Today we continue the Cubbies Crib edition of the Chicago Cubs Top Prospects List. Starting from a list of candidates that contained about forty names, I whittled it down to a Top 21 that are being published in three installments of seven, starting at the bottom.
Tuesday: #15- #21
Wednesday: #8 – #14
Thursday: #1 – #7
Friday: A consolidated Top 21 with additional comments.
Ranking prospects is always a tricky business. The potential ceiling of the players has to be balanced against their actual production, the level at which they have played, their age, their position, and a number of other factors. I tend to favor players who have produced when given the opportunity, with a few notable exceptions. Keep in mind that, like all rankings, these are flexible. Any player is one breakout season away from jumping onto this list, or one miserable season away from falling off it.
And now, the Cubs Top 21, numbers 8 through 14.
8. Jeff Beliveau – LHP
Key Stat: In 57 innings at Tennessee he had a WHIP of 0.877 and a K/9 of 10.9. That’s dominance.
Projects As: A very good left handed reliever who would do just fine as a setup man or closer.
9. Josh Vitters – 3B/1B/OF
Key Stat: In Tennessee, his SLG of .448 came with just 54 Ks in 449 ABs.
Projects As: Vitters bat, with a little extra patience, should keep him in the majors. He would like to stay at third, but a move to left might be in the cards.
10. Junior Lake – SS/3B
Key Stat: He stole 38 bases on 44 attempts in 2011. He hit 12 HR as well.
Projects As: With Castro a fixture at short for the Cubs, Lake will almost certainly move to third. His mix of power and speed should work well wherever he plays.
11. Dae-Eun Rhee – RHP
Key Stat: In his 17 starts for Daytona, his K/BB was 3.23.
Projects As: Rhee looks like a number three starter.
12. Dan Vogelbach – 1B
Key Stat: It’s not much to go on, but 4 of his 7 professional hits went for extra bases.
Projects As: Vogelbach’s game is all about the power, and that’s exactly what he could bring to the Cubs in a few seasons.
13. Zeke DeVoss – 2B/OF
Key Stat: His 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts were nice. His 33 BB against 32 Ks in 187 PAs were also nice.
Projects As: If he can keep showing the patience he showed in 2011, DeVoss could be a fixture atop the Cubs order as well as on the infield.
14. Pin-Chieh Chen – 2B/OF
Key Stat: He raised his SLG by about .100 over 2010 (0.424 in 2011), and doubled his steals (to 20).
Projects As: Chen looks like he’s ticketed for the outfield. At the plate, he’s another guy with top of the order potential.