not really surprised to see Jay Jackson miss out, but I still think he's one of our top 10 guys for sure.

 

Kind of surprised BA had Simpson make the list. They had him as something like the 192nd ranked prospect from the 2010 draft and yet he makes our top 10 over a guy like Golden, who they had in their top 100 or so? On top of that, Simpson hasn't done anything but catch mono since he was drafted, so what kind of new info could they even have to change their opinion on him, other than they must trust Wilken? Lost some respect for BA here, just doesn't make sense as to why they changed their ranking to me. If they were high on Simpson before, I'd understand this better, but they weren't.

 

Shocked with Szczur's ranking as well. Through BA's eyes, we may be in for a rude awakening as far as final system rankings go, if you ask me. Of course, Szczur at least played last year and played well, so maybe they moved him in after seeing what he's capable of at least.

BA bases a lot of their rankings on evalutions by the team itself, so this list is also a reflection on how the Cubs view a lot of their prospects. That's why David Kelton kept making the list year after year.

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Surprising list. I am a big fan of Brett Jackson, but it's pretty damning of our system, if he's considered our best POWER hitter in it, if you ask me.

 

That's what happens when you don't have anything remotely resembling a 1B prospect.

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Surprising list. I am a big fan of Brett Jackson, but it's pretty damning of our system, if he's considered our best POWER hitter in it, if you ask me.

 

That's what happens when you don't have anything remotely resembling a 1B prospect.

 

 

I actually kind of thought we'd see Golden mentioned as our best power prospect.

 

You're definitely right though, we have no semblance of a 1B prospect whatsoever and based on how Wilken loves "up the middle guys" who are athletic, I don't see us taking one either.

 

That said, I'm fine with not drafting 1B, in general, as quite a few guys eventually get moved over there anyway. Whether it be a quickness issue, fielding problems, or whatever else, alot of guys wind up there. Still could happen to Vitters before he makes the majors possibly. I doubt it, but it's been talked about anyways.

 

So while I am fine with not drafting 1B, I'm not fine with constantly taking lower upside types. Sure, we've got a ton of guys in our system that will make it to the majors at some point, many who may actually contribute and that's good. But, I want at least a few "swing for the fences" type picks too. I hope we take some power hitters in this upcoming draft(early round picks), even if we take a potential stud pitcher in the 1st.

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Interesting list. The first 4 were pretty much expected, but like Davell said, I'm surprised to see Szczur and Dolis make the list.

 

I would love to see the write ups on the players and hear BA's rationale for the ratings.

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1. Archer

2. Jackson

3. McNutt

4. Lee

5. Vitters

6. Carpenter

7. Szczur

8. Simpson

9. Dolis

10. Guyer

 

Best Tools

 

Best Hitter for Average: D.J. LeMahieu

Best Power Hitter: Brett Jackson

Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Matt Cerda

Fastest Baserunner: Matt Szczur

Best Athlete: Matt Szczur

Best Fastball: Chris Archer

Best Curveball: Trey McNutt

Best Slider: Chris Archer

Best Changeup: Chris Rusin

Best Control: Chris Rusin

Best Defensive Catcher: Robinson Chirinos

Best Defensive Infielder: Darwin Barney

Best Infield Arm: Junior Lake

Best Defensive Outfielder: Brandon Guyer

Best Outfield Arm: Kyler Burke

If he has another terrible year offensively or doesn't show development any chance they try turning Burke into a pitcher?

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Thanks for list. Eight of those were locks, one big surprise (Szczur), one small surprise (Dolis). So basically a pretty conservative list.

 

On Dolis, I had him 14th on my list, and I think typically for guys in that 8-15 range, the separation is typically small. You could often rank the 8-15 guys randomly in a different order every day. I had risky low-minors risky position guys Lake, Ha, and Golden all ahead of him, but I can easily see how they'd put a big-armed AA groundballer like Dolis ahead of those guys. They'll have their turns in the top-10 for years if they produce.

 

I'm generally enthused anytime a surprise name, even a small surprise like Dolis, gets included. That typically reflects that BA is hearing some enthusiasm, whether from the Cubs or from some other scouts or both. It may be that we underestimate Dolis's potential and value. He was 22, and had only pitched for 60 innings before his 2009 Daytona season. So he may have considerable improvement still ahead. Velocity and that kind of a groundball anti-HR stuff, that's a good start even if he doesn't have great control or a top K-ball yet. He improved substantially if not fantastically this year: his walk rate dropped by about 25%; his great HR-rate remained excellent even against the stronger AA hitters; and while at Daytona he knocked almost a run off his ERA. I've always assumed he'd end up as a reliever, and I still do. But a strong-armed anti-HR groundballer can be nice to have in the rotation, too. We'll see how he develops this year. Sometimes pitchers can take big steps, and sometimes the offseason is a good time for that to happen. I believe that some of the mechanical or grip adjustments are made during the offseason. And sometimes guys who are prospects because of their velocity, the breaking ball is the last thing to come around. If suddenly Dolis showed up with a sharper and more consistent slider, and a more deceptive and usable change, maybe he'd look like this year's Archer?

