Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Chicago Cubs. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.
All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here.
Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
Except for Perlaza, all of these players are under 21. Perlaza is a gamer with some feel for contact but no power. He might hit enough to be a valuable utility man. I’ve seen Correa up to 97 but he didn’t pitch last year and has been hurt a lot. Fermin sits 88-91 but he has a prototypical frame and his curveball has good shape. He’s a 45 athlete. Herz is a slinging lefty who looked relief-only last summer. Huma and Bautista are low-level performers without a lot of physical projection.
Steele was in the main section of this list at the onset because he’s a lefty with a good breaking ball, but his combination of injuries and the reports coming out of this spring made me want to slide him down here. Pelham was an upper-90s/slider relief prospect at peak but had an erratic and injury-marred 2019 and also got hit around in February. Garcia has power and plays an okay second base but I have a 30 on his bat. Brooks’ fastball — 92-96 with plus spin — garnered an 18% swinging strike rate last year. Little was 90-93 rehabbing in the AZL last year.
Clarke has a plus curveball and was up to 95 last summer. Laskey is a four-pitch lefty with average stuff who was hurt all of 2019. Deppermann was up to 97 after last year’s draft. He’s 23 and 2020 was going to be a big developmental year for him. Pomeroy has been throwing hard since college, up to 98, but has 30 control. Roberts sits 91 but has elite fastball and curveball spin.
Artis could be a contact-oriented fourth outfielder. Weber is a viable defensive middle infielder with a 45 bat and power. Americaan is 23 and behind the developmental curve, but he has plus speed and is really physical. Zinn is an above-average athlete with a bunch of 40 and 50 tools; his development has been slowed by the presence of other infielders in the system.
The Cubs’ recent track record of drafting and developing pitching is bad and the org has made a concerted effort to build new facilities and bring in new personnel to address that fact. Brailyn Marquez’s delivery was sequenced better last year, the earliest and loudest sign that things might be improving on the dev side. Hoerner and Davis made significant and impactful swing changes after signing, evidence the hitting side of the dev group is also driving positive change.
After a run of monochromatic drafts full of college pitching, Chicago has used mid-round picks on projectable high schoolers, and both Roederer (who I was probably low on before his draft) and Davis’ stocks are up since they were acquired.
We haven’t seen what the pro department’s tendencies are because the club has been in buy mode for a while now, but we might soon learn a lot if the team seeks to rebuild.
Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.