BP Cubs top prospects

In case you missed it in some sort of turkey-induced coma, Kevin Goldstein published his Cubs top prospect list over at BPro. Here’s his list:

  1. Brett Jackson
  2. Javier Baez
  3. Welington Castillo
  4. Dillon Maples
  5. Matt Sczcur
  6. Josh Vitters
  7. Jeimer Candelario
  8. Trey McNutt
  9. Marco Hernandez
  10. Junior Lake
  11. Rafael Dolis
  12. Dan Vogelbach
  13. Jae-Hoon Ha
  14. Chris Carpenter
  15. Tony Zych
  16. Ryan Flaherty
  17. DJ LeMaiheu
  18. Zeke DeVoss
  19. Reggie Golden
  20. Marwin Gonzalez

We’ve read plenty about the big names on this list (Jackson, Vitters, etc.) so I’ll focus on some names on this list that I’m less familiar with and two in particular who were omitted.

Of all the players on the list, Jeimer Candelario’s appearance intrigued me the most. I don’t remember who is was here who’s been talking him up (dylan?). He just turned 18 on Thankgiving, and has a great bat. It sounds like he won’t stick at 3b but should hit well enough to hold down first base. He’s young enough to improve on defense, so if he sticks at 3b even better. He’ll probably chase Vogelbach up the ladder in the Cubs minor league system.

I was surprised to see Dillon Maples ranked so high, but that’s mostly due to my natural bias against high school pitcher. All credit to Tom Ricketts for opening up the wallet to get the tough sign anyway, since just about every scout thinks he’s going to be really good. KG thinks he’s four years away but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rocket up through the system.

Speaking of high profile pitching draft picks, 2010 first round pick Homer Simpson is mysteriously nowhere to be found after suffering from the longest case of mononucleosis ever. As great as the 2011 draft was, drafts like 2010 still leave me scratching my head about Tim Wilken et al’s process. He’s still running the draft but I’m guessing/hoping there will be a bit more oversight from the rest of the Hall of Justice.

Also conspicuously missing from the list is former top prospect and Keith Law favorite Jay Jackson, who failed his bullpen test in 2010 and has fallen off the face of the earth since. It’s telling that despite the clusterfuck that was the 2011 Cubs rotation, Jay Jackson was never called up. Jackson posted solid-to-huge strikeout rates in A-AA, but as soon as he hit AAA he continued to pound the strike zone (BB/9 below 3) but suddenly couldn’t strike anyone out at all. His velocity was apparently way down this year, and he’s unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. I think there are plenty of teams who could have interest in him, but he’s not ready to be carried on a MLB roster for a full season.


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