 

Szczur surprised me much more. I had him only like 41st on my list. Partly because I expected him to go NFL. But for all the "great athlete" stuff, I didn't really know a lot about him, and some that I did know didn't seem that favorable. Supposedly fast, but he rarely stole even in college. If he didn't

steal even against 1A pitchers/catcher in college, how likely that he's got the gift to steal in the majors? Supposedly fast, but Cubs played him mostly in left, and he scouted as having a left-fielder's arm. It seemed that most of the scouting reports on him talked about being a blood donor and being a football player; I didn't see all that much really about his baseball potential. So at first I figured he was a 5th rounder mostly because he's a 5th round baseball prospect.

 

But if BA is listing him 7th, somebody must think he's got some tools that are pretty special, and that he's not just a 5th-round talent with some interesting blood/football stories. For BA to be hyping him up that high, I suspect that means Fleita must have gushed him up pretty seriously. Which in turn might mean the Cubs really do like him, and might even pay more if they think they need to to keep him away from the NFL. (As was the case with Samardz.) BA listing him so high might also reflect that the Cubs gushed him up as if they think they've got a serious shot to keep him, too. Which would also be favorable news.

 

Even if it's some Fleita-gush impacted, I think it's some good news. Callis must certainly know Fleita well enough to know that he gushes. BA must have some kind of a Fleita-gush filter just like we all do. So I think for Szczur to rank that high, they must believe he's got some serious baseball potential and aren't just getting snowed by Fleita-gush.

 

1. Cal has suggested that Szczur played LF because Na was already locked in at Boise center. Hopefully the new spin will be that Szczur is a true CF prospect, speed-wise, instincts-wise, and arm-wise. Perhaps they're now thinking his arm isn't that bad and wouldn't preclude him from CF.

 

2. Perhaps they think that his speed might go towards SB in future? If he stole bases like young Lofton or like Pierre, versus like Felix Pie, that could make a difference.

 

3. Szczur hadn't hit for real power in college or Boise, and the reports usually talked about speed, football, and blood. So I had assumed Szczur projects little power. Maybe they think he has more potential to eventually drive the ball? A speedy contact-hitting CFer who hits 15 HR's is different from a LF who hits 3.

 

We've already gotten a lot of enthusiasm about Golden and Wells from this draft. If Szczur is pretty talented, and merits being ranked up actually ahead of our 1st rounder, perhaps this was a more aggressive and high-ceiling draft that I'd thought.

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Holy crap. In the chat, Callis said the Cubs will have the 8th best farm system when BA publishes their rankings.

 

CUBS HYPE MACHINE

 

 

But really, wow. They must really love that top 10 and a couple pitchers outside it.

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Excellent question, interesting reply:

 

Bob (Mundelein, IL): Do you think that guys like Ben Wells, Austin Reed, Aaron Kurcz, or Cam Greathouse will start in Peoria next year? Who is the top pitcher (besides Simpson) to keep an eye on in the lower levels of the organization?

 

 

Jim Callis: Wells hasn't faced the competition the other guys have, so it's possible he could make his pro debut at short-season Boise, but I think the other three will open the year in Peoria. Actually, Kurcz is advanced enough that he might skip a level and head to high Class A Daytona. All of those guys are very interesting, but the best young pitcher to watch may be Robinson Lopez, who was part of the Derrek Lee trade with the Braves. The Cubs do a great job extracting value when dealing veterans, and Lopez touched 97 mph at times last year.

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WTF?? Dallas Beeler?

 

What about him? I hadn't heard much of anything about him, other than the Cubs could see him developing into another McNutt type steal......

 

As for Szczur, I've heard upside comps of Carl Crawford somewhere, so if that's the case, I could see the hype starting behind him anyway.

 

As for the Cubs having the 8th best system in baseball? Holy crap. Not sure what else to say. I would have bet we'd have been somewhere in the 13-17 range and felt comfortable about it. I know BA is extremely high on Archer, I guess it's not going to surprise me to see him somewhere in the top 30 or so now, maybe Brett makes it into that general area as well......

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Interesting:

 

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Of last years top 30 prospect group, who has jumped up the most notches and who has dropped the most spots down in this years group?

 

 

Jim Callis: Archer moved up 14 spots from No. 15 to No. 1, while McNutt rose 13 spots from No. 16 to No. 3. Chirinos and Castillo both improved 10 spots from Nos. 26 and 27 to Nos. 16 and 17. (Guyer came from off the 2010 list to No. 10 this year.) In the other direction, Kyler Burke (was No. 11) and John Gaub (was No. 14) fell totally off the list. Watkins went from No. 7 to No. 21 and Flaherty went from No. 9 to No. 22. Remember, our list ultimately reflects Baseball America's opinion and not necessarily that of the Cubs.

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Actually, I was less surprised with Szczur than I was with Dolis making it.

 

Really? I'd love to get your thoughts, could you explain a little?

 

Did you really, really love Szczur? Or are you pretty uninterested on Dolis?

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