As the Chicago Cubs completed their 25 man roster there was a joke that was going around twitter among Cubs’ fans. That joke being that if the Iowa Cubs were to play the Chicago Cubs in 3 game series, the Cubs’ triple A affiliate may come out as the victors in that series. The Iowa Cubs started their season with a roster that included top prospects Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and Josh Vitters. The Iowa Cubs also started the season with a pitching staff that included Randy Wells and Travis Wood.
The Iowa Cubs are 3 and 3 to on the young season, but the team has seen strong performances by the top prospects in the Cubs’ farm system.
Brett Jackson has started the season strong as the center fielder has 8 hits in 25 at bats (.320) to go along with 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. The downside to Jackson’s stats is that the prospect already has eight strikeouts in those 25 at bats. Jackson is going to be near the top of the Cubs’ order when he is called up to the Major League team, having said that, it is vital that the Cubs’ top prospect begin to improve upon his strikeout totals. Once Jackson’s swing and miss rate lowers, then the center fielder will be Major League ready. Though, Jackson’s call up to the Major League is very much dependent on an injury or trade. No team has come calling on Alfonso Soriano. Despite heavy interest in Marlon Byrd towards the end of Spring Training, it does not appear that any Byrd trade is close to fruition. Jackson is going to get time with the Major League club this season, though, that time may not come until July.
Anthony Rizzo has collected 9 hits in 23 at bats (.391) for the Iowa Cubs during the team’s first six games this season. Rizzo also has displayed his power potential as the first baseman already has three home runs and 9 RBIs on the young season. Rizzo seems to be on the way to repeating his numbers for last season when he was a member of the San Diego Padres‘ triple A affiliate. Rizzo hit .331 with 26 home runs and 101 RBIs with the Padres’ triple A affiliate in 2011. Though, it is important to remember that the Jed Hoyer is not going to make the same mistake this season that he made last season when he was the general manager of the Padres. Hoyer admitted that the 22 year old Rizzo was rushed to the Major Leagues last season. Having said that, if Rizzo continues to hit well with the Iowa Cubs and Bryan LaHair does not solidify in his self in the Cubs’ lineup then Rizzo could be with the Major League team at some point in May.
Third baseman Josh Vitters figures to be behind Jackson and Rizzo. However, Vitters is already turning heads while playing with the Iowa Cubs. Vitters has collected 7 hits in 17 at bats over five games with I-Cubs this season while walking 3 times and striking out twice. There has never been a question of Vitters’ hitting ability. But the thing that is impressive about Vitters’ start to the 2012 season is that the third baseman is having quality at bats. Some around the baseball industry question if Vitters will even be with the Cubs’ organization by the time he makes his Major League debut, but one thing is for sure. If Vitters continues to produce offensively with the Iowa Cubs this season and the defensive ability is evident, then his arrival to Wrigley Field will be a lot sooner than anyone anticipated.
If you want a look at the Cubs’ future, take in a game or two at Iowa. It is not heaven for Cubs’ fans, but it is Iowa.