2011 Minor League Wrap Up, Part 2

I figured now was a good time to post something about the Cubs top prospects since it’s past the midway point in the full minor league seasons. The short-season teams just got under way. I’m using Sickel’s top 20. I’m breaking this into three parts. I’ll cover 11-20 here and then 1-10 while the final part will focus on players not ranked, but deserving of being discussed for one reason or another. It could be a draft pick from this season. Could just be a breakout season or something. Here we go.

20) Welington Castillo, C, Grade C: Very effective against runners, has some power, but on-base skills are sketchy.

It’s kind of been a lost season for Castillo who has been on the DL at least a couple times. The reason he didn’t get a call up in September is because he’s back on the DL. Overall though, he had another really good season in the minor leagues. His numbers came down in the few plate appearances he had since we last checked on him so it’s not worth adding much more. He had a park-adjusted .399 wOBA in 249 AAA plate appearances this year. Statcorner has it at 249, but I think it’s actually 251. Not sure why they’re off by a couple PA.

19) Ben Wells, RHP, Grade C: Hasn’t pitched  yet, but seventh round pick from Arkansas high school has potential as a hard-throwing starter.

Wells scouting report at the time he was drafted by Baseball America said this about him:

Ben Wells pitched at 84-87 mph most of his amateur career, but by the end of this spring he was throwing 90-94 mph and pitching a five-inning perfect game in the state 7-A championship game. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander has a good feel for pitching, too, as he pounds the strike zone with a three-pitch mix that also includes a hard slider and splitter. He committed to Crowder (Mo.) JC and now is drawing attention from Southeastern Conference schools. Wells has the size and stuff to go in the first five rounds of the draft, though he may not have been scouted extensively enough to go that high.

Wells turne 19 years old on Saturday and in his first professional season he allowed 5.47 runs per 9 innings at Boise. He did have a 63% groundball rate, which will be necessary for him since he’s not much of a strikeout pitcher. He does have solid control (5% walks, 15% strikeouts). There’s a good chance he’ll begin next season in Peoria.

18) Jin-Yeong Kim, RHP, Grade C+: Will he be worth the big bonus?

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17) Austin Kirk, LHP, Grade C+: Breakthrough candidate for 2011.

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16) Su-Min Jung, RHP, Grade C+: Wasn’t great at Peoria, but I think he can get better faster than people anticipate.

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15) Brooks Raley, LHP, Grade C+: Was very effective in the second half.

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14) Brett Wallach, RHP, Grade C+: Another one (live arm, needs polish).

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13) Rafael Dolis, RHP, Grade C+: Another guy in the live arm/needs polish brigade.

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12) D.J LeMahieu, INF, Grade C+: I think people are a bit too down on him; he could surprise this year.

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11) Marquez Smith, 3B, Grade C+: Not young, but ready to help at the major league level and can catch people off-guard.

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