If you’ve followed the Cubs closely long enough you can’t help but notice that some Cubs fans (many? most?) fall in love with a certain prospect each year who is going to save the organization. The only problem is that these prospects aren’t really prospects. Micah Hoffpauir was a 28-year old rookie, but he had hit so well in AAA that he needed to replace Derrek Lee according to Cubs fans. Bobby Scales was about 308 years old and he was the popular savior one year. Jason Dubois, Sam Fuld and others have been in similar situations. This year it’s 28-year old Bryan LaHair. If you asked the average Cubs fan they’d tell you he’s the best player on the team and that’s it a sign of how awesome the Cubs farm system is that they can develop such young stars.
I was thinking about trying to predict who it will be next year. The easiest thing to do is just to look at the AAA roster, but that will change quite a bit. The Cubs will sign some guys to invite to spring training to fill out spring rosters who will get sent to Iowa, there will be trades and some will be just be released. Still, it’s the best starting point we have.
There are 6 players on that roster that stand out. The youngest of the group is Ty Wright. He’ll be 27 years old in February and this year he posted an .861 OPS between AA and AAA.
Next on the list is 28 year old Scott Moore. Moore was once a top prospect who the Cubs acquired from the Tigers (Kyle Farsnworth?). After leaving for the O’s organizations a few years ago, he returned to the Cubs this past offseason. In AAA he hit .295/.380/.444. If he can hit a few more home runs early in the season next year he’ll have it wrapped it. He’ll be the savior of the organization according to the fans and even the retarded media by next July.
Matt Camp will be 28 and he’s the perfect candidate. He was not very good in his career, but if he gets hot to start the season all of that will be overlooked. He’ll become a great looking prospect at the age of 28.
The third pick in the draft over a decade ago, Luis Montanez is back with the Cubs and poised to be the next great prospect to save the Cubs. In AAA he hit .321/396/.492. Montanez has the added bonus of familiarity. He’s been with the Cubs at least once this season so a great start for him next year and the 30 year old will become everything the organization has ever lacked.
Bobby Scales may be 34 next year, but he had a hell of a season in AAA this year. Like Montanez, the fams are familiar with him, but him having been a top prospect in the organization at the age of 30 or 32 may affect whether or not they think he is still currently a top prospect. Maybe they think he just aged later than the average player. I think it’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
Augie Ojeda. He’ll only be 37 so I wouldn’t rule him out either.
My bet is on Ty Wright. I’m not sure familiarity helps and in fact think the more familiar Cubs fans get with players the more they dislike them. Most have never heard of Ty Wright or Matt Camp and Wright is the superior hitter by a long margin.