For the last two years, we’ve been hearing about the wonderful amount of talent in the minor leagues. We’re told to be patient and told everything is going to be alright. The fact is, however, that not all prospects reach their projected ceilings. In fact, some barely reach higher than the floor. As Cub fans, especially in the last couple decades, we’ve had our share of “can’t miss” guys come into the organization only to see them miss. If you need a reminder, let me toss some names your way.
- Kevin Orie
- Bobby Brownlie
- Mark Pawelek
- Corey Patterson
Those are just a smattering of the first round picks from this organization over the last 20 years. It gets frustrating. That got me thinking about which of the current prospects I would bet my life on if I was one who was prone to baseball betting.
After much thought about the current top 20 according to MiLB.com, I decided to rank my top three in the order of confidence in them reaching their projections.
1. Kris Bryant – I struggled with who to put first, but went with Bryant simply because he was a college hitter that has shown good hitting ability anywhere in pro ball he’s been so far. albeit in limited time since being drafted in June. I chose him over Javier Baez simply because of the college vs high school debate that ofter sparks arguments among the scouts. I have no doubt that Baez has a higher ceiling but that also makes it harder to reach. For that reason, I’m betting my life on Bryant.
2. Javier Baez – I am doing my very best to curb my excitement about Baez because of how excited we have gotten with other guys in the past. Remember how good it felt to watch Kerry Wood and Mark Prior pitch and know they came from our system? Remember the debut of Starlin Castro? It’s hard not to get excited about these guys, but I’m trying hard not to. The fact is, though, he has the tools to be an absolute superstar in this league. He’s scary talented.
3. Dan Vogelbach – Before you stop reading all together, let me remind you what the list is. It’s the top three guys I would be on to reach their expectations. The feeling around baseball is that he’s one of the top hitting first base prospects in the minors but could run into a problem with finding a legit position. I don’t think people see him as a star in the league, but rather as a good hitting first base prospect with some pop in his bat. I seem him project as a .280 / .350 / .425 guy with somewhere around 20 home runs. I can see him reaching that in the majors if he continues to watch his weight and work on his fielding.