According to a Thomson Rueters report, former Chicago Cubs top prospects Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson are “on their last chances,” with the organization – a fact that has long-been rumored due to the duo’s constant underperformance, especially at the big league level.
“OF Brett Jackson and 3B/OF Josh Vitters have been major disappointments who spent the entire year in the minor leagues after making their big league debuts in 2012 and largely failing. Both of these former No. 1 draft picks are expected to remain with the organization, but they are on notice that they are on their last chances. Vitters will be converted to the outfield in spring training.”
Although both of these players were once believed to be franchise cornerstones, they have clearly fallen into disfavor of late, especially with the rise of the likes of Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant – all of whom pose serious threats to any shot Vitters and Jackson have of ever seeing the big league roster.
Jackson has a career batting line of .270/.365/.460 in five seasons in the minors, which isn’t terrible, but when you look at the major step backwards he took last season, hitting .210/.296/.330, patience is clearly running thin with an apparent lack of progress.
Vitters, who was drafted as a corner infielder – primarily a third baseman – appeared in only 33 games in 2013, hitting .282 with five home runs and 12 RBIs. His last 100-plus game season, 2012, he put together a solid campaign, hitting .304/.356/.513, collecting 17 home runs and 68 RBIs.
The other major aspect of this report that is interesting is the fact that Vitters will be transitioning into an outfielder during Spring Training. He’s a total of three games in the outfield in seven years of professional baseball, but it appears the Cubs front office is hoping this could help jump-start Vitters, potentially leading to another asset in the Chicago outfield.
Either way, time is short for these former poster boys.