The future seems bright for a handful of prospects down on the farm for the Chicago Cubs, but one in particular could be in jeopardy.
With power-hitting lefty Anthony Rizzo anchoring the infield at first base, where does Minor League Dan Vogelbach fit into this puzzle? The soon to be 21-year-old was drafted by the Cubs in the second round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft and made his debut in the Arizona Fall League.
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Vogelbach was once dubbed as “the white Prince Fielder” as the young prospect weighed in at around 240 pounds and has since lost weight. Before Rizzo came along, Vogelbach was aiming to be the team’s future first base slugger they had been searching for, ever since they dealt Derek Lee to the Atlanta Braves.
In four Minor League seasons with the Cubs, Vogelbach has recorded 53 home runs, 220 RBIs, 75 doubles, three triples, 176 walks, 352 hits, and 230 strikeouts with a batting line of .285/.375/.481. Last season he spent the entire year with the Daytona Cubs where he tied his career high in RBIs with 76 in 482 at-bats.
He started the 2013 campaign with the Kane County Cougars but was later promoted to Daytona by the end of the year as he hit a career high 19 long-balls in 131 games. Not all the power you would expect from a guy who hit a ball 508-feet during a power show chase competition held at Chase Field in Phoenix in 2010.
As we all know, Rizzo is currently under contract for a very long time (2021 to be exact), so the only thing Vogelbach could do is possibly serve as a back-up if he’s still with the club. There’s always a chance that he’ll end up being traded away to another franchise who could use his left-handed power hitting services.
Vogelbach is currently the teams number 10 prospect which includes Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Albert Almora, and Kyle Schwarber – so there has to be quite a bit of value there if he just so happens to turn out to be a trade chip depending on if Theo Epstein and company feel as if they could survive without him.
There’s no doubt his power will continue to carry him through the Minor League circuit even if it’s not with the Chicago Cubs.