Chicago Cubs: Prospects we could see next
It may seem like it, but the Chicago Cubs didn’t empty the cupboards of the minor league’s last year. There’s plenty left on the farm, so who might we see next?
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By now we have become familiar with the young stars the Chicago Cubs have unveiled in recent years. Anchored by the “veteran”Anthony Rizzo
, the Cubs are poised to thrive for the next decade because of guys likeKris Bryant
. Beyond the here and now, the pipeline still looks rich with the stars of tomorrow. Among them are some intriguing options that are in different stages of their development.
Willson Contreras, Catcher
Considered one of the top prospects in the organization, Contreras should eventually make his way to the Friendly Confines. The only question that remains is where he fits into the long-term plans at the catcher position. The odds of seeing Contreras at any point in 2016 would require an injury or trade involving Miguel Montero or David Ross.
The wildcard in this situation will be Schwarber. If the Cubs decide to stick with him at catcher, Contreras will have to battle for a backup role in the future or hope the Cubs deal him to a team in need. Contreras has a great arm and is quick behind the plate. If he can bolster his skills at the plate, he has the makeup to be one of the next guys we see in Chicago. ETA: 2017
Ian Happ, OF
The most recent top draft pick to come to the Cubs, Ian Happ could be a nightmare for teams trying to strategize against the potent lineup they have. As a switch-hitter, Happ shows good control from both sides of the plate and continues to grow in the power department. As an accomplished hitter in college, Happ possesses the bat speed to make it as a pro.
In an outfield group that is overloaded, it will be quite some time before we can see what the kid is made of. I would expect Happ to make his professional debut late in the season when the roster expansion can allow the Cubs to carry extra position players. ETA: Late 2017
Daury Torrez, RHP
By far the long shot among the three listed here, the best thing Torrez has going for him is his age. Working up the ranks as a pitcher takes time and to date, he hasn’t made the progression at an accelerated rate. Torrez has a solid fastball with sneaky movement that can translate well in the future. Playing at Wrigley Field, it’s a definite plus if he can rely on groundouts to get his outs.
I had the opportunity to see Torrez in person in 2014 while he was a playing for Kane County. The most impressive thing about him that day was his efficiency. He worked quickly and didn’t allow the opposing hitters to work deep counts. He took advantage of his fastball and managed to get a lot of his outs via the groundout. Confidence is the key to his success. Given his skill set, Torrez could turn out to be a decent back of the rotation type player. If his goal is to reach the show however, he may find it easier as a reliever. ETA: 2018
It’s no guarantee that these prospects will make it or if they will live up to the expectations. The important thing to remember is that the future is as bright as the present for the Chicago Cubs, and that is a great position to be in.